Monday, July 19, 2004

Business Software Alliance may have released bogus report in order to support passage of the INDUCE Act

A major software industry group may have released a bogus piracy study in order to support passage of the INDUCE Act. While these sort of studies are typically self serving, this new one claims that there is $29 billion dollars of software piracy going on yearly. In previous studies the same group claimed that there was $13 billion in yearly losses due to software piracy.

[A] study released two weeks ago by the Business Software Alliance ... estimated the yearly losses from software piracy at $29 billion worldwide ... The trade group's previous estimate of software piracy losses was $13 billion a year.

Microsoft is a leading supporter of the Business Software Alliance. Better news is that:

More than 40 companies and organizations - ranging from Intel, Google and Verizon to the American Library Association - wrote to [Senator] Hatch on July 7, expressing concern that the bill would touch off a wave of copyright suits and would chill innovation. They requested a hearing on the bill before Congress proceeded any further.

There is a hearing scheduled for Thursday I believe. Of course it is hardly a full blown hearing. It'll consist of the Judiciary Committe support and the Industry groups all making speeches about how the INDUCE Act is needed in order to protect them from Kazaa. We'll see how much true debate there is and what they say about legal standards of intent and so on.

International Herald Tribune article here.


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