Every software author has the legal right to insist that you use their software according to the LSA. They also have to right to verify that you are in compliance. Autodesk has a License Compliance team conducting routine LC audits on all customers. It’s not a case of “if”, but “when” you will be audited. We at Enceptia recommend that you perform your own audit before you are required to conduct an official one. You can quickly and easily correct any problems you may find with a proactive check, but problems discovered during an official audit are unforgiving and expensive.
Check every computer and make a list of what’s installed. This can be done manually or using various software auditing products. Verify that you have enough licenses. Don’t just assume you have the licenses; find your proof of purchase. Uninstall unused or extra software. Educate your employees on the risks of installing software without management’s authorization. In the end, the efforts needed to do this are trivial compared to the expenses of failing an official audit.
The licenses you purchase are generally for use within the country or territory in which you purchased them. For example, if you bought your Autodesk license from Enceptia, you have the right to use it within the United States. If you have an active Maintenance Subscription Agreement, you are also allowed to temporarily use the software outside the USA while traveling. If you permanently move to another country, you must pay a fee to transfer the license to that new region or country. If you host your Autodesk applications on a Citrix or VDI server, only people within the same country can use that software. But you can purchase Extra Territorial Rights (ETR) which allows you to use the software in multiple countries or regions.
Autodesk Maintenance Subscription customers are entitled to use certain Previous Versions of Autodesk products concurrently with the most current release. These are not additional licenses; just the right to use older versions on the same computers. Typically, this includes the three previous versions. For example, 2015 is current, so Previous Use would include 2014, 2013 and 2012. Most, but not all, Autodesk products are eligible for Previous Version Use. Availability can be found on the Previous Version Eligible Product List within Subscription Center.
Home Use is a benefit available to Autodesk Maintenance Subscription customers. Home Use allows you or your employees to install a second copy of the software at a home location away from your office for work related to business, personal education, or for training needs. Most, but not all, Autodesk products are eligible for Home Use. You’ll find more information about Home Use when you log into Autodesk Subscription Center.
Traditionally, Autodesk has offered its software as a perpetual license. Once acquired, you had the right to use that version of the software forever. Autodesk still sells perpetual licenses, but they also offer licenses that work for a specific time period. These time-limited licenses enable the software to run for 30 days, 90 days, or one year based upon your needs. Autodesk calls this Desktop Subscription and you can think of it as renting the software. Unlike cloud services, Desktop Subscription is installed and activated just like perpetual licenses. You can auto-renew or choose to have it expire at the end of the billing cycle. Desktop Subscription is ideal for temporary project-based work or for summer interns.
Autodesk licenses most of its products as either Standalone or Network. The Standalone license is what we often think of as the traditional method of acquiring software. You have one serial number that can be installed on one computer. Autodesk products must be activated in order to fully operate beyond a brief evaluation period. The activation process ties that one serial number to a specific computer. Multi-seat Standalone licenses are similar, but you acquire X number of activations (or right-to-use) for one serial number. This is often preferable for CAD managers as they only need to track one serial number. There’s no difference in cost or the installation process – if you purchase a ten license Multi-seat Standalone, you have the right to install and activate it on ten computers. It’s just fewer serial numbers to keep track of. Network licenses cost more, but they allow you to issue licenses from a centralized server. This enables sharing the licenses among many users. Network licensing is efficient for casual users such as project managers who may not need to use the software all day long. Many can share a few licenses. Network licensing also helps prevent one of the most common license compliance problems – installing the software too many times.
The LSA is accessible from within the software by selecting the Help pull-down menu and clicking on About. In AutoCAD or any AutoCAD-based product, you can enter ABOUT in the command line. Select Product Information and then click License Agreement to see the LSA. You can also find current and past versions of the LSA on the Autodesk website. Go to Autodesk.com, and enter “LSA 2015″ into the search field at the top right of the home page. The LSA is specific to the version you are using. If you upgrade or install the latest version provided by your Autodesk Subscription agreement, then you are bound to that latest LSA for all versions that you use. The latest one rules all.
Click here to see the Autodesk 2015 License and Service Agreement
Autodesk licenses are usually not transferable to another entity. But, there are certain specific conditions under which Autodesk licenses might be transferred – usually as a part of a company sale. The Autodesk Transfer of License process, or “ToL” as it is known, requires you to complete a form that you can obtain from the Autodesk website – search for “ToL”. Typically, you can only transfer your license to a company, not to an individual. And the transfer must be part of a merger or acquisition, not just an asset sale. Read the details and FAQ on the Autodesk website.
Software is not sold. Rather, it is licensed by the author to the end user under the terms specified in a software license agreement. What this means is that you are paying for the right to use the software in a specific way. For Autodesk products, the terms are known as the Autodesk License and Services Agreement (LSA) and it sets forth how you may use Autodesk products. The right-to-use that you acquire is also unique in that it is generally non-transferable. In other words, the license has no inherent value as it cannot be sold to another party.
At Autodesk’s request, we have removed a previous post about PMCut software. We await additional information from Autodesk. We apologize for any inconvenience.