When to Buy vs. Uninstall in Software Audits

Rob Scott  Comments (0)
One of the most common mistakes I encounter in software audits is what I call the post-effective date software buying spree. The buying spree occurs in response to a letter from a publisher or publisher's attorneys requesting a self audit. Many clients are discouraged to......

Litigation Risks of Ignoring Software Audits

Keli Johnson Swan  Comments (0)
Software audits are a means for software publishers to enforce and regulate use of their copyrighted software, and publishers regularly outsource enforcement of their copyrights to law firms or entities such as the BSA| The Software Alliance (“BSA”) or Software &......

11 Secrets to Defending BSA | The Software Alliance Audits

Rob Scott  Comments (0)
Don't be in the dark on how to prepare and respond to software audits. An increasing number of companies face software compliance audits initiated by software publishers and their trade associations, such as BSA | The Software Alliance and the Software & Informati......

Managing Risks in the Software Audit Process

Rob Scott  Comments (0)
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”......

Disguised Software Audit Clauses

Keli Johnson Swan  Comments (0)
Agreements often contain clauses allowing the parties to review books and records, “Books and Records” clauses. These are often boilerplate clauses included in agreements without much consideration from the contracting parties. When a Books and Records clause is used......

Costly Software Audit Mistakes

Keli Johnson Swan  Comments (0)
BSA | The Software Alliance (BSA) and the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) are organizations that represent software publishers seeking to enforce the copyrights in the products they publish.  In furtherance of this goal, these entities routinely send ......

License Ambiguities in Software Audits

Rob Scott  Comments (0)
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 m......

Be Wary of Audit Tools Promoted by Software Auditors

Christopher Barnett  Comments (0)
Most companies with more than a handful of computers in their IT environments rely on the results of network-inventory tools to gather the deployment data needed for accurate software audits. Without the tools, a business would be required to assign valuable resources to......

Factors Affecting Potential Exposure in Software Audits

Christopher Barnett  Comments (0)
Most businesses that try to plan for software audits and to estimate the potential exposure they could incur in the event of those audits know that the primary cost components of that exposure typically are the prices associated with any licenses they may have failed to ......

Microsoft’s Auditors Are Not Infallible

Christopher Barnett  Comments (0)
Microsoft licensing is a complex, multi-faceted undertaking, with different rules and license metrics applying to different products. In the context of software audits initiated by Microsoft, it is important to keep in mind the fact that the auditors hired to perform tho......

Software Audits: Proving Ownership of Software Licenses

Keli Johnson Swan  Comments (0)
Often the single most arduous and time-consuming task facing companies who are the subject of software audits is collecting entitlement information to prove ownership of licenses for software installed on its networks. Once a company receives an official audit letter from ......

Time Settlement Right for Software Audits

Keli Johnson Swan  Comments (0)
There is a growing trend for software publishers to keep software audits in-house and avoid using external organizations to pursue copyright infringement claims. Often, the compliance teams at the software publishers seek payment for software non-compliance through contr......

BSA Informants: Disgruntled Employees

Keli Johnson Swan  Comments (0)
How to Protect Your Company against Copyright Infringement Claims by Disgruntled Employees Seeking a Reward In an effort to enforce the copyrights of its members, Business | The Software Alliance (“BSA”) offers the potential for monetary rewards to any informant tha......

How to Find the Best Lawyer for Your BSA Audit Case

Rob Scott  Comments (0)
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 Associati......

Autodesk Licensing Implications of Working from Home

Keli Johnson Swan  Comments (0)
The Covid-19 pandemic shifted entire non-essential industries to a remote workforce, leaving companies scrambling to set up employees to work from home. A study in June 2020 by Pricewaterhouse Coopers determined that nearly 70% of office workers were working remotely. Wh......

Timing is Key for Software Audit Settlements

Keli Johnson Swan  Comments (0)
More than 90 percent of software audits initiated by software publishers or representative entities, such as the Business Software Alliance (“BSA”) and Software & Information Industry Association (“SIIA”), are settled out of court after negotiating a final settle......

