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BSA IDC FUD 354

Posted by timothy
from the another-tla-comes-to-mind dept.
truthsearch writes "News.com.com is reporting that a 'study, commissioned by the BSA and conducted by IDC, found that in general, nations with the lowest piracy rates had the largest IT sectors. The study, which examined 57 countries, predicted that a 10-point reduction in the rate of piracy over four years could generate 1.5 million jobs and $64 billion taxes worldwide.' The BSA, er... Microsoft, will use this study to convince governments to crack down on piracy. 'Overall, the countries that have the poorest record of IP rights have slower rates of IT growth,' BSA CEO Robert Holleyman said. Oh, and the countries with the most oppression have had the slowest IT growth, but that can't be the cause, nah."
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BSA IDC FUD

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 02, 2003 @05:40PM (#5647533)
    I know someone that was audited by the BSA and decided to fight it.
    Basically they countered by stating they wanted full disclosure of
    who reported them so as to determine the validity of the claim prior
    to wasting internal resources and dollars. They also argued that
    the reporting tools are a violation of privacy. Yes, they expected
    them to place some software on their network which scans their
    entire network not to mention each machine's registry. Third, they
    also argued that even if they were in violation of license, the
    license is between them and the vendor (after all, the license does
    not allow for the BSA as having legal proxy interests) and unless
    the vendor in questions decides that they'd like to personally
    persue the issue, the BSA does not have legal authority or the
    legal grounds to persue the action. Furthermore, they argued that
    even if something odd was discovered and they lost, only the
    government has the right to impose fines on legal matters as such
    and they would be within their legal rights to simply purchase
    any outstanding licenses or settle directly with the vendor in
    question and completely dismiss the BSA altogether thereby
    eliminating the need to pay any fines or added fees.
    • I am without speech! Get out!!!

      (Seinfeld impression)
    • by rice_burners_suck (243660) on Wednesday April 02, 2003 @08:58PM (#5649166)
      Scans every machine, including the registry, does it? And what do you suppose, Mr. Sherlock, would happen if ALL the machines on the aforementioned network are running Linux and FreeBSD, with FREE software running on those systems as the only software that is used by the business? Then how in the fock will the stupid, focking BSA (BULL SHIT ALLIANCE) scan every machine's registry? I think that is a big crock of garbage. They can go fock themselves, those stupid focking BSA. If anybody from the stupid BSA is reading this and wants to come after me, my home address is:

      Blvd M. Avila Camacho #120,
      Col Lomas De Chapultepec,
      11652 Mexico, D.F.,
      Mexico

      COME AND GET ME!

    • Did they actually manage to avoid being audited? This study means that we draw the conclusion that pay-per-package software is inefficient, because a society can perform it's tasks with less people when it pirates. That means that opensource software is a more efficient solution, meaning that humans can spend their times working on more important things - like creating new software, technology, building warships, whatever. It just proves that the pay-per-package software model is obsolete and bad for a c
  • Uh huh... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Glock27 (446276)
    'Overall, the countries that have the poorest record of IP rights have slower rates of IT growth,' BSA CEO Robert Holleyman said.

    In related news, it was revealed that 20% of reckless drivers smoked marijuana. (Of course, so does 20% of the general population;).

    Lies, damned lies, and statistics. Truer words were never spoken...

  • The study.. (Score:5, Informative)

    by AftanGustur (7715) on Wednesday April 02, 2003 @05:41PM (#5647548) Homepage


    The Study.. [bsa.org]

  • by YahoKa (577942) on Wednesday April 02, 2003 @05:42PM (#5647549)
    You know you are a geek when you understand a headline of all these acronyms... :\

  • In summary, the headline needs more TLAs to confuse the FBI, CIA, DHS, NSA, DEA, and ATF!
  • hah! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by gotjanx (655446)
    Thats a laugh, countries like India China have very high percentage of piracy (some stats put it above 90 %) yet have a burgeoning software industry. Albeit due to offshore development work in most parts.
    • "Thats a laugh, countries like India China have very high percentage of piracy (some stats put it above 90 %) yet have a burgeoning software industry."

