One of the key tools used by lobby groups like the IIPA is statistics to try to "prove" that there is massive harm to them, and which must be remedied in the way they propose. An analysis of their statistics often indicates that their real target is competitors, not copyright infringers.
These studies need to be debunked as they have a large influence on governments who have outsourced this key policy tool to special interest groups. William Patry documents on his BLOG (Via Google Cache) how, lacking any investigative resources of its own, USTR uses figures given to it by IIPA. If you read transcripts from Canadian parliamentary committees studying "counterfeiting and piracy" or Copyright and patents, you will see that Canadian politicians are no better. It is frustrating to know how many amazing economists are working for Industry Canada and other departments, and yet Industry Committee never bothered to consult them when they are studying critical economic policy.
Those debunking these studies are not apologists for copyright infringement. I document how this infringement harms companies like my own more than the members BSA/ESA/etc. I am very interested to stop software copyright infringement, but believe that the policies promoted by the BSA/ESA/etc have an anti-competitive effect and do not reduce software copyright infringement.
[Read the rest of this entry on IT World Canada's BLOG, or continue below]