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Use by multiple users on one machine RRS feed

  • Question

  • According to the VS.NET Express Edition license terms, only the licensee (presumably the person downloading the software) is permitted to install and use the software.  Where multiple people log in to one PC (at different times) to use VS.NET Express, how should we square this?  Does each user need to go through the download process?  Or does each user need to register with Microsoft?  Or should the application be secured (e.g. via ACLs on the program files) to ensure that only one user is able to use VS.NET?  All the software is currently installed from a CD/DVD image to avoid having to connect the PC to the internet.

    Currently we have Visual C#/Basic/Web 2005 Express, but may be using 2008 in future, so clarifications for each of these would be useful.
    Friday, February 26, 2010 11:35 AM

Answers

  • Neil,

    very valid concerns and I hope I will be able to help you further.

    First of all you should recognize that a user in the license agreement it anyone who agrees to it. Since the express software itself will request new users to agree to the license agreement they will be regarded as an individual user according to the license agreement.

    If a single user installs the software and a secondary user on the same computer start using the software they are considered as two individual users of the software and not related and both need to agree to the license terms to use it.

    The first highlighted area of yours, pay attention to what is after; any number of copies . You are free to install and use the software how many times you like, and any one else that agree to the license agreement.

    From answering questions here and the occasional chat with members on the express edition team I know the spirit of the express editions are to encourage developers and give them a very professional environment with lots of support to do it in. This is not a trap!

    Back to your highlighted text, you can not make copies of the software than specified in the agreement, a bit above it states you may install any number of copies of it so this is not an restriction that you may not copy the software.

    You are not lending the software, each user of it on a single computer will have to agree to the license agreement and will at that moment become an individually licensed user of the software. Multiple users on a single computer do not lend it from the first user who installed it. They all are licensed (if they agree) users of the software.

    Make only one backup. :) You may still copy it to make any number of installations.

    To transfer the license to a third party is basically useless as anyone can download and agree to the license to get their own license. If you wish to transfer the license, uninstall your copy but to get a new license all you need to do is reinstall and agree to the license.

    The express editions are here to encourage developers, not to deter them. For educational purposes and even commercial the express editions are sufficient.

    If you are really worried about the license to create issues for you I recommend contacting microsoft support directly. These forums are mostly community driven.
    • Marked as answer by YiChun Chen Friday, March 19, 2010 3:46 AM
    Saturday, March 6, 2010 9:36 PM

All replies

  • What I understood every user of the computer that also want to use the express edition will have to agree to the license to use it, there is no need to download the software again if already installed.
    • Proposed as answer by HinoMusouka Saturday, February 27, 2010 4:26 PM
    • Marked as answer by YiChun Chen Monday, March 1, 2010 10:15 AM
    • Unmarked as answer by Neil McK Tuesday, March 2, 2010 10:21 AM
    • Marked as answer by YiChun Chen Friday, March 5, 2010 4:33 AM
    • Unmarked as answer by YiChun Chen Friday, March 19, 2010 3:48 AM
    Saturday, February 27, 2010 1:33 AM
  • Andreas,

    Thanks for your response.  That is what I would expect too, as a pragmatic solution.  However, I was hoping for a definitive statement from within Microsoft, or a pointer to a Microsoft document that states the rules in an unambiguous way.

    Is there anyone out there that can provide this?

    Neil.
    Tuesday, March 2, 2010 10:24 AM
  • When you install it you agree to the license. In there you have all the terms for using the software.

    When another users logs in to a computer and tries to use an already installed copy of express edition software they will have to agree to the license agreement too. This user will also become a licensee and valid user of the software, it is not only the person initially downloading it and installing it that can be the only licensee. The express edition software will keep track of it automatically.

    The document you want is the license agreement you have to agree to to use the software. The installation programs lets you copy it or print it.

    Tuesday, March 2, 2010 3:17 PM
  • The license text you refer to is the EULA which, sadly, is the problem.  Our software licensing police (who ensure that there is no use of unlicensed software) interpret it as saying that an individual who procures the software (e.g. buys it, downloads it, or buys a magazine that includes it on a CD/DVD) is the licensee and that, under the terms of the license, only one user is allowed to use it.  Further, that user cannot provide the software to others (thereby making them licensees with the right of use).  We are trying to argue that, since the software is free, the terms in the license do not make sense, but we have to demonstrate that we have taken steps to procure the appropriate number of licenses by whatever process (even if they are free) or received authoritative confirmation that the product can be used by more than one user (non-concurrently) on a computer.

    I believe (from memory) that the license for Visual Studio Pro is more explicit and states that each developer is required to purchase a separate license.

