BSA’s Great Big Warning

The Business Software Alliance (BSA Philippines) is running a campaign aptly called the Oplan Crackdown.

They’re send out a huge poster on this:

All businesses engaged in the use and distribution of illegal software are warned — you have 30 days to legalize your unlicensed software and to stop selling pirated sofware.

They’re pushing the red button too early:

Starting September 16, the Pilipinas Anti-Piracy team will begin a series of raids against companies that continue to use, self-distribute unlicensed software. Those found guilty of violating the Intellectual Property Code or the Optical Media Act may face imprisonment up to 9 years.

But they’ve been doing raids for as long as I can remember that there exist a BSA.

Funny. It’s like a police car with the siren blaring on and trying apprehend a burglary-in-action. Or maybe, this is just a pretty neat marketing campaign. Besides, doing raids and filing cases would be yet another waste of corporate moolah for these software vendors, right?

Why not give these software pirates the last chance to get software licenses (and cash in on the converts)? It’s a win-lose proposition as against a lose-lose agenda.

Ok, let’s go FOSS.

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  • sir abe sa tingin nyo kasama dyan yung mga internet shops? ano sa tingin nyo magiging epekto ng mga raids na yan sa IT Industry natin?

  • bit

    Do they offer rewards to lawful citizens who report erring businesses? Hehe.

    I personally don’t like the idea of piracy. I will admit that I have quite a few pieces of pirated products, but only because of econmic reasons. I cannot afford PhPxx,xxx just for a few CDs of a program that I can get in a shop down the street for PhP150. (I try purchasing legitimate copies of everything I can afford ang think is worth supporting.)

    What the software industry should do, as well as the music and movie industries, IMHO, is to find a way to lower their costs and lower the prices of their merchandise.

  • Hey abe, can you clarify this part of the WinXP EULA:

    5. NO RENTAL/COMMERCIAL HOSTING. You may not rent, lease, lend or provide commercial hosting services with the Software.

    So…. does that mean kahit legit ang Windows, you can’t rent it to people? Like in the netcafe scenario?

  • @ Darkblack

    I guess they’re targetting the bigger fishes first. Unless you’re a bigwig netcafe like Netopia, mejo malayo ka pa sa listahan nila.

    @ bit

    Last time I heard they’re giving as much as Php1 Million (or 10% whichever is lower) as a reward.

    @ Rain

    I guess what it means about “renting” is like having another person use the license (and pay for it) for a period of time. The use of (legit) softwares in Netcafes to rent “internet” time is not covered in this clause.

  • Rain: They have a different EULA for net cafes… Ask Netopia 😉 They have stickers on their shops that say something about how they are licensed, etc.

    Abe: Go FOSS! 😉

    Bit: I know what you mean: economic reasons. Majority probably have the same reasons… I too have been using Php100 installers from Cubao before I used FOSS. If the software could be more affordable chances are that people would have the chance to buy them legally. However, how low can the prices go? I mean, there are specific software that people have gotten used to and so it might be difficult for them to not buy such software… But if they see that there are other software… Not only are some software free in terms of price but free in terms of the user being able to see how it works and free to tweak too. Anyhow, that’s it for the moment.

  • Thanks abe and clair. One of the speakers noted that at SFD05, and was just wondering about it 🙂

  • PreferedtobeAnonymous

    Guess what, everyone or almost 95% in our country fails from their requirements even the Netopia the largest internet cafe chain, believe me cause i work there. And even some of the goverments. But the goverment ofcourse they are protected from laws. But let see what happen to NETOPIA after sept. 16. Would the anti-piracy task force be fair?

  • bit

    While I do believe that companies can only push their prices down so far, they should still do their best to do so. Even if the price of pirated software stays at 100-150 per CD, if the legit copies were even at ~500, I’d think that it would attract at least some people away from piracy. When the price difference is in the thousands, you can’t help but wonder why these companies aren’t getting it.

  • As long as software prices sold here are still based on western standards (and by golly, most of the time even more expensive), then Pinoys–who would rather spend their dwindling disposable incomes on more pressing needs–would still opt for pirated copies.

    I agree with Bit that if legit copies were to be sold in the vicinity of PhP 500, then it would definitely be worth buying the real McCoy instead of the bootlegged copy.

  • namewithhelduponrequest

    I knew one of the inter café operator is quite agitated by now, just thinking about imprisonment or million peso penalty. He was computing per pc license about PhP 8,500 (windows xp) and PhP 12,000 (ms office), he’s having 20 units therefore: (8,500 + 12,000) X 20 units = Php 410,000 …. He was wondering how could he raise this additional 410,000 considering his shop rental is 15 pesos per hour….. Don’t blame him coz he’s located at u-belt and the current running rental is only 15 pesos…… Trust me 100% of internet cafes are using unlicensed software… The question is, after Sept. 16, would all these more than hundred thousands internet café operators be fitted in JAIL ? funny…. Nyahahahahah.

  • Dear BSA,

    Why not have a chat with Jonathan Schwartz, CEO of Sun Microsystems.

    Piracy is a good thing so long as the pirates are folks who could never afford your products.”

  • PreferedtobeAnonymous

    Sept. 16, is a tommorrow never dies day. Good luck guys, I haven’t had a sleep for 2 1/2 days from now. I’m thinking switching to different OS, just not microsoft. Try this link guys, it help us.
    I’m getting ready for today, i’ll watch the news and the streets. GOD BLESS PILIPINAS!

  • PreferedtobeAnonymous

    There are no sign of NBI, PNGA, BSA or any raid here in our area. Where do you guys think they start? Is any one of us hit yet?
    I’ve read lot of forums and emails. Some says, they get busted bcoz of Counterstrike and Warcraft but noone says anything about microsoft product, adobe or macromedia. What do you guys think?

  • A friend of mine in Laguna told me that a lot of cafe owners in their vicity have temporarily closed shop due to this.

    A popular alternative for their OS is Lindows.

  • Abe: Lindows? Bat naman Lindows… Ubuntu! *laughs* Kidding… I am biased towards Ubuntu obviously. (And Debian – of course!!!!)

  • @ Clair,

    I guess the net cafe owners aren’t that choosy. As long as it can run the usual games, rock on. 😀