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Flaws In a BSA Software Piracy Report? 288

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the everyone-has-an-agenda dept.
Ian Lamont writes "The Business Software Alliance has just released its state piracy study (full PDF also available). The BSA says that one in five pieces of software in use in the United States is unlicensed, and notes that piracy rates are highest in Ohio (27%). However, as noted by the Industry Standard, there are problems with the state study, and the way the BSA is presenting the data: the study only includes eight states, and it is making some questionable connections, including the claim that lost state and local tax revenue from piracy would have been enough to 'hire nearly 25,000 experienced police officers.'"
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Flaws In a BSA Software Piracy Report?

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  • by stoolpigeon (454276) * <bittercode@gmail> on Friday July 18, 2008 @02:25PM (#24245587) Homepage Journal

    because the bsa has really nothing to gain by providing numbers that don't accurately reflect the true situation with regards to the use of unlicensed software.

    • by zappepcs (820751) on Friday July 18, 2008 @02:30PM (#24245649) Journal

      I had been under the impression that the BSA data was faulty due to their business plan rather than anything else. No car salesman is ever going to tell you the transmission is about to crap out. Of course this car is a great deal!

      The BS Alliance has a history of some shady tactics, many worthy of SCO fame. http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=bsa+complaint+software&btnG=Search [google.com] gets about 133,000 hits. That usually means there are plenty of people in the world ready to tell you they are unhappy about the BSA.

      Yep, no flaws in that data. It's showing you exactly what they want you to see.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Red Flayer (890720)

        The BS Alliance has a history of some shady tactics, many worthy of SCO fame. http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=bsa+complaint+software&btnG=Search [google.com] gets about 133,000 hits. That usually means there are plenty of people in the world ready to tell you they are unhappy about the BSA.

        Bad search terms. Did you look through the results? Even the top few?

        Most of those results are references to the BSA lodging a complaint against an infringer, not the other way around.

        This doesn't mean your point is

  • hmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworld@@@gmail...com> on Friday July 18, 2008 @02:25PM (#24245593) Homepage
    'hire nearly 25,000 experienced police officers.'

    By definition, won't most experienced police officers already have jobs? Say, as police officers?
    • Re:hmm (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 18, 2008 @02:34PM (#24245717)

      You're forgetting about gritty ex-cops who retired in protest of the widespread corruption in the system, only to take up the badge again one last time when duty called, because they're the best damn cop the state has seen and the only man alive who can get the job done. There are a lot of those.

    • Re:hmm (Score:4, Insightful)

      by joocemann (1273720) on Friday July 18, 2008 @02:52PM (#24245919)

      'hire nearly 25,000 experienced police officers.'

      By definition, won't most experienced police officers already have jobs? Say, as police officers?

      And how would they raise taxes from something that a pirate would not buy? How do they draw a conclusion that, if forced to choose, a pirate would PAY for the software instead of not use it?

      Thats ridiculous. Purely ridiculous.

      The reasons a pirate doesn't pay for software can be various, but I can assure you that only a small portion of pirates would actually pay/buy the software if forced to choose. They would instead not use it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by infalliable (1239578)
        Which is the major flaw in any of these "studies." They all gloss over it and throw out insanely inflated numbers. Just like the MAFIAAs did a while back where they computed the loss from piracy was greater than the GDP of France.
      • Re:hmm (Score:4, Informative)

        by shark72 (702619) on Friday July 18, 2008 @03:53PM (#24246791)

        "And how would they raise taxes from something that a pirate would not buy? How do they draw a conclusion that, if forced to choose, a pirate would PAY for the software instead of not use it?."

        They make estimates of how many pirated copies truly represent lost sales; or, more accurately, they have estimates of the attainable conversion rates of businesses that currently use pirated software, to law-abiding businesses. Although it's a popular myth around here, the BSA doesn't assume that every pirated copy is a lost sale.

        "The reasons a pirate doesn't pay for software can be various, but I can assure you that only a small portion of pirates would actually pay/buy the software if forced to choose. They would instead not use it."

        Remember -- this is a BSA study. The RIAA tends to concern themselves with individual customers, where the BSA focuses on enterprises that use multiple copies of Office, Windows, PhotoShop, and the like. It's a romantic notion that companies that are busted can simply switch to Linux or GIMP, but the BSA already knows (from experience) that many companies pay up and move to licensed copies of commercial software.

