Beltug

Have you received a letter from BSA/The Software Alliance? BELTUG's recommendations on what to do


Date:10/05/2016


After being contacted by a number of members regarding a letter received from the 'BSA/The Software Alliance', BELTUG arranged a consultation of our members. The results showed that quite a few had received these letters, which strongly urged them to register on the BSA/The Software Alliance website to ensure 'compliance' with software licensing. 

The title/subject line of the letters raises a lot of concern when received, because they mention 'dringende herinnering - risicoprofiel', and refer to a previous letter. The letters state that, because the company didn't answer the first BSA/The Software Alliance letter, it may be out of compliance with its software licenses. The letters also refer to the fact that the company has not yet made use of 'tools' provided by BSA/The Software Alliance. The letters indicate that the company should identify itself at the BSA/The Software Alliance website.

BELTUG consulted with legal and industry experts, and drafted an “Open Letter” to the BSA/The Software Alliance outlining our multiple and serious concerns with the request and the instructions in the letter. 

Should you receive a communication from the BSA/The Software Alliance, you may need to discuss it with your management. Please feel free to share with them our recommendations and our Open Letter to BSA/The Software Alliance, to help you make the right choices for your organisation. 

BELTUG has a number of concerns regarding the letters themselves, the unique identification of your company on the BSA website and the methods of the BSA/The Software Alliance. These are explained in detail in the Open Letter. 

Based on these concerns, we consider that you do not have to supply any information to BSA/The Software Alliance. Your company has no contractual link with BSA/The Software Alliance, so we don’t see why you should be required to identify yourself on their website. At the same time: only use properly licensed software and always employ proper software asset management practices

To improve the situation and clarify the issues due to unclear license model and agreements, BELTUG and its international umbrella organisation, INTUG, have also published a Proposal for a Software Publishers’ Code of Conduct, based on input from many different companies in different countries. Our aim is to create the type of constructive cooperation between software publishers and customers that is critical for providing legal certainty and unambiguous software licensing contracts with a clear definition of responsibilities for both parties.

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