Here's a very common scenario: someone in the office buys a copy of a software program such as Adobe Photoshop and before you know it, everyone has installed it. It all seems so innocuous the problem is, it's not legal, Your company is now out of compliance with the software program's licensing agreement and can face stiff audit-related fines (up to $150,000 per infraction according to Automation Access). What can you do to protect your organization and ensure software license compliance? Here are three simple steps to get you started.
Know your company's software licensing policy inside and out Usually you do not own the software you license. It's only a lease; the software publisher still owns the software. And you might not even realize that you are pirating software because licensing
there are multiple license types, including open licensing, OEM, per PC (non-concurrent), per user (concurrent), volume licensing, licensing, competitive upgrade licensing and subscription licensing for software as a service, among others. An example of per PC licensing would be Microsoft licenses, which are non-concurrent.
That means if you have 400 PCs in your business that run Windows Office, you must pay for 400 copies of Windows Office. While that seems fairly simple and easy to manage, it can get quite confusing.
Some companies might ghost an image to create a standardized desktop throughout an organization without paying for additional licenses, for example.
Thus, a very easy way for companies to become out of compliance with a license agreement is to install software on more PCs than the number specified in the license. That means while it's necessary to fully understand your license agreements, it is just as important to carefully track the software they cover in order to stay in compliance.