"We hear a lot about
politicians and countries rejecting ACTA, but not so much from the treaty's supporters. Here's a new site, called " ACTA Facts", which invites Europeans to "get the facts" on how wonderful ACTA really is. Judging by its content, this one will be about as successful as Microsoft's "Get the Facts" campaign a few years ago, which tried to dissuade people from using GNU/Linux. For example, a new report linked to by the site claims that ACTA could "boost European output by a total of €50 billion, and create as many as 960,000 new jobs." Unfortunately, that's based on numerous flawed assumptions, including the idea that countries like China and India are going to rush to join ACTA, when the treaty is actually designed as a weapon against them, as they have already noticed."
"As rumours about Apple's imminent cloud-based music service "iCloud" continue to swirl, here's an
interesting possibility: "Users will be able to store their entire music collections in the cloud—even if they obtained some songs illegally." That could be a real breakthrough, because it would mean that the recorded music industry would finally have a way to make money from piracy, which becomes a kind of marketing for services like Apple's. The War on Sharing might not be over, but could we at least see a ceasefire?"
BSA report on software piracy is out, with even bigger numbers: "The commercial value of software piracy grew 14 percent globally last year to a record total of $58.8 billion." Yes, they're using the old "commercial value" trick: "The commercial value of pirated software is the value of unlicensed software installed in a given year, as if it had been sold in the market." Except, of course, that the main reason users in developing countries — the main focus of the report — resort to piracy is because they can't afford Western-style pricing. It's also fun to see the BSA trotting out the old "reducing piracy would generate lots of new jobs and taxes for local governments" — except that it doesn't, because the money not paid for software licences does not disappear, but is just spent elsewhere in the local economy."
The Business Software Alliance is making some big claims in its
latest study: "Reducing the piracy rate for PC software by 10 percentage points — 2.5 points per year for four years — would create $142 billion in new economic activity while adding nearly 500,000 new high-tech jobs and generating roughly $32 billion in new tax revenues by 2013." Digging through the documents backing up those figures, it becomes clear that this analysis omits to take into account the *negative* effect on other sectors that moving from unlicensed to licensed copies would have. After all, if people have to pay for software they currently use for free, they will spend less on other sectors, all things being equal. That will lead to less tax revenue, and fewer jobs for the local economies, not more, as the study suggests.
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Enzymes are things invented by biologists that explain things which
otherwise require harder thinking.
-- Jerome Lettvin