Why You Need to Be Certain You’re Using Licensed Software

Why You Need to Be Certain You’re Using Licensed Software

Using pirated software or abusing your software licenses for your business is heavily frowned upon. However, many software companies, in an attempt to protect their products, have unleashed a practice that can actually reward those who let it happen in the first place.

To begin, we want to say that we feel that nobody should use pirated software. However, while we don’t condone software piracy, we also can’t say we’re comfortable with the tactics that are used to combat this piracy, either. This is especially true when we consider the kinds of activities that BSA | The Software Alliance, engages in.

A Bit of Background
BSA is an international advocacy group for the proper licensing of business-centric software solutions, with a member list that includes IBM, Apple, Microsoft, Adobe, Trend Micro, and many others. The organization, according to their website, “pioneers compliance programs that promote legal software use and advocates for public policies that foster technology innovation and drive growth in the digital economy.”

This would be all well and good, if it weren’t for the tactics that BSA has used in the past to accomplish their other goal. Pirated software is BSA’s main target, and they work to make any business found with any unlicensed software installed pay, and pay a lot.

Their Preferred Tactic: Bribery and Social Media Guerilla Marketing
BSA has a history of targeting businesses under suspicion of having unlicensed software in use. However, in order to catch these businesses in the act, BSA targets their employees.

BSA has a history of leveraging social media marketing to target the employees of companies directly. These ads have promised a cash bounty in exchange for turning in their employer for software piracy. A now-seemingly-defunct Facebook page for a campaign run by BSA would entice users to turn in businesses in exchange for a cash reward.

However, who would know if a business was using unlicensed software better than one of that business’ employees?

BSA seems to have known this from the start, running ads that read “Nail your boss. Report Software Piracy” before taking a more subliminal, covert approach through targeted social media efforts. These efforts are targeted towards those whom you have employed, and attempt to sway them into blowing the whistle on you for software piracy by offering a bounty.

These bounties are scaled to the value of the settlement that the reported company has to pay BSA. If the company had to pay anywhere between $15,000 to $100,000, the whistleblower could receive up to $5,000. If the company had to pay over $15,000,000, the reward could swell to a $1,000,000 payout. However, BSA “reserves the right to deviate from that schedule in its sole discretion.”

Or, in other words, pay less of a bounty while still collecting retribution from the company.

Why You May Have a Problem
Unfortunately, there are plenty of ways that you could be left on the hook if BSA were to ever come knocking on your door, and many of them are completely due to your employees. For instance, if you’re caught with unlicensed software installed on your system, you’re the one responsible, not the employee who installed it.
The same is true if an employee installs the same software license on multiple devices. If that employee were to leave with bad blood, they could report you for it, even though they were responsible for it being on your systems.

How to Solve the Problem
You need to be sure that you have no unlicensed software anywhere on your network. Running an audit is a simple way to identify and dispose of any software that might trip you up with BSA, allowing you to solve the problem before dealing with the circumstances that come from actions done without your approval.
BNMC can help you run this audit, and deal with any software that doesn’t meet the requirements set by BSA. Call us at 978-482-2020 to ensure your business is protected.



No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Sunday, November 18 2018

Captcha Image

Subscribe to Our Blog!

Mobile? Grab this Article!

