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Software Industry Shifting Piracy Strategy

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the in-the-crosshairs dept.

Software 305

Sensible Clod writes "The U.S. software industry's strategy against global software piracy is shifting to focus on claimed economic benefits of copyright protection in response to a new study released by the BSA, according to an article at Internet News. The study concluded that countries with high software piracy rates have more to gain economically by protecting intellectual property rights. The study even claims potential global gains of '2.4 million new jobs, $400 billion in economic growth and $67 billion in new tax revenues' by cutting the current global software piracy rate of 35% by 10%."

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Software Piracy Rate? (4, Insightful)

croddy (659025) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230284)

What on earth is the "rate" of software piracy? This sounds awfully like more mystical math from an industry with a lot of motivation to deceive.

Re:Software Piracy Rate? (4, Informative)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230308)

I think what they think it means is the number of programs on computers, that aren't paid for, vs. the number that are paid for. This doesn't make a lot of sense though. Most people I know have photoshop installed. If they couldn't pirate it, they wouldn't have it. Simple as that. They aren't going to pay $700 for it. Same goes for many other programs that people tend to have installed at home. This includes windows and MS Office. Many people have MS Office Pro installed on their home computers. Very few of them have paid for it. 35%, I think, is the world average. Some countries have rates around 90%, while other countries have rates around 15%. Really, I think they are completely underestimating how much pirated software people have . Lots of people who have paid for the OS, and maybe 3 or 4 other programs, also have 20 programs that they haven't paid form. Meaning that out of maybe 25 programs, they've probably paid for 5. This means they are pirating 80% of their software.

Re:Software Piracy Rate? (5, Insightful)

Sique (173459) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230408)

If they wouldn't pirate Photoshop, they would use GIMP, and complain about missing features, some of them would start scratching the itch and bringing GIMP on par with Photoshop, KPT would be recoded from scratch for GIMP, and finally even professional graphic shops would switch to GIMP and save the $700. So in the end no one would ever buy Photoshop, and the coders of Photoshop would be out of work and unpaid. Basicly piracy is the last thing that keeps Free Software from world domination.

Re:Software Piracy Rate? (1)

Palinchron (924876) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230612)

+4 Funny? Actually, i think this is very true. +4 Interesting here.

Re:Software Piracy Rate? (1)

chucks86 (799149) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230317)

Basically, if 10 people stop pirating software, some 4M jobs will be created.

Re:Software Piracy Rate? (1)

Meagermanx (768421) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230319)

Just what it sounds like: the rate software is being pirated in relation to... how much it's not being... hey, wait a minute.
Okay, maybe it's the relationship between people who pirate and people who don't? Or the relationship between copies bought and copies pirated?

Re:Software Piracy Rate? (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230372)

That's an easy one. It's the rate at which I can copy discs in my brand new Plextor.

Re:Software Piracy Rate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14230395)

Tell ya what. Try and sell your own software at your own company for a while, while you try and feed your family. Release a product. Then check the web to see if it's being pirated.

Then explain to your kids that the reason you can't feed them is because of this "mystical" piracy thing.

Re:Software Piracy Rate? (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230462)

Then explain to your kids that the reason you can't feed them is because of this "mystical" piracy thing.

Naahh. The real reason is because you tried to base a business on selling sets of numbers to people that cost next to nothing to duplicate. It's like... well, it's like trying to sell the result of a mathematical calculation to someone then demanding that anyone else who wants to know will have to pay you money. Calling the guy that tells someone else the answer a pirate doesn't seem very reasonable.

For an example of how to establish a profitable software house that does not rely on this principle, see RedHat.

Re:Software Piracy Rate? (3, Insightful)

slackmaster2000 (820067) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230657)

Maybe I'm completely misunderstanding you...

Are you trying to say that a software program is analogous to the result of a mathematical equation? If I know that the answer to X+10=20 is "10", and I make you pay me to tell you the answer, and don't allow you to tell anybody else, then I am restricting the flow of information. But, as far as I know there is no equation for which the answer would be the machine code for a word processing program. Software is not information. Software is a tool that is the result of information, and is often used to produce information. Difference.

RedHat makes money by intentionally holding back information about what is essentially free software. I don't see how that bolsters your argument.

And the fact that duplicating software is virtually free does not imply that the software itself should be free. Producing and maintaining software is costly.

I'm thankful that there are people out there who are willing to give their time and energy to produce free software tools, but that doesn't necessarily mean that I think that others should have the same philosophy. I do think that the big software guys are charging way too much money for some of their basic products. I'd like to see more full-featured home applications with sub $100 price tags...and not watered down "here's every feature you need except that ONE thing" versions.

Re:Software Piracy Rate? (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230721)

Are you trying to say that a software program is analogous to the result of a mathematical equation? If I know that the answer to X+10=20 is "10", and I make you pay me to tell you the answer, and don't allow you to tell anybody else, then I am restricting the flow of information. But, as far as I know there is no equation for which the answer would be the machine code for a word processing program.

Not mathematical equations as such. All software is essentially mathematical algorithims. Dijkstra once remarked that computer programmers are all applied mathematicians, and I think there's a large degree of truth in that.

An there is in fact an algorithm whose output was the machine code for the word processing program. It was the compiler that compiled and assembled it!

Re:Software Piracy Rate? (2, Interesting)

Z34107 (925136) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230768)

All software is essentially mathematical algorithims

The definition of algorithm is A step-by-step problem-solving procedure [reference.com] . All software is created in response to some "problem" - i.e., running the ol' Gutenburg press is tedious - and all computers follow a series of instructions.

Therefore, software is nothing but an algorithm. Or, more accurately, the the application of an algorithm.

Re:Software Piracy Rate? (2, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230481)

I did, actually, for quite a few years. I had several industrial data acquisition products that I had developed and sold, and that was how I earned my living. And no, I didn't let anyone "pirate" it, although I had some competition that would have loved to do just that.

But I never lied to my customers or threatened them or took them to court for the price of a song. True pirates (i.e., those that bulk-copy a product and sell it) are easy to deal with, if you can find them. Hell, most of them are actually the same CD/DVD pressing plants that make legitimate stuff. It's hard to get reliable numbers on such things, but certainly that kind of blatant, felonious activity costs them significant sales. It's pretty clear-cut, in that case, that you're dealing with criminals, out to rip you off for a profit. They should and do go after those types.

