202111.05
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A Chief Information Officer’s Guide to Mitigating Costs Amid Software Copyright Disputes and Audits

At this stage, if your company has not faced a software audit, you are probably on borrowed time. Many software publishers are initiating software audits using their in-house compliance teams instead of outsourcing to law firms or third-party vendors. Often, compliance teams will contact the business or IT contact at the targeted company. These technical…

202110.26
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When Outside Counsel Is Worth the Cost: Software Copyright Infringement

Companies are sometimes fielding multiple software audit demands from multiple software vendors simultaneously, which can significantly impact in-house counsel. Software audits may be initiated by publishers or through outside entities such as BSA | The Software Alliance. Audits initiated directly from a software publisher are sometimes presented as a sales offer from the compliance team,…

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…

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…

202101.22
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Management’s ignorance is not a defense to copyright infringement claims

Software publishers, acting alone, or through a proxy such as the Business Software Alliance (“BSA”) or Software & Information Industry Association (“SIIA”), regularly audit customers or potential customers to ensure license compliance and deter against copyright infringement. For mid-sized or larger companies that employ an in-house or external IT resource to manage software purchases and…

202010.29
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Autodesk Licensing Implications of Working from Home

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. While some employees were allowed to simply transfer their work computers to their home office,…

202006.10
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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…

202005.01
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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…