What is Software Licensing

Software Licensing is a legal contract which is signed between the publisher of the software and the end user (i.e. the users of the software). This legal contract can either be a paper document or an online document. When the software is being sold by the developers, then it means that the developers are selling a license of the software and not the software itself. This license allows the users to use the software. Software licenses can be of a number of forms i.e. software can be licensed based on the number of computers that the software is loaded on or may be dependent on the number of users accessing the application.

Software licensing protects the manufacturers and creators from being cheated by the end users that purchase or use software and also informs the end user that how to use the software which also includes what to be done by the user or what not to be done. These documents contain the explanation in detail so that end user can understand the terms and conditions easily. These documents are normally of one or two pages and include how often the end user can install the software (e.g. in case of Antivirus) or whether the software can be copied or not (if allowed to copy then how many times the software can be copied).

The license agreement should state the following:

The user may install the software on one machine or many; he or she may also make only one copy or many. Should be mentioned whether more than one party is granted a license or not. The software and license agreement are transferable or not. Should mention if the software may only be used in certain countries. The user may not modify, lease, rent or export the software The user can modify or redistribute the source code of the product. Price of the software with license agreement.

The agreement should also contain maintenance fees and also ensure prompt payment and performance of services. Mentioning the payment after every module of work helps the publisher in avoiding hard work for getting the payment. In many cases the license agreement states that the end user do not own the software and only a disk is provided to them which contains the software (or some other medium through which software can be used).End user is only granted a limited license to use it with certain conditions imposed on it.

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