However, the problem with casual copying of software and other media by ordinary consumers is that the customer and the {quote-unquote} "pirate" are one and the same. If the "pirates" (i.e. P2P users and the people that burn CDs for friends) would simply never buy software or music, and if people that buy music would never illegally copy it why, none of this would be a concern since there would be two distinct groups. Those who infringe copyrights, and those who don't. But it's not that simple ... people that copy and download also pay. And pay a lot. So while I understand the motivation behind DRM, the RIAA lawsuits and the BSA's bullshit arguments, they really have to understand that they are dissing their own customers to a degree that no other business on Earth would dare. Something is going to break, eventually, and it will most likely be their way of doing business.

Re:Software Piracy Rate? (1)

evilneko (799129) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230730)

So while I understand the motivation behind DRM, the RIAA lawsuits and the BSA's bullshit arguments, they really have to understand that they are dissing their own customers to a degree that no other business on Earth would dare. Something is going to break, eventually, and it will most likely be their way of doing business.


QFT.

Re:Software Piracy Rate? (1)

Kickboy12 (913888) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230396)

More fake statistics to dumb the masses.

Propaganda for teh win!

Re:Software Piracy Rate? (1)

Dr Damage I (692789) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230411)

While TFA does not link directly to the data, the information in question can be found here [66.102.7.104] . The short version is that the BSA and IDC [idc.com] counted the amount of software shipped and used interviews to determine the amount of software installed.

While both the BSA and IDC might well have a conflict of interest with regard to the surveys outcome, no secret has been made of their methodology and the conclusions are, IMO hardly controversial.

The notion that copyright infringement damages the prospects of companies that write software and therefore the employment prospects of programmers (oops, there's my conflict of interest) strikes me as perfectly reasonable. This does not, of course prevent me from being paying close and paranoid attention to the methods of enforcement advocated by the BSA.

Re:Software Piracy Rate? (1)

Znork (31774) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230451)

"The notion that copyright infringement damages the prospects of companies that write software and therefore the employment prospects of programmers (oops, there's my conflict of interest) strikes me as perfectly reasonable."

Except of course, it ignores the fact that the money going to pay for the software is now taken from something something else instead, leading to a net loss in the economy.

It's similar to the broken windows fallacy, and fails to take into account the effect on the entire economic system.

Re:Software Piracy Rate? (2, Informative)

NotoriousQ (457789) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230418)

Piracy rate is the amount of booty divided by the time it takes to get it, of course.

Yarrrrr!

hmm (4, Insightful)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230292)

I'd love to know how software piracy hurts software vendors without spin put on it. Lately I tried a rom of Final fantasy Tactics Advance. On Monday I'll be going into the local game shop to purchase it. I've done this countless times on games I wouldn't have played other wise. So for every game I randomly downloaded and enjoyed I've added a sale. For every game I've downloaded and didn't like I've not taken anything away.. are these figures ever taken into account? No, because if people admit piracy just about balances out or may even help a company they'd have to stop using rootkits and DRM to take away your basic right to copy things for self use.

Re:hmm (1, Insightful)

mc6809e (214243) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230363)

I'd love to know how software piracy hurts software vendors without spin put on it. Lately I tried a rom of Final fantasy Tactics Advance. On Monday I'll be going into the local game shop to purchase it. I've done this countless times on games I wouldn't have played other wise.


This is wonderful and you're a great person for giving money to people that are working hard to make you happy.


The trouble is with the 80% of the people out there that aren't like you. They're selfish, short-sighted, and simply have the "you made it, I want it" philosophy. They enjoy the game that someone else worked to create and never will do anything for that person that helped make their life a little more enjoyable.


See, most slashdotters are (moderately) bright. They can be trusted to behave the way you do because they know money will keep the good games, gadgets, toys, and tech, coming. But most of the public aren't that bright. Piracy laws are for them.


"So how does piracy actually HURT software vendors?", you might ask. Well, what they lose is their time and effort. It's sort of like someone taking money out of your wallet. You haven't actually been hurt, but all that effort and work that went into earning that money was for naught. A bit of your life was wasted.


People that work hard to make software waste their time in a culture full of piracy. Oh, they figure it out soon enough and move on to other things.

Re:hmm (4, Insightful)

Skreems (598317) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230401)

Ok, but do you have studies to back that 80%? Or are you just guessing?

That's the problem the grandparent and others have with this whole thing, is we know some people use piracy to benefit everyone, and some just steal, but nobody REALLY knows how many do which.

Re:hmm (3, Insightful)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230443)

I have that exact same urge though "screw it I have it, who cares about them". I have very limited money so what I buy really does matter to me. Games these days have become so short in most cases they arn't worth the price tag, you almost need to try them just to make sure it's not an hour or 2 long.

I understand supporting authors and I do as much as I can. Some times it's by buying merchandise and not the main product (in the case of anime fansubbed, since I don't wish to support the company who do vile English tracks). I also get that some people won't pay for stuff, but can you count these as lost sales since they never would of bought it in the first place?

Re:hmm (4, Interesting)

zerocool^ (112121) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230765)


It's getting to the point now in my life where I'm financially stable and can afford to buy the odd game. But, even as such, I usually try before I buy, and that means piracy. For example: I just played through F.E.A.R. It took me about 8 hours to beat it. And, upon starting up again, I've realized that it has no replay value whatsoever. $55 for 8 hours? Thanks, but no; I'm glad I didn't buy it. It's uninstalled. On the other hand, Age of Empires III I downloaded, played, and liked; and I'm going to go buy it.

I origionally pirated my copy of Neverwinter Nights; but because I enjoyed it so much, I ended up buying the retail version, both expansion packs, and paying for all the downloadable premium modules. And I'm talking as they became available; not years later in the ultra-mega-pack for $40. I probably have close to $180 invested in Neverwinter Nights.

Every time I feel guilty about this policy, I end up buying a game and being pissed off about it. The latest example was Doom III - I bought it, and played it, and it too has lackluster multiplayer and no replay value.

It basically boils down to if you make good games, I'll buy. But, if you put out crap, I won't.

However, it should be noted that this only goes for 1.) Games and 2.) MS Office. Now that I work for tech support in the CS department of a university, I have access to the MSDN Academic Alliance copy of Office, so that's now legal, but I used to pirate it. However, I also used to feel bad about it; since I knew that the only reason I was pirating it was because I needed to be able to create word documents for specific purposes (resume comes to mind), and it's what everyone else uses; I'd have been technologically happy with Open Office. But it's to the point where I've found free programs to replace all the little things I used to pirate.

