Autodesk has announced 3DS Max and Maya Indie, a new licensing option for users earning under $100,000 per year. The initiative is currently only available in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK or the US, and according to the website is for a limited time only.
Cmments by Chip Weatherman suggest the limited time disclaimer refers to the fact that this is a pilot program to “determine how & where we expand it. Much like when the telecom companies offer a new channel in select areas to see how to roll it out, this is similar.”
The Indie versions of Max and Maya are fully featured with no restrictions on render size, file format, plugins, etc. There is a limit of only one indie license per business in addition to the income cap mentioned above. Users should also be aware that the license will auto-renew at full price, but this can be avoided by disabling automatic renewal and resubscribing to the Indie license once it expires.