      Gives us all a pretty good idea what they're pirating, doesn't it?
  • by Sanity (1431) on Wednesday April 02, 2003 @05:43PM (#5647566) Homepage Journal
    ...the BSA pointed out that countries with more relaxed Intellectual Property laws had higher child mortality rates. "The inference is clear", BSA CEO Robert Holleyman said, "Piracy kills babies".
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The press release is in misleading language. Translated into english:

    Countries should help us exploit our patents and trademarks to maintain monopoly. Our "unbiased" study confirms that this will help your economy.
  • BSA? (Score:2, Funny)

    by shibbydude (622591)
    I didn't know the boy scouts of america were cracking down on piracy! If they weren't always coming to my door with thier fundraisers, I'd have some money to buy some legal software!
  • Easy... (Score:4, Funny)

    by jmv (93421) on Wednesday April 02, 2003 @05:44PM (#5647586) Homepage
    So what's the easiest way to dramatically reduce piracy: use open-source software. So if everybody switches to open-source, it'll be good the the industry. So I suggest the BSA starts advocating OSS more. After all, that's good for the industry :)
    • After all, that's good for the industry :)

      Unless you actually want to make money. ;)
      • Re:Ummm... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by daeley (126313)
        Remind me again how much money you get for a pirated version of your software?
        • by jcr (53032)
          Remind me again how much money you get for a pirated version of your software?

          You get many purchases down the road, when the kid who pirated your app graduates and starts making buying decisions for his employer.

          -jcr

        • That's not what I was saying, I should have been clearer.

          An Open Source development outfit really doesn't make a whole lot of profit, the business model is still being flushed out and as RedHat has shown us the only real money to be made is from the bugs and complexity of the software that must be supported.

          I think it would be great is OSS companies actually made money, but the companies costs have to be paid for somehow.
      • Re:Ummm... (Score:3, Interesting)

        by jmv (93421)
        No, the point made by the BSA is that reduced piracy==profit. OSS is the best and easiest way to reduce piracy, hence it is good for the inductry. If you look at the OSS world, you'll also see that the countries that contribute the most to OSS are the ones with the biggest IT industry.

        (BTW, I'm not saying that seriously, but just pushing the BSA statements a bit further)
    • Re:Easy... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by bmajik (96670)
      actually, you're dead on.

      Open source software _is_ good for the IT industry. Broken software that requires babysitting by elitist gurus is _exactly_ what IT workers want, so they can continue to justify their positions and their salaries.

      UNIX and Open source in general are _Great_ for the privileged few IT workers that use them effectively (or use them effectively enough to fool their employers).

      Until companies start doing the hard analysis of "gosh, even though i sell shoes, IT is 50% of my expenditure
      • Re:Easy... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Xerithane (13482)
        Open source software _is_ good for the IT industry. Broken software that requires babysitting by elitist gurus is _exactly_ what IT workers want, so they can continue to justify their positions and their salaries.


        Little addendum:
        With the select few open source applications, this is dead on. Apache and FreeBSD are IT services that don't require elitist gurus, but try to get PHP + mod_perl + Apache with mod_ssl going, and you need that guru.

        Great post, was brilliantly timed. I'm glad you didn't post thi
        • So now, somebody who can RTFM is considered a guru?

          And I thought I only needed to be worried about GPA inflation... now I have to call the guys that really are what I thought of as "gurus" something else... demigod, maybe?
          • Re:Easy... (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Xerithane (13482)
            So now, somebody who can RTFM is considered a guru?

            Go ahead and RTFM, and see how long it takes you just based on the manual to set up what I listed.

      • Did you think anyone was going to take you seriously if you claimed Open Source Software required babysitting by elitist gurus, or that "Unix and Open Source" could be reasonably together as closely-related things to help form an argument?

        It's this sort of reactionary tripe that makes people mutter about trolls/idiots/Bill Gates and wander off. Do try again.
      • Re:Easy... (Score:3, Informative)

        by luzrek (570886)
        Then IT industry will crash and the people that had cushy jobs because they were pseudo-wizards will get laid off, and companies will start using software that doesn't require wizards to run, and actually lets them focus on their business instead of their IT dept.

