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When Software Publishers Sue

Intellectual property and technology law firm, Scott & Scott, LLP, sponsors upcoming CLE webinar entitled "When Software Publishers Sue" on June 25th.  Managing Partner, Robert J. Scott, will share his software dispute expertise in a free CLE* presentation.

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Software Licenses Present Challenges in M&A Transactions

The complexity of software licenses makes it more challenging for counsel to identify licenses that should and can be transferred as an asset acquisition or divestiture.  Scott & Scott, LLP Managing Partner Robert Scott will provide guidance for counsel on the buy-side of M&A transactions in a June 26th CLE webinar "M&A Transactions and Software License Due Diligence."

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2014 Merger Activity Highlights Need for IT Due Diligence

Heavy merger and acquisition activity in the first quarter of 2014 highlights the need for IT due diligence.  Scott & Scott, LLP says IT assets acquired in mergers can carry more risk than they are worth.

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Cloud Storage for Business: 37 Experts Reveal the Top Cloud Storage Mistakes They See Companies Make Moving to Cloud Storage

Cóbhan Phillipson shares answers from experts on cloud storage in this April 18, 2014 article on Docurated.com.

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Robert J. Scott Presents at 36th Annual Corporate Counsel Institute

The University of Texas School of Law and the Corporate Counsel Section of the State Bar of Texas will hold the 36th Annual Corporate Counsel Institute on April 10-11 at the Dallas/Addison Marriott Quorum.  Robert J. Scott, Managing Partner of intellectual property and technology law firm, Scott & Scott, LLP, will present "Software Agreements & Audits" at 2:00 PM on April 11.

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Scott & Scott, LLP Voted Best Technology Law Firm in the U.S.A. by Finance Monthly Magazine

Scott & Scott, LLP, a boutique technology law-firm in Southlake, Texas has been named best Technology Law Firm in the U.S.A. by Finance Monthly. The Finance Monthly Law Awards 2014 recognizes law firms and legal professionals who have outperformed their peers through dedication to client service and work undertaken within the past year.

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M&A Needs Privacy Attys, Facebook's WhatsApp Buy Shows

A German data protection official ... ripped Facebook Inc.'s planned $19 billion acquisition of mobile-messaging service WhatsApp, highlighting the growing need for deal makers to tap privacy attorneys to consider the tricky data security issues that often draw regulatory scrutiny.

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Greatest Compliance Risks Surrounding Third-Party Outsourcing

Robert  J. Scott, Scott & Scott, LLP Managing Partner, addresses the significant risks associated with outsourcing important technology functions to providers.

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Seven Tech Predictions for 2014

What technology changes can businesses expect to see in 2014? Robert J. Scott, Managing Partner, Scott & Scott, LLP, makes the following top 7 predictions.

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How to Prevent Unnecessary Software Licensing Exposure

Successful software asset management requires the right tools and know-how. Learn how to manage software assets to control costs, optimize utilization, andprevent unnecessary software licensing exposure.

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U.S. Army Shells Out $50 Million to Settle Copyright Infringement Suit

The copyright infringement lawsuit against the Government filed in 2012 by Apptricity, an Irving, Texas-based provider of Mobile Enterprise software solutions has been settled for $50 Million according to the plaintiff’s November 25 press release.

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2 Recent Business Software Alliance $100K Settlements Are Tip of the Iceberg

Scott & Scott, LLP, a law firm with a software audit defense practice, says companies should not be lulled into complacency because the BSA | The Software Alliance has reported few settlements in the press. Many settlements are confidential and not publicized. Companies should be proactive and ensure their software is compliant.

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Hacksurfer: Click Here to Win a FREE iPad, Just Give Me All of Your Personal Information First

Internet marketer Henry Nolan Kelly settled Federal Trade Commission allegations that he “blasted consumers with millions” of deceptive text messages offering free iPads and iPhones to those who clicked through. After handing over personal details and completing steps like signing up for paid subscriptions, there was only one problem: the promised electronics never arrived.

