BSA | The Software Alliance recently announced that Oracle had joined the software-industry organization as a new member. It remains unclear at this stage whether the new relationship will have an impact on future BSA software audits. Many BSA members tend not to play very prominent roles in the organization’s license-enforcement efforts and instead work with the BSA mostly on efforts to promote the industry.

However, it would not surprise me to see Oracle included among lists of companies whose products must be included within the scope of BSA-initiated software audits. Its products are commonly deployed by businesses of all sizes across many different industries, making them likely subjects of confidential tips that the BSA actively solicits from unnamed informants. Moreover, the fact that Oracle maintains an active, internal license-verification program is not indicative of the likelihood of a BSA audit including its products – Microsoft, Autodesk and Adobe, all of them also long-standing BSA members, all maintain their own aggressive audit programs and all routinely are named in audit-notice letters sent by the BSA to unsuspecting business owners.

As many Oracle users are aware, its products can be quite expensive, and they also can be very easy for company employees to download without the approval or knowledge of company management. While businesses always should maintain comprehensive policies and procedures pertaining to authorized software usage on company computers, this might be an especially good time for them to take a closer look at Oracle product deployments, if any, and to confirm that they all are being used within the scope of their valid entitlements.