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AutoCAD Educational Stamp: How does BricsCAD handle this?

The educational version of AutoCAD attaches a stamp to drawings created or edited in that version. This stamp is a very nasty thing as it will also infect files created with the full version of AutoCAD that have come in touch with a file from an educational version (insert, copy/paste, xref etc.). And once infected those files will start spreading the educational stamp virus as well.

What does BricsCAD do with such an educational stamp?
Do I run the risk of sending out infected files?

These are obviously questions for the Bricsys team, but because I think that more users are interested in this issue I have decided to post on the forum instead of submitting a support request.

Comments

  • Note: I do not use Autodesk software. But I do sometimes receive or download drawings created with AutoCAD. Any of these drawings may contain an educational stamp.
  • Although I have had no experience with Autodesk Student Versions, I understand the workaround to be DXFOUT / DXFIN.
  • Interesting... I never came in contact with such files, and was unaware of their existence, thanks for pointing this out.
    I would take for granted that, if BricsCAD opens these drawings silently, it must also remove this little nuisance without further notice on save...
  • Merely out of curiosity, I DL'd what is supposed to be a sample dwg with educational stamp (from here: http://www.jtbworld.com/edufinder.htm).
    Opening it (sandboxed) with BricsCAD, I can see no evidence of a stamp.
    Perhaps there is no API within BC that supports said stamp?

  • Hi Roy,

    I've had some experience with this a while ago. Short answer is that the educational stamp only affects AutoDESK products. It is completely ignored by BricsCAD. In fact if you open in BricsCAD, then save, the educational stamp is removed.

    I had planned to update this post with this information.
    https://forum.bricsys.com/discussion/19279


    Regards,

    Jason Bourhill

    CAD Concepts


  • Whoops, look like I spoke too soon.

    The file I was sent was in AutoCAD 2007 dwg format. It would seem the act of saving it to a later version (2013) removed the infection. If you have received a dwg in a more recent format, then looks like there are two options:
    1. Save the file back to 2007 format or earlier, then open this file and save it to a later version.
    2. Save the file to Ascii DXF, then open and save as a dwg.

    Attach an infected (Academic) file saved in AutoCAD 2014, in case you want to have a play. I tested outputted files by opening with DWG TrueView

    Regards,

    Jason Bourhill

    CAD Concepts

     

    pl_g_ACAD_2014.zip

  •  I have ran across this recently.  Just saving in bricscad will not fix this.  Wblock out the entities that you need only as a 2000 dxf and this message will go away.  on the wblocked file.
  • Well, all this doesn't sound very comforting to me.
    If BricsCAD leaves such a stamp intact when saving, warning users upon opening or inserting such data is a must.
    Roy, please file a SR...
  • I am a little worried myself now. I will submit a support request.
  • The Education version of AutoCAD is not supposed to used for any commercial drawings.
    It is Autodesk's strategy to promote awareness and sales of AutoCAD through students.
    This is a good security measure.
  • Arthur,

    I disagree with your sentiment. Like all protection measures, these actions tends to impact on legitimate users, not the illegitimate.

    My personal opinion is that it is not Bricsys' responsibility to actively provide measures to remove this type of stamping from a drawing file. However I would like to have more information provided to me about the files that I open. This would allow me to make my own decision about what action to take. Academic drawings aren't the only issue. Drawings created using proxy objects are also an issue.

    I think BricsCAD should be more verbose when opening a drawing file eg:

    : Opening: DWG
    : Format:   2007 (AC1021)
    : Source:   AutoDESK Educational
    : Poxie(s): Civil3D, Plant3D

    Finally the way AutoDESK allows its users to work with Educational files is continuing to evolve. See this forum post.
    ACAD 2014 and Educational Version plot stamp
    No doubt this is due to backlash from their own users. If only they new the freedom that comes with BricsCAD :)


    Regards,

    Jason Bourhill

    CAD Concepts





  • I can only second Jason's remarks.

    I already asked for the open and save commands to echo file name and format to the command line in a recent SR (45011), but did not get an answer so far. The educational stamp as well as proxies would IMO rather merit a pop-up warning, since few people will watch the command log each time they open a file.

    While the degree of verbosity of the open and save commands may be subject to discussion, probably everybody will agree that the recover and audit commands should be much more verbose. My expectation would be to have them report all available information on the file (drawing properties, number and kind of graphical and non-graphical entities, unreferenced data...) , optionally logging the output to disk. Pop-up warnings would not be necessary in this case, instead the command window should be opened  /  moved to the foreground.
  • Bricsys has responded to my SR. It is bad news I am afraid.
    Apart from mentioning the http://www.jtbworld.com/edufinder.htm source and quoting from that source the main message is:
    If you open in BricsCAD the stamp is ignored for all operations but it is kept intact on save.

