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Why the BSA Is Less Reviled Than the RIAA

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the cry-havoc-and-let-slip-the-trolls-of-war dept.

Businesses 371

Hugh Pickens writes "The Business Software Alliance (BSA) is a trade group established in 1988 representing a number of the world's largest software makers whose principal activity is trying to stop copyright infringement of software produced by its members, performing roughly the same function for the software industry that the RIAA performs for the music industry. Yet, as Bill Patry, author of a 7-volume treatise on US copyright law and currently Senior Copyright Counsel at Google, notes on his blog the BSA is a 'far less unpopular organization' than the RIAA because there are three key differences between the BSA's campaigns and the RIAA's. First, BSA's members have always offered their products for sale to the public, through any channel that wants to sell them. Second, BSA's members are consumer-oriented; they try to develop products that respond to consumers' needs, and not, the reverse: focusing on what they want to sell to consumers. Third, because consumers can easily purchase BSA's members products, those who copy without paying are simply scofflaws. 'I think the fact that the public does not object to BSA's campaign proves my point [that]... people do not want things for free; they are willing to pay for them,' writes Patry. 'It should not be surprising that when consumers are not treated with respect, they react negatively. That's something the software industry learned long ago, and that's why people don't object to the BSA's enforcement campaign.'"

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Ernie Ball (5, Informative)

symbolset (646467) | more than 4 years ago | (#29107955)

Let's not forget the Ernie Ball [cnet.com] story.

Re:Ernie Ball (5, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108107)

What are you trying to say? You're proving TFA's point if you compare the numbers in the Ernie Ball article with the gargantuan awards the RIAA are getting for a handful of songs.

Re:Ernie Ball (1)

SterlingSylver (1122973) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108353)

Why was this modded down? The RIAA nailing someone for $2+ Million for sharing some songs is in no way comparable to the BSA turning up unlicensed software and fining the business $0.1 Million (sourced from the Grandparent's link). Kudos to Ernie for going all Open Source, but there is a fundamental difference that might explain why the BSA isn't the devil incarnate.

Re:Ernie Ball (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29108667)

Typically they won't even fine you, unless what you're doing is particularly egregious or blatant. Normally they're perfectly happy if you just purchase the licenses to cover the gap between what you have licensed and what you are using.

Re:Ernie Ball (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29108429)

What about him? He was a guy who got caught because his people didn't understand how the license issue worked in their situation. Had it not been for this he'd still be using proprietary software. He thumbed his nose at the system when the system came down on him.

As much as the article likes to make it seem otherwise, he's not an open source advocate at all. He's an advocate for free software. Basically he's an advocate because it's one less thing that costs him money. Any business owner does this on a number of levels.

But I will say that I found it funny that he talked about dismissing the use of Apple in his company because of their Microsoft ties. It's telling as to how he doesn't understand the tech from the legal side at all. Overall, he's a pretty poor example of an open source convert.

Re:Ernie Ball (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108999)

Wait, I don't get it. The way I read it, you're dismissing the guy because he adopted free software for its legal, financial, and ethical advantages, rather than its technical advantages. Is there anything wrong with that?

Re:Ernie Ball (4, Insightful)

steelfood (895457) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108495)

The BSA has its own repertoire of evil deeds, but it still doesn't invalidate the point of TFA. The fact is that most people and businesses buy the software that they use, unless it is prohibitively expensive. And even in the latter case, there are educational copies available to be had for a low price or for free.

Here's the thing though: when Windows XP goes off the market for good, I'll bet there'll be a lot more businesses pirating it, because Microsoft will be doing the opposite of the reasons listed in the TFA: forcing companies to buy their newest product (Windows 7) instead of allowing them to buy what they want (Windows XP).

Re:Ernie Ball (3, Interesting)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108803)

The BSA does all sorts of nasty things (like claiming that a company that makes detection equipment was hoarding explosives), but when they come after you, you're frequently guilty, and even their balls to the walls fines don't compare to the current $18k/song madness we've been seeing.

Re:Ernie Ball (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108853)

I'm curious - if you buy a music CD and play the music on two PCs does the RIAA come after you?

The BSA does come after you if you try that sort of thing with software ( if you don't have the required licenses).

Re:Ernie Ball (2, Informative)

T-Bone-T (1048702) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108925)

There is nothing wrong with playing a CD on two devices. If you ripped it to both computers and different people used them, then yes, the RIAA would come after you.

Re:Ernie Ball (1)

KC7JHO (919247) | more than 4 years ago | (#29109175)

Load the software on a CD or USB drive and they have no problem about what PC you are running it on, so long as it is only ran on one pc at a time (provided that is what the license stipulates)

Re:Ernie Ball (3, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 4 years ago | (#29109145)

The problem with keeping XP alive, and this is coming from someone who uses XP32 and XP64 everyday and would take them over Vista every time, is this: We have finally reached the end of the 32 bit era. It really is that simple. RAM has just gotten to be SO cheap that I often find 4Gb even on low end machines (and for those that don't know even with PAE enabled in XP Pro you are maxed at 3.2Gb) and I just recently doubled the RAM in mine from 4 to 8Gb for a whopping $43 dollars.

So at the current speed of RAM size increase XP32 will simply be worthless by next year. I mean why would companies want to buy hardware the OS can't even use? And while I love my XP64 and intend to stick with it until at least Windows 7 SP1 even though I preordered Win7 HP, the simple fact is unless you plan your build around WinXP X64 drivers are a PITA. At least with Vista and Win7 sharing the same driver model X64 drivers are finally becoming more common and by the time that Windows 7 hits the market hard this holiday season X64 drivers for most gear should be common.

So while I still like XP and will probably keep an XP partition around for a few years yet, in this case it really is a dead end technology wise. You simply can't extend XP32 to support the huge amounts of RAM that are becoming more and more common, and even PAE can cause some problems with drivers. Technology has just passed it by, that's all. Remember when XP was released machines with 256Mb or even 128Mb were common. Now 2Gb is standard on the ultra cheapos and 4Gb is looking to quickly become the new standard. Hell I won't even sell new builds with less than 4Gb anymore, because the performance increases VS price just make selling anything less stupid. XP32 has just reached the end of the line, and I would argue the same applies to Vista/7 32bit as well. RAM has just gotten too cheap to bother with 32bit anymore.

