Home Forums Software Development Why that special section about Niche applications and what does it mean?

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    Why is an application that I sell for 1000$ a special case, and what exactly are the restrictions on me if I create an application and then sell it for 1000$?

    What do I do if I write an application for another company (contract work) that I sell them for 30000$ and then they publish the software for 100$ each to end-users?

    I do not understand why niche applications are even mentioned in there, it makes everything more complicated and I do not understand the implications.



    Hi skyflash,

    It has never been our intention to make licensing or contract work difficult. Quite the opposite: we wanted to make the license agreement as liberal as we could.

    For most applications you´re allowed to use and re-distribute Tobii´s intellectual property for free. But if your application is a niche application (that is: expensive for end users) then we ask that you get in touch with us so that we can discuss licensing terms.

    Considering the example that you gave, if the company that you wrote the app for charge $100 to end users, then the niche application rules don´t apply. The company is re-distributing Tobii´s intellectual property to end users as part of their app, and so the normal licensing terms apply. No license fee.

    What about the contract work then? Well, it´s the price charged to the end users that should determine if it´s a niche application or not, regardless of what the company paid you to develop the software. I´ll see what we can do to make the licensing terms more clear on this point.


    Its not getting any better.

    2.5 “Niche Applications” means an application developed by
    Licensee (i) using the SDK; and/or (ii) including the Software
    Components (and any Updates, modifications and/or patches or hot
    fixes thereto that Tobii may make generally available from time to
    time) that is or is intended to be licensed, sold, or otherwise
    disposed of, separately or as part of a system, application or other
    technical device, for a price of more than US$800 or for more than
    US$400 per year if licensed or sold per subscription, lease or

    $800 or $400 subscription… uh… there is nothing in there about end-users, so if I develop an application that uses the SDK and sell it to some company for 801$ I am not legally allowed to according to that.

    801$ does not even pay for food for one month, so I doubt I will ever pick up developing with the SDK if it requires me to have a commercial license for earning small change. How about putting some sensible values in there, so that single developers can actually SURVIVE programming something specifically for your hardware?

    For example:

    If revenue for an application exceeds 2000$ a month or 15000$ a year a commercial license has to be bought.


    You have to pay 5% of any revenues to Tobii.

    Have you looked at other SDKs/engines? I can pretty much get the Unity engine for free without having to pay anything, even if I develop a 1 million$ topseller.

    Why do you think it makes sense to restrict devs with a commercial license when you really should be trying to get as many people as possible programming for your hardware? It should be obvious that your hardware is worth next to nothing if there is no high quality software out there that uses it.

    I would be interested to create software, but only with a liberal license. The risk that your hardware totally fails on the market is much too high for me to mess with a commercial license.

    Just some personal thoughts from me. 😉

    Robert [Tobii]

    Hi, thank you for your thoughts. You are right that the current license text does not make sense for contract work, so we will update the license agreement so an application developed one time for one company is not considered a niche application.

    This is the proposed change, which will be included in the next version of the EyeX SDK.
    “licensed, sold, or […], more than one time for a price of more than US$800 or for more than US$400 per year.”

    Do you think it makes sense now?


    Well, that depends on where you put the “or” and where you put the “more than one time” and where you put the comma. 😉

    If you make it…

    “A niche application is an application that is licensed or sold to more than one customer, either for a price of more than US$800 or for a subscription price of more than US$400 per year.”

    Then it is generally better and very clear.

    If you make it:

    “A niche application is an application that is licensed or sold, to more than one customer for a price of more than US$800 or for a price of more than US$400 per year.”

    Then it is bad, because the “to more than one customer” only belongs to the 800$. Unless you want that of course.

    In any case, I think 800$ and 400$ are much too low values. I do not understand why you want to do this.

    What is your idea behind it?

    Do you not want to enable software developers to actually earn money with their projects? What you are doing is to stop developers from programming with your SDK, especially indie developers.

    If I was selling hardware, I would make sure that everyone and his grandmother wants to develop software for my hardware to boost it. Hell, if someone can sell his software for 2000$ a piece I would congratulate him and give him a price.

