Friday, November 14, 2008

Using software without licenses can be VERY expensive

Are you confident you have legit licenses for all installed software?
Do you have legit software but lost the proof to prove it?
BSA is checking small/medium sized companies and we recommend getting your paperwork in order before it costs you.

Q.Well, can't I just buy the licenses when I get an audit notice?
A.Some people think they will get legit after they are targeted for an audit. Thats not how it works: only licenses you have invoices for dated before the audit notice date will count. Each unlicensed software carries a penalty of up to $150,000 per infringement.

Q.I bought licenses real cheap on the web. How do I know they are legit?
A.If you bought licenses for 25% less than normally advertised prices you most likely have pirated software and a software audit will turn that up.

Q.What is sufficient proof?
A.If you have a certificate of authenticy or an open license agreement and an invoice to cover each license you should be good.

Q.Can software companies audit me?
A.Most software agreeements include that you will allow them to verify you are properly licensed.

Q.Do small companies get checked?
A.Yes, we know of small companies in our area that are being audited.

Q.What should I do now and for the future?
1.Get organized and have copies of licenses and invoices in a ringbinder.
2.If you are using open licenses, make sure they have not expired as they can.
3.Buy licenses for any you are short on now before an audit notice.
4.Get each computers' cds and licenses organized in a box or binder about that computer.
5.Going forward buy licenses from reputable companies and be suspicious of highly discounted sources

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