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 Nov 26, 2007 - 10:00 AM - by Michael
* BSA abuses Ernie Ball

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PC Games/Hardware/Microsoft
The Business Software Alliance raided music company Ernie Ball, and then used the moment to have member companies send around threat letters to the rest of the industry.

What's worse - they've been pulling this extortion racket a lot recently.

In the U.S., the largest software market, piracy rates have not budged in years. BSA critics say that is because making examples out of small businesses has little deterrent effect, since many company owners like Gaertner don't even realize they're violating copyrights.

"If they were going after actual pirates, that would be a different story, but they're going after hardworking companies," said Barbara Rembiesa, head of the International Association of Information Technology Asset Managers.
...
In one case, a BSA raid on musical-instrument maker Ernie Ball Inc. cost the company $90,000 in a settlement. Soon after, Microsoft sent other businesses in his region a flyer offering discounts on software licenses, along with a reminder not to wind up like Ernie Ball.

Enraged, CEO Sterling Ball vowed never to use Microsoft software again, even if "we have to buy 10,000 abacuses." He shifted to open-source software, which lacks such legal entanglements because its underlying code is freely distributed.

 

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