Understanding BSA (Business Software Alliance)

BSA (Business Software Alliance) is an international body dedicated to promoting a safe and digital world. Haven't you heard about them ? Means that they are the one who are going out to nab all the people who use illegal software.

Understanding How It Functions:

And if we try to understand how it functions, on whether BSA is acting like a police or more like a counselor, the answer can be found from the following investigations.

If you check out the reporting form (under the category of end-user), it presents the following questions.

    1. What made you first suspect that the software was unlicensed? (Did you do an audit? Did you discuss the issue with the MIS? Did you install the software yourself? Are all the serial numbers the same? Is there only one original disk? PLEASE BE SPECIFIC!)

    2. How do you know unlicensed software is being used in other locations (please give a specific example, such as 'I sent the disks to all locations')?

    3. Did you or any other employees ever mention the software/licensing problem or discuss it with management? If yes, to whom was the problem mentioned and what was the response?

    4. Is senior management aware of the software problem?

    5. If the company knew of pending legal action, would it try to avoid detection by erasing the illegal software?

No Place for Sabotage:

And based on these questions, it is clearly understood that we CANNOT actually sabotage people because BSA would first act like a counselor then as enforcer.

For instance, on the first report, BSA would give the accuse benefit of doubts where even if answer to question no.4 is "Yes", BSA would then approach the senior management to inform them about such possibilities and only after several attempts of follow-ups, they will wipe out the enforcement gear.

But I wonder why there are still some people who would end up getting nabbed by BSA because I am pretty sure that BSA would have given them prior warning ?

Well, perhaps they just don't have enough money to switch over and try to buy time with other approaches.


Anonymous said…
As someone who is responsible for ensuring my companies software is legal and up to date, and therefore forced to deal with the BSA, I must say I find them to be rude, arrogant and always, without exception they take the stance that whatever you say, whatever documentation you have in the form of licenses etc, they assume you are using illegal software. oerhaps if they climbed down from their high horse and behaved in a more appropriate manner they may get somewhat better cooperation from IT, users. certainly I dislike with intensity the feeling I get after dealing with these idiots that I am a criminal
Brandon Teoh said…
Thanks for sharing.

At least you have experience in it.

So, the way you describe them seems to suggest that it is possible to "sabotage" companies using BSA.

BSA works more like an enforcer then.
Brandon Teoh said…
I just found out that...

BSA don't even have an office in Malaysia.

And you can only create report using ether telephone or web site.

And also, the "accused" has to at least use two or more illegal softwares in order for enforcers to move in.

I think it is a lot of hype.
R.V said…
honestly speaking, BSA's enforcement level of competence is still way below the standard mark of that required to prosecute for infringement of copyright. In fact, reversing the area of industry ie prosecuting at a level where even defence lawyers are unable to defend as a result of incompetence is a sure win! so, until this is achieved, copyright infringement will escalate.
Brandon Teoh said…
thanks for comment.