February 1999 Issue


The Business Software Alliance (BSA) was formed by software manufacturers to help protect the rights of software copyright owners. It undertakes enforcement actions against organization end users, resellers, training schools, electronic bulletin board operators, and other entities suspected of making, using, or distributing illegal copies of software.

A major source of leads for BSA is its toll-free piracy hotline, (888) NO PIRACY. BSA also is involved in public awareness programs on copyright law and in encouraging voluntary compliance with those laws.

BSA recently announced a settlement with an accounting firm in Topeka, Kan., under which the firm paid BSA $250,000. The payment is to be used by BSA to support its education and enforcement efforts, thereby raising companies' awareness of the need for proper software licensing and management.

According to BSA, the settlement culminated a cooperative effort between the accounting firm and BSA to assess the accounting firm's compliance with software requirements. The voluntary self-audit was conducted after BSA received a report on its antipiracy hotline. The audit revealed more copies of software programs published by BSA members--Adobe, Lotus, Microsoft, and Symantec--than the firm had licenses to support. BSA, in announcing the settlement, stated the deficiencies uncovered demonstrate that even reputable, well-managed companies such as the accounting firm in question can experience problems in managing their software needs.

More information about BSA is available at its website, www.bsa.org, including its Guide to Software Management, which can be downloaded from the site. *

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