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05.18.09

Does Microsoft Use Its Sponsored IDC/BSA Study for Extortion Across the World?

Posted in Asia, Deception, Europe, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 6:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Two entities that Microsoft funds are inflating software counterfeiting figures, which Microsoft can then use for business objectives

FOR THE uninitiated, here is the latest post which explains what IDC, the BSA, and Microsoft are doing. In IRC we are being told that their propaganda is now being shown on TV and heard on radio stations too, not just the Internet press. There are some brand-new rebuttals to this action, 3 of which we present below:

i. BSA Releases BS Numbers Yet Again, Then Says Don’t Pay Attention To The Numbers

Well, it’s the middle of May, and that means (like clockwork) the Business Software Alliance (BSA) and IDC have come out with their annual bogus numbers about software “piracy.” They do this every year, despite the fact that their numbers have been totally and completely debunked for years. Last year, they were kind enough to call to discuss my concerns, but stood by the idea that every unauthorized copy can be reasonably counted as a lost sale.

ii. Aargh! Walk the plank ye scurvy dogs!

According to Channel Insider the Business Software Alliance and IDC report that software piracy in 2008 cost over $50 billion in lost direct sales and $150 to $200 billion in lost service and support.

No analysis is offered as to whether the alleged pirates could have paid for licensed copies of the software in question had they chosen to. Nor is it explained why users of properly licensed software would have required $150 to $200 billion in additional service and support while the pirates manage to do without. Rugged, self-sufficient folks those pirates, I suppose.

iii. Does The WIPO Copyright Treaty Work? The Business Software Association Piracy Data

What does all of this really mean? My take is that where software piracy rates are declining, this is due largely to the increasing use of open source alternatives and tougher enforcement. Notwithstanding the rhetoric that seeks to link the WIPO treaties with addressing infringing activities, anti-circumvention legislation required by the WIPO Internet treaties is largely irrelevant for the purposes of combating commercial piracy.

Around the very same time watch what Microsoft is doing and advertising:

Microsoft:Firms buying into piracy

ANKARA-Recent Microsoft research has revealed that public institutions and big companies, which invest millions of dollars in Turkey, use pirated software.

As we showed some weeks ago, Microsoft is dumping on them anyway to prevent strong competition from GNU/Linux in Turkey. So why even whine about it?

More importantly, watch this from the news:

Microsoft to Invest In Hangzhou Following Antipiracy Pledge

Microsoft Corp. has reached an agreement with the city of Hangzhou to build two new technology centers and make other investments in the wealthy city on China’s east coast, following a pledge for protection against software piracy there.

The aim is to establish a model city where intellectual property rights have greater protections than elsewhere in China. Microsoft executives say they may adopt a similar model elsewhere in the country to reward those that clamp down on piracy with greater investment.

It is a form of extortion, which we wrote about before. It happens to be similar to the sort of Microsoft blackmail we found in Kenya and in OLPC. “Do as we say or no gift.” In some cases it’s “do as we say or we take away the gift we gave you so as to have power over your actions.” This whole “piracy” thing is very often exploited as a political manipulation card.

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