Beltug

BELTUG's recommendations if you receive a letter from BSA - plus - BSA responds to our Open Letter


Date:03/03/2015


BELTUG has put together a letter for members with recommendations on what to do if they receive a communication from the BSA/ The Software Alliance. This letter is being sent to all our members, who can share it with their management to explain our concerns and suggestions. It is also available in Dutch and French.

The letter explains that, after some of our members contacted us about receiving a communication from the BSA/ The Software Alliance, we arranged a complete member Consultation. We discovered that in fact quite a few had received these communications, strongly urging them to register on the BSA website to ensure "compliance" with software licensing.

While there are different versions of the BSA communication, they all include the same general information, stating that the company being contacted should activate its “corporate The Software Alliance profile” and download The Software Alliance tools that – so the communications assert ‐ will help the company to manage its software licenses. The communications also state that The Software Alliance could decide to take legal action if a preliminary investigation indicates possible regular illegal use of software.

We consulted with legal and industry experts, and drafted an “Open Letter” to the BSA explaining in detail our multiple and serious concerns with their request/instructions and methods.

Based on these concerns, we recommend to our members that:

  • They do not supply any information to The Software Alliance and that they refrain from downloading and installing any of The Software Alliance‐provided tools. If the company has no contractual link with BSA, we don’t see why it should identify itself on the BSA website.
  • They use only properly licensed software and always employ proper software asset management practices.
  • They consider the software vendor’s license policy and practices as part of the decision-making criteria during software selection.

In the meantime, we have recently met with BSA face to face; following a productive meeting, they sent us a response to our Open Letter. 


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