Second-hand Microsoft licences legally sold in UK

By Derek Sooman on
Amazingly, it has turned out that a trade in used Microsoft licences is legal. Yes, Microsoft has OKed a discount dealer to sell second-hand volume licences, in a move that many see as green lighting a second hand market.

Shocked vendors have reacted angrily to the news that Disclic, through discount-licensing.com, has been able to sell second-hand software licences from insolvent or downsizing firms to other businesses with Microsoft's blessing.

A loophole in British insolvency laws and a clause within many Microsoft licences that permits disused or unwanted volume licences to be transferred has enabled Disclic to sell the licences legally and at a discount of around 20 to 50 percent below prices of any other authorised Microsoft reseller.

Seemingly, Disclic were told by Microsoft some 14 months ago that their scheme does meet Microsoft's terms and conditions. This has shocked several companies who sell software products to large enterprises.

"This is certainly going to be a concern to us as we focus on giving our customers a complete value-add service. I don't know what kind of prices these guys are offering but if you can buy exactly the same licences at a third of the price that could be very damaging," Chris Lamb, software licensing manager at Basilica, told ZDNet UK.

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