An anonymous source writes: "I'm a faculty member at a public university which the Business Software Alliance contacted in a bulk mailing last Fall. Stupidly, our IT department invited them in to 'explain' licensing to us, and now we are trying to fend off an audit on our computers (public and private). Two questions: what kind of leverage does the BSA actually have against us? And does anyone have war stories, successful or otherwise, of their encounters with the BSA?" Although Slashdot is running this story as from an anonymous reader, we have contacted the source and believe the story is factual and the appeal for help is real. Consider this Slashdot's contribution to National Copyright Awareness Week.
The source continues: "The report that the BSA gave to our administration was filled with scary stories about other schools who tried to resist, so unless there's some hard evidence to the contrary I suspect our university will just roll over. We were told that:
- auditing software *will* be installed on every campus machine;
- the license for every program, on every machine, must be produced upon demand;
- failure to produce licenses for all commercial or shareware software will constitute prima facie evidence of illegal possession, with penalties that could range from the confiscation of the machine to the firing of the user;
- and this includes computers *personally* owned by faculty."