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Licensing Legalities

I am not sure if this counts as being off-topic, my apologies if it is.

We run a Term. Serv. with 26 users. I am wondering about licensing issues. If thesoftware implements some sort of safeguard to stop unlicensed use, then we only need to purchase one license to be able to give all 26 users access to the software (I talk purely from a 'technologicaly able' point of view).

And so my question becomes, how does this work with licensing? Do we need to have a license sitting in the cupboard for every user. Even if the software does not run a session check?

(ie some software requires users to logon, and checks the number of users, not all software does this).

I think I am answering my own question as I say this, however I would appreciate your thoughts.

nb. I am not after an 'okay' to cheat licensing contracts, I am just wanting an explanation.

An Aussie Chick
Thursday, August 28, 2003

legally, you're required to have licenses for each and every user of the app.  i.e. you can't have your 500 employee company running MS Office through TS and only buy 1 license of Office.  At least that's my understanding of it...  Technologically, sure it's possible... Legally - No.

GiorgioG
Thursday, August 28, 2003

I agree, I suppose it was silly to ask. I think the act of talking about it made it easier to see the 'why' of it all.

An Aussie Chick
Thursday, August 28, 2003

Giorgio,

I disagree, READ THE LICENSE, some licenses allow the software to be installed on one machine, without any questions as to TS. Some licenses allow one registered user,others are by CPU, others are by number of accounts, others still are number of concurrent sessions. It depends on the licence! If their lawyers didn't forsee Terminal Servers that is their problem not yours!

Daniel Shchyokin
Thursday, August 28, 2003

Daniel,

http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/server/howtobuy/pricing/licensoffice.asp

GiorgioG
Thursday, August 28, 2003

Whoa. I'm floored. No wonder. M$ seems to have the best attorneys who know how to squeeze every $ out of the poor consumer.

The One You Loved (TOYL)
Thursday, August 28, 2003

You are a software company, you have one product and 2 types of customers: Mom&Pop's and MegaCorps.
Mom&Pop typically use your product for a small outfit with one to ten employees running it, MegaCorps often roll it out to 100.000+ employees. Each one of them uses all your features.

Your mission, if you care to accept it, is to device a product pricing strategy that will allow for both types of sale.

Just me (Sir to you)
Thursday, August 28, 2003

And given Joel's current product marketing changes you can see that its not an easy matter.

Simon Lucy
Thursday, August 28, 2003

If the license doesn't spell it out, contact the company. I have called or e-mailed companies plenty of times with a licensing question, and they've always gone easy on me since I bothered to ask rather than just cheated.

I've gotten permission from several companies to install more than one copy of their app for various purposes. I doubt someone would need you to purchase 26 licenses for your case, but would most likely only want you to purchase one license per simultaneous user -- i.e. if you only usually have 10 users on the box at any given time, they'd only need you to have 10 licenses.

Troy King
Thursday, August 28, 2003

Reading the license agreements, while tedious, can sometimes have pleasant surprises.  There are some very useful applications that have a statement something like: "If your employer provides this software for your exclusive use at the office, then you may also install it on your home computer."

mackinac
Thursday, August 28, 2003

"I've gotten permission from several companies to install more than one copy of their app for various purposes"

*Written* permission, I hope.

Philo

Philo
Thursday, August 28, 2003

To restate what has already been stated: 

Yeah, it depends on the software.  Read the license for each software package you install.  For those that don't allow more than one user at a time on such a setup, look into floating license options (basically they allow some number of copies to run at once;  maybe you have 25 users and 3 floating licenses to Rational Rose, as an example.  In this case, only 3 people can use the software at once, but it doesn't matter which 3 people.  This obviously doesn't work well with software that many people tend to be running all the time but works great for things that are needed to do the job but don't have to be always-open by everyone).

Mister Fancypants
Thursday, August 28, 2003

Often times, they take the burden of legality away from you and make sure that their program detects if it is being run from a terminal services session and refuses to run, unless you purchase special licenses.

Flamebait Sr.
Thursday, August 28, 2003

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