When first contacted by IBM for a "compliance review" (read: software audit), many business owners simply assume that the scope of the requested audit is within IBM’s rights under applicable licensing agreements. Alternatively, if they do request that IBM identify the basis for the audit demand, they take it at its word that those rights are described accurately in the current, standard-form license agreements. This is a mistake.
The very first step that a business owner should take after being contacted by IBM for an audit (other than calling the company’s attorney) is to collect and read the various license agreements that the company signed with IBM. Admittedly, in many cases, this is no easy task. Many businesses rely and have relied on software published by IBM for mission-critical business operations for years or even decades. Those agreements may have been signed either directly with IBM or with one of the numerous, smaller competitors that IBM has acquired through the years. The resulting "document soup" ..... Continue reading.