As the title says, can I use the output, a jpeg image, of a software which states it can be downloaded free of charge for academic, government, nonprofit, and personal use, but which requires a licence for commercial users, in an art project that may be sold for profit? In short, does this make me a commercial users, as the license form specifically requires company information.

  • It depends, most likely. Which licence?
    – MadHatter
    May 14, 2021 at 5:48
  • 3
    We cannot tell without knowing the license terms, and the question might be off topic if the license is not an open-source license. May 14, 2021 at 8:42
  • The vendor of the software can usually explain you their license. free-of-charge does not mean open-source. May 14, 2021 at 9:16
  • You need to find out exactly what "commercial" is. For example, if you use a graphics program with a free-for-noncommercial-use license to develop a logo for your GPLv3 project, that doesn't necessarily mean you cannot sell your product (since GPLv3 still allows you to sell your software, you just have to make source available). But "commercial" might not necessarily mean "sell for money"; in some cases it might actually mean how you license things you produce with the free version. Only way to know for sure is ask the company making the original program.
    – fdmillion
    Feb 16, 2022 at 4:28

1 Answer 1


If you use the program to create something you want to sell (and do so by using said program in the way it is supposed to be used, not e.g. just to show it's colorful splash screen on some computer in the background)), I'd say that is clearly commercial use. No, "the image created is a tiny part/will be licensed separatately for free" probably won't cut it.

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