A game. It started as an academic project, though I've always intended to release it (for free) at some point.

I checked the licence terms of Visual Studio 2017 Community. Happy, happy, joy joy:

Individual License. If you are an individual working on your own applications to sell or for any other purpose, you may use the software to develop and test those applications.


So I gleefully installed MS VS Community 2017 and started using it.

But, but, time and time again it would happen that I NEEDED a feature (of .NET Core SDK, not VS) that was not yet in the stable version. Firstly, I needed SignalR; so I installed .NET Core Preview. Then SignalR made it into release, so I upgraded to the stable version. I do not remember if I upgraded VS to Preview at that time and I can't check this since I was not using git at that time.

But then the real crap happened: a feature I needed was bugged in release .NET Core and as per the official documentation I had to install the preview version to use this feature. So I did. But then Visual Studio started displaying warnings that Preview version of .NET Core also required the Preview version of VisualStudio. So I installed VisualStudio Community Preview. I caressly assumed that since it was the preview version of VS Community edition the same licence terms would apply.. That was not the case:

You may not distribute any application you develop with the software, except that you may deploy your applications internally solely to evaluate deployment technologies in the software.


Perhaps even worse, when VS Preview started displaying warnings that VS 2017 Preview program would end soon I upgraded to VS 2019 Preview which did not distinguish between Community and Enterprise.

My question is: Is there any chance for me to be able to ever release this game? I'm afraid around that time I started using a code repository so it can be easily seen by anyone which versions of VisualStudio were being used.

  • Can I by any means bring this code to compliance? Would purchasing a non-community licence of VS help?
  • Or is deleting all code written after upgrading to VS Preview my only option?
    • Rewriting this code is a daunting task: these are a few months of work at least.
    • Even if I did rewrite most of the code I would still remember how I did this, so the similarities would be likely obvious. Therefore, would even rewriting the code help, or would ir tarther be considered (mostly) the same code that had been developped with the wrong versions of VS and is therefore precluded from being released EVER?

The ironny is that at the moment I could have just done everything in VS Community Edition without using any paid features, since I think all features of .NET Core I needed already made it to realease version.

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    I honestly don't think Microsoft is going to enforce that if you take your written source and compile it in VS Community (release version). What they are really trying to protect against is if you develop a commercial software with Preview, and it turns out to have bugs, you can't go back and sue Microsoft for lost revenue. There is no "watermark" that VS Preview leaves in the source that gets compiled using VS Release... I wouldn't worry about it. – Ron Beyer Jan 25 '19 at 14:36
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    You do realize that the first license statement only says develop and test, not deploy, sell or distribute. – mkennedy Jan 25 '19 at 23:58
  • @mkennedy Please see law.stackexchange.com/questions/36733/… – Actual Ouch Jan 30 '19 at 16:21

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