After several members came to us about letters they had received from BSA/The Software Alliance, BELTUG/INTUG drafted an “Open Letter to the BSA/The Software Alliance”, highlighting our concerns and suggesting concrete ways the BSA could address them. Our efforts have borne fruit, and BELTUG/INTUG were invited to visit the BSA/The Software Alliance headquarters in London to discuss the situation.
At the Belgian level
At the Belgian level
At the meeting, we explained our vision on the BSA/The Software Alliance letter campaigns (as stated in our Datanews opinion), as well as the negative impact of these letters on the image of BSA/The Software Alliance. The representatives of BSA/The Software Alliance thanked us for our feedback, and let us know they are interested in developing a different approach in their efforts regarding software license compliance.
They informed us that their own message is not really intended for midsize and large companies, and they are therefore open to avoiding sending the letters to BELTUG/INTUG members in the future. Furthermore, BSA/The Software Alliance will provide BELTUG with access to the BSA/The Software Alliance website, to enable us to see the tools and information available. This will allow us to evaluate which tools might be useful for our members. We agreed that in this area, BSA/The Software Alliance and BELTUG/INTUG share a common goal: to provide valuable information for companies.
At the international level
We also discussed the BELTUG/INTUG Proposal for a Software Publishers’ Code of Conduct. BSA/The Software Alliance found this Proposal very interesting, and is willing to communicate the text to its members, although it is not in a position to impose it. In addition, BSA/The Software Alliance informed us that a number of software publishers are also interesting is simplifying licensing and compliance.
Software licensing continues to be a key issue for digital technology leaders, and BELTUG/INTUG do not expect the cloud to eliminate the complexity and difficulties, so we will continue to work on this topic.
As our next steps, we will ask the most involved software publishers for their feedback on what they consider to be the positive points in the Proposal for a Code of Conduct. The Proposal for a Code of Conduct, which has already been endorsed by EuroCIO, will also be presented at the Software Asset Management Europe conference in Berlin, in September. BSA/The Software Alliance has informed us that an ISO standard on software asset management is being prepared, and they will send us additional information.
We are pleased with these first steps with BSA/The Software Alliance, and will continue our efforts to address this topic in a collaborative way.