For example; CuteFTP - now I use FileZilla. Eudora - now Thunderbird. Nero - now I use burnatonce; though I'm still looking for a free (beer; possibly speech too) CD Burner that doesn't suck - burn at once burns images, and does it well, but doesn't do anything else. Photoshop - Gimp. Norton Corporate AV - now AVG Free. I don't even remember what I used before Exact Audio Copy. And I want to know where VLC has been my whole life.

I've also stopped downloading TV programs and Movies. Movies basically because I never go to the movies anyway (baby) and anything that's good, I'll buy when it's on DVD (I'd rather sit at home comfortable and be able to pause). TV - now that I have Tivo, I don't miss anything; and I've sort of gotten over the need to archive everything; but should I want to archive, I can always use TiVo desktop, a program to strip the DRM from the files, and re-encode the MPEG2.

So, basically, I'm pretty much proof of "if it's reasonably priced, I'd just as soon buy it". I'm also proof of "If you put out crap, and claim that piracy is hurting your sales, you're wrong: it's either too expensive, or it just sucks".

~W

Re:hmm (4, Insightful)

Gonoff (88518) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230450)

So how does it take money from them if someone makes a copy of their software? They will not get any money from this person under any circumstances. If they can't steal a copy, they certainly will not buy one.

As people here say so often, "piracy" can actually help producers. Someone copies a few games from company X. Eventually they may actually buy one. Why didn't they get it from company Y? Because they know that this lot makes stuff they like.

Re:hmm (3, Funny)

cryfreedomlove (929828) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230613)

Your argument is so solid that you should convince some game authors to encode it into their licensing agreement. I can just see it now:

You have to pay for this software. Unless, of course, there are no circumstances in which you would pay for it. In which case, you may copy it for free.

Right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14230569)

"The trouble is with the 80% of the people out there that aren't like you. They're selfish, short-sighted, and simply have the "you made it, I want it" philosophy. They enjoy the game that someone else worked to create and never will do anything for that person that helped make their life a little more enjoyable."

And the majority of those 80% wouldn't buy the damned product in the first place. In effect, nothing is really lost - those people would not be paying even if they couldn't commit copyright infringement. Indeed, benefit may actually be gained, because those people might spread free advertising about how great X is.

Re:hmm (4, Insightful)

Lifewish (724999) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230587)

True, there are a number of people with the "gimme" mentality. However, there are a few other factors to consider:

1) Would these misers have been willing to splash out for the product anyway? Probably not. For example, a copyright infringer with 1,000 albums on his/her hard drive would never have been able to afford more than a couple of percent of that. In fact, being miserly, they probably wouldn't have bought more than five albums, if that, coming to a grand total of $15*5 = $75 lost sales at absolute maximum. Of course, the RIAA would count this as $15*1,000 = £15,000 of lost sales.

2) To what extent is this countered by the increased exposure of the target demographic to the product? Say the above miserly copyright infringer uploads 2,000 copies of assorted albums to other people. Now say just 5% of recipients are honest (probably a low figure), and go out and buy just 5% of the albums they receive. The money spent is then $15*2,000*0.05*0.05 = $75 - cancelling out the original "loss" to the copyright holder. (No I didn't fudge my numbers, it was just a flukey estimate)

3) (This one applies to music) How much of this actually goes to the artist? Since the misers who are forced to buy albums if the filesharing networks close aren't exactly publically-minded citizens, they'll just get their albums from the stores. By Courtney Love's arithmetic [salon.com] , the record label gets about $50 profit from the $75 spent, whilst the artists get a total of $2.38 profit. Now, if the albums are downloaded and then paid for, the recipients are likely to be individuals who are sympathetic to the plight of musicians, and hence will often donate via a band's site or buy from an ethical label [magnatune.com] , as I did just last night (despite being a poor student). Result: the artist is likely to get at least 1/2 the loot, a 1500% increase over the other system

4) (This one applies to software) What happens when people want to use a superb tool like Lightwave in a professional context? They have to license it, or recommend that it be licensed. So, by not shooting down the bored teenage downloader who'd never be able to afford this $800 software, Newtek is able to sell several copies to the company he/she ends up working for. It's like farming only not.

In conclusion, the positive side-effects of wide-ranging copyright infringement will often outweigh the negative side-effects, especially in industries where the content producers are getting shafted or where the product is most lucratively licensed in a professional context. There's probably an equivalent argument for films but my brain's dead.

Speaking of ruptured braincells, there's at least two errors in the above calculations. I'm too tired to figure out how to correct them, so I'll just say: please give bonus points to anyone who finds three mistakes :)

Re:hmm (2, Insightful)

cblood (323189) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230740)

For your argument to work you have to assume that all the people who make copies of programs would actually buy them if they were prevented from copying, A dubious assumption. The previous poster pointed out the positive effect of copying as an advertising medium. I don't know about video games but with music, the p2p sharing only helps emerging artists and has a small negative effect on established artists. It thus hurts the rich and helps the new struggling artists. Or to put it another way, It improves the diversity of the art pool. Also, people who down load and like your music, generally become fans. They will generally find other ways of supporting the artists they like, by going to shows.

The way to reduce piracy is to reduce the price of CD's, improve the physical package to give the tangible product more value and eliminate the copy protection crap. By handicapping their products, the vendors are just insulting and impeding their own customers.

Record companies justify the ridiculous profit margins by complaining about the high cost of promotion. Well we have a new medium that offers very low cost promotion. It is called the internet. It is time for media companies to take a hard look at their business model.

Re:hmm (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230449)

Whats the economic incentive to pay for a software title that you can get for free?

Re:hmm (3, Insightful)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230492)

I don't work on economics, I work in what I feel is right. I believe in supporting things I enjoy.. so I do so. People who don't believe this never will support things.

Re:hmm (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230726)

I don't work on economics, I work in what I feel is right.

Wow, you were able to contradict yourself without even starting a new sentence.

Question (4, Insightful)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230295)

how will poor countries suddenly become rich just by fighting piracy? I mean, don't tax revenues come from MONEY EARNED BY THE PEOPLE? And how will people pay taxes on some money they DON'T HAVE in the first place?

Yet another flawed "OMG look at all those stolen CD's we could earn so much money with this stuff" study.

Perhaps if Microsoft stopped charging $200 for Windows and $2000 for Visual Studio, more people would buy their products legit.

