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Software License Violation

Software License Violation

A software license is an instrument of a legal nature that governs the usage and continuous redistribution of software. It is vitally essential for all agencies wishing to install different types of software on their computers to adhere to the ethical and legal standards set by responsible bodies. A legitimate software license grants an ultimate user permission to utilize one or more copies of software in a manner that would benefit him or her. Software licenses are commonly categorized into free and open licenses and proprietary licenses.  According to Reynolds (2011), license violations occur when an individual or organization engages in acts not bound by the licensing agreement. It is important for individuals to ensure compliance by accurately following all the rules relating to the software licensing regulations. Software license violations can attract stringent penalties such as legal prosecution, company closure, and withdrawal of practicing certificates among guilty employees.

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This paper explicates a case of software violation by Lakeside Company against Netscape Company that sells software.

The immediate thing to do in a situation where Lakeside Company does not respond is to terminate the contract. A contract can only be binding in cases where it is legal from the start. The Lakeside Company’s failure to comply with the requirements of software acquisition renders the installation contract also illegal. The contract is illegal, as by undertaking the installation process SciTech Company would be promoting the violation of software license agreements. Thus, the key action to take in such a situation is to terminate the contract with Lakeside Company in order to avoid the promotion of software license violation. Another significant thing to conduct is to approach the company directly, instead of communicating via emails and calls. A physical appearance at the company’s office would change the entire scenario. SciTech Company then will have the opportunity to express its position on the matter directly. The matter relating to software license violations is extremely sensitive. One should address the software licensing board on such a matter with adherence to the effective ethical and legal standards. This body is responsible for dealing with software violations in companies and among individuals. Specialists must present adequate information concerning the violation, as this would provide adequate evidence for any action to be taken. Ethical and legal standards relating to software licensing could also make SciTech Company take the provided information to court. A legal action for the violation of established rules could be effective in finding a solution to resolve the entire matter. It does not matter whether SciTech Company is part of the contract involving Lakeside Company and Netscape Company or not. Taking the information to these relevant authorities would assist in getting a faster resolution to the problem, hence allowing compliance before the installation contract continues. One should take all the actions in such a situation with adherence to ethical and legal standards. The conflict of interest should not dominate the situations of violations.

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SciTech ought to go up the chain and report the issue to the top management. The lack of response relating to the violation does not seem to reach the topmost management. The information could be restricted to a small group of individuals, who are led by the conflict of interest. In addition, the channels of communication within Lakeside Company could be ineffective, hence blocking the top management from receiving the required information. The lack of response could also mean that certain individuals, working between the top management and employees, fail to fulfill their functions and desire only to be the ultimate beneficiaries of the violation. The lack of integrity and commitment to ethical standards could have made it difficult for the concerned individual to respond to the problem the Company faces. Thus, it is vital to try to reach the top management that could provide effective information relating to the issue. The key department to visit at Lakeside Company is the Legal Department. One should inform the manager in the department of the problem the company faces. All the details relating to non-compliance of the software license must be discussed with the manager. The manager should also deal with the lack of response pertaining to the emails and phone calls in order to ensure that there is an effective response relating to the issue. It is vitally essential and helpful to visit the top management, as it will help in the provision of directions relating to the matter. The lack of response to this problem could emanate from the conflict of interest among junior employees. Therefore, the sides must find effective appointments with the legal department and articulate the issue directly to the concerned individual.

It would be the duty of SciTech Contracting Company to inform Netscape Company of the failure by Lakeside Company to pay software expenses. It is an ethical duty for SciTech Company, and it needs to uphold honest dealings and fairness in the entire society. Continuous violation of the software licensing would negate the ethical and legal standards relating to the entire issue. Whistleblowing is one of the ways of adhering to effective ethical standards without being guided by the conflict of interest. A notification addressed to Netscape Company will assist in the creation of an environment where ethical behavior is a norm and a common practice among individuals. It would also be prudent to inform Netscape Company in order to ensure that it stays informed of the issues affecting it. This will facilitate efficient actions and approach to Lakeside Company. Information would be vital, as it would assist in informing the company of the position it holds in the matter and of its legal rights. Furthermore, it would be essential to inform Netscape Company properly in order to ensure that all the parties get a fair treatment in the matter. Information would promote the adherence to effective ethical standards in society and in the corporate world. The principal department that should be informed of the issue would be the legal department, which is concerned with the legal aspects affecting the company.  Reynolds (2011) asserts that the legal department would be effective because it would deal with the matter according to the established legal standards. This will ensure that the matter is legally resolved and each company receives its fair judgment in the initial agreement. Therefore, Netscape Company should be informed of the matter in case its legal rights are being violated. Information is power, and it would give the abovementioned company the starting point of dealing with the matter.

The statement that installation was made only after payment does not change SciTech Company’s actions. The lack of payment to Netscape violates the internal policy of Lakeside Company and does not guarantee the change of position. One must uphold ethical standards and policies up to the end until the correct action is performed. Conflicting statements, which are not adhered to, would not guarantee the change of one’s position in relation to the matter. The company did not adhere to the legal policy. The termination of the installation contract would be final unless there was accurate adherence to the policy. The complication would not change the actions that SciTech Contracting Company would take. The fact remains that Lakeside Company has violated the licensing rules. It would be ethical and legal to hold the position of not continuing with the contract and sticking to it. Further performance of the installation contract, conducted by SciTech Contracting Company, contributes to the breach of licensing rules and regulations. Thus, the confusing policy would not necessitate the change of position because of the lack of adherence to the policy. Ethical and legal standards believe in total compliance to the established policies. A contract would only be binding in cases where all the parties have performed their duties as stipulated in the contract.

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In conclusion, a software license is a legal instrument that guarantees a user to utilize all the benefits. Individuals and companies wishing to install software on their computers must ensure that they effectively comply with the required standards. Specialists define such groups of these licenses: free and open licenses and proprietary licenses. In the case researched, Lakeside Company has violated the rules relating to licensing. The violation of licensing emanates from its failure to pay the software expenses to Netscape Company. The immediate action for SciTech Company to take, in case of the lack of response, is to terminate the contract until the sides achieve compliance. The matter could be reported to a licensing body or could be taken to the court. SciTech Contracting Company must ensure that Netscape receives information on the lack of payments in order to ensure ethical environment. SciTech Company would only be executing its legal duty by informing Netscape of the breach of the licensing contract by Lakeside Company. The confusing policy should not change the position of SciTech on the termination of the installation contract. One must uphold ethical and legal standards in order to ensure that there is a conducive environment for contracts. It is unethical for Lakeside Company to institute internal policies that it does not effectively observe. 

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