This Year's Bogus BSA Numbers
from the ah,-this-again... dept
Like swallows returning to Capistrano, each year, the BSA (with the help of IDC) comes out with somewhat bogus numbers concerning "losses" attributed to copied software. Last year, after presenting the numbers the guy who ran the research behind them admitted that the BSA was purposely misrepresenting them, to make the problem look much bigger than it really is. The issue is that the researchers come up with a number which is "the retail value of copied software." The BSA then takes that and claims this is the amount of "losses," due to unauthorized software copying. Of course, that's nowhere near the truth but it doesn't stop the BSA from saying the same thing year in and year out. This year, they're up to the same old tricks, claiming that "losses" are increasing. It's a shame that IDC continues to do this study for the BSA, even after admitting they don't agree with how it's being marketed by the BSA. This year, the BSA is also returning to an earlier theme they've used in the past, by claiming that cracking down on software copying helps to stimulate the economy, creating a ton of jobs and tax revenue. Of course, since all of these estimates are based on the completely false assumption that every one who used copied software would pay for it, the numbers are clearly ridiculously inflated. And, of course, you have to balance these claims with actual academic research that has shown that many developing nations see their economies grow faster when they have loose intellectual property laws -- stats supported by the results in the Netherlands and Switzerland during periods of time when both countries went without patents.