        Which is why KB toys switched to Linux based systems for their cash registers and inventory maintience. Or the Mass. Dept. of Revenue switched to Linux because it costs them $200 a terminal vs. $400+ a terminal for Windows (after taking into cons

    • Just in case no one else can see the sarcasim:

      Switching to OSS to eliminate piracy would actually work, but I doubt that the BSA had that in mind.

      If people started to use OSS instead of CSS local economies would be able to take what they are currently investing in CSS fees and invest them in the skills of the local labor force. This would ultimately be very good for local economies but would probably crush the economies of CA and WA especially near Seattle.

  • "When people are using software but they're using a pirated version, they're not paying the government the tax revenues it should be receiving," Holleyman said.

    Wonder how our elected representatives are going to take this. Obviously they're not going to consider that people who wouldn't (couldn't afford to) buy the software in the first place would be dodging taxes. Not to mention of course the amount of PR various BSA members have received for "leaked" beta versions of software...

    • To follow this line of thought a bit, if they're not paying the government, they're hampering the US war against terrorism. Therefore software priates == aiding terrorism.

      Yes, I know that one doesn't actually depend on the other, but if presented in nice packaging, will Joe Sentator really care?
  • by curtisk (191737) on Wednesday April 02, 2003 @05:45PM (#5647596) Homepage Journal
    "When people are using software but they're using a pirated version, they're not paying the government the tax revenues it should be receiving," Holleyman said.

    Damn.....if thats a big issue with how piracy is wrong, I'm free and clear since I don't pay any sales tax anyway in the state I'm in (Delaware)......whew! my conscious is CLEARED!

    Time to buy another spindle of CDRs!

    • For the sake of clarity: although Delaware does not impose a sales tax, it does impose a gross receipts [state.de.us] tax. In this system, businesses pay a tax based on total sales receipts for that fiscal year. Which amounts to a less visible sales tax. Businesses simply include the cost in pricing, passing that tax on to you in the process. Similar systems exist in other countries and seem to work well. The drawback is that it's harder to tell what the tax rate is for a given product. (you have to check the state guide
  • The way I figure it, the nations with the SMALLEST IT sectors would have the least piracy. Think about it: countries like Sudan and Nigeria... who's gonna be pirating Windows XP when they don't have a computer to run it on?
  • by nick this (22998) on Wednesday April 02, 2003 @05:46PM (#5647608) Journal
    Another classic example of confusing correlation with causality. Just because there is a correlation between the two, doesn't mean that one *causes* the other. They could just as easily *both* be affected by a third variable (average income? average levels of education? percentage of computer-using businesses?)

    This is the kind of thing that gives statistics a bad name.

    Here's another correlation distortion. People in the mid 1800's had an average lifespan of what? 45 years? Today's average lifespan is like 70 or something. Now, choose your data sets that way, and compare life expectancy of those people who have personal computers, and those that didn't (those from the 1800's). You'll find a *strong* correlation between PC use and life expectancy.

    But it's clearly meaningless. The key factor here is obviously availability of health care. You can use this same trick to "prove" relationship between almost anything.

    This study is clearly junk.

    • Could you please forward that post to whoever claims to represent you in Congress? Remember to remove all those tricky big words though.

      You'll find a *strong* correlation between PC use and life expectancy.

      Also, if you do send this to DC, I expect that free PC's will become part of Medicare...;)

      • Could you please forward that post to whoever claims to represent you in Congress? Remember to remove all those tricky big words though.
        You'll find a *strong* correlation between PC use and life expectancy.
        Also, if you do send this to DC, I expect that free PC's will become part of Medicare...;)

        Careful -- if you do that, congress is likely to mandate PC ownership.

