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

#76
Patriot
AMD should be happy about maxon's stupidity... this version uses AVX which hurts zen compared competition.

Speaking of stupidity, lot of software devs in here that don't understand freeware licensing and the limitation of post download EULA's.
It's important to do things the right way.

Speaking of... I would imagine a smart little coder is making a script to make you a portable version...
Downloading fresh from MS servers and avoiding the store eula... and extracting to make a portable... Which still is not modifying or bypassing their download source requirement. AS the EULA is when you go to run it... distribution clauses are a bit um... LATE.

If you are going to be a good coder, charge or don't charge, don't claim it's free and then be a dick about freely being used.
They do have the right to limit where you download it and redistribute to OTHERS... but there are certain consumer rights about... the right to backup...yadayadayada...
Posted on Reply
#77
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
ghazi, post: 4010268, member: 175630"
It's also our right to criticize it and call it a dick move. What's your point?
The POINT is, it may be a “dick move”, but it is Maxon’s right to make that dick move. It is their property. However it was in the past is the past.

The sense of entitlement and disrespect for others’ rights and property is strong here in TPU. It’s sad.
Posted on Reply
#78
lexluthermiester
rtwjunkie, post: 4010260, member: 56774"
It doesn’t matter. You have no “right” to the software.
I'm not saying I or anyone else does..
rtwjunkie, post: 4010260, member: 56774"
It is theirs to say how they want it distributed, no matter how shortsighted that decision may be
I agree, not saying they don't.
rtwjunkie, post: 4010260, member: 56774"
I honestly thought you were not from the generation that feels like everything is owed to them.
I'm not. Let's not make it personal.
rtwjunkie, post: 4010260, member: 56774"
This is about respect for other people’s property and wishes.
You're missing the point. They are going from making a well liked and utilized benchmark provided in an easy to use and convenient way, to limiting people to a specific platform that is inconvenient and not well liked. They were expecting everyone to like it? Betting they didn't think it through, or worse, let a control-freak do the thinking. Regardless, it was not a wise move, indeed very narrow-minded. We don't have to like it. Because of this boneheaded move, they will find a lot less people promoting their retail software. Reason? If they are going to display such a nitwitted mentality with this simple benchmark, that invokes little in the way of confidence that their other software will not meet with similar distasteful choices. Hard pass.
Posted on Reply
#79
ghazi
rtwjunkie, post: 4010276, member: 56774"
The POINT is, it may be a “dick move”, but it is Maxon’s right to make that dick move. It is their property. However it was in the past is the past.

The sense of entitlement and disrespect for others’ rights and property is strong here in TPU. It’s sad.
You are so dense it's unbelievable. Nobody is saying that Maxon does not have the legal right to do this. People are saying that this decision they've made is awful, and your response is "BUT YOU'RE NOT ENTITLED TO THEIR SOFTWARE". Well guess what, I'm not required to like or use their software either, and I'm even more clearly within my rights than they are to express my dissatisfaction with their behavior.
Posted on Reply
#80
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
ghazi, post: 4010278, member: 175630"
You are so dense it's unbelievable. Nobody is saying that Maxon does not have the legal right to do this. People are saying that this decision they've made is awful, and your response is "BUT YOU'RE NOT ENTITLED TO THEIR SOFTWARE". Well guess what, I'm not required to like or use their software either, and I'm even more clearly within my rights than they are to express my dissatisfaction with their behavior.
No. Most are saying they should have a right to it because of past versions. As for dense, describe your education level and accomplishments in the world. I’m sure everyone would love to hear. In the meantime, since I’m so “dense”, welcome to the denseness of the ignore wall, since you want to call names.
Posted on Reply
#81
ghazi
rtwjunkie, post: 4010279, member: 56774"
No. Most are saying they should have a right to it because of past versions. As for dense, describe your education level and accomplishments in the world. I’m sure everyone would love to hear. In the meantime, since I’m so “dense”, welcome to the ignore wall.
You are putting words in other people's mouths. They are not saying that due to the past versions they have a legal right to do the same with this version, but that Maxon SHOULD allow you. The fact that you have to resort to a passive aggressive ad hominem and ignore people who disagree with you says all I need to know about you.
Posted on Reply
#82
hat
Enthusiast
rtwjunkie, post: 4010276, member: 56774"
The POINT is, it may be a “dick move”, but it is Maxon’s right to make that dick move. It is their property. However it was in the past is the past.

