License of a Compiled version of Armor Paint

I was looking for free alternatives to Substance Painter because the company where I’m working as an artist finds it a bit expensive to pay for a Substance Painter license on a monthly basis (mostly only I will be using it anyway). I came across the solution called Armor Paint (Quixel Mixer is free only if you’re working on an Unreal project). However, over the past few years, Armor Painter has become a non-free software.

Some people under a video mentioned something like this: “To everyone saying Armor Paint isn’t free, it is free if you compile it yourself.”

In this case, what does this mean? Also, if the developers has made Armor Paint non-free, doesn’t it become risky to use a “compiled” version for commercial jobs or work?

What is the license for these ‘self-compiled’ versions?

The thing about this software - and many others - is that it’s open source. This means you can do, quite literally, whatever you’d like with it. It’s completely free reign to modify, use, sell, whatever.

This is the (relatively, remarkably short) license, verbatim. Emphasis added by me, for the sake of readability.

This software is provided ‘as-is’, without any express or implied warranty. In no event will the authors be held liable for any damages arising from the use of this software. Permission is granted to anyone to use this software for any purpose, including commercial applications, and to alter it and redistribute it freely, subject to the following restrictions: The origin of this software must not be misrepresented; you must not claim that you wrote the original software. If you use this software in a product, an acknowledgment in the product documentation would be appreciated but is not required. Altered source versions must be plainly marked as such, and must not be misrepresented as being the original software. This notice may not be removed or altered from any source distribution.

As such, the only thing being paid for is the “built” program, distributed by the Armory team for the sole purposes of ease of access for users and moderate funding to continue development. You may obtain the program via any means, not just via the Armory team, so in essence you may either obtain the program from a friend for free or compile and build the program yourself and both options are completely legal and you will get to keep the program as long as you’d like.

It is not risky to use ArmorPaint in any commercial setting, as the license explicitly states:

Permission is granted to anyone to use this software for any purpose, including commercial applications (. . .)

It’s important to note the difference between “free” as in “gratis”, or “free beer”, and “free” as in “freedom”, which does not necessarily mean the former. ArmorPaint is a “free” program in the second definition, whereas some other open source programs take the first approach. This does not mean you are required to pay for it, just that the team themselves will not provide you with the program without payment. You are allowed to obtain it any way you’d like, with no guarantee of quality from the developers; but if you’d like to get a guaranteed, official, working build of the program, you need to pay the Armory team.

Hope this helps!