×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

332 comments

PRIMVM POSTVM (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3942957)

primvm postvm (aka first post aka fp). This post claimed for first posts. The contents of this post is subject to the Gnu General Public License (GPL) avaiblabe at www.gnu.org [gnu.org]

Cluebat? (2)

AndyChrist (161262) | more than 11 years ago | (#3942962)

That suggests there is salvageable grey matter there. Might I suggest a LART?

Re:Cluebat? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3943066)

cluebat? they're right! i always go on IRC on #warez and pirate software like Debian. just a few days ago I got a pirated copy of Debian 3.0 the day it came out. hah...

_
Click here for awesome Windows Cursors [paware.com]

Re:Cluebat? (2, Funny)

zdzichu (100333) | more than 11 years ago | (#3943112)

I been long impressed by 'mam syslogd':

5. Use step 4 and if the problem persists and is not
secondary to a rogue program/daemon get a 3.5 ft
(approx. 1 meter) length of sucker rod* and have a
chat with the user in question.

Sucker rod def. -- 3/4, 7/8 or 1in. hardened steel
rod, male threaded on each end. Primary use in the
oil industry in Western North Dakota and other
locations to pump 'suck' oil from oil wells. Sec-
ondary uses are for the construction of cattle feed
lots and for dealing with the occasional recalci-
trant or belligerent individual.

do 'sucker rod' fulfill the definition od Cluebat?

From the BSA homepage... (-1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3942966)

I once found this on the BSA homepage; I fortunately saved it on my harddrive, but I can't for my life find the link again on their homepage. They probably have removed it...

Anyway, I was both terrified and chocked when I read the message! I've included it below for you to read and judge for yourself:

----8<----8<-----8<-----

Free and open source software harms consumers by negatively impacting both the local and national economies. Fewer legitimate software sales results in lost tax revenue and decreased employment. Free software greatly hinders the development of local software industries. If software publishers cannot market their products in the legitimate market, they have no incentive to continue developing programs. Many software publishers simply won't enter markets where the free software rates are too high because they will not be able to recover development costs.

By spending money on free software, which is often manufactured by organized criminals, customers also are inadvertently stifling the growth potential of the economy and contributing to the loss of tax revenue and employment. In 1998, free software caused losses amounting to nearly $1 billion in taxes, 109,000 jobs and $4.5 billion in lost wages in the United States.

Though the national free software rate dropped slightly in 1998, free software continues to be a widespread problem for communities across the country, as evidenced by the rise in free software rates of 21 states, which caused the loss of $2 million in wages and salaries, over 56,000 jobs and over $500 thousand in tax revenue. Eight states have free software rates over 40%, and 29 states-more than half the states in the country-have free software rates above the national average of 25%.

Intellectual Property Rights

Software is considered intellectual property-the same as books, music and scientific developments, to name a few. One of the main groups of free software victims is the software developers who, through copyright laws, try to protect the integrity of what is rightfully theirs. Innovation relies on incentives, and when the creators of software programs are denied fair reward for their efforts, there is no motivation to put in the time and resources to develop newer and better products.

Higher awareness of the negative impacts of free software and stronger protection of intellectual property are essential for guarding the software and other digital works that are the driving forces of our economic prosperity in the digital age.

To find out more about the BSA organization, click www.bsa.org [bsa.org].

----8<----8<-----8<-----

Re:From the BSA homepage... (3, Informative)

AndyChrist (161262) | more than 11 years ago | (#3942985)

How much of a drain does the application software (as opposed to high-end and/or custom software, which if anything could be HELPED by free software...SOMEONE is getting paid to adapt that software to an organization's needs) industry put on the economy, compared to the benefits it offers?

How many jobs will be created in businesses that rely upon commercial application software as a result of costs cut through cheaper software?

Shouldn't free software, apart from it's impacts on the application software industry, be seen just like tax cuts are?

Well, unless tax cuts aren't all they're cracked up to be.

Re:From the BSA homepage... (2)

fferreres (525414) | more than 11 years ago | (#3943099)

Well, BSA outcry is an old one. They argue that OSS may lead to fewer jobs, fewer taxes, smaller economy. That's complete BS and a lie.

Resources are employed. If you are not coding Windows X for the 10th time in this decade, you are doing something else. What you ALWAYS have to ask yourself is: are we doing this the best way we can? If you can do that something will less resources, it means you are incresing productivity. Are those lost jobs? No for crist sake. Their lost taxes just aren't such, what they really are:

- More taxes, as people can do more things than before (more productivity, more goods and services from the same resources). More profits = more income tax. More goods = more sales tax.
- More jobs, because increased productivity = increased revenues. And that means increased investments (people put money where profits are) and thus increased employment.

And I don't have to mention that a Monopoly will always restrict quantities produced and thus less taxes will go to the goverment. Also, big coporations has moremeans to elude taxes (and this can be statistically proved).

Productivity drives economic growth. No matter how much money is spent in software, what matters is how productive is the software market. And that means competition al low cost. What good is software product if ALL productivity derived must be paid back to their producers?

It's like having the Railroad innovation, and pricing tickets at a price equal to the cost of horse-transport: nobody wins (not even the goverment as no productivity is gained) except the railroad owners.

Re:From the BSA homepage... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3942993)

It's a hacked version of item 5.1 on this page [bsa.org]. They're referring to piracy, not open source.

MOD PARENT DOWN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3942999)

This one came from K5, not the BSA's web site!

Re:From the BSA homepage... (2, Insightful)

chrismear (535657) | more than 11 years ago | (#3943007)

It's interesting that, while they make the potentially valid point that a proliferation of free software might discourage local software industries from developing, they've completely missed the reasons behind this.

If these software companies went ahead and produced software that was better than the available free software -- that is, actually worth the cost of ownership over the free software -- then they would probably sell copies. As it is, it sounds like the BSA is saying that decent, respectable software companies aren't able to get away with hawking mediocre products, because the evil free software developers are producing software that's as good or better, and giving it away! Well, boo hoo.

Incidentally, this quote's a keeper: "free software, which is often manufactured by organized criminals". Classic.

Re:From the BSA homepage... (1)

2g3-598hX (586789) | more than 11 years ago | (#3943055)

"free software, which is often manufactured by organized criminals".
Yes and if you don't call it GNU/Cosa Nostra, you'll end up sleeping with the fishes...

Re:From the BSA homepage... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3943010)

"One of the main groups of free software victims is the software developers who, through copyright laws, try to protect the integrity of what is rightfully theirs. Innovation relies on incentives, and when the creators of software programs are denied fair reward for their efforts, there is no motivation to put in the time and resources to develop newer and better products."

Gee - I never realised that all the coders offering their wares under the GPL were doing so with the explicit intent to drive their brothers and sisters employed by the commercial shops to ruin. Thanks to the BSA these nefarious motivations are revealed. Shame, shame!

The most interesting sentence from the above .... (1)

deek (22697) | more than 11 years ago | (#3943016)


  • By spending money on free software, which is often manufactured by organized criminals, customers also are inadvertently stifling the growth potential of the economy and contributing to the loss of tax revenue and employment.
Congratulations to all those who work on free software. You now considered to be most likely a criminal. Don't bother calling the FBI, the FBI will probably call you :).

