"The BSA, an organization of software publishers which presents
itself as a faux-officious police enforcement bureau, is conducting
a global campaign of threats, bullying, and terror on behalf of
Microsoft and other of its members. The goal of the campaign is to
frighten users of unlicensed software into buying legitimate,
"The BSA/MS alliance has come under scrutiny before. In
South America in the early 1990s, it appears that the BSA was
simply turning pirates of other vendors' products into legal
Microsoft users. That is to say, if businesses were found
using illegal copies of AutoDesk or Corel Draw, settlements were
being negotiated that only required they become legal MS
"Is the BSA acting solely on Microsoft's behalf in this
current campaign? That level of detail isn't known at this time.
But what is known is that MS and the BSA are in lock-step in the
timing and content of their delivery. More than one Austin
firm, neither of which use MS products, received a "Special Offer"
to get 20% off of Microsoft licenses purchased during the BSA
"truce" period in order to come into compliance. That "Special
Offer" bears an MS copyright, and it was followed three days later
by another BSA letter threatening fines and/or jail time. A copy of
the "Special Offer" appears below."