Expertise: licensing

A rough guide to the software market

How do I get the best value for money when licensing software?

The price of a license can vary wildly depending on the number of users, installations and processors. To avoid any nasty surprises it’s important to have these figures ready before negotiating the license. It’s also worth considering how your use of the software might change in the future. Is further payment necessary if you reinstall the software on upgraded hardware? Do you have to pay per core in the case of virtualisation? If you know the answers to these questions, you’ve taken the first steps to getting a good deal.

Is it illegal to use second-hand software?

Thanks to the European Court of Justice, it should be legally possible to use, download and install updates of second-hand software, even if the original license prohibits resale. However, we said ‘should’ because software companies are still dealing with this new reality and there are some conditions. First, the company originally licensing the software should have received a fair payment. Second, the license should be perpetual. Finally, the company reselling the license has to remove downloads and/or installations. If that’s all done, you should be good to go.

Are there really no strings attached?

There are always strings attached! As this ruling will impact sales, we expect software companies will try to get around this ruling by crafting newly worded licenses. To make sure you’re covered, we recommend that you approach second-hand software with the same caution and preparation as new software. Before going crazy in the second-hand software market, make sure you check the license conditions to see whether the ruling apples.