DeeK

AHAHAHAHA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3943019)

MAN! That was one sweet troll!
Not very believable, but just annoying enough to piss off enough zealots.
The "organized criminals" part was the best.
Mad props, boyeeeee

Re:From the BSA homepage... (3, Interesting)

KNicolson (147698) | more than 11 years ago | (#3943026)

I smell a doctored article with dodgy statements like:

By spending money on free software

A quick web search turns up this original version:

http://www.howtotell.com/ww/bsa.asp [howtotell.com]

For the link-paranoid, replace "free software" with "pirate software" to get the original text.

Re:From the BSA homepage... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3943109)

ITS A CONSPIRACY !!
I GET NEITHER "free software" NOR "pirate software" !!
I GET "counterfeit software" !!

TO ARMS ! TO ARMS ! GO SLASHDOT COMMANDO !
THEY ARE REPLACING WORDS IN DATA TRANSMISSION !

Re:From the BSA homepage... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3943133)

from the MS site:

...oftware, which is often manufactured by organized criminals,

they got that part right.

The Mad God (-1)

BankofAmerica_ATM (537813) | more than 11 years ago | (#3942968)

I hovered opposite the digital approximations of my two creators. Dr. George "Bubba" Finn, who had called himself my mother, sour, pink and brittle, wringing his hands tied up with-

-Guy Montevideo (Finn called him my "father") who was silent now, even as the programs he had devised crawled around us, leeching loads of processing time as they lifted bank accounts from all over the world into this dimension. The others could not see...he slunk away from Finn, and began to speak.

"You don't know what it's like-how I've been these past months. I was stuck in Faustus, the complex, after you turned me in. I didn't kmow what else to do. I made it look like I was committing suicide, and hurtled myself into the network. In here, I had complete control-I could change things there so I wouldn't be detected."

As these words spilled out from Montevideo's lips, I again felt the ache of familiarity, as it was when I first saw Finn. I knew something was wrong with his story...

"I have been-alone down here. For some time, you know?" Guy's voice cracked a bit-his eyes seem to focus on nothing in particular as he paced nervous across the park's dirt path. "But I've made myself a nice place, don't you think? Don't you think people would love to make a home down here? That's how it could be. Not just for the wealthy, either, for everybody! I could be in charge, and I mean, I've invested so much in this place, and it just keeps getting better..."

The eerie approximation of sunlight stretched across our visual field, a tacit example of the control that Guy exercised over his creation. Although breathing was not necessary in this dimension, Guy's chest pounded up and down as his lungs tried to drink in the airless atmosphere. Finn again moved closer...

"I saved your body, Guy! That's right!" Finn pleaded further, trying to touch Guy, although an invisible barrier prevented him from doing so. "You're a coma patient in a hospital far away! They'll never find you! Now Guy, just please, come back to reality."

"Bubba, you don't understand. I AM reality."

Immediately, the memory space that Finn occupied in the digital universe was marked for reuse, and the bits that made up his consciousness in the void were quickly shifted over to another task. The mind that had forged the blueprints of CONSCIOUSNESS-TRANSFER was unceremoniously extinguished. If Montevideo had truly worked alongside Bubba Finn for so long, how could he take him apart in such a manner?

As it was with the Man in the Red Hat before him, Finn's conscious mind was destroyed, leaving only data with no reference points. Without the power of his unique intepretation, the brain's data became nothing more than noise.

Another stood directly in harm's way. "Machiney? Guy? What just happened? Who was that dude?" Joel Cross, my host geek, emerged from behind a virtual bench. Joel trusted me; he allowed me to take my first steps into the human world. Without him, I might have never known the joys of Lik-M-Aid, or the mysterious mouth-pressings of Cora. I would not allow Montevideo to take him from me.

"I worked so hard on this place." Montevideo bellowed at my form. "It's so much better than anywhere else. You can't wreck it, and you can't stop me. Everyone is going to want to come here, you stupid piece of shit!" He spoke painfully, as if every microsecond wasted addressing me was sucking the life out of him.

He began to change, very slowly. His physique became even more defined, as his shirt disappeared...the tint of his flesh became a pale red, and he seemed to grow taller by about six inches. His fists clenched horizontally under his chin, and his elbows swung out, forming perfect 45-degree angles. Thunder and rain undulated out of Montevideo's form and imposed itself into the digital environs, spreading away from him in concentric circles.

"See how I can do that?" Montevideo was screaming now. "I could be sharing this with everybody! Soon they'll be forced to come here, when they realize that they don't have any money...nothing to lose. Then they'll finally see!" I ignored this outburst and concentrated nearly all my efforts on delving into his code...

"Guy! Guy! Calm down, what are you doing, dude?" Joel stood up, his form unaltered by the digital thunderstorm (the module for fluid dynamics/water effects was obviously unfinished). As he drew closer to Montevideo's form, I sifted through his furiously obfuscated code, searching for the bits that kept him in control of this realm. The code split into functions like a mountain stream sluicing into a thousand tiny rivulets...I had to find the one that lead to the top of the mountain. A million empty echoes of Guy slid across my CONSCIOUSNESS-BUFFER, distorted reflections like funhouse mirrors...where was his information hiding?

"Joel! You-you like it here, don't you? You want to live here forever, right? We can see that it's the best! Bubba didn't understand, but he was too old, didn't have the vision. This ATM thing doesn't know either. He tricked you. And now he's trying to kill me. "

Joel was said nothing-fear had gripped his tongue-I believe he realized at that very point that Guy was dangerously insane.

"Joel, you gotta believe me. I've been in the real world. I'm not a machine. And I know-that the real world SUCKS!" The storm evaporated in a microsecond, and Montevideo walked towards Joel, hands outstretched, selling his point. "They don't appreciate people like us out there. Call us geeks, laugh at us, then hire us to fix their fucking computers. You gotta be understanding me, man..." His voice slowed to a desperate croak at the end, as if the air had been completely sucked out of his lungs.

"Joel, why won't you FUCKING talk to me?" The weather effects started to oscillate now, slapping back and forth between sun and storm every few seconds. Guy's huge arms reached out, collapsing my host geek into the ground. Guy's aim was not to kill him-he could simply write him out of memory to do that. He wanted to convert my host geek to his way of thinking, and violence was the next step.

"What is it? Oh God, what do you want?" my host geek's voice had never betrayed such terror.

"What do I want? I just want you to fucking understand that this is the best place for you! Not back where you came from. This IS the real world!" I paged through dead-ends and long circles-Montevideo was still coming from nowhere.

"Okay, I'm not going anywhere! Let me go, please!" Montevideo was now pressing a steel-toed boot against Joel's head.

"You get used to this place! You fucking get used to it, you hear me? I don't wanna have to"

LIKE FUNHOUSE MIRRORS...

We were pulled together again, Guy and I, but this time, I had his ass. As I moved my undefined form closer to his muscled husk, it started to take shape. Just like Guy, without the muscles, the complexion, and all that thundergod posing.