Re:Ernie Ball (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108991)

I'm sure the BSA and Microsoft won't. Don't like the BSA? Switch to Linux.

Re:Ernie Ball (2, Insightful)

b3d (525790) | more than 4 years ago | (#29109045)

I use only Ernie Ball strings for my electrics. I wish they made acoustic strings too. :-)

I think the reason that the public doesn't mind the BSA is that the vast majority of people don't know who the BSA is. Also, BSA doesn't target individuals. Only companies. Most people don't mind if there is some unknown business sticking it some other unknown businesses.

My $.02

Less sympathy for companies (5, Insightful)

east coast (590680) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108009)

Let's be honest here. If the RIAA was sueing a company for using music in an unauthorized fashion at their place of business most people would shrug. When you're using a product to make money you normally get much less sympathy than if you were using it for private use. And even when a company follows the rules the public still doesn't normally feel too bad about them getting the screws.

And, AFAIK, the BSA isn't busting kids downloading Grand Theft Auto.

Re:Less sympathy for companies (3, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108043)

The BSA is busting kids that share 5800 NDS roms. They are also going after the Big Warez sharers.

But they mostly focus on businesses because a company will roll over and play dead for them 99% of the time. It's like free money for them.

Re:Less sympathy for companies (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108435)

The BSA is busting kids that share 5800 NDS roms.

Got a reference for that? I couldn't find one after googling a bit. I'm pretty sure it's the ESA that cares about console piracy anyway.

Re:Less sympathy for companies (5, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108051)

I was surprised by the headline. The BSA's tactic of requiring companies to be audited and then pay large amounts for any product that they can't prove that they own makes them pretty unpopular. The only difference is that they chase companies rather than individuals, so to most individuals they are irrelevant. If you run a small business, I suspect you'll have a lot more hostility towards the BSA than the RIAA. Being able to avoid interacting with the BSA is a very strong argument for persuading a company to adopt an open source stack.

Re:Less sympathy for companies (4, Interesting)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108143)

The BSA's tactic of requiring companies to be audited and then pay large amounts for any product that they can't prove that they own makes them pretty unpopular.

They seem to be a pretty popular way for disgruntled IT employees to screw over their employer though. Every BSA audit I've ever heard of or been involved in came about because of some employee or ex-employee with an axe to grind.

I've always wondered what happens if you refuse to let them onto your property. Presumably their only recourse would be to sue you and obtain access to your computer systems through the discovery process. Given the "speed" with which the court system moves I wonder if you could have the whole operation switched over an open source movement by the time it reached that point?

Alternatively what happens if you claim trade secrets or privacy restrictions (HIPAA?) on your computer system?

Re:Less sympathy for companies (1)

swb (14022) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108299)

I've always wondered that, too. I suspect if they have "compelling" evidence, they can submit a sealed motion requesting discovery without the "offending" businesses involvement at all, essentially a private, no-knock search warrant probably backed up by a couple of Sheriff's deputies to handle any unwanted dissent.

How exactly it would work at a bank, defense contractor, nuclear power plant or other institution that claimed superseding legal privilege and had the $$$, manpower and physical security to stop pretty much anything up to and including an armed assault. I doubt the Sheriff will be willing to call out SWAT to assist the discovery. My guess is the BSA just moves along to easier targets.

Re:Less sympathy for companies (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29108303)

Given the "speed" with which the court system moves I wonder if you could have the whole operation switched over an open source movement by the time it reached that point?

That would cause bigger legal problems, as the legal hold that comes with discovery prevents you from doing exactly that. Removing the traces of infringement by removing the closed source software and installing open source would be tampering and the courts don't take kindly to that.

Also, while the cases themselves take a while, discovery is usually pretty punctual, all things compared.

Re:Less sympathy for companies (1)

mellon (7048) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108319)

Well, if they followed the RIAA's tactics, they'd use the fact that you switched to open source in court to demonstrate that you're guilty. Why would you have switched if you didn't have something to hide?

Re:Less sympathy for companies (5, Interesting)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108325)

My understanding is that if you refuse them access, they'll show up with a sheriff and a court order allowing them access.

We went through one of Microsoft's SAM not-an-audit-but-really-an-audit last spring. I had taken over the tech position, and everything had been in a bloody mess. Worse, most of the licenses had belonged to the organization which the organization I work for had bought. Naturally, there were many supposed licenses which the former tech guy had assured me existed which did not exist, and I ended up uninstalling about fifteen copies of Office 2003 Pro because I simply could not find any evidence that they had been purchased. Fortunately I had several copies of Office Basic and the like (mainly they need Outlook anyways), so I managed to keep within the licenses that I actually had physical evidence of.

Of course, the MS SAM guys are pricks. There was about two months of back-and-forth, and in the end my "rep" (or so this turkey insisted he was) claimed that five of my Server 2003 CALs weren't strictly valid because they were put on a volume license version of Server 2003, and they were retail CALs, and I was either going to have to change them to device CALs or buy five new ones through volume licensing.

At that point I got really pissed off and basically told the guy he was just trying to nitpick to try to get me to spend a couple of hundred bucks for licenses that we already owned, and for which Microsoft had already been paid. The guy did back off, though I think he was pretty pissed that he hadn't got a dime out of us. I in fact did need more licenses for a file server, but after my experience with Microsoft's license extortion department, I said "fuck it", installed a Samba member server, finally mastered Posix-to-Windows ACL mapping, and basically could give a shit. I'm down to one DC per location, enough to handle authentication and roaming profiles, I've installed OpenOffice wherever I can, and basically have no intention of buying any more MS products.

Re:Less sympathy for companies (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108487)

My understanding is that if you refuse them access, they'll show up with a sheriff and a court order allowing them access.

