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Software License FAQ

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What is a license?

You can purchase software in one of two ways: You can buy a full or boxed product which usually contains a disk set (media) and manuals as well as the right to use the software. In many cases you can also buy licenses - additional rights to use the software. This is helpful when many users are using the same software and don't require individual copies of the media or documentation.

Installing software on more than one machine without the purchase of a license is considered "unauthorized duplication" of the software and constitutes an infringement of the copyright. This also applies to copying or loaning software.

Is this a complete version of the software?

Generally yes. Be sure to check for any restrictions on the use of the software with our sales staff before placing your order.

What is included when I purchase an institutional license?

When you purchase a license, you are purchasing the right to use the software. This is usually a product code or installation key. It generally does not include a disk set or installation media. If you have already purchased installation media in the past for the particular license, you may reuse it. Otherwise, installation media must be purchased separately for $35. 

What if I want to install a program I use at the office on my laptop so I can work at home?

This is usually referred to as secondary user rights. This allows a licensed user to install the software on an additional computer they own, such as a laptop or a home computer. It does not grant other users access or entitlements to the software, nor does it allow concurrent usage of the program. You should verify the EULA or "End User License Agreement" governing the use of your software before installing on any additional machines. 

Who owns the software license?

A license purchased with McGill University funds becomes the property of McGill University. Licenses issued under these terms assume that the original software package is owned by McGill University. Software purchased with personal funds is owned by the end user.

What will I receive when I purchase my license?

The McGill Computer Store administers all licenses for products available at our store and retains original licenses and records for each customer. When you order your license, you will first receive a copy of your order as a confirmation of your purchase. When the MCS receives confirmation that the license has been issued by the vendor, your order will be invoiced. You will then receive the following via internal mail:

  • A copy of your MCS invoice indicating your authorization number
  • Special instructions for installation, if applicable

Media is not included with an institutional license. Depending on the manufacturer's installation policy, supplemental installation of the program may be done using the original media from a full product or you may have to purchase a media kit. If you do require supplementary media, please sales [dot] mcs [at] mcgill [dot] ca (contact) one of our sales consutlants.

Note: You are not allowed to install software before receiving your invoice from the MCS.

Can I upgrade my licensed software?

In some cases, maintenance may also be purchased for the software you are licensing, which will allow you to upgrade licensed users. A maintenance agreement allows the holder of the license to install upgrades and to access technical support for the period covered by the agreement. The terms, conditions and any applicable upgrade costs will be specified in your maintenance license contract. These agreements usually have to be renewed within 1 or 2 years of the purchase date or at a prescribed time during the year. Contact a sales [dot] mcs [at] mcgill [dot] ca (sales consultant) for more information. 

Can I return or exchange licenses?

Due to copyright laws, the McGill Computer Store cannot accept returns or exchanges on a license once it has been invoiced. Defective media may be exchanged within 10 business days for the identical title, or its replacement in the case of a discontinued product. All software license sales are final. 

Who is allowed to purchase a Student License?

Student licenses are available to all students, staff and faculty with a valid McGill ID card. 

Can I buy a second Student License for another computer?

No. You can purchase only one Student License per title of a software product.

Does a Student License come with media?

Yes, student license are bundled with media kits.  

Can I install the Student software on more than one computer?

Consult your end user license agreement for more information. 

Can I continue to use the Student software when I leave McGill?

Consult your end user license agreement for more information. Generally, you own the software in perpetuity allowing you to use it even when you leave McGill.