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What is the Business Software Alliance?
The Business Software Alliance (BSA) is a watch dog of several software technology companies including but not limited to: 1) Adobe; 2) Apple; 3) CA Technologies; 4) DELL; 5) IBM; 6) intuit; 7) Microsoft; 8) Oracle; 9) SAS; 10) Siemens; 11) Symantec; and 12) Trend Micro. The Business Software Alliance is typically a coop of law firms working for the alliance to safeguard the intellectual property of the BSA and for the most part to prevent piracy.
How Does the BSA Operate?
It appears that every holiday season the Business Software Alliance runs radio ads to employees. It is quite possible that the BSA chooses this time of the year because many employees will be changing jobs. So the BSA preys on that opportunity by enticing disgruntled employees with cash rewards for reporting their previous company as not having enough software licenses.
What To Do If Contacted By the Business Software Alliance
Many small companies are intimidated by such a huge conglomerate and comply with the BSA’s demands. Don’t do that without first meeting with an attorney. Many reputable attorneys offer a free consultation. Bear in mind that the BSA is known to be a tenacious organization that rarely grants leniency to small businesses once it begins the process. If you are contacted by the BSA, speak to an attorney immediately before contacting the Business Software Alliance.
What Do I Do If I’m Contacted by the BSA?
1) Retain an attorney. An attorney is likely not to cost you as much as the BSA is seeking. Many times the BSA is seeking $100,000 or more. The least I’ve seen is $40,000. Retain counsel in matters involving the Business Software Alliance because they play for keeps and they don’t care if they knock you out of business.
2) Do Not Cooperate Until You Speak With An Attorney. Many times the disgruntled employee is so poisonous that the BSA will not pursue the matter.
3) Do Not Rush Out and Purchase Any Software. Purchasing software isn’t going to help you and may be used against you.