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Frequently asked questions

  • 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.

  • 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.
  • 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.

  • 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.
    • Learn more about the risks of using counterfeit AutoCAD software.
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • What about buying software from auction websites?

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

  • 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. 

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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)

  • Can I sell or transfer my Autodesk software license?

    When you purchase Autodesk software, you are in fact purchasing a license to use that software program. Prior to or on installation of Autodesk software programs, you must accept Autodesk’s licensing terms applicable to that Autodesk software program (Software License Agreement) which governs your use of that software program.

    The Autodesk Software License Agreement contains restrictions on the use of that software program. Generally, you are not permitted to rent, loan, lease, sell, sublicense, or otherwise transfer the Autodesk software program to any other person without the prior written consent of Autodesk.

    Please consult the Software License Agreement for the particular software program you have licensed for the specific terms of use.

  • Can I allow third parties to use my Autodesk software license?

    The Software License Agreement only allows use of the software program by you, the individual or legal entity who purchased the software program and who is registered with Autodesk as the user. The Software License Agreement does not allow third parties (including companies that are affiliated with you) to use the software program, without written permission from Autodesk. If you have questions, please contact Autodesk or your Autodesk Value Added Reseller.

  • May I use my Autodesk software license anywhere in the world?

    For most Autodesk software programs, the Software License Agreement allows you to use the software program only in the country in which you purchased the software program unless (1) you purchased the software program in a member country of the European Union or European Free Trade Association, in which case use in any of those countries is allowed, or (2) you have written permission form Autodesk.

    For some Autodesk software programs, the territorial restrictions may be different. You should check the Software License Agreement and user documentation applicable to your Autodesk software program for the relevant territorial restrictions.

  • Can I make a copy of Autodesk software for use away from my usual work location?

    In the case of certain Autodesk software programs, if you have a Stand-alone or individual license (that is, a license purchased for installation and use on just one computer), the Software License Agreement may allow you to install one copy on a second computer away from your usual work location, but always subject to the territory restrictions, and subject further to other conditions described in the Software License Agreement, including without limitation:

    • The second computer cannot be a server and must be owned or leased by you, the registered holder of the license (generally the employer)
    • The additional copy of the software must be used exclusively for work while away from the usual work location
    • The additional copy may only be used by the same employee who uses the software at work
    • The additional copy may not be used as the same time as the original copy

    We recommend that you check the Software License Agreement accompanying your Autodesk software program to check for this authorization and for the particular restrictions applicable. Additional special provisions for use of the software away from usual work location may further apply if your software is covered by Subscription. Please contact your Autodesk Value Added Reseller or Autodesk for further details about these special provisions.

  • Can educational or student versions of Autodesk software be used for commercial purposes?

    • According to the Software License Agreement accompanying educational institutional versions Autodesk software programs, those software programs may not be used for any commercial purposes, or other for-profit purposes.
    • According to the Software License Agreement accompanying Student versions Autodesk software programs, Student versions may not be used for any training or commercial purposes, professional purposes, commercial training purposes, or other for-profit purposes.