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No Business is Immune from Data Breach

The recent publicly disclosed breach of a box-office and online ticketing service’s database highlights the fact that every business collecting, using, maintaining, or storing electronic data is at risk for a security incident. Scott & Scott, LLP, suggests companies have a data breach plan in place to prepare for and mitigate the liability, costs, and brand-damage associated with data security breaches or incidents.

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Employees as Whistleblowers: Source of Software Piracy Tips to BSA & SIIA

Regardless of whether you think Edward Snowden, the IT contractor who leaked news about the National Security Agency (NSA) electronic surveillance program, is a martyr or a traitor, his actions have put the spotlight on “whistleblowing”. According to Scott & Scott, LLP, whistleblower reports to software trade associations - BSA | The Software Alliance and the Software Information & Industry Association- involving alleged software piracy are frequently under the radar, number in the thousands annually, and are very costly to businesses. Scott & Scott, LLP recommends the following proactive measures to mitigate the risk of becoming a target of the BSA or SIIA.

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InfoWorld: Eight is enough! IT's biggest frenemies

Colleagues can be both allies and adversaries -- here's how IT can cope with the eight worst types of coworkers.

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Software Audit Trend Continues in 2013 Predicts Scott & Scott, LLP

Scott & Scott, LLP, an intellectual property and technology law firm, predicts that the trend of software publishers and their trade associations – BSA | The Software Alliance and the Software & Information Industry Association – increasing software audit demands will continue for the second half of this year and beyond.

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Hacksurfer: The number one threat to corporate cybersecurity – Your employees

When it comes to cybersecurity there is one area of near universal agreement: as you follow the breadcrumbs backwards through the resulting mess of a breach, an employee will almost always be standing next to that first crumb – puzzled look, arms raised, and telling the IT department “oops.” It’s the Golden Rule of information security. Your employees are the number one liability when it comes to cybersecurity.

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Hacksurfer: Weigh In: What are your top cybersecurity concerns?

Jeff Peters shares answers from experts on cybersecurity in this June 2 article.

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Robert J. Scott & Brian Von Hatten Present Strafford CLE Webinar “M&A Transactions and Software License Due Diligence”

The complexity of software licenses makes it more challenging for counsel to identify licenses that should and can be transferred as part of an asset acquisition or divestiture. Scott & Scott, LLP Managing Partner Robert J. Scott and Associate Brian Von Hatten will provide guidance for counsel on the buy-side of M&A transactions.

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Scott & Scott, LLP Shares Time-Proven Software Audit Best Practices

Many businesses do not know what to do when they receive a letter from BSA | The Software Alliance (a/k/a Business Software Alliance) requesting a software audit. Intellectual property and technology law firm, Scott & Scott, LLP, with a practice area focus on software defense, shares software audit strategies.

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HackSurfer - Hacking Point of Sale Systems: Old story, new victims, same prior business practices

A May 27, 2013, post by Jeff Peters on how common POS hacks are today, with retail leading the way.

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Read Lynn Haber’s SearchIT Channel article on IT risk mitigation strategies for MSPs and cloud providers

Managed service providers and cloud service providers that are as well-versed in risk and liability as they are in technology will be in a better position to win more deals and safeguard their business and their customers than those who are not. That was one of the key messages that Robert J. Scott, managing partner at Southlake, Texas-based Scott & Scott LLP, a law and technology services firm serving managed service providers (MSPs), passed along to attendees in a presentation on cloud law at last week's MSPWorld 2013 in Orlando, Fla.

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Scott & Scott, LLP Partners Present at MSPWorld 2013 Conference

The MSPAlliance, the world’s largest professional association and accrediting body for the Managed Services industry, has invited Robert J. Scott and Julie Machal-Fulks of Scott & Scott, LLP to speak at the MSPWorld™ 2013 Conference on March 21 and 22 at the Marriott World Center in Orlando, Florida. MSPWorld™ is the leading, and one of the oldest, cloud and managed IT services conferences in existence.

