Software licensing is an important and integral part of software development as it is necessary to protect and monetize the IP of both software and hardware companies. Significant resources are spent on researching, developing, and supporting of software; and companies use software licensing as a must-have to recover that investment. Like everything else that evolves, software licensing models have evolved over the years to provide software producers more options over what and how to price products that are in line with how end customers buy software. However, what has not changed is that the vast majority of licenses are still linked to the hardware MAC (media access control) address of the network adapter or the serial number stored in the BIOS (basic input/output system) of the physical device. So the question becomes:
Should software producers continue to rely on a physical device identifier as the critical link to the software license? The simple answer is “no” – not if you want to survive in the digital era.