201902.21
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The True Cost of Defending Against Copyright Infringement Litigation

Software publishers and entities like the BSA| The Software Alliance and the SIIA regularly audit companies to investigate copyright infringement claims. These entities seek monetary penalties if any infringement is discovered, and in the majority of cases, reach an out of court settlement for an agreed upon sum. Sometimes, settlement negotiations break down and one…

201902.20
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Don’t Wait For a Settlement Demand to Hire an Attorney for Copyright Infringement

Software publishers have increasingly identified software audits as potential revenue-generating exercises, which has led to a rise in the number of companies targeted. Small, medium, and large companies all need to be aware that a software audit can result in extensive time and unbudgeted financial expenditures. Software audits may be initiated by publishers or through…

201902.15
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Not All Software Audits Protected By Privilege

Companies faced with a demand for a software audit from a software publisher or an entity such as the Business Software Alliance or Software & Information Industry Association are increasingly turning to their own internal IT departments or hiring technology consultants to conduct software audits, the results of which may be discoverable in future litigation….

201902.14
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Superseding Audit Rights for Software Copyright Infringement: Settlement Agreements Versus Software License Agreements

Many software copyright infringement claims are resolved informally and often the terms are set forth in a settlement agreement. The critical terms in every settlement agreement purporting to resolve copyright infringement claims include the release of liability, confidentiality, warranties and representations, monetary sums to be paid, and in cases of software, future auditing rights. Third-party…

201902.13
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Understanding the Scope of a Software Audit

Software publishers regularly audit their customers to help ensure that the customers are properly licensing their software. Some software publishers conduct audits directly, but many choose to audit through companies such as the BSA| The Software Alliance (“BSA”), or the Software & Information Industry Association (“SIIA”).  The first step in addressing the software audit is…

201902.07
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Avoid Overpaying for Software Settlements

Most software audits initiated by the software publisher or a third party entity authorized to pursue copyright infringement claims on behalf of the software publishers, such as the BSA| The Software Alliance (“BSA”) or the Software & Industry Information Association (“SIIA”), are resolved outside of a courtroom.  Many of the settlements require payment of a…

201902.06
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Responding to the Dreaded Software Audit

Modern financial history is chock full of embarrassing audit scandals, which caused executives and corporate brand names severe damage from intentional fabrication of revenues, or creating imaginary profits, or claiming assets that turn out to be a mirage. There’s a new scary cousin of traditional financial audits known as the software audit. It’s increasingly become…

201902.05
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How to Find the Best Lawyer for Your BSA Audit Case

I am a partner in Scott & Scott, LLP a firm that focuses on technology law matters in Southlake, Texas.  We represent companies accused of software piracy by industry trade groups such as the Business Software Alliance and Software Information and Industry Association.  I had my first encounter with the BSA in 2004 when they…

201902.04
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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…

201902.01
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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…

201901.31
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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…

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…

201901.29
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Audits in the Cloud

Traditionally, software audits were conducted by gaining access to software installations and reviewing entitlements. Theoretically, if a customer is using a cloud product accessed by login credentials, then audits wouldn’t be an issue because the software publisher would be in complete control of the customers’ access to its systems. But, audits can still be a…

201901.25
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The Art of Negotiating a Software Audit

Almost every business today operates with the support of digital tools. One survey put the number of companies investing in digital technologies to transform their business at an astounding 97 percent. Conducting business in this digital age means licensing software from major publishers, such as IBM, Oracle and Microsoft, and the subsequent acknowledgement and anxiety…

201901.23
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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…

201901.15
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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…