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BSA | The Software Alliance “Whistleblower” Radio Ads Focus on Omaha, Portland, Salt Lake City, and Tampa

According to reports from Adscope®, a media research service, BSA | The Software Alliance has recently limited distribution of three monitored radio ads seeking software piracy tips to Omaha, Portland, Salt Lake City, and Tampa. Scott & Scott, LLP, an intellectual property and technology law firm with a dedicated practice area handling software audit defense, shares what companies need to know when receiving a software audit request from the BSA.

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Business Software Audits: Scott & Scott, LLP Says Prepare For Auditor’s Knock On Your Door

With software audits expected to continue increasing in 2013, intellectual property and technology law firm, Scott & Scott, LLP, with a practice area focus on software licensing and defense, shares tips on how to protect your firm when the auditors come knocking on your door.

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Business Software Alliance Radio Ads Solicit Software Piracy Tips in Omaha

BSA | The Software Alliance national radio campaigns - Speak Up and Report Piracy, Fight Against Piracy, and Report Piracy - promoting cash rewards for confidential tips had the eighth highest occurrences in Omaha, Nebraska according to media tracking service, Adscope™. “The BSA’s efforts in Omaha and other cities increase the threat to small-mid size businesses that are not prepared for a software audit”, said Robert J. Scott, Managing Partner, of intellectual property and technology law firm, Scott & Scott, LLP.

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BSA Solicits Providence, Rhode Island Software Pirates

Providence, Rhode Island ranked in the top ten of BSA | The Software Alliance radio ads soliciting piracy tips from whistleblowers in exchange for cash rewards according to research from media tracking service Adscope™ of three monitored ads. Scott & Scott, LLP, an intellectual property and technology law firm, recommends Providence business owners prepare themselves by taking immediate action to reduce their risk.

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Palm Beach County Health Department Employee Arrested for Identity Theft

A senior clerk at the Palm Beach County Health Department was arrested last week on charges of identity theft. According to the criminal complaint, for approximately the last year, the clerk obtained patient identification information, including more than 2800 patient names, dates of birth, and social security numbers from the department’s computer system and gave that information to her accomplices to file fraudulent tax returns.

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The 7 scariest monsters in tech

Ghastlier than malware, these IT hellions can turn your tech department into a horror show -- quick

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Software Police Accused of Targeting Small Businesses

A group called the Business Software Alliance had written him to claim that his 10-person architectural firm in Galveston, Texas, was using unlicensed software.

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How to Avoid SLA Gotchas in the Cloud

Much ado is made about the cost savings, profits and agility to be found in the cloud. But whether that is so depends heavily on how service level agreements (SLA) are written.

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Scott & Scott, LLP

Scott & Scott, LLP profiled in Society Life Magazine

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Audit frights - What to do when a software auditor knocks

The cost of data breaches may be getting a lot higher for IT professionals who are deemed to be responsible for failing to properly secure corporate information. For example, AOL LLC's chief technology officer abruptly resigned this week in the aftermath of a disclosure that the company had publicly released data on searches done by about 650,000 of its online subscribers.

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BSA Targets Law Firm Software Pirates

The Business Software Alliance (BSA) is a trade group whose members include the likes of Microsoft, Adobe and Computer Associates.  The BSA's job is to protect the property and financial interest of members by identifying and recovering damages from organizations using the unlicensed property (software) of their members. And they are aggressive—encouraging disgruntled employees to blow the whistle.  Virtually any business, including law firms, is at risk.  Even with good intentions, you are likely to have software installed and in use on your computer equipment for which you do not have a license or do not have the BSA’s level of required proof of purchase.

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ISPs Agree to Mete Out Punishment for Illegal File-Sharing

ISPs are paddling out of their safe harbors to take a more aggressive stance against online piracy, to the immense satisfaction of the music and film industries. The agreement several major providers have signed with the RIAA and MPAA could leave them open to accusations of selective enforcement or favoritism, however, and indirectly chip away at Net neutrality, said attorney Robert Scott.

