Simple question, but this has been a persistent problem. Is it the employee's responsibility to buy licenses that are needed for software used at work, or the employer's?
If the employee raises the issue that software that is necessary to complete their work, and is already in use at the company, needs a license, and the employer doesn't react, is the employee supposed to buy their own license? [Thereby, potentially, inadvertently "tipping off" software vendors that their product is being used unlicensed at the employer?] Can they recoup the cost from the employer? Or are they supposed to just ignore this issue?
I realize that the answers will differ by legislation, I'm interested in answers for different regions but particularly North America, European Union, Korea.
- Is the employer asking its workers to use unlicensed software?
Let's say not directly, but they expect workers to do their job, and said software is necessary to do their job.
- Is the software already in use at the company?
Yes and has been for a while
- Is it a free version?
Varies, but yes, there is one that's free for personal, but not for commercial use. In another case, it used to be free for any use, but isn't anymore. In yet another case, it's decades old software, the vendor has been bought out, and the new owner set different licensing conditions and the old copy of the software no longer works, only new versions
- "Ask the employer"
I'm asking here because we did ask our employer and there has been no response for extended periods of time. Imagine replies like "Sure, maybe we already have a license, let me ask someone...", or "Do we need a license for that? Let me ask legal..."
- Why are you asking this?
I am wondering if I am personally responsible and should go ahead and buy a license for myself, or whether that might make things worse
- Are you a contractor or an employee?
- Is the software to be installed on company or personal equipment?
Both. Some workers use company-provided computers, others BYOD
- "Just quit", "Refuse to work"
First of all enjoy working here except for this issue. But also, if I quit because of this reason, isn't that automatically a labour offence on the company's part?
- Turn a blind eye
This is the gist of my question: if I just turn a blind eye, doesn't that make me liable for the unlicensed software use?
If this question doesn't meet SE guidelines, could someone please tell me which ones? Just for future reference...