People Beginning To Question The BSA's Vindictive Campaign Against Companies Using Unauthorized Software

from the a-bit-out-of-touch-with-the-times dept

The BSA is famous for overhyping its claims. It puts out completely bogus stats about how much unauthorized software "costs" the industry -- which count pretty much every unauthorized copy as a lost sale and doesn't count back in any of the benefits software firms get from people using copied versions of their software. The BSA is also the firm that hypes up how you can get a million dollars for turning in your boss for using unauthorized software, even though the details suggest that the firm rarely pays out more than $5,000. Now more people are hitting back at this program, not just for the bogus numbers, but because the BSA seems to take great joy from squeezing small businesses for thousands of dollars when they often simply couldn't figure out the terms of the software licenses they purchased. The Associated Press looked into the BSA's tactics and found that the organization makes a ton of money from going after these small firms, and also notes that its advertisements telling people to rat out their bosses for unauthorized software usage push employees to turn in their employers rather than actually fix the problem by making sure the firm properly licenses its software. Of course, when squeezing small firms is so lucrative, why would the BSA and its big software backers want more legitimate licenses? That just takes away from the ability to squeeze much more money out of small firms than they ever would have paid for in purchased software. And people wonder why more small businesses are looking to make use of open source products whenever possible? Update: Changed the link to a longer version of the AP story that includes even more details about problems with the BSA's tactics, including a couple of interesting points. First, it notes that the BSA keeps the money it gets, rather than distributing it to the software companies who support the BSA. In other words, the group has every incentive to keep squeezing money out of companies, rather than actually reducing unauthorized use. Second, the article points out that the BSA's actions are, indeed, driving more people to swear off the software of the BSA's supporters.

Filed Under: bsa, copyright, software


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  1. identicon
    Urban Cubbage, 26 Nov 2007 @ 9:24am

    All software sucks

    You may like open source or pay as you go. But it all sucks in operation. Open source is free to get but costs a bundle when you have problems. Pay as you go (Windows, Mac) costs up front but they support the product after you buy it. Whats the difference between the two, well basically nothing. Each has a cost associated with them. Windows/Macs are easier to use and have standards associated. Open Source roll your own has no standards an tech support is almost nonexistent. With Windows/Mac you are assured that your hardware will work with the OS with Open Source you have to depend on third parties for most drivers. I can trust Microsoft/Apple that the drivers are clean but third party drivers can be written by bad guys. Compatibality between PC's/workstations software is guaranteed with Windows/Macs but it can be a real pain in the neck to get Open Source to play friendly. Dont get me wrong I use all three and do not have a favorite. Just wish we could Pass laws that all software is interoperable with any OS that way we are quaranteed it will work.

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