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Use UE4 as an external algorithm processing exe

Hi Guys, I am a Researcher/Scientist and I use unreal engine to prototype, develop and test some geometry processing algorithms. See one of my works here. What will happen is, we will be packaging it all into an exe and running it without GUI i.e. no rendering at all, but we will be continuously reading some numbers on say a UDP/serial port and publishing our final few numbers as the result on some other. Internally we are using Point Cloud Library as our work horse, so all the number crunching happens by it and another set of classes that I have developed. UE4 I am using as a convenient way for me to test that it all works with its rendering but in the final product package I don't use any rendering at all. I want to package this into separate non-visual exe and use it in combination with our company's propriety software that will consume the final published numbers. Now my question is will there be any royalties applicable on that ? I have tried to find a similar case here but I wanted to check with the Epic's legal experts if my case is different. Just need some clarity.

Product Version: UE 4.20
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asked Sep 04 '18 at 02:48 PM in Legal & Licensing

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avatar image DudleyStephens ♦♦ STAFF Sep 04 '18 at 11:09 PM

I'm assuming that the exe that you are distributing won't require UE4 to run. Will that exe include any portion of UE4 or marketplace content?

avatar image Infiltrator_ Sep 04 '18 at 11:50 PM

Zero marketplace content, there will be nothing to show there, its likely to be a simple command line window. Portions of UE4 I am sure will be there in the packaged exe otherwise there wont be any question, since we will be using its packaging and some basic functionality/modules, for instance UDP/serial port - functionality for reading. But no rendering/visualization, no real-gameplay will take place or any such accompanying input/output interface.

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Your executable would be a "Product" under the UE4 EULA; but, because it will contain portions of UE4, it would not be an "Unrestricted Product". This means that, to the extent you monetize the executable, royalties would be due on revenues that do not fall into one of the royalty exceptions under Section 5 of the UE4 EULA. We encourage you to look at those exceptions, as there are many royalty free uses of UE4 under the UE4 EULA.

Additionally, please take a look at the Unreal Studio EULA, which may be more appropriate for your use. The Unreal Studio EULA is completely royalty free.

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answered Sep 05 '18 at 02:07 AM

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DudleyStephens ♦♦ STAFF
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avatar image Infiltrator_ Sep 05 '18 at 01:27 PM

Thanks, Dudley. About the "Unrestricted Product" - I went and looked at the "similar" case (see my second link in the question), and @atypic had to say this : "It's a Product, but it's an Unrestricted Product because the Product itself doesn't use the engine to operate. As a result, there are no royalties." Could you please clarify on that point in comparison ?

avatar image DudleyStephens ♦♦ STAFF Sep 05 '18 at 10:58 PM

atypic's answer was in response to a question about the trailer. Since a rendered out trailer would likely not contain Licensed Technology or require Licensed Technology to run, it typically would qualify as an "Unrestricted Product".

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