The sense of entitlement and disrespect for others’ rights and property is strong here in TPU. It’s sad.
I believe people are mostly upset because now, if you want Cinebench R20, you have to deal with the Windows Store and all the crap that comes along with it. I bet if Maxon put the same portable download on their site (or wherever), and at the same time forbid that download to be anywhere else, people wouldn't be as upset. It seems to me, this is a quick cash grab earned by jumping in bed with MS at the expense of seriously inconveniencing the userbase they're supposedly making this program for.
Posted on Reply
#83
ghazi
hat, post: 4010290, member: 32804"
I believe people are mostly upset because now, if you want Cinebench R20, you have to deal with the Windows Store and all the crap that comes along with it. I bet if Maxon put the same portable download on their site (or wherever), and at the same time forbid that download to be anywhere else, people wouldn't be as upset. It seems to me, this is a quick cash grab earned by jumping in bed with MS at the expense of seriously inconveniencing the userbase they're supposedly making this program for.
I don't think anyone would particularly mind if they did that.
Posted on Reply
#84
notb
lexluthermiester, post: 4010249, member: 134537"
The discord being expressed isn't about respect. It's a free benchmark utility and the websites in question were providing a portable version.
They're not selling or giving you anything. They're letting you use Cinebench. They still own it.
They have the normal rights connected with owning something. They can tell you how you're allowed to use it. It's a general law, not limited to software.

You don't understand the law fundamentals that are needed in this case. And my guess is you don't want to understand them. It's the same discussion we had in the software keys topics.
I don't know if you're an anarchist or you just financially benefit from this approach. I'm not going to judge.
You're very persistent in spreading your theories, but anyone who learned basics of copyright should instantly notice you're wrong. The fact that so few people are objecting simply shows that not many people on this forum understand the topic. Which, as I said earlier, is bizarre in XXI century in general, and on a PC forum in particular.
We don't. We find short-sighted, illogical, nitwited actions like the one Maxon made here irritating as hell.
Your opinion about their decision doesn't give you the right to ignore law. So you're an anarchist after all? I'm disappointed.
First, no one modified the files, they were extracted as-is.
Well, I could have said that better. Law protects the program (the creation), not the files.
In any case, EULA forbids you from sharing the files. So even if we assume extracting is OK, giving the result to someone else is not.
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.
So? It also requires you to have a PC. How is this even relevant?
Think about that in the context of benchmarking.
Context of benchmarking? WTF? You're breaking the law because you want to benchmark?
Which makes this move seem even more asinine and illogical.
Why? Maybe they know their clients moved to Win 10 and supporting other platforms isn't needed? Or maybe they made a mistake? Or maybe they're stupid?
It doesn't matter.
Your need to benchmark and the other party being stupid are both on a very long list of things that don't let you violate their rights.
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.
So say "no thank you" and get another benchmark instead of violating the EULA of this one.
And no, their product is not intended for gamers and they won't lose revenue. The only thing that's quite certain at this moment is that the shift to MS Store will lower their costs.

Funny how you worry so much about their financial well-being, but at the same time you're fine with stealing their property. Nice.
Posted on Reply
#85
jihadjoe
Regeneration, post: 4009803, member: 18613"
You're all welcome to use Linpack Xtreme for benchmarking:

https://www.techpowerup.com/download/linpack-xtreme/

It is completely portable, just 8MB in size, cross-platform, supports MP platforms and uses the latest instructions sets.