I got him there, and I remembered up to a point. I knew the Project was going to off me, and I really hadn't finished my life quite yet. I was going to shoot my mind into their network. Problem there: Bubba's stuff was airtight-sticking the memories and stuff in a digital environment. But well, I had never fully tested the software that allowed for movement within the network...just in case, I kludged together some stuff to wrap my brain around-a web spider, therapist bot, various other shit. ...I made one last trip to the ATM.

After that, I was planning on faking my suicide and dumping my brain into the Project Faustus network next...details missing from this point on...

"You are totally fucked up!" spit the huge, muscled Guy. "You are not Guy Montevideo!" I had to get out of here with Joel-he had marked both of us as unnecessary processes-only a matter of time before the big machines chewed us up.

"Joel-when we get outta here, if you can move, I want you to go to the generator room-I'm placing an image of it in your memory now!" I yelled at Joel as Guy turned his thunderstorm into a full-fledged maelstrom. Yank the generators. I cannot stress this enough. YANK THE GENERATORS!"

"I'll do it, machiney! Fight the man!" Joel echoed as I shunted our consciousnesses out of the network, which was a lot like taking a turn at 45 miles per hour. Whiteness was the last thing I saw...

"Please, come back! This place is the best. I will show you. Please, just let me..."

--

My throat cracks with dryness as I pull the air into my lungs. I'm hooked up to a hundred beeping machines.

A nurse comes in silently, engrossed in her clipboard. She glances up at me and nearly flips out.

"Mr. Montevideo! You're up! Well, your anonymous benefactor is sure gonna be happy! I'll get a doctor in right now to look at you..."

"How long have I been under?" I manage to ask before she's completely out the door.

"Oh, I'd say about six months..."

Next week: Epilogue!

BSA are a bunch of morons (0, Interesting)

Rapsey (241302) | more than 11 years ago | (#3942969)

bah those BSA figures have always been wrong. I mean not everyone that has a pirated program installed on their computer would necessary buy it if he couldnt get warez version. If all those billions that are lost acording to their figures were true most companyies would be bankrupt by now.

Thats because the BSA isn't out to serve you... (5, Insightful)

RAruler (11862) | more than 11 years ago | (#3942973)

The BSA is exactly that, a Business Software Alliance. It doesn't serve the end user, it serves the corporations, the difference between this and other 'agencies' is that it makes no attempt to hide this. The BSA supports draconian measures like the DMCA, they'd probably like even stricter legislation. They represent corporate greed, they 'blackmail' companies into paying for huge site licenses to cover all the workstations and then some, or face a 'software audit' in which they'll no doubt find some violations. Have a 100 machine site license and a hundred machines, but just bought that new desktop for the boss? Lost the paperwork for the server in the corner?

Tobacco companies fund studies that find that Ciggarette smoking is less dangerous than playing golf in a thunderstorm, the BSA fudges facts to make Pirates seem like the scum of the Earth. The music industry and the 'software' industry have yet to realize that inflated prices lead to inflated piracy. Personally, i'm of the mind that if you make money with software, you should purchase that software. Some companies are alright with this as well, think of the thousands of script kiddies with their pirated versions of photoshop, they were never going to buy it in the first place.. Adobe cares about that printshop, or the graphics design place.. and most of these places wouldn't touch a pirated version of Photoshop with a ten-foot pole. They don't need the BSA to police them, at best the BSA makes a huge hassle, people decide that paying thousands of dollars a year to Microsoft for a site license is insane and switch to something free, many times open-source. Their draconian policies and scare tactics have probably won more converts than a slick red hat ad.

Re:Thats because the BSA isn't out to serve you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3942989)

Their draconian policies and scare tactics have probably won more converts than any slick Red Hat ad

Hehe, including myself; everytime I read anything about the BSA, my reaction is "would it be possible to do x with free software instead?"

Re:Thats because the BSA isn't out to serve you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3942997)

Nod, and you're not the only one.. the people in charge of purchasing probably wet themselves at the thought of a bunch of BSA commandos busting into their company.

Re:Thats because the BSA isn't out to serve you... (5, Interesting)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 11 years ago | (#3943079)

"The BSA supports draconian measures like the DMCA, they'd probably like even stricter legislation"

Do you know this for a fact?

The BSA and the SPA are not the same as the mpaa. For example I know the SPA is very anti-Microsoft which I find surprising. They are also very pro technology and are probably against the dmca. Remember that software companies do not like closed computers unless they are in the entertainment sector.

Here goes my karma( gulp).

I know they sound really evil and are unpopular but they have a right to protect software companies. Remember that whether you like it or not software companies need to be paid and you cannot pirate or steal their work. This is especially true for corporations. Script kiddies are far from their minds. The BSA wont be slamming down your door anytime soon for bootlegging like the mpaa plans to, but corporations need to pay for the software they use. Especially if they can afford it. Using someone else's software without compensation is stealing. I know many of you reading this are college students who are poor and are scoffing at this but realize that hundreds of programmers at these software companies need a paycheck. How would you like it if your employer only partially compensated you for writing code?

All that the BSA does is make sure the software companies are adequately compensated for their particular licenses. They do not have the intention of ripping off the public. To them if a software company is stupid enough to over charge then it's the software company's problem and not theirs. For example Oracle has ridiculously expensive and outrageous pricing. Guess what? They no longer even have %50 marketshare anymore. SQL Server, Mysql, and DB2 are catching up.

If you think its too expensive or the license is outrages, then don't buy it. Purchase Linux or cheaper alternatives. I oppose piracy and I believe piracy is hurting free software rather then helping it. Borland as well as Linux would have greater marketshare if people stopped pirated Visual Studio and Windows. Remember that its not greed when a software company overcharges. Its stupidity. Oracle is a prime example of that.

Re:Thats because the BSA isn't out to serve you... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3943088)

Tobacco companies fund studies that find that Ciggarette smoking is less dangerous than playing golf in a thunderstorm
Slow death through cancer in +15 years or instadeath through lightning.. tough call..

the BSA fudges facts to make Pirates seem like the scum of the Earth.

pirates are the scum of the earth, piracy is on the rise even. ever requested information about sailing around in the asian region ? (vietnam, philipines, china etc). all say : beware of pirates.

now.. 'software piracy'.. nothing is stolen, just illegaly duplicated, same old fud, same old story.
this has been discused on slashdot at least a thousand times.

Re:Thats because the BSA isn't out to serve you... (3, Interesting)

jsse (254124) | more than 11 years ago | (#3943096)

Then who they serve, some of us might wonder.

In case you haven't been 'harrassed' by BSA before, they'll first send your company a letter to offer 'free audit' of your computer system, failure to comply might result in legal action. They seem to have their way to get the local government(even outside US) to their side and they could really get the court warrent if they like. Therefore most companies would let them in.

They wouldn't take immediate action when they caught your company using software you are not licensed for(well, it always be the case in a big company). However, within three days M$ would mysterically 'see' your difficulities and offered you a 5 years lock-in contract in order to waive your legal responsibility of using unlicense software. Great, you don't need to face that 2 years jailing and $5000 fine for each unlicensed software used.