Re:Question (3, Insightful)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230376)

Especially when "fighting piracy" really means "paying Microsoft"...

Which ultimately means "all your base are belong to the USA".

Re:Question (2, Insightful)

Taladar (717494) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230400)

More importantly, how will they become richer and get more employment by shipping money out of the country to mostly US software vendors instead of buying whatever stuff they buy now with the money they save on software and probably spend for something produced locally (like food, rent, ...).

Re:Question (4, Insightful)

Spad (470073) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230409)

Especially when you consider that the vast majority of the software that is pirated in these countries is written and produced in the US and Europe, I fail to see how sending huge amounts of your GDP to foreign lands will help boost your economy.

Re:Question (1)

mj_1903 (570130) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230410)

I also like the idea that it will help out the countries economies. Yeah right. Most of the BSA are big American corporations. If they reduce piracy by 10%, companies like Microsoft will increase revenue quite significantly. Sure it might help out the stores that sell software in those countries but that is a tiny drop in the ocean in comparison to how much money will be piped out of those countries and to the USofA.

Re:Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14230526)

Now I know the missing step before profit. Some people don't want to share the secret so they write in "??????", hoping nobody will pick up on it.

1. Write a neat util (e.g. notepad, calculator, clock)
2. Post it on your website as a commercial product with a free trial for download.
3. Sue John Doe for sharing it on P2P networks for $10 billion.
4. Profit!

How do you claim such big losses on step 3? Easy: the list price for "Clock" was $100 million and 100 people stole copies via P2P. Just look how much money your company is losing!

Re:Question (1)

bradasch (516015) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230556)

Exactly. Also, there is a tendency in poor countries indicating that importing software will be a major weight on the commercial balance. One study made in Brazil (sorry, dont have a link) pointed that by 2008 the country would be expending more importing software than importing oil, and suggested using free software.

So, basically, the BSA is saying "send more money to us and you will be better". Great. Perfect logic.

Re:Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14230590)

By fighting piracy (and I mean real piracy, not Joe giving John his Office CD to borrow), a country shows that they respect intellectual property rights. Once a company has shown that they will give due deference* to intellectual property rights, companies from outside that country are more likely to invest in that country. This is not just software -- this also applies to things like appliances, automobiles, and other durable goods.

Think about it. Developing countries have low labor costs. Assuming they also have raw materials, why would you make something in China and ship it somewhere else when you can make it right there? An added benefit is that you'll probably get a better tax break from said government than you will from the Chinese government. Finally, you can make all kinds of public relations videos about how you've uplifted some previously poverty stricken population.

*Due deference doesn't mean draconian tactics as employed by RIAA

Re:Question (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14230603)

Strange you should say $200
I was using a bent copy of w2k when that windows update fing asked if it was legit
"Well..." says I
"I paid for HL2 and that stinking heap of doom 3 I should throw some cash the M$ way"
Look up & buy an OEM copy of WIN XP (yeah tell me about fedora/umbunto./etc)
Pay $$X recive 3 (THREE) copies so now its $$X/3!
like a lot less than suse, with non of that X-windows pap like a lot less than OSX with non of that X-Windows pap!
{if this had not have worked out this m/c would so be a Mac Mini)
{can you guess people; Linux is great, just drop that X-Windows crap?, I guess not its been like 1996 and I'm still waiting}
X-WINDOWS SUCKS SO F***ING BAD!
X-WINDOWS WAS A COLLEGE PROJECT, PUT IT DOWN AND MOVE ON!

Hey back to the question:
Those guys/gheys at M$ earned a bit of that $$X/3 I spent, and I would say worth it, but perhaps unlike most of /. I'm willing to pay (e.g. winzip/winrar/HL2 etc) if the product meets my needs and is within my price range (hence bent M$ office, just to read!)

HTH

$200 for Windows? (1)

DogDude (805747) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230734)

Are you really serious? $200 for Windows? Even if most people paid that much, droppign the price isn't going to do anything. People either don't ever pay for Windows, or they're happy to pay it and be done with it (like myself). Most people, quite honestly, would probably pay significantly more for Windows, also (I would).

They would say that, wouldn't they (1)

BeerCat (685972) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230299)

The study concluded that countries with high software piracy rates have more to gain economically by protecting intellectual property rights.

Given who conducted the study, the conclusion is hardly surprising.

Re:They would say that, wouldn't they (1)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230423)

The year is 1633 and the Inquisition has just found Galileo's advocacy of Copernicus' heleocentric universe heresey. Life imprisonment is the sentence. This of course is the greatest moment in IP history,,,,, The Year Galileo dies Issac Newton is born. No matter how hard you nail a box shut, the truth gets out. Lawyers and the Spanish Inquisition should stick to Monty Python skits and leave the geeks of the world alone so they can invent "The Next Big Thing" Then there will be even more NEW things to sue and stew about...

Re: Economic benefits by sending billions to U.S?? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14230503)

Tell me . . . how does underdeveloped countries benefit themselves by sending millions of dollars to the US and feeding the super rich software companies that effectively prevent any small comany in these countries to flourish?

How can a company that is created in lets say, Argentina and has some innovative product compete against the WMDs of the super companies: marketing, adds, paid "researchers" and gossipy columnists, cutthroat lawyers, etc etc.?

True competition died a long time ago in capitalism (have you seen the film Tucker?). Bug companies rule. If somebody has any great superprofitable idea, the idea and the one who had it is in turn bought by the huge capitals.

This article is ridiculous. But not stupid. This is how all the imperialist scams are sold to "developing" (read semi-colonial) countries.

Re: Economic benefits by sending billions to U.S?? (1)

BeerCat (685972) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230671)

how does underdeveloped countries benefit themselves by sending millions of dollars to the US and feeding the super rich software companies that effectively prevent any small comany in these countries to flourish?

They send viruses [nai.com] instead ;) (the original Brain virus was written in Pakistan to spite Westerners who could afford a trip to Pakistan to buy pirated copies of software, but were too cheap to pay full price for software, even though full price software would have cost less than the flight... Pakistanis (who didn't have the money), would get "genuine" pirated copies of Lotus 1-2-3, WordStar, WordPerfect or whatever, while the Westerners would get the "infected" version, as a punishment)

Next up, the BSA will attempt to prove that black is white, and then get run down on the next zebra corssing.

False assumptions (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14230305)

'2.4 million new jobs, $400 billion in economic growth and $67 billion in new tax revenues'

It's interesting that these BSA studies always assume that the money that is not spent on software is not spent anywhere else either.

