202103.04
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Obtaining Payment Terms for BSA Settlements

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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…

202102.08
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11 Secrets to Defending BSA | The Software Alliance Audits

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Don’t be in the dark on how to prepare and respond to software audits. An increasing number of companies face software audits initiated by software publishers and their trade associations, such as BSA | The Software Alliance and the Software & Information Industry Association. Most companies are totally unprepared; many underestimate their exposure and are…

202012.03
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How to Find the Best Lawyer for Your BSA Audit Case

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I am a partner in Scott & Scott, LLP a firm that focuses on technology law matters in Southlake, Texas.  We represent companies accused of software piracy by industry trade groups such as the Business Software Alliance and Software Information and Industry Association.  I had my first encounter with the BSA in 2004 when they…

202011.12
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Tracking Down Proofs of Purchase for Software Licenses

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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…

202007.01
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When to Buy vs. Uninstall Software in BSA | The Software Alliance Audits

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One of the most common mistakes I encounter in BSA audits is what I call the post-effective date software buying spree. The buying spree occurs in response to a letter from the BSA’s attorney’s requesting a self audit. Many clients are discouraged to learn that software purchases made after the date of the BSA’s initial…

201910.01
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What is the BSA, Software Alliance’s Definition of Software Piracy?

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“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…

201909.25
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Responding to an Audit from the BSA Software Alliance

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If your company has received a letter from the BSA | The Software Alliance requesting a software audit, you are probably wondering whether you should cooperate or ignore the request. I have been handling BSA cases for almost a decade and advise my clients to cooperate but to do so in a manner that will…

201905.17
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Unpleasant Surprises in BSA Software Audits

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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 based…

201905.14
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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
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The Cost of Confidentiality in a BSA Settlement

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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,…