201807.28
0

What is a Microsoft SPLA Verified Self-Audit?

If you provide commercial hosting services using Microsoft’s Service Provider License Agreement (SPLA), you may become a target of an ever-increasing variety of license audits from Microsoft and its vendors.  The latest flavor of a Microsoft SPLA audit is the verified self-assessment or VSA.  The SPLA verified self-assessment differs from both the independent audit and…

201806.20
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What You Need to Know if You Receive a Letter from BSA | The Software Alliance

Preparing the BSA Audit Materials BSA | The Software Alliance’s primary enforcement tool is to send a threatening letter indicating that an investigation has commenced and offering to forego litigation if the target company provides a self-audit. A self-audit consists of a listing of all BSA member software running on a company’s computer networks, appropriate…

201804.03
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BSA Audit Timeline

One of the top ten questions asked by my clients is “How long does the BSA self-audit process take from start to finish?” Of course I give the standard lawyer answer: it depends. Here are the steps to a typical BSA audit. Preparation of Audit Materials (3 to 6 months) A BSA audit is a…

201803.10
0

To SAM or Not to SAM? The Differences Between a Microsoft SAM Engagement and an Audit

In recent years, Microsoft seems to have been shifting an increasing volume of its license-compliance resources toward what it calls Software Asset Management (SAM) reviews. These “optional” engagements typically are proposed by Microsoft personnel with whom a company has not had any prior interactions, and the company often receives no advance warning or introductions from…

201802.16
0

In Microsoft Audits, Don’t Forget About True-Up Rights

Following the conclusion of a software audit, Microsoft’s standard practice is to require an audited company to purchase licenses associated with calculated “unlicensed use” within a set period of time (typically, 30 days) following receipt of Microsoft’s settlement demand. However, it is important for companies with Enterprise Agreements to keep in mind the fact that…

201801.15
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What I Learned in the Last 10 Years Defending BSA | The Software Alliance Audits

I am an intellectual property attorney in Southlake, Texas who has handled more than 230 Business Software Alliance audit matters for small to medium-sized companies. For the last ten years, I have been representing end-user companies nationally in software audit matters initiated by major software publishers including Microsoft, Adobe, Autodesk, IBM and their trade groups…

201712.12
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BSA Audit Procedures

Most BSA Audits begin with a report from a disgruntled employee or former employee. The Business Software Alliance maintains telephone hotlines and a web site to encourage disgruntled employees and vendors to make anonymous reports against companies of all sizes. The BSA dedicates a substantial portion of its revenue marketing on radio stations and the…

201710.30
1

Consult with Counsel for SPLA Audits

Microsoft’s Services Provider License Agreement (“SPLA”) is a popular licensing framework for businesses delivering hosted or rented software solutions to their customers. However, as with many software license agreements pertaining to resale or other business channel partnership programs, the SPLA typically includes audit rights language giving Microsoft the ability to review a SPLA partner’s records…

201710.18
2

Microsoft SPLA Self-Assessment – What It Is, and How to Respond

Many of our clients have been contacting us in recent weeks (mid-late 2017) regarding notices they received from Microsoft requesting an internal self-assessment of their license positions under their Services Provider License Agreements (SPLAs). Naturally, many of those clients have questions about that process and the ramifications of cooperating with Microsoft. For those who may…