Blender is released under the GNU General Public License (GPL, or “free software”).
This license grants people a number of freedoms:
- You are free to use Blender, for any purpose
- You are free to distribute Blender
- You can study how Blender works and change it
- You can distribute changed versions of Blender
The GPL strictly aims at protecting these freedoms, requiring everyone to share their modifications when they also share the software in public. That aspect is commonly referred to as Copyleft.
The Blender Foundation and its projects on blender.org are committed to preserving Blender as free software.
The source code we develop at blender.org is default being licensed as GNU GPL Version 2 or later. Some modules we make are using more permissive licenses though, for example the Blender Cycles rendering engine is available as Apache 2.0.
All the components that together make Blender are compatible under the newer GNU GPL Version 3. That is also the license to use for any distribution of Blender binaries.
What you create with Blender is your sole property. All your artwork – images or movie files – including the .blend files and other data files Blender can write, is free for you to use as you like.
That means that Blender can be used commercially by artists, by studios to make animation films or vfx, by game artists to work on commercial games, by scientists for research, and by students in educational institutions.
Blender’s GNU GPL license guarantees you this freedom. Nobody is ever permitted to take it away, in contrast to trial or “educational” versions of commercial software that will forbid your work in commercial situations.
Using Blender’s game player
When you combine your artwork (in a .blend file) with Blender’s game player (as a stand-alone binary for example), the inclusion of this player requires that the entire bundle has to be released compatible with Blender’s license.
See the section below for more information about that.
FAQ for artists
Apart from creation art or movies or 3d models, you can also use Blender as a Python scripter or to use Blender for game playback.
We collected the most common Frequently Asked Questions here.