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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Autodesk Audits: The Importance of Serial Numbers

In many software audits, the auditing entity like the Business Software Alliance or the Software & Information Industry Association requires a dated proof of purchase to demonstrate when a license for a software product was acquired. However, in audits initiated by Autodesk, the serial number can play a crucial role in demonstrating ownership. Autodesk products…

201609.14
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Responding to Autodesk Audits

The BSA and SIIA are not the only organizations pursuing business for software copyright infringement. Though it is a member of both the BSA and SIIA, Autodesk, which manufactures the popular design software AutoCAD, often pursues audit targets on its own. The audits begin much like those instituted by the BSA or SIIA. The target…

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…

201609.14
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Top Tips for Responding to an Autodesk Audit

Autodesk routinely sends letters to businesses that it suspects may be using Autodesk software products without adequate licensing, both in order to confirm those suspicions as well as to address any license-compliance discrepancies. Typically under threat of a federal lawsuit for copyright infringement, Autodesk requires targeted businesses to respond to detailed questions about the Autodesk…

201609.14
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Top Four Terms to Remember when Purchasing Autodesk Software

Software-license compliance can be a difficult task, and understanding the standard Autodesk Software License Agreement may present challenges. Here are four of the most important terms in that agreement to remember for compliance purposes: 1. License Terms Vary Regarding Installations. a. Multi-seat license. Although Autodesk generally restricts software installations to one installation per license, the…

201609.13
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Is Microsoft Trying to Kill Self-Hosting?

Earlier this year, with no fanfare (which is perhaps unsurprising), Microsoft implemented a significant change to its Product Terms pertaining to Software Assurance (SA) benefits that likely will have a significant licensing impact for companies that have taken advantage of the Self-Hosted Applications benefit accompanying SA. For several years now, Microsoft has allowed customers with…

201609.09
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Licensing Implications of Oracle’s NetSuite Acquisition

On July 28, Oracle announced that it had entered into an agreement to acquire NetSuite for approximately $9.3 billion. NetSuite was founded in 1998 and is one of the very first, enterprise-level, cloud-services providers, delivering various, hosted enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), e-commerce and professional services automation (PSA) solutions to its customers….

201609.09
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Important Tips for Resolving an SIIA Audit During or Immediately After a BSA Audit

Sometimes a company receives notices of audits from many publishers or trade associations at the same time. Often this is because multiple agencies have received confidential reports from the same informant. If a current or previous employee contacts both the Software & Information Industry Association (“SIIA”) and BSA|The Software Alliance (“BSA”), the company may face…

201609.01
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Forming a Texas Series LLC

The limited liability company “LLC” is a popular way to structure a new business venture in Texas. The primary reason for forming an LLC is to obtain protection from personal liability for the owners of the business. Owners who are planning to form new business entities in the future may want to consider a Texas…

201608.07
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Effective Dates in Software Audits are Critically Important

Businesses that receive software audit demand letters from auditing entities such as the BSA or SIIA, or from software companies like Autodesk or Microsoft, often contend they cleaned up their network after receipt of the letter and should be released from any further obligation to conduct an audit or communicate with the auditor.  Audited business should…

201607.15
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BSA Informants: How to Protect Your Company against Copyright Infringement Claims by Disgruntled Employees Seeking a Reward

In an effort to enforce the copyrights of its members, Business|The Software Alliance (“BSA”) offers the potential for monetary rewards to any informant that shares information related to software copyright infringement against a company.  Many of our clients are facing audits because an informant has turned them in. Even if a company is able to…

201607.11
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Can a Software Publisher Force You to Audit Your Customers?

Many software-solution vendors utilize third-party infrastructure or application programs as frameworks for embedded solutions that they sell to their customers and install on their customers’ computers. Licenses for those third-party products typically can be acquired by a vendor and passed to its customers pursuant to the terms of an Independent Software Vendor (ISV) or Original…

201607.11
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Be Wary of Certain ISV and Embedded Software Agreements

It is common for software solution providers to use third-party products to support the functionalities those providers have developed for their solutions. For example, a network-monitoring solution may incorporate IBM Cognos functionality, or an accounting solution may incorporate a Microsoft SQL Server database. Increasingly, in today’s market, those solutions are hosted over the Internet, and…

201607.05
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Costly Software Audit Mistakes

The Business Software Alliance (BSA) and the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) are organizations that represent software publishers seeking to enforce the copyrights in the products they publish.  In furtherance of this goal, these entities routinely send letters to businesses they believe may be infringing their members’ copyrights by failing to satisfy the requirements…