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Sony grapples with data loss

Sony Corp.'s recent data breaches, in which hackers accessed more than 100 million consumer accounts, offer several lessons for companies, experts say. Among them are the importance of firms frequently monitoring their systems' security, collecting and retaining as little personal information as possible, encrypting what is kept and obtaining cyber insurance, experts say. Sony shut down its PlayStation Network multiplayer game network on April 20 and disclosed that hackers had stolen names, birth dates and possibly credit card numbers from 77 million accounts on the network.

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Should BSA anti-piracy study walk the plank?

The Business Software Alliance (BSA) has been a long time stalwart in the fight against software piracy, and in their 2010 BSA-IDC "Piracy Impact Study: The Economic Benefits of Reducing Software Piracy," they maintained a 10% reduction in software piracy over a four-year period in the 42 countries studied would produce $142 billion in new economic activity, generate $32 billion in new tax revenues, and add 500,000 new high-tech jobs. Yet recently Robert J. Scott, Managing Partner of Scott & Scott, LLP, said that the study was misleading and inaccurate, and provides a skewed basis for understanding piracy and its impact.

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Data breach at Epsilon underscores key cyber risk

Companies received another wake-up call about the dangers of data breaches when hackers obtained the names and email addresses of customers of dozens of businesses, but observers say the companies involved are handling the situation well.

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Lawsuit: Trial version of CAD software includes spyware

A trial version of a 3D CAD software package includes "phone-home" functionality that allows the vendor to contact downloaders months later and demand thousands of dollars in licensing fees, according to a class-action lawsuit filed recently in Massachusetts

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Marriott, Hilton Hit by Breach to Client E-mail Information

Marriott International Inc. and Hilton Worldwide are among the growing list of companies affected by a data breach last week that provided unauthorized access to customer names and e-mail addresses.

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Cloud Containment

Just keeping software patched and up to date can be a daunting task for businesses. “Typically, IT shops struggle with that because they’re underfunded and don’t always have the resources,” says Adam Rice, chief security officer at Tata Communications, an Internet service provider that offers cloud-based security services. “Cloud-based computing is something that, over time, will actually change the paradigm of things.”

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Business Philanthropy

Partners at the law firm Scott & Scott LLP, are so dedicated to the mission of Special Olympics Texas that in October they rappelled down the 15-story Intercontinental Hotel in North Dallas. The fundraiser for the nonprofit organization required each participant to raise $1,000 for the privilege.

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Microsoft Scraps With Apple Over Silly Trademark Tricks

Microsoft "may not have any intent to use the term 'app store' as a trademark, but the registration, if the USPTO were to award it to Apple, would effectively allow Apple to prevent Microsoft or anyone else from using the term in a way that is similar to however Apple does use or plan to use the term as a mark," Robert Scott, managing partner of Scott & Scott, told MacNewsWorld.

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The Rise of Cybervigilantism

Controversy over Wikileaks so-called Cablegate release last month led to a series of attacks and counterattacks over the Web, as Wikileaks supporters attempted to cripple the sites of organizations seen as working against the whistleblower website. Those attackers were in turn attacked themselves. Some see the attackers as political protesters; to others, they're criminals.

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With WikiLeaks, Amazon shows its power over customers

Robert Scott, managing partner at Scott & Scott LLP, a Dallas-based law firm that advises clients on IT contractual issues, said Amazon's cloud contract allows it to terminate hosting deals for cause and -- at its sole discretion -- anything it thinks is illegal, constitutes a regulatory violation or infringes on a third party's rights.

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EchoStar Egregious Acts in Destroying E-Mail Threaten Court Defense

A court-imposed sanction against EchoStar Satellite LLC, for “egregious” conduct in destroying e-mail evidence, may jeopardize the company’s defense of a $2.5 billion Cablevision Systems Corp. contract suit.

