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China indigenous innovation policy could stifle innovation, foreign investment

Apr 15 2010: Published by under Software audit

There has been a flurry of press about China’s Indigenous innovation policy, which will threaten US intellectual property rights. The policy requires companies to develop their intellectual property in China if they want to qualify for preferences under that country’s government procurement program. U.S. companies are concerned that they will lose big, and President Obama has even stepped in to work with Chinese officials to come to some sort of agreement. He also plans to address the piracy taking place against US filmmakers and musicians, which has been happening for many years, with little success by US officials to stop the criminal activity.

Google and GoDaddy have abandoned their business in China due to the government’s strict regulations. Are we going to see more US companies abandoning China? Is the Chinese government pushing foreigners out to allow domestic companies more success? Here is a great piece from CNN about Microsoft’s battle in China. Microsoft has often said that their business in China has brought them tremendous revenue and the growing economy has paid off for the company. The battle was tough but worth it in the end.

While many companies are worried about the increasing regulation and changes brought forward by the Chinese government, the opportunity to invest in a growing economy like China, is too good of an option, and has not stifled their intentions to invest in the county. Like Microsoft, the road may be a bumpy one with many hurdles, but pay off in the end. It will interesting to see if Google put its tails between its legs and goes back to China, and conforms with censorship requested by the Government. Hopefully, President Obama and his team will be able to hash out an agreement that will not prevent foreign companies from investing in China and will also put a damper on piracy.

Software vendors are well aware of the issue, as is the BSA, who has been very busy in China, cracking down on piracy!

One response so far

The BSA has been busy!

Sep 08 2008: Published by under Uncategorized

In the last month the BSA has publicized 4 separate settlements resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars:

    1. A Georgia woman was fined $250,000 for selling counterfeit software on eBay.

    2. Argus Technical Services of Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Total Administrative Services Corporation (TASC) of Madison, Wisconsin paid a combined $145,000 for having unlicensed copies of Adobe, Microsoft and Symantec office software installed on its computers. This lead came from BSA’s online tip form!

    3. Author Solutions of Bloomington, IN paid BSA $50,000 for having unlicensed copies of Adobe, Microsoft, and Symantec software installed on its computers.

    4. Communication Technology Services, LLC of Marlborough, MA. Communication Technology Services paid BSA $80,000 to settle claims that it had unauthorized copies of Microsoft and Symantec software installed on its computers. (This is a Fortune 10 company!)

Just goes to show you – they don’t discriminate – from Fortune 100 companies to 50-year old women on eBay.

2 out of 3 IT Executives Believe they Would Fail a software audit

Jun 13 2008: Published by under Uncategorized

A new study from the management appliance company reveals nearly two thirds of IT executives believe their companies have not taken the right steps to assure that their licensing is in compliance and are unprepared for a software audit.

They surveyed 350 respondents about software licensing compliance and software audits and over half revealed that they tracked their licensed manual or not at all. Not keeping track of licensing or poorly doing so is only asking for trouble, especially in larger enterprises where the fees add up quickly.

Here are some other interesting results from the survey:
• 69 percent of respondents are not confident that they are fully in compliance with software license agreements;
• 60 percent believe they have unlicensed software deployed;
• 56 percent track software license assignments manually or not at all;
• Only eight percent of participants have a fully automated process for tracking software license compliance.

The lack of software license compliance can bring hundreds of thousands to millions of unexpected expense for a company.  With software vendors – from Oracle to Microsoft to Adobe – cracking down on licensing, are you willing to risk not being prepared?

Here’s my plug: Miro is here to help with Oracle licensing issues (and Microsoft as well too).  Just give me a shout…Hey! A quick phone call is free.  No commitment and we both might walk away knowing something new.

Piracy is no joke in Nigeria…

Jun 10 2008: Published by under Uncategorized

I just read a story from IDG News about a recent raid and arrest at a television station in Nigeria. The operation, led by STRAP – Strategic Action Against Piracy – included a raid and search of two offices under suspicion of copyright infringement. STRAP arrested 8 people, including the managing director of the company!

We thought fines from the BSA were bad – these guys are serious! Not in compliance with an Oracle license – go directly to jail, do not pass go – do not collect $200!

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.

Microsoft Vista Loophole Hoopla

Apr 08 2008: Published by under Uncategorized

The big enterprise software licensing news last week came from the sensational story It’s official: upgrade hack included in Vista SP1 by Scott Dunn.  It’s hard to say if this is truly responsible journalism or now, but the story definitely has legs. Granted…software licensing is complex and can be difficult to interpret based on the ever-changing rules, but that’s no reason why these “Microsoft Windows experts” should purposely write a story that’s not quite accurate.

 

Dunn claims that there is a loophole in Windows Vista that “allows end users to purchase the upgrade edition and install it on any PC – with no need to purchase the more expensive full edition.”   What was even more shocking was the amount of pick-up the story received from credible news sources including Computerworld’s Psst! Wanna save $110 on Windows Vista SP1?.   

Technical loopholes happen, but in the case of Microsoft licensing loophole, it is a clear violation of software licensing.  The initial legal language “contract” that users click to accept clearly states that upgrades require a fully licensed version of Windows in order to be eligible for an upgrade license.  Enterprise software companies are getting smarter about piracy and with the amount of audits of Oracle licensing, Microsoft software compliance and many others, people and companies who engage in circumventing the system with this loophole do so that their own risk.

 

 

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/

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