Reports from or about the Business Software Alliance (BSA), Canadian Alliance Against Software Theft (CAAST) and other regional lobbyists for the legacy "software manufacturing" methods of creation, distribution and funding of software.

Canadian Companies settle with (pay protection money to?) Software Manufacturing lobby group.

CAAST sent yet another press release via Canada Newswire describing customers who payed large fines when CAAST threatened to sue. CAAST describes themselves as "representing the world's leading software manufacturers", but their studies falsely suggest that modern competitors to "software manufacturing" represent "theft".

As I documented in my "Make it legal: don't litigate, use creative licensing" campaign launched last year, the best way to avoid the risk of becoming a target of a BSA/CAAST investigation is to switch away from "software manufacturing" to modern alternatives such as Free/Libre and Open Source Software.

The Economist Rails on Flawed BSA Piracy Study

This CopyFight BLOG article by Jason Schultz includes:

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.

Is the enterprise software licensing business dying?

While not CAAST related, this IT Manager's Journal article by Andy Singleton talks of the real reasons for the decline in software license revenues.

Enterprises still need software, and lots of it, to run their operations, but they are buying few new licenses. Part of the story is that the market is mature and buyers have enough software already. Part of the story is that offshore outsourcing makes it cheaper to build your own. A big part of the story is the appearance of more

ZDNET: BSA 'piracy' report dismissed as scaremongering

This ZDNet UK article by Ingrid Marson includes:

"What companies object to isn't counterfeiting but grey marketing," said Anderson. "Counterfeiting is a complete distraction — it's not what this is about. [[The directive] is an assault on free trade."

In each country the regional BSA lobbyist uses bogus statistics to lobby for changes in domestic law. In Canada the issue is claimed to be 1996 WIPO treaty ratification, yet another corrupt change in the law that would favor these incumbents against their major competitors. Corruption and alliances News View:- This morning the Ottawa Business Journal published an article describing the latest misinformation from the Canadian Alliance Against Software Theft (CAAST). CAAST claims that 36 per cent of the software used in Canada last year was "pirated". In their own press releases they suggest that "CAAST has worked closely with its counterparts in the recording and motion picture industries in a collaborative effort to help enforce strict legislation regarding copyright infringement".

It's important to put these self-called "software piracy studies" and related lobbying efforts in their proper context.

Am I a communist? Bill Gates thinks so...

There has been much said about Bill Gates and his comment that those who have different ideas on the expansion of Patents and Copyright are somehow communist. Wired Magazine published an article that included:

Glenn Otis Brown, executive director of Creative Commons, wondered whom Gates was referring to when he made the remarks. Certainly not Creative Commons, which is a "voluntary, market-based approach to copyright," Brown wrote in an e-mail.

See also: Mitch Kapor's BLOG, Dan Gillmor's BLOG, BoingBoing, ATTABOY, The Register, TechDirt

Content industries on slippery slope with demand for blank media levy

This article is published in Canadian New Media, Volume 6, Issue 2, under "Newsmakers".

In their North American piracy study, the BSA and the Canadian Alliance Against Software Theft (CAAST) made use of invalid statistics suggesting using alternatives to their products is piracy. As I use no software from any CAAST member, I find this suggestion offensive.

The private copying levy subjects Canadian musicians to similar problems. While the private copying levy is promoted as a way to compensate artists for citizens copying works in their home, it appears more likely to be a way to further entrench traditional business models and artist dependence on the recording industry.

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