201709.13
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How to Understand Oracle’s Use of its Partitioning Policy for Virtualization

Oracle’s “Technology” software products (such as its WebLogic and Database programs) are very popular products. Unfortunately, as we have explained numerous times here, Oracle’s license agreements and compliance practices entail numerous pitfalls for unwary users of those products. Being caught in one of those pitfalls can result in substantial, unforeseen expenses following an audit by…

201708.30
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11 Secrets to Defending BSA | The Software Alliance Audits

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…

201708.30
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VMware Audits: What You Need to Know About Licensing Rules, Part I

It is not unusual for companies to use virtualization technologies to reduce costs, ensure redundancy, and reduce physical size of the network. Some of these companies are turning to VMware to manage their virtualized environments. Virtualization can involve complex technical and licensing issues. Failure to properly license the environment risks subjecting the company to unbudgeted…

201708.16
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Navigating Microsoft License Verification Audits

Microsoft, like other software publishers, routinely audits customers to help ensure that it is protecting the value of its intellectual property.  Microsoft verifies its customers’ compliance using several methods. Microsoft License Verification (also, Software Asset Management “SAM” request). In a SAM request, Microsoft assigns a third party to reach out to a customer to confirm…

201708.15
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Is Flexera’s Initiative with Microsoft a Silver Bullet for Software Audits?

Microsoft and Flexera recently announced a joint initiative that the two companies have touted as a way to transform “the software supply chain” through the use of a standard set of software asset management (SAM) solutions. By deploying Flexera’s FlexNetManager Suite with Microsoft’s Intelligent Asset Manager, the goal is to create an “agreed upon ELP…

201707.28
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Superseding Audit Rights for Software Copyright Infringement: Settlement Agreements Versus Software License Agreements

Many software copyright infringement claims are resolved informally and often the terms are set forth in a settlement agreement. The critical terms in every settlement agreement purporting to resolve copyright infringement claims include the release of liability, confidentiality, warranties and representations, monetary sums to be paid, and in cases of software, future auditing rights. Third-party…

201707.11
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Are Mandatory Software Inventory Tools on the Horizon?

Software licensing compliance is a complex task to manage. The metrics for measuring compliance often are a challenge to gather, and those metrics typically are different from software publisher to software publisher. This means that software asset management (SAM) teams need to use multiple tools and processes to gather required data and then apply different…

201706.20
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Copyright Infringement Defense: Know When to Consult an Expert

Even though software audits are commonplace in many businesses, recipients of audit notices make many mistakes when it comes to audit responses.  Because software publishers can often assert claims for copyright infringement if the audit goes badly, it is important to manage the audit effectively from the outset.  Some companies do not respond to the…

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…

201703.15
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Oracle Licensing: Hard Partitioning and Disaster Recovery

When licensing Oracle products, many businesses fail to understand the licensing requirements for virtual technologies and disaster recovery.  These licensing mistakes can result in significant unbudgeted expenses related to Oracle software licensing. (1) Virtualization Virtualized hardware is now fairly pervasive in the IT world. But, incorrectly virtualizing an environment can have catastrophic effects to a…

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…

201702.02
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The Art of Negotiating a Software Audit

Almost every business today operates with the support of digital tools. One recent survey put the number of companies investing in digital technologies to transform their business at an astounding 97 percent. Conducting business in this digital age means licensing software from major publishers, such as IBM, Oracle and Microsoft, and the subsequent acknowledgement and…

201701.20
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Responding to the Dreaded Software Audit

Modern financial history is chock full of embarrassing audit scandals, which caused executives and corporate brand names severe damage from intentional fabrication of revenues, or creating imaginary profits, or claiming assets that turn out to be a mirage. There’s a new scary cousin of traditional financial audits known as the software audit. It’s increasingly become…