        Your statement holds very true for the 14-year-old collector who got Illustrator via BitTorrent and might have used it three times. But that's not who the BSA is after.

    • by LordEd (840443)

      Perhaps we need a better unit of measure. How about "make ___ photocopies of the library of congress". It somehow seems appropriate.

    • Maybe they meant "25,000 nearly experienced police officers"

      It also didn't say what they could hire them for...

  • Tax revenue? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 18, 2008 @02:27PM (#24245611)

    So, according to the BSA, when you don't buy software, you put the cash you didn't spend under your mattress so the city doesn't get any tax revenue from it (past income taxes, I assume).

    Man, I'd better check under my mattress when I get home! I might just be RICH!

    • Re:Tax revenue? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Sunshinerat (1114191) on Friday July 18, 2008 @03:05PM (#24246069)

      Now I did quick mental check of the non-licensed software and must say that i can only think of three products. I could do without it, I am hardly using it. The other hundereds of software are validly licensed and not paid for in dollars and cents.

      Regarding the economic principles, money can only be spent once. If people are not spending their money on software, they are spending it on food, clothes, ipods etc. Which would produce tax income for the states.

      Unless everyone who does not pay for some software product puts the equivalent in the bank, the assumption that it would generate heaps of additional cash for the states is simply False. Check the current balance on the average persons credit card.

      So this person(s) who produced this report have tunnel vision, have different interests or are copying the things they see daily on tv (political tunnel vision).

    • Re:Tax revenue? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by vux984 (928602) on Friday July 18, 2008 @03:25PM (#24246321)

      So, according to the BSA, when you don't buy software, you put the cash you didn't spend under your mattress so the city doesn't get any tax revenue from it (past income taxes, I assume).

      Evidently yes. I mean what else would they do with it? Spending on expanding the business? Surely not!

      Of course, that assumes they ever had the money in the first place. I mean, if I have 0$ and I chose to pirate MS Office... well.. sure that counts as a lost sale, and lost tax revenue to the BSA... but since I had 0$ left in the budget, I was never going to buy the software or anything else for that matter.

      But what REALLY bugs me about the BSA is that they consider upgrades for which you can't prove a complete chain for as a 'unlicenses/unauthorized/pirated'.

      I mean, I have Vista Ultimate Upgrade on my PC. I obtained that legally, by upgrading my copy of Windows XP Professional Upgrade, which I obtained legally by upgrading my Windows 98 upgrade, which I obtained legally when I upgraded my Windows 95 retail which was purchased on 25 floppy disks over a decade ago. I do not have those floppy discs or license anymore from the original 95 purchase. (And it might even have been an upgrade to Windows 3.11 for Workgroups... I don't even remember.)

      If I were audited by the BSA they would find my copy of Vista as 'unlicensed'.

      This sort of scenario happens all the time in BSA audits where companies that bought a 5 user VLA in 1992, then in 98 upgraded them to a 10 user VLA (5 new licenses, 5 upgrade licenses), then upgraded to a 20 user VLA in 2002 (10 new licenses 10 upgrade licenses), then upgraded to 25 licenses in 2006 (5 new licesnes, 20 upgrade licenses)... and the BSA shows up...

      And you pull out your licenses ... and all you've kept are the 2002, and 2006 ones, but you misplaced or discarded the old 92 and 98 ones, so they determine that you have 15 valid licenses. (the 10 new ones bought in 2002 and upgraded in 06 plus the 5 new ones in 06. The rest are unsubstantiated and you better pay up quick you lousy crook!

      Meanwhile the company your dealing with has been bought twice since 92, and the product has been renamed 3 times... and they have no record that you bought a VLA from a company acquired by a company they acquired years ago. Even the accounting records have been destroyed. All that old shit takes up valuable space.

      And that's the VLAs... Its far more difficult for a small business to keep every box and license of every piece of software they ever bought just so they can show the BSA one day, especially after a few rounds of upgrades. And small businesses with 4 or 5 people don't usually have VLA's, just a cupboard where they have a bunch of stuff, and when the cupboard is full they usually toss the old versions of old software they've upgraded from...)

      Its pure bullshit.

