If an auditor were to walk into your business, could you prove that all of the software in your business has been purchased legally? Are you certain all of your software is legal? According to the Business Software Alliance (BSA) software piracy results in $47.8 billion in losses to the software industry each year. The fine for piracy could be as much as $150,000 paid to the vendor. Can your business afford that fine?
Software is protected by U.S. copyright law. You are allowed to create a copy of software for disaster backup and recovery purposes, but that’s about it. Piracy occurs when more software licenses are in use than were purchased. Sometimes the piracy is innocent; an employee wishing to help you out brings software from home or purchases the software at a great price from someone who appears reputable, but isn’t. It also occurs when an employee takes software you paid for to their home or another company.
As a small business, you don’t need to invest in expensive infrastructure to prevent software piracy. Here are a few simple things you can do:
- Communicate and enforce the company policy concerning software purchasing and installation.
- Lock down employee computers to prevent unauthorized software installs.
- Store all software installation discs in a secure place to prevent them from walking out the door.
- Centralize software purchasing and installation.
- Maintain a software asset inventory. It can be a pencil and paper list of who has what software installed, when it was done, etc.
- Conduct an annual software audit. In a small environment, this isn’t too arduous. Simply compare the software asset inventory to each computer in the business. If you find discrepancies, resolve them.
CEO SPACE INTERNATIONAL
Founded by Berny Dohrmann over 20 years ago, CEO Space is a private entrepreneurial business club with an environment that we created for people to be able to get quick results with their business through networking, education, and resources. For a one-time tuition payment Entrepreneurs receive a Lifetime membership and one free class, as well as a lifetime of mentoring, contacts; resources, and most of all a lifetime of support for you and your business as you grow. You can learn about Transformational Leadership and other topics at CEO Space.
Leslie Knight is a trusted advisor to small businesses. She has over 20 years of experience in Corporate America which she applies to smaller entrepreneurial enterprises. She is Executive Director for CEO Space Volunteer Staff, and is also the author of Navigating the I.T. Minefield – Straight Talk for the Small Enterprise. To purchase your copy, please visit http://bit.ly/SNL4W
For more information on CEO Space please visit http://ceospaceinc.com/ or call CEO Space at 256.850.4700.
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~ CEO Space Super Teaching – http://superteaching.com
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