    The relevant clauses are:

    1. INSTALLATION AND USE RIGHTS.
      a. Installation and Use.  One user may install and use any number of copies of the software on your devices to design, develop and test your programs.

    9. SCOPE OF LICENSE.  The software is licensed, not sold. This agreement only gives you some rights to use the software.  Microsoft reserves all other rights.  Unless applicable law gives you more rights despite this limitation, you may use the software only as expressly permitted in this agreement.  In doing so, you must comply with any technical limitations in the software that only allow you to use it in certain ways.  For more information, see www.microsoft.com/licensing/userights
    You may not 
     - work around any technical limitations in the software;
     - reverse engineer, decompile or disassemble the software, except and only to the extent that applicable law expressly permits,
    despite this limitation;
     - make more copies of the software than specified in this agreement or allowed by applicable law, despite this limitation;
     - publish the software for others to copy;
     - rent, lease or lend the software; or
     - use the software for commercial software hosting services.

    10. BACKUP COPY.  You may make one backup copy of the software.  You may use it only to reinstall the software.

    12. TRANSFER TO A THIRD PARTY.  The first user of the software may transfer it, and this agreement, directly to a third party.  Before the transfer, that party must agree that this agreement applies to the transfer and use of the software.  The first user must uninstall the software before transferring it separately from the device.  The first user may not retain any copies.

    Some of these clauses may appear to be standard clauses that are not consistent with use of this product (for example the reference to 'the device' in 12, rather than 'devices' as 1a allows).

    Tuesday, March 2, 2010 6:53 PM
  • Hi Neil,

    Thank you for your post.

    I've looked through your problem and it's related to the software deployment instead of Visual Studio installation or registration. Thus it would be best if you open up a new thread for the question in ClickOnce and Setup & Deployment Projects forum. In this way, our discussion here will not deviate too much from the original issue. This will make answer searching in the forum easier and be beneficial to other community members as well.

    Thank you for your understanding.

    Best regards,
    Yichun Chen


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help and unmark them if they provide no help.
    Welcome to the All-In-One Code Framework! If you have any feedback, please tell us.
    Friday, March 5, 2010 4:32 AM
  • Neil,

    very valid concerns and I hope I will be able to help you further.

    First of all you should recognize that a user in the license agreement it anyone who agrees to it. Since the express software itself will request new users to agree to the license agreement they will be regarded as an individual user according to the license agreement.

    If a single user installs the software and a secondary user on the same computer start using the software they are considered as two individual users of the software and not related and both need to agree to the license terms to use it.

    The first highlighted area of yours, pay attention to what is after; any number of copies . You are free to install and use the software how many times you like, and any one else that agree to the license agreement.

    From answering questions here and the occasional chat with members on the express edition team I know the spirit of the express editions are to encourage developers and give them a very professional environment with lots of support to do it in. This is not a trap!

    Back to your highlighted text, you can not make copies of the software than specified in the agreement, a bit above it states you may install any number of copies of it so this is not an restriction that you may not copy the software.

    You are not lending the software, each user of it on a single computer will have to agree to the license agreement and will at that moment become an individually licensed user of the software. Multiple users on a single computer do not lend it from the first user who installed it. They all are licensed (if they agree) users of the software.

    Make only one backup. :) You may still copy it to make any number of installations.

    To transfer the license to a third party is basically useless as anyone can download and agree to the license to get their own license. If you wish to transfer the license, uninstall your copy but to get a new license all you need to do is reinstall and agree to the license.

    The express editions are here to encourage developers, not to deter them. For educational purposes and even commercial the express editions are sufficient.

    If you are really worried about the license to create issues for you I recommend contacting microsoft support directly. These forums are mostly community driven.
    • Marked as answer by YiChun Chen Friday, March 19, 2010 3:46 AM
    Saturday, March 6, 2010 9:36 PM
  • Yichun,

    I think you may have misread my post - it is specifically related to the legality of installing a copy of Visual Studio Express for the use of multiple users, and has nothing to do with setup projects or any other aspect of deploying developed applications.

    Regards,

    Neil.
    Thursday, March 18, 2010 4:03 PM
  • Andreas,

    Thankyou for your advice.  I hope that I will be able to say that we will be permitted to continue using Visual Studio Express!

    Regards,

    Neil.
    Thursday, March 18, 2010 4:03 PM
  • Hi Neil,

    Thank you for your clarification. I can understand your concern better.

    Best regards,
    Yichun Chen


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help and unmark them if they provide no help.
    Welcome to the All-In-One Code Framework! If you have any feedback, please tell us.
    Friday, March 19, 2010 3:48 AM