Software Licenses

Ownership of intellectual property is becoming a major issue in more and more newspaper sale transactions. Every department in every newspaper — large or small, daily or non-daily — runs on computer software. It’s now the primary infrastructure of every efficient publishing operation. Tracking ad accounts and sales, circulation, production, administration, web site; all are totally dependant on software.

More and more savvy buyers are insisting the sellers deliver at closing proof that every software license is current. Our firm recently represented a selling publisher who was forced to spend over $30,000 in the week prior to closing in order to meet the buyer’s demand for legal licenses on all software used in the newspaper.

GMS recommends that publishers maintain a list of all software licensed to each computer station. And run periodic checks to purge unlicensed software entering over the transom by well intentioned employees. You’ll be surprised how particularly your graphic artists can become dependant on “pirated” software from font libraries to art and special effects.

Savvy buyers expect the primary infrastructure of the publishing asset to be legally licensed.

Comments and questions are welcome and may be directed to Dave via email: or at (360) 942-3560