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Microsoft vs. Software Piracy - Inside the War Room

The arrival of organized criminal syndicates to the software piracy scene has escalated worries at companies like Microsoft, Symantec and Adobe. Groups in China, South America and Eastern Europe appear to have supply chains and sales networks rivaling those of legitimate businesses, says David Finn, Microsoft’s anti-piracy chief. Sometimes they sell exact copies of products, but often peddle tainted software that opens the door to other electronic crime.

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Time for trademark practitioners to get their heads in the clouds

As things stand, patents may be an essential tool for companies looking to monetise innovation, but their effectiveness in the emerging world of cloud computing is questioned by Gutierrez on two fronts. First off is the detectability of patent infringement. In the offline world if you suspect a product is infringing you can acquire the product, tear it down and analyse it, and subsequently determine whether there is an issue. But with cloud computing this is not the case.

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Scott & Scott, LLP, Announces Office Move

Scott & Scott, LLP, a technology and IP law firm located in Dallas, has announced that it is relocating its downtown office to the Southlake area. Scott & Scott, LLP has been located in the JP Morgan Chase Bank Building in downtown Dallas since 1996 and opened a Highland Park location earlier this year.

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IT shifts to the cloud, anecdote by anecdote

Robert Scott, managing partner at Scott & Scott LLP, a Dallas-based law firm that advises clients on IT contractual issues, says he routinely sees conflicting forces at work among users considering a move to the cloud. "On the one hand, there is this great pull toward cloud offerings and SaaS offerings," Scott said. But when it comes to putting together an actual contract, he said, "there is a lot of anxiety around these risks."

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Cloud Security & Control

Inexpensive, subscription-based cloud services eliminate the need to spend IT budget dollars to purchase or maintain equipment or applications. Making the move to the cloud is an SME’s dream, except that it comes with a lot of uncertainty. You may ask: How safe is it? How much trust can an enterprise put in a cloud provider? If you turn over your customer data, can you access it whenever the need arises? It’s a balancing act between risks and benefits, in-house capabilities vs. the cloud. If you know the right questions to ask, and you know how to mitigate the risks, the balancing act is manageable. Here’s a primer for maintaining that balance.

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San Diego County Selects Scott & Scott, LLP as Trademark Counsel

The San Diego County Office of Education contracted Scott & Scott, LLP to provide legal counsel and representation before the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office with regard to applications that the county office had filed for marks related to its energy efficiency education program.

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SAP Court Move Could Limit Oracle Evidence

Hoping to limit the issues in a pending court case brought by Oracle, SAP announced Thursday that it will accept liability for copyright infringement and downloading conduct by its former TomorrowNow support-services unit.In a filing with the U.S. District Court in Northern California, SAP said it would accept financial responsibility for any judgment awarded against TomorrowNow. Oracle accused the unit of "corporate theft on a grand scale" in a lawsuit filed in March 2007.

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Frivolous Facebook Lawsuit May Have a Leg to Stand On

Facebook has been blindsided by a lawsuit that could have triggered an upheaval in its ownership structure, or at least a massive legal fight -- if it had been filed a few months ago, that is. Still, the modicum of legal uncertainty created by the case must be giving top executives at the social networking giant some concern.

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Savings cloud risks of outsourcing tech

As the popularity of cloud computing increases, companies should be aware of the related liabilities, particularly in the areas of security and data access, experts say. Cloud computing promises cost savings by allowing companies to outsource their information technology infrastructure by using Internet technology to access hardware and software services. The data may be stored in another state or even another country. But because the data no longer is in the end-user company's hands, there is a potential loss of control and accessibility, observers say. “Although cloud computing offers many opportunities, it also brings with it many risks,” Mr. Neuburger said. “Fundamentally, it involves a certain lack of control over where your data and applications reside. Along with that comes the risk of system failure, comes the risk of unauthorized access to your materials, comes the risk of a lack of control over privacy and data security, and risks associated with intellectual property and privacy,” he said.

