202107.23
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Top Three Revisions to Request in Software License Audit Clauses

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Large companies that invest heavily in software licensing are familiar with the extremely one-sided nature of most software license audit clauses. It is a pleasant surprise when such clauses do not give software publishers rights to conduct audits at any time and for any reason, and when they do not require the audited companies to…

202107.07
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Burden of Proof in Copyright Infringement Matters

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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 work in the way it was using it. …

202106.22
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High-Level Data-Collection Strategies for Software Audits

In our experience, many companies facing software-licensing audits initiated by vendors like Microsoft, Oracle or IBM seem to be under the impression that auditors have a nearly unfettered right to information. This is not the case. However, too many audit targets discover too late that what may have seemed like good-faith cooperation in the interest…

202106.14
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Recent Developments in Autodesk Licensing and Audits, Part I

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Autodesk introduced subscription plans in 2016 and shortly thereafter, began to phase out perpetual licenses. However, many perpetual users were able to continue upgrading to the newest version of Autodesk products if they had an active maintenance plan. Last month, Autodesk terminated its maintenance program, officially ending all support for perpetual licenses in an effort…

202106.10
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Litigation Risks of Ignoring Software Audits

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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 & Information Industry Association (“SIIA”). The BSA and SIIA often send a letter to targets…

202105.20
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Trust, But Verify with Third-Party Software Vendors

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Enterprise-level software solutions often are very complex products requiring a level of expertise that may be outside the experience or skill sets of generalist IT teams. Many businesses therefore rely on the services of independent software vendors and consultants to evaluate their needs for particular solutions, to procure the required licensing, and to deploy and…

202105.19
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Effective Audit-Response Policies Can Be Vital in Responding to Software Audits

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Businesses often have close relationships with software vendors, and that closeness usually is in direct proportion to the extent and importance of those vendors’ software products in the businesses’ network environments. However, despite their best marketing efforts, software vendors’ interests always will remain aligned primarily with their own bottom line, and that often means that…

202105.11
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Bad Advice That Can Get You Sued for Software Copyright Infringement

In recent years, many software publishers began using software audits as a means to increase revenue by penalizing customers for perceived compliance issues. Software publishers often conduct direct audits, or audit through companies such as the BSA | The Software Alliance (“BSA”), or the Software & Information Industry Association (“SIIA”). Although many software users take…

202103.30
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Disguised Software Audit Clauses

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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 in a software agreement without a software audit clause, it can lead to serious consequences. It…