Official Inspections For "illegal" Software?

GS_Dirtboy

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Hey,

We got an email from "Software Legal" saying they need to do an inspection of our business hardware and software to ensure that we are using licensed software. Is this BS? My IT guys at the computer store told me that they have no right to just enter my offices without a court order.

Anyone have experience with this? Many thanks!

GS
 

caitij

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Hey,

There is a virus or scam going around right now and if you agree to let them inspect it it then locks your computer programs and in order to reopen them they ask you to pay their company some money...around 100 dollars for the inspection fees...once they receive your money they are supposed to unlock your computer again.
 

fifs2

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Hey,

We got an email from "Software Legal" saying they need to do an inspection of our business hardware and software to ensure that we are using licensed software. Is this BS? My IT guys at the computer store told me that they have no right to just enter my offices without a court order.

Anyone have experience with this? Many thanks!

GS

Sadly yes. In 2005/6 we were advised of a possible related audit so we responded in writing with all the necessary license info. We heard nothing until we got "raided" in a surprise audit by 4 inspectors in 2010. The only machines not audited were those switched off. We were presented with an invoice for over 1.5m usd....all bullshit. They hadnt looked at our licensing agreements, licenses nada. Got our lawyers on it and paid 25k for some genuinely illegal Adobe stuff we couldnt deny (Framemaker). In retrospect our lawyers said we shouldnt have let them in the offices directly but our then laywer was a pussycat who didnt know jacksh*t. In your situation I'd provide any aforehand written details necessary and then prep the staff to NOT admit any auditors directly, switch off all machines and call your lawyers to be present. Let me stress that this was midst our blackmail scenario which we felt was linked. The whole audit experience was just ugly. A violation. They were looking to screw us and without correct legal representation and documentation they may well have succeeded.
 

GS_Dirtboy

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Sadly yes. In 2005/6 we were advised of a possible related audit so we responded in writing with all the necessary license info. We heard nothing until we got "raided" in a surprise audit by 4 inspectors in 2010. The only machines not audited were those switched off. We were presented with an invoice for over 1.5m usd....all bullshit. They hadnt looked at our licensing agreements, licenses nada. Got our lawyers on it and paid 25k for some genuinely illegal Adobe stuff we couldnt deny (Framemaker). In retrospect our lawyers said we shouldnt have let them in the offices directly but our then laywer was a pussycat who didnt know jacksh*t. In your situation I'd provide any aforehand written details necessary and then prep the staff to NOT admit any auditors directly, switch off all machines and call your lawyers to be present. Let me stress that this was midst our blackmail scenario which we felt was linked. The whole audit experience was just ugly. A violation. They were looking to screw us and without correct legal representation and documentation they may well have succeeded.

Thanks for the heads-up. Was the company Software Legal? Under what authority did they "raid" your business?

GS
 

notebook.fix

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Open source software runs on all platforms inc Windows , Mac , Linux/Android ...but due partly to lack of awareness, most players will opt out for the 'seemingly' easier 'short term gain' at the cost of 'long term pain' -lock in proprietary software. Five years ago you could have argued for the 'Lock in' programs, not today. Even in Argentina, where piracy is rife, it makes solid business sense to invest in Open Source solutions.
 
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Joe

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Open source software runs on all platforms inc Windows , Mac , Linux/Android ...but due partly to lack of awareness, most players will opt out for the 'seemingly' easier 'short term gain' at the cost of 'long term pain' -lock in proprietary software. Five years ago you could have argued for the 'Lock in' programs, not today. Even in Argentina, where piracy is rife, it makes solid business sense to invest in Open Source solutions.
Inertia keeps people locked into the Microsoft, etc world. Open Source solutions have been ready for Prime Time for many, many years.
 

Iznogud

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Dealt with them and MS several times. No biggie. MS is a more serious business than SL.

You will never be sure that MS will not come banging at the door next.

If you deal with them nicely, they will issue you a clean bill of health. If you want to play rough they will bring a court order, cops and some guy to perform a thorough search. You will have to pay for that circus and you will also gett blacklisted.

You can get both fined and sued. Any arraingment will only come after you buy the missing licences -produce proof of ownership - and pay the fine - their operating fees, a percentage of the licenses value. That's what they do for a living.

Get someone to check and clean your machines properly of any unlicenced software represented by SL
Get ready to produce valid licences for all MS installed products. Buy them ASAP if required ANDTHEN tel SL that your IT guy is on leave but you will gladly have them in x days when they will be able to conduct their audit under his supervision.
Give yourself time to have your PCs cleaned and doublechecked.
 

fifs2

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Thanks for the heads-up. Was the company Software Legal? Under what authority did they "raid" your business?

GS


The wriiten requests for upfront info came from software legal but the audit itself was in the name of a small legal firm representing MS they said, hence their authority...but they still looked at other non MS apps. Even with our security systems they entered the office as one of the staff was going to the bathroom. We tried denying access to the server room but as Iznogud said they threatened to call the police so playing nicely was the best option and throwing up in the bathroom afterwards! We've moved to a new building now where front desk security have to advise of all visitors so if you have that it will help buy time in terms of putting on your game face...Iznogud's advice is perfect. Best of luck with it.
 
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