If The BSA Is So Sure Companies Would Pay For Software, Why Did It Use Free Webserver Software?

from the well,-look-at-that dept

We recently did our latest debunking of the BSA's latest laughable report on "piracy" of software and its impact on the economy and jobs. We have to do this every few months, as the BSA continues to trot out the same laughable and debunked analysis, including the flat-out ridiculous idea that every unauthorized copy is a $1 for $1 lost sale. A few years ago, when a BSA VP and IDC VP called me up to defend the report, they insisted that "their research" showed the $1 to $1 ratio was pretty accurate, insisting that companies who need software really want proprietary software, and that open source or other alternatives generally aren't what they're looking for.

Of course, most people know better than this, but a recent Matt Asay column highlights how more and more of the world moves to open source and cloud-based solutions could seriously change that equation. In it, there's a lovely tidbit about how much the BSA itself doesn't seem to believe its own claims about open source software -- or, even that good software is worth paying a license for:
Ironically, the BSA has discovered one of the few ways to "pirate" open-source software, and is apparently an advocate. The BSA's website apparently runs on Red Hat Enterprise Linux clone CentOS. Surely a license-respecting organization like the BSA would want to pay full freight for a RHEL license rather than undermine Red Hat by choosing CentOS? Evidently not.
Yes, so even in a case where the BSA itself can pay for a nice open source license, it chose to go with a free version instead. This is, of course, perfectly legal. But it seems pretty ridiculous that the BSA would claim that others wouldn't do what it seems to have done. That said, as you look into the details, it appears that the main BSA site does, in fact, run on Microsoft IIS (I'm sure with a nice license from BSA favorite member, Microsoft). The site that was claimed to be on CentOS was a separate "educational" (and I use that term loosely) site called b4usurf.org (gotta love the attempt to sound relevant using txt-spk). Oddly, I can't find any info on what that site now runs on Netcraft. Anyone have a better way of figuring this out?

Filed Under: free, licensing, open source, software
Companies: bsa


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  1. icon
    AMusingFool (profile), 30 Sep 2010 @ 1:12pm

    full nmap output

    Just for giggles:

    ~ (890) nmap -A b4usurf.org

    Starting Nmap 5.00 ( http://nmap.org ) at 2010-09-30 16:01 EDT
    Interesting ports on mercury25.networknoc.com (203.117.89.34):
    Not shown: 990 filtered ports
    PORT STATE SERVICE VERSION
    21/tcp open ftp ProFTPD 1.3.0
    53/tcp open domain ISC BIND 9.2.4
    80/tcp open http Apache httpd 2.0.52 ((CentOS))
    | robots.txt: has 8 disallowed entries
    | /admin/ /contrib/ /doc/ /lib/ /modules/ /plugins/
    |_ /scripts/ /tmp/
    |_ html-title: B4USurf - Home
    110/tcp open pop3 Courier pop3d
    |_ pop3-capabilities: USER STLS IMPLEMENTATION(Courier Mail Server) UIDL PIPELINING APOP TOP LOGIN-DELAY(10)
    143/tcp open imap Courier Imapd (released 2004)
    |_ imap-capabilities: THREAD=ORDEREDSUBJECT QUOTA STARTTLS THREAD=REFERENCES UIDPLUS ACL2=UNION SORT ACL IMAP4rev1 IDLE NAMESPACE CHILDREN
    443/tcp open ssl/http Apache httpd 2.0.52 ((CentOS))
    |_ sslv2: server still supports SSLv2
    |_ html-title: Default PLESK Page
    554/tcp open rtsp?
    3306/tcp open mysql MySQL 4.1.22
    | mysql-info: Protocol: 10
    | Version: 4.1.22
    | Thread ID: 992302
    | Some Capabilities: Connect with DB, Compress, Transactions, Secure Connection
    | Status: Autocommit
    |_ Salt: uuj4`ipu{,b.[`OKl]l+
    7070/tcp open realserver?
    8443/tcp open http Apache httpd 1.3.33 ((Unix) mod_ssl/2.8.22 OpenSSL/0.9.7e PHP/5.0.5)
    | html-title: 302 Found
    |_ Did not follow redirect to https://mercury30.networknoc.com:8443
    Service Info: Host: localhost.localdomain; OS: Unix

    Service detection performed. Please report any incorrect results at http://nmap.org/submit/ .
    Nmap done: 1 IP address (1 host up) scanned in 148.67 seconds

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