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BSA Accuses OpenOffice Mirrors

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the premature-exclamation dept.

Microsoft 808

sqrt529 writes "A German university was accused by the BSA of pirating MS Office, because they mirrored OpenOffice.org. The scripts from the BSA only check for "Office" in the filename and then automatically send out notices to the ftp admins. Did any of you get similar notices from the BSA?"

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Hmmmmmm (-1, Offtopic)

curtisk (191737) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405493)

First post? Probably not

Re:Hmmmmmm (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5405607)

Yes, I agree. floater [elementalrecords.com] rules

sp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5405498)

second post...

Open Office Outlawed (5, Funny)

Almace (216500) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405499)

This is really funny actually. I'm going to start uploading mp3s named "office.mp3" to ftp sites now for fun.

Re:Open Office Outlawed (5, Funny)

ketamine-bp (586203) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405536)

/me think we should setup some sort of ftp server that fakes every microsoft software's files, like

SlashDOT_MS_OFFICE_2K_1_of_37.zip

heh.

Re:Open Office Outlawed (1)

1010011010 (53039) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405569)

Better yet, structure the OpenOffice files to look like the MS Office installation files.

Re:Open Office Outlawed (4, Insightful)

caseydk (203763) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405632)



Why doesn't the RICO Act apply to the BSA (not the Boy Scouts)?

Wow. That's stupid. (5, Insightful)

nitehorse (58425) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405503)

"I've got an idea! Let's write scripts that will automatically log in on FTP servers, waste bandwidth, cost people money, and also do a shitty job looking for pirated software!"

Yeah, that's really bright. If I were operating any servers that had been raped by the BSA's scripts like this, I'd be extremely pissed off. They should realize that bandwidth isn't exactly free, especially not in countries != US.

Re:Wow. That's stupid. (5, Funny)

Angry White Guy (521337) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405551)

Google:
Searched the web for Office.
Results 1 - 10 of about 78,600,000. Search took 0.10 seconds.
Start sending the letters!

as an interesting side note, the first link is US Copyright Office [loc.gov]

Re:Wow. That's stupid. (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405566)

They don't have a robots.txt file in there. Presumably this means that searches are permitted.

Re:Wow. That's stupid. (1)

Draoi (99421) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405611)

Yeah, like MS's wonder-shell-script is going to read a robots.txt field. They can't even parse a dir listing correctly!

Re:Wow. That's stupid. (2, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405669)

Of course it wouldn't. That's not my point.

It's just that the ftp site owners can't claim it did any more damage than any other spider that is written correctly.

Harrass them right back! (3, Funny)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405612)

Send them a bill for the bandwith used.
Then take them to small claims court when they don't pay!

analogy time (1, Insightful)

t_aug (649093) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405713)

Someone knocks at your door. You don't know who the hell it is but you let them anyways. You serve them tea. Then they accuse you of copying a wicker basket design of theirs. You say nope, its all my own original work. They agree. Then you send them the bill of .73 cents for their tea bag. Who is the dickhead in this situation?

Damm script kiddies (-1, Offtopic)

Fembot (442827) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405616)

SkR1pt K1dd13s

just curious (2, Interesting)

ketamine-bp (586203) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405507)

Yes, we know BSA is evil and is working for the evil, yet, i still believe that IP should be protected.

Yet, do they, actually comes into every FTP posted on the web, or did they war-scan the internet for ftp-sites? that may infringe some suits with internet providers and their AUPs...

hmm...

Here's an idea: Let's sue the BSA! (5, Interesting)

NetDanzr (619387) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405722)

I agree, IP should be protected. However, in this case the BSA is in direct violation of intellectual property. By sending out that cease-and-desist letter, they have pretended that they own the rights for Open Office, which they clearly don't. So who's the thief here? People who distribute Open Office or those who claim they have the right to control its distribution?

Funny! (4, Insightful)

tempest303 (259600) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405508)

Shouldn't this be filed under "It's Funny. Laugh."?

It made *me* chuckle, anyhow... ;)

Re:Funny! (3, Funny)

jhawkins (609878) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405538)

Unfortunately, no.

MS copyrights speech! (1, Funny)

Simon Hibbs (74836) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405509)

We should be thankfull they don't issue cease and desists to everyone who uses the term 'Word'.

