Research Director Of BSA Study Admits BSA Is Misleading The Public

from the and-you-hide-it-at-the-end-of-the-article? dept

Two weeks ago we noted that the BSA had come out with their latest bogus study on the numbers concerning losses associated with illegal software copying. The main problem we had with that study (as with any such study) is the ridiculous assumption that every piece of copied software is a "lost sale," as well as the failure to admit that unauthorized copying often also has a positive result in introducing the software to those who can't afford it -- but who later do buy it when they can. Now, buried at the end of a NY Times piece that mostly focuses on the ridiculous INDUCE Act, is the fact that IDG, who did the study for the BSA, admits that the BSA is being purposely misleading in how they presented the results. The article quotes the research director at IDG saying that they believe approximately 10% of copied software represents a lost sale, and that they call the total number they came up with "the retail value of pirated software." It was only once the BSA took the study and started promoting it, that they called it "sales lost to piracy." Considering the number of laws that get put in place because of misleading studies like this, shouldn't this be top-of-the-article news, rather than hidden down at the end? Meanwhile, the BSA responds to the claim by saying it doesn't really matter if the real number is "a little lower." I had no idea that numbers inflated by a factor of 10 were just a little bit off...

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  1. identicon
    Anon, 19 Jul 2004 @ 9:56am

    Compare to retail

    A quick search shows that retail shrinkage (losses due to shoplifting and employee theft) averages about 1.7%. Some retail segments average almost 3% shrinkage.

    The BSA states that $80B of software was installed last year. However, the $80B assumes $29B was pirated. If you adjust that as $2.9B of pirated software, you get total software installation value of $54B. This gives a "shrinkage rate" of 5.4% - about triple the average for retail.


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