SIIA Applauds DOJ and FTC Guidance that Sharing of Cybersecurity Information Does Not Violate Antitrust Laws

Companies have sometimes been reluctant to share cyber threat information due to concerns over violating antitrust laws. Last Thursday, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) addressed these concerns by issuing a joint policy statement affirming the legality of cybersecurity information sharing under the antitrust laws. The Agencies (DOJ and FTC) acknowledged that information sharing is critical to mitigating the severity and frequency of cyber attacks and therefore issued guidance.

SIIA applauds the Agencies’ commitment to protecting American enterprise and advocating for the necessary information sharing to combat the increasing number of cyber threats. This is an important step forward.  Congress can add to it by passing legislation that would provide a safe harbor against the risk of frivolous lawsuits for companies that share cybersecurity threat information.

Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole in remarks at the Pen and Pad Briefing had this to say,

“Some companies have told us that concerns about antitrust liability has been a barrier to being able to openly share cyber threat information with each other. We have heard you. And speaking on behalf of everyone here today, this guidance responds to those concerns, lets everyone know that antitrust concerns should not get in the way of sharing cybersecurity information, and signals our continued commitment to expanding the sharing of cybersecurity information.”

The importance of sharing cyber threat information, in the interest of protecting and improving the safety of American networks cannot be overstated. This system of sharing as indicated by Cole has three parts:

  1. Companies sharing with government
  2. Government sharing with companies
  3. Companies sharing with each other

Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer reiterated,

“As we are well aware, cyber threats are increasing in number and sophistication, and sharing information about threats, such as incident reports, indicators and threat signatures, is something companies can do to protect their information systems and help secure our nation’s infrastructure. This kind of information sharing is good public policy. And the antitrust agencies support it.”

To read the Department of Justice/Federal Trade Commission “Antitrust Policy Statement on Sharing of Cybersecurity Information” please click here.

Sabrina Eyob is the Communications and Public Policy Intern at SIIA. She is a recent graduate of Michigan State University, where she studied Comparative Cultures and Politics, and International Relations.

SIIA Says D.C. Court Decision is an Important Victory for Whistleblowers Who Report Piracy

SIIA today announced that it has prevailed in its nine-year battle to protect the identity of an anonymous informant who reported an alleged copyright infringement to SIIA.

In 2005, an informant filed an online report with SIIA that accused Solers Inc., a Virginia-based technology company, of infringing the copyright in various SIIA members’ software.  Later that year, Solers sued SIIA’s informant for defamation and served a subpoena on SIIA demanding that SIIA disclose the identity of the informant.  Solers has always denied that it infringed any software, and SIIA terminated its investigation prior to Solers’ filing of the lawsuit.

For nine years, SIIA contested the subpoena, noting that in the two-decade history of its anti-piracy program it has never disclosed the identity of any informant who wished to remain anonymous.  Last month, Judge Judith N. Macaluso entered an Order granting SIIA’s Motion to Quash Solers’ subpoena to discover the identity of SIIA’s informant.  The Judge “agree[d] with SIIA’s argument and advisedly adopt[ed] in toto the analysis presented in [SIIA's] Post-Hearing Brief.”  The Judge found no evidence that Solers experienced any monetary loss, which would be necessary for Solers to obtain the identity of the informant in the defamation suit against John Doe.  The Judge also found, based on the record presented, that John Doe was neither reliable nor credible when he made assertions regarding Solers.  On Friday, the Judge entered a final order formally dismissing Solers’ suit and handing SIIA a victory in its quest to defend the identity of its informant.

SIIA will stop at nothing to protect the identities of those who report software and content piracy to us in confidence. The Court’s Order hands SIIA an important victory and vindicates the rights of whistleblowers.  For SIIA, this case has always been about protecting the informant’s identity and, after a long nine-year fight, we achieved that goal.

This case is a critical victory for SIIA and its anti-piracy efforts and for corporate whistleblowers generally.  The nine-year battle, and eventual win, demonstrates the lengths SIIA will go to protect against the disclosure of the identity of those who allege piracy.  In addition to hundreds of hours of staff time, SIIA spent well over a half million dollars on attorneys’ fees and other costs.

Reporting of suspected copyright infringement is essential for protecting U.S. software and content businesses and ensuring a strong innovation economy.  If whistleblowers’ identities are disclosed, fewer people will report suspected software piracy and  businesses will be hindered in their attempts to protect intellectual property.  This victory should have an impact for years to come, creating lasting protections for whistleblowers who report suspected copyright infringement.

SIIA was successfully represented in the case by Leo Rydzewski and Charles Tobin of Holland & Knight LLP, Washington, D.C.

To report piracy confidentially, visit SIIA’s website at or call SIIA’s or call SIIA’s Piracy Hotline at (800) 388-7478.

Keith Kupferschmid is General Counsel and SVP, Intellectual Property Policy & Enforcement at SIIA. Follow Keith on Twitter at @keithkup and sign up for the Intellectual Property Roundup weekly newsletter here.

