MS-RSL contains multiple references to the term "company", e.g.:

"Reference use" means use of the software within your company as a reference, in read only form, for the sole purposes of debugging your products, maintaining your products, or enhancing the interoperability of your products with the software, and specifically excludes the right to distribute the software outside of your company.

Company is defined as follows:

"Your company" means the company you worked for when you downloaded the software.

Does that imply that people who are unemployed or work in a wholly different sector are not affected by the "Reference Use" condition?


This means that if you don't consider your (unemployed) self to be a company, or you don't consider your use of the software to be for reference use as per their definition, then you don't have a licence to copy and use it in that way.

All licences are grants of rights over and above the default copyright position, which is essentially that you have none. You can't say "the licence condition doesn't apply to me, therefore I am allowed to use it". It works the other way around - if a licence doesn't actually give you the needed permission to use the software, then by default you are not allowed to.

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