* Posts by Alan Plastow

6 posts • joined 26 Jan 2008

Watchdog calls for Google break-up

Alan Plastow

Good PR - That's about it...

Recipe for bringing your obscure watching the poodle group out of their isolated little doggie house? Pick a large and successful enterprise - especially one that actually delivers value to the consumer - and fire off a fantasy press release. Ensure that your scope of statement is partially plausible but completely bazaar in it's foundation claims.

The media will ensure that world reads a path to your screen door.

Recipe for complete failure and corporate collapse? Publish something intelligent....maybe even try recommending something that contributes to the quality of life of those consumers you are "protecting."

Nokia: digital SLRs are doomed

Alan Plastow

Half-a%$#$ photos R us!

You are probably correct in a rather "not so aware" manner - but you are also missing the point. That point is a potential image quality that reaches WAY beyond an 11-year old with a camera phone in the thirty-seventh row of the rock concert.

Single Lens Reflex cameras are designed to create - camera phones are designed to entertain. There is an enormous difference. A competent photographer (sometimes, even incompetent ones) can "craft an image" with a SLR - modifying depth of field, degree of perspective, even "bending the light" to create something incredible.

Camera phones, on the other hand, are designed to take purty pikiturs in a reactive manner - most of which are almost immediately disposed of. In our ever-more shallow society where quick, purty, sloppy and disposable are rapidly overcoming "craft" in nearly every endeavor, camera phones are a perfect mediocre fit.

Net downloads cause 'millions of lost jobs'

Alan Plastow

Flawed studies tend to lack credibility...

After reading through the actual Chamber "study" I find it difficult to take it seriously. As usual, the Chamber (along with way too many legislators) has used the BSA/IDC Global Piracy research to support their observations. As long as we continue to use software industry (or music industry) generated or sponsored statistics the quality of these studies will always be suspect. (Doubt me? Do a search on the wide range of "defects" in this type of research.) Another serious foundation problem? There are virtually no independent checks and balances on accuracy to encourage credibility or ensure the absence of hidden agendas in either study methodology or in the interpreted findings.

The keys to reducing the instances of copyright non compliance (especially in developed countries) will not be found in alienating primary consumers with threatened punitive litigation but in a re-invention of wooing those consumers with lower prices and higher value. As long as enforcement industry players continue to equate anti piracy with consumer value, not much will happen on the positive side. Go after the genuine pirates with the threats – NOT the people and companies who have made honest licensing mistakes or who have unknowingly purchased incorrectly licensed products.

Reducing non compliance is an empty option. There is literally no value in it for the consumer. However, there IS solid value in helping consumers (specifically business consumers) establish cost-effective and supplier-neutral processes for taking control of technology investments and increasing tech life cycle ROI - the actual business value we SHOULD be getting from these products & services. Unfortunately, these life cycle management initiatives are distinctly NOT profitable for the software industry players, so the possibility of a majority of those players supporting the idea is rather slim.

Change the current trend. Deliver serious value at a reasonable price and the frequency of copyright non compliance will reduce itself. I'm not referring to music or video issues in this comment AND I'm certainly not labeling every teenager or small business with the ridiculously over-blown and inappropriate PIRATE moniker. Instead, I'm suggesting that abusing the intelligence of customers with carefully spun research and highly scripted PR work is simply no longer going to work.

Need help with compliance assurance? Use your head and get that help from people who do not profit from your honest mistakes. Interested in increasing the ROI on tech spending? Take back internal control of your entire technology environment, manage it efficiently, and demand genuine measurable value for your money. These are not difficult issues (though plenty of industry players want to convince you they are...). It's ALL brain work. You do NOT need to buy more software; or more hardware; and you certainly don't need to hire yet another pot load of consultants.

Ballmer clashes with Obama over US tax rules

Alan Plastow

Founder / CEO

Wait... You mean Ballmer is upset because MS just might actually have to pay the taxes they owe--taxes that they, along with hundreds (thousands?) of businesses, have managed to ignore. Isn't the prospect of missed tax revenues a key foundation of the Business Software Alliance's (therefore, Microsoft's) big "Why we need to stop software piracy" initiative?

I'll save you the trouble--Yes it is--in every Global Piracy Study for the past five or six years, lost tax revenue is a key excuse for enacting more onerous legislation. Now, I realize we're discussing employment taxes, but isn't this the same basic problem? Um... Microsoft, the intent of that law was to enable you to move into the international marketplace and begin competing--not to avoid your responsibilities. Now that you are established, why not consider paying your debts to the societies that gave your company life?

What ever happened to the investigations into off-shoring intellectual property to Ireland to hide it from U.S. taxation? Ref, here is only one of the dozens of articles on side-stepping taxes that seem to have simply dried up: http://www.finfacts.ie/irelandbusinessnews/publish/article_10003995.shtml

Seems like there is a double standard going here... Surprised? Please accept my sincere apologies for speaking out. I realize it isn't "politically correct" to point out these types of scams.

Copyright cops launch MS-happy software compliance tool

Alan Plastow


Unfortunately, the collective software and copyright enforcement groups do, indeed, have the right to audit your companies. (Please review your licenses for a "Right to Audit" clause--nearly every license has one.) More importantly, we have found that the vast majority (as in 80%+) of enforcement audits are targeting small- to medium-sized enterprises. These are the same SMEs that pay the highest amount for each software product while being pushed into the least favorable license agreements.

The most useful and cost effective answer to all of the posts in this thread is that virtually any business, of any size, can learn to monitor its own compliance by sending one person to a single +/- four day asset management course and at considerably less cost. The infrastructure you put in place to ensure compliance due diligence is the same as that required to monitor ROI for ALL of your technology assets--not merely the PC / MAC software that the enforcement industry players want you to monitor. You simply scale it up to higher levels of internal control.

The automated tools needed to perform all these proactive business process improvements can--and do--quickly pay for themselves (If you even REQUIRE an automated tool, which most SMEs do not.) And, as many of you have pointed out, there are plenty of very affordable automated tools available--you just gotta understand how best to make use of them.

The core issues behind all of this hype are that you are either controlling your entire portfolio of technology spending and utilization for yourself or the vendors (and/or their FAST / BSA-style friends) are going to do their best to come in and do it for you--for a nicely boosted fee. We've proven time and time again that you can regain as much as 25% of your existing technology budget while reducing ongoing tech costs by as much as 40% simply by exerting strong business process controls over tech spending. Or, you can keep sending your hard-won revenue to the IT suppliers for ever more onerous contracts, licenses, and services.

Got questions? Let us know and we'll do our best to provide cost-effective answers.

Software pirates put sizeable dent in UK economy

Alan Plastow

And the Stats Become Laws!

I've read and can agree with nearly every comment about this study. The thing that interests me the most is that it's virtually impossible to find a definitive copy of the study process. There are plenty of "here's the overviews" but no details.

The key that we should ALL be VERY worried about is that a vast majority of global copyright laws and regulations are using this series of studies as the definitive basis for legislative action.

We all better wake up or what is being done out there in the so-called anti-piracy land is going to wind up being done to us!


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