Have you received a notice about a Microsoft® software audit? If so, it’s important that you obtain legal advice to ensure that your rights are protected.
When you purchase Microsoft® software for your business, you must also purchase an appropriate number of licenses so all copies installed on business computers are done so legally. Failure to procure an adequate number of licenses could result in heavy fines if audited.
Microsoft audits businesses in three ways:
- Business Software Alliance (BSA) – this group, funded by a number of large IT corporations, including Microsoft, conducts software audits of small and mid-sized businesses.
- Microsoft® Software Asset Management (SAM) – this is an in-house department created within Microsoft to monitor and audit large corporations and mid-sized businesses.
- “True-Up” – this is auditing program created by Microsoft that requires those who purchase certain software to conduct monthly self-audits of software usage and report back to Microsoft.
Depending on the Microsoft® EULA (End-User License Agreement) included with the software you purchase, one or all three of these methods may be used to conduct a software audit if Microsoft® suspects you’ve been pirating software.
Microsoft® Audit Procedures
In the event of an audit, the BSA or SAM team will send you a letter requesting information about all software licenses you hold. Maintaining accurate software license records is very important. Even if you haven’t committed piracy, you may still be held at fault because you failed to create an accurate paper trail.
If you ignore audit requests, you may be taken to court as per the End-User License Agreement. This could lead to heavy fines and criminal charges including software piracy.
It is in your best interest to contact an attorney immediately after receiving your first audit letter.
Contact Lexero Today
At the Lexero Law Firm, our dedicated team of software and audit experts can guide you through the audit process. All you may need to do is submit licensing records to complete the audit. If you have inadvertently used unlicensed software or do not have accurate records, our attorneys can provide advice on how to proceed and continue to provide quality representation if you need to appear in court or during the settlement process.