Simon

I hear ya! (1)

LittleGuy (267282) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405591)

We should be thankfull they don't issue cease and desists to everyone who uses the term 'Word'.

hand-gestures -- "Word!"

Re:MS copyrights speech! (Word Up!) (4, Funny)

gosand (234100) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405686)

We should be thankfull they don't issue cease and desists to everyone who uses the term 'Word'.

Yeah, but think of the money they could collect from Vanilla Ice, Cameo, and the various other early 90's rap stars.

OpenOffice to your mother.

Re:MS copyrights speech! (4, Funny)

llamalicious (448215) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405694)

Mr. Simon Hibbs
1 Slashdot Way

Re: Unauthorized use of "Word" in Slashdot comment "MS copyrights speech!"
URL: http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=55437&cid= 5405509

Dear Mr. Hibbs:

I am writing to inform you that you are using Microsoft's (MSFT) copyrighted term "Word" (TERM) in your postings without authorization. This reproduction of MSFT's TERM violates federal copyright law.

Be advised that federal copyright law provides substantial protection for authors against the unauthorized use of their work. Registration of a copyright is unnecessary; the Copyright Act provides such protection from the moment an author's ideas are reduced to tangible form. Only MSFT has the right to reproduce, adapt, distribute and publicly display TERM. Anyone who infringes upon an author's exclusive rights by copying and/or unlawfully appropriating the work can be judicially restrained from making such improper uses of the work, subject to the impounding of unauthorized copies of the work and held accountable for monetary damages incurred and/or profits earned as a result of these unlawful acts.

MSFT hereby demands that you immediately cease and desist from making any further use of any MSFT copyrights in your postings or elsewhere. If you want to make any use of TERM, you must secure MSFT's permission to do so before proceeding. Please immediately contact us regarding appropriate compensation for your past unauthorized use of TERM.

William Gates (billg@microsoft.com)
1 Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052

Those darn Boy Scouts. (4, Funny)

Morky (577776) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405512)

The Boy Scouts of America should stick to tying knots and keep their jamboreeing noses out of I.T.!

Hey you stole my joke... (2, Funny)

Monofilament (512421) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405603)

Hey you stole my joke :)... I can forgive you.. i love that joke.. and I'm glad others think of it..

Here's my post. [slashdot.org]

Ha beat you to it.. but seems nobody noticed mine :P

Feature (1, Funny)

chain_from_hell (599670) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405513)

"It's not a bug, it's a feature."

BSA Manual: (1, Funny)

AikenDrumGotWired (566948) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405517)

1. Create automated application to look for piracy 2. Shoot self in foot

Re:BSA Manual: (1, Funny)

Kadagan AU (638260) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405564)

1. Create automated application to look for piracy 2. Shoot self in foot

You've got it all wrong... it's:

  1. Create automated application to look for piracy
  2. Shoot self in foot
  3. ???
  4. Profit!!
~Jon~

Re:BSA Manual: (-1)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405637)

3 ???

4 Profit!!!

Re:BSA Manual: (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5405649)

3) Profit!!!

Re:BSA Manual: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5405730)

Not only is that joke so old and dead that you'd have to be Herbert West, Reanimator, to have any hope of instilling the least spark of life in it, you couldn't even tell it right.

I pronounce you "King of Asshats". Go forth and rule like the complete and utter failure you are!

wow... (3, Funny)

Kadagan AU (638260) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405521)

this HAS to be one of the dumbest things I've heard!

If Office Depot had an ftp site where you could get their latest catalogue, they'd be accused of pirating M$ Office?!

I think they went a bit too far this time.

~Jon~

Re:wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5405661)

this HAS to be one of the dumbest things I've heard!

Isn't that one of Bill Gates' favorite phrases to use?

Sad news... Wil Wheaton dead at 30 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5405522)

I just heard some sad news on CNN - star of Star Trek: The Next Generation and open-source advocate Wil Wheaton was found dead in his California home this morning . There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him -- even if you didn't enjoy his television show, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon.

Re:Sad news... Wil Wheaton dead at 30 (-1, Offtopic)

Morky (577776) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405580)

Yeah, and the kid who played Bobby Brady just passed away after consuming an entire bag of pop-rocks and a coke.

