When nature slams your business, a repeat disaster could easily follow—this one of man-made origin. This 5-part Briefing Series helps you minimize the inevitable post-disaster software piracy audit risks. From where we stand there isn’t a whole lot we can do to relieve the misery each of you has encountered, but The Institute wants to help where we can. So, here is our offer: We can help you prevent the next catastrophe with advice and guidance via the Internet.

It is now painfully obvious to all business technology consumers that computers, software, documentation, and electronic data make pretty lousy submarines. In the average disaster, the very core of your business is most likely gone or virtually unrecoverable. You are about to rebuild your technology infrastructure from scratch—be it two computers or twenty thousand computers—and, if you aren’t extremely careful, the con artists are going to set you up to get hammered yet again. You do not deserve that kind of abuse, so our primary goal is to provide advice to help you avoid future software piracy and non compliance punitive audit experiences courtesy of the software police and copyright cops. Our secondary goal—a very close second—is to enable you to save money when you re-invest in new technologies.

This article series was originally posted on our site for the benefit of victims of Katrina and other disasters. However, we quickly discovered a serious need for accurate, vendor-neutral advice on acquiring technologies after crippling events. Read on and consider what we have to offer individuals and companies that have been disaster victims.

Hello! I’m Alan Plastow, founder of The Institute for Technology Asset Management. After a disaster, when you buy your new computers, very frequently you’ll be looking for maximum product at minimum price. You’ll have little choice: Money is going to be tight. Although this is a perfectly normal reaction to the misery you’ve gone through, you need to be extremely careful of the operating systems, software, and other copyrighted products placed on those computers. From where I stand, I can predict with nearly 100% certainty that within a year of any significant disastrous event (18 months at the most) the software police and copyright cops will conduct mass software piracy, copyright violation, and license non compliance punitive audits in the areas of devastation.

Companies that are trying to recover from a disaster are going to fall prey to the “easy licenses” and “bargain costs” of counterfeit software and other products—including hardware. As well, these same companies, with their limited financial clout, are going to begin using shareware products to delay some computer-related expenses. The result? You will be setting yourselves up as easy targets for litigation by the nearly thirty members of the software police and/or copyright cops that are active in the U.S.—nearly 100 globally.

Another key issue you will need to become aware of is that the documentation from your software purchases is very closely scrutinized during a software non compliance, or piracy, audit. If, when you purchase your new copyright protected products, you do not receive the correct license; proofs of purchase; stamps, emblems, marks, or certificates of authenticity, or master media you will become a potential disaster target all over again.

Of all the businesses in the world, you are in a unique position. As demoralizing as your experience has been, you now have the opportunity to rebuild your business into something bolder and better than it may possibly have become prior to the disaster. Please permit me, at no cost, to guide you with advice in avoiding the software piracy audits that can easily follow your efforts to rebuild.

Monitor the Taminstitute.org blog site to access these full Disaster Recovery Knowledge Briefings. It’s free and you, your employees, and your company will benefit through short- and ling-term cost and risk reductions in technology asset management. This is the place for Disaster Survivors where I will answer your questions and provide no cost advice. Don’t suffer through the pain of recovering your business technologies only to be blind-sided and hammered all over again for incorrectly licensed copyrighted products after you are back in operation. We can provide the advice that you need.

With great respect for what you are enduring,

Alan L. Plastow