09.21.10

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BSA Under Fire for Misleading the Public, Raids Show Harms of Proprietary Software

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 8:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

BSA

Summary: Bad publicity for the BSA following some of its latest propaganda; International Talk Like a Pirate Day is reached

THE BSA LIES IN YET ANOTHER new 'study' which has already been debunked. IDC should be ashamed of itself for its role in it. We have already explained the subject of counterfeiting and how it is being misportrayed, too (see wiki page). Most recently we gave one rebuttal from Michael Geist in our daily links (surely there are more rebuttals) and also from Glyn Moody, who in turn got cited by some other Web sites. Examples of new coverage also include:

  • The BSA needs a time machine, not copyright reform

    The BSA (Business Software Alliance, or Bad Statistics Alliance, depending on who you talk to) have released yet another one of their comical studies. I have been very critical of these studies (See: Lies, Damned lies, and IIPA/BSA/etc statistics). What I recommend people do is skip to the methodology section and see what they are measuring, and decide for themselves whether what they are measuring is harmful or beneficial for the Canadian economy.

  • BSA Again Lies With Stats; IDC Should Be Ashamed To Put Its Name On Pure Nonsense

    Beyond the basic report, though, the BSA likes to dribble out other ridiculous claims based on the same report from May. The latest, is the blatantly false and simply laughable claim that “reducing software piracy would inject $142 billion into the global economy and create nearly 500,000 new jobs. This is wrong. Not only is it wrong, it’s been widely debunked a variety of times. There are two key (but related) problems. The first, is that IDC/BSA count “ripple effects,” which they don’t seem to realize mean double, triple or quadruple counting the same dollars. But, more importantly, they only count those “ripple effects” in one direction. That is, they look at how they believe software companies would make more money (and then hire more people and pay more taxes) if there was less software piracy, but they don’t even pretend to cover how paying for such software would mean tons of others would employ fewer people and pay less in taxes.

  • Help the BSA Stamp Out Illegal Copying of Software

    Come on, folks. Help out the BSA. Use Debian GNU/Linux and other Free Software.

    I am doing my part. Yesterday I converted the last kids’ PC in the school to GNU/Linux. I had forgotten it, but the teacher asked me to look at it because it had “slowed down”. I found the anti-malware and firewall had been defeated by malware… Now it runs Free Software and I do not expect problems except hardware. Do your part! Convert as many PCs as you can (legally) to GNU/Linux this year. I recommend Debian GNU/Linux but many distros will do a better job than that other OS. Shop around. You will find one you like and can recommend to others.

In another new article a whistleblower is glorified. The article quotes someone as saying: “I was aware that the BSA offers a financial payment but I never expected this much money [...] This is definitely an extra motivation for other people like me, already frustrated by a management that thinks that they can get more with less.”

It is stories like this one which ought to motivate migration to GNU/Linux. Here is a nice new cartoon which serves as a reminder of the pitfalls of proprietary software:

“There were some large gentlemen looking for Stef.”

“I expected them. I showed Stef how to change the wallpaper in Windows 7 Starter.”

“You didn’t tell him it was against the EULA?”

Talk Like a Pirate Day was just a few days ago.

Happy International Talk Like a Pirate Day everyone!

There is no “piracy” in Free software. This is why Linux Journal is all humourous about this notion. The BSA depends on the existence of such villains for perpetuation of its business, which is why it lobbies so much against software freedom. That’s why it’s important to discredit the BSA when it resorts to propaganda. The hope is that the mainstream press will learn to ignore or at least critically assess BSA claims before publishing.

In summary, IDC (IDG) has helped the BSA prepare some big lies, but thanks to the Internet and a growing body or ‘ammunition’ against these claims, all parties involved lose their credibility as they very much deserve.

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