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A Guide to Second-hand Software

Let's examine the facts and dispel the myths regarding the legalities of the secondary software licence industry…

Download the guide to second hand software

Legalities of European Secondary Software Market Affirmed

European Court of Justice sets precedent with landmark decision. Intangible / Digital software can be resold regardless of software manufacturer's terms and conditions…

Click here to read more

Trade In Your Disused Software Licences!

Discount-Licensing can offer your company an immediate residual value for your disused or surplus software assets. For a free valuation, use the Quick Enquiry or fill in our procurement contact form…

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is Microsoft ‘Volume’ licensing?

Volume licensing programs are tailored to the size and purchasing preference of your company. These programs include Open, Select and Enterprise. Each provides a more flexible solution compared to Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) or Fully Packaged Product (FPP) licensing. The Open licence program is designed for companies that have as few as five desktop PCs. The Select and Enterprise licence programs are designed for corporate, government, and academic organisations that have 250 or more desktop PCs.

2. How do I purchase pre-owned Microsoft licence agreements from Discount-Licensing?

Once a suitable licence agreement(s) has been identified and we have received your purchase order, Discount-Licensing will then re-confirm the availability of the licences. We will send you the appropriate documentation, which contains the licence agreement details, media and Volume Licence Keys.

3. What are the legalities of transferring pre-owned software licences?

Discount-Licensing transfers the ownership of the licences to your company by supplying the relevant licence details contained within the invoice (delivery of product). In accordance with the European Software Directive 2009, it is legal to transfer the ownership as well as the LA/PUR’s from either an insolvent or solvent company to another solvent business as long as the sales transaction adheres to the local governing laws.

In July 2012, a landmark decision was reached by the European Court of Justice in a case involving Oracle. It is important to note that Oracle’s stance on transfers was very prohibitive from the start and in contrast to the transfer provision provided by Microsoft within its LA’s; however the case served to reaffirm the legalities of the secondary software licensing markets, the Exhaustion Principle and the European Software Directive 2009. 

4. Microsoft has changed its transfer terms and conditions. Does this mean companies cannot now purchase pre-owned Open licences?

No.  The current terms do have added restrictions regarding the transfer of the software licence assets; however, the European Court of Justice ruling of July 2012 prevents the software vendors from controlling subsequent sales / transfers of software licence assests (tangible or intangible) - restrictive or prohibitive transfer clauses inserted into an LA are not legally enforceable.

5. How can I be certain that the licences that I am purchasing are genuine and that the transfer is 100% legal in the eyes of the software manufacturer?

You may need more than a reseller’s invoice, purchase certificate or Notary’s attestation, which only shows that a legally empowered witness has certified a previous purchase. Such documents do not prove legal ownership running all the way back to the original customer.  Discount-Licensing will provide proof of ownership documentation for every transaction, in accordance with the EU Software Directive 2009.

6. I have discovered that my business is not Microsoft licence compliant. Can I purchase pre-owned licensing to rectify the problem?

Yes. Companies may legally purchase pre-owned licensing either for new software installations or when a company realises that it is not licence compliant (before or after a Software Asset Management ‘SAM’ audit). A company has the legal right to purchase either ‘pre-owned’ and/or ‘new’ licensing in order to correct its non-licence compliant position ongoing.

7. Where are pre-owned Microsoft software licences sourced from?

Discount-Licensing sources surplus or disused Microsoft ‘volume’ licence agreements from EU / EEA insolvencies and solvent organisations - this includes 'Open', 'Select' and 'Enterprise' licensing - we do not currently supply 'FPP' or 'OEM' product. We work closely with the owners of the licence agreement(s) as well as the software manufacturer. These close relationships enable Discount-Licensing to investigate the make-up of the licence agreements and confirm whether they are legally transferable.

8. My business is not based within the UK. Can I purchase a pre-owned licence agreement from Discount-Licensing and then use the licences outside the UK?

Yes. Your business can legally use the pre-owned licence agreements for use in your required country / region.

9. If I purchase pre-owned licences from Discount-Licensing, does my business have the right to use the software in my local language?

Yes. As long as Microsoft’s cross-language terms and conditions are adhered to, your business may use the software in its local language. When submitting your enquiry, please confirm the language you require and Discount-Licensing will clarify your language rights.

10. Can you split a pre-owned Licence Agreement?

Yes. Licence Agreements (LA) are simply a set of numbers identifying a customer (corporate entity) that contain numerous ‘licences’ (product SKU’s).  In accordance with the ECJ ruling of July 2012, the LA can be split down to ‘licence’ level but no further. The ECJ ruling regarding Oracle refers to a specific Oracle ‘licence’ product SKU that contained 25 CALs. An LA that contains 100 blocks (2500 CALs) can broken down and sold to 100 different customers but you cannot break down the individual licence blocks of 25. Likewise, a Microsoft LA containing 100 x Office 2016 STD licences can be resold as ‘1 x Office 2016 STD’ to 100 different customers; however you cannot break down the single Office licence and resell it to different customers as 1 x Word / 1 x Excel etc.

11. Can I purchase a pre-owned Open agreement if I already have a Select or Enterprise licence agreement?

Yes. You may own an Open, Select and Enterprise licence agreement without affecting your user rights.

12. I am thinking of purchasing a previous version product such as Office 2010. How much longer does Microsoft support these products?

Microsoft has extended its support dates for most products. You can view the extended support dates within the following link: Microsoft Product Support Dates.

13. Do you supply licences from other software manufacturers?

Yes. Whilst Discount-Licensing concentrates on supplying Microsoft volume licensing, we now supply pre-owned licensing from other software manufacturers such as SAP. As we do not currently display non-Microsoft products on our website, simply submit your enquiry and we will confirm availability.

14. Is Discount-Licensing also active within the Public sector as well as the Private sector?

Yes. Discount-Licensing started secondary licence transfers to Public sector bodies back in 2010.  Click here for more information.