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.