License Compliance

Frequently Asked Questions

1. When and why was the Autodesk license compliance department established?

Since 1989, the Autodesk license compliance program has been a model for the software industry, emphasizing education and empowerment, as well as enforcement, when necessary. The program empowers customers and the public to comply with software licensing agreements, understand the risk of noncompliance, and adopt software asset management best practices. Autodesk provides information and tools to help customers audit PCs and proactively manage software licenses.

2. What constitutes unauthorized use of software?

All legal software is supplied with a license. This applies whether the software is acquired for use on one or a number of networked machines, or preinstalled as part of a system. Violating the terms of the license constitutes unauthorized use of the software. Check the applicable license for the specific terms that apply to you.

Examples of unauthorized use include:

  • Copying a software program purchased legitimately and using it on more computers than authorized by the software license.
  • Gaining illegal access to protected software, also known as “cracking.”
  • Reproducing or distributing counterfeit software.
  • Preinstalling software programs on computers without providing the accompanying software license.

3. What are the penalties for not complying with software licenses?

Software is protected by intellectual property law, which varies by country. Most countries impose stiff fines and penalties for copyright infringement.

4. What are the risks of using counterfeit software?

There are several risks associated with using counterfeit software:

  • Illegal software often lacks important elements and documentation, and does not include warranty protection or upgrade options.
  • Counterfeit disks may be infected with viruses that can damage hard drives or cripple networks.
  • Copying or using illegally copied software puts your company at risk for copyright infringement; legal action against your company can result in negative PR.
  • Counterfeit software that is not functional or contains a virus wastes company resources and increases IT costs.
  • Using counterfeit software may lead to civil penalties and criminal prosecution.

5. How can I make sure I’m buying authentic Autodesk software?

To ensure you get authentic software, buy only from an Autodesk Authorized Reseller or directly from Autodesk.

6. How can I tell if a distributor or a reseller has the right to sell Autodesk software?

Autodesk constantly adds new resellers and other channel partners, so when in doubt, visit the Reseller Center to find an authorized reseller.

7. What about buying software from auction websites?

Autodesk software is nontransferable. Beware of Autodesk software sold on auction sites.

8. What resources are available to help me remain compliant?

Download the free Software Asset Management Toolkit.

9. How do I report the use of unlicensed software?

If you suspect the unauthorized use of Autodesk software by a person, company, or website, send a report to Autodesk. 

10. Why is it important to report the use of unlicensed software?

Software noncompliance hurts everyone by draining resources that could be used to improve product offerings and by impacting jobs and the economy. If copyright holders are not paid for their intellectual property, it slows development and growth in the software industry.

11. A friend gave me some software to copy onto my computer, and now I realize I may be at risk of noncompliance. What should I do?

It is in your best interest to proactively resolve a compliance situation, please visit the reseller center and talk to an Authorized reseller near you.

12. What is Autodesk’s relationship to the Business Software Alliance?

Autodesk is a founding member of the Business Software Alliance (BSA), a nonprofit trade association created to advance the goals of the software industry and its hardware partners. BSA helps protect software providers’ intellectual property rights, enforce copyright legislation, and encourage compliance. The BSA receives thousands of reports of unlicensed use and takes legal action on behalf of BSA members. Learn more about the BSA.

13. What other resources can help me understand software licensing?

Read the I Stay Compliant brochure for answers to five frequently asked questions about Autodesk license compliance.

I Stay Compliant (pdf - 3190Kb)