KUALA LUMPUR: Companies should declare to the world that they are using only genuine software — showing that they are transparent and respect intellectual property — to earn the trust of customers interested in doing business with ethical organisations.
That is the basis of the newly-announced License Management Registry 360 (LMR360) initiative — a global online voluntary software licence compliance programme — launched here by the Business Software Alliance (BSA).
The BSA is a non-profit trade association created to advance the goals of the software industry and its hardware partners.
Developed in association with software publishers, the programme accommodates the different types of licensing structures, terminology and others, to help companies efficiently document, view and verify their licensing software data under a common interface.
According to BSA Asia-Pacific senior director for marketing Roland Chan, the signing-up process merely entails a few simple steps.
Companies have a choice of three status levels: LMR360-Registered, LMR360-Verified or LMR360-Certified — each offering its unique set of benefits and advantages. Registration is free.
Registrants will receive a digital “badge” which they can use to market their participation in the programme — and their commitment to intellectual property protection — on their online properties, Chan said.
Malaysia, India, China and Taiwan are the first four countries to announce participation in the LMR360 initiative. The initiative will be launched in other parts of the world next year.
Easier to manage
Once a company has created an account under the programme, it is required to enter the relevant information (product, publisher, licence, etc) on all the deployed software on its IT system.
Then, a senior executive must attest to the veracity of the data entered. Upon completion, the company is designated an LMR360-Registered company, said Chan.
Organisations that wish to move to the Verified status must notify the BSA and request for a third-party assessment of their software installations and licensing rights. The verifying company will then provide the BSA with an assessment report and if the findings show compliance, the BSA will award the organisation with the LMR360-Verified status.
To earn the Certified-status, a company must apply to the BSA and select a BSA-approved auditor, who will then make an assessment based on the business’ software asset management policy, controls, and licensing positions.
“LMR360 provides registered companies with a competitive edge — differentiating them from their competitors, and the validation of the company’s reputation as a reliable, well-governed organisation that respects and values intellectual property,” Chan said.
LMR360’s systematic approach also enables the companies to keep track of their software licences and deployments on an ongoing basis.
“This enables them to better align their software assets with operational needs, and helps them mitigate potential business liabilities, avoid auditing surprises, reduce costs, improve business efficiency and protects them from the security risks associated with outdated software licences or pirated software,” Chan said.
The participating companies are required to renew their account and refresh their registration status every 12 months.