BSA Blaming Professors For Students Downloading Software

from the get-a-grip dept

It appears that the folks at the BSA are getting a little jealous of their colleagues at the RIAA for making fools of themselves and absolutely missing the point of downloadable content. The BSA has now come out with a study warning that college students have no problem downloading software illegally, and that it's all the fault of professors who encourage this sort of thing. They go on to say, in their standard exaggerated way, that this is going to be a huge "gateway" into software piracy. This is their version of the "escalation" argument. First you learn to download music at college, then software, and then you go on to a life of crime! Let's help the BSA take a step back and think about what they're doing. These are college students who don't have the disposable income to spend $700 on a copy of Photoshop. However, by having them download a copy, they learn how to use it, and when they enter the workforce, they're much more willing to buy a legitimate copy of the software. I know that's happened with plenty of applications and people I know. They first discovered the applications at home or at college by getting so-called "pirated" versions - and later ended up buying a legitimate copy for work. The BSA, however, insists that every downloaded copy is a lost sale. In many cases it's actually a promotion that is leading to a sale that never would have been made otherwise. Cracking down too hard on software downloading on campuses is going to have the opposite effect from what they intend.
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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Sep 2003 @ 7:59am

    Re: This is rediculous....

    Not sure why I'm bothering to continue this ...

    Yes, swap meets where you copied media were/are illegal (what part of copyright law don't you understand ? )

    Software being loaned like a library is prefectly legal. Leasing companies do it all the time.

    2 companies that quickly come to mind, know make that 3 to 4, that are actively using Open Source software include : Lucas Arts, Cisco Systems, the United States Post Office, The United States Government, The British Government, Google, Burlington Coat Factory, Oracle, IBM, hmmmm closer to 10 than I thought.

    3. If you've already graduated, then your company hopefully is purchasing your software and not yourself. If you're having to purchase your own, I'd suggest looking for another job.

    4. And I'm not a poster child for RIAA/BSA. What I am a STRONG ADVOCATE of is capitalism. It's that thing that let's us make more money as individuals and therefore be able to afford more toys.

    You can hang onto the egg.

    To LittleWolf, I hadn't noted the requirement to return the software but I suspect that's company EULA specific and doesnt' surprise me that Microsoft would require it. However, as I mentioned above, I would think upon exiting a school, that whatever business you have chosen to pursue, your employer would provide you the tools to do your job. If it's for personal development, ... then it's a matter of how much it's worth to you.

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