Licensing

GreenSock’s standard “No Charge” license is very permissive (it even covers most commercial uses), but “Business Green” Club GreenSock memberships come with a comprehensive commercial license plus time-saving bonus plugins and tools.

Our paid license is only necessary in software that you create using our products that is sold to multiple end users. If you believe that all software should be free then obviously you aren’t selling your own software and you don’t need a commercial GreenSock license. Nothing to worry about.

If you require a license because your free app has micro-transactions or you are building a paid-for service (like Netflix or a game app), it’s really up to you to assess if your revenue will adequately cover the nominal license fee. Most developers find that GSAP’s workflow features alone save them so much time that the license pays for itself literally in a matter of days. After factoring in the bonus plugins and the performance boost, the expense quickly turns into profit.

Usage in 100% free apps, games, sites, and other software even if you charge a fee to develop these products X X
Usage in web sites or products that require a fee to use or join (NetFlix.com, Ancestry.com, eHarmony.com, etc.) X
Usage in games or products that are sold to multiple end users X
Usage in games or other apps that use micro-transactions for optional features/upgrades X
One membership/license can grant multiple developers access to “members only” plugins and tools like ThrowPropsPlugin, SplitTextField, etc. X
Distribution of GreenSock files as a part of your Work Product
Excluding members-only plugins/tools
X

Business-friendly

GreenSock’s dual licensing model keeps it extremely accessible and completely free for the vast majority of use cases while at the same time providing a small funding mechanism that sustains ongoing support, innovation, and sustainability. The web is littered with abandoned “open source” projects, but GreenSock has a years-long track record of commitment to the platform. Some of the largest companies in the world trust GreenSock tools in their business-critical applications every day.

Learn more about why smart businesses invest in the GreenSock platform. Check out the “return on investment” calculator and a list of some factors you should consider from a business perspective.

FAQ

  1. Is there a limit to the number of projects I can use GreenSock tools in as a “Business Green” member?
    No. The commercial license that comes with “Business Green” Club GreenSock memberships applies to an unlimited number of apps/sites/software/games that your organization sells while the membership is active (see the license agreement for specifics). Please be sure, however, to get the appropriate membership level based on the number of developers associated with your organization.
  2. Can I distribute GreenSock files as a part of my Work Product?
    Yes, as long as the source files are unaltered (including copyright notices therein). Your customer may use GreenSock tools (including bonus plugins/classes you got with your membership) only as a part of your Work Product. However, if your customer wants to use the GreenSock tools outside of your Work Product or make customizations to your Work Product, they would need to get their own “Business Green” Club GreenSock membership to cover their usage.
  3. For how long must I maintain my membership?
    As long as your Work Product is being actively sold/licensed. The commercial license is tied to your “Business Green” membership, so when the membership lapses, so does the license. Work Products that you already sold do NOT suddenly violate the terms of use, though – you just can’t continue to sell products that use GreenSock tools after the membership expires. If you don’t want to worry about any expirations, you can simply get a permanent membership.
  4. When determining the appropriate membership level, do I need to include only full-time developers? What if my company doesn’t have any?
    You must include all freelancers, consultants, subcontractors, etc. in addition to full-time developers.
  5. How much does It cost?
    There are several different “Business Green” membership levels based on the number of developers that will have access to the code. All “Business Green” memberships come with the special commercial license. Please see the Club GreenSock page for pricing details.
  6. How do I get a license?
    Just sign up for a “Business Green” Club GreenSock membership at the level that corresponds to the number of developers in your organization. That’s it!
  7. I don’t want to pay annually. Can I get a permanent membership so that it never expires?
    Absolutely. Click the “permanent” checkbox under the “Business Green” membership on the Club GreenSock page.
  8. What if I develop a commercial product for my client who will be the one selling the product? Who needs the “Business Green” membership?
    To make it easier on GreenSock customers, the policy is that the development company needs to maintain a valid “Business Green” membership. If, for example, Company A develops a Work Product that uses TweenLite/Max and sells it to Company B who will be licensing it to end users, Company A must maintain a “Business Green” membership. Company B would not be required to have a membership. If, however, Company B prefers to maintain a membership instead, that is perfectly acceptable as long as it wouldn’t reduce the club level, meaning if the development company has 20 developers and Company B has 1 developer, it wouldn’t be fair to circumvent the terms by only having Company B get a single developer membership. A 20-developer membership would be required.
  9. Can I include GreenSock code in my open source library?
    Yes, but there are a few caveats: You may not include any of the members-only bonus plugins/classes in your open source tool (for obvious reasons) and you must clearly represent that the GreenSock code uses its own separate licensing model. Also, please do not include GreenSock files in a project hosted at a place like code.google.com that requires open source licensing. It is, however, okay (as far as GreenSock is concerned) to point users to the greensock.com site to get the files there instead of including them in the repository hosted at a place like code.google.com (you should check with them about whether or not that would violate their terms of use).
  10. If I get an annual membership, can I upgrade to a permanent one later?
    Sure. When you upgrade, the most recent annual membership fee will be refunded (1 year’s worth of fees). Contact us to request an upgrade.
  11. Why not give the code away for free?
    We firmly believe this licensing model ultimately delivers a superior end product and serves the community better. Please read our post Licensing: “Free” != Better to understand why. There is also an article on why a “Business Green” Club GreenSock membership makes a lot of business sense here.
  12. Who do I talk to if I have questions?
    Just e-mail questions@greensock.com with questions.
  13. Who uses GreenSock tools?
    Here are just a few of the companies that have relied on GreenSock tools:

