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I have a coworker who will likely be leaving the company soon. An msdn subscription (Premium I believe) was purchased for him - but I believe it was more than 1 year ago. Is this license transferrable to me when he leaves the company?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

It should be transferable to another person:

When a team member leaves the team, the MSDN subscription is reclaimed and can be assigned to someone else (with the caveat that MSDN subscription licenses can only be reassigned at most once every 90 days in Microsoft Volume Licensing programs).

If you didn't use volume licensing and bought him an individual subscription, it can likely still be transferred to a new person, although depending on how it was obtained there may be exceptions.

Typically, software accessed through an MSDN subscription comes with perpetual use rights, which means that you're allowed to use it after the subscription expires although you will no longer have access to the keys and downloads after the expiration date. These rights are transferred along to the new person who will be using the subscription:

If an MSDN subscription is transferred or sold, any perpetual use rights are transferred to the new party and the seller can no longer use the software.

There are some exceptions to the above, such as with software obtained through the Microsoft Partner Network and these terms may change over time. I also may not have covered your specific situation since you didn't mention what kind of subscription was purchased or how it was done, so be sure to read up on the current licensing terms over at MSDN Licensing. The quotes above are from the Visual Studio 2010 and MSDN Licensing White Paper.

For instructions on how to do the license transfer and to get a definitive answer on any licensing questions, contact Microsoft's MSDN support.

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Thank you, that seems to be pretty thorough. I'll leave the question up for a bit in case anybody has anything else to add. –  jlnorsworthy Jun 10 '11 at 5:14
    
individual subscriptions are linked to a specific person within the legal entity AFAIK, not to the legal entity. It's that way with many other products (not just Microsoft products). That's why companies usually pay more for corporate licenses, even if they're only for a single person, unless the purchase is for a very limited scope. –  jwenting Jun 10 '11 at 5:40
    
@jwenting Right. In that case, the individual license can still be transferred to another person, although depending on the ethics of the current "owner" it may be a bit of a challenge. –  Anna Lear Jun 10 '11 at 5:44
    
if the individual license is listed by name, it cannot (at least not within the confines of the license, letting someone else use it would be equal to piracy, using an unlicensed product as the product would be used in violation of its license). –  jwenting Jun 10 '11 at 11:23
    
@jwenting Yes, it can. There's a formal process for it, but those licenses can certainly be transferred. (Except when obtained through an educational discount or programs like BizSpark.) The key difference between that and piracy is that the person who used to own the license is not allowed to use it anymore. If they use their license after the transfer, they will be using unlicensed software as you say. See the quote above in my post: MSDN subscription can be transferred or sold. –  Anna Lear Jun 10 '11 at 12:46
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