      Can you imagine the BSA doing an audit of your home, not for software, just for everything in it. How much of the stuff in your home can you "prove" is legally purchased? You have receipts for every CD, every book, all your cutlery, dishes, pots, clothes, furniture?

      Of course not, but that doesn't mean its all STOLEN.

      • by Stevecrox (962208)

        Thats just what I'd expect an economy hurting hippie pirate to say. You stopped Adele from affording a Boeing 747!

    • Not at all. See, you'd continue buying everything else you currently buy, but you'd charge the software on your credit card. A credit card you eventually wouldn't be able to afford to pay off, so you'd file for bankruptcy.

      So, since you didn't buy the software and file for bankruptcy, you are essentially stealing tax money from your state and handing it to the wealthy credit card companies. How can you live with yourself knowing that?

    • by DannyO152 (544940)

      How did you get cash? I think it got to you via check which, when it was deposited it was -boom- income. Having not written the check to Jane's Software, expenses were lower and profits were higher and the tax liability increased for the company or its owners.

      Meanwhile, if you paid for that fifth license, you wrote a check to the software company, likely to be in a different state, and they posted the income and paid taxes there. The state they chose to be in, what are the odds that it was chosen because

  • by Trailer Trash (60756) on Friday July 18, 2008 @02:28PM (#24245623) Homepage

    is this: if a company pirates (arrrrr, mateys!) a piece of software, they immediately take the money that would have been used to buy that software and stick it in an underground vault, never to be seen or spent again. That's why the state gets no tax revenue.

    What a bunch of schmucks.

    • by shark72 (702619)

      "is this: if a company pirates (arrrrr, mateys!) a piece of software, they immediately take the money that would have been used to buy that software and stick it in an underground vault, never to be seen or spent again. That's why the state gets no tax revenue."

      A lot of people are missing the point here. The BSA's activities include catching companies who use pirated software, and getting them into compliance (ie extracting money from them). It's the revenue from these settlements that would be taxable.

      Th

  • BSA/**AA (Score:3, Funny)

    by Red Flayer (890720) on Friday July 18, 2008 @02:31PM (#24245661) Journal

    and the way the BSA is presenting the data: the study only includes eight states, and it is making some questionable connections, including the claim that lost state and local tax revenue from piracy would have been enough to 'hire nearly 25,000 experienced police officers.'

    Heh heh. I'd like to see what happens when the BSA members are told that online purchases of software will be taxed locally and by the states...

    I'll bet their maths for calculating lost state and local tax revenue from pirated software would change.

    The other factor being, if people couldn't get the 'free as in beer' copies of that software, they wouldn't pay for a legit copy. But that's been rehashed approximately 6.022 x 10^23 times on slashdot, so I won't go any further.

    On a side note, why did the BSA have to break tradition and not use an acronym ending in AA? They've made it much more difficult to lump them into the bin with the MPAA and RIAA. Sigh... BSA/**AA is four too many characters.

    • by Hyppy (74366)
      Well, we used to call it the MAFIAA (Music and Film Industry Associations of America). I don't know about you, but "SMAFIAA" just doesn't have the same kick to it.
  • by Seakip18 (1106315) on Friday July 18, 2008 @02:32PM (#24245671) Journal

    Just because somebody pirates something doesn't mean they would pay for it if that was the only way. They would instead just NOT BUY IT. The entire premise that if you are losing so much in taxes is bunk. Pirating may cause harm in disrupting some tax money, just not that much.

    I mean, honestly, could people even raise that kinda of tax money if they had the cash to buy the software?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Seakip18 (1106315)

      Wow. I wonder if mods could actually look at time stamps before modding redundant. Ah well.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 18, 2008 @02:33PM (#24245697)

    Just think about it... There's no tax revenue on Open Source software! People are using it for FREE! It's the end of the government! OH NOES!!!!

    • You heard the AC folks, Open Source software is the software of anarchists and libertarians.

      If you use Open Source the terrorists win. Also for no apparent reason the fire fighters will stop getting Timmy out of the well and the alternate Back to the Future II version of the US will result.

  • by RichMan (8097) on Friday July 18, 2008 @02:33PM (#24245699)

    Suppose companies were paying salaries with the money they save by pirating software. Then rather than
    X * 0.05 = 25,000 police
    we would have
    X = 20*25,000 = 500,000 unemployed people

    So another way of looking at the statistics is that the BSA wants to put 1/2 a million people out of work in each state.

