Actually, we're 100% serious about this one. In late 1999, we encountered a company that had violated the terms & conditions of a software license because the networked product was being accessed from a remote site that was more than 15 miles from the server room.
No kidding. This company violated their license because, hidden deep inside the agreement Ts & Cs, there was a clause limiting use of the product to a range of no more than 15 miles from the server. Do you think this is unusual? It isn’t. The legal teams representing the software publishing & copyrighted products industries seem to absolutely delight in thinking up obscure “gotchas” to slide into licenses and agreements. Sometimes, we honestly believe that these folks were trained by Nikoli Machiavelli in methods of setting up their customers to fail.
Have you read your licenses and agreements? No…we mean, really read them. Or do you take the assurances of your tech god or goddess that. “We’re in good shape…”? Personal assurances are useless if they are not backed by statistical evidence, yet the majority of companies we speak with on a daily basis will constantly quote some technician who has “assured” management that everything is fine. In our experience, companies are constantly bobsledding into the crevasses of unintentional non compliance simply because they do not thoroughly understand the serious nature and limitations of license Ts & Cs. More realistically, it’s because they never read the agreements in the first place, but we’re trying to be polite about all this.
Want to become a more effective technology asset management professional? Then recognize this bottom line reality that Al Plastow has been continuously confirming on an almost daily basis for nearly a decade.
“The vast majority of your problems with software are rooted in the terms & conditions of the original license.”
Do you have a--shall we call them "interesting"?--clause in one of your agreements? How about a "challenging" vendor tactic? Send us a copy & we’ll discuss it.