Techdirt Will Pay Up To $1 Million For Proof Of BSA Million Dollar Pay Out
from the please-note-the-up-to-part dept
The Business Software Alliance (BSA) is no stranger to bogus numbers. It puts out its easily debunked (even by the firm that did the research) claims of "lost sales" due to piracy every year, and doesn't bother to respond to critics who point out that the numbers are totally misleading. Like the RIAA and the MPAA, the BSA pretends that every unauthorized copy is a lost sale and never admits that there are also benefits to the industry to unauthorized software. A few years ago, the BSA started a "snitch on your boss" program, where it promised to pay "up to" $200,000 if you alerted the BSA to the fact that your employer used unauthorized copies of software (not realizing, of course, that this program probably pushed more people to look at open source alternatives, rather than pay up for software). Today, the BSA is getting lots of press for raising the snitch award to $1 million... sort of. Actually, if you read the fine print, you realize that it's "up to $1 million" and the BSA alone gets to decide how much it pays out under its own, mostly unstated, rules. In fact, when News.com went looking to see if the BSA paid out people anywhere near the $200,000 it had previously announced as the reward, it found, instead, the only announced awards were around $5,000, well shy of the $200,000 being touted. Of course, it's all perfectly legal, since the promise is "up to" $200,000. And, now that it's "up to" $1 million (with most of the press coverage ignoring or playing down the "up to" part) we'd like to promise up to $1 million if anyone can offer proof of the BSA awarding anyone $1 million. As for how much we'll actually pay and what constitutes proof, that's at our sole discretion (as per the BSA's terms and conditions).