Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is Pre-owned Microsoft ‘Volume’ licensing?

Microsoft ‘Volume’ licensing programs include Open, Select and Enterprise Licence Agreements, which authorise one or more computer program(s) such as Office 2019 to be used on a large number of computers or by a large number of users. A pre-owned (otherwise known as ‘secondary’ / ‘used’) Microsoft software licence denotes ‘perpetual’ software (software that is not rented) that has previously been paid for in full and has first been put into use by the original supplier / Microsoft customer.

2. Is it legal to buy / sell pre-owned software licences?

Yes and in July 2012, a landmark decision was reached by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in a case involving Oracle. The case reaffirmed the legalities of the secondary software licensing market created in 2004/5, the European Exhaustion Principle and the European Software Directive that was created in 1991.

3. How can I be certain that the pre-owned Microsoft software I am purchasing is legal in terms of the local governing laws and the software manufacturer?

In order for a secondary Microsoft Volume software licence transaction to be protected under the European Software Directive 2009, a legitimate secondary software supplier should be able to demonstrate that for every transaction:

• The original Microsoft customer’s unique Volume Licence Agreement (LA) numbers are supplied, which identify the company that first purchased the software and what was purchased;

• Confirmation that the software has been divested and uninstalled from the original Microsoft customer’s servers – we refer to this as a ‘Deletion’ statement;

• Ownership documentation leading back to the original Microsoft customer;

• The Microsoft Volume software licences were first ‘put into use’ within Europe – this is the ‘original Country of Use‘ where the software was installed / used and can be verified with Microsoft.

In order to provide 100% transparency, Discount-Licensing has built a unique client web portal called the ‘Secondary Software Licence Centre’ (SSLC), though which it provides media downloads as well as full proof of ownership documentation for every transaction in accordance with the ECJ ruling and the Software Directive 2009.

4. Following the UK government’s decision to leave the European Union (EU), how does this affect the way that my company can buy / sell pre-owned software from / to Discount-Licensing?

At the start of 2021, Discount-Licensing incorporated its EU Headquarters (in Spain) in order to ensure the ongoing legal trade of pre-owned software licences throughout Europe and the United Kingdom: Click here to understand the impact of the EU-UK Treaty on pre-owned software licence trading.

5. 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.

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

Discount-Licensing sources surplus or disused Microsoft ‘volume’ licence agreements from organisations that no longer require their software licences; for instance, an organisation is migrating to a more recent version, downsizing, moving to the Cloud 365, Hybrid solution . We do not supply ‘FPP’ or ‘OEM’ products.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. I am thinking of purchasing a previous version product such as Office 2019. 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.

10. Do you supply licences from other software manufacturers?