I was retained by a small company that had received a letter from one of its most important software vendors. The letter said the company “may have installed on its computers more copies of… software than it is licensed to use.” It then pointed out that unauthorized duplication of proprietary software violates federal copyright law and the applicable license agreement and that “potential remedies… are significant.” [emphasis added] The letter ended by requesting that my client:
- Audit all of its computers for copies of the vendor’s software and provide the audit results within three weeks
- Not destroy any installed software
- Not purchase any more of the vendor’s software until the matter is resolved
The client’s owner was concerned. She did not know of any illegally installed software; even worse, she was suspicious and uneasy about how the vendor could have such information.