Re:False assumptions (1)

ickleberry (864871) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230568)

Looks like its time to drop the "A" from "BSA"

Re:False assumptions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14230771)

Why, I always thought BSA stands for BullShit Alliance. Are you telling me there's no 'Alliance' in it?

Re:False assumptions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14230763)

'It's interesting that these BSA studies always assume that the money that is not spent on software is not spent anywhere else either.'

Unless, of course, they assume the reduction in illegally copied software will come through widespread adoption of free/open source software (which is a likely outcome anyway, if countries like China start enforcing copyright laws the way BSA want them to).

And what will be the cost of enforcing piracy? (4, Insightful)

c0dedude (587568) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230316)

It'll probably take more than 2.4 million new jobs, $400 billion in government spending and $67 billion in from tax revenues to cut the current global software piracy rate of 35% by 10%. Consider costs involved in prison and oversight of the millions of copyright violators, ignoring the burden of catching violators.

I highly doubt it... (4, Insightful)

kebes (861706) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230320)

I'm no expert in economics, but the numbers quoted in TFA just don't make sense to me. I feel like there is a hidden assumption in this analysis. They are saying that countries that currently have massive "piracy" would, if only "piracy" were elimianted, have a gigantic boom in their IT sector. They say that Russia and China would see a massive increase in IT jobs and so forth.

I don't think so. They are assuming that there is a limitless demand for IT professionals that is not currently being satisfied. I don't think this is the case. These countries have a host of other economic and political problems that lead to many things, including not respecting other countrie's copyrights (oh no!) and having limited jobs for IT professionals. If they suddenly enforced copyright (and by this, it is implicitly meant the copyright of other countries) I don't think there would suddenly be a huge demand for copyright-enforcing bureaucracy.

I just don't see why people who are used to making copies without obtaining permission will go along with, and support, such a system. Frankly the point of the whole article is "other countries have this nifty law that lets the government tax ethereal things... and it lets companies sue lots of people for ethereal things! These countries are rich! Do you want to be rich? All you have to do is impose laws that manage ethereal things (like ideas), and *poof* you have wealth out of thin air!"

I don't believe in generating fictitious wealth using laws. It's barely sustainable for the countries that are doing it now; I just don't see how it would make sense for countries that don't have a history of such laws.

Re:I highly doubt it... (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230340)

But you don't realize. It takes X programmers to make a program, and it is sold Y people. If you sell it to 2Y people, you can hire 2X programmers. Just ignore the fact that if it was impossible to pirate stuff, that most people would just do without most of the software they are pirating, either that or use a free alternative.

Re:I highly doubt it... (1)

jasen666 (88727) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230440)

It takes X programmers to make a program, and it is sold Y people. If you sell it to 2Y people, you can hire 2X programmers.

While that seems logical to us, to a company who's only worried about the bottom line, their logic would be "it only took X programmers to write the software in the first place, why pay for more to do the next version? We can pocket all the money our great sales are doing, and only keep the minimum number of programmers needed to do the job. In fact, we'll fire all our programmers and hire a bunch in India for 1/4 the cost."

Re:I highly doubt it... (1)

vought (160908) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230471)

It takes X programmers to make a program, and it is sold Y people. If you sell it to 2Y people, you can hire 2X programmers.


This also ignores the fact that 2X programmers do not produce software in half the time. In fact, adding more people into the loop like this can actually lengthen the time it takes to complete a project.

Re:I highly doubt it... (4, Insightful)

iseppo (937848) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230427)

I can cite you an assumption hidden in the text: "Although GDP is a measure of government and consumer spending plus business investment plus exports minus imports, for the purposes of this project IDC did not account for exports or imports." this GDP measure is fundamentally flawed, and is the only reason why this study comes to the conclusions it comes. When your piracy rates are high, then reducing it by 10% means more spent on licenses, and everything that is spent on licenses is considered to be the GDP of the country here. While common sense would say, that most of it will go out of the country. So this study is bullshit. I want to ask from the guys in BSA - when You give as examples like this, why would you expect we would act honestly?

Re:I highly doubt it... (1)

firewrought (36952) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230546)

I feel like there is a hidden assumption in this analysis.

I can't bring myself to RTFA. But suppose the government of a third world country decided to sanction* and enable piracy on a wide scale. Government firms could acquire first-world software, crack it, and release it to individuals and organizations. Wouldn't that help create wealth too? Even if the BSA's assumption about copyrights fueling innovation is true [and it probably is true for dull-to-write business software], there still a massive benefit to be obtained by deploying the software that's already been created. My basis for thinking this is due to the unique economics of the third world: they have a choice between implementing copyright (and letting 10% of their business pay through the nose for GlitzOMatic Pro 2006) or they can reject copyright and hook up 90% of their businesses with GlitzOMatic Pro 1997 (which was the only copy they could get their hands on, but it still has all the important features).

Maybe even better would be to reject foreign copyright and respect internal copyright. Or choose a very short term for copyright duration (5 years?). Of course, that's not very likely to make you friends internationally.

Probably the best option would be to embrace copyright (but keep it in check with the courts) and also embrace OSS.

*It's a legitimate option for a sovereign state to reject copyright if it has no pre-existing internal or external agreements to the contrary. Governments should be responsible to their PEOPLE, not to the cultures, expectations, and power-wielders of other states.

Re:I highly doubt it... (1)

zerocool^ (112121) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230779)


I agree; I think in Tiawan and Russia and other piracy centers, software piracy is more of the effect of the economic situation, not the cause of it.

It doesn't matter what the laws are; between buying legit software and eating, people will choose to eat. If you take away the option for getting software for free, they just will not have software.

~W

math (1)

elektronaut (890163) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230323)

BSA was established in 1988. It took 17 years for them to realize that less piracy = increased income AND increased income = more room for growth increased income = increased tax revenue ?

Re:math (1)

elektronaut (890163) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230342)

which, of course, assumes that people would find be willing to fork out money for the software instead of choosing not to use it.

Re:math (1)

brianosaurus (48471) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230368)

No. They were more or less founded based on that.

It took 17 years to learn that telling the truth might be good marketing. :)

2.4 million new jobs (5, Funny)

slasho81 (455509) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230324)

[...] countries with high software piracy rates have more to gain economically by protecting intellectual property rights. The study even claims potential global gains of 2.4 million new jobs [...]
How do you gain economically by protecting intellectual property rights? 2.4 million new lawyers.

