Autodesk Maya Indie is intended to provide independent artists with a more affordable way to license Maya on their commercial projects. However, it is not intended to be used by people or organizations that generate more than $100,000 USD* per year in revenues or on projects with budgets of over $100,000 USD.
Note that if you are working-for-hire for an organization that generates more than $100,000 USD per year you cannot obtain a license to use Maya Indie – whether you are a freelancer, a contractor a part-time or a full-time employee. In this case you must use a full subscription license. The company must either purchase a license for you or you may purchase one yourself (whether you charge it to the company you are working for or not). This is intended to prevent companies from avoiding paying Autodesk for the software license they use on their projects.
This restriction applies when working-for-hire for an organization that makes over $100,000 USD per year. The restriction does not apply to the sale of digital goods to such organizations – as long as your total annual revenue from such sales does not exceed the $100,000 USD threshold.
Here are some example scenarios to help you better understand when and where you are eligible to use Maya Indie:
- You create and sell digital products and have been approached by a games company with annual revenues greater than $100,000 USD to provide them with an asset (whether off-the-shelf or custom built). You are paid a fixed price for the ‘product’ delivered. In this case if your revenues are less than $100,000 USD, so you can use Maya Indie. Examples of assets can be 3D models, textures or even rendered images.
- You are approached by an architectural company with revenues of over $100,000 USD to work as a freelancer creating a visualization for them. You are paid an hourly/daily/weekly rate till the project is done and the assets belong to the company – in this case you cannot use Maya Indie.
The key distinction is whether what you are doing can be reasonably considered to be your own work or whether you are working for hire. If you are producing and selling your own intellectual property (IP) and make less than $100,000 USD/yr doing so, you qualify to use Maya Indie. If you are working for hire for an organization that makes over $100,000 USD a year, even if you are making less, then you do not qualify to use Maya Indie. We expect companies making more than $100,000 USD/yr to pay for the full commercial licenses of the software they need (as well as the artists).
*Note that this limit varies depending on the country of use.