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Andy Brice
Successful Software

Doug Nebeker ("Doug")

Jonathan Matthews
Creator of DeepTrawl, CloudTrawl, and LeapDoc

Nicholas Hebb
BreezeTree Software

Bob Walsh
host, Startup Success Podcast author of The Web Startup Success Guide and Micro-ISV: From Vision To Reality

Patrick McKenzie
Bingo Card Creator

License transfer - allow?


Do you normally allow the transfer of your software license from the original purchaser to a third party? Do you have any wording in your EULA that allows or forbids it?

I am interested in learning what is the commonly accepted practice.

B2B Send private email
Friday, April 03, 2015
Yes I allow it but I don't advertise it. It's a pain to deal with. There's some fraud with this sort of thing, so we have a process. If they don't follow it they don't get the transfer.
Scott Send private email
Friday, April 03, 2015
Oh and regarding EULA it's neither permitted nor forbidden.
Scott Send private email
Friday, April 03, 2015
Thanks, Scott.

Can you please elaborate a bit on the process?

Is it something like the customer has to complete a transfer form and confirm that they removed the software from their computers?

B2B Send private email
Saturday, April 04, 2015
We allow a license transfer as long as the receiving party agrees to our license agreement.  We charge a modest fee for the paperwork.  Our software sale is  minimum US$10k and average US50k.
James Crossley Send private email
Saturday, April 04, 2015
Yes, a signed affidavit sort of form, and they original owner has to physically mail it in. If they got physical media, they have to return that, though there are cases where they say they physically transferred the material and though that's not strictly allowed, I usually allow it on a case by case basis. Then the new guy pays a small transfer fee, plus a fee for new materials. These fees are about 15% the cost of the full software, and don't cover the costs of doing a transfer and shipment, but any higher and they tend to complain.

One problem we have is with fraud.

Bob Smith posts on the internet he uses our software.
I get an email from s0c1al3ng1n33r@gmail.com saying he just bought the materials from Bob Smith and needs the license key reissued. I contact Bob Smith's last known email and get no response, a dead email, or a response from the same ip address as s0c1al3ng1n33r. I explain to s0c1al3ng1n33r that Bob has to send in a form, and s0c1al3ng1n33r gets mad and says he will post bad reviews of my product if I don't send him the keys.

I email 'Bob' to tell him to send me the form and 'Bob' will then write back and say he gave the materials to the other guy. The other guy confirms it. Then I say great, send me a photo of the box. Then he will say he threw it away. Then he posts negative reviews on the internet.
Scott Send private email
Monday, April 06, 2015
These cases are rare, looks like about 1-3 times a year. I always have to handle them myself because it's too much of a judgement call for customer service to handle. It's a big waste of time. There's also another similar number that are legit where they manage to prove the transfer was legit. Since it's half legit I can't just ban all of it, and since it's half fraudulent I can't just let them through. So it ends up being this very annoying process. I'd sort of like to just not allow license transfers, but that's punishing one group for the sins of others.
Scott Send private email
Monday, April 06, 2015

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