PUEL no longer allowing commercial use with VB extension pack 5.1.30

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PUEL no longer allowing commercial use with VB extension pack 5.1.30

Postby DrWhoZee » 19. Oct 2017, 11:21


[Mod edit: Thread split from the original "using virtual box in company pc", since it's really specific to the 5.1.30 changes in the license agreement]

It seems like the PUEL text has changed from 5.1.28 to 5.1.30: it now includes a restriction disallow commercial use (highlighting mine):

5.1.28: § 2 Grant of license. Oracle grants you a personal, non-exclusive, non-transferable, limited license without fees to reproduce, install, execute, and use internally the Product on Host Computers for your Personal Use, Educational Use, or Evaluation. “Personal Use” is use solely by the person downloading the Product from Oracle on a single Host Computer, provided that no more than one client or remote computer is connected to that Host Computer and that client or remote computer is used solely to remotely view the Guest Computers. [...]

5.1.30: § 2 Grant of license. Oracle grants you a personal, non-exclusive, non-transferable, limited license without fees to reproduce, install, execute, and use internally the Product on Host Computers for your Personal Use, Educational Use, or Evaluation. “Personal Use” is noncommercial use solely by the person downloading the Product from Oracle on a single Host Computer, provided that no more than one client or remote computer is connected to that Host Computer and that client or remote computer is used solely to remotely view the Guest Computer(s).

Is that intentional?
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Re: PUEL no longer allowing commercial use with VB extension pack 5.1.30

Postby socratis » 19. Oct 2017, 11:25

DrWhoZee wrote:Is that intentional?

I can't see how this could have been done by accident. Of course it is intentional.
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Re: PUEL no longer allowing commercial use with VB extension pack 5.1.30using virtual box in company

Postby klaus » 19. Oct 2017, 12:12

The update certainly was no accident (at Oracle no update to legal documents happens accidentally). While I can't comment on the details of the change (have to refer to the Oracle PR people), I can say one thing: we're pushing very hard for quickly resolving the issue with the minimum order quantity of 100 Named User Plus.
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Re: PUEL no longer allowing commercial use with VB extension pack 5.1.30

Postby socratis » 19. Oct 2017, 13:39

As in "Buy one, single-user license"? I'll buy 10 if I can push for the inclusion of OSX GAs. ;)
Not the shared folders (got networking, thank you very much), not the video enhancements (taken care of in 5.2.0, thank you very much), not the weird mouse being 20% off in OSX<10.10 (one can get used to that), not the double cursors (got taken care of in 5.2.0, 5.1.30, thank you very much).

Just the shared clipboard. Real time saver. Where do I sign up? :D
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Re: PUEL no longer allowing commercial use with VB extension pack 5.1.30

Postby klaus » 19. Oct 2017, 13:52

Dream on... yes, I hope to get to single user license granularity, but it never was "one customer, one vote" and it will never be. Feature requests are prioritized by impact to the overall customer base (and also the community, it's not ignored!), taking the available resources into account.
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Re: PUEL no longer allowing commercial use with VB extension pack 5.1.30

Postby DrWhoZee » 19. Oct 2017, 14:59

Ok, if it was intentional, a heads-up would have been nice. The 5.1.x line so far didn't have the noncommercial restriction and as such the rewording in 5.1.30 was a bit of a "huh? what??" surprise.
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Re: PUEL no longer allowing commercial use with VB extension pack 5.1.30

Postby socratis » 19. Oct 2017, 16:38

DrWhoZee wrote: a heads-up would have been nice

I'm sorry, but a heads-up for the allowed usage of a program? The license agreement? I don't think I've ever heard that one before.

I mean there is no heads-up about the features of a program, and that part is controlled by the developers. The license is covered by the "suits". They are not known to "warn", they strike silently and deadly, they're the Seal Team 6 of software. ;)
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Re: PUEL no longer allowing commercial use with VB extension pack 5.1.30

Postby Blackhorse » 19. Oct 2017, 22:25

As i can see the license terms have changed with License version 10, 20 July 2017.
Please see:
https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/VirtualBox_PUEL.
Also the FAQ was changed at 20 July 2017:
https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Licensing_FAQ
From my point of view this applies to all versions of the extension pack, not only to version 5.1.30. I expect many VirtualBox installations are out of the licensing scope in the moment.
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Re: PUEL no longer allowing commercial use with VB extension pack 5.1.30

Postby socratis » 20. Oct 2017, 03:04

I went ahead and did a comparison of the current license and the last revision with the help of arhive.org. What has changed can pretty much be summarized in two words: Extension Pack. This is the non-commercial part that's not allowed, not the basic VirtualBox, the latter is (and presumably will be for ever) GPL2.

Even from the title of the PUEL, it is pretty obvious that they are trying to make it clearer that the PUEL is for the Ext. Pack only, and that the Ext. Pack is no longer allowed for commercial purposes:
License version 10, 20 July 2017 wrote:Oracle VM VirtualBox Extension Pack Personal Use and Evaluation License (PUEL)
PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING ORACLE VM VIRTUALBOX EXTENSION PACK PERSONAL USE AND EVALUATION LICENSE CAREFULLY BEFORE DOWNLOADING OR USING THE ORACLE SOFTWARE. THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS CONSTITUTE A LEGAL AGREEMENT BETWEEN YOU AND ORACLE.