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License audits: Preparing now can ease the pain

Oracle licensing consultant Eliot Arlo Colon still remembers the enormous global publishing company that was "so darn confident" it would breeze through an upcoming software license audit unscathed.But once the company actually dusted off its E-Business Suite contract, it got an ugly surprise.Contrary to long-standing internal belief, the publisher's custom licensing agreement only authorized North American use of the ERP (enterprise resource planning) package, not worldwide, according to Colon, president of Miro Consulting in Woodbridge, New Jersey.

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North Texas the “Technology Commercialization Center of the USA?”

Question: Should North Texas strive to be the “Technology Commercialization Center of the USA?” Answer: A resounding yes.

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Business Software Alliance Dirty Tricks Update

As this column winds down (my last one will by 10/28), I've been thinking about the most important issues I've covered over the past years. I rate the Business Software Alliance and its use of extortion tactics based on tips from disgruntled employees at the top of the despicable list. Dangling a cash reward of up to one million dollars encourages a lot of story telling. It makes me mad every time I hear about another small company bludgeoned by these bullies.

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Software license audits come in multiple flavors

There are several types of software license audits, each with their own risks and variables, experts say. Trade groups like the Business Software Alliance often ask companies to conduct "self-audits," where customers collect software installation and usage information and report back any instances of noncompliance. Customers who receive a request for a self-audit should consider the benefits of this option, such as more flexibility over its timing, according to Scott & Scott, a Dallas law firm that specializes in software audits.

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Cisco Systems Hit with Antitrust Lawsuit

A network maintenance and services firm this week filed an antitrust lawsuit against Cisco Systems Inc., claiming that the networking giant intentionally excludes independent players from servicing its networks. 

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MSPAlliance Offers Insurance Specifically Designed For MSPs

Managed service providers who find it difficult to obtain affordable insurance for their services can now get help from MSPAlliance, the International Association of Managed Service Providers, according to the group.  

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Loss of Customer Data at BNY Mellon Much Bigger Than First Thought

A security breach that occurred at the Bank of New York Mellon earlier this year turned out to be three times as large as it initially reported, the bank revealed last Thursday. The breach involved the loss of unencrypted computer back-up tapes that contained confidential information about 12 million customers of the bank’s shareholder services unit, rather than the 4 million it originally announced. That could triple the company’s cost of dealing with the problem and potentially expand its liability. 

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The Hunt for Software Pirates

A couple of days ago, I got a message on my home computer purporting to be from Microsoft telling me it wanted permission to download some software onto my machine to verify if I was using a legal copy of Windows. Like a good Boy Scout (former senior patrol leader!), I clicked “yes.” I have no idea if I was communicating with Microsoft or some rogue intent on causing damage to my computer. 

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Software Audits: Not a Case of if, But When

"There are two types of companies: those that have been audited [for software violations] and those that will be." So says Robert J Scott, managing partner of legal and technology services firm Scott & Scott. Recent settlement fines for software licence violations have topped US$500,000 (NZ$800,000), says Scott, and that's only a small part of the true cost to an audited company. Scott, who has extensive experience defending companies in software audits, spoke with Computerworld's Kathleen Melymuka about your rights and responsibilities.

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Software Raids: Surviving an Audit

Why are audits increasing? In short, it’s all about money. With flat IT budgets and increasing competition in every software market, vendors need new revenue streams.

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Security Breach Notification Legislation Will Boost MSPs

In the California Senate, it went by the name SB1386. It was A4001 in the New Jersey Assembly. The U.S. House of Representatives calls it HR3997, and the Senate S1789. Whatever the anonymous title, all fall under the category of data security breach notification bills sweeping Capitol Hill...

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MSPs Gamble with the Law

News Analysis: MSPs base their entire value proposition on recurring revenue defined by SLAs and other contracts, yet less than 50 percent have those documents prepared by attorneys, leaving MSPs vulnerable.

