201704.10
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How to Contend with Oracle’s Many Licensing Policies

It is common practice for software publishers to incorporate by reference various licensing rules and policies to govern the usage of the publishers’ software products. For example, Microsoft’s volume license agreements (such as MPSAs or Enterprise Agreements) incorporate Microsoft’s Product Terms, Online Services Terms and Service Level Agreement for Online Services (among other documents), with…

201703.14
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Oracle Audit Risks

Oracle maintains what I consider to be the most aggressive audit program of any major software publisher. Its licensing rules can be extremely difficult to understand, and they frequently are not clearly stated in the applicable license agreements. Moreover, Oracle’s License Management Services (LMS) team typically is unforgiving when it comes time to apply those…

201702.14
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Settlement Structuring for IBM Audits

Software-compliance audits initiated by IBM can be extremely burdensome and time-consuming and can force companies to face challenges that are somewhat unique among major-publisher audits. For one example, a significant component of IBM’s business model is the acquisition of other software vendors and the integration of those vendors into IBM’s product portfolio, which can complicate…

201701.10
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To SAM or Not to SAM? The Differences Between a Microsoft SAM Engagement and an Audit

In recent years, Microsoft seems to have been shifting an increasing volume of its license-compliance resources toward what it calls Software Asset Management (SAM) reviews. These “optional” engagements typically are proposed by Microsoft personnel with whom a company has not had any prior interactions, and the company often receives no advance warning or introductions from…

201701.09
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Be Cautious in Navigating Microsoft’s Forest of EA Documents

Companies with experience licensing Microsoft software and services through Enterprise Agreements know that small forests could be felled to produce the paper required for the typical document stack. EAs often incorporate a dozen or more different components, including some or all of the following: Microsoft Business and Services Agreement or Microsoft Business Agreement (Microsoft sometimes…

201611.22
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Microsoft Clarifies Rules Related to Self-Hosting

I previously presented my thoughts here regarding changes Microsoft made to its Product Terms pertaining to the Self-Hosted Applications benefit under Software Assurance. After publishing that entry, Microsoft reached out to me to clarify that the principal effect of the change actually is to increase self-hosting rights by extending them to deployments hosted by a…

201609.20
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For SPLA Audits, When Historical Data is Missing, Creativity May Be Required

Most software audits pertaining to products licensed under perpetual licenses (such as licenses acquired under a Microsoft Select Agreement, MPSA or (usually) Enterprise Agreement) incorporate a snapshot-in-time approach, where licenses owned generally are compared to deployments identified through data collected about current-state product deployments. In contrast, audits pertaining to products licensed under a Microsoft Services…

201609.20
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In Microsoft Audits, Don’t Forget About True-Up Rights

Following the conclusion of a software audit, Microsoft’s standard practice is to require an audited company to purchase licenses associated with calculated “unlicensed use” within a set period of time (typically, 30 days) following receipt of Microsoft’s settlement demand. However, it is important for companies with Enterprise Agreements to keep in mind the fact that…

201609.14
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One Easy, Preventative Step to Reduce Exposure in Autodesk Audits

In the universe of software-copyright enforcement programs, Autodesk’s may be the most active and vigorous. All businesses – even those not running Autodesk software – should take steps early and regularly to identify and eliminate any software-compliance gaps associated with Autodesk and other software installations. It is common for businesses owners to be surprised by…