If They Can't Pass SOPA... Senators Ask FTC To Magically Stop Foreign Software Infringement

from the say-what-now? dept

Having failed to pass SOPA, Congress is apparently looking for other ways to keep the big copyright players happy. The latest is a letter sent by 16 senators to the FTC urging the commission to "protect American manufacturers" by cracking down on the fact that foreign companies often use unauthorized software:
"This unfairness harms the affected companies and their employees, as well as consumers and the broader economy," the senators wrote. "It also stifles innovation by forcing law-abiding American businesses — large and small — to compete against those businesses that reduce their operating costs through the use of pirated IT."
Except that much of that is misleading. First of all, it's unclear that the companies in question would have bought the software otherwise, so arguing that it impacts the software companies isn't necessarily true. It is true that US companies have to compete against those other companies, but is the cost of the software they're using really the difference maker here? Besides, for all types of software there is growing competition from open source alternatives. If US companies want to compete, why not adopt more open source alternatives?

Also, what exactly do these Senators think the FTC can do here? The FTC has no jurisdiction over foreign companies and how they operate at home. Finally, even if the FTC could magically stop these companies from using unauthorized software, the end result is likely that those companies would simply shift to alternatives, such as open source software themselves.

Filed Under: ftc, it, jurisdiction, software piracy


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  1. icon
    Chargone (profile), 8 Apr 2012 @ 5:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: They can barely use their Blackberries

    tell me, good sir, where is this mystical land you hail from?

    honestly, all my schooling taught me was that the administrators are corrupt or incompetent, the educators overworked, and that my luck is just Weird. (watch me take absolutely no action to in any way cover my misdeeds, and get off scott-free, minimum. watch me suffer significant penalties (in the scale of 'stuff the school can do without involving your parents' or, occasionally, when that was unavoidable, 'stuff the school can do without involving the law or the creation of any records') for things i had nothing to do with or was the victim of. wheee... (seriously, i had POLICE showing up at my house because i was SICK and the school refused to do anything to allow me to continue my studies while dealing with health issues, instead choosing to add extra financial burdens and waste everyone's time (including the already overworked Doctor)... it was a long and stupid chain of events.))

    schools that actually teach the students how to think are few and far between... and here abouts, at least, a lot of them have completely lost the ability to even teach Facts and Skills because they prefer to 'teach the students how to think' by.... not teaching them anything. (seriously, 'teaching the student how to think' meant 'give them research projects and essays without ever teaching how to actually do research, or write essays, or allowing for the fact that you assigned a topic neither the school nor public libraries had any information on. good job.)

    grrr, rant rant rant.

    anyway, yeah, point is, a school that teaches you how to think is a rare thing.

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