Software Group, Government Aim to Educate About Piracy

The Business Software Alliance has teamed up with the Small Business Administration to educate small firms on software compliance.

They are distributing "Software Strategies for Small Businesses: Best Practices for Software Compliance (pdf)" to more than 100,000 small businesses through SBA's network of field offices and resource partners across the country.

The BSA has a vested interest in curbing the rate of software piracy, since its members include technology firms Cisco Systems, Microsoft and Symantec.

The BSA and SBA say small firms can save money, plan better and negotiate lower prices with vendors through a "software asset management" plan. Small business owners paid more than $11.4 million in fines to settle software copyright infringement claims in 2006. Small firms in the manufacturing industry paid more than $2.5 million in fines, engineering-related small businesses paid more than $1 million, followed by the financial and medical communities.

The best practices guide is available at The site offers direction on establishing a software policy and related sample memos to employees, along with help on auditing software licenses. The BSA notes that fines can run up to $150,000 per violation for noncompliance and could open a network to security vulnerabilities.

By Sharon McLoone |  July 31, 2007; 2:00 PM ET Tools and Tips
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As a 12+ year veteran of Software Asset Management, I can't emphasize enough the importance of SAM.

We just finished helping a medium size organization through their initial correction following a BSA audit. It was painful, and such a waste of money!

If the company had only taken steps previously to implement a SAM program they would have known their risk prior to this audit (and the audit would most likely never have taken place).

Those monies would have gone to improving the business rather than fees and penalties as this business certainly never intended to be a software pirate...but they also didn't appropriately manage their environment.

For more information on SAM check out our blog at

Posted by: Cynthia Farren | August 9, 2007 12:11 PM

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