‘Usage Scorecard’ Helps Member Increase Renewal Rates

SIPA member Chartwell calls theirs a “usage scorecard.” For now, we’re calling ours here at SIPA a “member activity project.” It’s a chart that you create to track your subscribers’/members’ engagement with everything you do. And the tracking should start as soon as a member company joins or renews, not a month before they expire.

Like Chartwell, many publishers are going the membership route to build stronger relationships—a la trade associations—and to increase revenue. The catch is that your “members” will expect a bit more from you this way. Subscribers are okay hearing from you once in a while. Members want more.

Nancy Brand, Chartwell’s director of operations, led a standing-room-only session at last year’s SIPA Conference titled Selling Website Subscriptions. That was so well-received that she’s coming back for SIPA 2014, in Washington, D.C., June 4-6, to co-present Onboarding and Retention: Find Them, Keep Them, Make Them Love You! Presenting with her will be Torry Burdick, vice president, Vantage Production, LLC, a UCG company.

“Once a membership sale is closed, we work with the gatekeeper of that company to schedule a new member orientation within 1 or 2 weeks,” Brand said. The goal is to get as many of the employees at the member company involved from the start—in Chartwell’s case, we’re talking utilities. “We’ll solicit research questions in advance and incorporate them into a general industry trends overview delivered during orientation. The attendees are introduced to the research team at this time.”

As the year goes on, Chartwell will “reach out to them with industry survey requests and speaking spots for conferences and webinars. We’ll even offer to register the gatekeeper for all [60] webinars,” said Brand. “The key is to try to make it as seamless as possible for them. There’s a better chance of renewal if we engage members in these events.”

On a quarterly basis, the account managers review member participation in webinars, meetings, awards, conferences and other features Chartwell offers like Ask the Analyst. Quarterly usage reports are then sent to those gatekeepers—scorecards with an overview of attendance and listings of website users. “Internally, it lets us know not only who is using the membership, but also who isn’t that should be,” Brand said. “If usage is low, that sends up a red flag.”

They’ll then ask that the gatekeepers send a message internally as a reminder of the services they receive and encouraging employees to participate in addition to other measures that Brand will discuss more at the June 6 session. “Most of the time, gatekeepers are very responsive,” she added, insisting that your company encourage others to participate in events and leverage other facets of the membership.

“If the main person leaves, you don’t want to be left without a champion,” Brand said. Chartwell averages 16-times more contacts per member account than non-member accounts. They collect about 130 new contacts a month.

SIPA’s member activity chart lists categories such as conferences, webinars, awards entry and judging, publishers roundtables, Listserv, INFO locals, committee participation and events within other divisions at SIIA. “The idea is to identify those members who are not engaged with us, as they are a much greater risk of not renewing their membership,” said Luis Hernandez, SIPA’s vice president. “This way we can reach out to them during their membership year, not at the end of it.”

Chartwell has seen renewal rates above 90% since adopting their strategy. Philip Dunklin, the president, recalled the old days of selling newsletters and one-off reports. “We would have a hit once and then the next one would not be so good—like the movie studios.”

They also consider it a company-wide effort to build their contacts. “We have 25 key topic areas and should have a contact for each area,” Brand said. “It’s a collective effort for everyone to grow this database. It might be speakers you see presenting or cards that you acquire networking at other events. It’s everyone’s responsibility.”

To subscribe to the SIPAlert Daily, go to the SIIA website.

Ronn LevineRonn Levine began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post and has won numerous writing and publications awards since. Most recently, he spent 12 years at the Newspaper Association of America covering diversity, Newspaper in Education, marketing and leadership before joining SIPA in 2009 as managing editor. Follow Ronn on Twitter at @SIPAOnline

HP’s Top Cloud Executive to Keynote SIIA Maximize; Leaders from Grant Thornton, Oracle, SAP, Totango and Others will also Speak

SIIA today announced that Margaret Dawson, Vice President of Product Marketing and Cloud Evangelist for HP Cloud Services, will deliver the opening keynote presentation at SIIA’s Maximize – the software industry’s premier ISV conference.

Held May 20-22 at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, SIIA Maximize will bring together C-level and senior executives, analysts and venture capitalists to look beyond the Cloud and identify the disruptive and innovative growth strategies ISVs need to be efficient, competitive, and successful in today’s market.

In her keynote, Dawson – who recently helped HP unveil its CloudSystem 8 solution for private and hybrid clouds – will discuss hybrid clouds and the challenges and benefits they present for ISVs.  SIIA Maximize will also include a keynote presentation by Guy Nirpaz, CEO and founder of Totango – a real-time customer success management solution.