License version 9, 17 November 2016 wrote:VirtualBox Personal Use and Evaluation License (PUEL)
PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING ORACLE VM VIRTUALBOX PERSONAL USE AND EVALUATION LICENSE CAREFULLY BEFORE DOWNLOADING OR USING THE ORACLE SOFTWARE. THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS CONSTITUTE A LEGAL AGREEMENT BETWEEN YOU AND ORACLE.

And that's pretty much how the rest of the license goes. It shouldn't actually come as a surprise. It's called "Personal Use and Evaluation License". Personal... Evaluation....
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Re: PUEL no longer allowing commercial use with VB extension pack 5.1.30

Postby mpack » 20. Oct 2017, 12:38

When I first joined this site there used to be two versions of VirtualBox, the OSE version and the PUEL version. The OSE version was the source code (omitting certain commercially valueable features) and covered by GPL. The PUEL version was the precompiled binary available on the download page.

If you wanted a GPL binary you had to compile it yourself. The name of the "VirtualBox OSE" forum on this site is a hangover from that era, it was used to discuss build problems.

A few years ago the team decided to reorganize the software into a main application, which would be covered by GPL whether or not it was binary etc. And, it would have optional extension packs which would each be covered by their own license. The main reason the extension pack is a separate download is to highlight this separation of licenses.

However, the language of the PUEL license was not updated, so we occasionally still got people not understanding that this now only applied to the extension packs.

So, reading between the lines ISTM the main change in the "new" license is that someone finally (after 5 years at least!) thought to give the wording the once over to make it clearer what was intended. I don't think there is any intention to introduce sigificant changes in meaning - that probably wouldn't even be legally defensible (in contract law one party can't just take a contract and unilaterally add a surprise clause and claim it applies: courts take a dim view of that sort of thing).
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Re: PUEL no longer allowing commercial use with VB extension pack 5.1.30

Postby klaus » 20. Oct 2017, 16:40

IANAL (and I wasn't involved at all with the editing betwen PUEL v9 and v10). The new version clearly has mostly wording cleanups (clarifying that it applies to the extension pack only), but also a significant change in one clause.

The Oracle VM VirtualBox Extension Packs prior to 5.1.30 are still shipped with PUEL v9. So draw your own conclusions.

Also just wanted to mention that v10 is also present in 5.2.0.
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Re: PUEL no longer allowing commercial use with VB extension pack 5.1.30

Postby DrWhoZee » 23. Oct 2017, 13:13

mpack wrote:...
However, the language of the PUEL license was not updated, so we occasionally still got people not understanding that this now only applied to the extension packs.


I think that separation was understood. The extension packs up until and including 5.1.28 use PUEL V9 which did allow personal use in a commercial setting (as explained in various posts on the forum). PUEL V10 introduces the restriction to "noncommercial" use and is used with 5.2.x and is picked up by 5.1.30.

mpack wrote:So, reading between the lines ISTM the main change in the "new" license is that someone finally (after 5 years at least!) thought to give the wording the once over to make it clearer what was intended. I don't think there is any intention to introduce sigificant changes in meaning - that probably wouldn't even be legally defensible (in contract law one party can't just take a contract and unilaterally add a surprise clause and claim it applies: courts take a dim view of that sort of thing).


PUEL V9 did not have a noncommercial restriction, V10 does. That goes beyond "making things clearer", I'd say.

Note: I'm not complaining that 5.1.30 picks up PUEL V10 - merely pointing out that that is a significant change for a number of users and as such would have loved to see it highlighted in the release notes as upgrading to VirtualBox 5.1.30 typically carries with it upgrading the extension pack.
Last edited by DrWhoZee on 23. Oct 2017, 13:19, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: PUEL no longer allowing commercial use with VB extension pack 5.1.30

Postby DrWhoZee » 23. Oct 2017, 13:18

socratis wrote:
DrWhoZee wrote: a heads-up would have been nice

I'm sorry, but a heads-up for the allowed usage of a program? The license agreement? I don't think I've ever heard that one before.


If you take features to describe what you can use a specific software for, then, yes, I'd argue that the license agreement is part of the feature set.
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Re: PUEL no longer allowing commercial use with VB extension pack 5.1.30

Postby sparky1 » 30. Oct 2017, 03:18

The Licensing FAQ used to mention the following, but this text has been removed in the latest version:

6.What exactly do you mean by personal use and academic use in the Personal Use and Evaluation License?

Personal use is when you install the product on one or more PCs yourself and you make use of it (or even your friend, sister and grandmother). It doesn't matter whether you just use it for fun or run your multi-million euro business with it. Also, if you install it on your work PC at some large company, this is still personal use. However, if you are an administrator and want to deploy it to the 500 desktops in your company, this would no longer qualify as personal use. Well, you could ask each of your 500 employees to install VirtualBox but don't you think we deserve some money in this case? We'd even assist you with any issue you might have.


(Per the Internet archive this removal occured between their snapshots taken Nov 2016 and Jan 2017)

Does this mean my erstwhile multi-million Euro business is now in jeopardy unless I pony up for 1000 licenses (even though we have < 5 devs)?? :?
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Re: PUEL no longer allowing commercial use with VB extension pack 5.1.30

Postby klaus » 6. Nov 2017, 12:42

Could check when the paragraph in the FAQ was removed, but probably it was for v9 of the PUEL license/FAQ, which have been both superseded by v10 in mid October 2017 (extension pack in 5.1.30 and 5.2.0 use this latest license version). Minimum order quantity is 100 currently (and has been at this number for many years). We're working on lowering this, to offer something for small businesses. Will give an update when this is in place - it's outside my control.
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