201710.30
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License Ambiguities in Software Audits

Without a contractual provision to the contrary, ambiguous terms in a software license will be construed against the software publisher. Provided that there are no other business factors that would make litigation unwise, an ambiguous license agreement is the situation most likely to lead to litigation. Construction against the Drafter When dealing with ambiguities, it…

201710.30
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Using an Oracle Server Worksheet to Respond to Oracle Licensing Inquiries

If your business receives an inquiry from Oracle requesting that you complete an Oracle Server Worksheet, you should proceed with caution. Answering the question without consulting a licensing expert and carefully evaluating the relevant license agreements can result in increased licensing fees, possible audits, and penalties. Before responding to an Oracle inquiry, it is important…

201710.30
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Consult with Counsel for SPLA Audits

Microsoft’s Services Provider License Agreement (“SPLA”) is a popular licensing framework for businesses delivering hosted or rented software solutions to their customers. However, as with many software license agreements pertaining to resale or other business channel partnership programs, the SPLA typically includes audit rights language giving Microsoft the ability to review a SPLA partner’s records…

201710.24
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VMware Licensing: Common Questions about Licensing Rules and Restrictions, Part II

Virtualization can reduce the number of physical machines required in an environment and have several other benefits, but it can also require an understanding of complex technical and licensing concepts. Failure to properly license the environment can subject the company to unbudgeted licensing and compliance fees. The following list includes several common questions and concerns…

201710.18
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Microsoft SPLA Self-Assessment – What It Is, and How to Respond

Many of our clients have been contacting us in recent weeks (mid-late 2017) regarding notices they received from Microsoft requesting an internal self-assessment of their license positions under their Services Provider License Agreements (SPLAs). Naturally, many of those clients have questions about that process and the ramifications of cooperating with Microsoft. For those who may…

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…