Piracy Police could come knocking at your door!

Baseline Magazine recently published an informative article about what steps to take should you get an audit letter from the BSA. The process, as scary as it is, should be handled with care in order to come out with the smallest settlement possible, and avoid litigation if at all possible.

What exactly is the BSA and what do they want with us?

“The Business Software Alliance (www.bsa.org) is the foremost organization dedicated to promoting a safe and legal digital world. BSA is the voice of the world’s commercial software industry and its hardware partners before governments and in the international marketplace. Its members represent one of the fastest growing industries in the world. BSA programs foster technology innovation through education and policy initiatives that promote copyright protection, cyber security, trade and e-commerce. BSA members include Adobe, Apple, Autodesk, Avid, Bentley Systems, Borland, CA, Cadence Design Systems, Cisco Systems, CNC Software/Mastercam, Dell, EMC, Entrust, HP, IBM, Intel, McAfee, Microsoft, Monotype Imaging, PTC, SAP, Siemens PLM Software, SolidWorks, Sybase, Symantec, Synopsys, and The MathWorks.”

So basically, they are hired guns that go after companies who fall out of compliance with their licensing. They also operate 65 hotlines around the world for those who wish to report suspects of piracy. The piracy police!

The BSA promotes anti-piracy to create jobs overseas. In fact, they put out a report this month with IDC claiming that “reducing software piracy in the United States by just 10 percentage points over the next four years could generate more than 32,000 new jobs, $41 billion in economic growth, and $7 billion in tax revenues above current projections.”

With this in mind, the BSA is likely to continue on its crusade to audit those companies who are not in compliance with their licensing, which means companies should really consider creating a repository of its software assets and continually updating and reconciling inventory to remain in compliance.

The BSA-IDC study is available online at http://www.bsa.org/idcstudy . Also refer to the Baseline piece which is a very helpful guide as to what to do should you receive a letter. Has anyone got a letter? Raise your hand! Let us know.


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