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I know that Blender can be used for both commercial and non-commercial use, almost limitlessly.

My question is that I heard once that a file with a specific extension can have problems/restrictions (which sounds weird to me but I want to make sure), so I want to know if there may be any legal or technical restrictions exporting files and using files with the .obj extension or can it be used the same as a .blend file? I need the .obj extension because when saving to a .blend, it rotates my model incorrectly when opened in Unity and when I export to .obj and add it to unity, it works fine.

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There are no legal restrictions for using any of the file types that Blender natively imports or exports.

OBJ is open source are unpatented, so its use is not restricted in any way. The other model formats that Blender supports natively are similarly unrestricted.


This is an EXCELLENT question, and one that is asked by creators far too infrequently.

It's uncommon for file type usage to be restricted, though implementing (in code) certain codecs or algorithms can require licensing. Even patenting the codec or algorithm is uncommon because it only discourages your competitors from adopting it, if they have to pay licensing fees to implement in import and export script. You might be thinking of the MP3 codec that is patented by Fraunhofer IIS and Thomson. Even in that case, making a file of that type does not require a license, but being able to make a file does. This is why Audacity doesn't support MP3s natively. Audacity would have to pay a licensing fee (or some other royalty) for the ability to use implement those algorithms. Then they wouldn't be able to afford to release it for free, anymore.

The fact that Blender is free, means that they aren't paying any licensing fees, which means there aren't any licensed algorithms (assuming they're doing what they're supposed to be doing).

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you. Are .blend files open source and unpatented as well? $\endgroup$ – Itay080 May 27 '16 at 17:04
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, of course ;-) $\endgroup$ – Matt May 27 '16 at 17:43
  • $\begingroup$ ...in fact, the license says that you are even allowed to sell Blender for profit, you're just required to link to Blender.org and clarify that it can be downloaded there for free ;-) $\endgroup$ – Matt May 27 '16 at 17:44

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