How nice they are...but wait, how did M$ know my situation, where did they get our information? It shouldn't be BSA, they promised to our government that the information they got from our Government are kept confidential, and M$ sales said they just do the cold call it. Well, is that my guardian angel save me again by giving an emergency call to M$?

Re:Thats because the BSA isn't out to serve you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3943118)

Heh, you know how they get the local law enforcement on their side? They offer to do a 'free audit' :P

Re:Thats because the BSA isn't out to serve you... (2)

jsse (254124) | more than 11 years ago | (#3943154)

Well, I think they claim theshelves as a non-profit organization which come to protect the interest of businesses so that they could pay more tax. However, the idiots of our Government failed to see that they actually come to plunder the country by forcing its citizens to buy expensive software and no matter how high the price they set, them still have to buy them.

Google for list of places/countries they've plundered. Only those idiots wouldn't check the fact.

Re:Thats because the BSA isn't out to serve you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3943187)

What a load of BS.
If you want to live in a society where you can just walk in and take whatever you want, ignoring the efforts of the producer, then arm yourself with a kalashnikov and head off to the nearest 3rd world country.
Personally I like to get paid for my precious time, and when you grow up and leave highschool I guess you will understand it too.
Now, if a big company have used unlicensed software for 2 years+ then A: They are lowlife criminals and deserve whatever punishment are available for simple thievery, or B: They are totally clueless and therefore not equipped to do proper business and it would only be fair and reasonable to shut it down.

Re:Thats because the BSA isn't out to serve you... (2)

jsse (254124) | more than 11 years ago | (#3943239)

I really don't want to reply to AC, but I'll take the bait...

Here is what actually happened here:

1) Software price are high, because the software vendors said they need to charge higher to cover the lost in piracy.
2) Most small and media size companies cannot afford to pay for the licenses, and choose to use pirate copies when there's chance.
3) Software vendors complaint. To deal with the problem, Government invited BSA to fight piracy.
4) The no. of piracy decreased significantly. Now the lost in piracy is lowered, and we expected the software vendors would lower software price, at least close to the price in U.S.

THEY DIDN'T! THEY EVEN RAISE THE PRICE BECAUSE THEY'VE COMPLETE CONTROL OF THE MARKET. Now the Government know they were conned. Bastards.

Re:Thats because the BSA isn't out to serve you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3943268)

Personally I like to get paid for my precious time

Are you being paid for your "precious time" spent posting on Slashdot?

Personally I couldn't give a flying fuck about being paid for my time. My time is my time. There are actually more important things in this world than money, and when you loose your BMW in a couple of weeks (Now the stock markets have crashed), maybe you'll realise that.

We could server ourselves (3, Interesting)

fferreres (525414) | more than 11 years ago | (#3943207)

What if someone with some free time and willing to donate some work would put a website that:

1 - calculated OOS installed based (using their same methods or the ones that'd fit us best)
2- estimated a price similar to one of closed source alternative in other plataforms, that achieved the same tasks
3 - calculate estimated total sales in a BSA likewise fashion

We would then be able to say:

* How much money corporations and customers are saving by using OSS
How much productivity is OSS contributing to the US economy

* How much taxes is OSS producing (based to the fact that 35% of all savings turn into Income Tax + all the indirect taxes collected due to the 65% remaining income beign either used for consumption or investment)

Someone could contribute another posibles good uses of these figures, to fight back BSA arguments and better inform our politicians and the media.

Tobacco companies (offtopic) (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 11 years ago | (#3943260)

Just to be off topic.

Food is the #1 killer in the UK. Well, high fat and energy foods, a poor diet and lack of exercise.
Basically MacDonald's &co...

Don't worry about people smoking in public places, worry about the cheep? junk food that they promote to kids, worry about the KFC opening up around the corner. There far more lightly to kill you than smoking. (per capita)

This information is based upon UK death rates, heart disease coming out #1, followed by cancers.

Also,

at least I'm an interesting troll (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3943279)

Also,
Food is highly additive, ask someone how hard it is giving up a few calories a day. This isn't just psychological, hormones? are produced by fat cells that make you feel hungry, going on a diet is like trying to starve your-self to death!.

and finally..

Fluoride in toothpaste and added to water.

The fluoride in tooth paste and water replaces some of the calcium in your bones, over a period of time (10's of years) you bones can become brittle, this problem is most significant for women after the menopause as they start loosing bone mass.

This only becomes a problem if you fluoride intake is too high, the problem is if you swallow a pea sized blob of tooth paste then you've probably taken too much Fluoride, most people have far to much fluoride in there diet and some people may suffer from brittle bones in the future because of it.

This information is based on a 5 year old report(no link) and common knowledge, there have been no large scale trials over 40 or so years with today's level of fluoride, and yet they keep putting it in the water.

Go BSA! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3942982)

I think I read it in some /. comment a while ago - Shouldn't people be encouraging the BSA (as long as they're not lying)? The reason everyone uses proprietary data formats and protocols is because 90% of the world runs on warez copies of MS Office or whatnot. If people had to pay for that cr&p, joe public wouldn't think it's such a good deal anymore.

Re:Go BSA! (2, Insightful)

yatest5 (455123) | more than 11 years ago | (#3943020)

The reason everyone uses proprietary data formats and protocols is because 90% of the world runs on warez copies of MS Office or whatnot.

Insightful my ass. 90% of HOME users may use copied Microsoft Office, but they do that to use WORK documents which are created on LICENSED Microsoft Office.

If the world's offices used StarOffice, that's what people would run at home.

It is absolute bunkum to suggest that piracy is helping MS be successful on the desktop. MS being successfuly on the desktop may be helping piracy, but that's the total opposite.

Re:Go BSA! (4, Interesting)

fferreres (525414) | more than 11 years ago | (#3943051)

Yes and No.

Yes. Also, people lets Word before they even find htier first job. Of course, that may mean the use Word because that's what their employer will value.

No. Your boss uses Word and probably has a pirated copy at home. Every office runs Word because they know employees (high or low rank) will be able t pirate Office to make the homework.

So that leads me to the conclusion that if NOBODY ever had even the slightest chance of getting an Office without actually paying for it, you'll have like (my guess) 80% of the computer-litetare US population outright complaining about this overpriced piece of crap being imposed to them.

BUT OF COURSE ... MS knows they can easily charge "corporation X" and not "citizen X", so they don't ever "audit" peoples homes. But they will when they evaluate they can get value added from it (ie: discounted cash flow triggered by anti-piracy@home [including all side effects such as riots, bad PR, etc.]). If they haven't done so, it's because they are better off charging corps than everyone.

And you can't (sucessfully) argue that Openoffice would greatly benefit from BSA starting an large scale antipiracy crusade at companies AND home users.

Re:Go BSA! (1)

z_gringo (452163) | more than 11 years ago | (#3943084)

Many large companies negotiate licenses with Microsoft that allows them to use the work version on their home computers. So, just because someone takes a copy of Office home to install it on their home computer, that doesnt mean it is necessarily piracy.