Re:Sad news... Wil Wheaton dead at 30 (-1)

will_die (586523) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405729)

Thank goodness for a min thier I figured Steven King died again.

Re:Sad news... Wil Wheaton dead at 30 (3, Insightful)

cliffiecee (136220) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405664)

No, you're confused.

It's Mr. Rogers [washingtonpost.com] that passed away, at 74. Now that's an American Icon.

Back on topic: The BSA rep apologized for the mistake, which implies she's a) not a lawyer, and b) knew something about OpenOffice- if only that it's GPL/free-as-in-beer.

It would have been more of a story if the BSA started trying to find out which company owns OpenOffice, or just blindly pressed on with their accusations... but they didn't.

With solid work like this (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5405525)

Let's make sure BSA gets some legal police powers soon.

Sounds like BSA needs to... (0, Funny)

Fallen Kell (165468) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405526)

A) Get a life
B) Hire some real programmers
C) Spend more time actually doing their job
D) Figure out a better way to do their job
E) Change their paradyme from assuming pirating to assuming not
F) Hire CoyboyNeal to do their dirty work
G) All of the above

Well, I leave it up to you guys to figure out what they should do.

CoyboyNeal anyone?

Re:Sounds like BSA needs to... (1)

Kadagan AU (638260) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405599)

Yes! And they can chage their Paradigm while they're at it!

~Jon~

hehe... SP (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5405709)

Sorry, I'm a programmer not a speller. I just need to be consistant :)

Re:Sounds like BSA needs to... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5405650)

The BSA needs to be taken to court over this. For instance, next time someone gets a letter like this, don't tell them it's a mistake. Refuse to take the material down. Let them take you to court. Let them lose. Then countersue.

P.E. problem? (0, Funny)

JohnnyBigodes (609498) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405527)

Can anyone say "premature ejaculation"?

At least vigilante retaliation isn't legal yet (5, Insightful)

lavalyn (649886) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405532)

And imagine what the BSA would have loved to do to these servers if they were allowed to hack the offending boxes.

FTP is a file-sharing protocol, isn't it?

Re:At least vigilante retaliation isn't legal yet (1)

Moloch666 (574889) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405687)

Not to nitpick, it's a file transfer protocol. Hence, the acronym FTP.

MS Windows? Money ? (1)

mikeleemm (462460) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405543)

Soon they will be going after anything with Money. Or might as well go after anything Windows.

What IP are they using (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5405548)

I wonder if they can figure out what IP block they are coming from and block them. On the other hand, all my mp3's are now named MSOffice_99.mp3, MSOffice_XP.mp3...

Re:What IP are they using (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5405634)

We've got you now!!

Change the LA for ftp sites (4, Interesting)

binaryDigit (557647) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405550)

I know that some search sites "spider" ftp sites, but couldn't ftp site owners change the license agreements for their sites to disallow the spidering of their site for the explicit purpose of trying to find specific files. In this way the search spiders can still work, but a spider "looking" for anything specifically would not be allowed? I don't know if this type of thing is common in other contexts that may negatively be impacted by such a change though?

BSA is right (3, Funny)

LemurShop (585831) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405555)

Those damn communists and their "open sores" threaten the good, god loving corporations.

Do a good deed daily (4, Funny)

jmb-d (322230) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405560)

A German university was accused by the BSA of pirating MS Office, because they mirrored OpenOffice.org. The scripts from the BSA only check for "Office" in the filename and then automatically send out notices to the ftp admins.

Dadgumit, the Boy Scouts of America [scouting.org] have gone too far this time! Back in my day, we helped little old ladies across the street... Now they're policing for pirated software? Sheesh...

Up for penalty? (5, Interesting)

Espen (96293) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405567)

From the letter:

BSA represents that the information in this notification is accurate and states, under penalty of perjury, that it is authorized to act in this matter on behalf of the copyright owners listed above.

So the BSA has perjured itself; now what is the penalty?

Re:Up for penalty? (5, Interesting)

ketamine-bp (586203) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405602)

Actually, they are UP for their penalty. This is because they announced that they are representing the Openoffice.org, but actually they do NOT.