Based on what? The word of a disgruntled ex-employee? If that's all the "evidence" they have (as is often the case) I should think that a sufficiently competent attorney would be able to fight any order allowing them access to your computer systems. Of course competent attorneys cost money and this may be one of the reasons why we rarely hear about them going after large enterprises with the resources to wage a legal battle......

Re:Less sympathy for companies (2, Informative)

Samalie (1016193) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108505)

I went through the SAM process as well this spring...leave it to Microsoft to find another revenue stream during a recession... But regardless, the rep I had was pleasant to deal with, taught me a little bit about licensing, and in the end we discovered that I was legitimately short one license of MS Office. So I bought it. He could have been a jerk and given me hell about some CAL's that were not exactly perfect, but he didn't. I run a clean shop...sure a SAM audit sucks, but all in all, it was as pleasant as a software audit could possibly be. And I know numerous other sysadmins who had perfect SAM audits, not requiring a single purchase.

Re:Less sympathy for companies (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108601)

I'm glad yours was nice. Mine was a pain, mainly because a) the guy couldn't seem to do arithmetic, and b) once it was clear that I wasn't overprovisioned on big juicy licenses like Office, he started snarking about a single 5 CAL pack that, according to him at least, couldn't be used as user CALs on a volume license version of Server 2003. Like I said, he's driven me away from MS. I've got enough spare Office Pro licenses to hopefully overcome any growth. The only thing I might need (unfortunately) is some TS CALs, which were $#!@ing pricy, but I'm trying to find alternative ways of doing what needs to be done. Might even set up a couple of spare Dells with XP Pro licenses and just use their remote desktop capabilities, but we'll see.

Re:Less sympathy for companies (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108689)

Why in the hell do you think it's reasonable that you have to prove to a private enterprise that you aren't a criminal? Really... I mean, would I get full access to all your company's computers to make sure you aren't running any software I wrote?

What did you do about Outlook? (1)

Peter Simpson (112887) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108519)

Just curious...one of the arguments I always hear for the MS servers, is that Outlook's shared calendar doesn't have much serious open source competition. And there doesn't seem to be an open source drawing tool that works with Visio's proprietary file format.

Good on you for dumping them. A company that treats its customers like criminals risks alienating said customers. Often, these alienated customers examine their options and become "former" customers :-)

Re:What did you do about Outlook? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108715)

Exchange and our crappy Windows-based CRM software are the only things that keep me tied to Microsoft. I've got a ton of work on my plate for the next 6-9 months, but once that cools down, I'm probably going to look again at some possible Open Source replacements for Exchange/Outlook. As to CRM software, I'm trying to wrap my head around SugarCRM, but at least the free version does have a few deficiencies. If I could find open source solutions to any of these, I'd format every computer in the building tomorrow and throw Ubuntu on them.

Re:What did you do about Outlook? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108831)

OpenGroupware.org / Scalable OpenGroupware.org provide a CalDAV server and a web interface for email and calendars. You can use the Mozilla suite as fat clients rather than the web interface, if you prefer. I can't recommend a replacement for Visio because I've never used it so I don't know what a replacement needs to do.

Re:Less sympathy for companies (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29108575)

I know second hand from a colleage at another business what happens when a company tells the BSA guys to leave the property. They will leave, but several hours later, they show up with the constable and a formal motion of discovery.

When the BSA shows up, they want two things: A list of software that your boxes are running, and invoices. No, the pile of license cards that is shoved in the corner near the beer fridge will not do. They want to see invoices from CDW or another company of how many seats are purchased and when.

I'm lucky. When the BSA showed up at places I was administrating, I had a software audit tool on machines (actually part of a general monitoring package.) I also had a file cabinet of printed invoices (my mentor in the IT industry told me to have EVERYTHING on paper when it comes to licenses because a single piece of paper can be worth easily seven digits). The whole encounter lasted about 15 minutes when the BSA guys saw that the licenses purchases were more than the licenses in use or deployed.

Reason they were called? Some guy got fired several weeks earlier, and decided call the BSA and SIAA just to cause trouble. Funny thing is that the BSA guys usually will come out once. If they find everything in order, subsequent complaints by people will end up being ignored.

Moral of the story: If you are running a business, grab one of the audit tools offered free (and none of them will phone home and rat you out), see if you can get printed copies of invoices. Then have it in a file cabinet ready to go. Keeping your firm's ducks in order is the difference between them leaving and them making an offer your company cannot refuse (in Godfather terms.) Obviously, if your business isn't all licensed, get that shit fixed as soon as possible. Better a couple hundred to slap a COA sticker on a Mac running Windows than five digit numbers going to a law firm because of IP infringement.

Re:Less sympathy for companies (2, Informative)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108749)

I've always wondered what happens if you refuse to let them onto your property. Presumably their only recourse would be to sue you and obtain access to your computer systems through the discovery process. Given the "speed" with which the court system moves I wonder if you could have the whole operation switched over an open source movement by the time it reached that point?

Please look up the following terms on google. felony software piracy conviction [google.com] and statutory damages [google.com] . Basically the first thing means that the person deciding has a choice between paying over the companies (shareholder's) money or personally going to prison. It becomes an easy decision.

Alternatively what happens if you claim trade secrets or privacy restrictions (HIPAA?) on your computer system?

You have a contract which says you have to let them audit you. If you fail to deliver, you are liable anyway. If you destroy evidence then you are in deep trouble and any court will likely treat it as if the evidence was all against you. In the end, that means that you deliver the systems to them and have to find a way to do it whilst satisfying the HIPAA restrictions. In other words, you have to use much more expensive investigators with appropriate clearence for whatever they are reading and techiques which don't involve reading restricted data. In other words, you pay more.

the only way to completely avoid such an audit is to have no software licensed from a BSA member. For small companies this is seriously worth considering.

Re:Less sympathy for companies (2, Interesting)

PRMan (959735) | more than 4 years ago | (#29109207)

Also, they get reported by disgruntled employees. Quite often, the employee that reported them is not the only disgruntled employee. I have only heard one time about a company that everyone loved getting reported. Every other time, it didn't shock anyone but was only "a matter of time".

