On this page you will learn:

- When software requires a licence

- Concurrent exception

The problem
If software is available (installed or accessible to a user) then a licence is required, whether it is used or not.....

There is often debate around this point as many people feel that a licence should only be required when software is used.  But contractually the software publishers are clear and you should take this very seriously.

It all comes down to potential.  If a user or machine CAN run software, then you must assume that a licence is needed, unless it is agreed with the software publisher that this is not the case for that particular product.

NB - Always make sure that anything that is agreed with a publisher is recorded in writing, otherwise it will not be worth anything come judgement day.

This means that:
  • Any software that is installed on a machine but not used requires a licence.
  • Any software that is available to a user but not used requires a licence.
  • Any software sitting on machines that are not used, for example they are held in store, requires a licence.

So you can see how expensive it can be to have a lack of control of your machines and users and have software sitting there that isn't used just waiting for a publisher to walk through the door and find it...

Everyone does it but be careful

It is one of the fundamental mistakes that any organisation that runs software is capable of making, unless there are sufficient controls in place to stop it.

Most software is so easily copied and installed, it is not unusual for it to be deployed without proper licensing being in place.

From a business perspective it is easier to have everything loaded onto machines so that should a user need a piece of software it is there without delay.

From an IT Support perspective your engineers don't want to be thinking about whether something is properly licensed, you just need them to install and move on.

There are all sorts of reasons why it is easier to have software installed or accessible rather than not, but the financial consequences can be dramatic.

Simple Rule - The more users that have access to software, the more licences are required.

Concurrent licensing
The only exception is with concurrent licensing where the number of connections is limited, beyond which any new connections must wait for another user or device to disconnect - see licence models (F)

Citrix concurrency confusion -
Citrix licences are usually based on the concurrent model, but applications deployed over Citrix (for example Microsoft Office) all require a separate licence as Microsoft does not support concurrent licensing.  (For more detail see Citrix in our Reconciliation section)

Now we look at the importance of having The right licence...