liscensing of MS apps and OS

I keep reading of software liscence horror stories and non compliance fines, etc, but I was unsure how people physically get away with it. Not working within an ICT section myself or building new PC's/Servers (we are a risk section), when installing MS OS or apps onto either new desktops (i.e. windows 7 and office) or onto new servers (i.e. windows 2008 server and MSSQL/Exchange/SharePoint), is there no process of entering a liscence key onto these systems so the software becomes functional?

Surely you cant just download the OS or software and install it without having to do some form of activation/liscence key entry? So I dont really see how organisations can have computers and servers running unliscenced software if there is an activation stage before the software becomes fully functional? There must be a grey area somewhere. Please enlighten me.
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pma111Asked:
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Alex GreenConnect With a Mentor 3rd Line Server SupportCommented:
If you take windows 2008R2 you can get an OSL key which basically allows you to use the same key on multiple machines, you can authenticate it an unlimited amount.

You then to to microsoft, declare how many operating systems you have got installed and then pay what you owe.
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pma111Author Commented:
I see, so its not a case of every time you build a new server, that you have to buy a new liscence, and manually enter the key before the software becomes fully functional.
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pma111Author Commented:
what does "OSL" represent?
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Alex Green3rd Line Server SupportCommented:
Open subscription license
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Brian PierceConnect With a Mentor PhotographerCommented:
There are several ways in which unscrupulous people can circumvent licensing restrictions. Overusing OSL keys is one, using TechNet, MSDN, Action Pack, or Dreamspark licences in a production environment is another, Then of course there are numerous cracks, patches and keygens than can be used.
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