Sample conversation with a lawyer for the Software and Information Industry Association (“SIIA”)
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Here is an email I had with a lawyer for the SIIA. They were making wild accusations while “demanding” that I play according to their rules. As you can see, I hit back pretty hard because frankly I believe their “voluntary audit” process to be shameful and you can see how they try to bully. They act like the are the IRS. Note – THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE AND NOT SOMETHING YOU SHOULD ATTEMPT ON YOUR OWN. This is general legal tips for the public dealing with this. If you need help, call us at (877) 276-5084. Naturally, we have resolved cases but this exchange shows that sometimes things can get very contentious when both parties are fighting for their clients.
Bonus materials: If you are facing a software audit or legal demand letter, click here for a valuable software audit checklist. You should not move forward or contact their attorneys until you know the answers to these basic questions and are prepared armed with knowledge of your software audit rights.
I sent you a demand based upon your client's post-notice letter purchases with Adobe I jumped through hoops to get my client to allow this demand without an audit. Where is your counteroffer? You are not being genuine with me…I give you what you want and you ignore and try another false roadblock.
I asked you for a list of all Oracle products they owned (Adobe should be able to come up with this). You have ignored me, not sure why. Again, buying software is not against the law no matter what you think.
I get that you are trying to make me work, which I am more than happy to do. I'm beginning to think you have no intention of settling any of these matters–which some have very significant amounts of software at issue with significant sketchy post-notice letter purchases–and my work might be better focused on the matter in a different context.
If buying software is “sketch” then why did your Client let them do it? Everyone buys software.
You aren't an insurance company.
When you act as the copyright bully, I will act as an insurance company.
And, the law says that the defense of a “license” is an affirmative defense. So, in litigation, the burden would be on your client to show proof.
If you are going to file a lawsuit, just do it and stop talking about it. When we win, you will pay our attorney fees.
Also, check out the Oracle EULA regarding what the license terms require as far as keeping receipts.
What is a EULA? If you have something my clients signed please send it over. This is what I have been asking you for before you started to conduct your raid.
An audit is a very typical request in the software industry, and if none of your clients will ever provide an audit to my client, please just let me know and that can be the nail in the coffin to any matter where you are counsel.
That is my position if you continue to play your game your way, yes. This is a total shakedown of small business owners. If you have proof of infringement, show me what you have and give the the declaration of the informant (the secret person you claim to have in each case.
Your requests are not in-line with the copyright infringement case law. If you believe otherwise, please enlighten me. I've written you books on these subjects, so please just refer to my past letters, which you have never responded to substantively with case law.
Sending me a volume of case law does not change anything.
As I have always said, I will do whatever I can to make this process easier for your client since all of us have more flexibility in this informal process than we might otherwise. Our request is rather simple–provide the installation information as of a specific date for certain software companies and provide the dated documentation if you claim a valid license for that installation.
Provide me with the installations for your law firm and I will ask my client to do the same.
To the extent there is a problem, we will issue a demand and try to work it out.
Your problem is you think you can make “demands” instead of being normal and telling me what the issue is. Cracking us with a whip is not going to solve anything.
Neither party is required to settle if they don't like the terms.
Which them puts you in the driver's position as anyone with half a brain knows, and this is why we will not play your silly game.
If your client wants a release through the informal process, this is how it works.
I'll bend on whatever I can do promote settlement–hopefully, you can recognize that I have been doing that. If you simply do not have any intention of working within this framework, let's just save our energy for other routes of recovery.
Go ahead and file a suit if you think you are right, we will in turn sue the informant and your law office of aiding and abetting corporate sabotage “informants” who you have never even met personally or vetted for credibility. In fact, you are afraid to tell me what you are dealing with. As an attorney, I find it shameful to play this silly game. I have a lot of energy, no need to save it for another day.
With the XXXXX matter, for example, there is Autodesk software at issue. Again, the purchase history of that company shows that client purchased 4 NEW standalone seats of AutoCAD after they received my notice letter.
Your letter is not the gospel, sorry to report that to you. Buying software is not against the law.
The facts do not seem to be in your client's favor that there is an allegation of pirated Autodesk software and then they make their first purchases after receiving my letter.
I am making an allegation that you are aiding and abetting a shakedown artist. Prove you are not.
No, buying software is not against the law. Just be sure your client is preserving the installations that existed as of the date of my initial letter in each matter to avoid spoliation of evidence–I believe I have provided you case law to that effect previously.
No, please resend the case law. Are we in litigation? I want your client to preserve everything as well. Send me the informants declaration.
Also, the case law will show you that buying software now won't rid your client of the copyright infringement claim that existed when the notice letter was sent–it doesn't rectify anything that was installed prior to that purchase, obviously.
You are aiding and abetting a corporate crook who installed the software you are claiming is infringing. We will not stand for this and this will become a public issue for your and your law firm.
So, you got your reaction out of me for the day. Now, let's buckle down and try to get this stuff resolved. Give me a call if we can move the ball in that direction. I'm not opposed to trying some creative things, but I did that with XXXX and am getting no response, so I don't see the point in trying that with the other matters. Again, I have never heard you say your client was compliant. I think we all know they have an issue, so let's just resolve it.
Wrong, we deny everything you are suggesting in your shakedown letters. We have no clue what you are even looking for, and silence is not an admission. I will not even talk to my client until you become willing to play fair and give us the basic information that your legal demands are based on. Until then, I consider this to be an unethical shakedown.
For each case I am demanding:
1. Your Client signs my 408 confidentiality agreement
2. You provide me with the declaration from the secret informant so I can see what is at issue
3. I request a license purchasing history from Oracle (showing all products purchased and when).
Until I get these things, I will not be playing ball, and you can do what you need to do. Just realize, you file suit and we will be cross-suing and going public where necessary. We do not appreciate this hostile activity.
Watch video dealing with key points to know when you receive a letter from the SIIA
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What is the SIIA copyright reward policy?
ANOTHER VIDEO: Click on the image above to hear Attorney Steve discuss the SIIA anti software piracy reward program. This is great information that most people are unaware of when it comes to blowing the whistle on software pirates. such as Adobe and Microsoft infringers. If you like the video, make sure to click on the Red “V” for VICTORY to subscribe to free legal information updates.
Contact an SIIA defense lawyer
This is only a sample communication and not something to use in your case. It gives you a flavor of what you are in for if you try to save money and handle your copyright case on your own. Software audits are more demanding than most people know, even some attorneys who try to do it themselves as corporate counsel (to try to justify their salaries) have come to us mid-stream asking for help, usually after they have already made critical mistakes. We offer low flat rate fees to make this a NO BRAINER and we have a long history of success and Client reviews. If your are considering hiring another firm, ask them if they have ever even been involved in a copyright bully or software infringement case in federal court. If not, run for the hills. Call us at (877) 276-5084.