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Cloudy with a Chance of Storms: Adobe Breach

Nov 05 2013: Published by under Adobe,Adobe Creative Cloud,Security Assessments,Security Risk

With Adobe’s release of its Creative Cloud, news of a security breach couldn’t come at a worse time. Adobe’s focus is getting customer’s to buy into the cloud through its VIP license program. Adobe’s VIP license program is subscription based, this allows customers to stay cutting edge with receiving all of Adobe’s currently releases. Customer’s that chose not to go into the Creative Cloud, will stay at Creative Suite 6, without the ability to upgrade that version. Customers, if they so choose, will always have the ability to upgrade into the Creative Cloud, and by doing so they will have immediate access to the VIP and all of the latest versions available. Creative Cloud allows workers to share files through the cloud and keep the work stored on their hard drive as well. One has to wonder how the news of Adobe’s unfortunate hacking will affect the release of its Cloud. At this time it’s estimated that 38 million users were affected that their ID’s passwords and account data was compromised. Noting as well that Adobe had several of their source codes stolen giving users access to Acrobat, Cold fusion and Photoshop.

One Million Dollar Motivation…

Apr 15 2008: Published by under Uncategorized

BSA sure knows how to incentivize people to stamp out software pirates.  In an effort to capture these “pirates,” BSA announced the expansion of their $1 million dollar reward program to include the illegal sale of software over the Internet, such as auctions of unlicensed software.

BSA has already paid out $58,000 in reward money to just 14 individuals who have reported software piracy.  A majority of the reporting comes from within an organization, from employees in their current or former workplaces.

Just another reason why software licensing & compliance is a serious issue. Disgruntled employees will surely seek out a piece of the million dollar pie to turn you in! The sad thing is that many of these offenders may not even be aware of it – be sure that software vendors do and will not take pity on those out of compliance.

Week in Review (Around the World): Software Licensing and Compliance

Apr 06 2008: Published by under Uncategorized

In the News This Week

· CRN Microsoft: Using Vista Loophole Is Cheating

Scott Rosenberg, CEO of Miro Consulting, a Fords, NJ-based firm that specializes in licensing issues, acknowledges that technical loopholes in Microsoft

·         Gotta Be Mobile Vista Upgrade Licensing Loophole

Ed Bott has it totally right – just because the loophole is there, it doesn’t mean that everyone can take exploit it and stay within Microsoft’s licensing

·         Redman Channel Partner Avistar’s Tale: Microsoft Shows Its Dark Side

It follows an appeal case brought by software licensing company, Symbian, after a patent application was rejected by the UK Intellectual Property Office.

·         ComputerWorld Psst! Wanna save $110 on Windows Vista SP1?

·         Virtualization Review Heroes and Villains

So software licensing based on-or bound to-physical hardware may be difficult to manage in virtualized server environments.

·         ITBusiness Microsoft licensing of Flash Lite offers heavy duty benefits to Adobe

Brian Frank of Adobe Talks about Flash Lite 3

Apr 04 2008: Published by under Uncategorized

This is an interesting video from Beet.tv that talks about the licensing of Adobe’s Flash Lite 3 to Microsoft. Beet.tv interviewed Brian Frank from Adobe how Flash Lite enables viewing of Flash video on mobile phones, and subsequently, opens up doors for games and customized user interfaces. Microsoft’s multimedia platform has offered the promise of enabling these types of applications – which has attracted players like Adobe to their network.

450 million devices are now being shipped with Flash Lite pre- embedded. Brian talks about the potential of networks like Verizon and T-Mobile announcing open networks so more providers, like Microsoft, can offer services directly to consumers for rich web applications.

It will be interesting, when consumers can get all these different types of applications from not only their mobile carrier, but also from outside vendors, and how licensing will come into play. Clearly, a monthly fee cannot be imposed if your carrier isn’t providing the service, so a software license fee would be the way for them to monetize usage.

Just one more thing for enterprises to be aware of when employing a mobile workforce with handsets!

Remember: Mobile Devices Get Adobe & Is Subject to Software Licensing Too

Mar 17 2008: Published by under Uncategorized

Here is an interesting news item – Microsoft has licensed Adobe Flash Lite, specifically designed for mobile devices. They have also licensed Adobe Reader LE Software for viewing web content and email attachments.

For those of you following the company’s plans – they had announced earlier this month that they would be releasing a rival to the Adobe product. Interesting turn of events.

What does this mean in terms of licensing? Even your mobile phones can play a part in your overall licensing compliance. Think about how many organizations have mobile workers and each and every application that has been downloaded – scary thought huh? Keep them in check!

Hot List!

Mar 04 2008: Published by under Uncategorized

The BSA rampage seems to be a hot topic on our blog these past few weeks so I thought it would be of interest to add a “hot list” that I came across from EnterpriseITPlanet.com. This one was recently posted by the Software Information Industry Association (SIIA), which has the same mission as that of the BSA.

The list includes the most pirated software applications last year which they may consider “low hanging fruit” for 08 – beware!

2007 Software Titles Most Frequently Pirated By Companies

  1. Symantec Norton Anti-Virus
  2. Adobe Acrobat
  3. Symantec PC Anywhere
  4. Adobe PhotoShop
  5. Autodesk AutoCAD
  6. Adobe DreamWeaver
  7. Roxio Easy CD/DVD Creator
  8. Roxio Toast Titanium
  9. Ipswitch WS_FTP
  10. Nero Ultra Edition

2007 Software Titles Most Frequently Pirated from the Internet

  1. McAfee VirusScan
  2. Symantec Norton Anti-Virus
  3. McAfee Internet Security Suite
  4. Intuit TurboTax
  5. Adobe Photoshop
  6. Adobe Acrobat
  7. Intuit Quicken Home and Business
  8. Symantec Norton pcAnywhere
  9. Symantec Norton Ghost
  10. Adobe Creative Suite

Take a look at the rest of the article here; it is a good read on anti-piracy organizations. 