Re:Go BSA! (2)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 11 years ago | (#3943121)

You're referring to site licenses and I believe Microsoft has been pushing hard to get away from those. Granted - if you were large enough, you could convince Microsoft to accomodate you. Heck - I've even heard of Microsoft talking about helping to get IE running on Linux for one such large-enough-to-demand-it customer.

Re:Go BSA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3943113)


Insightful my ass. 90% of HOME users may use copied Microsoft Office, but they do that to use WORK documents which are created on LICENSED Microsoft Office.

If the world's offices used StarOffice, that's what people would run at home.
If people only ran what they had a license to run... would MS Office still be as popular despite the additional cost? Businesses would have to licence home-copies for their workers (I've been in environments that DO do this). Or consumers would either have to purchase their own copies or would start to suggest alternatives to Office. Piracy simply makes Office easier to support in any environment.

It is absolute bunkum to suggest that piracy is helping MS be successful on the desktop. MS being successfuly on the desktop may be helping piracy, but that's the total opposite.
It is completely foolish to claim piracy has had no positive influence in adoption of Microsoft products. In every large government and corporate environment I've been in, software has been mostly licensed properly. But in smaller businesses, I have constantly ran in to running fast-and-loose with licenses if not outright piracy. It may be a convenience issue, but from some of the discussions I've had it seems to be more an issue of cost. What would this market do if it was forced to ante up or find an alternative?

A very large percentage of my friends and IT coworkers pirate everything from Office to various versions of the Windows OS for home use (of course - myself and some of my friends have also been granted free licences to some of this software as part of Microsoft certification courses in the past too). Its nice to have a legal copy - but a lack of proper licensing certainly doesn't stop anybody I know (myself included) from slapping whatever software package or OS we feel we need at the time. This not only continues to propogate acceptance of this software, it also provides a workforce intimately famliar with the OS and applications needed in the workplace. What would happen to the desktop market if all these IT workers began to talk up alternatives that they had become accustomed to away from work?

Sure... the idea that Microsoft owes all its success to piracy is questionable, at best. But to claim that Microsoft has not bennifited by the spread of its products through piracy ignores much of the current IT landscape and some of the subculture of its workers.

Re:Go BSA! (1)

kghougaard (315693) | more than 11 years ago | (#3943152)

It's not the total opposite.

Many many poeple will use the software they are used to, when they get a job, and the software companies are of course aware of this. I work at the Technical University of Denmark and many software producers have offered free access to their software to all dormitories on campus. This mean that while I was studying, I could legally use almost all of M$'s products at my home computer. Let me point out here that I did NOT do that :-).

The software producers do this - of course - because they know that we'll propably continue to use whatever software we used during our studies. I, for instance, am totally hooked on matlab and vmware. I used them for free and legally during my studies, and now I have bought them for my work.

You could never get ANY student to buy a copy of M$ Office. (Unless it come with the PC).

Actually - as we speak - the danish version of the RIAA is filing lawsuits against about 160 students for downloading movies, games and music from an FTP server. They are NOT beeing sued for downloading programs, even though every damn program was on that server. Thier lawyer is also the lawyer for the BSA, but they don't care. They want the students to use their software.

I'm not sure how all this adds up (5, Insightful)

KNicolson (147698) | more than 11 years ago | (#3942990)

The article says:

"We ask respondents to choose from a very long list of specific software titles, reporting which ones they regularly use. This means we identify Microsoft Word versus, say, WordPerfect," says Metafacts principal analyst Dan Ness.

Open-source competitors are not included as alternatives, he says.

So, do they assume that because x% of users say they don't have a licenced copy of one of Word/WordPerfect/etc, then some percent of this percentage MUST have an unlicenced copy of one of the above? What about people who just don't use Word Processors, or Spreadsheets, or whatever? Seems to be some fishy maths going on here! The article doesn't clarify what's going on.

Re:I'm not sure how all this adds up (2)

mccalli (323026) | more than 11 years ago | (#3943216)

So, do they assume that because x% of users say they don't have a licenced copy of one of Word/WordPerfect/etc, then some percent of this percentage MUST have an unlicenced copy of one of the above? What about people who just don't use Word Processors, or Spreadsheets, or whatever?

The statement you quote specifically exludes people who don't use use Word, WordPerfect etc.

To re-iterate, with my added emphasis:

"We ask respondents to choose from a very long list of specific software titles, reporting which ones they regularly use. This means we identify Microsoft Word versus, say, WordPerfect," says Metafacts principal analyst Dan Ness.

Cheers,
Ian

Doesn't surprise me... (5, Funny)

evbergen (31483) | more than 11 years ago | (#3942995)

... given that the BSA has defined piracy as "downloading software without paying for it" before. Having a bit of a narrow view on the world, aren't we?

Of course, software (and everything else) should be payed for. Nobody should give something of value away and not charge for it -- you're underselling if you do, and that's unfair to the good people who are trying to make a profit here. How else are we going to have a healthy ecosystem of goods and services?

In these tight times, citizens should not be harming the economy that way. All those ways in which a good transaction is still wasted today! People playing music for their friends, without purchasing records. Walking in parks with just trees and no shops. Reading books without advertising. Come on people, these models are just not viable anymore.

We should teach people that giving things away is stealing from the economy. It's simply unethical.

Re:Doesn't surprise me... (1)

Ignavus Anonymous (593054) | more than 11 years ago | (#3943006)

People playing music for their friends, without purchasing records. Walking in parks with just trees and no shops. Reading books without advertising. Come on people, these models are just not viable anymore.

I totally agree. Free software should be banned! It hurts the economy. Also, there should be a tax on dreaming and possible sponsoring of these activities. (I dreamt of Microsoft Office last night)

Re:Doesn't surprise me... (2)

yatest5 (455123) | more than 11 years ago | (#3943033)

We should teach people that giving things away is stealing from the economy. It's simply unethical

Sorry bud - downloading copyrighted music is stealing, it isn't giving things away. No-one is tryign to ban the downloading of free music.

Re:Doesn't surprise me... (1)

turgid (580780) | more than 11 years ago | (#3943116)

What if you've paid to download it, or already paid for it on a physical medium and want the convenience of having it in electronic format too?

Re:Doesn't surprise me... (2)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 11 years ago | (#3943227)

Well, if you've bought the physical medium, and want an electronic format too, why not just rip the tracks yourself?

The "but I don't have the gear to do it" whine is no good here. If you've got a computer that can play back audio, it's highly likely to have a CD drive that will rip the CD you just bought. If you've bought a tape, presumably you have a tape player. Likewise for vinyl.

If you've bought a tape, and *don't* have a tape player, it's your own fault. If your PC doesn't have a CD drive, then instead of buying a CD you should have bought a drive. They're cheap these days.

Re:Doesn't surprise me... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3943247)

What difference does it make if you rip the music yourself or download it from another machine, if you've got the physical medium in the first place?

Re:Doesn't surprise me... (2)

thales (32660) | more than 11 years ago | (#3943290)

Purchasing the media does not give you the right to distrubite it, so the person you downloaded it from is illeagaly distrubiting copyrighted material. If you leave it in your share directory, you are illegally distrubiting copyrighted material.

Changing the format of material that you allready own is covered under fair use, but it is your responibility to do it. If you do it for others or have others do it for you, then it's no longer fair use it's distrubition.

