Who's Licence is it anyway???

  SDJ 19:57 30 Sep 2003

Firstly let me apologise for this not really being a request for help, but I really would like to get it off my chest and am sure some of you might find this interesting.

As the IT manager of a small firm of accountants I visited one of our offices today to install MS Office XP onto a new machine.

When I arrived in the office I was told that this was no longer required! funny I thought surely the user will require Office.
"no" I was told "I have already acquired one" I was then presented with a jewel case with a very bad copy of the office cd cover and inside a cd with a mock office label, not even an attempt to copy the cd label which would be rather difficult seeing as it is a hologram!

This was to my absolute horror, especially as it was from a friend who works for one of our clients! (no doubt a copy of their businesses office)

Anyway I removed the software and reinstalled the new licence I had purchased. Still not understanding what he had done wrong he now has an black mark in his personnel file.

So my question is this: who ultimatley is responsible for the software in the office? is it me as the IT manager? is it down to the individual? or the firm as a whole?
I cant possibly keep an eye on what people put on their machines, I do adopt a "cd once installed gets locked in my cupboard" policy but like today I had no idea this software had even been brought into the office.

I do try to perform quarterly audits of software to see what is going on but it isnt easy to control.

I of course was then critisised as "everyone has illegal software on their machines" well I beg to differ, my office and home machines are 100% legit and I have an overdraft to prove it.

Anyway, rant over!

  VoG II 20:01 30 Sep 2003

My (limited) understanding is that it is the company's responsibility to ensure that only licensed software is installed on its machines.

At work loading unlicensed, cracked or other dodgy software on the firm's machines is a sackable offence. As is visiting the dark side of the net.

  Jester2K II 20:04 30 Sep 2003

The company is responsible ultimately.

How the company then disciplines its employees is an internal matter for the company.

  SDJ 20:06 30 Sep 2003

Cheers VoG,
Yeah I was aware that he got away lightly, he of course pleaded ignorance which was only to be expected.

It just annoys me that people dont respect the rules when many of us fork out our hard earned cash to stay legal!


  SDJ 20:08 30 Sep 2003

didnt see your post, thanks also for your comments.

  Jester2K II 20:08 30 Sep 2003

Shhhhhhhh - or you'll start something here!!!

  SDJ 20:18 30 Sep 2003

youve lost me!

  Jester2K II 20:37 30 Sep 2003

Check your e-mail

  Ping Pong 21:15 30 Sep 2003

It is better from a business point of view to stay legal with software as installing illegal software can cost your company huge amounts in fines. If you're the company administraror then I would suggest that you remotely render users from installing any software. This would include any form of downloads as well. People will boo of course but when a system or network crashes the network administrator is usually the first to get the blame. Ignore them. BUSINESS SYSTEMS ARE FOR BUSINESS AND NOT PERSONAL USE.
Remember it may be your job on the line. Now there's an area worth investigating. Are you responsible or the company? Check your terms because it only takes one dickhead to screw it up for you.

  SDJ 22:01 30 Sep 2003

My terms dont actually state anything of an IT nature as I am in fact an accountant and not employed purely for IT purposes, so from that angle I am sure I am ok. Plus I have stressed in writing (to the directors) that I am not to be held responsible for which they acknowledge.

Anyway, thanks all for your comments, ticking resolved now.


  mdshamilton 22:20 30 Sep 2003

The Company is responsible for the software on the PCs, but SDJ as IT Manager could be found responsible too - and potentially fired. At the Bank I work for all PCs are currently NT 4.5 and have administrator rights removed from them - that's the way IT prevents illegal software from being loaded. The CD and floppy drives are also software locked somehow so the user cannot access any CDS loaded in them.

In NT, the way to check whether you have admin rights to your PC is to click on the clock at the bottom right hand corner of the screen - if a clock comes up then you have admin rights - otherwise a message comes up saying you don't have admin rights.

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