        --Turkey
    • Ok, let me give it a whirl. Ahem... Over the last 15 years the average income of women in the US has increased dramatically, narrowing the salary gap between genders. I've been having sex for approximately 15 years. I predict that if more women have sex with me, there will be equality in wages....Hey you're right! Time to write up a press release and shave...
    • by lysium (644252)
      Homer: "There's not a single bear in sight--the 'Bear Patrol' is working like a charm".
      Lisa: "That's specious reasoning."
      Homer: "Thanks, honey."
      Lisa: "According to your logic, this rock keeps tigers away".
      Homer: "Hmmm. How does it work?"
      Lisa: "It doesn't."
      Homer: "How so?"
      Lisa: "It's just a rock. But I don't see a tiger, anywhere."
      Homer: "Lisa,"
      *pulls out wallet* "I want to buy your rock."
      ----------
    • While you are correct, I don't see how that makes any difference.

      If the intended audience is the general public or your average collection of drunken frat-boys then stupid arguments are pretty convincing. It's not through chance that the unethical use FUD.

      If, however, the intended audience are our just and wise leaders--those who consider every issue in a careful, logical, and unbiased manner, then your complaint is relevant.

      For our leaders would never use such arguments to pacify the public and just

    • by lildogie (54998) on Wednesday April 02, 2003 @06:13PM (#5647931)
      > This is the kind of thing that gives statistics a bad name.

      I was discussing the value of using flaky numbers with a colleague the other day.

      I made the point that people who use flaky numbers convincingly tend to get their way more often than people who fuss over accuracy.

      So, whether you want to fuss over the quality of your numbers depends on your objective:
      1) do you want to understand what is really happening, (eg. a scientist) , or
      2) do you want to convince others to go along with you (eg. a politician).

      Value judgements aside, what you ought to do depends on your objective.
    • Brilliant!!! This also proves that software piracy increases life expectancy. After all, software piracy was hardly existent in the 1800's. Nowadays software piracy is abundant, and people can expect to live some thirty years longer. If software piracy was legal, we would be immortals...
    • OMG. That article was rich. Here is my solution:

      All software developer's should instantly stop using any copy protection software and instead just begin a hiring frenzy for their IT staff using the money they save from not developing copy protection, plus the money will be getting from all those pirates now buying their products. Obviously, if we can hire enough people, piracy will disappear. Then we can all just use software on the honor system, with no serial numbers required.
    • My stats professor in college had a great analogy for this. Something like, "In a recent study, it was found that murderers occasionally ate ice cream. So, if one were to consume lots of ice cream, you would become a murderer. Therefore, ice cream should be banned to prevent more murders!" QED
  • by WasterDave (20047) <davep@ze d k e p .com> on Wednesday April 02, 2003 @05:46PM (#5647610)
    ...putting cause and effect the wrong way round. In other news:

    * People sneezing more likely to catch cold.
    * Companies with fewer security concerns more likely to use Linux.
    * People who buy Ferrari's are more likely to be rich.

    Dave
  • Oh that's great (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ShatteredDream (636520) on Wednesday April 02, 2003 @05:46PM (#5647611) Homepage
    Tell the greedy politicians that they get something out of doing their job, which is supposed to be enforcing the law. $64B in taxes? That's a **great** way to ensure that jack-booted thugs with M-16s, AK-47s, MP5s or Styr-Augs (depending on the PD) bust down as many doors as possible to make sure that $64B is protected. That's of course assuming that eliminating piracy won't damage or destroy other sectors of the economy. People, $64B is ~$24B more than we spend on the insane WoD. I know that will get spread over many countries, but that's still a damn big incentive even if it's only an extra $5B to the general fund.

    Imagine Palladium getting mandated to make this possible. No Macintosh anymore or similar platforms. Probably no WordPerfect either as it will cost Corel too much to get certified. Linux? Bye bye SuSE, RedHat, Mandrake, et al. It will be an industry dominated by a handful of giants. Our spineless, ignorant politicians have long ago forgotten that it is small and medium-sized business, not the giants, that run most of the economy. If those go under, unemployment will skyrocket, both parties will have egg on their faces and knowing America these days, we won't have a third party gaining power, we'll have 2 party weasles giving people heaping buckets full of Socialism.
  • (English: After this, therefore because of this.)

    How can anyone conclude anything from this? You could say: "High piracy results in a weak IT sector" or you could say "A strong IT sector results in low piracy"

    Both are completely valid conclusions to draw, and neither means anything in a void.