Re:Less sympathy for companies (2, Insightful)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108625)

The only reason that the BSA is less disliked than the RIAA is because it is less known to the general public. And that's about the only reason.

Don't bite the hand that feeds you (3, Interesting)

fprintf (82740) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108017)

Isn't it also possible that a significant volume of the online debate over the years against the RIAA/MPAA has been by technologically savvy folks, say perhaps people in IT? And why would these people want to bite the hand that feeds them, their own software alliance?

I am not so sure the BSA's actions to date are 100% responsible for the muted reaction to their approach to software piracy. I postulate that folks that want to sell software are more likely to support them, and the folks that want to sell CDs and Movies simply aren't in a position to influence the debate the way IT folks are.

Re:Don't bite the hand that feeds you (5, Funny)

Sj0 (472011) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108285)

Why should I trust you? You're not even buffer safe.

Re:Don't bite the hand that feeds you (2, Interesting)

mellon (7048) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108377)

Nope, I'm someone who wants to sell software, and I think their audit tactics are extremely slimy, and should be illegal. Generally speaking the difference is that software people know that even though people will pirate their stuff, they'll do okay anyway, because plenty of people will pay for it. The company I work for has fantastic customer support, and we fix problems on a dime. Our customers would, frankly, be crazy to pirate from us. And I doubt that a BSA audit would identify a pirated copy of our software anyway, since it's not a Windows package.

Who they sue (5, Insightful)

fyoder (857358) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108025)

I think it's a lot simpler than that. Because the BSA attacks businesses, not disabled single mothers, children, and the dead, fewer people even know about them. They haven't gone as far across the line into cartoon super villainy.

Re:Who they sue (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108217)

Because the BSA attacks businesses, not disabled single mothers, children, and the dead, fewer people even know about them.

Also, while their behaviour has not been perfect, as far as I know the BSA has never systematically and deliberately gone after parties who are probably innocent. While they have been known to try to pull audits and such under somewhat dubious circumstances, it's usually at least responding to a tip-off.

Big Music and Big Movies, on the other hand, have frequently and systematically attacked legitimate consumers, and run campaigns of intimidation based on at best dubious legal claims and misleading advertising.

Re:Who they sue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29108819)

Also, while their behaviour has not been perfect, as far as I know the BSA has never systematically and deliberately gone after parties who are probably innocent. While they have been known to try to pull audits and such under somewhat dubious circumstances, it's usually at least responding to a tip-off.

Not only that, but at least with a BSA audit you have a fair chance to defend yourself. If you're in compliance then you don't have any issues. With the RIAA, the RIAA comes in with a threatening letter saying "pay up or we'll sue." BSA comes in and says "We need you to do an audit." Then if there are gaps they say "We need you to buy the licenses to fill the gaps" instead of saying "You owe us $80,000 per violation, pay up or we're going to court." With the BSA the threat of legal action doesn't usually show up until well after it has been well established that you're in violation AND you have refused to take the more reasonable (and inexpensive) way out.

Re:Who they sue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29108701)

You're a cocksucker...

Value of music vs value of software (4, Interesting)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108041)

Software has an intrinsic value. To a business, the return on investment from a piece of software is something that can be measured. Spreadsheet software, for example, makes accounting many times easier and cheaper than trying to keep the books in books.

But music (and to a lesser degree video) has no intrinsic value. It is something enjoyed passing time. Like a frisbee at the park or a cup holder in a car. It's something that is nice to have but ultimately unnecessary.

If anti-copyright proponents would be unhypocritical, they would demand that software be downloadable for "sharing" among friends. That they only make this claim for music shows and video shows that there is a fundamental difference between software and music in their minds. I attribute this to the ephemeral nature of music, something which can be enjoyed but in the end has no real value.

Strawman (4, Insightful)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108909)

If anti-copyright proponents would be unhypocritical, they would demand that software be downloadable for "sharing" among friends. That they only make this claim for music shows and video shows that there is a fundamental difference between software and music in their minds.

Really? I think if you actually went and asked people who make that claim for music and video, they'd say the same thing for software. Most of the "anti-copyright" arguments I've heard revolve around the nature of IP itself (being non-exclusive and non-rival) and don't have anything to do with "the ephemeral nature of music." Sounds like you've just set up a strawman.

Also, not that "anti-copyright proponent" is the right way to describe RMS, but he certainly does argue that free software should be shareable - it's one of the four freedoms.

This is the same BSA (5, Insightful)

canajin56 (660655) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108059)

whose EULA's allow them to conduct raids and search+seizure, and hand out $100,000 fines for having one workstation that has XP installed, but they can't find the License that came in the box (The CD sleeve with the key is NOT proof of license, and you WILL get a fine if you only have that!) My OEM copy of Vista that came with my laptop doesn't seem to have the hologram encrusted license that my boxed copy of 2000 came with, so I imagine I'm automatically guilty if they ever send in the SWAT team for a surprise inspection.

Re:This is the same BSA (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108117)

My laptop has an OEM proof of license stuck to the bottom of it. Makes it hard to misplace.

Re:This is the same BSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29108227)

Take it from me, man -- hold on to the invoice.

Re:This is the same BSA (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108279)

I do that for most purchases over about $100 or so.

Re:This is the same BSA (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29108945)

Shockingly, this is irrelevant. That license is not considered adequate documentation by the BSA. You must have the original invoice, with the installed software on its own line-item of that invoice, with a price for that line-item. The invoice must be dated, and it must be in the name of the organization that *currently* employs the user of the software, or that owns the hardware on which the software is installed. The invoice cannot be just in the name of an agent of the organization - the organization's name itself must appear on the invoice. The BSA is not mollified if your company acquired another that itself legally purchased the software.

