The Rules May Have Changed, But the Game Goes On

It is Super Bowl weekend in the States, and the big game means many things to different people.

For some, it is cheering on their favorite team, whether the New England Patriots or the Philadelphia Eagles.  Others make friendly wagers on the game, often in office pools. The television commercials have been popular for many years and often become legendary in their impact. For example, Apple launched what many consider to be the modern information technology era with their iconic commercial “1984.” It aired once during the third quarter of Super Bowl XVIII. And many people around the world see the Super Bowl as a celebration of all things American.

American Football was first played in 1869 and is now arguably, the most popular sport in the United States. In all those years, the rules of the game have not remained constant. In many cases, they have varied dramatically over time.

Here are a couple of examples:

The goal posts were originally at the back of the end zone. In 1933 the NFL wanted to make field goals easier so the number of tie games would be reduced. They moved the goal posts 10 yards to the goal line. The result was a doubling in the number of field goals, and tie games dropped dramatically.

Over 40 years later, the NFL moved the goal posts to the back of the end zone, again. The reasoning was that kickers were more specialized and field goals had become too easy.

In 2006, the NFL cut down on “touchdown celebrations” in an effort to reduce gaudy displays and the taunting of opponents. The rules were amended to include an automatic 15-yard penalty against any player who left his feet or used a prop, like a towel, the goal post, or even the football itself.

Prior to the start of the 2017 season, the league reversed course and loosened restrictions on celebrations. Now, for the most part, players can dance or play around with the ball before spiking it, without penalty.

Football rules may have changed, but the game goes on.

Software licensing is like football in that the rules may change, but the “game” goes on.

Two years ago, Microsoft changed the licensing for Windows Server 2016 from the previous “per-processor basis” to a “per-physical-processor-core,” with a minimum of 16 core licenses per server.

Last year, Oracle changed its licensing rules for a set of “authorized cloud environments” including Amazon Web Services – Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS), and Microsoft Azure Platform. The new license rules could mean a doubling of fees to run Oracle software in AWS, according to an article in The Register. See our blog “Oracle Changes Licensing Rules for Authorized Cloud Environments” for more details.

SAP made changes in their “indirect access” licensing policy as outlined in a July 2017 White Paper. Indirect access has become a controversial topic since last year’s £55 million court decision SAP UK v Diageo Great Britain. I wrote a popular blog about this last year titled “Beware of SAP Indirect Access.” Now under very specific criteria, exported SAP data may no longer need to be licensed.

Software vendors may change their licensing rules, but the principles of compliance – the “game” if you will – goes on and remains as important as ever.

So how do you keep up with the constantly changing software licensing rules? Flexera can help.

Flexera + BDNA has built the largest repository of Technology Asset Data. Built and maintained by teams of expert, subject-matter researchers, it’s the industry’s most comprehensive software asset, vulnerability and open source repository – containing more than 150 million software and hardware asset data points.

We help buyers purchase only what they need, manage what they have, and use what they bought.

Want more information about software licensing best practices? Then be sure to catch our excellent on-demand webinar Be Faster! SAM Best Practices that Drive Business Value. You will learn about entitlements, contracts, license models, and calculating an effective license position.

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