    Correlation, meet causation.
  • Huh? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Gogl (125883) on Wednesday April 02, 2003 @05:48PM (#5647629) Journal
    FYI, the BSA, AKA "guys we don't like", are spreading FUD using $$$ and buying out the IDC, an industry analyst that government organizations such as the CIA, the FBI, the NSA, the DOD, the DOJ, TIPS, the WTO, and perhaps even more will all listen to and as such we will be forced to respond by supporting groups such as the ACLU and the EFF in the fight to maintain our civil rights while also hoping that we're not drafted the SSS and also that the SSA holds together so we can all retire someday.

    Or something.
  • by ackthpt (218170) on Wednesday April 02, 2003 @05:48PM (#5647630) Homepage Journal

    If piracy is high, their IT sector must be low

    If an IT sector is low it must be a developing country

    If it's a developing country then piracy will be high

    thus...

    If piracy is high, we impose trade sanctions

    If trade sanctions are imposed, a developing country's economy will suffer

    If people can't make enough money to buy software because their economy suffers they will not pirate software because they have learned their lesson.

    "Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue."

  • I really wish... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ShieldWolf (20476) <jeffrankine@NOsPAm.netscape.net> on Wednesday April 02, 2003 @05:49PM (#5647636)
    That it was mandatory for all Journalists to take a minimum course in physics, statistics, biology, logic and history.

    Causation and corelation are not the same thing.

    Countries with a large IT industry tend to be highly developed, do not tend to have large organized crime, and tend to have stricter piracy laws. These all help keep piracy down.

    This does not imply however that increasing piracy laws will increase the IT industry.

    A=>B does not mean B=>A

    It's like saying that countries with sea-access tend to have navy's, so if a country gets a navy it will have sea access.

    It is a logical falicy.
    • The news.com.com.com story is quoting and summarizing, but not stating any inferred conclusions (or the fact that the study gives no conclusions). It's the laziness of the article's author, I believe, not a lack of understanding that makes it appear he/she agrees. I think the article's just trying to get the facts out without disagreeing with anyone about anything.
    • Not laziness. I'd say based on this that they delivered exactly the "objective" results they were paid to get. If a MP3 jukebox maker had paid them, they would have said that piracy should be requred by law.

      We can't take IDC seriously as a source of analysis or accurate information anymore. Remember this when you see them cited as sources in articles...

      IDC is just another public relations tool. Pay them and specify the results, they'll come up with a way to spin or invent "the facts".

      I don't think they e

  • by burgburgburg (574866) <splisken06 @ e m a i l . com> on Wednesday April 02, 2003 @05:51PM (#5647657)
    Helping us to force your young, weak IT sector to pay ridiculous licensing fees to us will cause your IT sector to grow tenfold in a year.

    Also, tithing 10% of your monies to our ministry (the Church of BSA) will return your monies tenfold. The Lord Bill has said so. So let it be written, so let it be done.

  • Cause and Effect (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BeBoxer (14448) on Wednesday April 02, 2003 @05:53PM (#5647682)
    Once again somebody has decided to confuse cause and effect. Here's what the article says:

    in general, nations with the lowest piracy rates had the largest IT sectors, as measured as a share of the countries' gross domestic product(GDP)

    My take:

    in general, nations with higher rates of piracy spend less of their GDP on software.

    Gosh, what a suprise. I never would have guessed. I wonder what they'll think of next. I supose they'll tell us that people who buy cars instead of stealing them have larger "automotive spending sectors". Which isn't to say that copyright violations are OK. But to tell a country that sending more of their GDP overseas to the US will help their local IT economy is just a bunch of crap IMHO.
  • Funny Numbers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ken@WearableTech (107340) <.ken. .at. .kenwilliamsjr.com.> on Wednesday April 02, 2003 @05:54PM (#5647695) Homepage Journal
    "The organization estimates that 40 percent of all software programs worldwide are pirated"

    Is this?