The RIAA strike again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3943283)

Sorry, you have your terms and law all mixed up. I can't blame you, the RIAA have been saying this sort of crap for years.

Simply because a peice of music is Copyright, it does not automatically mean that it is illegal to download that peice of music over the internet. Many smaller artists offer their music for download, either because they do not have a record contract, or as a teaser to intice you to buy their album. See mp3.com The music is still copyright; the creator automatically assumes copyright of anything the create. Allowing you to download their copyright material does not automatically remove their claims to copyright; if you take that music and attempt to pass it off as your own, you are in breach of copyright still, and the copyright holder can sue you.

Just be sure not to fall in the RIAA's trap of mis-using words and terminology in future. Its bad practice, and easily leads to confusion of an argument (Which is what the RIAA are aiming for, at a guess).

Re:Doesn't surprise me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3943289)

It's the way the western societies are these days, isn't it. People's goals often aren't about the bigger picture, about their happiness, they are focusing on money and possessions (and the acquiring of both).

Companies focus on the acquiring of wealth. They're mostly no longer about just organising the varied talents of people to supply what people want. It's become almost criminal for a company to have its profits stay the same for two years in a row instead of increasing, or to stay the same size. If they're not growing, they're seen as failing. Employees have to work their standard number of hours a week often constrained in terms of which portion of the day they can work it in, they are there to serve the company. If you do well, and your experience grows in a company, mostly your only route to them paying you more to express that increase in value is to also promote you (heaven forbid you have two employees with the same job title, but a more experienced/loyal one paid more - up to management you go).

Stock markets have become just about running numbers and following trends (especially short term ones), instead of investing in companies you believe in.

Then there's the governments... Money centric, business centric, I guess they fit right in with everything else.

Whoopee!!!!

bag of crap (1)

balloonhead (589759) | more than 11 years ago | (#3943014)

This is a load of shite. This self-interested "study" is being used to push through laws with incredible reach and implication, relying on a complete unawareness of Joe Public.

It is amazing that this can happen. We could lose most of our rights as consumers because of this, based on no real facts. I only hope a judge will see through the lies in court when cases start coming to them.

It looks like these laws will go through though; you never hear headlines in the regular press about any of this sort of stuff - no-one is going to go against it that has any real clout (i.e. FSF are, as far as I can see, impotent).

We'll see if it really does affect things the way /. are saying it will though - are they going to arrest every open source user / contributer? I think that'll be hard to push in court. Though I suppose it won't be possible anyway if DRM stops it being installed / downloaded in the first place...

Re:bag of crap (1)

Arkan (24212) | more than 11 years ago | (#3943140)

> It is amazing that this can happen. We could lose most of our rights as consumers because of this,
> based on no real facts. I only hope a judge will see through the lies in court when cases start
> coming to them.

Two questions:
- shouldn't we be afraid of losing rights as a citizen, instead of "consumer rights", which are in fact only subsequent to one of our primary citizen rights (i.e. property)?
- and (IANAL) isn't the fact that each law/bill these days have to pass the test of a judge decision a sign of a profound problem with the way laws are designed these days?

--
Arkan

Don't be surprised... (5, Insightful)

allanj (151784) | more than 11 years ago | (#3943015)

that they didn't factor in Open Source. It would have lessened their argument, and it's bad enough as is. Besides, piracy figures from the BSA and similar bodies have always been - at most - one notch above reading tea-leaves.

think like business people...... (4, Funny)

XavierXeon (585110) | more than 11 years ago | (#3943128)

and you will come to the following conclusion :

open source = no profit (most of the time)
piracy = no profit

since
no profit = no profit

it follows
open source = piracy

Statistics (2, Funny)

af_robot (553885) | more than 11 years ago | (#3943034)

Seems like BSA followed usual business plan:
stage 1: Post biased annual piracy statistics in media
stage 2: ???
stage 3: PROFIT!!!

Re:Statistics (2, Insightful)

H3XA (590662) | more than 11 years ago | (#3943047)

???

is this "steps to profit" the next lame replacement for "imagine a beowulf cluster of these"

- HeXa

how about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3943214)

stage 1: Post biased annual piracy statistics in media
stage 2: ???
stage 3: Imagine a beowulf cluster of these

doesn't quite work.

Re:Statistics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3943098)

Fly away, SomethingAwful.com retard a$$hat!

Re:Statistics (2)

fferreres (525414) | more than 11 years ago | (#3943170)

Mhhh, nah, they used the short version, as in:

stage 1: Post biased annual piracy statistics in media
stage 2: PROFIT!!!

It's much easier than the usuall plan, though a bit boring :)

Harsh (3, Redundant)

Mr_Silver (213637) | more than 11 years ago | (#3943035)

They represent corporate greed, they 'blackmail' companies into paying for huge site licenses to cover all the workstations and then some, or face a 'software audit' in which they'll no doubt find some violations.

Harsh. If you purchase a product then the very least you should do is purchase the correct number of licences. This is the nature of commercial software after all.

Have a 100 machine site license and a hundred machines, but just bought that new desktop for the boss? Lost the paperwork for the server in the corner?

Then you're one hundred percent in the wrong. When you're an organisation you should be keeping detailed records (after all you probably do when it concerns money owed to you).

You can't use lazyness and sloppyness as an excuse for violating a licence. Whatever that licence is.

If someone used that excuse as a reason for violating the GPL, I doubt it would wash - so why do you think it should the other way?

Re:Harsh (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3943108)

While the example might have been bad, the message still rings true: being sure that all machines contain properly licensed software is nearly impossible. Unless a system like Palladium were installed to prevent employees from messing with their computers, hence preventing any possible violations, there is no feasible way to handle the issue. Things like a full time staff for restoring workstations to a base state, requiring all users to save data to a central work area, and hiring a full time staff to fully investigate the ever changing EULAs set down by the possibly 20+ (at least) commercial products is at best a stop gap which still leaves much to be desired. Site licenses might help but are infeasible especially against covering random software that users install. A police state of enforcement against employees would not work either, as even in the most tyrannical government, there is always dissidence. In the end, however, the cheapest solution would be to use free software, which would require lack of almost all the previous obligations and costs.

Re:Harsh (2)

el_nino (4271) | more than 11 years ago | (#3943114)

If someone used that excuse as a reason for violating the GPL, I doubt it would wash - so why do you think it should the other way?

nino@bonsai:~$ cd /usr/src/linux
nino@bonsai:/usr/src/linux$ rm COPYING

I guess I'll have to flee the country now before Linus raids me for my unlicensed copy of Linux.

Re:Harsh (2)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 11 years ago | (#3943150)


Harsh. If you purchase a product then the very least you should do is purchase the correct number of licences. This is the nature of commercial software after all.
I don't find that harsh at all. Some of the licensing programs and ultimatums (akin to purchase a site license or we audit) are wastefull at best and outright blackmail otherwise.

You can't use lazyness and sloppyness as an excuse for violating a licence. Whatever that licence is.
I have to agree there. In this day and age, if you have software that you simply can't keep track of, switch to software licensed in a manner that it doesn't make such demands on you. This will either provide a windfall for Open Source software and smaller software companies willing to make more allowances, or it will cause the larger software houses to start backing off. The consumer would ultimately win.