Accurate Inventory Information Crucial to Audit Outcome

Christopher Barnett  Comments (0)
Obvious though it may sound, in almost every software audit the most crucial element contributing to a positive outcome is an accurate inventory of what software is deployed. Unfortunately, far too many businesses faced with an audit end up receiving grossly over-inflated ......

Understanding the Scope of a Software Audit

Keli Johnson Swan  Comments (0)
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 Art of Negotiating a Software Audit

Rob Scott  Comments (0)
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......

Effective Dates in Software Audits are Critically Important

Rob Scott  Comments (0)
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 obli......

Key Components of Software Audit Response Policies

Christopher Barnett  Comments (0)
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 rev......

How to Conduct a Software Audit

Christopher Barnett  Comments (0)
[caption id="attachment_5534" align="alignnone" width="614"] Fundamentals of Software Audit Data Collection[/caption]   One of the tasks with which Scott & Scott’s clients most commonly request our assistance is how to conduct a software audit. While almost ......

Top Three Tips to Ensure Software Compliance

Keli Johnson Swan  Comments (0)
Companies facing copyright infringement claims from software publishers or their representatives have few options to navigate an audit and resolve the matter out of court. The costly nature of a software audit has prompted companies to take pre-emptive steps to avoid exp......

How to Resolve an SIIA Audit Followed by a BSA Audit

Keli Johnson Swan  Comments (0)
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 &a......

Treat Audit Demands Like A Litigation Hold Letter

Keli Johnson Swan  Comments (0)
Software publishers are regularly auditing customers to ensure compliance with license agreements, and may initiate audits directly, or through entities such as BSA|The Software Alliance, and the Software & Information Industry Association ("SIIA"). These entities se......

Unpleasant Surprises in BSA & SIIA Software Audits

Christopher Barnett  Comments (0)
Many companies who comply with a demand by a software publisher or industry association (such as the BSA or the SIIA) for an internal software audit end up facing significant settlement demands after forwarding their audit materials to the other side. One of the reasons ......

Responding to the Dreaded Software Audit

Rob Scott  Comments (0)
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......

Audits in the Cloud

Rob Scott  Comments (0)
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 wo......

Software Piracy

Rob Scott  Comments (0)
Software piracy audits conducted by the BSA and the SIIA threaten small and medium sized businesses. As the economy tightens, software publishers such as Microsoft, Adobe, and Autodesk hide behind software piracy enforcement groups to pursue customers accused of installing m......

Beware Audit Terms in Microsoft’s New MPSA

Christopher Barnett  Comments (0)
Microsoft is in the process of transitioning many of its volume-licensing customers from the Select Plus Agreement to the new Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA). (More information on the transition framework is available here.) A notable difference between the......

SPLA-Audit Exposure Difficult to Estimate

Rob Scott  Comments (0)
One of the first steps we typically recommend to businesses facing software audits from any source is to try to estimate the financial exposure related to those audits. Doing so allows a company to allocate its resources more efficiently and to set aside reserves or make oth......

Software Compliance After BSA and SIIA Settlements

Christopher Barnett  Comments (0)
Your business has just finished spending the last year of its corporate life responding to a software audit demanded by the Business Software Alliance (BSA) or the Software &Information Industry Association (SIIA). It has devoted substantial time and internal resources i......

Software Audits: Surviving Settlement

Keli Johnson Swan  Comments (0)
Software auditing entities, such as the Business Software Alliance (“BSA”) and Software & Information Industry Association (“SIIA”), initiate software audits of businesses that more often than not result in a settlement agreed to and negotiated by both parties. I......

Varicent Customers Should Plan for Audits by IBM

Christopher Barnett  Comments (0)
In April 2012, IBM announced that it had reached an agreement to acquire Varicent Software, Inc., an Ontario-based publisher of analytics software for compensation and sales performance management. According to the announcement, Varicent’s customers include Starwood Hotels......

Responding to an Audit from the BSA-The Software Alliance

Rob Scott  Comments (0)
If your company has received a letter from the BSA | The Software Alliance requesting a software audit, you are probably wondering whether you should cooperate or ignore the request. I have been handling BSA cases for almost a decade and advise my clients to cooperate but to......