Re:Up for penalty? (3, Insightful)

Sarcazmo (555312) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405619)

I think you are parsing that wrong.

[The BSA] states, under penalty of perjury, that it is authorized to act in this matter on behalf of the copyright owners listed.

Seperate clause from the first half, I believe.

Re:Up for penalty? (5, Interesting)

dschuetz (10924) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405640)

BSA represents that the information in this notification is accurate and states, under penalty of perjury, that it is authorized to act in this matter on behalf of the copyright owners listed above.

Ha!

I'd've spent DAYS scouring every open directory on the aforementioned server, just to verify that no copy of MS-Office was on there, then send them the bill. And use that clause as justification. Run it through court, and you've got a decision against the BSA showing that, at least once, their practices were shoddy and their information unreliable.

Wouldn't *that* be a great thing for the next recipient of a BSA-extortion-threat to point to?

Could this be ... (3, Insightful)

Draoi (99421) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405570)

... a sneaky way for MS to hit OpenOffice by threatening mirror servers with legal action? The SysOp at uni.Muenster wasn't sure whether he was on shaky legal grounds or not. If the name OpenOffice gets any way muddied, people would turn off it. In short - more FUD.

Guilty of Perjury (3, Interesting)

weave (48069) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405576)

They should be sued...

BSA represents that the information in this notification is accurate and states, under penalty of perjury, that it is authorized to act in this matter on behalf of the copyright owners listed above.

And how is this different in truth from the common statement "You are receiving this message because you opted-in to our marketing list to receive special offers."

Re:Guilty of Perjury (2, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405644)

Probably not perjury. They didn't check at all, so didn't know they were wrong.

Nevertheless, adding this seems to be a formality. I'd love to see someone prosecuted on that line just to force lawyers to think about how inimidating sending a letter is.

This beggars belief (5, Interesting)

Hittite Creosote (535397) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405578)

Excerpt from the BSA email...
Filename: /mandrake_current/SRPMS/OpenOffice.org-1.0.1-9mdk. src.rpm
The above computer program(s) is/are being made available for copying, through downloading, at the above location without authorization from the copyright owner(s).

It seems almost astonishing that even the BSA can be as utterly incompetent as this (does BSA stand for Bloody Stupid Alliance?). Unless you go for the conspiracy theory that they're deliberately hassling their clients rivals...

Re:This beggars belief (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5405667)

Isn't this statement a libel of the copyright owners?

New business plan. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5405583)

1) dd if=/dev/random of=microsoft-office-xp.zip bs=1024 count=40000
2) upload
3) ???
4) PROFIT.

This is almost funny..... (1)

curtisk (191737) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405592)

How much more generalizing can you be? Makes you wonder exactly what strings they search under....that would be a interesting list, dontcha think?

At least they were quick to admit the mistake and quick to speak of correcting it, which would make sense, otherwise they would be doing not much more than pissing off admins everywhere

Yeah, I see alot of pranksters naming files this weekend.... LOL
KARMA BURRRNNN [slashdot.org]

Re:This is almost funny..... (1, Funny)

Hittite Creosote (535397) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405651)

Well, look at the filename - it contained
SRPMS/OpenOffice
Look it contains 'MS' and 'Office'! Just ignore the '/Open' bit inbetween and send off the letters!

Yeah... (1)

mschoolbus (627182) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405593)

The damn troup leader actually comes to my door! We didn't do these type of things when I was in boy scouts! =P

lol (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5405594)

1. dos ftp sites worldwide with "piracy detection script"
2. ???
3. profit!

50 million people download OpenOffice (5, Funny)

monkey_tennis (649997) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405596)

Quote: "As you know, illegal on-line activities can result in 50 million people on the Internet accessing and downloading a copyrighted product worldwide without authorization - a highly damaging activity for the copyright holder."

Well I suppose 50 million people downloading OpenOffice would damage Microsoft's Office sales :)

ha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5405597)

I wonder if they even check to make sure
the file is >100MB. I mean, a 6MB MP3 file
named OfficeSucks.MP3 surely can't be a pirated
copy of office

Time for a witch hunt! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5405600)

Please form two lines, right line collect your pitchforks, left line collect your torches!

two, four, six, eight who is evil?
BSA and MS!
two, four, six, eight, what are we going to do?
Burn them!

