A. The Business Software Alliance is an industry trade group whose members include software giants such as Microsoft, Adobe, Symantec, Macromedia, and Computer Associates.
A. The BSA has no independent law enforcement authority of any kind. Its rights are derived from a power of attorney provided by its member software companies. Those companies have rights created by their software license agreements and under the laws protecting copyrights.
A. The Business Software Alliance is well funded and very aggressive. Attempting to ignore the problem by not responding will likely make your problems worse, leaving the BSA with no other option but to institute litigation against you and your company.
A. To conduct a self-audit you can either use your internal staff, retain the services of an outside IT vendor, or use the services of an experienced law firm such as Scott & Scott, LLP.
A. Unlike internal audits, and IT-vendor audits, attorney-conducted audits are fully protected by the attorney-work product and attorney-client privileges. The results are protected from disclosure and therefore cannot be used against you or your company in court.
A. The Business Software Alliance will not give you credit for any titles purchased after the date of the audit letter and will likely seek sanctions against your company based upon “spoliation” of evidence in the event of litigation. If you have been contacted by the BSA, you should retain experienced counsel to guide you through every step of the process.
A. The Business Software Alliance will not voluntarily release the names of their informants because the promise of confidentiality increases the volume of reports. In the event of litigation, it is likely however that the factual basis for the allegations in the lawsuit, including the informant’s information, may be discovered.
A. The BSA's members are aggressive about ensuring compliance with software licenses and will likely file suit if they have no response from a BSA target.
A. Obtaining an inventory of network deployments that is accurate as of the date of the BSA's opening letter and getting complete entitlement records.
A. Many BSA matters result in six-figure penalties and should be treated like any serious legal matter.
A. In most cases, it takes three to six months to evaluate sufficient information to make an estimate.
A. Yes, in most cases the network inventory can be conducted remotely.
A. We recommend that you visit our Fine Calculator.
A. No, the BSA will often accept audits conducted using other software asset discovery tools.
A. The BSA will reject an invoice or other entitlement if the purchase price is too low, if the vendor is not reputable, or if the proof does not contain all of the required information.
A. A settlement demand can be received the same day, or many months after production of the audit, depending on a number of factors.
A. Yes, Scott & Scott can assist clients during every stage of the BSA audit process.
A. A typical BSA audit matter is pending 12-18 months.
A. Absolutely not. The BSA's attorneys understand that clients who have done nothing wrong need an experienced resource to guide them through the process.
A. Not always. In some instances, the lawsuit may be a surprise.
A. The venue of the suit would depend on the nature of the case and any forum-selection clauses in the relevant software licenses.
A. We evaluate potential litigation matters on a case-by-case basis. Some of our clients have filed suit against BSA members.