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Tame Your SLAs

Understanding, let alone properly managing, software licensing agreements (SLAs) can be overwhelming, but don't just shrug it off. Enforcement agencies are taking an ever-more aggressive stance on auditing companies' software use and imposing heavy fines on violators. We take a fresh look at the problem and solutions.

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Q&A: BSA’s Informant Fee Hike is a Money-Maker, says Attorney

The Business Software Alliance last week increased its cash reward for qualified software piracy leads from $50,000 to up to $200,000. When the BSA announced the change, its director of enforcement, Jenny Blank, said in a statement that the increase reflected BSA’s plans to escalate its fight against software piracy.

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Tying the Knot

Live together long enough with your girlfriend or boyfriend, and sooner or later the topic of marriage will come up. Relationships evolve. And the cornerstone of that evolution is security. Whatever the relationship, personal or business, certainty is paramount.

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Under Threat of Litigation: How to Survive a Software Audit

"There are two types of companies: those that have been audited [for software violations] and those that will be." So says Robert J. Scott, the managing partner of legal and technology services firm Scott & Scott LLP.

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Stealing Software

It began covertly. Someone with inside knowledge of Meritage Corp. quietly contacted the Business Software Alliance (BSA), a trade group that represents some of the country’s biggest software companies, and reported that the homebuilder was using unlicensed software. BSA then demanded Meritage perform a software audit. The results weren’t good.

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The Software Protection Racket, Part 1

Old Mafia movies portrayed the protection racket as almost honorable, and certainly not complicated. If you pay the crime boss some money each week, he made sure other criminals didn't bother you. The new Software Mafia, represented by the Business Software Alliance, isn't honorable or simple.

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The Software Protection Racket, Part 2

Let's get right to the meat of the Business Software Alliance vs. User debate: is your software legal? In my last column I mentioned some of the things you and I would consider proof that we acquired our software legally, such as having the original disks, packing material, and paper or folder with the Registration Key. Answer from the BSA: none of that proves you own your software.

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Business Software Alliance: Outright liars or just truth challenged?

Earlier this month, I began talking about the new software Mafia, aka the Business Software Alliance (check out "The software protection racket, Part 1 and Part 2"). Two goals this week: get the BSA to tell me what prompts a software audit, and get Microsoft - one of the primary forces behind the BSA - to define piracy.

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Sound Off - Taking Sides on Critical IT Issues

At their best, software audits, during which vendors check a customer's network for unlicensed users, are legitimate procedures that let software companies conduct the kind of due diligence that their business demands. After all, licensing agreements are complicated documents whose restrictions could be misunderstood, either innocently or not so innocently.

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IT Execs on Firing Line over Security Breaches

The cost of data breaches may be getting a lot higher for IT professionals who are deemed to be responsible for failing to properly secure corporate information. For example, AOL LLC's chief technology officer abruptly resigned this week in the aftermath of a disclosure that the company had publicly released data on searches done by about 650,000 of its online subscribers.

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SAM Stinks

Beware of "helpful" software publishers, because they are out to help themselves, not you. Two stories detail how Microsoft is using their SAM (Software Asset Management) program to squeeze customers. Worse, your friendly reseller may run the SAM engagement as a help to you, then turn you in to Microsoft for any real or imagined license violation.

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Data breaches spark new forms of insurance coverage

The spiralling number of high-visibility data breaches has prompted some insurers to offer innovative coverage aimed at helping businesses cope with network and privacy breach liabilities. The question is: Will they buy it? Dugie Standeford reports.

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Dark Day Planning: Insuring Against Data Loss

The list of data breaches involving sensitive personal information maintained by the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse achieved a significant milestone Dec. 13, as the nonprofit group saw the total number of records exposed in such events crest the 100 million mark.

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How to Respond to a Data Breach, Part 1

The wealthier companies become in data assets, the more attractive they become to attackers. This is why data security requires great attention and investment -- to prevent potential breaches.

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How to Respond to a Data Breach, Part 2

When data loss or unintended exposure occurs, organizations face myriad challenges in communication and crisis management.

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Who’s Uptown?

