Microsoft OEM License rights versus volume license rights - Windows 10 Pro

My boss and I have a small disagreement that I cannot seem to quickly get resolved. I need a verdict from my expert friends here at EE.

So here is the scenario:
  1. We own a volume license agreement for 10 seats of Windows 10 Professional. We have only MAK keys and no KMS keys appearing on our VLSC.
  2. We always buy HP PCs that come pre-loaded with their own image that includes OEM Windows 10 Pro (the price of the OEM Windows 10 Pro license is included in the price of the new PC).
  3. I'm really tired of manually activating these PCs with a 25-digit MAK key.

His case: My boss says that we have the right to a KMS key under our current volume license, and that the KMS key in question can then be used to activate all of our PCs, including those that have been purchased as licensed OEM but then had their HP (OEM) custom image over-written with our own custom image (that was created using the full volume license installer image from the VLSC - an installer image associated with those ten seat licenses I mentioned above and that has no associated KMS key).

My case: I was always taught that you can only use the OEM licenses when you also use the OEM image as shipped from the OEM, and that as soon as you erase the custom OEM image and over-write it with your own image, the type of license that was associated with the installer you used to create YOUR image needs to match the license you eventually use to activate that particular PC.  

Which of us is right?

Jane UpdegraffSr. Systems AdministratorAsked:
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☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
Sorry but it's your boss.

You're talking about re-imaging rights

Which allow owners of volume licences to transfer their OEM licences into the same pool.  You'll need to apply your own image matching your volume licence but provided you already have at least one fully licenced VL machine all your OEMs require no extra payments.

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The OEM licence is not transferable to another device, and it works with the originally installed version
The VLSM covers your company for the number of computers for particular version and updates
If you buy equipment with OEM, you possess OEM + VLSM licences as total number
If you push your image, then you have to use the MAK or KMS key for activating the OS (ex. your 10 VLS + 3 laptops, you can have 3 laptops +10 devices activated with the same MAK or KMS key)
MAK is for manual activation, and KMS activation works through the network (key server).

You must be young when you are asking this question. Your boss is always right, even when is wrong ;-)
David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
VLSC is always an upgrade license from a qualifying operating system (OEM)
I'm really tired of manually activating these PCs with a 25-digit MAK key.
What are you using to deploy these images? In MDT/SCCM you can always modify the TS specializer part of the unattend.xmlUnattend.xml
PberSolutions ArchitectCommented:
No comment has been added to this question in more than 21 days, so it is now classified as abandoned.

I have recommended this question be closed as follows:

-- ☠ MASQ ☠ (https:#a42408400)
-- 8046586 (https:#a42408459)
-- David Johnson CD MVP (https:#a42408607)

If you feel this question should be closed differently, post an objection and the moderators will review all objections and close it as they feel fit. If no one objects, this question will be closed automatically the way described above.

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