Licensure and software replacement

With today’s global exchange of data and information, issues of licensing and copyright are all the more confusing. When it comes to the programs and applications you use in your personal and business computing, it is important to understand what those laws mean for you.

What can be replaced

Many times the question of license never comes up until a hard drive has crashed, the operating system has been rebooted and the computer user discovers that their favorite programs are missing, or unable to be used.

This is a good news/bad news scenario. The good news is, if you have your license key, and a copy of the software, or download password, those programs are likely able to be restored. The bad news is that most users don’t know they need those things, and will have to repurchase the software in order to get it back.

What you will have to buy

If you did not record your license key number, keep the packaging it came with, or write down serial numbers for downloaded software, you will probably need to buy new software. Unfortunately, without these items there is no way for the software maker to ensure that you did in fact purchase a legal copy, and to protect themselves they will require you to repurchase.

How to find your code keys (code of authenticity) 25 characters

So, how do you get this vital information? Simple. With packaged software, you will look for a “code key” or “code of authenticity” also known as the COA, on the package, in the manual, or on the jewel case of the disk. This code is typically 25 characters and will be labeled. Keep your packaging handy, but also write, or print these into a file that can be kept safe with the title of the software and a list of when and where it was installed.

For downloaded software, the COA is not as common. Many of the companies that sell download software generate their own serial number or code key. These can vary from 4 characters, up to the 25 character code. Write or print these out as well, and don’t just save them in your computer. Another option is to save them in a “cloud” document on a service such as Google Docs, or Drop Box.

Downloaded software typically has email password, save it!

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