BSA Gets another one!

Feb 20 2008: Published by under Uncategorized

Another “victim” of the BSA – a Denver, CO based door manufacturer was hit with over $92,000 to settle claims on unlicensed use of Microsoft and Symantec software.

For a small local company that makes doors, that’s a serious amount of money to part with for something like this. According to the BSA, 35% of the software installed in 2006 was installed without legal licenses, amounting to nearly $40 billion in global losses because of software piracy and that 21% of software in the United States is unlicensed.

Don’t’ let yourself get in this type of situation – manage your software assets appropriately and be sure to keep licensing up to date! You may think you are getting around fees by downloading software or getting pirated copies from your IT guy, but organizations like the BSA won’t let businesses get away with this anymore!

Here is the press release from the BSA.

Piracy Police could come knocking at your door!

Jan 30 2008: Published by under Uncategorized

Baseline Magazine recently published an informative article about what steps to take should you get an audit letter from the BSA. The process, as scary as it is, should be handled with care in order to come out with the smallest settlement possible, and avoid litigation if at all possible.

What exactly is the BSA and what do they want with us?

“The Business Software Alliance (www.bsa.org) is the foremost organization dedicated to promoting a safe and legal digital world. BSA is the voice of the world’s commercial software industry and its hardware partners before governments and in the international marketplace. Its members represent one of the fastest growing industries in the world. BSA programs foster technology innovation through education and policy initiatives that promote copyright protection, cyber security, trade and e-commerce. BSA members include Adobe, Apple, Autodesk, Avid, Bentley Systems, Borland, CA, Cadence Design Systems, Cisco Systems, CNC Software/Mastercam, Dell, EMC, Entrust, HP, IBM, Intel, McAfee, Microsoft, Monotype Imaging, PTC, SAP, Siemens PLM Software, SolidWorks, Sybase, Symantec, Synopsys, and The MathWorks.”

So basically, they are hired guns that go after companies who fall out of compliance with their licensing. They also operate 65 hotlines around the world for those who wish to report suspects of piracy. The piracy police!

The BSA promotes anti-piracy to create jobs overseas. In fact, they put out a report this month with IDC claiming that “reducing software piracy in the United States by just 10 percentage points over the next four years could generate more than 32,000 new jobs, $41 billion in economic growth, and $7 billion in tax revenues above current projections.”

With this in mind, the BSA is likely to continue on its crusade to audit those companies who are not in compliance with their licensing, which means companies should really consider creating a repository of its software assets and continually updating and reconciling inventory to remain in compliance.

The BSA-IDC study is available online at http://www.bsa.org/idcstudy . Also refer to the Baseline piece which is a very helpful guide as to what to do should you receive a letter. Has anyone got a letter? Raise your hand! Let us know.

http://www.baselinemag.com/c/a/Projects-Management/What-to-Do-When-You-Receive-a-BSA-Audit-Letter/

Who would have thought about the fonts?

Jan 23 2008: Published by under Uncategorized

Here is the scenario – you buy new computers for the office that all come with an upgraded version of the latest operating system. On top of all that comes with the new operating system – training, compatibility issues with old computers, etc – did you ever think you would have to consider fonts??? Well, what many IT managers don’t realize, or don’t have the bandwidth to consider, is that all fonts are licensed and need to be kept up to date.

Typefaces are considered software which carry their own copyrights and yes, licensing. Fonts are licensed under the terms of their respective applications’ End User License Agreements (EULAs). Dependent on your licensing agreement, any time you update, or don’t update, your fonts it may leave you out of compliance.

Fonts often used by design departments are also licensed by font software publishers (foundries) and using them means paying close attention to the terms of the license agreements. It’s also very important to be sure all employees are aware of the issue – downloading updated fonts from the internet is considered piracy and will surely put you out of compliance. In addition to downloading, files received from vendors and partners that contain pirated fonts may end up on your system.

What is Software Licensing anyway?

Jan 02 2008: Published by under Uncategorized

Software licensing is a contract of agreement between the software publisher – e.g. Oracle, Microsoft, Adobe, to name a few – and the end user, sometimes referred to as the End User License Agreement, or EULA. Though software licensing can be a paper agreement, most often it’s embedded in the software itself as part of the installation process. You see this kind of EULA in every day life. Just over the weekend I installed some play software for my 6 year daughters’ use and presto, I was faced with one and had to agree in order to continue. (And if I disagreed, I would have had a very disappointed girl but that’s another story…). Anyway, if the user does not agree to the software licensing terms, he or she can indicate so with a click. This aborts the installation process. In most cases, end users click in agreement whether they actually read the license or not. (Yes, I read the damn things. But I’m a software licensing geek).Software licenses of the magnitude of, say, an Oracle are not of the ‘click’ variety and are therefore paper agreements that are signed to indicate one’s agreement. Sometimes these agreements follow boilerplate, but sometimes –and this is especially true in the business-to-business environment – they are customized to some degree and therefore what I’ll label to be ‘non-standard’.Software licensing protects the copyright of the software publisher by placing restrictions on the end user in relation to the product. Duplication for purposes other than backup, installation on more than one computer, editing the code, or changing the program in any way is usually verbotten or otherwise requires you to purchase the additional rights to do so. Software licenses usually restrict reverse engineering and bypassing controls intended to cut down on pirating. And aside from restrictive uses of the software, software licensing functions as a kind of disclaimer. Most EULAs include statements to the effect that the software publisher will not be held liable for any unanticipated circumstances that might arise as a consequence of using the software e.g. loss of income, disruption of the enterprise, computer crash, etc.

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