Comments (30) RSS

Posted by Amos on December 2, 2009

First of all, thank you SOOOO much for making TweenLite! It is the easiest and most powerful programming tool I’ve ever used (and I’ve used the Ruby language).

So, let me see if I have this right…

If I make a game that uses TweenLite, and sell said game to Company B for a one-time fee, and Company B hosts said game on a site that does not charge end users to play it, I don’t need a license?

BTW, I fully intend to get a Club Greensock membership (“Business Green” or otherwise, as needed) as soon as I’m sure I can make money making Flash content.

Posted by admin on December 2, 2009

Good question, Amos. Yes, you got it exactly right – if you charge company B a one-time development fee for your game and they share it publicly, not charging end users any fees, you do NOT need the special license that comes with a “Business Green” Club GreenSock membership. This is how most commercial projects happen and the standard “no charge” license covers it. If, however, you or company B were going to charge multiple end users an access/usage/license fee for the game, you’d need to get a “Business Green” membership. Thanks for asking.

Posted by ricky on December 18, 2009

Thank you so much for TweenLite – it’s very useful and fast!

I have a question about the license: do I need to buy a “Business Green” Club GreenSock membership if I use TweenLite to make an advertisement for my commercial website which is freely accessible to anyone? Some people will purchase things on the website, so I wasn’t sure if it requires the special license (You mentioned that if multiple end users are charged a fee, I need the license).

Posted by admin on December 18, 2009

Ricky, as long as the product/application for which multiple end users pay doesn’t directly use the GreenSock code, you do NOT need the special commercial license. So, for example, if you build a web site for a shoe company and the web site uses GreenSock code and customers can purchase shoes on the web site, that’s fine because the product/service/application they’re purchasing (shoes in this case) doesn’t use GreenSock code. If, however, you were using GreenSock code in a game that users must pay for (either to play at all or to access certain features of), you WOULD need the special commercial license that comes with a “Business Green” Club GreenSock membership.

Posted by Bintal on July 12, 2010

Hey, following on from the answer to Ricky…

If I were to create a website that:
1) Uses Greensock software to render data (say images).
2) The website is free to browse and display these images.
3) A subscription fee applies on the website to, say, view other premium content (such as videos/music) that doesn’t explicitly use any GreenSock code above what is available freely.

Would I need a license in this case?

Posted by Jack on July 12, 2010

bintal, if absolutely no part of the “premium content” section of your site uses any GreenSock code, you wouldn’t need the special license that comes with a “Business Green” Club GreenSock membership. Thanks for asking.

