What is the Software & Information Industry Association?
The Software & Information Industry Association (“SIIA”), like the Business Software Alliance (“BSA”), is a trade association for the software and digital content industry whose primary goal is to protect its members from copyright infringement otherwise known as software piracy. SIIA has hundreds of company members including Adobe, Autodesk, McAfee, Oracle and Symantec. SIIA provides services internationally in government relations, business development, corporate education and intellectual property protection to many of the leading companies around the world. The Software & Information Industry Association’s principal mission is to promote the industry, protect the industry and inform the industry.
The Latest Information on Evaluating, Reforming, and Protecting the Software and Information Industry
Evaluating the Industry- Software Publishers are Leaving Revenue on the Table
The SIIA teamed up with SafeNet, a software monetization company and, on March 21, 2013, released the results of a joint survey of software developers and enterprise software end users. The results were clear: “As a result of not implementing the right licensing models and security as a foundational pillar of their business, software developers are finding that they are losing revenue, seeing diminishing profitability and increasing the risk to their brand and overall reputation.” For companies that may be potential targets for the SIIA and the BSA, this serves to show a high level of awareness and willingness to pursue small businesses in order to counteract business shortcomings.
Reforming the Laws that Govern the Industry – Electronic Communications Privacy Act
There has been much recent debate over the amount of privacy that should be afforded to personal data stored in a cloud environment. The reform of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (“ECPA”) was drafted in 1986 and its main aim was to extend privacy that applied in wiretapping scenarios to electronic data transmissions between computers. As email and data storage methods have evolved to more server and cloud-based storage, the protections granted by the ECPA have become increasingly insufficient. For example, emails stored on a server for more than 180 days are considered abandoned and law enforcement agencies only need a written statement attesting that the information is relevant to an investigation to gain access to the files.
On March 18, 2013, Ken Wasch, president of SIIA released this statement:
“We have seen tremendous technological advances in communications and computing technology since 1986, when ECPA was enacted. The legal framework provided by this outdated statue [sic] leaves both providers and users of remote computing with a complex and baffling set of rules. These rules are both difficult to explain and to apply in this age of networked and cloud computing.”
SIIA urges members of the Judiciary Committee to work with all deliberate speed to enact legislation creating a warrant requirement for law enforcement access to remotely stored electronic content. It is critical to level the playing field for information Americans store in the cloud, ensuring that it receives the same protection as the information they store in their homes.
This statement shows the SIIA’s support for reforming the ECPA. Tighter restrictions on law enforcement searches would mean fewer burdens on software companies that are required to provide information from their servers.
Protecting the Industry – Software Piracy
On April 23, 2012, the SIIA announced it had settled a copyright infringement lawsuit against an individual from Covina, California for manufacturing and selling unauthorized copies of Adobe software. Adobe is known for its Creative Suite of software that includes titles such as Photoshop, Premiere Pro, Illustrator, and After Effects. The individual was selling the pirated software via a British website and settled with the SIIA for a five-figure sum. The individual has also agreed to cooperate with the SIIA to provide more information on those who supplied the software.
According to the SIIA, between 2009 and 2012, it “has filed more than 100 lawsuits in the U.S. against illegal eBay sellers as well as sellers on other websites dealing in counterfeit, OEM, academic, region-specific and other illegal software and publications. Defendants have paid millions of dollars in damages, and, in some cases, criminal charges were pursued and defendants sentenced to jail time.”
Dorman Bell is a business and technology focused law firm based in Dallas, Texas and has a dedicated section to defend organizations against software license audits from software publishers and their trade organizations, such as the Business Software Alliance and Software and Information Industry Association. For more information, call us at (214) 736-718 or visit our contact page and we will get back with you as soon as possible. We look forward to serving you!!!