    So if you open any AutoCAD drawing and continue working in that file you are effectively at risk. The scenario below (which is part of my SR) would be the worst case scenario.

    Scenario:
    A user finds a usefull template on the WWW with an educational stamp that he is unaware of.
    Using this template new drawings are created and get sent out to AutoCAD users.
    AutoCAD users receive educational stamp warnings, making the BricCAD user look bad, and their files potentially get infected.
  • Maybe they have to follow that line for legal reasons. But in this case it is totally unacceptable not to warn their customers appropriately when opening such files.
  • I am not sure of the logic in stating that a plan with an EDU stamp makes a BricsCAD user look bad, if you are passing along an drawing with the EDU stamp that you were paid to produce maybe you should look bad.  The one that is bad is the AUTOCAD user that passed along the EDU stamped drawing.  EDU ACAD CANNOT be used for commercial purposes, for the stamp to be in any drawing you receive in the coarse of conducting business is prohibited by the EULA of the EDU version.  Let anyone you receive plans from know that if you receive a drawing with the EDU stamp, that they are responsible for the cost of cleanup....
  • I have an actual case that's worse than Roy's hypothetical scenario. I opened an infected drawing file on my company's server.

    It was a drawing of existing conditions that had been created in the office by an intern. But he took the file home to finish it on his EDU version, without telling anyone. He put it back on the server, and then I opened it to use the as-built plan to begin design drawings and later construction drawings.

    With no warning from Bricscad, and since the banner didn't appear when I printed, I had no reason to think the file was infected. I didn't even know there was an educational version of Autocad, much less that a file edited by it would keep the EDU status when saved from Bricscad.

    I finally discovered that my file was EDU-stamped when someone else opened it in Autocad and asked me why it had that warning. We traced through the process and found out what the intern had done, and I thought that was the end of it. I couldn't remove the infection, but I just said that I would have to do any printing from that file; and I thought the problem was solved.

    But it wasn't. I had created a lot of useful geometry in that file, and so as usual I had copied some of it into files that I created later for other projects, not knowing that the EDU stamp spreads like a virus.

    After reading this forum, it occurred to me to check all the projects I've worked on since then by opening them in Autocad, and I found several that were infected. So no one else in the firm will be able to print from those files, and any consultants or clients we sent any of those files to must think we're using illegal software.

    The worst thing about this is that other people in the firm will see it as Bricscad's fault. The problem was caused by Autocad, but when people are accustomed to one product and find a new problem arising when they shift to another product they blame the new product. I'm always trying to pursuade them to try Bricscad, but this is a real setback.
  • Anthony, reading your contribution it seems that BricsCAD will also spread the problem if you copy-paste from an infected file. If that is correct then the statement from Bricsys support would not be entirely correct.
    Have you tried 'wblocking' the entire drawing? Just a suggestion, I don't know if it will help.
  • @ Bruce
    Sorry, but I think you missed the point: nobody here stated that BricsCAD should remove the stamp. Just the combination of happily passing it on without notifying its users is highly problematic.
    I am no lawyer, but I guess it would indeed be a viable option to ignore the stamp completely (which would mean not writing it) - however, legal considerations aside, it is absolutely not in Bricsys' business interest to ease the illegal use of AutoCAD educational versions, so there is no incentive for them to do so.
    But if BricsCAD passes the stamp on, I expect the same level of warnings that an AutoCAD user gets.

    And yes, I think it definitely makes BricsCAD users look bad if they - not even knowing of the existence of such stamps -  hand out infected drawings.
  • Update: I just read that TrueView 2015 is removing the stamp without further notice on re-save. So I really can see no reason why BricsCAD shouldn't do the same - unless they don't know how to do that.
  • Roy, your last post has led to a solution to my immediate problem. Since you suggested that Copyclip & Paste should not transfer the infection, I did an experiment and confirmed that it does not. I also found that New Layout From Template does not transfer it, nor does Wblock.

    In fact, the only methods I found that will transfer the infection are:
    1. Using Save As to create a new file.
    2. Attaching an infected file as an Xref.

    So it's easy to get rid of the EDU virus:  Detach any xref to an infected file, then start a new file and use CopyClip & Paste and New Layout From Template to copy all the remaining geometry into it.

    Of course, there's still the problem of how to know that a file is infected before using it; but I suppose I can simply test any file downloaded from the internet or obtained from a student, neither of which happens very often.

  • Thank you for that feedback Anthony. But to get a dwg with a new header (without the EDU stamp) using the _(-)WBLOCK command with the 'entire drawing' option would then be the most efficient approach. This will also export all the layouts. There are only two issues that I am aware of. You loose all unreferenced 'purgeable' data. And the layouts in the new file will be in the reversed order.
  • Yes, that works, Roy, and very nicely; a single command creates a non-infected file. Thanks for the tip. I've never before made a Wblock of an entire file, and I didn't realize that it creates the layouts as well.
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