In other words, the BSA requirements are much more stringent than copyright law requires, and are not even laid out in the EULA. They deny rights of first sale. They are simply the requirements that the BSA demands be met to keep them from claiming that you owe them money. Since almost every company has at least one or two actual violations, and since our insane copyright law allows massive punitive damages for each violation, the BSA gets to hold a handful of legitimate issues over your head as motivation to go along with its version of the documentation requirements. They are continually promising to reduce the amount you "owe" them if you follow along, which they have plenty of room to do. And to put a stop to any of this you have to be willing to spend something along the same lines anyway in legal expenses, except with the added risk of losing some or all of the claim.

There is no question in my mind - the BSA is far more despicable than the RIAA. The RIAA is a laughable, largely ineffective bully; they remind me of SCO. The BSA on the other hand is more like the IRS. They have an incredible amount of power over you and they know it. They use that power to require your cooperation in cutting your own throat, and you have to listen to them moralize about it at the same time.

Re:This is the same BSA (1)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108125)

Exactly what I was thinking. Patry should hang on out slashdot more often - there are blenty of anti-BSA horror stories posted here.

Then of course there's the irony of seeing BSA ads on Slashdot, encouraging disgruntled employees to report licensing problems of their employers.

(Ever since /. offered to disable advertising as a way of "thanking you for your positive contributions", I've turned off AdBlock here...)

Re:This is the same BSA (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108833)

By all accounts, the BSA doesn't care about certificates of authenticity, they care about invoices.

BSA's different tactics give it a lower profile (3, Interesting)

Homburg (213427) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108063)

I think the BSA are largely less hated because it is less well known than the RIAA. The fact that it rarely targets individuals is probably part of this. If you don't run a small-to-medium sized business, the BSA are unlikely to really be on your radar. But small business owners who've interacted with the BSA [networkworld.com] hate them at least as much as your average Slashdot reader hates the RIAA.

i don't know about that ... (-1, Flamebait)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108067)

... the gay movement is pretty ticked off at the Boys Scouts of America

Bsa deals with Business Not children LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29108079)

The RIAA goes after busy moms and foolish children.
  Extracting a hellish price.
  The Bsa goes after business who have made the mistake of using proprietary software unwisely

Are we forgetting the obvious? (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108081)

That the BSA goes after companies, and the RIAA goes after individuals? Do we really need to go hunting for reasons why joe-on-the-street dislikes an outfit that might send lawyers after him more than an outfit that gets involved in a bunch of boring disputes between corporations and their suppliers? Srsly?

Obviously, I'm sure corporate officers, shareholders, IT guys, (and, of course, Ernie Ball) don't like the BSA much; but their numbers are tiny compared to "the public" at large. Even if only potential victims disliked the RIAA(as opposed to potential victims and anybody who has heard the "and then they sued some poor lady who didn't even own a computer" stories) that is probably greater than 20% of the population.

It may also be that the BSA is nicer in some way, though I'm not wildly sold on the notion; but this isn't rocket surgery.

Re:Are we forgetting the obvious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29108225)

rocket surgery

Heh.

Re:Are we forgetting the obvious? (1)

mellon (7048) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108529)

Is Joe-on-the-street even *aware* of the existence of the RIAA? I don't think so; otherwise they'd be out of business by now. We are aware of the RIAA, because we're geeks and we care about these issues. People who've been sued are aware also. But even a Joe-on-the-street who knows about the RIAA lawsuits assumes that the people being sued deserve what they get, or else the courts wouldn't have allowed it to happen. Because that's what the mainstream media is reporting, and they don't read slashdot.

Fourth reason (2, Insightful)

koh (124962) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108085)

Fourth reason:

The BSA does not sue you for millions of dollars if you're infringing.

Re:Fourth reason (1)

Finallyjoined!!! (1158431) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108329)

Ahh but, if you challenge them - you have to pay their legal fees.

Re:Fourth reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29109097)

Ahh but, if you challenge them - you have to pay their legal fees.

Only if you take them to court and lose. You can always work out a settlement with the BSA instead. Typically they only want you to buy licenses for what you're using. Faced with the option of fighting the results of an audit that you participated in in court, I think I'd much rather take the easy way out by trueing up my license count.

Re:Fourth reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29108417)

Fifth reason:

The BSA does not have any real control over the means of production and distribution of computer software. The RIAA does.

doubt it (3, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108095)

The reason people don't complain about the BSA as much is because the BSA doesn't attack normal people, they only attack companies, and usually only large ones. They don't attack grandmas or people without computers. Slashdot has its own versions of the 'think of the children' fallacy, it's 'think of the non-pirating file sharer!' or 'think of my rights!' or only somewhat less obviously, 'think about me!' The BSA doesn't bother me, so I don't worry about them as much.

They're not that nice (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29108109)

A BSA audit is a big invasion for the affected business, even if the licensing is all correct. The licensing requirements are often complicated and the effort that goes into maintaining license information is a tremendous burden.

There are two reasons why the BSA isn't as low in the public opinion is simply that the BSA doesn't go after individuals. The BSA targets businesses. The other reason is that most people make a clear distinction between copying for personal purposes and copying business applications.

Huh? (5, Insightful)

ausoleil (322752) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108113)

"First, BSA's members have always offered their products for sale to the public, through any channel that wants to sell them"

Try to buy an obsoleted version of a program to run on an old platform. Got an old IBM-XT? Where are you going to purchase a legit copy of Lotus 1-2-3 not to mention DOS? But you *can* be sued for pirating them, at least technically.

"Second, BSA's members are consumer-oriented; they try to develop products that respond to consumers' needs, and not, the reverse: focusing on what they want to sell to consumers."

Did someone at Microsoft write this?

"Third, because consumers can easily purchase BSA's members products, those who copy without paying are simply scofflaws."

See the first reply, but "easily" is in the eye of the beholder. A typical recent college grad who wants to freelance graphics design work might say "easily"purchasing Adobe's Creative Suite is all but impossible for their finances. Yes, I know there are FOSS alternatives, but the truth is that the ad/graphics/printing world runs on Adobe. For example.

