Business Software Alliance (BSA) Ramps Up Software Piracy Focus

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Scott & Scott, LLP warns businesses that the Business Software Alliance’s (BSA) recently announced increased software anti-piracy operation could negatively affect them if they are not proactive and ready for a potential BSA audit.

Robert J. Scott, Managing Partner, Scott & Scott, LLP

The onus of software compliance is entirely on the customer.

“The Business Software Alliance (BSA) announced expanded efforts to combat software piracy increasing the threat to small-mid size businesses that are not prepared for a software audit," said Robert J. Scott, Managing Partner, of intellectual property and technology law firm, Scott & Scott, LLP.

The BSA, a global trade association for the software industry, with nearly 100 member companies including Adobe, Apple, Autodesk, and Microsoft, released a press release on April 19th that they are reorganizing into two operating units; one focused on increasing its attention on software anti-piracy and the other on global advocacy around key emerging issues for the technology industry including privacy and security and intellectual property protection.

Regarding increased focus on combating software piracy, BSA President and CEO Robert Holleyman said, “We also are expanding our focus as the industry’s premier anti-piracy organization, because new technology architectures in cloud and handheld computing are creating new challenges for protecting intellectual property.”

While Scott & Scott, LLP understands the BSA’s desire to protect the intellectual property rights of its software publisher members, we believe the BSA has done nothing to simplify or standardize the license agreements of its member companies, which are all unique, lengthy and complex. This leaves the onus of compliance entirely on software customers – the very customers that the software publishers actively pursued to generate revenue.

Scott & Scott, LLP recommends companies prepare for the inevitable BSA audit. To see if you are ready for a software audit, take this Audit Readiness Assessment:

  • Does your organization conduct routine discovery on 100% of its desktops, laptops and servers?
  • Can your organization conduct on short notice a complete reconciliation correlating all installed software to appropriate proofs of purchase?
  • Has your organization implemented appropriate electronic controls to prevent unauthorized software-title proliferation?
  • Has your organization implemented well defined processes for retaining and retrieving software licenses and invoice documents?
  • Do you always obtain a confidentiality agreement from IT consultants and employees?

Companies that have effectively mitigated the risks of software audits can answer “yes” to the above questions. Being proactive can save headaches and expense. Ignoring audit readiness can result in very costly consequences.

About Scott & Scott, LLP:
Scott & Scott, LLP ( is a boutique intellectual property and technology law firm with an emphasis on software disputes, technology transactions, brand management, and federal litigation. Our lawyers and technology professionals take a principled approach to each engagement, leveraging our experience to provide value. Our clients range from mature small businesses to publicly traded multi-national corporations who work proactively with us to creatively solve business and legal issues. We regularly work as part of a team of in-house and outside attorneys managing large-scale legal projects. We take the time to listen to a client’s objectives and understand its business before developing a custom strategy and project plan designed to give the client visibility into the process and the potential outcomes.

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