What is a software license

Compliance & Law

Today's software licenses are designed for every imaginable individual and organization: from the simple "click to accept" format to more complex negotiated agreements. The flexibility and choice continues to increase from year to year. The Business Software Alliance (BSA) points this out in its current license guide.

Understanding the power of software and the different types of software licensing can have a significant impact on the way business decisions are made. By increasing awareness of the assets available to you, you can pool them more effectively and thereby increase productivity and efficiency in your company or organization.

Software is the result of creative work and as such - just like books, music and films - is protected by copyright law. A software license, according to the BSA definition, represents the software manufacturer's consent to the installation and use of his software on a computer.

The license contains the conditions that regulate the use of the software, in particular the scope of the license rights and all other related restrictions, for example the purpose or place of use and the hardware used. When looking at your license agreement, you will find that the license typically contains a definition of the product, the acceptance conditions and the warranty terms. More complex contracts may also contain implementation plans, confidentiality regulations, and payment terms.

In general, a software license grants the licensee a non-exclusive right to use one copy of the software by a specified number of users; Unless otherwise stated, copying and distribution of the software to other users or computers is strictly prohibited.

Regardless of the license format of the software products or the type of transaction with which the software was acquired, you should always read your license carefully to determine what rights you are entitled to. Also, find out about the copyright laws in your country.