GeoCarta Has Moved

Feb 17, 2006

Beware The Software License Police

Fierce competition and a mature software market mean software publishers are increasing licensing audits to make sure their customers have bought enough software licenses. That is according to Robert Scott, an attorney in Dallas, writing for

Mr. Scott says that approximately 40% of all medium-to-large U.S. businesses will face an external software audit by the end of 2006. Penalties for copyright infringement can run as highs as $150,000 per violation.

To make sure you stay legal, and more importantly, can prove it if audited, Mr. Scott advises companies to compile and record proofs-of-purchase, consistently monitor networks and build software license compliance into everyday business processes.

If you're not going to stay legal, then you'd better treat your employees well. Most software audits are the result of a software piracy report received from a disgruntled employee.