Disturbing (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5405601)

What is perhaps more disturbing is that the script logs into an anonymous FTP site using the password "guest@nowhere.com". The site allows anonymous access only if you provide YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS as the password. guest@nowhere.com is not the email address of anyone at the BSA. The BSA therefore ILLEGALLY ACCESSED that ftp site and should be taken to court for COMPUTER HACKING.

Re:Disturbing (2, Insightful)

program21 (469995) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405666)

Hacking, as well as perjury for this statement:
"BSA represents that the information in this notification is accurate and states, under penalty of perjury, that it is authorized to act in this matter on behalf of the copyright owners listed above."

Unless OpenOffice authorized the BSA to do that, then it's perjury, by their own statement.

Slashdot to be sued (3, Funny)

worst_name_ever (633374) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405604)

Dear Sir/Madam,

As president of Ashdo Software Inc., I take software piracy very seriously. Recently, the sophisticated scanning software of the Business Software Alliance has detected that your website "www.slashdot.org" is most certainly hosting and distributing illegally-obtained copies of proprietary Ashdo programs. You are hereby ordered to cease and desist the above activities, which I'm sure are also in violation of the DMCA in some way or another.

Sincerely,
Hiram Ashdo
President, Ashdo Software Inc.
cc: BSA

invalid e-mail address? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5405605)

From the BSA letter in the article:
>> FTP Login Name: anonymous
>> FTP Login Password: guest@nowhere.com


Hmm. Using a spoofed (or at least, invalid) e-mail address?
As most FTP servers allow anonymous access if you "Please provide e-mail address as password", I'd call that gaining access under false pretences. Is the BSA representing those same companies that get so pissy when people (for privacy reasons) use spoofed details on web "please register" forms?
If they can do it, so can we. I won't feel so guilty - not that I did anyway - next time I install software and register it to "nobody@mindyourownbusiness.com"..

BSA aren't the only idiots these days (4, Interesting)

Schwartzboy (653985) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405614)

I think that the practice of letting computers/searches/scripts do all of the work without applying any human intelligence to the process has become more and more common. Yes, it's worse in my mind when the BSA does it because I'm biased against them in the first place, but to be fair it's spread to just about everybody in my recent experience. I just moved, and when my wife and I changed our driver's licenses over she got a semi-threatening letter because she didn't also change over her car registration (our only car is registered in my name for no reason I can think of). I recently had my account put on hold by PayPal and then restored, but in the interim I sent a question to their help staff regarding something else entirely. Someone (apparently a bot?) from PP replied to me and said, basically "we can't restore your account until you do X, Y , and Z. Please contact us if you have any further questions. Thank you!" I don't think it's a good thing that organizations have become this brain-dead, but the BSA certainly can't patent a method for making themselves look like idiots by letting a search tool plow blindly through a set of data for them. Plenty of prior art there...

Why is this story under the MS Borg section? (1, Insightful)

gpinzone (531794) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405620)

Microsoft had nothing to do with this. This should be a YRO article.

This is a simple case of ignore (0, Troll)

Wizri (518731) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405623)

This is a simple case of ignore.
Look at it, think for a sec that the BS Association is a Microsoft puppet, they are probably running VB for doing the testing with some really crappy programmer doing the work (and probably very last minute) on those scripts.

Either way the BS Association has nothing on the university.

The BSA aren't without Sin here (4, Interesting)

doctor_oktagon (157579) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405627)

If you check the BSA e-mail, they logged into the anonymous FTP resource with the address "guest@nowhere.com", which is obviously fake.

In the UK this could be construed as attempting to access a system un-lawfully ... they have lied when asked for their e-mail address!

Bust Them (1)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405629)

>> Based upon BSA's representation of the copyright owners in anti-piracy
>> matters, we have a good faith belief that none of the materials or
>> activities listed above have been authorized by the rightholders, their
>> agents, or the law. BSA represents that the information in this
>> notification is accurate and states, under penalty of perjury, that it is
>> authorized to act in this matter on behalf of the copyright owners listed
>> above.


