licensing : Java Glossary
There are many ways of paying for software. The idea of software as a service like
phone service or cable TV service has not yet caught on. Instead software is sold as
if it were a piece of furniture with restrictions on how you may use it. The sorts of
licence you will most commonly see are:
Most licenses include the preposterous requirement that you only make one backup
of the program. The only sensible way to interpret that is you may make only one
backup of the original CD (Compact Disc) to store offsite, not that you are prohibited of
making more than one image backup (Ghost-style backup) of your hard disk.
The program may be installed on at most one computer. Any
number of people using that computer may use it. If a computer is replaced, you
can move the software to the replacement computer. You can move it from computer
to computer, so long as you uninstall it on the computer you are not using it on.
The program may be installed on several computers, but only
one person is allowed to use the program. If the person leaves, you can designate
a new person.
The program may be installed on several computers, but
only one person at a time by use the program.
Anyone in one building may use the program on their
Per seat licence
You must buy a license for each computer (seat) that
ever uses the program. These is usually also a base fee. This is common in
You may or may not be permitted to sell your licence.
Enforcing licenses used to be difficult, but now that most computers are attached
to the Internet, software can tattle back to central usage monitoring software to tip
off the lawyers to gross violations. It is now common for software to be branded with
the owner’s name in a tamper-proof way.
It is interesting the various sorts of rules people make up in licence agreements.
It is a window on what motivates people to program. Most people want to ensure anyone
who uses their software gives them money. Others want recognition. Others want the
purity of the original preserved. Others want wide distribution. Others want to make
a political statement.