The run is in its 21st year and will be held April 7. Scott said his firm started the Everyone Wins Challenge as a way to reach out to a deserving charity while at the same time getting Uptown residents behind the annual event.

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Using Managed Services for License Compliance

Law firm Scott & Scott, of Dallas, is encouraging managed services providers to add software license compliance and asset management to their remote monitoring and management offerings.

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Data Breaches Getting Costly

Corporate executives don't seem to be sweating over the increasing size, severity and frequency of data breaches, but they may be ignoring the problem at their--and their companies'--peril.

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Encryption Can Save Data — And a Company Rep

With Rob Scott, the managing partner of the law firm of Scott and Scott, LLP. Last month, the firm released a survey it commissioned from the Ponemon Institute on the impact of data breaches.

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Scott & Scott doubling its presence at Chase Tower

Dallas-based Scott & Scott LLP has signed a 10-year lease with JPMorgan Chase Tower that will more than double the space the law firm occupies in one of downtown's signature office towers.

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Growing Data Breaches Mean Opportunity for VARs

More than 85 percent of organizations in a recent study reported they had experienced a data-breach event--a statistic that represents great pain for businesses that are victims of such breaches, many of which could have been avoided.

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Digital Business: External Audits: Fair Play on Both Sides?

The external audit has become one of the most contentious issues in software management and one that is unavoidable for medium-sized and large companies.

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Worker E-mail and Blog Misuse Seen as Growing Risk for Companies

Employee misuse of e-mail, blogs, message boards and media-sharing websites posed a significant security risk for publicly traded U.S. companies last year, with 31.8% investigating a suspected violation of privacy or data protection regulations, according to a new survey.

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Spying in the Workplace: Big Money?

The Business Software Alliance launched its rewards program in the U.S. in 2005 to encourage individuals with detailed information about software piracy to come forward and confidentially submit the information. Since then, the BSA claims that it successfully settled with hundreds of companies, bringing in nearly $22 million.

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Oracle-SAP Suit Exposes Contract Weaknesses

The ongoing legal dispute in which Oracle accuses SAP of "corporate theft on a grand scale" brings to the fore the delicate nature of contractual agreements between software companies.

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Small Business in Cross Hairs of Software Industry Group’s Aggressive Piracy Crackdown

WASHINGTON - Michael Gaertner worried he could lose his company. A group called the Business Software Alliance had written him to claim that his 10-person architectural firm in Galveston, Texas, was using unlicensed software.

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Latest Developments in Privacy and Data Security for Financial Institutions

The publisher of the Privacy & Data Security Law Journal recently sponsored an audio conference entitled “Latest Developments in Privacy and Data Security for Financial Institutions.” The speakers were Christopher J. Volkmer, the Current Developments columnist for the Privacy & Data Security Law Journal and the managing member of the Volkmer Law Firm LLC, which advises financial institutions, outsourcers, and other businesses in transactions and compliance matters, and Robert J. Scott, the managing partner of Scott & Scott, LLP, a law and technology services firm dedicated to helping senior executives assess and reduce the legal, financial, and regulatory risks associated with privacy, network security, and compliance.

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Software Police Increase Enforcement: Efforts How to Protect Your Company

On the corporate high seas, piracy is everywhere. Companies are filled with computers but not enough software. When you cut costs and install programs on more than one workstation, you’re walking a thin plank.

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What to Do When You Receive a BSA Audit Letter

The Business Software Alliance is known to be a persistent enforcement agency which rarely grants clemency to organizations once it begins settlement proceedings. The following eight tips are offered by two attorneys who specialize in BSA defense cases; they give advice on what to do once your business receives a letter requesting a BSA audit.

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How to Write an IT Service-Level Agreement

Writing an IT service-level agreement (SLA) is important if you're rolling out a services-based line of business, such as managed services. Whereas many resellers may have previously acted only as intermediary between their customers and vendors, more and more are providing service directly -- or at least rebranding services from a managed service provider (MSP) as their own.

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