None of that makes stealing software or music content right, but the rationale for BSA being less unpopular is not the reasons cited above. It may be far more simple: BSA doesn't typically sue consumers, it seems that they typically go after businesses.

Missed one. (2, Interesting)

hAckz0r (989977) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108171)

We can also purchase a competing product that does the same job. The market itself works to adjust the pricing based on market volume. With the RIAA there is only one entity selling the latest (pick your favourite band)'s album. There is no other avenue to buy a 'one of a kind' production. No compitition, no markent influences. You just pay what they demand or you do without, and they know it.

Re:Missed one. (1)

jgostling (1480343) | more than 4 years ago | (#29109205)

Hate to break the news to you, but software is the same. Only one entity selling (program you want). You can find alternative programs from other vendors, just like you can find alternative albums from other bands.

Cheers!

c&0m (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29108189)

turd-50ckingly [goat.cx]

Transferability and Compatibility (3, Insightful)

Ohio Calvinist (895750) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108205)

I think the major difference that the tatics in use by most business software vendors are accepted because they for the most part don't try to engage in device lock-in like DRM'd music does. Once you've gotten a copy of the software, you're free to install it on a computer of your chosing, and when you want to move it to a new PC it is generally not too difficult to do (except for Adobe stuff.) This is not enough to satisfy OSS zealots, but is enough to keep customers relatively happy.

The other issue is that customers don't feel that they ought to have to buy a CD of a cassette the had. They don't feel they ought to have to re-buy Blu-Ray movies they have on DVD or VHS unless there is a significant improvement. When consumers try to move their media to newer platforms and the company actively prohibits them from doing so, and has build a business model on it, it makes people mad.

People don't feel "ripped off" when they can't drop their Chevy Corsica '91 engine into a newer car (maybe you can... I'm not a mechanic) because they see it as a utility, something that eningeering improvements have made the parts truly depreciated. For media, consumers see newer platforms as marginally better ways for companies to make them rebuy something that is artifically depreciated. Computer software fits into that category where one can reasonably expect 20 year old software isn't going to work, and isn't going to (usually) be as compatible as new software on a brand-new computer.

I also think the OP's comments about tactics and focusing on institutional pervasive piracy over individuals has paid off in the publics perception of commercial software and probably been more lucrative when litigation is necessary.

Re:Transferability and Compatibility (1)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108891)

If you're going to use a car analogy, consider this: I can go get a 1995 impreza L (110 hp, boring car) and drop in an engine and tranny and brakes from a 2007 STI (fast, evil car) with minimal hassle. There are a pile of kits for dropping performance engines into older (or wildly inappropriate) cars such as VW bugs, miatas, and so on. Basically, with cars you can do it if your pocketbook allows it, while with computers and electronics, you often can't.

Re:Transferability and Compatibility (1)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 4 years ago | (#29109171)

I think the major difference that the tatics in use by most business software vendors are accepted because they for the most part don't try to engage in device lock-in like DRM'd music does. Once you've gotten a copy of the software, you're free to install it on a computer of your chosing, and when you want to move it to a new PC it is generally not too difficult to do (except for Adobe stuff.)

As well as everything listed here [wikipedia.org] .

Even still, the BSA is kinda douchy (1)

jmitchel!jmitchel.co (254506) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108229)

True, the BSA isn't nearly as reviled as the RIAA. But who hasn't looked at a BSA ad in a magazine (or even, shudder, on /.) and thought: gee, the BSA is kinda douchy.

Non-commercial use of copyrighted works (3, Interesting)

l2718 (514756) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108247)

Part of the problem, I think, is the fact that the RIAA are abusing the copyright bargain, while the BSA are not. In most places copyright (quite properly) is not a "moral right". It is a voluntary concession on the side of the general public in order to encourage authors to publish, for the public's benefit. The public clearly wishes to be able to privately share music, create new mixes and share these too. Would this discourage the production of music? since nearly all musicians make their money from live performances with the recordings basically serving as advertizing, the answer is no. Thus changing the terms of the bargain (allowing for free private non-commercial dealing in at least some kinds of works) is the right things to do. Moreover, the public seems to treat commercial and non-commercial use of copyrighted works differently; copyright law basically assumes that infringement will only happen on a large commercial scale (hence you can get statutory damages of $150K per work infringed without proving actual damages [this requires proving "wilful infringement" which seems easy in practice). The BSA thus follows the model the public likes. In fact, they like some level of private copying: they recognize that not every illegal copy equals a lost sale, and would rather entrench their products (especially Microsoft with their OS monopoly) with customers who would otherwise not pay for them. Just like college students with "illegal" copies of professional software suites on their home computers will in the future buy this expensive software once they have a job (that's the software they are used to, after all), I'm sure that many college students will buy music CDs once they have the income to do so. Until then giving them "free samples" is the way to go.

Questioning the reasons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29108255)

I'm not necessarily disagreeing with the reasons, or saying that I agree with either sides of that blog fully, but when you're comparing your organization(BSA) to an organization(RIAA) it's very easy to look good in the public's opinion: -The RIAA has launched a major extortion campaign against (in some cases) children, single mothers and the elderly. While BSA doesn't target end users, mostly companies using software without licenses. Businesses are generally lot harder to have sympathy for then a child in a court room staring up a lawyers. -The RIAA believes that there music is worth is weight in gold (see: 1.92 *cough*billion*/cough* I mean million dollars) where the BSA understands to a slightly greater extent it's software actual value and don't look like an ***hat by going after businesses to get licenses for there products.

BSA doesn't beat up on college students (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29108277)

We all know college students have no money and beg, borrow, and steal anything they can.

Generally, we tolerate them because at that point in life, it's not such a terrible thing.

The software they steal may be used to make something awesome, and they'll buy it later in life...

You can't say that for the mainstream music the RIAA pimps. Once you've heard that drivel for about three weeks, you never want to hear it again.

Beating up on college students and fining them absurd amounts of money is like kicking puppies.

The RIAA needs to stop pimping drivel.

