Installation & Licensing
Welcome to Autodesk’s Installation and Licensing Forums. Share your knowledge, ask questions, and explore popular Download, Installation, and Licensing topics.
Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Purchase of Perpetual Licence in United Kingdom

Message 1 of 26
1814 Views, 25 Replies

Purchase of Perpetual Licence in United Kingdom



I currently have a subscription for Autocad Lt for my freelance work which is costly given the small amount of work I undertake. I have an opportunity to purchase a Perpetual licence version of Autocad 2018 Lt from a site claiming this is legal following a ruling of the Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice of the European Union in C-128/11 UsedSoft GmbH v Oracle International Corp.


Can anyone confirm that this is true?






Message 21 of 26
in reply to: mdavis22569


the Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice of the European Union in C-128/11 UsedSoft GmbH v Oracle International Corp.


Can anyone confirm that this is true?

Yes, it is. But. The case in question was about Oracle software. Resellers of used licenses broadened this to encompass all software vendors. So IMO it's a grey area. Nonetheless, we gave it a try with Office 2019 (in 2019) and bought a used license for 20 users. Checked out the company that sells them and it all looked legitimate. And we've been using Office 2019 since then, without issues. The company that sold us the licenses is still in business.


There are quite a number of such companies, selling used licenses for years. None of the major software vendors went after them, what could be seen as acceptance of that Oracle ruling.


But then there's the thing of support. This is where warranty comes into play. If I buy a used car that's still under warranty and it has a manufacturing-related defect, the manufactures has to repair that at no cost, no matter who owns the car. Not so for software since you won't get any warranty; any right is waved in the EULA. For Autodesk software, this means you cannot directly download patches or fixes for your second-hand piece of software. As for Microsoft - they don't bother if you're the first of second owner; your stuff gets updated wether you like it or not.


All in all - there's work to be done by lawmakers to tackle things like this.

Message 22 of 26
in reply to: mdavis22569

No grey area here.

I was an Autodesk reseller since version 1.4 in 1984, for 30 years. Now recently retired, but

still do a little remote consulting to keep my hand in.


I have direct personal experience selling Autodesk perpetual licenses with Autodesk approval. I have attached screenshots of many of the pieces of documentation required by Autodesk for them to approve.

I do not advocate or approve of software piracy or using cracked software. Everything was by the book, with full knowledge and approval of Autodesk.

I still must keep a low profile, since Autodesk unilaterally changed their policy on transferred after 2016. They tend to attack, threaten lawsuits, and attempt to discredit anyone who questions their new policies, even if you have a valid perpetual license that permitted transfers at the time of sale. Lawyers can debate whether a contract changed by only one party after execution without agreement of the other party and compensation is still valid. Now that I am retired, I can afford to be a little more open in expressing my disagreement to help others.

I have blurred out some identifying information for privacy, but there should be enough details to be convincing.

The Autodesk perpetual licenses were acquired at auction. They were part of the assets of a bankrupt company, and were approved by the bankruptcy court before submission to Autodesk, which approved the sale with no problems.


The pictures and the end of this very long post are the Autodesk documents and forms related to the transfer, and pertinent emails with Autodesk including the transfer approval notice.

These were Building Design Suite Premium 2016 perpetual network licenses under maintenance subscription. Because maintenance was paid yearly through 2020, the client ended up with Building Design Suite Premium 2020 perpetual floating network licenses. This is the only way anyone could obtain a perpetual license after 2016. Companies go bankrupt and change hands all of the time, so it’s still possible to do something like this today. You have to know where to look, and there are a few catches and caveats that I will details in another post.

Even though these are perpetual floating network Suite licenses, individual applications such as AutoCAD and Revit they can still be installed on standalone Windows 10 Pro computers, and a server is not required. A consultant devised a way to store the activated network licenses in a virtual machine, so that they would continue to work if a machine's hardware configuration changes or the software is reinstalled on another computer.

Recently Autodesk has been refusing to reactivation or reissue new network license files for perpetual licenses for previous versions. Virtualizing the license means that the software will continue to work regardless of what Autodesk might do in the future.

My consultant tells me he has just worked out how to encapsulate the license server in a Windows Container, so the overhead will be even less than a VM. I have help several other companies with the same process since 2016. Aside from my consultant and I, I’m only aware of a few others who have worked out the kinks in virtualizing the license.

Autodesk could delete this post anytime. Make no mistake – Autodesk considers this dangerous information bordering on illegal. And they are notorious form using the threat of software audits and lawsuits to silence dissent.

Accordingly, I am leaving out key implementation details and information on how find perpetual licenses today, so the lawyers will not have anything actionable to base a lawsuit on. Maybe a cease and desist or demand letter, so just to be safe:


If anyone else is determined enough to try this today, Additional steps are required. I will repond any PM requesting help as time permits and may need to refer to another consultant for ongoing support.

 Any information provided is only general. I do not advise any particular couse of action, will not be liable for any outcomes.



Rules for license transfer - Before Autodesk changed themRules for license transfer - Before Autodesk changed them

Autodesk perpetual license transfer request formAutodesk perpetual license transfer request formAutodesk allowable license transfer cases - source https://perpetualcad.comAutodesk allowable license transfer cases - source

Image 004.jpg

Image 003.jpg

Image 005.jpg


The secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions.


This post will self-destruct in …



Sorry, got a little carried away. Back in my hole before they notice.

Message 23 of 26
in reply to: info

again that' all good .. but they have loop holes too. System requirements. Licensing requirements as well.  Sure if you're on system requirement met machine you can get them to give you a license.  Say a 2006 on W11, won't work, so it's mute on that point.  As W10 continues to update their c++/net's those that could get the older versions to work aren't seeing that as an option

Did you find this reply helpful ? If so please use the Accept as Solution or Kudos button below.

Mike Davis


Message 24 of 26
in reply to: mdavis22569

You have a point about the older versions.  Few of my former clients who had any volume of billable work stayed with anything older than 2018, and most stopped at AutoCAD 2020, because 2020 uses the same 2018 DWG format as 2023.


One I fould a way to virtualize the license, then there was no more need for Autodesk to give a new license if the program needed to be reinstalled. Works with Windows 10 Pro and Windows 11, and I expect many will continue to stay at this version for many years, until a future release changes the DWG file format, or for a few years past that.

Message 25 of 26
in reply to: hunter_maste

i remember dealing with this form this was usually a PITA to deal with

this was at one point moved to online then the website was shut down

Did you find this post helpful? Feel free to Like this post.
Did your question get successfully answered? Then click on the ACCEPT SOLUTION button.

Message 26 of 26
in reply to: DarrenP

Yes, but it was worth it. Took me about 2 months of emails between the bankruptcy trustee, the former business owner, and the clients who bought them.


At the time, a Building Design Suite Premium license cost over $8000.

My clients paid $4,000 ea for 4 licenses, and I got a nice fee for facilitating so everyone was happy. Even the Autodesk rep, who was happy to get another $4,000 for paying the Annual Maintenance Plan so the transfer would be allowed.


Just over $1,000 per seat per year. Seemed like a lot at the time.

Cheap in retrospect, now that the 2023 AEC Collection that replaced Building Design Suite Premium costs $3,265 per year.


Smart clients didn't buy the Autodesk line about Subscriptions and help onto their perpetual licenses, and some are still using them today and getting perpetul upgrades to the latest version.


I still keep my eye out for bankruptcy notices and will snap them up anytime I can find them on behalf of a client.



Can't find what you're looking for? Ask the community or share your knowledge.

Post to forums  

Administrator Productivity

Autodesk Design & Make Report