SOX compliance in an audio facility


Hi, does anyone have any experience working in an audio facility which is required to comply with SOX (the Sarbanes-Oxley Act)?

For those who aren't familiar with SOX (that included me until very recently!), it places quite strict controls on a company's IT infrastructure e.g. open-source software and other freeware is generally not permitted to be installed on any computer.


To open up the question in a more general context - As someone working in a professional facility, would you rely on any open-source or free software (including utilities, RTAS plugins etc) for your work or would you stick to commercial software?

James Bryant

Posted 2011-08-01T23:45:29.793

Reputation: 489



My understanding of SOX is that it was implemented subsequent to the ENRON et al debacle and that it specifically regulates financial auditing compliance in public companies. It does not prevent the use of open source or freeware software. However, it is quite probable that specific companies may have implemented software installation protocol that only allows for installation of specific authorised software and then only by authorised personnel.


Posted 2011-08-01T23:45:29.793

Reputation: 524


I know what the Sarbanes-Oxley Act is, only because my last job was doing audio for a company that built web based compliance and ethics courses for corporations. The little bit I remember of it has to do with e-mail correspondence, record keeping, etc. I really don't remember anything about open-source and freeware software.

Do you have any specific questions? I'm not sure how much help I, or anyone else on this site, can be on this subject. This one is out there. ;)

Shaun Farley

Posted 2011-08-01T23:45:29.793

Reputation: 14 704

@Shaun Yes it's not your usual sound design question is it! SOX seems to be quite far-reaching, though I'm also anything but an expert.

I guess I'm wondering how restrictive people would find it to work with no open source or freeware software on their sound design/edit/mix computer, or if they would usually favour commercial software regardless of any imposed requirements. – James Bryant – 2011-08-02T02:43:52.403

@James Bryant - I would favor commercial software anyways. From my limited experience in that kind of corporate environment, the IT departments aren't usually that keen on freeware/open-source programs to begin with. There are compatibility, support and even security issues that can make their lives much more difficult (especially the security concerns of non-commercial software within a SOX environment). Audio stations can be complicated enough to integrate into the system without those compound issues. Just my 2 cents. – Shaun Farley – 2011-08-02T11:39:54.153

@Shaun Thanks, good to hear your perspective. Those do seem to be valid concerns. – James Bryant – 2011-08-03T02:44:43.107