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......

Be Wary of Requests for Mystery Data

Christopher Barnett  Comments (0)
Software auditors such as KPMG, Deloitte and PriceWaterhouseCoopers like to have things their way. It’s an understandable impulse – with likely hundreds of audits pending at any one time, the natural inclination is to standardize the process around a single set of tool......

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”......

Compliance Remains a Concern Even in the Cloud

Christopher Barnett  Comments (0)
For many businesses, the allure of moving their software platforms, applications and/or databases to The Cloud lies substantially in the promise of ridding themselves of license-compliance concerns. The pitfalls of a Cloud-based architecture are worth accepting for many ......

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......

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......

Settlement Structuring for IBM Audits

Christopher Barnett  Comments (0)
Software-compliance audits initiated by IBM can be extremely burdensome and time-consuming and can force companies to face challenges that are somewhat unique among major-publisher audits. For one example, a significant component of IBM’s business model is the acquisitio......

Top Tips for Post-Audit Software Remediation

Keli Johnson Swan  Comments (0)
Responding to a software audit can be an arduous, expensive, and time-consuming process for a company. The remediation process to close compliance gaps may vary slightly depending on whether the audit is initiated the software publisher itself or outsourced to an agency ......

Burden of Proof in Copyright Infringement Matters

Keli Johnson Swan  Comments (0)
In a civil copyright infringement claim, many users of copyrighted material are surprised to learn that once the copyright owner has demonstrated that it owns a copyright in the work, the burden shifts to the copyright user to demonstrate that it had the right to use the......

Autodesk Audits: The Importance of Serial Numbers

Julie Machal-Fulks  Comments (0)
In many software audits, the auditing entity like the Business Software Alliance or the Software & Information Industry Association requires a dated proof of purchase to demonstrate when a license for a software product was acquired. However, in audits initiated by A......

How to Contend with Oracle’s Many Licensing Policies

Christopher Barnett  Comments (0)
It is common practice for software publishers to incorporate by reference various licensing rules and policies to govern the usage of the publishers’ software products. For example, Microsoft’s volume license agreements (such as MPSAs or Enterprise Agreements) incorp......

Avoid Overpaying for Software Settlements

Keli Johnson Swan  Comments (0)
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 Associa......

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......

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 ......

Autodesk Audits: Managing Independent Contractors

Keli Johnson Swan  Comments (0)
Autodesk, Inc. uses a variety of resources to identify potential audit targets. Many of these targets are small architecture or engineering firms that employ independent contractors in lieu of full time employees as CAD operators. A typical Autodesk software audit let......

Autodesk Targets Architects In Software Audits

Keli Johnson Swan  Comments (0)
Autodesk routinely conducts software audits to determine whether businesses have unlicensed copies of its software installed on their computers. Architecture firms typically represent a significant portion of the targets of such audits – many such firms are heavily relia......

Oracle Audit Risks

Christopher Barnett  Comments (0)
Oracle maintains what I consider to be the most aggressive audit program of any major software publisher. Its licensing rules can be extremely difficult to understand, and they frequently are not clearly stated in the applicable license agreements. Moreover, Oracle’s L......

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......

Are Mandatory Software Inventory Tools on the Horizon?

Christopher Barnett  Comments (0)
Software licensing compliance is a complex task to manage. The metrics for measuring compliance often are a challenge to gather, and those metrics typically are different from software publisher to software publisher. This means that software asset management (SAM) teams nee......

Responding to Autodesk Audits

Julie Machal-Fulks  Comments (0)
The BSA and SIIA are not the only organizations pursuing business for software copyright infringement. Though it is a member of both the BSA and SIIA, Autodesk, which manufactures the popular design software AutoCAD, often pursues audit targets on its own. The audits begi......

Top Tips for Responding to an Autodesk Audit

Keli Johnson Swan  Comments (0)
Autodesk routinely sends letters to businesses that it suspects may be using Autodesk software products without adequate licensing, both in order to confirm those suspicions as well as to address any license-compliance discrepancies. Typically under threat of a federal lawsu......