The Software & Information Industry Association is a great organization -- at least from a comedy standpoint. They got themselves some press a couple of years ago by offering a "bounty" for people who turned in vendors that sold them counterfeit software, but the offer was so full of fine print
that it was completely pointless. They then showed a complete ignorance of the law by threatening
to sue eBay because counterfeiters peddle their wares there, despite the safe-harbor provisions that protect platform providers. But perhaps the most entertaining story about the SIIA was the one about how their propaganda campaigns were driving people to turn away
from proprietary software (you know, the kind produced by SIIA's members) and go with open-source software instead. Now, the group's adding to its comic legacy by unleashing a tidal wave of lawsuits against pirated clip art
. The group's lawyer says the suits are "going to be big," while another SIIA exec says it is "making every effort in this challenging economic climate to protect the interests of both the software and graphics industries," adding that when stuff like clip art gets pirated, "everyone loses -- from individual consumers, to the economy as a whole." Since they're protecting the American economy and all, maybe they're just angling for some government bailout money?