Posted by John Hutcheson on August 19, 2010

I am an independent contractor and am usually the sole flash developer on my projects. I am thinking of getting the business license so that I can use your libraries for the types of jobs the license covers. My question is this:

I would only purchase the single developer license, naturally. What if a client to whom I am delivering code for a project that falls under the constraints of the commercial license sometime in the future goes with a different developer or developers, but continues to use your libraries in the project without their own valid license? Who is responsible for holding the license at that point? The client and the new developers may not be aware that they need to have a license. Would this in anyway be a legal issue for me as the original developer and license holder?

Posted by Jack on August 19, 2010

John, you’re obviously a very conscientious developer which I really appreciate. Let me get straight to the answer:

All of your Work Products that are created and sold while your “Business Green” membership is active are covered by the special license. However, if your client takes your Work Product and redevelops it, making substantive changes and starts selling it or charging multiple customers access/usage fees for the new/enhanced product, they’d need to get a membership of their own because they’d be doing development work that leverages GreenSock code outside the scope of the product you created for them.

In terms of liability, your responsibility in that scenario is to communicate the licensing terms to them (tell them what’s out-of-bounds), that’s it. I certainly don’t expect you to control them. They’re responsible for their own choices.

Posted by Sean on August 25, 2010

TweenLite is just amazing, and so easy to use. Thanks.

Posted by Cardin on January 5, 2011

I’m making a sound library that depends on TimelineMax for timing events, and planning to release it as open source on Google Code.

I understand under Point 10 above, that Greensock files cannot be included, but what about the compiled .swc file? Can my open source library include only the greensock .swc and still abide by Greensock’s license agreement?

Thanks.

Posted by Jack on January 6, 2011

Cardin, it would be an honor to have you use TimelineMax in your library. Absolutely, please do. The challenge with using it in a project that’s hosted on Google Code, however, is that I believe it would violate Google’s terms of use due to the fact that they require that everything hosted there be licensed a particular way (mentioned above as you pointed out). Plus doing so could mislead users. You’d just need to make sure that end users are made aware of the terms of use for the GreenSock tools which are a subset of your project. It wouldn’t be okay for a massive company to come along and use your project as a way to circumvent GreenSock’s terms of use and decide to leverage GreenSock tools that they got from your project and employ them in a product that they resell for millions of dollars of profit to multiple customers, saying “hey, I got it off of Google Code and the page said it was completely open source and free”. That being said, 98%+ of the projects out there (including commercial projects) are covered under the standard “no charge” license, so it would be very rare that any of your users would need to get the “Business Green” Club GreenSock membership anyway.

As far as including the .swc instead of the source files in order to get around Google’s requirements, no, I don’t think that’ll do it. I doubt they’d see a licensing distinction between ActionScript files and .swc files, but you’d probably need to check with them about that. I don’t mind if you use the .swc as long as you make sure that the license and copyright info are clearly communicated to your end users. But it doesn’t look like Google Code will accommodate that sort of thing.

Good luck with your project. Please let me know if you need anything else.

Posted by Matt Poole on February 23, 2011

Hi, would a company intending to earn ad revenue from adverts displayed in an application that used greensock code be liable for the licence?

Posted by Jack on February 23, 2011

Matt, advertisement revenue isn’t a factor – if the only fees paid are from advertisers for ad placements, that wouldn’t require the special license that comes with “Business Green” Club GreenSock memberships. Otherwise any site that displays a banner ad on the same screen as another swf that uses GreenSock code would need the license, but that’s not the case at all. Good question though.

Posted by Caue Rego on June 30, 2011

I agree this is the best licensing model. Thanks so much for doing it this way. It’s open source, free to use and has a “share the profits” obligation to support the cause if it’s good enough (and clearly it is). Fits perfectly in our capitalistic-transforming-into-something-else-world! Have you gave any thought on making a minimalistic clause version of this license, giving it a name and trying to spread it around? :)

Posted by Raymond on November 27, 2012

I’m curious, what license would a commercial free to play game featuring optional microtransactions fall under?

Posted by Jack on November 27, 2012

Thanks for asking, Raymond. Games that are free to play but offer optional micro transactions would indeed require the special commercial license that comes with “Business Green” memberships because multiple customers are charged a fee of some kind.

