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BSA in Italy cries: We are not guilty

Nov 12, 2000, 17:56 (11 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Francesco Marchetti-Stasi)

[ Thanks to Francesco Marchetti-Stasi for this report: ]

Ten days after the [claim] of a private citizen accusing them of untrustworthy advertising, BSA issued a press release. They claim they are not guilty, and that the ad was well-meant.

The press release, of course, is in Italian. Here's the translation.

Milan, November 8, 2000 - Business Software Alliance, the non-profit international organisation representing some of the major software houses, rejects the accusation that their advertising campaign may be untruthful, and claim instead that it is correct and important to convince firms to check the law compliance of their software.

The accusation shows that the problem of software piracy is still largely underestimated and difficult to fight, since a normal ad, necessarily expressed in terms meant to be comprehensible to everybody, was interpreted in a contorted way, to block the campaign itself.

The choice of the ad made by BSA was based on the alarming reports on the violation in Italy of software copyright made by International Planning Research: this data shows that 44% of the software present on the market is not original. This phenomenon appears to be much widespread also in the Italian firms, due to the small perception of its seriousness by the public.

In this scenario the recent law n. 248/2000, which modified the previous law on copyright by giving better protection to copyright holders, clarified that the unauthorised duplication made for profit and the holding of software for commercial purpose [sic...] is a crime punishable with jail from 6 months to 3 years and with a fine from 5 to 30 millions lire [from 2'000 to 13'000 $].

Therefore BSA set as its goal the spreading of the important message coming from the new law, with the aim to raise the knowledge of the phenomenon and stimulate the public to get more information on software protection by the law.

Still no news from AGCM; apparently their reaction time is much longer than BSA's itself. Let's hope at least they'll find BSA's advertising guilty.

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