    A: Of all the software installed 40% is Warez
    B: 40% of titles have been turned into Warez

    I think that they mean A but I only find B to be believable.
    • I think a lot of businesses in places such as China simply do not even consider paying for software. China is a big country so the numbers might be right.
  • nations that have more IT will have more IT. if there is more IT, there are more hackers, and thus more people defending networks against hackers. oh wait, microsoft makes hackers obsolete. everything is okay. nevermind
  • by raehl (609729) <[moc.oohay] [ta] [113lhear]> on Wednesday April 02, 2003 @05:55PM (#5647712) Homepage
    That countries with high piracy rates were much more likely to be populated by people of color.

    "Without immediate action to stop the spread of piracy, American citizen's will soon find their skin turning darker and darker," said BSA Spokeman Bubba Nalk. "We can already see the effects of software piracy on college campuses, as file swapping continues to turn white students into asians and even black students, as evidenced by the increased enrollment of students of color."

    Mr. Nalk had no comment on whether software piracy also caused male college athletes to turn into women.
    • The BSA was pleased to announce that after conducting a thurough audit of Michael Jackson's home and production company offices that all of his software had the approrpriate licenses, and in many cases, Mr. Jackson had several more licenses than were required for the software he was using.

      "We're pleased to have Mr. Jackson's support in combating the numerous negative effects of software piracy," said BSA spokesman Bubba Nalk.
  • by benja (623818) on Wednesday April 02, 2003 @05:57PM (#5647736)
    In the light of these amazing and insightful numbers, I propose that governments all over the world take immediate measures to combat privacy and foster the development and distribution of Free Software. After all, Free Software attacks piracy at its root: Free Software cannot be pirated per definitionem!

    These numbers make it clear that countries investing in Free Software will have a clear competitive advantage when it comes to their IT sectors.

    :-)

  • Seriously. It is no secret that the great majority of Windows systems deployed all around the western (and the rest of the) world are pirate copies. There is no incentive for a specific company to switch to linux servers from windows servers when the linux solution will cost much more than the windows one.
  • by Migraineman (632203) on Wednesday April 02, 2003 @05:59PM (#5647762)
    I started my own business recently. Not two weeks after I submitted the paperwork for a state business license, I received a mailing from the BSA that encouraged me to volunteer for an audit "just to make sure I didn't expose myself to the liability of unlicensed or improperly licensed software."

    Uh huh. Riiiiiight. Seems that the state gub'ment sold a mailing list to these jackbooted thugs. You gimme any of that juris-my-diction crap, you can cram it up your ass.
  • There's no "U" or "D" going on here. OK maybe just a little "FU" but mainly "F".

  • Scary Part (Score:5, Interesting)

    by White Roses (211207) on Wednesday April 02, 2003 @06:03PM (#5647810)
    To me, the scariest part is the fact that most people in any sort of infulential position (C*O, Congresscritter, etc.) are more likely to respond to the fact that this report is printed on expensive/glossy paper and so therefore it must be true.

    Worse yet is if the BSA presents it's findings over a complimentary lunch where they refuse to feed you until you've heard their propaganda, er, um, presentation.

    If only I could print my proposals to use non-MS products in the latest issue of Dumbass Boss Monthly (this month's feature: Shiny Things As Business Strategy), I'd have no trouble. Graphs, documentation and logic seem to hold no weight.

  • ..and then clap my hands near the fly, it does not fly away. Therefore, I conclude that removing the fly's wings makes it go deaf.

    Of COURSE piracy is rampant in poor countries. It does not follow that if they got a lid on it, then they would suddenly develop a thriving IT industry.

    -jcr
  • by laymusic (140088) on Wednesday April 02, 2003 @06:08PM (#5647863) Homepage
    >> in general, nations with the lowest piracy rates >> had the largest IT sectors

    I think for people who don't think of software as work that puts bread on the table, software piracy feels less like stealing than it does for people who have had jobs writing software that paid their bills and bought food.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 02, 2003 @06:32PM (#5648125)
      Why do people always bring up FOOD and EATING when it comes to copying software? If I didn't get paid writing software, I'd find another fucking job, long before I start hitting the ramen noodles.

      But I *do* get paid to write software. I get paid for my time to write custom software that isn't distributed. I couldn't give two shits about "piracy". Just pay me according to the signed contract. No pay, no work.