The BSA, on the other hand, beats up on businesses who have no excuse not to buy the software. That's like kicking stray, hungry dogs with their eyes on your plump toddler.

Software industry learned piracy = marketing (2, Informative)

michaelmalak (91262) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108287)

The software industry had its foray into copy protection, and learned [dvorak.org] its lesson hard.

Tenenbaum committed his acts before Amazon's DRM-free MP3 store went online. He got caught in the vortex of the learning curve that the RIAA is currently going through that the BSA has already finished.

Ummm... really? (1)

thisnamestoolong (1584383) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108305)

Is the BSA really less reviled amongst people that know about them? Their random forced audits are far more odious than anything the RIAA does, I think that they are simply less well known.

Multiple copies. (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108337)

The RIAA doesn't care if you make a copy of an audio CD for different machines in your own house. The BSA does.

The BSA's target is the company that buys one copy and runs ten copies.

The Google ad for this page is:

  • Company Steals Software?
    Earn up to $1 Million for Reporting Software Piracy - All Confidential
    www.BSA.org/reportpiracy [bsa.org]

Re:Multiple copies. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29108651)

The RIAA doesn't care if you make a copy of an audio CD for different machines in your own house.

Are you not paying attention, or what?

One of the most fascinating admissions during the legislative hearings a few years ago was when the RIAA rep said yes, indeed, if you copy a CD so you can keep one in your car and not risk damage to the original, you ARE infringing copyright and you SHOULD buy another. Thus spake RIAA, Amen.

As I recall, Orin Hatch made a big deal out of his having his own CD and how he was violating copyright by having a copy in his hand at the desk.

This was back around the time Napster was being raped, and Lars/Metallica were making complete asses of themselves insulting their fans.

False assumptions? (4, Insightful)

westlake (615356) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108363)

If the RIAA/MPAA is so reviled - why is it that "the jury of his peers" hammers the file sharer into the ground when these cases go to trial?

The geek is quick to assume that he is representative of the larger community of which he is a part.

That everyone believes in his right to his free media fix.

But when things go wrong - these assumptions are never seriously questioned.

It is easier to take refuge in loose talk about the incompetence of the lawyers, the jury and the bribery of the judge.

Re:False assumptions? (0, Troll)

russotto (537200) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108663)

If the RIAA/MPAA is so reviled - why is it that "the jury of his peers" hammers the file sharer into the ground when these cases go to trial?

Because the case was already decided in the preliminary motions and the jury selection. Not to mention the RIAA/MPAA purchase of the laws in the first place.

Screw the other guy (2, Interesting)

huxrules (649822) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108413)

If I've gone through all the trouble to make sure all my workstations have licensed versions of -say- AutoCad (5000$) and my competitor has simply cracked it then I want him stabbed in the ass. Its that easy. Some companies will do anything to take out a competitor and if they have cracked software might as well report them. Not going to do that with some jerk down the street downloading limp bizkut.

Re:Screw the other guy (1, Redundant)

cliffski (65094) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108845)

why not though?
I've bought every album dream theater has made, and I know full well I could torrent them instead.
Why should I give a fuck if they prosecute someone for taking for free what I handed over hard earned money for?
If I support the band enough to buy their stuff, why should I acre about people trying to rip the band off?

Are you not fussed if everyone in your town cheats on their income tax?

Re:Screw the other guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29108901)

Unless the jerk down the street is blasting that shit so loud it's keeping you up at night. Then I'd report his ass!

Some things they don't tell you (5, Interesting)

Rastl (955935) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108475)

Every member company of BSA has been found to have 'unauthorized software' [citation needed] but of course those aren't reported to the media like the rest.

I did asset and software management for 15 years before finally being able to dump the whole mess on someone else. Every license was tied to a purchase order and every purchase order was tied to a machine. Whenever we got a new Microsoft rep (since they were the majority of our products) I would show them the huge lateral filing cabinets with every license in order. Yeah, they're going to try to pull an audit on us.

I did get a call from the Microsoft 'legal' department once trying to tell us that we didn't have enough Exchange licenses for a company our size. When I asked which company, since we had 15 affiliates, they couldn't tell me. And when I told them that only 2 affiliates used Exchange and the rest were Lotus Notes they got truly confused. At which point I essentially told them to fuck off until they could get their facts straight. Surprisingly I never heard back.

Yes, the BSA uses disgruntled employees as their main source of information and they pay for it. They're evil and while I have no pity for companies that buy one license and install on fifty machines the BSA tactics and fine structure completely suck.

Never been audited, have ya? (1)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108481)

It should not be surprising that when consumers are not treated with respect, they react negatively. That's something the software industry learned long ago, and that's why people don't object to the BSA's enforcement campaign.

I would say that's a pretty tall conclusion. It only applies because the BSA audits businesses and not individuals, so most people outside of IT aren't even aware of who they are. And calling a BSA audit "treating people with respect" is sort of the same mentality that says a rape victim was asking for it.

The documentation requirements go way beyond reasonable. I've seen people get big fines for fairly minor oversights. Engineering moves some old machines to another department and nobody wipes one of the old apps. No one is using the app, and they have licenses for active users, but it's still there.

Makes me glad to be running Linux and doing our development on open source. Sure, audit our Linux boxes. We'll be down at Starbucks breathlessly awaiting the outcome. Part of what got me out of Microsoft World was the ridiculous amount of time and effort you spend dancing on their string. It's just nuts the amount of time you put into serving Microsoft. And don't get me started on the costs. Why is anyone continuing to put themselves through that these days? It's crazy. Get off the treadmill.

Worst Current Offender (1)

nimble_gnomi (925605) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108553)

Before the RIAA, the BSA was the most reviled.

The RIAA will continue to be until another commercially interested company does worse according to some (then current) social/moral compass.

As I recall, the BSA fostered the RIAA. Maybe to get the heat off of themselves. What could the RIAA help spawn to draw the heat?