Outsourcing. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14230325)

2.4 million new jobs, $400 billion in economic growth and $67 billion in new tax revenues All in India.

We've seen this math before (2, Funny)

Jason1729 (561790) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230337)

2.4 million new jobs...

I think they mean 24,000 new jobs which in the US earn $100,000/year each. Outsourced overseas, that would be 2.4 million jobs at $1000/year each.

That's the same math they use to count a single 40x CD burner as 40 burners when they bust a piracy ring.

unpublished results also say that IP will ... (4, Funny)

Jerry (6400) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230341)

cure cancer, the common cold and aid. IT will also result in zero-point energy power plants, and FTL vehicles. The benefits if IP patents just keep rolling in...

Doesn't seem very valid (2, Interesting)

Crysalim (936188) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230343)

The huge amount of money these companies make from record sales seems to have no place to go. Innovation isn't in great amount, but traditional styles of thinking and cut-throat business tactics seem to be. They seem to not know where to spend it, so they use it to fight piracy to try to make more. They just don't have the minds recruited to be able to plan out and detail market strategies that could take advantage of the person who downloads a rom to try it, so he could buy a game later at Gamestop when catching a movie with his girlfriend. They don't think about how a friend listening to a tune on the internet has more influence on possible album purchases (because that friend just may happen to send that song to you, illegally perhaps, but intentionally to get you into the song), when focusing on that could get a person into a band if they could download some good quality singles from the cd for free. There doesn't seem to be trust in artists either - if a single doesn't sell millions of copies, it's considered a failure. Most bands work by building a fan base, and sharing the music online builds that base much quicker than releasing copy protected cd's that could damage a person's computer.

Whoa! Cool! Magic numbers! (2, Funny)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230350)

Also, 127.92 million manufacturing and engineering jobs will be lost because nations with tough IP laws lose the competitive edge brought by investment (both foreign and domestic) in R&D and technological development, 143.84 million additional lawyers will need to be trained to enforce newly implemented IP laws, and 538 trillion dollars will be lost over the next thirty years as the economic output of heavily-IP-restricted onetime global heavyweights drops to next to zero.

See? Making up numbers is fun, and very educational. But I'll bet mine are just as accurate.

Hrm (2, Informative)

VirexEye (572399) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230357)

The money you save by pirating software will just be spent on other things you can't pirate... like hardware. The government still gets its sales tax no?

Re:Hrm (1)

Chaffar (670874) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230383)

The money you save by pirating software will just be spent on other things you can't pirate... like hardware.

Just so you know, your post is being displayed on my Panasoanic monitor, and I'm replying using my Logitake keyboard and mouse.

Global everything (1)

wwwillem (253720) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230358)

against global software piracy and potential global gains . . . .

Why is everything nowdays called global: "global warming", "the global war on terror", and now "global software piracy". It suggests that things are all around the world the same. Well, let me tell you, those people in Pakistan that survived the earthquake, would hope for a little "global warming", as long as it happens in their village and this winter of course. But I digress...

Why don't people start solving their problems at home? Probably it has to do with the fact that when you call your issues "global", or at least your plans for/against it, there is lesser chance that you get attacked. You can always claim that you do it to protect / help / save all those other global citizens. So, just a new type of CYA.

What does BSA stand for? (2, Insightful)

Chaffar (670874) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230362)

"When countries take steps to reduce software piracy, just about everyone stands to benefit," said Robert Holleyman, BSA president and CEO. "Workers have new jobs, consumers have more choices, entrepreneurs are free to market their creativity and governments benefit from increased tax revenues."

The problem that these people fail to see is that third-world countries can't afford to pay the "normal" (i.e US) prices for software. The numbers the BSA is throwing around is just mind-boggling... $ 400B in economic growth, what the fsck ever. I don't think most of those people would actually replace their pirated copies with the original, just because they can't afford it.

The message they're trying to convey is "OMG that's all we're missing out on because of piracy?", but it doesn't hold water. I'm not condoning piracy, but it really pisses me off when I see the "guys in the suits" blabbering inane propaganda and throwing around numbers to justify their existence.

And if the study includes PC games in the "pirated software" category, this makes it even worse, because the numbers will be again vastly inflated. In third-world countries, copies cost anywhere from $1 to $3, so anyone who goes out and buys games wouldn't leave without at least 3 DVDs, even they never play the games they bought. Which wouldn't be true if the prices were in the $35-55 range.

2.4 million new jobs (2, Insightful)

TakaIta (791097) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230379)

2.4 million new jobs ?? Wow. I wonder what those people will do. Would that be programmers that fix the bugs before software is being released? Or would that be programmers that build extensions to the software, so it can be sold at a higher price? Or are that programmers who build completely new innovative software products that will be sold?

Or will that be lawyers who earn their money in patent cases?

Somehow something is very very wrong with the reasoning that if people would have paid for what they pirated there would be a lot more money in the economy. If every one had unlimited money, then yes, ok, but then there would be unlimited money already. The whole point of money is that you can spend it only once.

Money that is not spend on a software product, because it is obtained illegally, is not mysteriously "lost", and can not be magically "recovered" by a reduction of piracy.

I can understand that a software company prefers people paying, and that that helps the financial situation of that particular company. But you can't just add up all virtual losses, and state that that is the total amount of money that will magically pop up when everybody would be paying.

Re:2.4 million new jobs (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230403)

But you can't just add up all virtual losses, and state that that is the total amount of money that will magically pop up when everybody would be paying.

Sure you can! If you work for the BSA, the MPAA, the RIAA, the SPA, Congress and/or Orrin Hatch.

If it wasnt for piracy (5, Insightful)

future assassin (639396) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230389)

Adobe/Macromedia/MS wouldnt have such a huge market penetration. Young pirated software users are the key. Get them hooked onto your product and most likely when they grow up they will buy your software. Kinda like me :)

Re:If it wasnt for piracy (4, Interesting)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230432)

This is very true. I wonder how quick free/Open Source software would take off if suddenly, all the expensive commercial software was impossible to pirate, or if they just made it too risky to bother pirating. Most people wouldn't choose MS Office over OO.o, if they were forced to fork over the $500. Same thing goes for photoshop, visual studio, and all that other high priced software with cheap/free alternatives.