    Lies damn lies and statistics, learn to master them.

  • by FudRucker (866063) on Friday July 18, 2008 @02:38PM (#24245775)
    then use your computer with a clear conscience for free...
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by eln (21727)

      No you fool, didn't you read the summary? If you don't buy commercial software, there will be no police officers! It will be total anarchy! If you want to bring down civilization, then fine, go use your AnarchyWare (tm) aka "Open Source", but don't come crying to me when the rioting starts.

      The BSA's point is clear and impeccably reasoned: If you don't pay for commercial software (and lots of it!), we are all going to die. Do you really want to be responsible for that?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by clarkkent09 (1104833)
      My conscience is the clearest when I pay for software, it's a little bit murky when I use free software, and it's totally opaque when I use pirated software.
    • by FudRucker (866063)
      fuck you! how dare you mod me as a troll!
  • by Captain Spam (66120) on Friday July 18, 2008 @02:40PM (#24245803) Homepage

    Not having RTFA or RTFR referred to by TFA, I still have to say I'm amused by the last line in the summary (presumably paraphrasing the report) and its implications to further reports...

    "The lost state and local tax revenue from piracy would have been enough to save the lives of HUNDREDS of poor, sick people, assuming they could afford the hospital costs after becoming poor from buying software regulated by our association."

    "The lost state and local tax revenue from piracy would have been enough to pay the ransom on this CEO's poor daughter, kidnapped by evil software pirates, and because you selfish greedy bastards had to go and murder her by pirating software, they didn't have the money to pay to get her back! I HATE YOU ALL!"

    "The lost state and local tax revenue from piracy would have been enough to save the lives of five hundred innocent kittens from being pulverized in our patented BSA Kitten Pulverizing Machine, whose sole purpose is to abduct and pulverize kittens constantly and whose operations may only be tempered by a continuously-accelerating stream of revenue. Why do you selfish pirates want the kittens to be pulverized? It's all your fault, you know."

  • Who pays sales tax anymore? Especially since the invention of the internet. Here in Chicago, [suntimes.com] the lack of sales tax more than covers the cost of shipping.
  • by soast (690658) on Friday July 18, 2008 @02:43PM (#24245817)
    If every big corporation did not out source we could employee 10,000,000 United States Citizens and therefor increase tax money to employ 500,000 experienced police officers.
    • Funny how on slashdot people are almost universally opposed to outsourcing, presumably on the grounds that it puts their jobs at risk, while they are almost universally not opposed to software piracy even though it also puts their jobs at risk (but they get some "free" software yey)
      • Funny how on slashdot people are almost universally opposed to outsourcing, presumably on the grounds that it puts their jobs at risk, while they are almost universally not opposed to software piracy even though it also puts their jobs at risk (but they get some "free" software yey)

        And your use of universally makes your commentary universally silly. "Slashdot People" (of which you are presumably one, since you post here) may, as a group, object to outsourcing jobs.

        That is, presuming you specifically mean outsourcing jobs to India, Pakistan or some country not represented here in large numbers. I suspect that jobs outsourced to the UK from the US, for example, or vice-versa would not meet your assertion.

        Universal or nearly Universal acceptance of software piracy is going to be difficu

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by clarkkent09 (1104833)
          You can nitpick all you want about the term universal but, if you read the comments and follow the modding patterns on any of the stories dealing with piracy or outsourcing you don't need to be a statistician to see which way the overwhelming majority votes.

          I'd say that a substantial proportion of the slashdot community opposes piracy, but opposes the methods being employed to combat even more and you seem to be failing to distinguish between the two.

          Possibly, but it doesn't seem that way to me. The me
  • by BCW2 (168187)
    Would I be the only one surprised if the BullShit Association told the truth?

    Anything from them is a M$ policy ad.
  • ETHICS!! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mlwmohawk (801821) on Friday July 18, 2008 @03:03PM (#24246053)

    I make this point at least once a month.

    There used to be an assumption of ethics. If someone was caught in a lie or fabrication, it would be shameful and cause harm to the individual or an organization. Even organizations with which you disagree would probably be telling the truth.

    Those days are long gone. There isn't any effort into presenting the truth. No one cares. Everyone merely selects facts that support their position and tosses the rest. If you dare to present opposing facts, it just becomes a dispute.

