Finding the Right License Scheme for your Software
Software companies rely on license fees for their revenues. A number of different licensing schemes are available and each type has its advantages. The exact choice of licence scheme will depend on the target user and their way of deriving utility from the software. Below, you will find a detailed explanation of six types of license schemes. As a producer or consumer, knowledge of these different forms will assist you to choose what is right for your personal or organizational use.
1. License by user
License by user infers that only one person has authorization to use the particular software. The user may use different devices but no other user is allowed to use the same software. If there are many employees in an organization, everyone has to get their own license. License per user works well with web-based software that does not tie a user to a particular physical location.
2. License by installation
This is different from the license by user because it does not restrict the number of users that can use the software. Instead, it restricts the usage of the software to only one device. If the software installation happens on a laptop or a tablet and the licensing also happens for that device, then any person who accesses the device will be able to use the software. Sellers prefer this license model when they expect very little mobility of the user and the software. The scheme works best for software bought for personal use.
3. License by client
When the software deployment takes place in a server environment where there are many server-clients, sellers may opt to licence by client. In this case, all devices that connect to the server to use the software will need a license. In addition, it is common for sellers to issue a license for the server that clients connect to, in the organization.
4. No license fees
Sometimes software can arise out of a voluntary effort and the creators may not have an inclination to earn from their work. In other cases, companies choose to not to sell their software license in the hope that, they will recoup their production costs when they provide paid support. Most open source software use a no license fees scheme.
5. Licence by developer
Just as some businesses only deal with other businesses, some software only works by assisting other software developers to create solutions for their customers. Development tools and libraries are critical software development components. The person using these tools may be compelled to acquire a developer license; however, the resulting software sold to end users will not be part of the license by developer.
6. License by site
Sometimes an organization has many employees with a high staff turnover. It does not make economic sense to buy every staff a user license. In addition, some employees might be working remotely and therefore need more than the license by installation, since they use more than one device. Such organizations and businesses can opt to acquire site licenses if the software seller offers them. The license by site allows anyone within the unit that qualifies as the site, to use the software. In most cases site can mean a physical local or an organization. For example, with organization as the site, the license may allow everyone who is an employee to access to the software irrespective of his or her location.
The exact limits of the rights of usage given by a specific license will always depend on the license scheme used. By following the description of each license scheme listed above you will be in a good position to select what will work best for your organization. The right license affords you the support that you need to keep your devices and organization secure. For sellers, choosing the right license scheme gives you the right options of marketing your software to clients.