vvvv gamma licensing /2

December 19, 2019 posted by: joreg

Helo everyone,

We recently released a new preview of vvvv gamma, including executable export. This makes it feature-complete for our first official release in early 2020. We’re now only ironing out bugs and tweaking the help/onboarding experience a bit further. So what you see now is what you’ll get, when you buy a license to use it commercially. Therefore now is the time to inform you about the licensing options we have planned for it. Note: This does not mention any discounts that we’re still planning to apply for early adopters.

Trust me, when I tell you that this is the most rewritten blog-post we ever published. Creating a suitable licensing model seems far more complex than creating the software itself.

Continuing the T.R.U.S.T model

Foremost it is important for us to keep our (pattern pending) T.R.U.S.T model, which means:

That’s the world we want to live in and we hope you too! We don’t believe in any form of copy-protection or artificial feature limitations that usually only restrict honest users. Others will always find a way around such restrictions and thus not be bothered anyway. We’re all grown-ups here. If vvvv helps you make a living, then help us make a living by providing vvvv for you. How simple is that?!

Education must be free

Same as above, this is what we believe in. In the end, everything always comes down to education and equal access to it. We don’t want to be responsible for anyone to not have the pleasure of learning vvvv.

There are commercial educational institutions that could make us a lot of money indeed. But also we’re smart businessmen and know how to cash in on the free drugs we hand out now, later.

Further, it is in the interest of any professional user of vvvv to quasi support the free educational use as this keeps the flow of new talents steady. WinWinWin.

Gamma over beta

So why not simply keep the existing licensing model? Indeed, to make this clear: The licensing for vvvv beta will not change! As long as you’re not interested in vvvv gamma, everything stays exactly the same for you (except you’re missing out quite a bit! Just sayin…).

But then, regarding vvvv gamma, there are a couple of reasons to adapt the licensing model:

  • The vvvv beta licensing model is simple to explain, but just does not fit well to different use-cases. We’ve heard of people not using vvvv for certain smaller tasks because they didn’t justify a whole license
  • With its possibility to export executables, vvvv gamma becomes a different type of product. It allows you to distribute and run your projects as self-contained programs without the need to install and run vvvv on every machine. Like this, vvvv becomes closer to more traditional development environments where it makes sense to charge per developer seat rather than per executable that was created with it
  • By still offering the edit-while-running workflow, vvvv gamma at the same time stays the same product and needs to keep existing licensing options
  • Too often we heard the phrase “I told the client to buy the license” as an excuse and even partly as a complaint that it would be our fault that we don’t have means (dongle, …) for the client to understand they need a license. But this was never our intention. We’re doing business with you, not your clients!

So bottom line up front: vvvv gamma is more and therefore requires a more defined licensing model.

Types of vvvv gamma licenses

We’ll want you to declare your use of vvvv gamma using the following options:

Free Use

  • Non-commercial use
  • Evaluation purposes
  • FOSS development
  • Contribution development
  • Student projects
  • Hobby projects
  • Educational Institutions when teaching with vvvv

Developer License

  • Per developer seat when working on commercial projects
  • Export and sell executables without extra charge
  • To be used by a single developer on 2 devices in parallel during development
  • If more devices are required during development, extra Device Licenses are needed

Device License

  • Development: Needed per device or virtual machine running the development environment vvvv that is not covered by a Developer License
  • Deployment: Needed per device or virtual machine running the development environment vvvv

Pricing per size of wallet

Another thing we wanted to improve over the beta licensing model is the fact that we understand that vvvv is used in quite diverse scenarios regarding the financing that is behind them. To accommodate all of those on an individual basis is not really feasible. But at least we thought we can add an option on either end of the default “professional” user. So depending on who pays for a license, there will be different prices:



Subscriptions are optional and will be available for both yearly and monthly options. If you sign up for a yearly subscription, we thank you for that with a 30% discount from the second year on. Otherwise, subscriptions simply offer the convenience that you don’t have to think about the validity of your license all the time.

Of course you can cancel a subscription at any time and if you had a yearly subscription (or a monthly subscription for more than 12 months) you then own the last version of vvvv that was available within your subscription period and you can keep using that version commercially indefinitely. A subscription that was canceled cannot be continued/updated at a later point. This means if you need an update to your license after you cancel the subscription you need to buy a full new license or start a new subscription.


Accommodating the various requirements of all types of users and use-cases is a tricky task. This paired with trying not to completely disregard the pricing politics of “the competition” but also adding our own ideas and still balancing an economically viable solution didn’t make it any easier. We still hope that we found a way that can be sustainable for all of us.

We are aware that the above may leave some questions open and we are ready to further refine the fine print and add examples to make it easier for everyone to declare their licenses. Please help us do so by asking your questions in the comments below, so we can understand where we need to get more specific.


If my installation/show is running from an executable, do I need a Device License in addition to my Developer License? No.

Can I use my Developer license to run vvvv on a device in a museum? No, the two Device licenses your Developer license covers can only be used during development. Device licenses for deployment need to be acquired separately.

My project (a server and 5 clients) is running at a trade show for one week. I don’t want to run them as executables because I need to be able to change things on the fly during the week. I am one developer and it takes me 2 months to develop the project. What licensing applies? For deployment you’ll need 6 monthly device licenses to cover the 6 devices running vvvv for one week. For the 2 month development time you have 2 PCs covered by your developer license. Assuming you’re only using exactly the 6 PCs during development that means you’ll need 4 additional device licenses for the 2 months of development.

