PUEL, Licensing, FAQ, Lone User, University Environment

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PUEL, Licensing, FAQ, Lone User, University Environment

Postby rmleonard » 9. Dec 2021, 03:29

In today's world and incredibly litigious society, our central IT department has become VERY gun shy.

I work in one of the administrative departments of a medium sized university. What I'd like to do is run VirtualBox on my laptop (and maybe desktops as well) with Linux as my HOST OS and the campus "build" of Windows in a VM.

At Home, as a TEST, I've tested and run the environment and it works correctly and quite well. IF, this same configuration were installed and run on a "campus/company" piece of hardware. What licensing restrictions would I be bound by?

Yes, The main VirtualBox software is open source.
No, I am not building any kind of product/deliverable, I am just "using" the software to make my daily working life easier.
Yes, I understand that the Extension pack is encumbered in some fashion as it is NOT open source.
Yes, the university has a large number of Licenses with Oracle already (none are for Virtualbox).

Not knowing otherwise, if I am the only person on campus who is running Virtualbox on the "business" side of street, and I want to explicitly verify to IT Management that I am NOT violating ANY license agreements by using Virtualbox WITH the extension pack INSTALLED (I downloaded and installed things myself).

What part of the License Agreement states that I need to buy a license (and what is its cost for just me)
- OR -
Is there a part in the License Agreement that I can point to that (in legalese I suppose) states that I am NOT violating the agreement as long as I (personally?) download and install the product and the extension pack by myself (that way I am a single, named entity - Not a mass/bulk install across a gazillion machines on site).

I've read several threads in the forums here, and they have completely muddled my brain.
I'm NOT creating a business product for either internal use or for sale.
I'm NOT modifying any part of the VirtualBox software, I am just a user.
I AM using the software to make my working world easier/better.
I do NOT have to use the Extension Pack, but it is handy.

Help Please --- or at least point me to where I can get answers ---
(and not end up having a surprise audit from Oracle at the facility looking for license violators)

Thank You!
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Re: PUEL, Licensing, FAQ, Lone User, University Environment

Postby scottgus1 » 9. Dec 2021, 04:42

I'm not a lawyer, so grain of salt time, but from the license for the Extension Pack https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/VirtualBox_PUEL, it says:
Oracle grants you a personal, non-exclusive, non-transferable, limited license without fees to reproduce, install, execute, and use internally the Product on Host Computers for your Personal Use, Educational Use, or Evaluation. “Personal Use” is noncommercial use solely by the person downloading the Product from Oracle on a single Host Computer, provided that no more than one client or remote computer is connected to that Host Computer and that client or remote computer is used solely to remotely view the Guest Computer(s). “Educational Use” is any use by teachers or students in an academic institution (schools, colleges and universities) as part of the institution’s educational curriculum.

This sounds to me like you can run the EP on your personal laptop & PCs you use at the U for free, as long as the U doesn't try to do business with the EP-enabled Virtualbox.

However, given that the cost for the minimum 100-seat license is probably well within the U's IT budget, they could just pony up and everyone could breathe freely. And you'd get official support too.
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