Assumes facts not in evidence--BSA **is** reviled. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29108565)

The thesis assumes facts not in evidence. The BSA's insane audits and contentions that owning the original discs, packaging materials and manuals do not constitute legitimate proof of ownership make the BSA reviled by people who know them. The BSA is simply less well known than the RIAA.

Atleast the fines make sense with BSA (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29108593)

Maybe if the RIAA would sue for reasonable amounts, say $3 / song or something like that they'd be taken a bit more seriously.

I mention $3 only because this would be the equivalent to the BSA system, which fines the guilty party 3x the retail value of the product they pirated. Not 100 or 1000x like the RIAA seems to enjoy charging.

BSA says: Pirate a piece of software worth $200, pay $600 fine.
RIAA says: Pirate 1 song worth $1.25, pay $15,000 fine.

Something's a bit off with those numbers if you ask me.

Analyst is a BSA shill. (2, Insightful)

Max Threshold (540114) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108645)

The BSA sues corporations. The RIAA sues ordinary people. There's your reason.

Or maybe it just... (1)

jhfry (829244) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108653)

1. the fact that the BSA rarely files suit for casual violations.
2. they usually give you an opportunity to become compliant unless your obviously violating copyright intentionally and blatantly.
3. most of the products the BSA represents have alternatives, so producers cannot afford to risk alienating their consumers. Sure you can listen to different musicians, but thats not the same as finding a different payroll package.
4. most business software packages actually benefit from moderate amounts of piracy. For example, very few IT types would pay for a $10K enterprise software to use at home. However by "stealing" it, they increase product's mind share and actually increase it's profit making potential.
5. business software typically consists of two components, the actual software, and a license. The BSA is not so concerned about the distribution of the software, but they target use/sale without a valid license.

Comparing the BSA and the RIAA is not a fair comparison. Even if the RIAA were more consumer focused (or should I say consumer satisfaction focused), they would never be able to operate like the BSA does.

Umm (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108719)

" people do not want things for free; they are willing to pay for them,' "

Those aren't mutually exclusive.
I'll pay for my new care, but it sure would be nice if it was free.

For the record. the BSA puisses me the hell off to,for the same reasons the RIAA does.

Don't need evidence, can get the sherif and FBI to due there bidding, again without evidence, the can bully cvompanies, and they won't pay for loss caused by their presence.

They also have "guilty until proven innocent" attitude, and there arguments are rife with logical fallacies.
They are counter to everything this country stands for.

Re:Umm (1)

Kredal (566494) | more than 4 years ago | (#29109029)

Who are you, and what have you done with the real geekoid? This is the worst typing I've ever seen from you here... are you typing under duress? is the BSA at your company right now? Do we need to call 911 on your behalf?

Yes, the BSA is less reviled than the RIAA (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108735)

And a Chevy Suburban gets better gas mileage than a Unimog. A Porsche is cheaper than a Ferrari. A daisy cutter is less powerful than a nuke. So what? The BSA is probably only the THIRD most reviled copyright enforcement organization on Slashdot (after the RIAA and MPAA)... that ain't saying much.

Hi, I'm william shatner (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108805)

You must reply if you read the story summary in my voice.

bsa ads on slashdot (1)

joeaguy (884004) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108875)

I've seen a ton of bsa ads show up in my slashdot rss feeds, and they are often pretty onerous, looking for people to turn in their employers. So why is there a Slashdot article that tries to be somewhat backhandedly sympathetic to the BSA? I hope its just a coincidence.

I consider them to be a protection racket much like the RIAA is, and one that is much easier to step in. If you never run file-sharing software, you will probably never hear from the RIAA. If you have a disgruntled and misinformed employee, you may hear from the BSA, and they can get you for essentially not keeping records the way they want you to.

I think all members of the BSA should be required to include clear and obvious documentation with all of their products about just exactly what is considered proof of license, how to deal with audits, and how to get replacement proof if needed, and also clearly label their web home-pages and product packaging with the fact they are members. Consumers can then make an informed choice to either opt out and not buy from BSA members, or to take steps to protect themselves from this racket.

Not evil, definately (2, Funny)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 4 years ago | (#29108969)

they are one of the most convincing arguments for swtiching to open source. Some people most be tied, and punished, and tortured, till they recognize the good points of switching, and the BSA does exactly that. Why people think they are evil?

Music is hard to buy? (3, Insightful)

dirk (87083) | more than 4 years ago | (#29109015)

Third, because consumers can easily purchase BSA's members products, those who copy without paying are simply scofflaws. 'I think the fact that the public does not object to BSA's campaign proves my point [that]... people do not want things for free; they are willing to pay for them,' writes Patry. 'It should not be surprising that when consumers are not treated with respect, they react negatively.

Who wrote this load of crap? It is difficult to purchase music and that is why people pirate it? Really, how hard is it to go to iTunes (or Amazon, or Lala, or eMusic, or whatever other online shop you want to go to) and purchase an MP3 of the hot new song? It is easier in most cases than going to one of the torrent sites (or whatever Napster replacement is popular currently) and finding the song and downloading it. Sure, there may be some older, out of print songs that you can't get anymore, but 99% of the time those are not the ones being downloaded and there is also old software which can't be bought anymore as well.

the idea that people are pirating music because it is too hard to purchase may have held water 10 years ago, but now it is actually easier to purchase it than download it.

treated with respect? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29109031)

The quote seems to imply that unlike the RIAA, BSA members treat their customers with "respect". Then how come I'm forced to buy a Microsoft licence with a vast majority of computers, even if I already have a valid one or won't use Windows? And what about all that crippled (but not demo) software that comes with virtually every device, scanner, DSLR, TV card, you name them? Etc., etc.
Respect, indeed.

BSA - whou could possibly hate the Boy Scouts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29109167)

Of course the BSA isn't reviled like the RIAA and MPAA. The Boy Scouts are to help boys grow into better men and teach them all sorts of useful and age appropriate skills that they will use for their entire lives.

Another reason (4, Insightful)

wcrowe (94389) | more than 4 years ago | (#29109195)

Another possible reason the BSA is not vilified is that they do not sue 12 year olds.

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