    Look at "intelligent design" for some reason news agencies seem to think they they deserve equal time with actual science. That is no different than putting astronomers and astrologers on equal footing. Yes, Carl Sagan said there are billions of stars, but madam Maria predicts that there only 100,000 and half of them are in retrograde until 2012. Dial in, who do you believe? 1-900-USA-fucked

    There is no ethics or common sense. There is no public outcry or demand that public statements be factually accurate. We expect people to lie. We then use the lies we like to bolster our opinions based on our prejudices.

    Communication is impossible when everyone is lying.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by maxume (22995)

      What are you lying about?

  • by smellsofbikes (890263) on Friday July 18, 2008 @03:04PM (#24246057) Journal

    I have three linux machines at home. Every time I fire one up I run several hundred 'programs', including X, Qt, the TCP/IP stack, flash, firefox, amarok, ipchains. My two little headless linux computers, one disguised as a DSL modem and the other as a firewall, likewise run at least dozens of programs. I know there are tens of thousands of computers hosting websites all over the world that, likewise, are running dozens of 100% free programs.
    For their 1 out of 5 statistic to be right, within the United States, there must be a dozen people running nothing but pirated software just to make up for me.
    I know nine other people who are, likewise, running multiple computers, including several Windows machines, that have 100% legit/free programs on them. So now we're up to a hundred or so people running nothing but pirated software just to make up for me and my nine friends.

    Are there vast underground barracks filled with armies of illegal software users in Ohio and Florida? Is China outsourcing its goldfarming to the ghettos of East LA?

    • I used to run almost nothing but pirated software.

      Of course, my monetary situation has changed in the years since I graduated high school.

      • Part of my point is that the BSA, and the companies the BSA represents, have a problem: every year, fewer applications need to be bought because there are free versions that work well enough. We don't expect to buy driver programs hardware -- they're free. We don't expect to buy internet connectivity programs -- they're free. Many window managers, garbage collection programs, data compression programs, codecs, bluetooth protocol stacks, are free.
        What the BSA is saying is that 1/5 of the OS installations,

    • Shit, ipchains? Not an upgrader, are we? ;)
      • I'm not what you'd call an early adopter. That particular machine has a GPIB card in it to talk to my 1978 function generator, and a serial connection to my 1989 Amiga, which between them have dozens of other not-pirated programs running every time they're powered up.

        (I swear if I could get my 1964 oscillator interfaced to my computer I'd jump at the chance...)

    • As a resident of Ohio, let me assure you our barracks are only full of life saving supplies in case the apocalypse. After all, we may need 1 million copies of AutoCad to rebuild the earth after a major disaster.
  • Defined As? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by maz2331 (1104901) on Friday July 18, 2008 @03:09PM (#24246125)

    I wonder what their definition of "unlicensed" is. Are they using their definition that unlicensed means you can't find the original invoice for the software? You know, the one where you can have every COA stuck to the case of each machine, but no invoice is considered unlicensed because you can't prove that you didn't buy the licenses after the fact?

    Do they consider Open Source code to be unlicensed? Or shareware? Or what?

    Are they counting companies that shift licenses around when employees leave and PCs are retired?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by hellwig (1325869)
      There is some legitamacy to the BSA's claims, but not that much. Many companies incorrectly implement site licenses of software, or misenterpret the scope of the license. Therefore, a company may not knowingly be violating the terms of the license, and therefore not be pirating the software, but may still be out of compliance.

      You've got to think about how those licenses work anyway. Every time your business orders a new Dell or HP workstation, it comes with a Windows2000/XP/Vista license sticker. Wha
  • Not to mention (Score:4, Informative)

    by kilodelta (843627) on Friday July 18, 2008 @03:12PM (#24246159) Homepage
    Then there's the process the BSA uses to initiate action against an entity. The first thing it does is look at the financials of the company in question.

    I know, I submitted a former employer and was told that the company was in poor financial condition and would not be a viable target because of that.

    So if you're not making much money, pirate away!
  • by LM741N (258038) on Friday July 18, 2008 @03:16PM (#24246215)

    We need many more mental asylums.