We’re two developers working on an installation distributed over 10 machines that will eventually only run an executable. But for development, we have vvvv running on our laptops and all 10 machines for convenient debugging. You need two developer licenses, which cover 4 running instances of vvvv. You therefore need 6 additional device licenses for the time of development.

My commercial installation is running with a Device License. Does the maintainer of the installation need a Developer License? Yes, to keep things unambiguous, every developer needs to be covered by a development license when working on or maintaining a commercial vvvv project.

Can a single Developer License be shared by multiple developers? Yes, but only as long as they are not working at the same time. Even though a single developer license covers two Device licenses it only covers one developer at a time!

I am a freelancer with less than 50k € gross annual revenue. Do I still have to buy a Professional license? The key to your decision here is whether you consider yourself a professional freelancer. If you are working mostly for professional companies who clearly have to buy professional licenses, then you also buy a professional license or make sure the company covers you. You don’t want to be just a cheaper option for those companies by buying an indy license and then working professionally for them.

Aren’t software subscriptions a bad thing? Not if done right, meaning that you can keep the last version once you stop paying if paid for some time (see above). And remember: they are optional.


Comments are no longer accepted for this post.

19.12.2019 - 17:03
If I make the software that runs during a trade show (or parts of it) free and open source / a contribution, do I need a developer license?
19.12.2019 - 20:32
@bjoern would an faq like this answer your question? or is it missing a point? I am being payed for creating software that is available under FOSS terms. Do I need a developer license? If the software you’re creating is fully available under FOSS terms, you don’t need a developer license.
20.12.2019 - 00:14
Guess so. Just asking because a lot of contributions are by-products of commercial projects. Could be an incentive for some to release their stuff. Don’t know about the “fully” in that context though.
21.12.2019 - 14:16

@bjoern to clarify, the main idea of the “free use for contribution development” is to encourage people to create, maintain and monetize contributions for vvvv. if someone can make an income like that, that is in our interest. therefore we don’t charge a license for the time someone invests in creating contributions.

such work obviously may overlap with work on commercial projects, in which case a license is still needed to cover the commercial work.

22.12.2019 - 15:16
Seems much more reasonable than previous edition.
08.01.2020 - 11:58

Thanks for eventually listening.

Just wish debates like that would be less tenacious. It never felt like joreg truely wanted the feedback, and instead just pressed an endless query of “clarification questions” to make it really labor intense just to be heard, and get a chance to stop vvvv from commercial folly.

But yes, this proposal is something that can actually work. Happy about that

17.03.2020 - 02:10

Oh Please dear Sirs. one second for one nice story… In 2014 in Moscow Festival of Light,that workshop Joreg He presented VL coming soon (gamma i not remember sorry)/ said vvvv allways prefer free open education way in action, growing artists its our general meaning.This is qualyty collaborations and we work for this-and Yeap VL is nice , what to say! And our licence politic healp make a right choice… I Maked Right choice in 2012 HugeVisualmapping company given me big gates in their studio(It Was Sila Sveta Moscow) I Speaked with Alex Rozov (Director),he sad Yeap Bro lets work with Us in touch designer corporative versio bu our complectation.I was fucking happy off cause and now-devine moment of thrue He Sad…And You know really cool,that guys who develope vvvv today,if You wanna know something real learn vvvv ones you will wright your touchdesigner yourself. Throe 3 days i meet Vj EPS in server D3MoscowPresentation and in cofe-break ewerything in my mind come in places. So… common 3 years, Circle of Light 2015, i come in Moscow frome GOA direct in Mr Vux Workshop from a flightewen with Bagage bags) When Worksop was finished i stay near Digital October and SILA SVETA director - same superboy Alex Rozov crossing near and sad me-Bro I Happy that time You making right choice,i know 3 years you learn vvvv, come with me in our SILA SVETA studio (its very huge guys), we make installation in RAKETA in VDNH shure Your couple of patterns will be nice in our design,and we go studio, to draw a patterns for installation with MAMA MIA HOW IS BUDJET. And this is not just my story,this story how much beta and key developers of vvvv given real staff for real people. We all know about phisycal floatings-it might be speen))) So Thanks that people who show us superpojects and now we think only one how to include that people who gived us trust in power and results of sharing that in our projects that finally allways vvvvictory!

So PERSONAL for ME vvvv.beta and that huge work that do same Guys as Here can not give any reasons to say about vvvv commercial folly/

Here is planetary level media-artists in correct time developed superschool for superpeople with superresults. Remember how You all saw Westbams 43 1-st lessons/ You had a feeling about Good visards presents You something real,unexpencieve-IMPORTANT KNOWLEGES because You talent and reach This))) and where is Here now - BRAVO! UE 4,5 and any vvvv integration is open )))

So please if You make so conceptual changes (i still in beta,i see that changes and dont wanna this) my meaning somebody taken great concept <vvvv.beta> allllways ewerywhere wrighting GAMMA BETTER but THIS VVVV. /confuse

My Last update to my first comment here Somebody might ones to do that work as Gamma or EVEN BETTER And I read upper Joreg not to incluede in commercial proof of question blah blah… Off cause he try keep neutralitet - and this only one position can be in one side he in furthers of Great Deal-vvvv.beta in other side Gamma developers same superboys who he really love respect and much invest/ But he silence with that part cross promoution Gamma better than beta>that gamma developers spread and much mean may be change something in best parth look vvvv history its huge with all love and respect shurely Your We are



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