The Business Software Alliance (BSA) maintains a toll-free telephone number and web site that encourages people to report unlicensed software use. In fact, the BSA offers a monetary reward of up to $1,000,000.00 in exchange for information of software piracy that leads to enforcement activity. The Business Software Alliance then investigates all reports of software piracy and pursues those reports it believes are credible.
The BSA uses its power of attorney to enforce the copyrights of its member software publishers. As a first step, the BSA usually sends a letter to the target company indicating it has received information that it believes to be credible that the target company has more software installations than it has licenses to use. It does not disclose the identity of the informant.
Too often, when a company’s Chief Executive or President receives a letter from the BSA, his or her first instinct is to contact the information technology director within the company, the outsourced information technology group, or worse, the BSA attorneys. When a company receives a letter from the BSA, it is no longer just an information technology issue – it is a legal issue. The first thought the Chief Executive or President should have is seeking the help of a company or law firm that is familiar with resolving these types of disputes. The last thing the company should do is go out and buy software licenses under the direction of the information technology group.
Call Dorman Bell, LLP today to learn more about the BSA audit process and how our winning strategies can save you time and money.