  • by Geof (153857) on Friday July 18, 2008 @03:20PM (#24246261) Homepage

    The BSA numbers are highly suspect. Here's their forumla:

    Infringement = (machines shipped) * (usage estimate multiplier) - (legal BSA) - (legal non-BSA) - (legal FLOSS)

    As Russel McOrmond points out, only two of these numbers are actually known: the number of machines shipped and the amount of legal BSA software. The usage estimate multiplier is an estimate of the average amount of software on a machine in a given region. The essential number, however, may be the amount of legal open source software. How on earth do you calculate that? If it is low, then the piracy numbers could be way off. I distribute some open source code, and even I don't have a clear idea of how many people use it. McOrmond says FLOSS not shipped with a PC is often not included. Read McOrmond's article for an in-depth explanation [itworldcanada.com].

    My Mac has only a few BSA apps - the OS, iLife, and Photoshop Elements. How is the BSA to know that I'm also running Firefox, Thunderbird and OpenOffice (all FLOSS), or Scrivener, Tinderbox, and NetNewsWire (all legal non-BSA stuff written by and purchased from individuals)? How about my parents' machines, on which I've installed OpenOffice software? They probably wouldn't remember it was open source even if asked.

  • by zogger (617870) on Friday July 18, 2008 @03:30PM (#24246403) Homepage Journal

    Eliminating the failed prohibition model "war on some drugs" would result in being able to fire 25,000 cops as "not needed at all", as the main result of said war has been an accelerated crime rate related to black market prices and the associated violence with those huge sums of money. No telling how much savings there, but I would imagine it is in the billions. Switching to free and open source, just with governmental use on governmental machines, and especially if magically it could be retroactive back 10 years or better, would have freed up enough cash to give every person in ohio a free computer on savings over software licensing fees, said fees based completely on the "artificial scarcity" model of busy-ness as it relates to digital copies. And probably allow them to give upgrades every few years as well, using the same exact cash levels they are spending now.

    Now mine is thin air and I admit it, but at least it is closer to reality than the BSA and MAFIAA "enron styled" accounting figures, and that tie in with cops and crime was just too obviously *lame*.

  • trying to justify it's own existence? ..... I knew you could.

  • by dave562 (969951) on Friday July 18, 2008 @03:35PM (#24246477) Journal
    ...lost state and local tax revenue from piracy would have been enough to 'hire nearly 25,000 experienced police officers.'

    In other words, get on board with the anti-piracy program and you will have more revenue to trample peoples rights outside of cyberspace.

    Keep in mind that part of the target audience of the report is the law enforcement community who at some point has to see some benefit for themselves if they are going to enforce anti-piracy laws. Notice that they don't talk about it in terms of after school programs, or more teachers. Nope, not here in Amerika. We need more cops damn it! The people are getting too uppity.

  • So, really, what you're saying is that the report is just a bunch of BS, eh?

  • It seems to me that it is the business of the BSA to present software piracy as a significant problem, whether it is or not. I mean, their business model is to earn money by uncovering violations, right? So it would be bad for business if their software piracy report uncovered, say, a sharp decline in piracy. With such a clear conflict of interest, how could anyone believe what they say?

  • Just like RIAA set out to do with the definition of music downloads. Most of the "piracy" are simple oversights. I read about one engineering firm that got dinged because they had software on retired workstations that were then used for a different purpose (at the same company). They forgot to uninstall...I think it was some CAD tools...and they got fined big for that. They had licenses for all their working drafters, just neglected to delete the old software off re-purposed machines.

    That's why I'm hap

  • I really am touched. It is so important to see how Ohio could have hired 25,000 new policemen, because we need more policemen. We need to kick our public's ass. No, we dare not hire 25,000 new teachers... or improve the school system or raise teachers salaries... but instead... hire more gun legal state cowboys.

    No one really gives a shit about this country anymore. Its all about money. We're fucked because we eat ourselves alive. If piracy stopped tomorrow, i'm sure Adobe would NOT be charging $10 for photo

  • Paying sales tax? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Skapare (16644) on Friday July 18, 2008 @08:16PM (#24249689) Homepage

    Normally, when a product is sold in a state with a sales tax, the business doing the selling collects the tax and submits it to the state. Is the BSA actually doing that with the money they collect for pirated copies of commercial software? Inquiring minds want to know.

Numeric stability is probably not all that important when you're guessing.

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