Posted by Berwyn on March 6, 2013

Hi, I’m just curios, for example I’m working on a company, then they gave me a project, for example to build a website or a presentation for our company’s client and at the same time I already have a “Business Green’ Membership. So can I use the plugin for the project even though it’s for my company’s client?

Posted by Jack on March 7, 2013

Yes, Berwyn, if your company has a “Business Green” membership, that commercial license covers all of your work (while the membership is active of course), even if your client is the one who uses or sells what you guys create. However, if your client changes the product/site/app/game you sold them in any way, it would no longer be covered – they would need to get their own license to cover that. Otherwise, it would allow huge companies to just hire a single freelance developer who has the commercial license, let them start a project and “buy” it from them, and then take over development and avoid needing to get their own license in the appropriate manner. Make sense? So basically the license covers your work as-is even if it’s sold by your client.

Posted by Rich on September 11, 2013

If I used GreenSock in my product I certainly would need to buy licenses for the developers working with GreenSock, but would I need to buy licenses for developers working on other parts of my site that do not leverage GreenSock. What about backend developers that don’t do UI work? Do I need to isolate the fronted code so they don’t “have access to the code”?

Posted by Jack on September 11, 2013

Thanks for asking about this, Rich – it shows how considerate you are.

The intent of the license is to cover developers who might possibly make use of the GreenSock tools, not the developers who’d never touch them. For example, if you’re a company who has 100 [strictly] php developers and 3 guys who do front end work that makes use of GreenSock tools, you’d need the “Up to 5 developers” membership. If
you’ve got 4 in-house front end people and occasionally use 5 other freelancers for that same type of work (which makes use of GreenSock tools), it’d be appropriate to get the “up to 20 developers” membership. I hope that clears things up.

Posted by Gautam on October 6, 2013

I’m a freelancer and develop website templates and sell them to multiple clients. What kind of license do i need?

Posted by Jack on October 6, 2013

Thanks for asking about this, Gautam. If you sell basically the same template to multiple clients (and the template uses GreenSock tools), that’d require the special commercial license that comes with “Business Green” Club GreenSock memberships. However, if you just happen to use a core template as a starting point and do a bunch of customizations for each client (no two clients get a substantially similar template), that’d be covered under the “no charge” license.

I think you’ll find that the membership pays for itself very quickly, even if you don’t need any of the bonus members-only plugins. If you’d like to see why it’s typically a wise business investment, check out http://www.greensock.com/business-case/. For the amount of time it saves, a lot of developers just pass the cost along to their clients and it’s actually cheaper than trying to do it themselves or use a less mature open source tool.

Good luck with your project(s).

Posted by Jack R on January 24, 2014

Hey, I work on a Webshop and sell this shop to another company (reseller of clothes). Can I use the free version of GSAP or do I have to buy the business one?

Kind regards

Posted by Jack on January 24, 2014

Absolutely, Jack. The standard “no charge” license covers that type of usage (where a client hires you to build something specifically and uniquely for them). And it’s fine if they sell other products (like clothing) through their web site, as long as the thing they’re selling doesn’t use our tools.

Posted by Jonathan on January 29, 2014

We may be interested in using GreenSock to aid in our work on a contract. While our company profits from the contract itself, the end product is for internal use by our customer and will not be sold commercially. Do we need Business Licenses, and if so, would we need to maintain them as long as our customer uses our product?

Posted by Jack on January 29, 2014

Hi Jonathan. Thanks for asking about this. The usage you described sounds like it would definitely fall under the standard “no charge” license because you’re not reselling the actual product/site/app that uses GreenSock code to MULTIPLE customers. It’s perfectly fine if you get paid a development fee by your client for something you create uniquely for them. Heck, they can pay you $100,000,000 for all we care – that’s great! No need for the special commercial license.

Posted by Ted on February 4, 2014

I work at a University and would like to use Greensock on websites that are accessed by our students and staff. Is this covered under the ‘no charge’ license as our students aren’t paying for the website per-se it’s simply a support tool of our University?

