Monday, March 11th 2019

Maxon Sends Legal Threats to PC Enthusiast Websites Hosting Portable Cinebench R20 Downloads

Maxon last week week posted its Cinebench R20 CPU benchmark. Breaking convention, the company behind rendering software such as Cinema 4D R20, did not host the installer of Cinebench R20 on its own website. Instead, the software is being exclusively distributed through Microsoft Store (for Windows) and Apple App Store (for the MacOS platform). Several reputable PC enthusiast websites such as Guru3D and us, were bombarded by comments from their readers that they didn't like having to get their Cinebench R20 copy from "walled garden DRM platforms," and instead preferred portable versions of the software. Cinebench R20 is freeware, and so with good intentions, many PC enthusiast websites decided to build portable versions of Cinebench R20 that people can just unzip and run. Maxon did not take kindly to this.

Guru3D received legal threats from Maxon to take down their download hosting of Cinebench R20 portable. Facing these threats, Guru3D took down their download and amended their news articles with links to the Microsoft DRM store. The e-mail we received politely asked us to remove the "unauthorized download" but did include a threat that the company "reserves the next legal steps." We believe this behavior by Maxon is unfair, and will alienate a section of PC enthusiasts form Cinebench. No record-seeking PC enthusiast with an LN2 bench painstakingly set up has time to plug their machine to the Internet, launch the UWP store, evade attempts to get them to log in with a Microsoft account, and fetch Cinebench R20 with versions they have no control over. They'd rather install and run their benchmarks and tools off a flash drive, with control over versions, and the ability to keep their machines offline to stabilize their overclock. Many others simply hate DRM platforms for freeware. TechPowerUp has since taken down Cinebench R20 portable from its Downloads section. You can find it on Microsoft UWP Store.
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148 Comments on Maxon Sends Legal Threats to PC Enthusiast Websites Hosting Portable Cinebench R20 Downloads

#51
Xzibit
W1zzard said:

That doesn't look like "marked as not for resale"
That's product overview web-page.

Maxon R20 EULA
The End User is not entitled to rent out, lease, or lend the Software to third parties without MAXON’s permission, especially for purposes directly or indirectly related to any form of compensation. You are also not entitled to process or modify the Software without MAXON’s permission,
If the product was for those distributions platforms and thus modified to circumvent it. It is in violation of the EULA.

Can't really be upset with Maxon. They are protecting their Software. If people go against the EULA and then get called on it, that's on them. You could always ask for permission and see what they tell you.

I do like how the majority of the community responds in kind by advocating Software piracy.
Posted on Reply
#53
Patriot
Yeah... they really need to stop claiming Win 7 Support if they are not going to allow 3rd party downloads like they did with R15.
That or just you know, Ask them for permission to redistribute a windows 7 only edition.
Already have portable edition for testing on windows server...
Posted on Reply
#54
lexluthermiester
Xzibit said:
I do like how the majority of the community responds in kind by advocating Software piracy.
It's not piracy. It's not even unauthorized modification. The files are taken straight from the installed folder and run as-is. The software is freeware. No money is being charged to anyone for use. Unauthorized/unapproved distribution? Ok. One could argue that point. Those are not the same things however.
Posted on Reply
#55
MrGenius
Xzibit said:
If the product was for the those distributions platforms and thus modified to circumvent it. It is in violation of the EULA.
I'm not saying it's any more, or any less, a violation of the EULA. But it wasn't modified to circumvent it. When you install the software "legitimately" you get a working portable version. It's just a matter of copy and paste. I don't know why W1z went to the trouble of adding the msvcp140.dll. It was totally unnecessary to do so. And inclusion of the Readme, though a helpful addition, was also completely unnecessary.
Xzibit said:

I do like how the majority of the community responds in kind by advocating Software piracy.
You can't pirate something that's free. Plain and simple.
Posted on Reply
#56
W1zzard
MrGenius said:
It was totally unnecessary to do so
Except that people who don't have those VC runtimes installed get an error message and don't know what to do. Usually they start googling and end up on a malware site
Posted on Reply
#57
Patriot
Heck, post Download EULAs have been ruled non-binding in all but NY... because they were not agreed to when you acquired it (the sale or download marking contract)... but foist on you after. Hence why Nvidia has a Eula ready and available when you download it, click here to view it, if you click download you are agreeing to it...
Posted on Reply
#58
R0H1T
How about exclude CB from benchmark numbers, maybe that'll persuade Maxon or MS about their approach?
Posted on Reply
#59
dicktracy
Cinebench is not a good indicator of CPU performance anyways. We've seen that with the 1800x vs 6900k during Ryzen 1st gen launch. 1800x "beats" 6900k in Cinebench, then proceeds to lose in everything outside of it.
Posted on Reply
#60
lexluthermiester
W1zzard said:
Except that people who don't have those VC runtimes installed get an error message and don't know what to do. Usually they start googling and end up on a malware site
And this does not constitute modification either. Including required libraries that are freely available anyway is not breaking any rules as long as the files themselves are not changed/altered in any way.
Posted on Reply
#61
R0H1T
dicktracy said:
Cinebench is not a good indicator of CPU performance anyways. We've seen that with the 1800x vs 6900k during Ryzen 1st gen launch. 1800x "beats" 6900k in Cinebench, then proceeds to lose in everything outside of it.
That's how benchmarks work & not necessarily because they're bad. AMD also smashes Intel in many AES & SHA1 benches, are all of them bad as well?
Posted on Reply
#62
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
lexluthermiester said:
It's not piracy. It's not even unauthorized modification. The files are taken straight from the installed folder and run as-is. The software is freeware. No money is being charged to anyone for use. Unauthorized/unapproved distribution? Ok. One could argue that point. Those are not the same things however.
As the creators of the program, they have every right to control how, where and when their intellectual property is distributed. Just because it is free doesn’t make it ok.
Posted on Reply
#63
Xzibit
It was stated that the origin of the files for the portable where the MS App store.

Microsoft App store Terms of Use

Notice Specific to Software Available on this Website
Any software that is made available to download from the Services ("Software") is the copyrighted work of Microsoft and/or its suppliers. Use of the Software is governed by the terms of the end user license agreement, if any, which accompanies or is included with the Software ("License Agreement"). An end user will be unable to install any Software that is accompanied by or includes a License Agreement, unless he or she first agrees to the License Agreement terms. Third party scripts or code, linked to or referenced from this website, are licensed to you by the third parties that own such code, not by Microsoft.
The Software is made available for download solely for use by end users according to the License Agreement. Any reproduction or redistribution of the Software not in accordance with the License Agreement is expressly prohibited by law, and may result in severe civil and criminal penalties. Violators will be prosecuted to the maximum extent possible.
WITHOUT LIMITING THE FOREGOING, COPYING OR REPRODUCTION OF THE SOFTWARE TO ANY OTHER SERVER OR LOCATION FOR FURTHER REPRODUCTION OR REDISTRIBUTION IS EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED, UNLESS SUCH REPRODUCTION OR REDISTRIBUTION IS EXPRESSLY PERMITTED BY THE LICENSE AGREEMENT ACCOMPANYING SUCH SOFTWARE.
Not only are they violating Maxon they are also violating MS ToU
Posted on Reply
#64
OneMoar
There is Always Moar
technically extracting a appx file is not modification of ANY software thats a Microsoft provided package not a piece of executable code
legally they probably have shakey ground at best here,

either way they have just shot them selves in the foot and drank a gallon of bleach
they are done nobody will use there software ever again, you don't threaten the press and you don't piss off your user base they have managed todo both in one fell swoop
RIP maxon

MrGenius said:
GUIDE: How to make your own portable version of Cinebench R20
  1. Download the MAXONComputerGmbH.Cinebench_20.0.4.0_x64__rsne5bsk8s7tj.appx as described in post #44 of this thread.(Thanks @OneMoar :))
  2. Use the .appx to install the app(left click on it and select Install).
  3. Go to C:\Program Files\WindowsApps\MAXONComputerGmbH.Cinebench_20.0.4.0_x64__rsne5bsk8s7tj and copy the bin folder.
  4. Paste the bin folder wherever you want to keep your portable version(needs to be saved somewhere else if you're going to uninstall the app afterwards, which will delete it).
  5. OPTIONAL: Rename the bin folder to whatever you want and uninstall Cinebench R20 via Settings > Apps > Apps & features.
For some reason you need to install it with the .appx to get a working portable version. It doesn't work as portable if you extract the bin folder from the .appx. You need to get the bin folder after installing it(as I described above). But, temporarily installing it is a reasonable compromise IMO. Until someone figures out what gets changed in the bin folder during install. I couldn't find anything with a quick look see.

EDIT: Same basic process applies if you install it from the Microsoft Store.
they added encryption to the appx manifest
problem is nobody at maxon seems to understand that once you install it its decrypted. encryption is for deploying a UWP app which this is not :roll:
Posted on Reply
#65
lexluthermiester
rtwjunkie said:
As the creators of the program, they have every right to control how, where and when their intellectual property is distributed. Just because it is free doesn’t make it ok.
That's still not piracy though.