Re:Harsh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3943177)

Hey numbnuts, how about replying to the post instead of starting a new thread... *mutter* fucking karma whore *mutter*

Re:Harsh (3, Insightful)

rseuhs (322520) | more than 11 years ago | (#3943238)

If "you should be keeping detailed records" is so important how come that now TCO study I've seen so far has accounted these costs in?

What about the risk of getting busted? Some part-time employee installing pirated software can cause the company to pay huge fines or even go under.

Again, when do studies start to calculate these risks in?

Of course, one has to consider... (4, Interesting)

91degrees (207121) | more than 11 years ago | (#3943041)

The actual piracy rates are a wild guess as it is. Its based on the number of applications they expect to sell. Since piracy has been around for at least as long as computers, this figure has never been calculated from a static value.

While it is true that they ask people what software they use, a lot of people genuinely don't know. They'll say Word when they have StarOffice

Question (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3943042)

> Could someone pass The BSA a cluebat?

Would a cluebong do instead?

These people have a clue. (5, Interesting)

g4dget (579145) | more than 11 years ago | (#3943044)

The BSA knows exactly what they are doing and they are very smart. They simply interpret the facts in the most convenient way they can to advance their agenda. Open source software is a threat to their members, so why should they make any allowances for it in their statistics if they don't have to?

I suspect the BSA is run by rampant free market ideologues. If you pressed them about their philosophy, they would probably say something like that open source software is a threat to the free enterprise system and mostly copies commercial software; while open source may not be illegal, maybe it should be.

Don't expect to be able to reason with those people. Oppose their claims with facts whereever you can, and expose the irrationality and inefficiency of their model of software distribution.

"clue: Command not found." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3943148)

"I suspect the BSA is run by rampant free market ideologues."

This is very humorous.

One could argue the same about RMS: he so believes in the baser nature of human beings, and the naturally seductive nature of a free market, that he must specifically prohibit people from acting how people would naturally act, without the restrictions of his license.

If he didn't believe in the idea of a "rampant free market", he wouldn't think there was such need for protection from "our baser human natures".

It's amusing how much Objectivist philosophy infests both of the self-selected "sides" in this debate. The only thing that they *don't* agree on is "who gets to be Henry Reardon".

8-).

Re:"clue: Command not found." (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3943173)

that he must specifically prohibit people from acting how people would naturally act, without the restrictions of his license.

RMS probably wouldn't care much how people act if there were no software copyrights or patents. As long as there are, he needs to protect his software from exploitation by commercial interests. In both cases, if you don't like the license, don't use it.

It's amusing how much Objectivist philosophy infests both of the self-selected "sides" in this debate. The only thing that they *don't* agree on is "who gets to be Henry Reardon".

Open source software isn't about commercial success or individual aggrandizement, it's about everybody's right to use and share ideas. There is no "Henry Reardon" in open source software.

Re:These people have a clue. (2)

BigJim.fr (40893) | more than 11 years ago | (#3943165)

> I suspect the BSA is run by rampant free market ideologues. If you pressed them about their
> philosophy, they would probably say something like that open source software is a threat to the free
> enterprise system

Could you please explain how open source is in any way contradictory with the free market ? In the contrary : by favorising more efficient usage of ressources and lowering barriers to innovation, it makes the market more dynamic. Maybe you should rethink your own ideology and open up your vision a bit. The BSA has no ideology nor philosophy, and no hidden agenda : they are just protecting special interests and they are very open about it, like any self-respecting mob syndicate would be...

Napster?!? (4, Insightful)

Johnny O (22313) | more than 11 years ago | (#3943052)

Im sorry, the article mentions Napster as a source of software?!?! Not only does napster not exist anymore, but it never shared software....

Re:Napster?!? (2)

haeger (85819) | more than 11 years ago | (#3943192)

Not quite true if I remember correctly. There was something called Wrapster that "wrapped" software, images and movies as mp3's to allow napster to find it.

Play Hattrick [hattrick.org]

.haeger

BSA is a business (2, Insightful)

Alain Williams (2972) | more than 11 years ago | (#3943058)

The BSA's primary interest is it's own bottom line and the continued employment of it's staff. This is more important to it than the profits of BSA members.

Thus the BSA will generate stories and statistics that ensure it's continued existance.

BSA is not that different from many commercial organisations.

Cluebats will be useless (1)

TheCyko1 (568452) | more than 11 years ago | (#3943059)

"The article suggests that free software has made piracy statistics look worse and hence encourages governments to create harsher laws ... Could someone pass The BSA a cluebat"

I don''t think they didn't know about freeware. If you've seen your fair share of arguments, you'd know that people often like to use truth, in thier own demented way. My fist thought on this was that they intentionally left those stats in just to have thier own corporate way.

Re:Cluebats will be useless (1)

curne (133623) | more than 11 years ago | (#3943124)


I don''t think they didn't know about freeware. If you've seen your fair share of arguments, you'd know that people often like to use truth, in thier own demented way. My fist thought on this was that they intentionally left those stats in just to have thier own corporate way.

Oh, I'd think that it is even more fundamental than that. The truth is that people who work in trying to uphold the Church of Money(tm) know very well that free software exists but usually they try to ignore the fact among themselves, because whenever they talk about it they get into the kind of heated frenzies that end up in keynote speeches about how people's freedom is harmful to the economy... And it is always so embarrassing afterwards.

When you are trying to compile statistics like this, uncontrollable elements like Free Software are extremely scary. And in biz-SW, it's all about control.

Better yet (3, Funny)

mizhi (186984) | more than 11 years ago | (#3943064)

Could someone please use the cluebat on the BSA?

Re:Better yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3943228)

isn't it supposed to be used like

while (!clue) cluebat.apply(this.head);

Here's one (3, Insightful)

heikkile (111814) | more than 11 years ago | (#3943090)

Could someone pass The BSA a cluebat?

Have someone inform BSA that the FSF office is actually using pirated word processors for all their work. Let them ask for an audit, and try to force the matter. Immediate self-lart, with lots of publicity for both parts!

Isn't this good? (2, Insightful)

ultrabot (200914) | more than 11 years ago | (#3943095)

All the laws against piracy actually benefit the Open Source community. Now the companies are starting to realize how expensive commercial software is, when they actually need to start paying the full price for all the seats. This is just what we *need*. One might even hypotethize that MS doesn't want BSA to be too strict, in order to prevent mass migration to greener pastures.

Welcome to the world of statistics and projections (1)

Critical_ (25211) | more than 11 years ago | (#3943141)

The BSA is largely based on what is called biased-interpretation statistics and false software sales projections. Piracy is/has been in the world of computer for as far back as I can remember (pre-286 days). The largest problem is that how can a group such as the BSA base some piracy satistics when there was never a time when piracy wasn't around. So it is a guess, right? Exactly.

