Our Blog: Stuff we think you should know

Haber Group has been serving the New York area since 2000, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

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.
Haber Group can help you run this audit, and deal with any software that doesn’t meet the requirements set by BSA. Call us at 866.625.3560 to ensure your business is protected.



No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Thursday, 24 May 2018

Captcha Image

Mobile? Grab this Article!

Qr Code

Tag Cloud

Security Tip of the Week Best Practices Cloud Technology Email Privacy Hackers Malware Business Internet Business Computing Hosted Solutions Computer Microsoft Software Ransomware Backup Windows 10 Google IT Services Network Security Android Mobile Devices Smartphone User Tips Data Management Hardware Small Business Browser Productivity Windows Business Continuity Tech Term Managed IT Services Internet of Things Cloud Computing App Server Saving Money Gmail Data Remote Monitoring Artificial Intelligence Phishing Managed Service Provider Data Recovery Encryption Facebook Office 365 Upgrade Smartphones Efficiency IT Support Microsoft Office Spam Big Data Business Management Disaster Recovery Social Media Data Backup Word Cybersecurity Productivity Infrastructure Government Workplace Tips Tip of the week Outsourced IT Innovation Office Tips IT Support Data storage The Internet of Things Bandwidth Managed IT Services IT Management Miscellaneous Money Antivirus Firewall Customer Service Passwords Apple Settings Two-factor Authentication Content Filtering Windows 10 Robot Risk Management Vulnerability Communication Employer-Employee Relationship WiFi Chrome Analytics Server Management Holiday Outlook Telephone Systems Search Maintenance IBM Wireless Apps End of Support Administration VoIP Customer Relationship Management Wi-Fi Password Hacking Mouse Save Money Virtual Reality Presentation Business Technology Network Data loss Avoiding Downtime Storage Hacker SaaS Office Wireless Technology Hosted Solution Recovery YouTube Unified Threat Management HIPAA Website Monitors communications Printing Applications BYOD Automation Scam Tablet Mobile Security Computing Google Drive Vendor Management Mobile Device Augmented Reality VPN Data Security LiFi Safety Paperless Office Virtual Private Network Chatbots Retail Techology Specifications Application Scary Stories Gadgets Screen Reader Google Maps Computing Infrastructure Remote Computing Online Drones Virtualization Mail Merge Dongle Identity Social Engineering Unified Threat Management Black Friday Social Statistics Sports Users Smart Tech Alerts Microsoft Excel Address Education Deep Learning Quick Tips Politics Humor User Error Cyber Monday Hacks Bluetooth Connectivity Collaboration Licensing Blockchain Budget Corporate Profile Bring Your Own Device User VoIP Document Management Compliance Tech Support sip How To Printer Smart Technology Buisness IoT File Sharing Cooperation Samsung Permissions Competition Network Congestion IT solutions WannaCry Best Practice Time Management Identity Theft Regulations Websites telephony Access Control 5G Distributed Denial of Service Star Wars Cabling Cortana Staff Computers SharePoint Business Growth Network Management Social Networking Managed IT Service Current Events Managed IT Downtime Marketing Cost Management Digital Wearable Technology Legal Display Lenovo Downloads Alt Codes Touchscreen Cybercrime Motherboard Dark Data IP Address Break Fix Going Green Shortcut Assessment Disaster Spyware Knowledge Superfish Multi-Factor Security Typing Digital Payment Router Mobile Office Fraud Chromebook Dark Web Hard Drives Patch Management Internet Exlporer Uninterrupted Power Supply Experience Operating System Unified Communications Google Calendar Cryptocurrency Running Cable Modem Mobile Device Management Net Neutrality Refrigeration Virtual Desktop Value Solid State Drive How To Computer Care IT Technicians Public Speaking Networking Legislation Bitcoin Heating/Cooling Laptop Cookies IT service Lithium-ion battery Hotspot FCC Information Technology Professional Services Hard Disk Drive Firefox Training Mirgation Google Docs Writing Comparison Windows 8 Servers Halloween Nanotechnology BDR Automobile Language Fun Title II Google Wallet Undo USB Staffing Gadget Personal Information Administrator Web Server GPS Computer Repair Cameras Processors Service Level Agreement Tracking Health CCTV Alert Electronic Medical Records Emergency Mobile Computing Travel G Suite Notifications Supercomputer Botnet Upgrades Motion Sickness Taxes Crowdsourcing IT Budget Machine Learning 3D Printing Update IT Consultant Relocation Unsupported Software Meetings CrashOverride Cleaning Domains Private Cloud Mobile Data Webcam Emoji Work/Life Balance Error Point of Sale Black Market Law Enforcement Physical Security Twitter