Thanks.

Posted by Jack on February 4, 2014

Yes, absolutely – that type of usage is covered by the standard “no charge” license, Ted. Thanks for asking.

Posted by skwisgar on March 4, 2014

I just found your product and I think it’s great! I really like this comment section too it already has answered some questions I had about the license.

How does the free vs business green license affect something like a web banner. For instance, if I have a client who want’s a series of web banners for different product(s) and I want to use GSAP to animate those banners and or make them interactive, is that something that is covered under the standard license or something that would require a business green commercial license? What if it’s a banner to receive donations? Thank you!

Posted by Jack on March 4, 2014

Thanks for asking about this, skwisgar. The usage you described absolutely qualifies under the standard “no charge” license. It’s fine if you’re advertising some other service or product (as a banner ad does). The only time you need the special license is when you’re using GreenSock tools in the actual product/app/game/site for which you’re charging multiple customers a fee. It’s even fine if you charge your client a one-time fee to create the banner ad; as long as you’re not charging multiple customers for that ad or usage of it, that’s covered under the “no charge” license.

Happy tweening!

To download the code, you must agree to the following license:

"NO CHARGE" NON-EXCLUSIVE SOFTWARE LICENSE AGREEMENT
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
PLAIN ENGLISH SUMMARY:

  1. You may use the code at no charge in commercial or non-commercial apps, web sites, games, components, and other software as long as end users are not charged a fee of any kind to use your product or gain access to any part of it. If your client pays you a one-time fee to create the site/product, that's perfectly fine and qualifies under the "no charge" license. If end users are charged a usage/access/license fee, please sign up for a "Business Green" Club GreenSock membership which comes with a comprehensive commercial license. See http://www.greensock.com/club/ for details.
  2. Use at your own risk. No warranties are offered.
  3. Please respect the copyright.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

LEGALESE:

This is a legal agreement between you (either an individual or a single entity) and GreenSock, Inc. ("GREENSOCK") for the proprietary GreenSock code known as TweenLite, TweenMax, TweenNano, TimelineLite, TimelineMax, and other copyrighted code that is available for download at http://www.greensock.com (this code and documentation, as well as any updates which may at GREENSOCK's sole discretion be provided to you from time to time, are referred to in this Agreement as "PROGRAM"). By downloading, copying, or otherwise using the PROGRAM, you agree to the terms and conditions of this Agreement. If you do not agree to the terms and conditions of this Agreement, please do not download or use the PROGRAM.

I. LICENSE
A. Subject to the terms and conditions of this Agreement, GREENSOCK hereby grants you a non-exclusive, worldwide, non-transferable right to use the PROGRAM in apps, web sites, games, components and other software applications ("Developed Works") for which the end user is NOT charged any fees. If you would like to use the code in a commercially licensed Developed Work for which end users are charged a fee (either for usage or access), simply sign up for the appropriate "Business Green" Club GreenSock membership at http://www.greensock.com/club/.

II. LIMITATION OF LICENSE AND RESTRICTIONS
A. You agree that you will not sell, rent, or license the PROGRAM's source code or any derivative works thereof to any third party without the prior written consent of GREENSOCK. Distribution of the PROGRAM as part of your Developed Work is acceptable so long as it is used exclusively as a part of your Developed Work. You agree not to modify or delete GREENSOCK'S existing copyright notices located in the source code.

B. You may use, duplicate, and distribute the compiled object code as embedded in Developed Works created by you, either for your own use or for distribution to a third party so long as end users of the Developed Work are not charged a fee for usage of or access to any portion of the Developed Work. Please see http://www.greensock.com/licensing/ for descriptions of Developed Works that qualify for the "No Charge" license.

C. You may make modifications to the source code exclusively for your own use in order to perform bug fixes or other minor edits required to operate the PROGRAM as originally intended.

III. CONSIDERATION
A. The license rights granted to you under this Agreement are at no charge, but only in the following circumstances: If on your own behalf or on behalf of a third party you incorporate the PROGRAM into a web site, app, game, program or any component thereof (collectively, "Developed Work"), which in the case of a web site, must be accessible to internet users without payment of a fee of any kind, and in the case of a software application, game, program or component, neither you nor anyone to whom you distribute the Developed Work charges a user a fee of any kind to use such Developed Work or application, game, program or component into which such Developed Work is embedded. The foregoing shall apply regardless of whether you are paid to create such Developed Work.