They apologized? Whoop-de-fucking-do. Give them a little taste of their own medicine. Fire a few broadside volleys of lawyers at them.

my rights online (1, Troll)

syle (638903) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405638)

So, the someone at the BSA made a mistake with their scripts, and when it was noticed they immediately apologized and said they would fix the problem.

What exactly should they have done if not this? If your answer is that their search engine is inherently a flawed concept to begin with, then you are arguing a different issue.

I don't see what this has to do with my rights online.

Re:my rights online (2, Interesting)

program21 (469995) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405726)

Well, they made a mistake, fine, that's forgivable. The thing here is that the BSA's first email here stated:
"BSA represents that the information in this notification is accurate and states, under penalty of perjury, that it is authorized to act in this matter on behalf of the copyright owners listed above."

Note the second part, where they claim to be acting on behalf of the copyright holder, under penalty of perjury. It's a step that they apologized, at least, but by their own statement, are liable to a lawsuit for perjury here.

In Yo Face (5, Interesting)

4of12 (97621) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405641)

It's clear the much feared BSA has made a mistake.

However, since their actions in the past have caused untold scrambling to find licenses on the part of many law-abiding but sloppy businesses, I think it is only fair that BSA likewise be caused to scramble. Because the BSA, likewise, has now been sloppy.

The university should have lawyer draft up some pompous letter indicating that

  1. the BSA has not done its homework,
  2. is accusing the university falsely,
  3. has maligned the reputation of the university,
  4. is beginning to cause the university to incur expenses to deal with the BSA's flimsy and false accusations and to repair its reputation as a law-abiding university, and
  5. that, furthermore, the BSA should expect an invoice shortly for these expenses.

[I know, it will be only a paper tiger and never stand up. But I'm sure I'm not the only one that fantasizes about seeing the BSA have to eat their own dogfood for a change.]

Ironically (2, Funny)

Zog The Undeniable (632031) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405647)

you can still find Russian FTP servers mirroring the real thing.

/me is glad the Cold War is over :-)

What the about the those BSA banners (1)

gumbright (574609) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405648)

I saw one on FC "Want to get back at your boss...?" The BSA is really a bunch of scumbags. Sheesh.

This is too much... (4, Funny)

Raetsel (34442) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405654)


I don't know what's funnier... that they're claiming copyright infringement of OpenOffice, or that they thought Microsoft Office came as RPMs!!

This is the part I refer to:

  • What was located as infringing content:

    Filename: /mandrake_current/SRPMS/OpenOffice.org-1.0.1-9mdk. src.rpm
    (199,643kb)
    Filename: /mandrake_current/i586/Mandrake/RPMS/OpenOffice.or g-libs-1.0.1-9mdk.i586.rpm
    (35,444kb)

    The above computer program(s) is/are being made available for copying, through downloading, at the above location without authorization from the copyright owner(s).

Oh hell, I needed a laugh this morning...

whats (0)

m1chael (636773) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405662)

in a name. just because i changed my name to Windows95 doesnt mean im an illegal alien.

FTP Robots.txt? (2, Interesting)

Rayen (633879) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405665)

There should be some way of specifying that FTP are not allowed to be spidered. There is robots.txt on websites, a similar idea should exist for FTP's... Or, you could just find out the IP block(s) of the BSA scanners and disallow them from entering the FTP :)

Duplicate! (-1, Redundant)

sheriff_p (138609) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405668)

This is a duplicate of a story earlier today about brain-dead [slashdot.org] copyright checking! Sheesh, those editors! Oh wait...

This is Intentional (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5405670)

This is exactly the behavior Microsoft is looking for. Any organization running an Open Office mirror gets a nasty letter, routine management checks turn it up and guess who's looking carefully at the admins from now on?

Might make some question running such a mirror. Time for me to set one up I guess :)

Wrong section? (1)

ceeam (39911) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405673)

Shouldn't it be under "It's funny...", not "Y.R.O."?

infringing content: (1)

ftvcs (629126) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405674)

What was located as infringing content:

Filename: /mandrake_current/SRPMS/OpenOffice.org-1.0.1-9mdk. src.rpm
(199,643kb)
Filename: /mandrake_current/i586/Mandrake/RPMS/OpenOffice.or g-libs-1.0.1-9mdk.i586.rpm
(35,444kb)

The above computer program(s) is/are being made available for copying,
through downloading, at the above location without authorization from the
copyright owner(s).

