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Yahoo!/eWeek: Truce or dare (BSA audits chasing businesses to open source?)

Jul 31, 2001, 17:35 (43 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Michael R. Zimmerman)

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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 source software:

"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."

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