Final Cut Express 4 – why is academic version cheaper than full?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Cagle, Feb 28, 2013.

  1. macrumors regular

    Feb 10, 2009
    I see on ebay, the full version seems to go for three times as much as the academic version; why is that?:eek:

    I know academic versions do not allow you to get the next upgrade (you have to buy it in full) but wasn’t FCE 4 the last ever version anyway?

    And what’s with the you can’t’ use it for commercial use limitation; how do they actually enforce that rule?
  2. macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Oct 31, 2009
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    Because the academic versions of professional software are often either free, or very, very cheap. Like only $100, vs $1,000 (I have no idea about Final Cut, but I use Autodesk software and that is free for academic use, otherwise like $4,000 for just one app).

    They will usually pop messages when you open/close/save the files stating that a student version was used to make the file. Or it'll be in the metadata of the file.
  3. macrumors 6502

    Nov 28, 2011
    Stuttgart, Germany
    I bought the academic version of FCE from Apple (back in the days). Here are some answers:
    - There is no such thing as annoying messages when saving or closing, it is the exact same software.
    - Then again, the academic discount was only like 15% or something like that.
    - The non-commercial part is not enforced per se (like the restriction to only install it on one laptop and one desktop computer). You can install it on as many computers as you like, and you can do commercial work with it. Just be aware that then you are breaking the license you purchased. This means that if e.g. a commercial film you do makes it big and gets you tons of money, you will have a problem. A serious one (I never want to meet Apple's lawyers...). But until then, you'll be fine. :)
    - The reason why the academic version is going for cheap is probably because if you're a student, you can now get far better programs than FCE4 for a very affordable price. If you don't qualify for the student discount, these other options are crazy expensive and you might want to look for an old FCE version. At least that's what I think. The academic pricing Apple offered is a joke compared to what you can see from other companies.

    All this aside: Don't buy FCE4! It is old and slow, and you will surely get something better for the price! I should know because I've edited quite some stuff on it... My version is German though, otherwise I would gladly sell it to you for the postage costs... :)

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