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Licensing Misuse

Is Licensing Misuse Piracy?

September 1, 2008

Microsoft recently made the statement that they consider any unlicensed use of their software to be an act of piracy regardless of whether the use is intentional or not. Traditionally piracy is defined as illegally copied or counterfeit software. Microsoft spokesman Keith Beeman gave an interesting interview to itBusiness. In the interview he admitted that although they consider licensing misuse piracy they will not use the term when speaking with clients: With customers we don’t go in and say ‘hey, we think you’re pirating our software,’ we say ‘we think you have issues with license and asset management. People have a very different connotation when you say piracy vs. under-licensing or license mismanagement.”

Microsoft reports that the problem of license misuse is pervasive and is found throughout the business world from large enterprises to SME’s. Beeman also explained that often licensing misuse is unintentional and sometimes even large companies buy pirated software from a source they trust without realizing it that the software is infringing.

Regardless of whether it is called license misuse or piracy any business which uses computers, pretty much everyone nowadays, should be aware of the issue. Bringing your software into compliance doesn’t have to be costly and can even save a company money. According to itBusiness “More often though it’s an issue of poor IT asset management. And Beeman said often these tools discover license under-deployment, meaning companies can often save money through better use of what they have.”

For the full article click here