OneMoar said:
either way they have just shot them selves in the foot and drank a gallon of bleach
they are done nobody will use there software ever again, you don't threaten the press and you don't piss off your user base they have managed todo both in one fell swoop
RIP maxon
While that's a bit extreme, it seems clear that they have done themselves needless damage. While they have the right, why was it needed? There is very little logic to this other than a Microsoft collusion to migrate people to the Windows Store, which many dislike.
Posted on Reply
#66
srsbsns
If the EULA does not contain any language that you violate by distribution then can they do anything?
Posted on Reply
#67
notb
What a sad day. Here we have a "PC enthusiast" community that doesn't respect the work of software developers.
Guys, why do you hate computers so much? :)

It doesn't matter if you call it piracy or not. It doesn't matter if it's free or not.
Someone made a program you like. They don't ask for money, or fame, or organs, or even a funky badge on a forum.
They simply asked you to take it from an official download location and not to modify the files. Is that really so difficult to accept?

More importantly, half of this discussion is not even about Cinebench, but about lack of understanding how software copyright works. Which is pretty bizarre considering what this community is about.

Furthermore, in case you haven't noticed (and I can see that's true), they have similar rules on their site. So you weren't allowed to modify or share the files you got from www.maxon.net as well.

And just a short notice for all the people that foresee an end of Maxon.
Maxon is a large and respected provider of 3D tools. Cinebench is not their product. It's just a small package containing their rendering engine, a simple model and a script for running the test. It wasn't designed with gamers in mind and it will still serve it's purpose if all the gamers decide to leave.
Posted on Reply
#68
devjunkie
I am not a huge fan of the store version either but it's their right to publish it where they want to and you don't know why they did that. But someone who puts together such a software has their reason why. Computer games are often first released on one platform and later for a broader audience. Ever thought of that?
They simply asked you to take it from an official download location and not to modify the files.
well said! Even if they were not modified, they want to give their users a save certified download.

disclaimer: i am a dev myself and work in the hardware industry
Posted on Reply
#69
lexluthermiester
notb said:
What a sad day. Here we have a "PC enthusiast" community that doesn't respect the work of software developers.
The discord being expressed isn't about respect. It's a free benchmark utility and the websites in question were providing a portable version.
notb said:
Guys, why do you hate computers so much? :)
We don't. We find short-sighted, illogical, nitwited actions like the one Maxon made here irritating as hell.
notb said:
They simply asked you to take it from an official download location and not to modify the files. Is that really so difficult to accept?
First, no one modified the files, they were extracted as-is. Second, the download location requires users to (1) have Windows 8, 8.1 or 10, (2) setup Microsoft account and (3) use the Windows store. Think about that in the context of benchmarking.
notb said:
Cinebench is not their product. It's just a small package containing their rendering engine, a simple model and a script for running the test.
Which makes this move seem even more asinine and illogical.
devjunkie said:
I am not a huge fan of the store version either but it's their right to publish it where they want to and you don't know why they did that. But someone who puts together such a software has their reason.
To which we can say "No Thank You" and give them the two fingered salute. They will lose exposure which will likely result in lost revenue. This was a boneheaded move regardless of reason.
Posted on Reply
#70
devjunkie
lexluthermiester said:
To which we can say "No Thank You
I agree! Then you should say that you would like to have a non-store version. My only point is, I understand why a company still wants to keep control over where and how their (certified) software is available.

disclaimer: i am a dev myself and work in the hardware industry
Posted on Reply
#71
lexluthermiester
devjunkie said:
Then you should say that you would like to have a non-store version.
Why should we need to when a portable version has been available for previous versions? It's a bonehead move, plain and simple.
Posted on Reply
#72
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
lexluthermiester said:
Why should we need to when a portable version has been available for previous versions? It's a bonehead move, plain and simple.
It doesn’t matter. You have no “right” to the software. It is theirs to say how they want it distributed, no matter how shortsighted that decision may be, noticed yours. I honestly thought you were not from the generation that feels like everything is owed to them. Please prove me right. This is about respect for other people’s property and wishes.
Posted on Reply
#73
ghazi
I wonder why the people defending Maxon here are forgetting that previous versions of Cinebench have always been available for download on TPU and Guru3D. What is the actual reason for the change? You people act like Maxon is doing you a favor by making Cinebench, there are plenty of alternatives to choose from.
Posted on Reply
#74
devjunkie
lexluthermiester said:
Why should we need to when a portable version has been available for previous versions? It's a bonehead move, plain and simple.
So they see and get their users feedback. As you said, a previous version was portable, but not this one. Maybe they have an exclusive contract, we all don't know. And if they went this way, it's their right. That's how software license agreements work
Posted on Reply
#75
ghazi
devjunkie said:
So they see and get their users feedback. As you said, a previous version was portable, but not this one. Maybe they have an exclusive contract, we all don't know. And if they went this way, it's their right. That's how software license agreements work
It's also our right to criticize it and call it a dick move. What's your point?
Posted on Reply
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