Re:If it wasnt for piracy (1)

JWtW (875602) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230748)

Exactly! I was exremely frustrated that everything I wanted to learn cost a fortune. I felt guilty over the 'copies' of software that I had obtained--felt it doubly so if I had to reinstall. Updates were also a problem.
I was ecstatic when I found out that I could have ALL of the software offered by commercial companies (I even had my choice of different apps!) for the cost of a $6.00 dollar CD of RedHat 6.0 that I got off of Ebay. No strings attached. It's yours, use it as you wish. I can't even descibe the huge 'FUCK YOU, BILL' feeling I had as I watched all those packages getting loaded into my machine.
That was in '96, and I haven't looked back since. To reiterate your point, the more difficult it becomes (my own morals aside) to pirate software, the more appealing OS/Free software will become. And they've come a long way since '96....

Re:If it wasnt for piracy (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14230523)

Sheesh, if that's true then it follows that free open source applications should be the market leader, because free open source apps are so much easier to copy than pro apps with activation and copy protection. Why aren't we getting young users hooked on GIMP and OpenOffice?

Maybe it's because once a young user turns into a pro user (who doesn't write code), they suddenly realize that to run their business they can either wait for open source engineers to code in the features they need, except that it would be more economically viable for the business to simply buy Photoshop so that the already-present desired features could be put to revenue-generating uses immediately?

off topic (-1, Offtopic)

east coast (590680) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230406)

Thanks Richard [msn.com] ! We'll miss you.

Fuzzy math? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14230421)

I think the BSA has it wrong.. usually you end up with MORE money when you DON'T SPEND IT! Apparently the BSA lives in REVERSO-LAND, where paying Adobe $500 for PhotoShop makes YOU RICH!

Re:Fuzzy math? (1)

mccalli (323026) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230488)

Apparently the BSA lives in REVERSO-LAND, where paying Adobe $500 for PhotoShop makes YOU RICH!

Not that I support the BSA's conclusion in this case, but there will certainly be many graphic professionals who use Photoshop to earn more than the $500 it cost them. Software and hardware as a professional tool certainly can have a value greater than the sticker amount.

Cheers,
Ian

Propaganda (1)

MasterPoof (876056) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230453)

This is bullshit, plain and simple. Gestapo style tatics aren't working, so they now switch tracks to just spewing outright lies. 2.4 million in jobs ? 400 billion in economic growth ? Hmmm... oh wait... next it will cure AIDS! Anything but the truth...

BSA quality compared to MPAA and RIAA crap (1)

mikek3332002 (912228) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230497)

Well at least the BSA is wanting to protect the income of various quality software such as MS office,Visual Studio, WoW , 3ds max, photoshop


Unlike the MPAA with crappy movies or the RIAA with Briteny Spheres.

Though I am aware that the BSA considers the GPL software is pirated because its free and refuses to defend ip of quality programs like Apache, Linux(the Kernel), etc

Piracy fixes (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230512)

Stop trying to catch pirates. Charge a fair price for stable software with good tech support and consistent upgrades and patches. Users pay for the support now and in the future. They pay for the official version to protect against viruses and spyware.

I'm anti-copyright so I see how software is worthless based on supply and demand. Companies can't protect the bits, they can only charge for the physical portion and service.

By ending the policing, they can lower their prices, bringing in more users. Data has no value if its infinitely available. It is how you package data and what value added services you provide that have value.

frost pist (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14230515)

to the crowd in LThing fo8 the

Nothing to do with piracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14230530)

The study concluded that countries with high software piracy rates have more to gain economically by protecting intellectual property rights.

No, the countries that export copyrighted goods have more to gain economically if they can convince the countries that import copyrighted goods to act against their own best interests and strengthen their copyright terms.

For instance, if Chinese people pay $2bn to foreign companies every year for copyrighted goods, but only make $1bn from exporting copyrighted goods, they could save $1bn instantly by abolishing copyright. They could also make money by exporting foreign copyrighted goods themselves at a lower cost that the copyright holders.

As I understand it, the reason why countries don't generally do this is because they would incur the wrath of the USA and face economic sanctions. Basically, the USA bullies them into kowtowing.

Lunatics take over Assylum, declare selves insane. (0, Redundant)

Hosiah (849792) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230560)

"How will they convince people that being anti-piracy is profitable?" The same way they put it over that somebody who loved you anyway REALLY loves you just because they gave you a lump of compressed carbon to wear on your finger: advertizing! It worked to convince half of you that a $200 operating system is cheaper than a free one. It was all that was needed to convince you that a $2000 developer's studio was more viable than a free one. Feed it through a spin doctor, and the magic art of *lying* *convincingly* will have you thinking freedom is slavery and ignorance is strength and that it actually matters which crook you vote for.

As for the people who openly admit to piracy anyway, you're not looking too hot yourself. If there were no alternative, I'd not only advocate stealing, but take over the whole damn building and shove the CEOs off the balcony, while you're at it being a pirate: get your eyepatch and your parrot and do it all the way! But free software *is* out there, and it's not just struggling along, it's coming out *on* *top* in many ways - so now how do you explain that rather than use the free alternative (which you can even rewrite to your liking and SELL), you'd instead steal the pay-stuff?

Why not just use the free software and cut both the suit-and-tie crooks and the pirate crooks out of the equation altogether? Because regardless of how you got it, USING the stolen stuff profits the corporation ANYWAY. (It's publicity for them: "So good people steal it!", It drives other people to go out and buy it to be compatible with what you use. It perpetuates the fallacy that their product is worth anything at all.) You're busting your ass to support a system which you show, by your own actions, you don't believe in!

Final score: Corporations: (-1), Consumers: (-1). Hey, boys? The field is *that* way.

BSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14230578)

The U.S. software industry's strategy against global software piracy is shifting to focus on claimed economic benefits of copyright protection in response to a new study released by the BSA...

Why would the Boy Scouts of America be interested in Software Piracy?

All this.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14230589)

all this while the latest statistics show that consumer debt here in the US is at its highest ever, and savings is at an all time low.. which of course means that more and more people are basically spending all they take in (if not more) and saving next to nothing.

And all that, of course, gets taxed... consumer spending, whether as sales tax to the states, or tax on the income of the company selling the product...

So let me get this straight, more and more people are in essence "maxed out", but they think that if they 'crack down' on piracy, people will rush out to buy their (cough cough) $600 office suite (or $800 photo package, or - insert your price and sofware here). Sure, it might increase the profits of the credit card companies.. of course, then it would probably also increase the default rate, which are losses that offset their profits (and reduce their taxes).

