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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Using an older version of Autodesk products after you drop subscription - Compliance issues

If I got a call from a customer today who has a large number of licenses but didn't renew subscription on some of them a few years ago.

They had Revit Architecture 2008 on subscription and installed on computers.  They they received Revit Architecture 2009 and subsequently didn't renew subscription.  At some point, they installed the 2009 version, but left the 2008 version on the machines. 

Below is the excerpt from subscription benefits.

 If your Subscription expires or otherwise terminates, your rights to use the Previous Version(s), if any, shall be determined by the terms of the Autodesk Software License, including, without limitation, the obligations to uninstall such Previous Version(s) if you are not entitled to use a Previous Version.

If they had never installed 2009, and dropped subscription, there'd be no issue.  But to have installed 2009, after 2008 and not uninstalled 2008 when their subscription lapsed is a violation of the terms of subscription agreement. 

Autodesk tracks every license you install.  They have computers.  The computers have programs.  The programs pop up red flags when you overinstall or have installed older versions after you drop subscription. 

I just wanted to make you aware of this because if it you get caught, it could get very expensive.  You reseller always tries to make sure you stay on subscription, but there's problably only 5 of us who've actually ever read the document referenced below. 

I don't know if ignorance of the rules exempts you from liability once you get that phone call or letter from the compliance division.  If you can't afford subscription, you certainly won't be able to afford the penalties of noncompliance. 

Of course, if you did drop subscription, just make sure you're running whatever the latest version was that you received and aren't using an older version.  Then, you have no issues.  If your reseller never told you about this when you dropped subscription, feel free to make me your new reseller of record.  Why waste your time with someone who doesn't give you the whole story? 

Subscription Terms & Conditions (pdf - 238Kb)

2.4 Use of Previous Versions
2.4.1 Notwithstanding anything contained in the Autodesk Software License accompanying your Software under Subscription or any Release or Software provided to you, for the Term of your Subscription, you may install and continue to use, previous version(s) of a Release preceding the most current Release of the Software that you have licensed and is under Subscription, as specifically identified in writing by Autodesk on the Previous Version Eligible Product List posted on the Autodesk Subscription Center for Previous Version use, if any, (“Previous Version(s)”), provided that the following conditions are met: (i) use of the Previous Version(s) shall be subject to the provisions of the applicable Autodesk Software License, as modified by this Section 2.4; (ii) the number of Previous Version licenses that you may use and install shall not exceed the total number of licenses of the Software that are under Subscription; (iii) if you have a standalone or a single seat of a multi-seat standalone version, the Software and all the Previous Versions of such Software shall be installed on the same computer; (iv) if you have a standalone or a single seat of a multi-seat standalone version neither the Software nor any of the Previous Versions of the Software shall be used concurrently; (v) if you have a standalone or a single seat of a multi-seat standalone version, the Previous Version(s) or any permitted copies thereof, are not transferred to another computer unless all permitted copies of the Software are also transferred to the same computer; and (vi) you are hereby acknowledging and agreeing that Autodesk does not have any obligation to provide support for the Previous Version(s) other than as set forth herein and any such obligations may be ended at any time. Further if the Previous Version you want to use is not specifically identified in writing by Autodesk on the Autodesk Subscription Center for Previous Version use, you may still be able to use that Previous Version if, you legally licensed the Previous Version(s) and your use of such Previous Versions does not exceed the total number of licenses of the Previous Versions that you originally licensed, subject to (i) through (vi) above. Notwithstanding anything in this Section 2.4.1 that may be construed to the contrary or the issuance of any authorization codes by Autodesk, unless specifically permitted by Autodesk in writing, in no event shall your use of the Software, including Previous Version(s), exceed the maximum number of licenses of the Software licensed to you and under Subscription. Please note that Previous Versions and the benefits of this section 2.4 may not be available for all Software and/or may not be available in relation to certain Previous Versions of Software.

2.4.2 Autodesk shall have the right to conduct an audit on your premises or by electronic means (with reasonable notice) to ensure that your use of all/any versions of the Software complies with the provisions of this Agreement. In the event any audit discloses a breach of this Agreement, Autodesk reserves the right to terminate this Agreement and/or recover damages, attorney's fees, and costs, including the cost of the audit.

2.4.3 If you upgrade to a separate Software license that is not specifically identified on the Previous Version Eligible Product List as a direct successor to the Software previously owned by you and from which you upgraded, the provisions of the preceding two subsections (2.4.1 and 2.4.2) shall apply only with respect to the Previous Versions of the Software to which you upgraded, and you must uninstall all copies of the Software from which you upgraded (and any Previous Versions thereto, if any) including any copies resident on your hard disk drive, and upon request by Autodesk, return any documentation to Autodesk or your Reseller within sixty (60) days of installing the upgrade. Autodesk reserves the right to require you to show satisfactory proof that the Software from which you upgraded (and any Previous Versions thereto) has been destroyed and/or to conduct the audit set forth in Section 2.4.2 above.

2.4.6Previous Versions may not be available or made available for all Software, or in all languages, or in all locations. Autodesk reserves the right to modify or terminate rights to use Previous Versions at any time, without prior notification. If your Subscription expires or otherwise terminates, your rights to use the Previous Version(s), if any, shall be determined by the terms of the Autodesk Software License, including, without limitation, the obligations to uninstall such Previous Version(s) if you are not entitled to use a Previous Version.



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