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.

ConnectIT: Hard to track Linux stats

An article by Paul Weinberg in ConnectIT talks about the fact that, "nobody has come out with a perfect way to count the amount of open source software in use, which makes it difficult to fully track the strength or weakness of Linux in the market." As discussed elsewhere in this BLOG, it also makes it very difficult to track alleged software infringement given the numbers that BSA/CAAST use are strongly influenced by the estimated usage of perfectly legal FLOSS.

Business Week: Microsoft Should Welcome Piracy in India and China

An article in BusinessWeek by Henry Chesbrough suggests that Microsoft should deliberately allow/encourage infringement of its software as an anti-competitive form of "dumping" to fight off FLOSS competition. Once they obtain their monopoly status in these emerging markets, they can collect their preferred level of excessive monopoly rents.

This isn't the language he used, but it is a free market translation to the activities advocated by this person who alleges to support "open business models" and "more open approaches to intellectual property management".

RIAA/MPAA not only questionable types abusing copyright...

A Register article by Lester Haines speaks about a group of US cons who attempted to use a copyright-based prison break.

The cons probably thought that if the recording and motion picture industry can get away with what they are doing (abusing the legal system to extort money from people without evidence of wrongdoing, abuse the law to circumvent the tangible property and other rights of citizens, etc), that maybe the same laws could be abused by them to get out of prison.

CAAST opposed to personal computer security.

Google Alerts sent me a note about an old article. Before I noticed it was old, I sent the following letter to the editor.


It is ironic that CAAST speaks as if they are concerned with the security of our computers. Possibly one of the greatest computer security threat is attempts by government supported third parties to gain or retain remote control over our computers.

Geist: Putting Canadian "Piracy" in Perspective

A video from Michael Geist and Daniel Albahary that puts the industry claims in perspective. Please write a letter to your MP and future candidates to ensure that they are aware of this issue.

Vote for it on CBC's Exposure.

Can Linux Adoption Ever be Accurately Gauged?

An IT Management article by Roy Schestowitz discusses the inability to create accurate statistics for adoption of Linux and other FLOSS. It is important for policy people to be aware of this, given this often underestimated statistic is a core component of the so-called "piracy statistics" from organizations such as the BSA or CAAST which FLOSS competes against.

The Patent Puzzle and why it isn't possible for Microsoft to get what they want.

An eWeek article by Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols attempts to make sense of the software patent problem that Microsoft has found itself in with respect to the FLOSS sector, concluding that, "Microsoft might best be served by letting its vague patent claims lapse into silence.".

It is interesting to look at this at a higher level.

In order for this to move forward, Microsoft must disclose the exact patents it believes are infringed and how. Until this point, no reasonable person can do anything about their claims.

Linux Foundation Fires Back at Microsoft

A Business Week article by Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, includes:

What most people don't realize is that the story really isn't about patents at all—it's about a rational actor trying to protect its privileged position.

In the time it will likely take you to read this article, Microsoft will have made $500,000 in net profit. It's instructive to note that the majority of that profit comes from its Windows operating system and Office suite of business software. Not coincidentally, those are the two product lines most threatened by Linux operating systems and Open Office.

Hat tip: Dana Blankenhorn

No Proven Statistic on Canadian "Piracy" Exists

An article by Drew Wilson of Slyck discussed some of the unbelievable numbers being promoted by the various legacy copyright industries for alleged copyright infringement.

Arguably, this statistic suggests that over 40% of the world-wide piracy does come from the United States. So in conclusion at this point, over 90% of piracy comes from Canada and the United States - a number that would have some scratching their heads.
...
This new statistic shows the first mathematical impossibility. If 70% was originating from Canada and over 40% originating in the United States, then 110% is from both Canada and the United States. For those less familiar with the statistics offered, some may wonder if Canada's shores are being lined with pirate ships from all over the world suddenly over the course of a few months.

Correcting misinformation "statistics" from BSA/CAAST whenever we see it.

I believe we need to send in letters to the editor whenever we see a media outlet simply republishing the so-called "piracy studies" from BSA/CAAST. The following is a letter I wrote to CBC this morning in reply to their article Software piracy rates steady but losses grow in 2006: study.

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