201901.30
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GDPR Enforcement

The need for United States and Canadian Businesses to have a GDPR Compliance Initiative in place is paramount. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) became effective on May 25, 2018 (the “Effective Date”). GDPR is the widest sweeping privacy regulation to hit the global market since the 1995 EU Data Protection Directive. GDPR is a…

201810.10
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Key Components of Software Audit Response Policies

Software audits are significant legal and financial risks for all companies. With more and more software publishers utilizing intrusive audits and other information-gathering exercises as the basis for licensing transactions and – more troublingly – as sources of revenue through compliance-enforcement actions, more of our clients are implementing detailed policies to define whether and how…

201805.08
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SAP Introduces New Pricing Model for Indirect Access

In response to continued customer concerns about how to license for access to SAP products by third parties or by processes, SAP announced that it was offering a new pricing model based on indirect access.  Customers using SAP S/4HANA, SAP S/4HANA Cloud, and SAP ERP solutions should carefully evaluate the new license model offered by…

201803.07
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Fundamentals of Software Audit Data Collection – Virtualization Inventory

In order to effectively manage their software usage and to mitigate compliance exposure, companies need to know how to gather and analyze information regarding their product usage. While some software products may have unique data-collection requirements that ordinarily would not be applicable for other products, usage levels for many products can be measured using a…

201801.17
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Fundamentals of Software Audit Data Collection – Hardware Inventory

In order to effectively manage their software usage and to mitigate compliance exposure, companies need to know how to gather and analyze information regarding their product usage. While some software products may have unique data-collection requirements that ordinarily would not be applicable for other products, usage levels for many products can be measured using a…

201712.28
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What is a Microsoft SPLA Verified Self-Audit?

If you provide commercial hosting services using Microsoft’s Service Provider License Agreement (SPLA), you may become a target of an ever-increasing variety of license audits from Microsoft and its vendors.  The latest flavor of a Microsoft SPLA audit is the verified self-assessment or VSA.  The SPLA verified self-assessment differs from both the independent audit and…

201712.06
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How to respond to a VMware Audit

Managing a complex IT environment very challenging, even before becoming involved in an external software audit from a software publisher or a third-party auditing entity. Businesses facing VMWare audits in particular should be prepared to take a number of steps to ensure compliance and avoid exacerbating any potential copyright infringement claims. Step 1: Identify the…

201711.17
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How to Conduct a Software Audit

One of the tasks with which Scott & Scott’s clients most commonly request our assistance is how to conduct a software audit. While almost all companies, large and small, use software in order to conduct their business operations, many of those companies lack mature or even nascent software asset management practices. Consequently, when asked to…

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…