The purchase of a software product is the purchase of a license, i.e. the right to use it. The software license agreement is required for each program used as it provides an official right to use a specific program. Licensed software determines the owner’s right to receive income from sales of a technically produced product. The license belongs to the category of copyright laws. Without a license, all rights to own a product may be challenged in court.
The owner of the software is authorized to distribute this product, but cannot copy it more than twice. As a result, using a software licensed product, you can safely work with it without fear of unexpected crashes and leaks of information specific to pirated copies.
What is software license agreement?
In general, a license is a contract (agreement) between the owner of a computer program and the user of its copy. The main document that defines the rights and obligations of the software user is the computer software license agreement, which is attached to the purchased product either as a paper document or in electronic format. This agreement defines the rules for using this copy. In fact, the license guarantees that the software publisher who owns the exclusive rights to the program does not sue the one who uses it. In other words, the software publisher sets a certain protective framework for the use of its software. Also, exclusive or non-exclusive rights to the software may be transferred under the license agreement.
When transferring non-exclusive rights, the copyright holder grants the user the right to use the software on an equal basis with itself or other persons also authorized by the copyright holder. At the same time, the copyright holder is not deprived of the opportunity to use the software itself and to provide the right to use this software to other persons.
When transferring exclusive software license rights, the copyright holder transfers to the user the exclusive rights to software that it owns. In this case, the right holder does not have the right to exercise the powers that were transferred to the user under the agreement on the transfer of exclusive rights, as well as transfer these powers to other persons.
Types of software licenses
Basically, the software is divided into two large groups:
- free use (free and open-source licenses);
- non-free (commercial licenses).
However, there are shareware programs that can be assigned to both groups simultaneously. Such programs can be downloaded and used, but until you pay for it, you may have some problems or limitations.
Free and open-source licenses include:
- Open Source Software (source code can be modified).
- Freeware, GPL, Adware.
- Postcardware, Donationware.
- Nagware / Begware.
Shareware and commercial include:
- ShareWare, TrialWare, Demoware.
- Commercial (the main goal of such programs is to make a profit, the program code is closed).
Various developer program license agreement is the protection of their copyrights for the developers. Different types of licensing are used for each individual type of software product.
Let’s briefly analyze the meaning of each type of licensing:
- Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM). Pre-installed software is one of the cheapest options. It means that the user purchases the software together with the hardware (computer or server) and it can only be used on the purchased PC.
- Full Package Product. This product is mainly used for retail trade and is convenient for individuals or small businesses. Permission to use a software product on one computer is granted by buying one “box” and it does not matter how many people use this PC. You can also change the PC, but a certain number of times.
- Volume Licensing. A corporate software license agreement is convenient for companies that have many employees, computers, and therefore you need to purchase many licenses. In this case, the company receives one registered license for the software, which contains information about the customer (name, address, etc.), a list of software and keys for installing it. Basically, with such a licensing scheme, developers or distributors of software provide significant discounts, technical support, solutions to unusual situations, etc. for the companies ordering a personalized license. Today it is best for buying new software or updating it for companies.
- Subscription. A software licensing subscription provides for monthly or annual payments. This scheme is convenient for companies that buy more than 10 licenses. It allows users for minimal initial costs to get almost all the main advantages of using this product.
Why do you need official software license agreement?
OEM version is suitable for those who purchase new equipment. If the software is already preinstalled by the assembling company, then the equipment will be much cheaper than buying it yourself and installing it on each device. Benefit both in time and in price. The FPP computer software license is the best for those who have already purchased equipment, but do not have the required software on it, especially if the company is small and employees will use one PC for several people.
VL version is convenient for large companies that need fast technical support and the ability to solve unusual situations. And also, very good discounts are always offered when buying a license for the whole company. The SUB license is good for those who want to use the software for a short time, or do not know how much this software is useful to them. If the product is needed for long-term use, it is better to use the FPP version.
The proof of the license’s authenticity can be:
- Certificate of Authenticity (if provided by the manufacturer).
- A paper license with signs of authenticity.
- Original media with anti-counterfeiting.
Various documents attached to the product can also serve as confirmation of legality:
- End-User License Agreement (in paper or electronic form).
- Original user manual (if provided by the manufacturer).
- The original box in which the product was purchased (in case of buying a boxed version).
- Any other documentation attached to the product.
- Invoice, and also License agreement with the supplier.
It is necessary to note that the use of unlicensed copies of programs is a violation of the copyright of software product developers and entails prosecution.
The legislation of all states provides for civil, administrative, and criminal liability for software products copyright infringement.Atrium Business Solutions
A company that uses illegal copies of software products may be sued by the copyright holder, which, in addition to recognizing copyright, may require restoration of the situation that existed before copyright infringement; suppression of actions that violate copyrights or create a threat of their violation; as well as the choice of either compensation for losses, including lost profits, or recovery of income received by the violator as a result of copyright infringement, or payment of compensation. All this can negatively affect both the company’s reputation and the success of its business activities.