No need to download 200MB files from MS Store.
I use Linpack for stability testing, but IMO the appeal behind Cinebench was that it was kinda representative of a real-world rendering load, especially with R20 finally updating the codebase to be more consistent with current versions of C4D, which does have a solid presence in the 3D rendering market. Linpack by itself is just another synthetic benchmark.
Posted on Reply
#86
notb
hat, post: 4010290, member: 32804"
I believe people are mostly upset because now, if you want Cinebench R20, you have to deal with the Windows Store and all the crap that comes along with it.
Assuming you already have Windows 10 and Windows Store comes preinstalled, what "crap" are you exposed to by using it?
It seems to me, this is a quick cash grab earned by jumping in bed with MS at the expense of seriously inconveniencing the userbase they're supposedly making this program for.
What cash is there to grab? It's free software. If anything, they'll actually have to PAY for being on Windows Store ($99 annually).

And gamers are not their userbase. Maxon has no business in it. Cinebench is just a hardware test for their software.
Unless you're trying to convince me that OC hobbyists that use Cinebench are more likely to buy Maxon software for their professional cine business. Good luck with that.

Maybe they did it on purpose? Maybe they got fed up with thousands of e-mails accusing them of bias towards CPU brand X or Y? Maybe they wanted to cement their professional image?
We don't know and we shouldn't care. They do things by the book and gamers are breaking the law. End of story.
Posted on Reply
#87
Sora
Something that caught my eye about their distribution permissions is that they have unintentionally permitted anyone who downloads it from windows store to share it as they see fit, the redistribution license cites "This site" being the maxon website, which doesn't include Microsofts store.
Posted on Reply
#88
Athlonite
lexluthermiester, post: 4010028, member: 134537"
Some people don't and won't use the "Windows Store", because (A) they are not running Windows 10, (B) they prefer not to use "Apps" model of software distribution or (C) they have privacy concerns and refuse to use the Windows Store as a result. There are likely more reasons someone might avoid Microsoft's to-little-to-late approuch to software distribution.
The only area of software where that is true is gaming. Everything else has excellent options for every sector of computing.
Or D: There store does not work properly and can not install anything from it (despite several MS people having a go via remote desktop to fix it it still shits a brick on installs)
Posted on Reply
#89
MrGenius
I've had this same stupid ass argument with game modders. They want to put something up on the internet for free download so everyone can use it. And then turn around and bitch about people downloading it for free...because it got uploaded somewhere that wasn't the original place they uploaded it to. BIG F@$#ING DEAL!!! What's the difference? "Well the difference is blah blah blah respect blah blah blah". No it IS NOT about respect, and there is NO DIFFERENCE. "Then I'm keeping my mods for me and my friends only, and not uploading them anywhere anymore". Well good for you, you selfish discriminatory ASSHOLE!!! Wouldn't it be great if everybody acted like that? Wouldn't that make the world a MUCH better place? In case you take my sarcasm as seriousness...NO IT WOULD NOT!!! It would be a world full of selfish self-centered discriminatory dickheads with a complete lack of generosity and/or kindness towards their fellow man. Is that what you really want? Maybe you need ALL the stuff that you've ever got for free, or was given to you, taken away to realize how much worse your life would be. And speaking of life, why don't we start with that then? You didn't pay for, or get permission to own, that either.
Posted on Reply
#90
notb
Sora, post: 4010300, member: 186096"
Something that caught my eye about their distribution permissions is that they have unintentionally permitted anyone who downloads it from windows store to share it as they see fit, the redistribution license cites "This site" being the maxon website, which doesn't include Microsofts store.
No. Software distributed via Windows Store is covered by Windows Store EULA if not stated otherwise.
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/servicesagreement/#STANDARDAPPLICATIONLICENSETERMS
Point 3D (ironically). You're not allowed to share.
Posted on Reply
#91
Sora
Xzibit, post: 4009765, member: 105152"
Doesnt their EULA state you need their permission.
Their eula is unenforceable.

