Microsoft’s Unilateral License Also Covers Home Computers of a Non-Profit’s Staff

Source: (info), 10/02/11

· Human Rights Defenders

The Unilateral License (licensing agreement) of the Microsoft corporation covers software installed on the personal computers of a non-profit’s staff on the condition that these computers are sued for the purposes of the organization.

A correspondent of the Agency of Social Information writes that this has been stated by lawyers of the Microsoft hotline on questions related to the Unilateral License (e-mail:, тел.: 8-964-506-33-03). Microsoft’s programme, that has been in effect since 6 December, applies automatically to non-profit organizations and independent media. There is no need to make any application or submit any documents for it to take effect.

Organizations can obtain a printable Certificate of License that is posted on the Microsoft website. An employee of a non-profit organization working at home can use a copy of the Certificate of License filled out in the name of the non-profit.

Non-profits that do not have their own office especially welcome this wide interpretation of the Unilateral License. "Our organization has neither an office of its own nor its own computers. All our staff work at home," Elena Alshanskaya, president of the Volunteers for Orphaned Children Foundation told the Agency of Social Information. Elena Alshanskaya is certain that if the license extends to computers at home, it will not be difficult to show that they are used for the needs of the organization. "Staff are doing the non-profit’s work and this can always be shown. And if a person is employed by the non-profit, and the organization has no office, where will they do their work?" the president of the Volunteers for Orphaned Children Foundation asks.

Under Microsoft’s programme, any of the corporation’s software that has been installed is a priori now considered to be licensed. The Unilateral License for software will operate until 1 January 2012. During this period non-profits can also use the existing traditional licensing programme. In particular, this refers to the standard software donation program for non-profits and non-governmental organizations, “InfoDonor”.