The Business Software Alliance, aka "the license compliance
people," takes a hard hit in this article, which maintains that the
company is indiscriminate in its letter campaigns and may, after a
typical brief period of compliance, be pushing customers to open
"If you're a small or medium-size company, there's a
good chance you've heard from the Business Software Alliance about
getting your software compliant with its licenses. If not, you
probably will. The group is well into a nationwide letter and radio
campaign to do just that.
But what you probably don't know is that, like so many of the
companies that stuff your mailboxes with junk mail, the BSA, which
represents such software giants as Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT),
Adobe Systems Inc. (NASDAQ:ADBE)
and Apple Computer Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL),
has no intention of following up on its letters-regardless of how
threatening and personal they may seem. It won't phone. And it
won't pop in for a surprise audit.
Instead, an eWeek investigation reveals, the BSA's campaign is
primarily a marketing effort essentially designed to scare people
into buying more software. But for many enterprise customers who
are quickly becoming fed up with the group's hardball tactics, the
campaign is having the reverse effect: compliance, then departure
to alternative products, like open source."