BSA: Bogus Stats as Always
from the why-won't-the-press-report-it? dept
Ah, it's the middle of May, and that means it's time for the Business Software Alliance to come out with their bogus yearly stats on how much unauthorized copies of software are costing the industry. Two years ago, after the numbers came out, even the company that did the research for the BSA (research firm IDC) publicly said that the BSA was trying to mislead the public by claiming that every unauthorized copy was a "lost sale." Even having said that, it didn't stop the research firm from doing the same research again last year, only to see the BSA again misrepresent the results. At least last year, a few commentators called on the BSA to stop the scaremongering. It appears such calls didn't have any effect. No wonder we thought that the BSA representative at last month's CATO Institute conference wasn't listening to what everyone else said. It's becoming clear that the BSA is focused on saying whatever it wants to say -- and facts just get in the way. So, it's no surprise to see the reports coming out with this year's bogus stats claiming that losses due to unauthorized copies continues to rise (once again, the numbers were compiled by IDC, who seems to have no problem with the BSA misrepresenting their work year after year). Of course, what BSA representatives are out saying about the results makes this even more ridiculous. The BSA claims that all of these "lost sales" represent real harm to the economy. It's the same bogus argument they've trotted out before, which is easily debunked. Much of that unauthorized software is being used to make firms much more productive than they would be otherwise -- probably benefiting the overall economy quite a bit. However, it's no surprise that a firm that won't recognize that not every copy is a lost sale won't recognize that the economy may be impacted in other ways.