      Jebus, you'd think getting paid for each and every copy of something was some kind of God-given capitalistic right.
  • by Wylfing (144940) <brian&wylfing,net> on Wednesday April 02, 2003 @06:09PM (#5647876) Homepage Journal
    a 10-point reduction in the rate of piracy over four years could generate 1.5 million jobs and $64 billion taxes worldwide

    This assumes everyone has a bunch of unspent capital lying around. That never happens. If people are not spending their money on software, they are spending it somewhere else in the economy. "Cracking down on piracy" doesn't generate any tax money -- those taxes are already being collected. The only thing that changes is the government forces money from other sectors into the software sector.

    • Actually it would be the other way around from what they are saying.

      You can either pirate that $300 Microsoft Office, then spend the money on the fruitstand down the street, or you can pay for it, and put $50 (or whatever) right into Bill's pocket. Nice way to get rid some capital lying around in a poor country...
  • Read The PDF (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jeffkjo1 (663413)
    If you actually look at the white paper on the BSA's website here [bsa.org] [bsa.org] it becomes apparent that it is very unlikely to be used in the US. On page 8 is a graph showing corellation of piracy rates to revenue. The US has the lowest piracy rates of ANY nation that they studied. The US is also in the top 6 of revenue for the IT industry (coming in at 6.) Clearly there are other factors involved in the amount of revenue brought in and piracy rates. This study would be relevant to countries like Vietnam, Rus
  • by Wylfing (144940) <brian&wylfing,net> on Wednesday April 02, 2003 @06:13PM (#5647935) Homepage Journal
    countries that have the poorest record of IP rights have slower rates of IT growth

    It doesn't say so in the article, but we're led to believe that the U.S.A. and other "Western" nations have strong IP rights, low piracy, and fat, healthy IT sectors. So that means there is no piracy problem in the U.S.! Whew! Thanks for clearing that up, BSA.

  • The leaders of national governments, even third-world governments, are not stupid. (Note: being corrupt is not the same as being stupid.)

    A national leader who listens to the BSA lobby with this will be able to see through it for what it is.

    Those leaders may decide to tighten IP laws anyway for a number reasons: kickbacks from American and European industry members, threats of tariffs or sanctions, pressure from internal industry, etc., etc. It's not going to happen because of heavy-handed, rather obvious
  • While MS and pals tout the benefits of reducing piracy internationally, they forget to mention a few, key points:

    The vast majority of software pirated by countries that the BSA cite as having small IT sectors is not domestically produced software. Thus, reducing piracy in these countries increases the revenue of coporations based in other countries (e.g. the US, and EU).

    Software retail outlets and other industry "middlemen" in the countries in question will benefit from reduced piracy, but this is smal

  • How interesting... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by shepd (155729)
    The study doesn't consider the multitude of IT jobs existing due to piracy. Talk about screwing it up.

    A simple study would have shown them that often piracy generates more jobs in the piracy field than there were people involved in making the software/media.

    But the BSA doesn't want you to know that, do they?

  • In another study I conducted recently, I noticed that states which have the largest ratio of non-mustached to mustached males have the highest average salaries. Therefore if you are male and have a mustache, you should shave your mustache to get richer.
  • "When people are using software but they're using a pirated version, they're not paying the government the tax revenues it should be receiving," Holleyman said.
    We may joke here on /. about the "Microsoft tax" and the naming of Passport being fallacious, but apparently somebody in the software business doesn't look upon these issues quite so jovially....

    This just goes to (yet again) show how the Gatus of Borg icon really strikes a chord of truth!
  • by hillct (230132) on Wednesday April 02, 2003 @06:23PM (#5648032) Homepage Journal
    The study seems to be employing a basic rhetorical falacy. They axtrapolate from their data beyond any level that is supportable by a reasonable person, in order to please their employer (in this case the BSA). Honestly, I can see how craskind down on software piracy can create jobs and expand the IT secor in effected countries. This would naturally occur if companies had to employ auditors for license tracking, maintain a vast number of concurrent-use license servers, and support insecure and broken but highly restrictive software products, each purchased from the one true OS vendor (gag) thereby generating a whole new tax base within that country.

