Electronics > Altium Designer

Third party value

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Anyone know if an Altium license can be sold on and, if so, how much it would be worth? I asked an Altium rep but they didn't get back to me.

This is not a technical issue - it would be perfectly feasible to give a buyer the licensee details and passwords, ALF file, etc., and let them get on with it. However, is that legally doable and what would the value be?

Well I believe it is generally possible to sell / transfer a license.
You'd be the seller, and involved in the transfer, though maybe Altium would also acknowledge and record the
transfer on their side, too.

If the ALF file works on the recipient's PCs then yeah I suppose in practice you could just sell your interest in it and give
them that though as far as Altium knows (in theory they should have no interest / concern / rights in the matter) the sale
didn't happen and in their system it'd still be tied to the original altium administrator web account and login / password etc. etc.
and the address details of the owner wouldn't change.   

So if the new owner did want to login and I don't know download it again or pay to renew the subscription or buy another
license and want to have them both managed under the administrator account they want to set up, or even if they just wanted
to login and not use the ALF but use the floating license option or such then of course the login would be as before and ideally
they'd be able to associate that with their email / password / name / address etc. etc. vs. the present case.
So to change all that stuff Altium.com should be "updated" to be able to actually release a license from one account / owner and
transfer it to some other user's altium.com account etc.

If you read the ridiculous faustian bargain BS from their web site I'm sure you'll see all kinds of ambiguities and unreasonable restrictions on use, transfer, etc. etc.  For instance there used to be a user on this forum, 'blueskull' that -- IIRC & AFAIK -- reportedly personally bought Altium while living full time & working & attending post-doc school or whatever in the USA.   A couple years later
he was talking about moving back to China where he is from / a national and said that Altium literally refused to allow him to "legally" use his personally paid for perpetual license if he moved back to China because /* insert bullsh*t mumbo jumbo excuses */ ... and
he'd basically have to pay far more than he'd already paid for a new "Chinese Altium license" if he wanted to have one "homed" there.   So yeah I'd trust these "licenses" and "cloud locked" corporate robbery techniques not so far as the Planck length.

Other CAD companies (et. al., many similar examples exist)  I know sold a bunch of "perpetual" licenses but then decided that the product wasn't profitable anymore so just abandoned their customer base and stopped running the cloud locked floating license "activation" servers so basically you could never again use the software once the smallest detail of your installation / OS / PC etc. changed even though it was a fully owned perpetual and supposedly freely portable to any other of your PCs license.
I'm just waiting for the day when Altium gets bought by Autodesk or whoever or goes out of business or declares AD EOL or whatever corporate robbers do and perhaps decide to just turn off their license servers and strand all their users that don't have ALF or other means to port / keep their access.

But if you're lucky the Altium Godfather might allow you to sell what you already own & paid for without too much hassle, who knows.

In some jurisdictions (part of EU?) I think it is legally determined that if you paid for a software product or such then you also have the legal right to give / sell it to anyone as you may wish and the vendor can't stop you with any license / EULA / whatever BS.
Attempting to restrict to otherwise should also run afoul I imagine of things like inheritance rights, marriage joint / community property & transfers, etc. etc.

What is it worth?  Well that's a good question.   The de facto answer is it's worth whatever you can get someone to pay for it.
The problem is most of their paying customers are medium to large enterprise organizations and although Altium may be an
"approvable" vendor for a capital purchase of $NNNN, some random person who's selling something second hand is probably a lot
harder to get approval / sign off etc. to have the company buy a somewhat expensive item from.  There'd be at least hours of overhead in discussion, executing sale papers, coordinating & verifying the transfer with Altium, etc. etc. which would be considered inconvenient to them even more so than getting a PO on NET 30 terms approved to Altium.com and handled through the purchasing department with manager sign-off.    And it goes without saying most enterprises shopping for Altium are dealing with a sales rep at altium and they are not looking for second hand offers on ebay, craigslist, facebook, whatever, so your sale offer doesn't even exist as far as they're aware.

The other problem is when the purchaser buys a new Altium license they get like a 30 day trial period, they get 1 year / whatever of "forced" support / maintenance typically for an additionally included cost, and they get the newest version of the software, and they get 1 year of altium365 / cloud whatever etc. etc. for the support duration.   

If someone buys from you they get an old version's license if it isn't now under current support contract, they'd face a steep "penalty" fee if they wanted to get back on support & get the new version so much so that it wouldn't be financially worth it for them to do that vs. just buy a new license with current support.

So if I was selling a copy I guess I'd post on the Altium forum itself if that's not somehow censored and say "hey if anyone is thinking of buying an extra seat license and you're already happy using version X which may or may not have Y time of support left paid for, ask and we can make a deal".   I'd also post that somewhere like this board, and maybe other EDA / EE related networking venues where you could connect with either small businesses, entrepreneurs, consultants, etc. that want to buy Altium but would also be open to saving some money with your deal.   Obviously you could try ebay, craigslist, facebook, whereever people sell stuff but probably very low likelihood of good / serious offers, high likelihood of possible scammers and other time wasting scenarios.

Lucky for you they raised the price a lot in the past year or two, so even if you sold it for 50% or whatever of you actually paid for it maybe that'd look like a pretty big discount vs. Altium's current offer since the price maybe went up 200% who knows between 2020 and now (AFAICT anyway), who knows about your actual investment amount / purchase date since their prices change like a sine-wave every decade.

I suppose if I was going to sell it I'd do it sooner rather than later since who knows what the situation with value and transferrence will be in another year or two.  I have to assume it's depreciating over time as it gets older if you're not paying for maintenance.

Their EULA does not have any clauses against selling a license, so...


The version involving your particular organs, first born, immortal soul, pound of flesh, et. al. may differ.

I think 'sell my copy' translates to 'transfer'...

--- Quote ---3.2. In no event shall you disclose, transfer, assign, publish, distribute, provide in a service bureau, rent, lease or in any
other way make available to any other person or entity the Licensed Materials or any part thereof without the prior
written consent of Altium.

--- End quote ---

I don't expect Altium to be helpful, even transfering to someone else with a desk a few yards from me, in the same company, was troublesome.

In the EU there has been some legal wrangling over 'second hand' software licenses.
Firms are legally doing business today selling secondhand Office license keys.


--- Quote ---In 2012, the ECJ answered the question with its famous “UsedSoft” ruling (docket no. C-128/11).

According to the ECJ, the resale of software licences was generally permitted under the following conditions:

    The computer program was put on the market within the EEA with the rights holder’s consent.
    The original rights holder granted a perpetual licence, meaning without time limitations.
    The rights holder received reasonable remuneration.
    The initial acquirer (who later resells the licence) deletes all remaining program copies.

--- End quote ---

I think all of the above hold true for Altium users within the EU so transfer should be legal, but perhaps not blessed by Altium. IANAL ;D


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