201905.17
0

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…

201905.15
0

Tracking Down Proofs of Purchase for Software Licenses

When a company receives a letter from BSA | The Software Alliance 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…

201905.14
4

BSA Audit Procedures

Most BSA Audits begin with a report from a disgruntled employee or former employee. The Business Software Alliance maintains telephone hotlines and a web site to encourage disgruntled employees and vendors to make anonymous reports against companies of all sizes. The BSA dedicates a substantial portion of its revenue marketing on radio stations and the…

201905.13
0

The Cost of Confidentiality in a BSA Settlement

Part of negotiating a settlement for alleged software licensing violations with the Business Software Alliance (BSA) involves certain provisions that have far-reaching implications.  A key to understanding those provisions involves carefully reading and dissecting each subsection. Often, one of the most important provisions, aside from the sections resolving a company’s alleged liability for copyright infringement,…

201905.08
0

Suing the Informant in BSA Audits

The targets of BSA audits frequently believe that they know who reported them to the Business Software Alliance. Justifiably angry, they want to know what legal recourse they have against the informant. Because the informants are frequently out of work, having been fired by the target, I advise my clients about the number one rule…

201905.07
0

Obtaining Payment Terms for BSA Settlement

Negotiating a settlement with the Business Software Alliance (“BSA”) to resolve a copyright infringement dispute over allegedly unlicensed software can be arduous and costly. The BSA typically demands a penalty based on some multiple of the MSRP of each product alleged to have been infringed, in addition to the BSA’s attorney’s fees and, usually, a…

201905.06
0

Life after a Software Audit: Keeping Settlement Confidential

The Business Software Alliance (BSA) is an organization that pursues copyright infringement claims on behalf of many software publishers against companies it accuses of violating its members’ software license agreements.  Because the cost of litigation in most cases outweighs the cost to settle out of court, the BSA often is able to force businesses to comply…

201903.15
4

Cooperation or Litigation: BSA Audit Strategy

If your company has received a letter from the BSA requesting a software audit, you are probably wondering whether you should cooperate or tell the BSA to pound sand. I advise my clients to cooperate but to do so in a manner that will not jeopardize their legal position in the event that cooperation does…

201903.13
1

Client Access Issues in BSA Initiated Software Audits

Businesses targeted for software audits by the Business Software Alliance (BSA) often learn that the BSA typically extends the scope of its audit requests to more than just software products and often requests information regarding client access to server products. Before disclosing this information to the BSA, it is important for a targeted business to…

201903.08
2

BSA Audit Timeline

One of the top ten questions asked by my clients is “How long does the BSA self-audit process take from start to finish?” Of course I give the standard lawyer answer: it depends. Here are the steps to a typical BSA audit. Preparation of Audit Materials (3 to 6 months) A BSA audit is a…