What you need to know about changes in Software Licencing

Author: Kieron Doyle

Licencing laws from software companies haven’t always been effective. For some they were ignored, but for many others they seemed too complicated or were simply misunderstood. This wasn’t at all ideal for the companies, who have brought in a number of changes in recent years. These changes are aimed at stopping misuse of software and making people understand the proper use of a license, to avoid the loss of income and additional work for the software companies.

Bringing in these changes is also about a show of authority from software companies. Many businesses may have been too relaxed over their compliance with licencing regulations, either by choice or through poor awareness of the requirements, but also because of a lack of consequence for not following the right process. The software companies want you to know that they will no longer tolerate misuse of or a disregard for licenses, so they’ve made a number of key changes.

Clearer messages

It’s no longer an ambiguous area; software companies are making their messages clearer and much more overt, through their terms and marketing. This sets expectations early on, and highlights that the directors of businesses that are non-compliant or abuse licensing laws will be held accountable, and could face substantial fines or even imprisonment.


Businesses are no longer left to carry on as normal, and software companies are making themselves much more visible, showing off their requirements and asking for evidence of compliance, leaving little room for delays or excuses from non compliant businesses.

Time-locked licence keys

These keys mean that the software will no longer work after the agreed end date of a license. Typically these are annual agreements that can be easily renewed, but they remove the risk of businesses continuing use of products after the license has expired.

Cloud licencing

There has been a boom in Could licensing in recent years, and this has led to changes in how licenses are issued and maintained. It’s easier for many businesses to keep on top of version control, access quicker support and manage the cost, making it a more attractive option. It also allows greater control, monitoring, cross selling and repeat custom for the software companies so it’s a win win situation for all parties.

Because of the lack of clarity in the past, some businesses have fallen foul of purchasing licenses that are not appropriate for their platforms, or cannot be correctly configured to their network. Even with licensing now being made much easier it’s important to know you are getting the best product to fit your business needs both now and in the future, so having a skilled and trusted IT company to support you in making these choices is always a good idea.

If you want to discuss what licensing your business needs, or you have any other software queries, we have an experienced team of experts waiting to show how Clifton IT can help you.

< Back to all Blog posts

Book a free IT health check today

If you are unsure of what IT requirements you have, or how to upgrade your existing system, book in for a free IT health check. We will assess all of your systems and plans and come up with a solution for your individual IT needs.