If theres no license document in the package, you can't know you can't distribute it unless you run it.

notb, post: 4010305, member: 165619"
No. Software distributed via Windows Store is covered by Windows Store EULA if not stated otherwise.
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/servicesagreement/#STANDARDAPPLICATIONLICENSETERMS
Point 3D (ironically). You're not allowed to share.
Microsofts store eula is big words and completely unenforceable outside of the US.
Posted on Reply
#92
notb
Sora, post: 4010307, member: 186096"
Their eula is unenforceable.

If theres no license document in the package, you can't know you can't distribute it unless you run it.
This sentence is quite fascinating, honestly. :-)

And the terms are, obviously, available on Windows Store.
When you open an item in Windows Store, there's a link saying "Terms of transaction". It leads here:
https://www.microsoft.com/en-US/storedocs/terms-of-sale
The interesting part of this document: "12. Software Licenses and Use Rights". Among other things, it contains the link that I've posted earlier.
Posted on Reply
#93
devjunkie
1. If a company cares about their users, they can't allow anyone else hosting it. They could be held liable if they accept that their software gets distributed by whoever wants to. Think about, what would happen if there would ever be malware in such package and someone could proof they were ok that people host it on their own

2. According to the article, Maxon asked politely if they could take it down. It just crossed my mind, that they don't even have proper download statistics if someone else hosts it. So who could blame them

3. If you don't like their store version (or even if you think that was a "stupid dick move"), just tell them politely! If enough users tell them they will find for sure a solution. If NOT enough people complain, well then it's just a few people where the effort is not worth it. At the end let me close this with: software agreements and licenses are complex and difficult to understand. Everything might be shiny and easy to do, but bringing everything under one hood is really not an easy task. Since I am a (hobby) developer myself, it's a horror - for end users, devs and companies.

Sora, post: 4010307, member: 186096"
Microsofts store eula is big words and completely unenforceable outside of the US.
As said n my previous post, software agreements and licensing is so complex, I wouldn't be able to say yes or no - I just doubt that though.

Disclaimer: I am a dev myself and work in the hardware industry
Posted on Reply
#94
lexluthermiester
@notb With the exception of what's below, not going to respond to you further as you're doing what you do so often, putting words in peoples mouths, making assumptions and generally taking things out of context.
notb, post: 4010294, member: 165619"
Funny how you worry so much about their financial well-being, but at the same time you're fine with stealing their property. Nice.
Stealing? Are they charging money for Cinebench? Can't steal what is being given freely. Context much? And for the record, I didn't provide the portable versions, so I'm doing nothing.
devjunkie, post: 4010314, member: 186119"
1. If a company cares about their users, they can't allow anyone else hosting it. They could be held liable if they accept that their software gets distributed by whoever wants to. Think about, what would happen if there would ever be malware in such package and someone could proof they were ok that people host it on their own
That's a liability problem. The people injecting the malware would be directly and singularly responsible.
devjunkie, post: 4010314, member: 186119"
2. According to the article, Maxon asked politely if they could take it down. It just crossed my mind, that they don't even have proper download statistics if someone else hosts it. So who could blame them
They asked TPU politely. They made threats elsewhere.
devjunkie, post: 4010314, member: 186119"
3. If you don't like their store version (or even if you think that was a stupid dick move), just tell them!
Thanks for the tip. Way ahead of you. For the record folks see the following if you'd like to give Maxon a thought or two about the matter;
https://www.maxon.net/en-us/header-meta-navigation/about-maxon/contact/
Posted on Reply
#95
devjunkie
lexluthermiester, post: 4010321, member: 134537"
That's a liability problem. The people injecting the malware would be directly and singularly responsible.
I am not a lawyer and have no deeper insights about the legal system, but I wouldn't be surprised if paragraph 123.XYZ.AB covers "careless act" or something. I just threw in my two cents why I could think someone can't accept third-party hosters
Posted on Reply
#96
hat
Enthusiast
notb, post: 4010298, member: 165619"
Assuming you already have Windows 10 and Windows Store comes preinstalled, what "crap" are you exposed to by using it?
Some people are running Windows 10 without a Microsoft account (required for the Windows Store). Some people may not want a Microsoft account. Some people may not want to use the Windows Store. Some people actively go out of their way to nuke the Windows Store and "modern apps" from their systems. If you are someone who does one or more of these things, then Cinebench R20 is not available to you. Not legitimately, anyway.

