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Why the BSA Is Less Reviled Than the RIAA 371

Hugh Pickens writes "The Business Software Alliance (BSA) is a trade group established in 1988 representing a number of the world's largest software makers whose principal activity is trying to stop copyright infringement of software produced by its members, performing roughly the same function for the software industry that the RIAA performs for the music industry. Yet, as Bill Patry, author of a 7-volume treatise on US copyright law and currently Senior Copyright Counsel at Google, notes on his blog the BSA is a 'far less unpopular organization' than the RIAA because there are three key differences between the BSA's campaigns and the RIAA's. First, BSA's members have always offered their products for sale to the public, through any channel that wants to sell them. Second, BSA's members are consumer-oriented; they try to develop products that respond to consumers' needs, and not, the reverse: focusing on what they want to sell to consumers. Third, because consumers can easily purchase BSA's members products, those who copy without paying are simply scofflaws. 'I think the fact that the public does not object to BSA's campaign proves my point [that]... people do not want things for free; they are willing to pay for them,' writes Patry. 'It should not be surprising that when consumers are not treated with respect, they react negatively. That's something the software industry learned long ago, and that's why people don't object to the BSA's enforcement campaign.'"

Congressman Hollywood Wants To Make DMCA Tougher 228

Stormy seas writes "Congressman 'Hollywood' Howard Berman (D-CA) used a House subcommittee hearing today to express his view that the DMCA was in need of a rewrite. In his view, it doesn't go far enough. During his opening remarks for a hearing on the PRO-IP Act, Berman said that the DMCA's Safe Harbor needs further scrutiny and that it might be time to make filtering mandatory. There's more: Berman also 'wants to examine the "effectiveness of takedown notices" under the DMCA, and he'd like to take another look at whether filtering technology has advanced to the point where Congress ought to mandate it in certain situations.'"

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