Of course, "globally", we can take that guy in some 3rd world country to whom that $600 office package is an entire month of rent/food/gas and can barely make it by, and arrest them! yeah! throw them in jail and *pay* $1000's (or 10's of $1000's in the US) to house them and feed them in a jail.

Makes you wonder when a good portion of the prisons in this country are 'privatized', and those corporations have been making good profits in recent years. and, if we lock up even *more* people...

Of course, credit card bankruptcies, prisons, law enforcement, the judges, all of that basically *screws* the rest of the law-abiding people because taxes will go up to pay for all that.

Hrmm... (1)

iSeal (854481) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230596)

Microsoft's branch in charge of Office made 11 billion dollars last year. 8 of which was pure profit.

These people don't charge that much because it cost them that much to make, but because they can. This is a business which relies solely on ripping people off for as much as they can. When that's your business dynamic, of course people are going to pirate. Especially those that can't afford the software, be it students or those living in the poorer asian states. I mean the BSA gets most of its piracy loss figures from China/Vietnam, where the pirated software rate is 92/90% respectively. And yet, the software in most case costs more than their annual wages.

Things have been this way for 20 years. And, for 20 years, people have been pirating. It won't stop until they stop.

Re:Hrmm... (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230746)

basic economics and the forces of supply and demand is not "ripping people off" Microsoft sells windows at $200 and office at $500 because those price points are the most profitable. should microsoft sell for half just because they can and tell the shareholders "well gee, we could have doubled our profits this year but we wanted to be nice and sell for less" there would be shareholder lawsuits and possibly jail time for those involved.

Interesting acronym (1)

MrClever (70766) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230604)

BSA - I grokked that as "Bull Shit Artists" .... how apt :)

Re:Interesting acronym (1)

BCW2 (168187) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230682)

Considering that 80% of their funding comes from M$, that's pretty accurate.

They are finally going to do _something_? (1)

ShyGuy91284 (701108) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230632)

Software piracy has got to be the most overlooked form if piracy. thepiratebay has 1.8 million downloads of Quake 4 clocked (not sure if they are complete, but that's 1.8 million potential sales), and I think I remember Doom 3 having like 30,000 seeds at it's peak. It dissapoints me as a potential software developer since the developers often get shafted from what I've seen (I recall reading the Publisher gets almost as much if not more money then the developer in many cases from sales). As much as I hate the RIAA's scare tactics, a little bit of them is a necessary evil to prevent people from pirating (not suing as many people as possible like the RIAA does). Without any risk, people have absolutely no reason to stop....

Obligatory (1)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230644)

BSA says:

In Soviet Russia, copyright laws make YOU rich!

No, wait...

I'm sure the new campaign will be successful. . . (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230705)

I'm sure that the new campaign will be successful, and Vietnamese and North Korean families will gladly pay one year's salary for Windows rather than pirated copies for dirt after hearing what the BSD has to say about their "massive losses". Tossing them still-expensive bones like "Windows Start Edition" isn't helping your cause either.

Does it make piracy right (the fact that they cannot afford it)? No, but it (piracy) is creating a future market so that when they can afford the products as their economy develops, they will likely start buying legit copies. "Piracy" helped Windows, Norton Antivirus, AutoCAD, and Adobe Photoshop gain the market share they now control, why should they end the 'free trial' system now?

BSA = BS (3, Interesting)

psycln (937854) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230715)

BSA or just BS?

May 19th 2005
From The Economist print edition

Software theft is bad; so is misstating the evidence

IT SOUNDS too bad to be true; but, then, it might not be true. Up to 35% of all PC software installed in 2004 was pirated, resulting in a staggering $33 billion loss to the industry, according to an annual study released this week by the Business Software Alliance (BSA), a trade association and lobby group.

Such jaw-dropping figures are regularly cited in government documents and used to justify new laws and tough penalties for pirates--this month in Britain, for example, two people convicted of piracy got lengthy prison sentences, even though they had not sought to earn money. The BSA provided its data. The judge chose to describe the effects of piracy as nothing less than "catastrophic".

Intellectual property

But while the losses due to software copyright violations are large and serious, the crime is certainly not as costly as the BSA portrays. The association's figures rely on sample data that may not be representative, assumptions about the average amount of software on PCs and, for some countries, guesses rather than hard data. Moreover, the figures are presented in an exaggerated way by the BSA and International Data Corporation (IDC), a research firm that conducts the study. They dubiously presume that each piece of software pirated equals a direct loss of revenue to software firms.

To derive its piracy rate, IDC estimates the average amount of software that is installed on a PC per country, using data from surveys, interviews and other studies. That figure is then reduced by the known quantity of software sold per country--a calculation in which IDC specialises. The result: a (supposed) amount of piracy per country. Multiplying that figure by the revenue from legitimate sales thus yields the retail value of the unpaid-for software. This, IDC and BSA claim, equals the amount of lost revenue.

The problem is that the economic impact of global software piracy is far harder to calculate. Some academics have shown that some piracy actually increases software sales, by introducing products to people who would not otherwise become customers. Indeed, Bill Gates chirped in the 1990s that piracy in China was useful to Microsoft, because once the nation was hooked, the software giant would eventually figure out a way to monetise the trend. (Lately Microsoft has kept quiet on this issue.)

The BSA's bold claims are surprising, given that last year the group was severely criticised for inflating its figures to suit its political aims. "Absurd on its face" and "patently obscene" is how Gary Shapiro, boss of the Consumer Electronics Association, another lobby group, describes the new ranking.

$1400 Billion growth if piracy was eradicated? (1)

shyted (867171) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230729)

My math may suck but this is a ridiculous claim.
Totally eradicate piracy and theres:
$1400 Billion growth.
8.4 million new jobs
$584.5 billion in tax

Lets have a new law which says that if any study makes untrue claims, then the companies behind that study are liable for any financial imbalance.

I for one am sick of all these blatent lies.

BSA = Bullshit Study Alliance (1)

Silkejr (856308) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230743)

I don't trust anything that comes from a bunch of liars like the BSA.

I hope GOOG won't join it. (1)

managedcode (863136) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230773)

BSA is for impotents.

Three steps to a brighter future (1)

RobbieGee (827696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230755)

  1. Hire 100.000 police officers, investigators, lobbyists etc. Make new laws and put 2.3 million people in jail.
  2. ???
  3. Profit!

When the direct approach fails... (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230776)

Confuse people via the media.
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