B. In the event your intended use of the PROGRAM does not meet the criteria for the "no charge" license rights set forth in the immediately preceding paragraph, then you are not licensed to use the PROGRAM under this Agreement and must license the PROGRAM under GREENSOCK'S separate fee-based Software License Agreement which is granted to "Business Green" Club GreenSock members (see http://www.greensock.com/club/ for details).

C. You may make modifications to the source code exclusively for your own use in order to perform bug fixes or other minor edits required to operate the PROGRAM as originally intended.

IV. TITLE AND OWNERSHIP
A. The PROGRAM is licensed, not sold, and is protected by copyright laws and international treaty provisions. You acknowledge that no title to the intellectual property in the PROGRAM is transferred to you. You further acknowledge that title and full ownership rights to the PROGRAM, including all intellectual property rights therein, will remain the exclusive property of GREENSOCK and you will not acquire any rights to the PROGRAM except as expressly set forth in this Agreement. You agree that any copies of the PROGRAM you make will contain the same proprietary notices which appear on and in the PROGRAM. You agree that GREENSOCK may identify you as a licensee unless you make a written request otherwise. GREENSOCK hereby grants to you the right to disclose that your product, game, software application, component, or other Developed Work makes use of GREENSOCK code (for example, "Powered by TweenLite").

V. DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTY AND LIMITATION OF LIABILITY
A. THE PROGRAM IS PROVIDED "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. GREENSOCK DOES NOT WARRANT THAT THE FUNCTIONS CONTAINED IN THE PROGRAM WILL MEET YOUR REQUIREMENTS OR THAT OPERATION WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED OR ERROR FREE. GREENSOCK shall not be liable for special, indirect, incidental, or consequential damages with respect to any claim on account of or arising from this Agreement or use of the PROGRAM, even if GREENSOCK has been or is hereafter advised of the possibility of such damages. Because some states do not allow certain exclusions or limitations on implied warranties or of liability for consequential or incidental damages, the above exclusions may not apply to you. In no event, however, will GREENSOCK be liable to you, under any theory of recovery, in an amount in excess of $250. Notwithstanding anything else in this agreement, you agree to indemnify GREENSOCK, its assignees, and licensees, and hold each of them harmless from and against any and all claims, losses, damages, and expenses, including legal fees arising out of or resulting from any negligent act or omission by you.

B. GREENSOCK may, at its sole discretion, provide support services related to the PROGRAM, but has no obligation to do so.

VI. TERMINATION
If you at any time fail to abide by the terms of this Agreement, GREENSOCK shall have the right to immediately terminate the license granted herein and pursue any other legal or equitable remedies available.

VII. MISCELLANEOUS
A. This Agreement shall be construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Illinois. In the event of any dispute between you and GREENSOCK with respect to this Agreement, we both agree that if we cannot resolve the dispute in good faith discussion, either of us may submit the dispute for resolution to arbitration with the American Arbitration Association before a single arbitrator using the AAA Rules for Commercial Arbitration. The arbitrator's decision is final and can be enforced in any court with jurisdiction over such matters.

B. This agreement represents the complete and exclusive statement of the agreement between GREENSOCK and you and supersedes all prior agreements, proposals, representations and other communications, verbal or written, between them with respect to use of the program. This agreement may be modified only with the mutual written approval of authorized representatives of the parties.

C. The terms and conditions of this Agreement shall prevail notwithstanding any different, conflicting, or additional terms or conditions which may appear in any purchase order or other document submitted by you. You agree that such additional or inconsistent terms are deemed rejected by GREENSOCK.

D. GREENSOCK and you agree that any xerographically or electronically reproduced copy of this Agreement shall have the same legal force and effect as any copy bearing original signatures of the parties.

Copyright 2006-2013, GreenSock, Inc. Updated 2012-08-28

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