Businesses faced with a software audit should consult experienced counsel.
Southlake, Texas (PRWEB) January 22, 2013
Providence, Rhode Island ranked in the top ten of BSA | The Software Alliance radio ads soliciting piracy tips from whistleblowers in exchange for cash rewards according to research from media tracking service Adscope™ of three monitored ads. Scott & Scott, LLP, an intellectual property and technology law firm, recommends Providence business owners prepare themselves by taking immediate action to reduce their risk. BSA | The Software Alliance is an international trade association of approximately 100 of the largest software publishers, including IBM, Oracle, Microsoft, Adobe, Symantec, and Autodesk, that conducts software copyright enforcement on behalf of its members.
Small and mid-size businesses are usually the focus of the BSA. “After having represented over 250 BSA audit cases, most clients believe a disgruntled IT employee or IT consultant was the whistleblower who was enticed by the BSA’s radio ads offering a cash reward. Business owners are surprised by how expensive, lengthy, and stressful defending a BSA matter is”, said Robert J. Scott, Managing Partner of Scott & Scott, LLP.
According to BSA reports, they receive an average of 20,000 confidential tips annually either on their reportpiracy.org website or 888-No-Piracy line. Leads are solicited via internet and radio ads in targeted markets throughout the nation. Their campaigns appear to be very effective, netting $115,000 settlement in November from a Colorado media company, and over $200,000 from a Fergus Falls company in December. In addition to the settlement costs, companies need to acquire any licenses necessary to become compliant, and to take measures to ensure future compliance, in addition to possible audit and legal costs.
Scott & Scott, LLP recommends businesses mitigate software-audit exposure by taking a few critical steps:
1. Maintain and enforce policies on software use and license acquisition.
2. Conduct routine self-audits.
3. Keep all software receipts and license certificates.
4. Have employees and IT consultants sign confidentiality agreements..
These steps will help companies to be able to demonstrate ownership of licenses for all software installations present in their IT environment as of the effective date of the audit. However, for more complex software licenses (such as those associated with some Microsoft volume licensing models, for example), companies are well advised to seek the assistance of licensing experts or knowledgeable legal counsel.
For additional information and free resources, visit: http://www.bsadefense.com/main/about-the-business-software-alliance-bsa-faq.aspx
About Scott & Scott, LLP (http://www.scottandscottllp.com) (http://www.softwareaudit.com) (http://www.bsadefense.com) is a leading intellectual property and technology law firm representing businesses in matters involving software licensing. Scott & Scott, LLP’s legal and technology professionals provide software audit defense and software compliance solutions, all protected by attorney-client and work-product privileges.
Robert Scott, a recognized expert on software compliance and defense, is available for interviews.