Time to name and shame the anti-open source extremists

Time to name and shame the anti-open source extremists

Summary: If the BSA now wants to the U.S. government to drive open source under, then its members are also against open source. But the BSA's membership includes IBM, HP, Cisco, Adobe, and Dell -- some of the biggest boosters and biggest beneficiaries of open source on the planet.

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Since I began writing this blog in 2005 I have watched open source move from a fringe idea to something embraced by the IT mainstream.

But there are still extremists out there who want to destroy open source. Some of their names may surprise you.

What they have done is retreat into a group where they seek not to be identified.

The International Intellectual Property Alliance dates from 1984, before open source began, and is thus the perfect front group for this activity.

It's a coalition of seven groups that together comprise the copyright industry:

  • The Association of American Publishers (AAP)
  • The Business Software Alliance (BSA)
  • The Entertainment Software Association (ESA)
  • The Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA)
  • The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA)
  • The National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA)
  • The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)

Most of these groups are not involved in software, except as users. The exceptions are the BPA and ESA.

The IPAA's focus is on so-called Special 301 Reviews. It's an annual review of our trading partners' policies conducted by the U.S. Trade Representative. This can result in countries going on a Watch List making it harder to trade in these goods.

Most of the countries the IPAA wants on the lists are either havens for piracy or have laws that don't give as much protection to American movies, music and TV as the industry wants. Industry is apparently especially suspicious of Canada and Mexico.

But Edinburgh professor Andres Guadamuz has learned the group is now also going after open source, urging that countries go on the watch list if they merely encourage the idea.

This is not something that came from the music or movie industries. Both benefit enormously from open source, both in the creation of their products and in opening new markets.

This comes from the ESA and BSA. Let me focus on the BSA.

The BSA has long focused on piracy. Piracy is a problem. Piracy is bad.

But open source is a cure for piracy. It brings programmers from other countries into the software creation process. Its contracts let poor countries use software legally.

If the BSA's position has reversed, if it now wants to use the force of the U.S. government to drive open source under, then its members are also against open source. But the BSA's membership includes IBM, HP, Cisco, Adobe, and Dell -- some of the biggest boosters and biggest beneficiaries of open source on the planet.

It's time to ask these companies. Do you agree with the position of the trade group you belong to? Should you continue to support a trade group that is acting against your corporate interests?

Or are you playing a double game, supporting open source in public while trying to destroy it in private?

Topics: Enterprise Software, Open Source, Piracy, Security

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49 comments
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  • I've been fighting this enemy for years!

    I don't know why Dana forgot to mention M$ as the most malefic company from this unholy alliance.
    I'm calling out the M$ crooks and their cronies almost every post.
    You people should know by now that I'm on the right side and those who are against my ideas are agents of this evil alliance.
    Linux Geek
    • You're a parody, aren't you? (nt)

      .
      Lester Young
      • You're censorious, aren't you? [mt]

        You have no more right to express your opinions without disparaging responses than Linux Geek.

        On the other hand, Linux Geek has a U.S. Constitutionally guaranteed right to freedom of speech. His/her rights extend every bit as far as yours, and your rights to free speech end the instant they infringe his/hers.

        Your statement crosses that boundary.
        Isocrates
    • I could care less and many are the same....

      We just want to use what works or what we need to use to do what we want. You have been fighting them how? Oh by lambasting anything other than Linux and making baseless non-factual statements filled with emotional rants.

      Try being a leader and bringing people on to your side instead of acting like a damn elitist and thinking everyone but yourself is just an idiot.
      OhTheHumanity
    • You're a loony...(NT)

      nt
      g-ssg-22738810691057158710505623722271
      • typo: it's lonely not loony

        almost lonely against the M$ beast.
        Linux Geek
        • perhaps...

          ... both!!!

          :))

          cheers!
          g-ssg-22738810691057158710505623722271
      • Why is it

        you have nothing constructive to say and provide nothing of benefit to Linux Geek or anyone else? Your statement is worthless.
        Isocrates
    • RE: Time to name and shame the anti-open source extremists

      But the BSAs membership includes IBM, HP, Cisco, Adobe, and Dell some of the biggest boosters and biggest beneficiaries of open source on the planet.<a href="http://ipadbagblog.com/"><font color="LightGrey"> k</font></a>
      zakkiromi
  • I say let them take the first step.

    They should immediately cease all communications that touch pirate source at any time like Linux. Let see how far they get.

    The reality is that they only want freedom for corporations. Simple people like you and I should not be able to DIY. No we should have to crawl to the corps and beg for an opportunity. Now I bet someone at some point will come along and talk about the "benevolence" of a company like MS that gives you free tools....[i]now[/i] without ever thinking about why it is those tools are [i]now[/i] free. Prior to that you needed to make an investment to do anything.
    storm14k
    • The ironic thing is that the evil

      you accuse corporations of cannot occur without the enforcing power of
      the state. Yet you think the corporation is the villain.
      frgough
      • Irony indeed...

        Seeing as it is usually the money that is the source of the power. It would be an interesting thing to see how many of the country's laws came from people initiatives/lobbying or corporate initiatives/lobbying.

        My guess is over 90% of laws and the authority coming from them come from corporates' efforts, and I think I'm on the low side.
        zkiwi
        • Big corps and special interests own the US

          Both Republicans and Democrats are in their pocket :(

          Money is power.
          T1Oracle
          • I hope you do not mind that,

            although I agree with your first statement, I would like to alter your second statement to:

            "Money buys power."

            Thus, "both Republicans and Democrats are" bought, as is every form of government in the entire world. Only citizens can change that, and those governments have made their alteration and/or overthrow to be extremely difficult. (Even now, Iraq is hiring back tens of thousands of Saddam Hussein's leaders!)
            Isocrates
        • Agreed

          Ban politicians and "big business" leaders from any secret meetings or communications.
          Punishment for subverting democracy, should be life in prison and forfeiture of all assets.

          lehnerus2000
          lehnerus2000
          • Why sustain the enemy of democracy?

            Life in prison allows them to continue to influence society. Forfeiture of all assets should include forfeiture of life.

            The biblical method of eradicating destructive ideology is to totally remove it from the earth. Thus, even the memory (recorded history) of some civilizations were totally destroyed to stop their influence upon the earth.
            Isocrates
          • Not all...

            Not all countries allow execution.

            It should depend on the level of corruption. A few thousand dollars probably shouldn't get you executed. A few million dollars or decisions which cause people to die probably should.

            lehnerus2000
            lehnerus2000
      • Beat me to it

        I was going to make a sarcastic comment about the DYI software needing a license before you start and an inspection before you finish up. Good call.
        Bill4
  • Typo alert!

    <i>"Most of these groups are not involved in software, except as users. The exceptions are the <b><del>BPA</del></b> <b><ins>BSA</ins></b> and ESA."</i>
    The Mentalist
  • Loverock Davidson is a undercover for "The Business Software Alliance (BSA"

    Watch what you post as he Loverock Davidson and his buddy in crime Mike Cox are everywhere writing down what you say..... :-)
    Over and Out