When ActivInspire was released last year there was much trumpeting over the use of the new Personal Edition. I wrote about what a good idea this was in my post “ActivInspire for All IWB Users?“.

I’ve noticed recently, however, on the ActivInspire website, a section that mentions a change to the terms of the licence, effective 30 April 2010.

Please note that as of 30 April 2010, new licensing terms and conditions apply to the use of ActivInspire Personal Edition software affecting use with non-Promethean products.

You are permitted to use ActivInspire Personal Edition with non-Promethean products solely for the purpose of operating Promethean approved ActivInspire Publisher Created Resources available from the Promethean Planet Store or from a Promethean Approved Publisher.

If you do wish to use your copy of ActivInspire Personal edition elsewhere then you need to apply for a Teacher Consent Licence which, according to the site:

The new Teacher Consent Licence allows teachers to use ActivInspire for other purposes with non Promethean Products.

And if you want a Teacher Consent Licence you can apply for one online. I haven’t filled this in myself so don’t know what happens after this. It might just allow you to use it, or it might ask for more info. Has anyone done this?

A full copy of the new terms and conditions can be seen here, which includes this line highlighted in red:

4.4 Use with Competitive Products: If You wish to Use the Software with any third party products which are comparable with or similar to Promethean Products (other than as provided in Clause 4.1), including but not limited to any projectors, interactive whiteboards, slates, tablets or learner response devices, then you must purchase a Professional Licence.

So it looks like quite a change from the initial promise of this software, which I am guessing comes from a large number of people downloading ActivInspire to use on cheap chinese IWB’s (or Hitachi boards) or the IWB-free projectors.

I can see why they have done it, but I’m rather concerned that most people I speak to still think the old terms and conditions apply and that you can run the cut down version of ActivInspire Personal on any IWB. I wonder how many users have been made aware of this change.

Now – if you are using ready-produced materials from the Promethean Planet website, then you are fine. Likewise if you’ve bought Promethean Flipcharts from a publisher. But technically you can’t open any of my flipcharts for example….

Of course, if you have a cheaper board and want to run ActivInspire then it’s best to purchase a licence for the Professional edition, so you get all the features of the software. It’s well worth upgrading to the full version as you get so much more than the free version.

Thoughts?

From what I can tell Smart have made similar changes to their licence. I’m trying to track down an announcement about that too. (Update- Read Here)

(Oh and if you are an existing user, go and check for an update as there’s a patch available)

Don’t forget, for Promethean training check out my Think Bank website.