CAAST/BSA/etc

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.

Software Piracy Fight Makes Enemies, FLOSS makes friends

An article by Brian Bergstein of The Associated Press (Also in Washington Post) concludes as any article critical of the BSA should: as a suggestion to switch to FLOSS alternatives.

Enraged, CEO Sterling Ball vowed never to use Microsoft software again, even if "we have to buy 10,000 abacuses." He shifted to open-source software, which lacks such legal entanglements because its underlying code is freely distributed.

For many businesses, open-source has seemed technically daunting or unable to match the proprietary programs seen as essential in some industries. These days, however, the march of technology might be changing that.

Linux Community Questions x86 Server Numbers

Peter Galli of eWeek has an article quoting various Linux and FLOSS companies responding to the latest misinformation from IDC (which also does the BSA/CAAST "studies").

"They do not, they cannot, capture the great majority of Linux servers deployed in production. Our company is but one data point here: Our staff has been involved in over 1,000 Linux deployments in the past 15 years, of which only a dozen would appear on the radar of research companies like the IDC," Zymaris said.

Is Linux really losing market share to Windows? No, IDC is at it again..

Read a story Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols about the most recent IDC study that some have misinterpreted to suggest that people are migrating from Linux to Windows. What IDC is measuring is server hardware bundled with operating systems which may be where the majority of Windows servers come from, but isn't that significant a factor for Linux. This is the same flawed methodology that IDC uses to massively under-estimate the usage of FLOSS in their so-called "Piracy Study" they jointly do with BSA. Any under-estimation of the usage of FLOSS shows up as an inflation of the amount of software copyright infringement that is actually happening.

Why Ballmer's Protection FUD Matters

eWeek's Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols writes about Steve Ballmer, the Sopranos and the protection racket, discussing why this matters.

Ballmer is sending two other hidden messages though.
...
The first is that there's something unsavory about Linux and open source.
...
that there is no innovation or creation in open source.
...
As for new ideas, open source is the new idea of the 21st century.

Want to meet four men who dared to fight MS -- and won?

Greoklaw has an interview (audio and transcript) of Georg Greve of FSFE, Jeremy Allison and Volker Lendecke of Samba, and Carlo Piana, their lawyer of record in the European case against Microsoft.

Sometimes folks try to characterize, or mischaracterize, the FOSS community. If you want to know what that community is like, it's like this, this interview, these four men who dared to try the impossible, with weapons of intellect and skill and integrity rather than money, men who couldn't be bought, who never gave up, and who happily lived to tell us the story with humor and pleasantness.

If Software Companies Ran the Country (1987)

I was recently pointed to this essay from Whole Earth Review #57 (Winter 1987) by Jay Kinney. I think it is useful for people to go back 20 years to realize that many of the things we are now debating are not new problems, but predicted before they happened. This was written 2 years after the founding of the Free Software Foundation, long before the nastiness of the backward-facing 1995 USA NII, 1996 WIPO treaties, or the 1998 USA DMCA.

Why "pirating" Windows hurts Linux more than it hurts Microsoft..

While I have written about this topic in the past, I never wrote something as extensive as Dave Gutteridge on the topic The impact of pirated software on free software.

In addition to the points made in his article, I would want to add two important details. The first is that Microsoft has already admitted that they consider infringement of their software to be a benefit to them. (See: Microsoft's Jeff Raikes says : If you must pirate, use counterfeit Windows)

ITWorld Canada: Linux experts look for lessons from SCO suit

An ITWorldCanada article by Shane Schick quotes from both FLOSS proponents (Mike Gifford, Shad Young) and opponents (Barry Sookman) looking at the impact of the recent court decision against SCO.

As you read Mr. Sookman's comments about FLOSS licensing, remember that his ideas actually apply more to non-FLOSS licensing than FLOSS licensing. As a lobbiest for CRIA and other businesses promoting the knowledge as property ideology he may be unaware that the licenses of his own clients are "more of a philosophical document than a precise legal document" and often stray far outside the boundaries of what is legally enforceable to promote that ideology.

Kids justify illegal downloads, study finds

A Reuters article states the obvious: like their parents and the rest of society, kids justify things they do which they think might be "wrong" but do it anyway.

My comment:

I find these types of surveys frustrating. I suspect that just like the invalid statistics from the BSA/RIAA/MPAA, this study didn't take into account the differences between perfectly legal authorized downloading/sharing and unauthorized downloading/sharing.

Too much "security" can be overbearing: Microsoft needs to speak to its own "customers"

As a comment to Too much security can be overbearing: Microsoft, I wrote the following:



While I generally agree with this advise, I think Microsoft employees should focus on organizations like the content industry rather than governments and parents. It is clear from the massive changes in Microsoft Vista that falsely claim to secure the interests of third parties (the content industry) from computer owners that the harmful paranoia that he speaks of has become a core design principle for Microsoft operating systems.



A Cost Analysis of Windows Vista Content Protection
by Peter Gutmann.


Canadians should sign the Petition to protect Information Technology property rights.

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