THE $150,000 SMALL BUSINESS MISTAKE: UNLICENSED SOFTWARE
Unlicensed Software fines impact businesses of all sizes but can be especially devastating for small businesses. This can be an issue for the ETA / SearchFund community post deal acquisition.
So how does it work?? We're going to focus on one trade group in particular called The BSA: Software Alliance - they're a leading advocate for the global software industry. Founded in 1988 by Microsoft. Members also include Microsoft, Oracle, Adobe, Splunk, ServiceNow, IBM, Intel, Atlassian, Salesforce, and many others.
The BSA receives around 2,500 potential violations a year through its website or toll-free number.: https://reporting.bsa.org/r/report/add.aspx?src=us&ln=en-us
The million-dollar question is who is contacting them? Ironically, in some cases the whistle blowers are former employees that installed or benefited from the unlicensed software. It is important to the note that the BSA offers financial incentives to whistle blowers.
Insider awarded $10,000 bounty for reporting enterprise software piracy: https://www.zdnet.com/article/insider-awarded[redacted]bounty-for-reporting-enterprise-software-piracy
Once an investigation is kicked off, a letter from the BSA is issued threatening millions in fines. A self-audit is then requested by the BSA in order to avoid litigation. Afterwards the lawyers get involved to work out a settlement and confidentiality agreements if applicable.
Below are quick tips of avoiding these fines: 1. Proactive Self Audit – understand the state of your IT Assets at all times 2. Purchase Licenses – if unlicensed software if found, either purchase or uninstall 3. Find Receipts - Ensure all software has associated receipts. 4. Establish a Hardware and Software Policies 5. Educate your employees 6. Contact Your Attorney - If you receive correspondence from the BSA
We are here to support the SearchFund/ETA community with technology related issues. For assistance shoot us an email at [redacted] let's set up a meeting and talk through it.
Informational Links: LinkedIn Video: http://www.linkedin.com/posts/nnamdiosuagwu_eta-searchfund-strategicgeneration-activity-6627564685187170304-4Yvu/
BSA settles $347,000 in damages against Australian firms that used unlicensed software: