back to article BSA sinks teeth into US dentists and door makers

Two US firms have agreed to hand over significant piles of cash to the Business Software Alliance (BSA) to settle claims they had run unlicensed software on their computers. Denver-based TruStile Doors will settle BSA claims that it had unlicensed copies of Microsoft and Symantec software on its PCs by shelling out a hefty $92, …


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  1. Geoff Mackenzie

    I know it's obvious but ...

    ... this is surely another of the many good reasons to switch over to Open Source software.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Time to switch?

    Why pay good money for bad, bloated software when you can get what you need for free? e.g. OpenOffice, AVG (the free one) and Comodo?

  3. Peter Simpson

    Economic impact?


    In 2003, piracy cost the Colorado economy more than 2,100 jobs, over $122 million in wages and salaries, over $178 million in retail sales of business software applications, and approximately $29 million in total tax losses.

    I have a problem believing this. 2100 jobs? Full-time jobs lost due to pirated software? I seriously doubt that *any* of the Microsoft or Symantec software was manufactured or sold in Colorado. Most likely, it was reproduced overseas, and distributed from Redmond or wherever Symantec has their distribution center.

    And if you need another 2100 people to take up the slack, you're doing it wrong.

  4. Kevin Johnston


    Have to agree.....I am a sad git with too much hardware at home since I am a self-employed consultant and apart from one PDC running MS, any boxes I add run Linux. Saves me a small fortune so for a larger organisation it would have to come out at a significant portion of the IT spend

  5. James
    Thumb Up

    @ Geoff Mac

    Totally agree. Time to download Open Office - they could train a good number of people for the $92K they've shelled out.

    If SpecSavers can run their entire business on Open Source then surely any other business can.

    If the French Gendarmes can save 70 million Euros a year, then surely other organisations can make huge savings.

    If the US armed forces trusts open source systems over Microsofts offerings then surely business should show the same trust.

    I often wonder why businesses that are otherwise "on-the-ball" when it comes to money and cost savings seem to be unable to decide between:

    Paid for systems :

    Cost a huge amount of money to implement and support

    Have major, costly upgrades every couple of years which involve costly hardware upgrades and staff re-training.

    Open source

    Free and widely available

    Usually better than equivalents above

    Upgraded as required

    Some training needed, I guess but not a huge amount.

    I am missing something or is this a no-brainer ?

  6. Tom

    A million!

    I'm pretty sure that the 1m reward could cover your SQL charges for a long while, so shop yourself in, pay them back with your reward money.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @James, Anonymous Coward & Geoff

    I run a business with around 100 pc installations. All running Windoze & MS Office (and all licensed).

    I would dearly love to move over to open source as it would save our business thousands of pounds. However, Open Office is just not there yet. It doesn't have the integration between apps that MS offers, and I'm still to discover properly integrated ODBC (to many flavours of back-end databases) in any of the Open Office apps.

    When you couple this with the massive learning curve across the user base (and I have to say getting some of them to use basic Windows functionality like drag and drop can be a challenge!), it just doesn't make sense to go Open Source for our desktop clients - although we do use it extensively for our back-end file servers, web traffic, intrusion detection etc.

    It's a great ideal to have, but in the real business world, Open Source is not the panacea we would all dearly love it to be - unless you're going to make a huge investment in re-training and re-writing of VB scripts.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Amazing new business opportunity

    "The BSA said it will continue to hunt down businesses in the US that illegally install unlicensed software, saying it will offer $1m to anyone willing to name and shame individual firms guilty of such action."

    Shirley, that must be "up to $1m", right? Otherwise I could set up a company, run some unlicensed software, dob myself in and pay the $83,000 fine, then claim the $1m.

    Paris, because she likes to break the law too.

  9. JeffyPooh

    Pirate Symantec products? Are you kidding?

    The fully-legal, bought-and-paid-for copies of Symantec products are a pain in the butt (*). I can't imagine what it must be like to also be fighting past their anti-piracy measures on a day-to-day basis. Don;t these people have other things to do?


  10. Jon

    Read the *#@& agreement

    AVG "free" is only free to non commercial users

  11. Anonymous Coward

    "accepted" ... the level of unlicensed software ... around 35 per cent

    "Accepted"? I thought they were the instigators and sole supporters of that claim which everyone else regards as transparent BS?

  12. Doug

    feeture fud from @James ..

    re: @James, Anonymous Coward & Geoff

    Nonsence, a Linux desktop GUI is as usable as any other. Have you considered the Apple desktop. Is that less 'user friendly' then the Windows standard .. :)

    > Open Office is just not there yet. It doesn't have the integration between apps that MS offers

    What integration are you refering to. I work in a multi-national with bases in the US/Australia and the UK up to a thousand workstations. Their entire IT systems consists of: Browser/word/excell/and Exchange for email, a mass of mapped networked drives for client date. Finally a citrix client accessing a msSQL database, Given this it left me wondering why they needed such a fat client at all. A diskless client would have provided the same functionality, at a fraction of the cost. Oh, I forgot the Websense and antivirus licenses, required to protect the desktop from the Internet.

    > and I'm still to discover properly integrated ODBC (to many flavours of back-end databases) in any of the Open Office apps.

    I don't understand, your trying to connect OpenOffice to a Microsoft ODBC database, for why and what exactly is the difficulty. What kind of business is it that requires such complexity.

    > When you couple this with the massive learning curve across the user base ..

    As I test I put people infront of this Ubuntu desktop, they don't know the difference ..

    What training, sit them down in front of Mozilla Firefox, Open Office, Evolution and they don't know they're not using Windows.

    And you don't have the danger of all your confidential records walking out the door when someone clicks on an email attachment.

    > a huge investment in re-training and re-writing of VB scripts.

    HAve you considered using a cross platform scripting utility. That way you won't hold your entire company hostage to the one software company.

    Why are you writing VB scripts, I thought you had a database at the backend? What version of Linux are you using?

    You're talking nonsense, the most innovative VB scripts I've ever seen being used was one that from a form, constructed a unique file name from,,, department. Eg jfs.rtg.gsf.ppt. They kept all client data a powerpoint files in masses of mapped drive names, none of which was searchable .. :)

    A top fortune 500 consultancy, does anyone want to know thier name, email me and I'l tell you .. :)

  13. Mark
    Thumb Down

    RE: @James, Anonymous Coward & Geoff

    So pay for the inertia or change your processes (you changed them when you bought the PC kit). Stick with the old systems because you'll have to pay to retrain too.

    If you cannot get off the treadmill, don't complain Linux isn't ready: the APPS YOU USE aren't ready. If they were ready, they would support the platform you wanted to use. there's absolutely no technical reason why any program written for windows could not be ported to Linux (or, if you're really cheap, WINE).

    Or pay the treadmill and keep quiet because not everybody on that treadmill can't get off.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Poke, poke

    Always good to see this sort of story driving the penguin lovers out of their dark holes shouting "Microsoft BOOOOOO" and reminding everyone that if you run windows you'll be an infected mess that needs rebooted every 15 seconds forever whereas if you run Linux your life will be a stress free paradise filled with pink unicorns and sweet, sweet blamange.

    Linux has its place but its not usually as straightforward as its lovers like to think and Windows in smaller environments can be both easier and cheaper (especially as you don't need a beardy on a huge salary to operate it for you)

  15. Doug

    someone send them a CD

    Sounds like these BSA folk need to be followed by some OSS folk. Someone send these companies a CDROM from Ubuntu and the OpenDISK:

  16. Anonymous Coward

    Lazy IT Managers

    I think the uneducated or lazy IT mangers of the companies to blame for this reliance on Bloat ware producers Microsoft and other Bloat ware gangs.

    Simply Investing a little amount of time in knowing and learning OpenSource solutions is better for their companies in the long run . Many IT managers still think if they use MS products irrespective of its inefficiencies , they can Cover their A*****.


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