    Eye-X is pretty much an unknown product with no decent software developed for it, let alone any good games.

    Shouldn’t you like…. give people money to develop good games? Instead of putting license restrictions on them? How about…. no license restrictions, but instead a software development contest with prices?

    I don’t know… it is not my company, but I definitely would do the opposite of what you are doing.

    Robert [Tobii]

    Thank you for your feedback once again. We have talked to our business development colleagues who helped us formulate the license terms, to learn more about the section about Niche application.

    The idea behind it is not to enforce any expensive license fees on the 3rd party developer, but rather to help the developer to succeed in that niche. Tobii has explored many different niche markets during the years and have many high-profile business and technology contacts that can be valuable for making the application a success.

    So all we are asking is that you contact us before launching any niche applications to discuss a custom license model and possibilities of collaboration, joint marketing, partnerships with OEM:s etc. We want you to win!


    That’s cool, then maybe mention what applies in the case of niche applications and what your idea behind it is. And be upfront about the costs?

    Right now it sounds more like a threat: -> If you develop a niche application, you cannot publish it and will have to get in contact with us so we can tell you that you need to pay 50% of your profit to us!

    How about you just state some figures for niche applications and then mention that if the developer contacts you, he may get special rates?

    Do it like this:

    Indie License

    Any application that sells for less than x $$ or x $$ a year to end-users falls under the indie category. In this case you do not have to pay anything.

    Commercial License

    Any application that sells for more than x $$ or x $$ a year to end-users is considered to be a commercial application and requires commercial licensing. Any released app falling under the commercial license costs either xx $$ one time fee or xx % of the profit. Special license rates and help on marketing can be negotiated on a one-by-one basis, please contact our support department for help.

    And then just delete the whole “niche application” nonsense.

    You have two licenses, everyone can see them and knows what to expect, no shady “we wont tell you before you contact us personally”, everything easy, painless and transparent.

    How does that sound?

    Bob Zaretsky

    Actually, the above discussion does not matter. The text reads as follows

    2.5 “Niche Applications” means an application developed by
    Licensee (i) using the SDK; and/or (ii)…

    Since there is an ‘and/or’ it really doesn’t matter what comes next. If you are using the SDK then Tobii considers your application a Niche application per this license agreement. I am sure that was not Tobii’s intent, but that is what it legally reads.

    Our problem is that the SDK License Agreement that you have to agree to to download the SDK is not the same as the one included with the SDK. The one that you agree to to download the SDK (V1.1) does not mention Niche products, while the one included in the SDK does. These issues are preventing us from using the SDK at all, which is a big issue. We have tried all avenues to address this, so I am trying the forums now as well.


    Seriously… it does not look like they even want anyone to develop a decent application using their hardware. I pretty much put the thing on my shelf and never looked back.

    They do not seem to have any understanding of licensing software to developers, so it is better to stay clear. The risk developing for this is much too high and there is no financial incentive to do it. I mean, they even punish you if your application is too “good”.

    Also the still completely intransparent licensing. You have to contact them to even find out, nothing is written clearly on the website.

    So… I am staying well clear.

    Good luck with your project. 😛

    And for them.. this is how you do licensing:


    Jenny [Tobii]

    @bobzaretsky: Sorry about the confusion with different license agreements in the SDK package and here on the Dev Zone! Apparently, there was an internal misunderstanding so only the online version was updated, and the dev team responsible for the SDK packages were never informed of the new license agreement version.

    I have now created a new set of SDK packages with the correct version of the license agreement that can be downloaded on the Downloads page. (As a bonus all SDK packages now also have signed client dll’s 🙂 )

    And as you noted, the new license agreement does not have any concept of “Niche applications”.

    We are working on an overall improved licensing model. But it is not ready to launch yet. Bare with us as the consumer market is a relatively new business for our company and we are trying our best to figure out and improve things along the way. I bet the first rounds of incarnations of Unity’s and Unreal Engine’s license agreements and licensing models weren’t that great either?

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