notb, post: 4010298, member: 165619"
What cash is there to grab? It's free software. If anything, they'll actually have to PAY for being on Windows Store ($99 annually).
I admit that's pure speculation on my part, but I can't imagine why they would have such a hard on for the Windows Store, exclusively, and actively submit takedown requests anywhere where people are sharing the portable version. Of course, what they do with their software is up to them, but if I wrote a benchmarking program and then released it, for free, I would just be happy people were using my program.

notb, post: 4010298, member: 165619"
And gamers are not their userbase. Maxon has no business in it. Cinebench is just a hardware test for their software.
Unless you're trying to convince me that OC hobbyists that use Cinebench are more likely to buy Maxon software for their professional cine business. Good luck with that.
Cinebench is a benchmarking tool. It even says as much on their own Cinebench page. As far as OC hobbyists buying other Maxon software... maybe? If you're an OC hobbyist who also has rendering/graphics design needs? That's a little bit off topic though, and missing the point of the thread.

But, Cinebench is definitely a benchmarking tool, through and through. It's useful for measuring system performance (as Maxon themselves say on the Cinebench page) and they released it to the public.

notb, post: 4010298, member: 165619"
Maybe they did it on purpose? Maybe they got fed up with thousands of e-mails accusing them of bias towards CPU brand X or Y? Maybe they wanted to cement their professional image?
We don't know and we shouldn't care. They do things by the book and gamers are breaking the law. End of story.
I'm not sure how being exclusively on the Microsoft Store would prevent them from being accused of bias (which is silly in the first place). I'm also not sure how that would help them look professional. But you are right that I don't know their motive behind doing so... and I don't care. I just won't use their benchmarking tool, and I'm not gonna be butthurt about not seeing it the next time I look at a CPU review.

As far as breaking the law, well, I have yet to condone illicit sharing of the R20 portable version. They wrote the software, so as far as I can tell, they're within their legal right to restrict distribution however they want. That doesn't mean they're still going to be popular with the benchmarking crowd after forcing everyone on the Microsoft Store.
Posted on Reply
#97
lexluthermiester
hat, post: 4010325, member: 32804"
That doesn't mean they're still going to be popular with the benchmarking crowd after forcing everyone on the Microsoft Store.
Exactly. I suspect much of the community is going to tell Maxon to take their previously useful utility and stick it up their collective poopers.

All of this effectively makes them hypocrites as they don't seem to have any issues with the "Extreme" version of R15 discussed here;
https://www.techpowerup.com/forums/threads/cinebench-extreme-edition-mod-by-hwgeek.252293/
Posted on Reply
#98
hat
Enthusiast
lexluthermiester, post: 4010329, member: 134537"
Exactly. I suspect much of the community is going to tell Maxon to take their previously useful utility and stick it up their collective poopers.
I suspect much of the community just won't use the tool and forget about it by next week :laugh: but either way, their tool is going to be less popular now.
Posted on Reply
#99
Wavetrex
Solution: Stop using Cinebench.
Boycot Maxon and all their products.

The only way they'll learn.

(But I can only dream, countless hordes of w10 zombies will use UWP store anyway)
Posted on Reply
#100
R0H1T
Yup put your monies where your mouth is, stop using Maxon benches period.
Posted on Reply
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