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…

201612.09
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Managing Risks in the Software Audit Process

It has been said that software is the new oil. It fuels the information revolution. And in this metaphor, software audits are the meters that measure the flow—and extract maximum revenue for software makers. The auditors arrive on your company doorstep to “true up” your license and make sure you’re paying for all the software…

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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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…