SIIA Maximize will also feature C-level executives from leading companies and ISVs, including:

  • Eileen Boerger, CEO, CorSource
  • Marc Chiang, Partner, Transaction Advisory Services, Grant Thornton LLP
  • Michael Corcoran, CMO, Information Builders
  • Bill McNee, Founder & CEO, Saugatuck Technology
  • Nick Mehta, CEO, Gainsight
  • Kevin O’Brien, Senior Director, ISV & SaaS Strategy for Worldwide Alliances and Channels, Oracle Corporation
  • Omid Razavi, Global VP, Cloud Customer Success & Growth, SAP
  • Matt Shanahan, SVP Strategy, Scout by ServiceSource
  • Tien Tzuo, Founder & CEO, Zuora

Additionally, SIIA’s Maximize will also feature:

  • One-to-One Business Connections. Attendees will have the opportunity to arrange pre-scheduled meetings with the conference attendees that matter most and match their business development needs.
  • Beyond Cloud Challenge. Finalists in this live competition will come together at SIIA Maximize to battle in front of a panel of industry experts, who will crown the industry’s next “Big Bang.”
  • The CODiEs: Industry’s Only Peer-Selected Awards. The 2014 SIIA CODiE Award software winners will be announced during a gala dinner. The CODiE Awards program, now in its 29th year, has recognized more than 1,000 software and information companies for achieving excellence. The CODiE Awards are the industry’s only peer-recognized awards program in the content, education, and software industries.

WHO: Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA)

WHAT: SIIA’s Maximize 2014 #Maximize2014

WHEN: May 20-22, 2014

WHERE: The Palace Hotel, San Francisco, CA

For a complete schedule of events, visit:

Rhianna Collier is VP for the Software Division at SIIA. Follow the Software team on Twitter at @SIIASoftware.

Digital Media Innovation Conference 7-8 April top tweets

Digital Media Innovation Conference 2014

Here’s the top tweets from the speakers and delegates at the Digital Media Innovation Conference this week collected on storify:

If you can’t view it then try this link:  [Read more...]

Winners of 2014 Media Innovation Awards announced

Media Innovation Awards 2014

At the Digital Media Innovation Conference in London on 8 April the winners of the 2014 Media Innovation Awards were announced.

The awards celebrate innovation and entrepreneurial spirit in media and publishing. They were established in 2010 as the Media Pioneer Awards and have recognised both large media businesses like Future and UBM and small independents like SingleTrack, Songlines and LOOP.

This year, as well as publishers, we opened the awards to suppliers to the media and publishing industry, who are frequently experimenting with new approaches and pushing publishers to innovate.  Read on for an insight into the winning innovations…

[Read more...]

This Type of Engagement Takes More Than a Ring

“Why don’t you post it on Facebook?” a member asked me yesterday when I cited an idea she hadn’t seen from Monday’s column—creating a LinkedIn group from a webinar series. “I just get bombarded with emails and sometimes don’t pay attention.”

I probably should. Or at least post a link there. If one member likes Facebook then a few others do as well. There just isn’t a one-size-fits-all anymore, which means more work for the publisher. But we write so people will read, so friend, tweet and link we must. Here are four other tested email paths to better engagement.

Be “social” to support email. I just saw this in a blog post from Moosa Hemani on SE talks: “If you are looking for a better [email] response rate, it is important to get connected with your recipient on social media platforms. Send an email and then confirm them via social media accounts. (Twitter is best in that case.)” They say that’s preferable to a follow-up email, which makes sense. The member I referred to above researched her subscribers to see their social platform of choice, so that she could best reach out to them. One other interesting idea Hemani floated. Because Tuesday and Thursday have the most email volume, “if you have a catchy email with something different, it is worth trying Monday or Friday!”

The 5 subject line formats to test. From a Real Magnet blog post…For your subject lines, a great way to find the winning formula is to simply test different options. Try alternative formulas to see which subject lines garner the most engagement:
1. Try testing the “Reason Why” Subject line: “5 Reasons Why You Should A/B Test Your Marketing Messages.”
2. Or the “Personalization” Subject line: “Jane, Improve Your Open Rates with this Simple Trick”
3. Try the “Benefit” Subject line: “Garner More Opens and Clicks by A/B Testing Your Marketing Messages.”
4. Or the “Question” Subject line: “Wondering How to Improve Your Open and Click-Through Rates?”
5. There’s always the “How To” Subject line: “How To Improve the Open and Click Through Rates for Your Marketing Messages.”

Email on nights and weekends. According to an Experian study posted by eMarketer, email sent between 8 pm and midnight receive the best open, click-through and revenue-per-email rates. Saturday and Sunday emails also do well. Of course, the volume of emails sent at night and on weekends is much less. If you’re not doing it already, it’s something to try. It makes sense. Going through emails is a good way to ease into the day. Similarly on Mondays, it’s usually not too overwhelming to go through weekend business email. Conversely, checking email after lunch can be daunting. Also when you look at your Outlook folder, Saturday and Sunday email stand out because of their relative paucity.

“Click Here” is best conversion button. Dan Zarrella from HubSpot did research on click buttons for conversion rates. He found that Click Here worked 32% best, followed by Go (24%), Submit (20%), Download (15%) and Register (9%). In a parallel study, he found that Calls to Action did better without the word “Submit” than with.

To subscribe to the SIPAlert Daily, go to the SIIA website.

Ronn LevineRonn Levine began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post and has won numerous writing and publications awards since. Most recently, he spent 12 years at the Newspaper Association of America covering diversity, Newspaper in Education, marketing and leadership before joining SIPA in 2009 as managing editor. Follow Ronn on Twitter at @SIPAOnline