I picked up (and looked at, not purchased) a copy of Office 2007 Home and Student Edition in a store the other day, and it says in fine print under the feature matrix that it's licensed 'not for use in any commercial, non-profit, or revenue generating business activities, or by any government organization'.
By way of contrast, Adobe requires a fairly high standard of proof (current student ID and class schedule) to get an academic copy of their software in stores, and it's subject to activation verification through your school. My wife had to enter her student ID on Adobe's website and they tell you 'We're checking this ID with the school you selected in the dropdown box' right up front. We received a license key 48 hours later. I can understand this, I guess, in Adobe's case, since their retail prices are so ridiculously high...But then Adobe makes no claim that they control the purpose to which you put the software later on, even after you stop being a student.
I know there are many opinions on 'click-wrap' licenses, but this is printed on the outside of the box. Is this enforceable? If so, what happens to a business who uses the Home and Student edition instead of, say, the Small Business Edition of Office?
Is it really legal to charge more for your product in order to use it for one purpose rather than another? I'm guessing the answer is 'yes', but can anyone elaborate on why this is the case, under what law, and what branch of common sense? It seems silly to just sell this on a store shelf, but say it can't be used for business. There are no ID requirements or affidavits required to purchase it, and the fine print on the box could be easily overlooked, or claimed to be. Does anyone know if there are big flashing warning screens inside during the installation that you're at risk of criminal sanctions if you run a corporate P&L on this version of Excel?
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