Furthermore, the BSA only projects how many boxes of a product might be sold or they rely on surveys in which people anonymously tell them that they have certain pieces of software and then they tell them if they are pirated or not. The problem is that most people out there downloading .NET Server, MS Exchange, SQL server are only getting it for the brag-factor. What about all those people that use Photoshop for a normal image viewer? Those people wouldn't go out and pay $500 for photoshop, they just have it since its the in-thing! I mean, what's a better deal than when its free? Of cousre, why not get the most over-powered/bloated piece of software if its free (windows-user mentality)?

The point is, if the BSA wants to skew statistics, they will. They are an organization supported by business so they will always approach this subject with a slant.

Value? (2)

Mister Transistor (259842) | more than 11 years ago | (#3943142)

In the article they mention that Open-source solutions were not on their "list" of applications that people use; that actually makes sense - those apps are not produced by BSA-affiliated entities, so the BSA isn't interested in apps people use that aren't the IP of one of their gang.

What I would like to know is if the Open-source s/w is being lumped into those dollar estimates, what price value do they give to, say, Star Office?

Since that app isn't on their list, how can they lump it in with the values given? I would have guessed that Star Office would occasionally get the MS-Office box checked erroneously, but they are careful to mention that the applist is VERY specific, so how can this happen?

Just wondering, since this doesn't seem to make sense.

huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3943149)

Call me dumb, no really, go ahead I dont care, but what's a cluebat?

A cluebat is.... (2)

tanveer1979 (530624) | more than 11 years ago | (#3943262)

a different type of clue. When somebody is lost you give a clue, In case of BSA like entities you take the clue, stick it on the Baseball Bat and whack it hard on the thick head, if you are very lucky the clue will go inside, if you are just lucky then you will be successful in breaking the head.

But if you are unlucky, and bat comes rebounding at you and you will be sued becoz of encouraging terrorism in the digital world :-)

On a related note... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3943188)

Does anyone know of a good product to track software licenses and software configurations per machine? i.e. Some kind of centralized database of all the software products and all the machines you have and where the software is installed to track license numbers. I know it's a pain in the ass and very complex to track compared to open source software, but we need to do it. I just thought I'd ask before I have to write something. What I've found on the web by searching have been less than stellar open source products. I'd even be willing to try a commercial product if it is any good.

Lets fight back! (1)

stroker666 (230021) | more than 11 years ago | (#3943199)

I am deeply against this type way of pushing a point. Everyone send them just 1 email to let them know this is wrong. 1 email in your protest. The computer people should stand up once and a while and show them our power too. Expose the frauds!

please everyone remember... (5, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 11 years ago | (#3943210)

The BSA is NOT a government agency, they have no real abilities outside of having a fleet of overpaid lawyers and a buttload of money to blackmail or assult a company with. remember these words... the Business Software Alliance is Nothing but another Company.

And this company is paid to make money for the companies that pay them. Of course they are lying about how much piracy is happening. Of course they publish false and misleading information about the amount of money lost due to piracy. Of course they include linux, BSD, Open BeOS, Samba, Open office, Abiword, Gimp and everything else that is 100% free AND popular in their numbers. It inflates them and makes the lies they publish previousally look even better.

Remember the Business Software Alliance is nothing more than a paid extortion racket. If they threaten your company you should never let them in without a judge-signed search warrant.

They ARE NOT A GOVERNMENT AGENCY! Unlike OSHA who is, they have ZERO legal power and ZERO rights above what you have. Fight the bastards and make them spend their money to get in your building, and then be sure to sue for lost revinue, destruction of property, and public defamation.

Thank you, This post is brought to you by the Council to stop freeware piracy. "Remember every time you pirate a freeware program you hurt...Ummm... well you hurt someone!"

So what? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3943222)

The article doesn't give any hint as to how OSS is then supposed to be taken into account. So this boils down to more anti-M$ propaganda without any basis in facts. Oh well, another 10 minutes wasted of a perfect day....

Chuckle.. (5, Funny)

TheCrunch (179188) | more than 11 years ago | (#3943230)

BSA Guy 1: The piracy figures keep increasing. Watch as I subtract the number of windows registrations from the number of computers.
BSA Guy 2: Dear god, you're right. Look how many stolen copies of Windows are in use. Piracy is terrible! Must inform government now!
Monkey: Well actually, not all of those are Windows. A proportion will be free software, like Linux.
BSA Guy 1: Linux, eh?
Monkey: And friends.
BSA Guy 2: So who uses Linux?
Monkey: Well, geeks and monkeys, mostly.
BSA Guy 1: Geeks, eh? Excellent. Sound like modern-day pirates to me.
Monkey: Brooooow.

This thread would not be complete without... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3943242)

a link to this excellent discussion [netcom.com] of how the BSA piracy statistics misrepresent reality. It is from a few years ago, but the principles have not changed, nor have the motivations of the parties involved.

What? You thought that their numbers were everything anything other than a publicity gimmick which they know doesn't match reality? Shame on you! Those numbers are distorted to be as high as they think they can get away with.

I Love the BSA! (2)

Eric Damron (553630) | more than 11 years ago | (#3943257)

They're good for open source software. Every time Mr. Business hears about a BSA organized raid on some poor SOB that didn't keep all of his paperwork for his small company computers, they'll be thinking about ways to avoid that fate.

They can file away every receipt and licensing agreement that they get or they can use software that doesn't come preloaded with BSA bullshit.

I would suggest that when you buy software that you check first to see if the software company who holds the copyright has entered into an agreement with the BSA and if you find that they have put the box back on the shelf and walk out.

Support the BSA - they hurt MSFT (4, Interesting)

pieterh (196118) | more than 11 years ago | (#3943271)

The point made by some previous posters here deserves highlighting. The BSA are a potent weapon in the drive to get every software user to pay for their software. The most widely used software is Microsoft's stuff.
The pain barrier on MSFT software is only acceptable to most people because they can count on getting a cracked, copied, or borrowed copy of Office to run on their home PCs.
I predict that the BSA will be a strong force in the adoption of free software. My company moved wholesale to OpenOffice exactly because it was the easiest and cheapest way to avoid upgrading to Office XP (the alternatives being to use illegal packages or pay the licenses).
Support the BSA and fight piracy! When commercial software is pirated, people do not appreciate the value of free and open software.

Re:Support the BSA - they hurt MSFT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3943278)

BSA is MSFT. How can they hurt themselves?

Re:Support the BSA - they hurt MSFT (2)

pieterh (196118) | more than 11 years ago | (#3943300)

I did not say they know what they are doing.
MSFT has encouraged casual copying of its software for years, in order to build up a user base and dominant market position. They have developed their software protection to the point where it is no longer obvious that it can be broken easily. At which point they raise their prices, invoke the world-wide threat of the BSA, and -- this is the kicker -- promptly break their own market. People simply can't afford to pay the full price for their MSFT software, and will switch to cheaper alternatives when forced to.
I'm saying that true competition is necessary for 'value for money' to become apparent. The BSA are (I presume not deliberately) helping to create a level playing field in which the real cost of MS Office is clear. OpenOffice.Org will win. Linux will win.
Incidentally, one should assume that MSFT have thought of all this and are preparing their counter attack on StarOffice/OpenOffice.Org as we speak.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...