Corinna Beck
Business Software Alliance
1150 18th St NW Suite 700
Washington,DC 20036

EOF

Sure this isn't a hoax? I can't imagine them being that stupid in Washington.

BSA sue BSA (3, Interesting)

thinkliberty (593776) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405675)

The Boy Scouts of Ameria should sue the Business Software Alliance and force them to change their name, kind of like what the World Wildlife Federation(Foundation?) did to the World Wrestling Federation which is now WWE.

They might also be sued for for cyber squatting on BSA.org,com,net,etc...

Microsoft Stretch? (2, Interesting)

Schnapple (262314) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405677)

I notice this is a Microsoft Logo topic (though it's "Your Rights Online"). And of course the logo is the "Evil Bill Gates" logo. Meaning that since Microsoft is tangentally involved, we'll use that logo.

Seriously, though - isn't this an "evil stupid BSA" topic? We'e had a dozen or so "evil stupid BSA" stories in the last few months - why not make an "evil stupid BSA" logo? Since "BSA" is also the initials of the Boy Scouts of America, why not make it like a three fingered salute with a big "NO!" slash through it?

Then again, after hundreds of stores on Google there's still not a Google Topic, so maybe you have to piss of Slashdot before you get your own topic. I'd say you have to advertise on Slashdot, but Google already does that (with those little, yellow, different server rack accessories).

Boy Scouts of America? Ohhhh... (1)

ksyrium (593350) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405688)

I think I need another cup of coffee, for some reason "BSA" registered in my head as the Boy Scouts of America before the Business Software Alliance....sheesh.

BSA scanner ranges (3, Interesting)

Ransak (548582) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405699)

Anyone have the IP ranges of the network the BSA scans from? I don't need my bandwidth wasted by these clowns.

Conspiracy theories aside . . . (1)

brickbat (64506) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405703)

. . . this is all quite humorous, and certainly a source of embarrassment to the BSA, who apparently can't write scripts sophisticated enough to distinguish MS Office from OpenOffice. (I wonder if Sun has received a similar notice about StarOffice? Just think of the field day Scott McNealy would have with that one.)

But I think it was just a silly mistake on the BSA's part. This story really should be filed under "It's funny. Laugh."

I've been getting threatening letters from the BSA (1)

infinite9 (319274) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405704)

I've gotten two scary letters. They say my "business" may have unlicensed software and they're being courteous enough to help me find it. Fortunately, my "business" is simply a registered domain name I haven't used in a few years. I think it has expired also.

"good faith belief" (2, Interesting)

_|()|\| (159991) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405706)

One phrase struck me in the BSA and IDSA letters (emphasis added):
  • "IDSA has a good faith belief that ... [WoS] infringes the rights of one or more IDSA members."
  • "[BSA has] a good faith belief that none of the materials or activities listed above have been authorized"
I'm sorry, but Ms. Beck's apology doesn't cut it. A web robot cannot assert a "good faith belief."

a question Can we turn BSA in? (1)

linuxislandsucks (461335) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405711)

A question can we turn in BSA for using priated software?

It would be very ironic If we could try and have them make the same big mistake :)

Time to make some "Special" zip files... (5, Funny)

CSG_SurferDude (96615) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405718)

Just remember everyone, Unix-like operating systems (Free-BSD, Linux, GNU/Linux, HPUX, Solaris, etc.) have the capability to have "Empty" files. When you do an `ls`, they CAN show up as huge....

I think I'll go making a download page at my website with "Office.zip", "Word.zip", and "Outlook.zip", which all will appear to be 600 megs or larger.....

Why? (2, Insightful)

ComputarMastar (570258) | more than 11 years ago | (#5405719)

Why on earth would you write a script/program that automagically sends out nastygrams without a human being first checking to make sure the "hit" is even valid?

pirating (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5405724)

Pirated software can actually increase
profits in the long run. Would DOOM
have been so popular, consequently giving ID
profits on Quake, had millions not had a
pirated copy?
One reason MS office is so popular is because
years back it was often pirated, increasing the
user base that depends on it.
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