The Business Software Alliance (BSA) is a trade organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. with world-wide software license enforcement authority of its member software publishers. Its member publishers include Adobe, Apple, Autodesk, Borland, Mastercam, McAfee, Microsoft, PTC, SolidWorks, Sybase, Symantec, The MathWorks, and UGS, among others.
Its primary enforcement method is to send a letter indicating that it has received what it believes to be credible information that the target company has installed more instances of certain software titles than it has licenses to use. The Business Software Alliance alleges copyright infringement in its letter and quotes the maximum statutory fines allowed by The Copyright Act, which is codified at 17 U.S.C. § 101, et al.
The letter, or one to follow, also includes an invitation to conduct an internal self-audit and report the audit results to the Business Software Alliance. Once a company has completed its software audit and has produced the results to the Business Software Alliance, the BSA then compares the audit results with the information it believes to be credible and assesses a fine in lieu of filing a lawsuit.
Many companies do not understand the extent of the possible fines as a result of these software audits and proceed to conduct the software audit themselves. Our attorneys have extensive experience in assisting companies faced with conducting an internal software audit, understand the information the Business Software Alliance requires to satisfy its audit, can help you optimize your existing software licenses and minimize your exposure to the BSA, and have developed a process that is of minimal disruption to our clients.
Call Dorman Bell, LLP today to learn more about the Business Software Alliance or how we can help your company with a software license audit.