Home / Pre-owned software: what to watch out when buying?

Home / Pre-owned software: what to watch out when buying?

What are pre-owned software licenses?


You are considering buying pre-owned Microsoft software? More and more companies (SMEs) are using these second hand licenses for their organisation. In fact, with their used Microsoft licenses they save more than 50% on their expenses compared to buying new licenses. In this article an overview of the key aspect of pre-owned licenses.


Choose the right volume license

Thinking of a new license for your SME? The OLP licenses are probably the most suitable. By making this choice, you opt for the open licensing program with which you can use the licenses forever, with their biggest advantage: scalability. In order to use this open license, the purchase must be made for a minimum of 5 licensing units of Microsoft products at the time of the first order. The number of licenses you will need depends on the number of employees who will use them.

Firstly, pay attention to the software’s features. For example, an SNGL license means Single Language and indicates that you can install the software in one single language. The reach of second-hand software is exactly the same as for new software. In other words, the scope of the software license is limited to the license conditions of the software owner. Secondly, be aware that the only drawback of second-hand Microsoft software is that it cannot be included in Microsoft’s Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC). However, registration of the license in the VLSC is neither necessary nor mandatory. This can only be useful if the VLSC is used as a management portal for your licenses.


Suitable for audits and investigations

The software is not a physical product sold like cars or computers. Software is an intellectual property and copyrighted. The person entitled to software authorizes others to use it through the license. The content and scope of a license is your choice, but in practice we often work with a few standard forms. A well-known example is the EULA (End User Licensing Agreement): a license that allows use for internal purposes, but not resale. Another example is the OEM license, under which you can group software with a computer and sell it together.

Many standard software licenses stipulate that, after payment of a single amount, the software can be used forever. In C-128/11, Europe’s highest court, the European Court of Justice, ruled that such licenses constituted a “sale” of the software. This means that you can resell these licenses to third parties, in other words, pre-owned licenses are legal.


Requirements for pre-owned licenses

To be eligible for sale, a license must meet a number of requirements:

  • The software license was introduced into the trade of one of the European Union countries with the permission of the software owner;
  • The software’s license was obtained indefinitely;
  • There is no other charge for using the software license.
  • The software license is not used at the time of delivery;
  • The software license is not split or otherwise incomplete.


Contractual arrangements

A copyright holder may, of course, include in his licensing agreements that the resale is not allowed. Whatever the wording, according to the European Court of Justice, this is not binding if the above requirements are met. It is not intended that the legal right of exhaustion will be blocked by creative contractual provisions.

We have experience audits with some of our customers who have purchased pre-owned Microsoft licenses. The latter audits showed each time that the software could be used without problems. As a result, we are in a good position to advise you so that you don’t have to worry after buying pre-owned software.


Buy pre-owned software that is valid

Finally, it is essential to buy 100% valid pre-owned software. For a pre-owned Microsoft license you need to be able to use it, just like you would with new software. We make sure this is the case, by advising you or by making a choice yourself among the licenses that we can offer you for purchase. This step can be done simply online, where you also have the option to sell licenses or become a reseller.

In conclusion, we are pleased to be the pre-owned or second-hand software licensing specialist who is able to advise and assist you in the process of purchasing this type of license. Notably, because good pre-owned software, for example from Microsoft, is much low-priced compared to new license. This means you can easily save on your expenses, provided you know how to do it right. That’s why we’re here to guarantee you a valid pre-owned Microsoft.

Do you have any questions? Contact us!

For more information about pre-owned Microsoft software and the licenses that are best for you, please contact us. We are available Monday to Friday  from  9am till 5pm

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