Question about commercial version

If I am using a commercial version, am I allowed to hand off a vault to someone else using a personal beta version, in order to let them look at what I am working on? I am asking this assuming that by doing this, I will lose no rights to the intellectual property.

Without an ability to publish, this appears to be my best option. The only thing I can think to do other than this is publish a pdf or construct a word document. However, I will have to re-add interactivity, which kind of defeats my purpose. However, I am fine with that, if doing what I mentioned above at all comprises the rights to my work.

Thanks. I look forward to hearing back.

I don’t get how your own notes in Markdown could ever be affected by the license type you use. You retain the right to those notes whatever happens, unless you created them in a corporate environment.

So, if you’re legally able to hand off the notes to the other guy, then it doesn’t matter what software the other party uses.

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What I am wondering is more so from their end, whether it is okay to use the free beta version to adjust and add to or comment on my project which is not just for personal use.

So then, consequently if their violation of the terms of the free version agreement shapes the path of my project, then I am part of the problem, since I gave them the vault (which includes more than just markdown files) and instructed them to download the free version of Obsidian to interact with it. I am designing a 3D animated short production, and am paying for all types of other software already to do everything legitimately, so I don’t want to ruin that over just 50 bucks. I would appreciate the peace of mind of knowing that both what I and they would be doing would be above board.

Honestly, I am guessing that it is not, since they are supposedly using it for personal use. Say they decided to join me on the project, the work they did and continued to do would not have been personal. Thanks for your response. I know I probably sound overly concerned, but I have heard of some gotchas with software use that affect more than just the individual directly involved.

My interpretation would be that if you have to give them a vault (including Obsidian cache etc) or if they have to interact with the files by using Obsidian, then they are part of your commercial enterprise.

If they choose to use Obsidian and they have no expectation of commercial benefit, then personal licence should be OK. If they expect a commercial benefit, they ought to have their own commercial license.

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Thanks. That is what I thought. It will be nice when we can eventually publish to interactive systems for people to use without having Obsidian.

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But some of this stuff is tricky.
If Obsidian is used for writing fiction, with an expectation of self-publishing and selling ebooks, that should be a commercial licence. But if, as is typical, the writer is plugging away more in hope of finishing rather than expectation, that’s probably personal. And if they do finish and sell, but there’s no profit in it it’s much more personal than commercial. Hobby not commerce. Such cases depend on interpretation developers and users.

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If you want a more definitive answer, you should ping Silver on Discord or DM here.

If this person is your coworker and his work on your files is also of commercial nature (directly related to work and generating income), they should get a commercial license as well. If not, they’re good on a personal license.

Publish beta should be out in 1-2 weeks, so you might want to wait for that. If you know how to publish onto a static page (e.g. using Gatsby), that’s also an option, if you don’t need the other person to edit anything.


Thanks! That is exactly what I wanted to hear. I am basically sharing my film project with friends but they may have insights.

However, they don’t have any expectations of making money and if they eventually did, they would purchase a license.

That is good info about Gatsby, and I really look forward to Publish.

Much appreciated.