    Let us not forget that it was Steve Balmer who said software piracy was a key element of Microsoft's market penetration strategy (in 1994), where in developing countries, users would pirate Microsoft software - since they souldn't affort to license it anyway, then as their productivity rose through use of this high qwuality software, their revenues would grow and by the time the BSA got around to auditing them, they could afford to license the software they had previously pirated.

    It's important to note that this has NOTHING to do with Intellectual Property Rights or Privacy but simply enforcement of contract law. IP rights - those that are defensable anyway - relate to issues such as term of copyright, the nature of fair use and the transition of protected works into the public domain. Nobody, as far as I know has ever questioned whether Microsoft owns the rights to it's products, or has exclusive rights to sell their own products (except in a few countries such as China).

    As for Privacy, the only way software piracy in any way relates to privacy is in terms of the ability to conceal a crime. I can understand how reduced software piracy can improve an economy, especially if the countries studied had Gross National Products smaller than Microsoft's marketing budget, but the only way that a reduction in privaly could cause a reduction in software piracy is if Microsoft were allowed to prevent users from disabling such Windows features as the automatic license varification within Windows Media Player, or gather additional detailed system and software data as part of Windows Update (which it turns out Microsoft is already doing) or if companies were allowed to hack into the networks of suspected software pirates.

    Nothing new here. We already knew that Microsoft wanted to prevent users from disabling the monitoring features that already exist in Windows Media Player and Windows XP, and we've already seen such organizations as the RIAA (in the case of the music industry) propose that they should be able to hack into computers owned by private citizens to confirm that they had not illegally optained copies of un-licenced IP. Overall, I think this was a horendously bad move on the part of the BSA (I still think the boyscouts should sue the business software alliance for use of the acronym, since it's clear that the latter has done serious and irreperable harm to the international perception of the acronym in any context), in that instead of making these findings public, they should have been used in support of a private lobying effort to ease privacy restrictions so Microsoft can look back at us through our computer screens and watch our every move.

    -- George Orwell
  • by Anonymous Coward

    They have large IT sector - and huge piracy.

    The whole study is a cheat since the
    piracy depends mostly on the relation between
    salaries and software cost.

    When you make $15 an hour - it is OK for you
    to pay $100 for soft. When $100 is your monthly
    salary - there is no way you can afford $100
    soft.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    When are we going to see a study of economic losses resulting directly from the implementation of DRM? Congress loves to fund studies -- we need bills not just to require proper CD-labeling, but also officially-sponsored studies of the bad consequences of DRM. EPIC et al. need to start pushing for or funding a study or two like this. I may be atypical (or maybe not), but I have foregone spending literally thousands of dollars over the years because of DRM. I haven't upgraded my VCRs, because the newer o
  • Smoke and Mirrors (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jesus IS the Devil (317662) on Wednesday April 02, 2003 @08:53PM (#5649141)
    This is a very flawed statistic. It reminds me of this study done by the tobacco companies once that said people who quit smoking are more likely to die earlier than people who don't quit. What they don't tell you is that people quit BECAUSE they're almost dead!!

    Same goes for this study. There is a correlation between national wealth and anti-piracy. However this doesn't prove cause and effect. In fact there are many other factors that can easily play into this correlation. Nations that are rich are able to pay for software legitimately. Nations that are rich have the most to lose if copyrights are not enforced.

    Think back to the last century. The U.S., being the young developing nation it was back then, didn't bother respecting any intellectual property rights themselves. Works from Britain were stolen, no royalties were paid, and our government didn't care much either. Just go do a search on google for what Charles Dickens thought about the U.S. when we stole his books/works and paid him nothing for it.

    Fact is, developing nations NEED some latitude in terms of copyrights. Without it how are they going to develop? People in some of these countries can't even make enough $ in a year to pay for a crappy copy of Windows. The U.S. went through the same thing, and yet now we're calling the kettle black. This is hypocricy.

I've never been canoeing before, but I imagine there must be just a few simple heuristics you have to remember... Yes, don't fall out, and don't hit rocks.

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