Ernesto, Torrent Freak, 5/28/16 The Business Software Alliance, a trade group representing Adobe, Apple and Microsoft, is known to offer cash payments to people who help them find companies that run unlicensed software. Today we speak with an attorney who has represented more than 250 defendants in these cases, which are regularly triggered by disgruntled employees.


Software piracy claims can ruin your business and reward those responsible

Robert J. Scott, TechCrunch, 5/11/16 There is a highly divisive and costly practice that software companies have inflicted on their customers for nearly a decade. This practice brings with it significant emotional duress, time investment and financial penalties — all of which divert meaningful resources from revenue-driving activities. And to add insult to injury, this…


Tracking Down Proofs of Purchase for Software Licenses

When a company receives a letter from the Business Software Alliance (BSA) questioning the authenticity of software licensing status and demanding an in-house audit, it is very important to have proofs of purchase for the licenses in question. Absent sufficient proof of purchase, the BSA will assume that the associated software installations are unlicensed and…


The Importance of Understanding Software License Agreements to Avoid BSA or SIIA Software Audits

Recent trends indicate that software publishers are increasingly initiating direct software audits instead of outsourcing the auditing process to entities such as the BSA | The Software Alliance (“BSA”) or Software & Information Industry Association (“SIIA”). However, the BSA and SIIA continue to actively target companies of all sizes to determine whether the company is…


Unpleasant Surprises in BSA | The Business Software Alliance and SIIA Software Audits

  Another way in which publishers or auditing entities raise the amount in controversy in software audits is the attempt to assess separate “fines” for each allegedly infringing installation of a software product. Thus, a company reporting just ten undocumented installations of Office Professional 2007, with no other licensing shortfalls, may receive a settlement offer…


How To Survive A Software Licensing Audit

Lisa Morgan, InformationWeek, 1/1/16 Enterprise IT organizations face software audits as a matter of doing business with large technology vendors. What’s the best approach to dealing with them? Here’s a look at what you should and shouldn’t do when you get that software licensing audit notice.


Software Licensing Audits: Is Your Company Prepared?

Lisa Morgan, InformationWeek, 12/31/15 Software licensing audits can cause minor annoyance or excruciating pain, depending on their scope and how ready your enterprise is for the disruption and expense. We take a look at trends in software licensing audits and the ways they impact your IT organization and your business.


What is the BSA | The Software Alliance’s Definition of Software Piracy??

“Software piracy” is a favorite catch-phrase used by the Business Software Alliance (BSA) and the software companies it represents.  Most people understand software piracy to involve the intentional copying and, in many cases, distribution of copyrighted software to third parties without permission of the copyright owner.  Understandably, the term has extremely negative connotations, and most businesses will…


When to Seek Help for a BSA | The Software Alliance Audit

Many companies choose to pursue an internal audit of software systems after receiving a request from the Business Software Alliance (BSA). When it comes to deciding how to proceed with an audit, there are multiple considerations, including, but not limited to, the size of the company, amount of computers, type of software at issue, IT…


Black Friday for Software Copyright Infringement Settlements

As the year comes to a close, many software publishers and trade associations with calendar year accounting are resolving as many outstanding software audits as possible. Companies currently engaged in a software audit may be able to negotiate favorable resolutions to their audit matters. The following are a few tips to reach an amicable resolution…


4 Tips for Surviving Software Audits

Wendy McMahone, CDWG, 11/20/215 With software makers such as IBM promising customers a licensing compliance review at least once every two years, undergoing a software audit isn’t a question of if, but of when. Robert Scott, managing partner of Scott & Scott, a Texas-based law firm specializing in software audits, says the risk of an…


Software License Management for the Modern Enterprise

CDW Whitepaper, 2013 Remarkably, only about 20 percent of organizations have a formal software management program in place, according to consulting firm Ernst & Young. And more than half continue to use spreadsheets to manage software licenses, according to the research firm Opinion Matters. Although technology professionals have long voiced concerns about the consequences of poor software license…


Managing Software License Disputes: Cooperation or Litigation

Robert J. Scott, The Licensing Journal, August 2012 Cooperate or litigate? That’s the question company executives must answer when software publishers claim that the company is violating the terms of its software licenses. In our experience, the best strategy depends on a variety of legal and business factors. This article discusses common software dispute resolution frameworks and concludes that a combined approach…


Courts May Refuse to Compel the BSA | The Software Alliance and Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) to Identify Their Informants

On January 12, 2012, the D.C. Court of Appeals held that the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) would not be required to disclose the name of one of its confidential informants in a civil case for defamation. Solers, Inc. had filed its lawsuit against a John Doe defendant for defamation after it resolved a…


What I Learned in the Last 10 Years Defending BSA | The Software Alliance Audits

I am an intellectual property attorney in Southlake, Texas who has handled more than 230 Business Software Alliance audit matters for small to medium-sized companies. For the last ten years, I have been representing end-user companies nationally in software audit matters initiated by major software publishers including Microsoft, Adobe, Autodesk, IBM and their trade groups…


How to defend against software audits successfully

Robert J. Scott, WestLaw Journal, 2011 Shrinking budgets for information technology and fierce competition among software publishers have created explosive growth in the incidence and frequency of software audits, a mechanism by which software publishers investigate their customers to determine whether they are in compliance with software licenses and copyright laws.


7 Software Audit Secrets

Robert J. Scott, Enterprise Features, May 2011 I am a lawyer that represents businesses in software audit cases initiated by software publishers and their trade groups including Business Software Alliance and the SIIA. I work with a team of lawyers and technology professionals defending software license disputes involving Microsoft, IBM, Autodesk, Oracle and Adobe. My clients range from global…


Chasing Pirates: Inside Microsoft’s War Room

Ashlee Vance, The New York Times, 11/06/2010 Microsoft has demonstrated a rare ability to elicit the cooperation of law enforcement officials to go after software counterfeiters and to secure convictions — not only in India and Mexico, but also in China, Brazil, Colombia, Belize and Russia. Countries like Malaysia, Chile and Peru have set up…


The Hard Truth About Software Licensing

Ericka Chickowski, Entrpreneur, 7/19/2010 You think software is expensive? Wait until you start using it for free. The fees add up when businesses are caught using pirated or improperly licensed software. And groups such as the Business Software Alliance and the Software & Information Industry Association are on the hunt for offenders. But many companies…


Software Licensing: A Legal, Not Technology Issue

The Software & Information Industry Association is aggressively going after small and mid-size businesses, accusing them of software piracy. Many businesses are already under investigation, and facing potentially steep fines and bad publicity that could hurt their reputation with customers and business partners. Despite the fact that this is an issue involving software, it’s not…


Audit Inspections: How to Proceed with Inspecting Computers for Software Installations

The Business Software Alliance (BSA) is an organization that represents software companies and prosecutes alleged unlicensed use of those member companies’ software products.  The BSA generally initially sends a company a letter indicating the company may be out of compliance with applicable software license agreements and demanding that the company investigate and inspect each computer…


Program Pirates: Steering Clear of Software Audits

Christopher Danzig, Inside Counsel, 7/1/2009 Imagine you head a small company, with just a few dozen employees and computers. One day you receive a letter from a software industry trade group, such as the Business Software Alliance (BSA) or the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), informing you that it knows your company has unlicensed…


Beware of the Software License Police

Robert J. Scott, The Advocate, 2008 Shrinking IT budgetsts, fierce competition and a mature software market have increased the motivation for software publishers (such as Microsoft Corp., Adobe Systems Inc., Oracle) to conduct software licensing audits – demanding that their customers demonstrate ownership of licenses for all software installed on their computers. Software audits can…