Is open source hurt by piracy?

Louis Suarez-Potts, who is community manager for Open Office, suggested that many users disdain open source because they can get proprietary titles "for free."

Software piracy cartoon
One of the more interesting points made at OSCON involved a little political jiu jitsu.

That is, piracy hurts open source too.  (This software pirate lives at Tuxwatch.)

Louis Suarez-Potts, who is community manager for Open Office, suggested that many users disdain open source because they can get proprietary titles "for free."

This is true, but it's unclear to me what the open source movement should be doing about this.

There is no direct financial loss to Open Office when someone has a pirated copy of Microsoft Office. To the extent that BSA enforcement actions cause fear in the market, that just benefits open source, so why join it?

On the other hand if we helped Oracle enforce its license terms we might accelerate the move to mySQL and Ingres.

A ComputerWorld article on Suarez-Potts' speech went on-and-on with numbers on software piracy, noting its continued prevalence in the U.S.

Granted, but if those pirates all quit and downloaded open source code tomorrow would it make a difference?

What should the attitude of open source be to the proprietary industry's ongoing enforcement efforts? My own attitude is welcoming, but faintly apathetic. What's yours?

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