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VMWare's Insane License

by Steve Wiseman on July 30, 2008 · 1 comment

in Windows


After I got done posting this morning about how much I loved the free VMWare ESXi, I received a few emails pointing me to the license restrictions that you agree to when installing it. Here is the fun part:

3.9 Audit Rights. You will maintain accurate records as to your use of the Software as authorized by this Agreement, for at least two (2) years from the last day on which support and subscription services (“Services”) expired for the applicable Software. VMware, or persons designated by VMware, will, at any time during the period when you are obliged to maintain such records, be entitled to inspect such records and your computing devices, in order to verify that the Software is used by you in accordance with the terms of this Agreement and that you have paid the applicable license fees and Services fees for the Software; provided that VMware may conduct no more than one (1) audit in any twelve (12) month period. You shall promptly pay to VMware any underpayments revealed by any such audit. Any such audit will be performed at VMware’s expense during normal business hours, provided that you shall promptly reimburse VMware for the cost of such audit and any applicable fees if such audit reveals an underpayment by you of more than five percent (5%) of the amounts payable by you to VMware for the period audited.

So essentially by downloading and installing this software you now agree to allow VMWare into your company and start poking around to see if you have stolen anything.

I don’t think so.

I thought Microsoft has had some really crazy restrictions – but this tops them all. I will need to think carefully about using their software. I hope someone at VMWare gets a clue and removes this restriction.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Nathan October 13, 2010 at 1:29 pm

I just discovered this by accident after having already installed VMPlayer. While I think the chances are remote that I would get audited by vmware, this is mind-boggingly stupid. I cannot believe this is not getting more coverage. Everyone needs to know this – particular developers wanting to evaluate these ‘free’ products. It would be great if you would do an updated post about this to indicate the fact it is still an issue. I will not be using any vmware products in my upcoming project deployment based on this insane requirement for evaluating free products being indicative of a major flaw in company policy that makes me not feel comfortable using any of their products.

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