Scott Technology Attorneys

Autodesk Audit Blog


Autodesk Settlement Agreements: Beware Restrictive Superseding License Terms

A software audit typically resolves in one of three ways: a dismissal, a settlement, or litigation. The most common path to resolution is a settlement between the parties for potential copyright infringement stemming from allegedly unlicensed software. Software publishers sometimes authorize entities such as the Business Software Alliance (“BSA”) or Software & Information Industry Association to pursue copyright infringement claims on its behalf, while other publishers prefer to pursue potential copyright claims directly.

Read more


Autodesk Audits: Managing Independent Contractors

Autodesk, Inc. uses a variety of resources to identify potential audit targets. Many of these targets are small architecture or engineering firms that employ independent contractors in lieu of full time employees as CAD operators.A typical Autodesk software audit letter requests information regarding any installations of Autodesk products on company machines. The following are three possible scenarios involving independent contractors that have differing licensing implications.

Read more


Autodesk Audits: How to Effectively Scan Your Network and Prepare Accurate Results

Conducting a self-audit while facing potential copyright infringement claims from Autodesk or any other software publisher often is complicated and time-consuming. Nevertheless, it is critical to choose an appropriate method to ensure the audit results are accurate.

Read more


Supreme Court Allows Pro-Autodesk Decision to Remain Intact in Ninth Circuit

On October 3, 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court declined a request to grant certiorari in the case of Vernor v. Autodesk, in which the Ninth Circuit found that Autodesk could use copyright law to prevent an eBay user from re-selling its software products via the popular auction site. The Supreme Court’s refusal to hear the case means that, at least in the Ninth Circuit, software publishers like Autodesk may continue to seek injunctions and other remedies against those who attempt to distribute copies of a copyrighted software product without a license.

Read more


Top Four Terms to Remember when Purchasing Autodesk Software

Software-license compliance can be a difficult task, and understanding the standard Autodesk Software License Agreement may present challenges. Here are four of the most important terms in that agreement to remember for compliance purposes:

Read more


Top Tips for Responding to an Autodesk Audit

Autodesk routinely sends letters to businesses that it suspects may be using Autodesk software products without adequate licensing, both in order to confirm those suspicions as well as to address any license-compliance discrepancies. Typically under threat of a federal lawsuit for copyright infringement, Autodesk requires targeted businesses to respond to detailed questions about the Autodesk software installations on company computers, the employees who use those installations, and the licenses owned for those installations. It is Autodesk’s position that unlicensed software installations constitute copyright infringement, and businesses that are unable to show full compliance typically face significant penalties on order to obtain Autodesk’s release from liability for the alleged infringement.

Read more


Autodesk Targets Architects In Software Audits

Autodesk routinely conducts software audits to determine whether businesses have unlicensed copies of its software installed on their computers. Architecture firms typically represent a significant portion of the targets of such audits – many such firms are heavily reliant on Autodesk software due to Autodesk’s dominance in the market for computer-aided design software and due to file-format compatibility requirements for architecture bids and client projects.

Read more


One Easy, Preventative Step to Reduce Exposure in Autodesk Audits

In the universe of software-copyright enforcement programs, Autodesk’s may be the most active and vigorous. All businesses – even those not running Autodesk software – should take steps early and regularly to identify and eliminate any software-compliance gaps associated with Autodesk and other software installations. It is common for businesses owners to be surprised by the presence of software on their company computers that not only was unauthorized by company management but also unused for company business purposes. Regular, internal software audits can help to avoid those surprises, and in the case of Autodesk software, product serial numbers represent a valuable tool to help determine whether a software installation is licensed.

Read more


Responding to Autodesk Audits

The BSA and SIIA are not the only organizations pursuing business for software copyright infringement.  Though it is a member of both the BSA and SIIA, Autodesk, which manufactures the popular design software AutoCAD, often pursues audit targets on its own.

Read more


Autodesk Audit: The Importance of Serial Numbers

In many software audits, the auditing entity like the Business Software Alliance or the Software & Information Industry Association requires a dated proof of purchase to demonstrate when a license for a software product was acquired. However, in audits initiated by Autodesk, the serial number can play a crucial role in demonstrating ownership.

Read more


Another Court Ruling Against Autodesk in Software Dispute

Many businesses that use software published by Autodesk are familiar with the company’s vigorous copyright enforcement program. Autodesk is one of the most active software publishers when it comes to threatening litigation over allegedly unlicensed use of its well-known computer-aided design products, such as AutoCAD, and it regularly targets businesses of all sizes demanding costly and distracting audits and settlements, often based solely on the word of unidentified informants.

Read more