Your school's Isadora Licensing Policies



  • Our IT department at St. Olaf College would like to know how other schools manage the Isadora Licenses. We purchased a bunch of Sassafras server licenses last year with the intent of allowing the students to use Isadora on their own equipment to complete assignments outside of class time (homework). We, as a department, thought we made our intentions clear to the IT department when we made the request, but we are having a lot of pushback from them regarding using Isadora outside of the traditional computer lab.

    They will not allow Isadora on the student laptops because 1) the Sassafras server requires a purchased Sassafras Key per computer and they do not want to pay for a Sassafras key on student-owned equipment and 2) their policy does not allow school assets on student equipment, period. 
    I'm trying to explain to them why the traditional computer lab is not an expectable environment for learning and experimenting with Isadora but I am failing. They do not have laptops available for student-checkout use. They asked me to "consult with others about not having the software available in any campus lab?  Were there concerns?" which seems like they are ducking the main issue. We are not intending to take the software away from the lab (which isn't that helpful for the individual students to build scenes anyway), but allowing them to build (and most importantly, save) scenes that they can turn in or demonstrate during the next class. 
    I would like to know how other schools use their licenses and how they allow student access to the software. Am I alone in thinking that students should be able to spend time in any studio environment (even the dorm room if that is the artistic intention) with a camera and the software to creatively learn the program outside of the classroom setting?
    Thanks!


  • I'm wondering if the schools could have USB keys that they could check out- just like any other piece of equipment.


  • It might be best sending an email to support for this one.

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  • I did talk to support and they are willing to change our license. I was convinced to transfer the Sassafras license to a traditional license, but when I presented my correspondence to the IT department, they balked. The issue isn't about the license, Troika Tronix has been wonderful about that, it's about the license being on student computers.



  • Dear @carsonk,

    I want to check something with you. You say in your message above "1) the Sassafras server requires a purchased Sassafras Key per computer and they do not want to pay for a Sassafras key on student-owned equipment and 2) their policy does not allow school assets on student equipment, period."

    Regarding the first point, I think this is incorrect. To be able to run Isadora on any laptop one, one only need to download the KeyAccess software shown at this link
    http://www.sassafras.com/support/
    As you can see, there is no cost for this. Anyone can download it and use it for free.
    Regarding point #2, I guess I can see the problem is the definition of a "school asset." I would argue that, without the central server maintained on campus, the Sassafras version of Isadora I have provided to you is not any kind of 'asset" because the program will only run in demo mode if it cannot reach **_your_** Sassafras Keyserver. The program has no value by itself (i.e., without connecting to the key server) and, as such, cannot be considered an asset.
    As the owner of this license, you have the right to distribute your specially encoded Sassafras key server version to anyone on campus. This is how it is handled by at least two dozen other institutions across the globe. They just upload the software installer where students and staff can download it. Others could download it also, but it wouldn't work for them as it is tied to your unique Sassafras key.
    I don't know if any of these arguments can be used to persuade your IT department, but if a phone call to someone there would help, I'd be very happy to make it.
    Let me know what you need to solve this problem.
    Best Wishes,
    Mark

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