Buying used software on online platforms often gives you an uneasy feeling: Is the trader really trustworthy, or will there be a rude awakening during the license check? Even if the product key works, it is still possible that there is no valid license behind the key. This is due to confusing licensing models, such as volume licensing and the lack of traceability of resales. The system is so opaque and complex that in Germany, for example, illegitimate licenses for Office suites and Windows have been sold by the retail chain Edeka in the past. But systematic fraud is not the only problem in the license trade. Often a the sale of a license is simply unknowingly wrong, as different licensing models and guidelines collide. What is a problem for private users is a even bigger problem in the corporate sector. Even in the corporate sector, it is difficult for licensors to understand who is actually allowed to use a certain software, because the documents for license agreements often fill several folders. It is equally common for companies to acquire licenses multiple times unnecessarily or to refrain from reselling them because the situation is so complex. Worldwide, this causes additional avoidable costs in the billions every year.
Innovative technologies for transparent and secure license trading
The startup license.rocks has identified this problem and is creating a new platform for software license trading between companies, which could trigger nothing less than a revolution within the sector. The new trading approach makes it easier for companies to avoid double spending on software and minimizes the administrative burden enormously. Each sale generates a QR code, which the license holder receives and is directly linked to an audit trail. This license can now be sold online. All paper documents are checked, digitalized and stored in the document management system. All transactions are automatically recorded in the database. This database relies on block chain technology, which is why the process is fully automated, decentralized and therefore legally compliant. Licenses can thus be traced seamlessly and their validity can easily be verified. Illegal resale would be immediately recognizable for buyers and sellers and is therefore impossible. Thanks to the support of Euverion, the ERDF Fund granted the first funding component of €100,000 at the end of June to further promote the forward-looking approach of the decentralized licensing framework.
license.rocks has already proven that the concept is practicable. In the insolvency proceedings of the airline Air Berlin, the start-up was already able to quickly and easily read out and liquidate the existing software licenses. A huge market can thus be developed. But the founders of license.rocks have not yet reached the end of their idea. Simple monetization is the goal for the near future, not only for classic software, but also for code bound to devices, such as machines or in the IoT sector. Euverion continues to support this ambitious project and has already applied for new funding.
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