Qr Code

Tag Cloud

Security Tip of the Week Best Practices Technology Email Cloud Privacy Malware Hackers Business Software Business Computing Network Security Microsoft Computer Internet Google IT Services Tech Term Hosted Solutions Ransomware Efficiency User Tips Mobile Devices Small Business Communication Managed IT Services Android Backup Data Smartphone Innovation Windows 10 Windows Cloud Computing Internet of Things Productivity Data Management IT Support Saving Money Business Continuity Hardware Data Recovery Browser Productivity Cybersecurity Data Backup App Managed IT Services Disaster Recovery Encryption Passwords Word Office 365 Server Facebook Upgrade Workplace Tips Microsoft Office Remote Monitoring Artificial Intelligence Gmail Business Management Money IT Support Outsourced IT Windows 10 Smartphones Chrome Employer-Employee Relationship Tip of the week Managed Service Provider Phishing Applications Analytics BYOD communications Vulnerability Website Infrastructure Network Maintenance Big Data Google Drive Settings Content Filtering Government Bandwidth Miscellaneous Mobile Device Antivirus YouTube Social Media Risk Management Company Culture IT Management Data storage Office Tips Robot Save Money Touchscreen Managing Stress Virtual Private Network Laptop Spam Computing Automation Firewall Outlook The Internet of Things End of Support Information Operating System WiFi Development Virtual Reality LiFi VoIP Hosted Solution Wireless HIPAA Administration SaaS Mouse Two-factor Authentication Mobile Security Avoiding Downtime Scam Holiday Users Apple Paperless Office Education Alert Storage Business Intelligence Display Data loss Access Control Unified Threat Management VPN Data Security Monitors Telephone Systems Vendor Management Business Technology Managed Service Server Management desktop Digital Computing Infrastructure Professional Services SharePoint Social Engineering LED Disaster Social Networking Microsoft Excel Star Wars Quick Tips Techology PowerPoint Collaboration Alt Codes Chatbots eWaste Managed IT Smart Technology Websites How To Lenovo Bring Your Own Device Wearable Technology Network upgrade Statistics Tablet Nanotechnology Document Management Spyware Budget Alerts USB Downloads Safety Co-Managed IT Uninterrupted Power Supply Social Motherboard Cables Mail Merge Blockchain Computer Care IBM Information Technology Fraud Cost Management VoIP Unified Threat Management Downtime Onboarding Remote Computing File Sharing Typing Humor Identity Continuity Shortcut Cybercrime Distributed Denial of Service Charging Firefox Marketing Superfish Network Congestion Slack Best Practice Smart Office Bluetooth Comparison Solid State Drive Current Events Screen Reader Permissions Identity Theft Licensing Dongle Content Wires Gadgets Address Training Apps Corporate Profile Assessment User Error Writing Digital Signage Cryptocurrency Solar Patch Management Managed IT Service Wi-Fi Smart Tech Customer Relationship Management Computers Monitoring Automobile Google Docs Work Specifications IT solutions Hard Disk Drive Going Green Halloween Dark Data Update Cooperation Service Level Agreement Heating/Cooling Multi-Factor Security Streaming Dell Hacks Router Voice over Internet Protocol WannaCry Google Wallet Hotspot Internet Exlporer Time Management Printer Retail Troubleshooting Cabling Bitcoin Compliance Break Fix Printing Connectivity Networking Spying Google Maps Business Growth IT Technicians Optimization Search Black Friday Politics Emergency Scary Stories Customer Service Analysis Legal Staff Leominster Servers Google Calendar Human Error Password Modem FinTech Unified Communications Drones Language Value Network Management Office Samsung Windows 8 Regulations Running Cable Dark Web IoT Buisness Employee-Employer Relationship Hacker Mirgation Recycling Cyber Monday Tech Support Sports Chromebook Digital Payment Deep Learning Augmented Reality K-12 Schools Legislation Virtual Desktop Device Mobile Device Management Cookies MSP Tracking Notifications Meetings Electronic Medical Records Cleaning Twitter Physical Security Emoji Upgrades Gadget CCTV Mobile Computing Crowdsourcing Webcam Personal Information Botnet Cortana Error 3D Printing Point of Sale Ben McDonald shares BDR Processors Travel Machine Learning Regulation Virtualization Unsupported Software G Suite Supercomputer CrashOverride Staffing Motion Sickness Computer Repair Relocation Administrator Mobile Data Taxes Recovery IT Budget How To Work/Life Balance Web Server what was your? GPS Printers Health Private Cloud IT Consultant Black Market Law Enforcement Cameras

What Our Clients Say

  • BNMC has provided us with nothing less than outstanding service and results for all of our IT needs for the past few years. Every member of their staff is professional, knowledgeable, friendly and eager to solve any problem...
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3