Sony BMG: Do as I say, not as I do...

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31-03-2008 10:57:07

I don't put much stock in BSA raids either, but I find this ironic nevertheless.


[quoteacc5dd010f]Sony BMG Caught Pirating Software
from the funny-how-that-works dept

Wouldn't you know it? The organizations who scream the loudest about how unauthorized copies are "theft" and how "piracy" is destroying their industries are just as likely to get caught making unauthorized copies themselves. In the past, for example, we've pointed out that the MPAA was using software in an unauthorized manner, and also that it had made unauthorized copies of a movie, against the demands of the movie's producer. Now, we find out (via Slashdot) that Sony BMG has been caught in a BSA raid with a ton of unauthorized software -- potentially up to 47% of the software at the offices. Now, I tend to think that BSA raids are highly questionable, but if it's true that Sony BMG is using unauthorized software, the company has some explaining to do. It's one of the major labels and has been a huge supporter of the RIAA's "anti-piracy" campaign. For a company so adamantly against piracy, it seems rather telling that it can't live up to its own standards. Considering the RIAA has been pushing for Congress to increase the statutory fines for copyright infringement, perhaps Sony would like to set a good example and pay at the high end of the range?[/quoteacc5dd010f]


31-03-2008 12:36:05

Almost certainly, not so much pirating, as not having licenses enough for each user in the office...not quite the same as downloading (which is what I'd call pirating).


31-03-2008 14:07:48

[quote1c5aacbac4="doylnea"]Almost certainly, not so much pirating, as not having licenses enough for each user in the office...not quite the same as downloading (which is what I'd call pirating).[/quote1c5aacbac4]
Agreed, but a license violation is a license violation, right? I see it no different than downloading, really -- you're acquiring a product for which you've not paid a license, thereby avoiding cost to yourself. And if we choose to drink the RIAA/MPAA/BSA Kool-Aid and believe that every copy of {insert licensed media here} used without payment robs the industry of the face value of said media (which I believe to be pure B.S.), then they are stealing from Microsoft or Adobe or whomever just as surely as the filesharers are stealing from Sony/BMG by downloading their music. Which is why I felt this story to be particularly ironic.

Where I make the distinction with true piracy is not with downloading, but with distribution (uploading) and especially profiting. I don't consider downloading, nor lack of control over business software installations, as piracy in the strict sense. Of course the law is inclined to disagree with me. )

The fact that they failed compliance is really no surprise, it's just a matter of who they are. As an employee in the I.S. department of a very large corporation, I fully understand that a certain amount of license violation is inevitable, as I see it every day. It's very difficult to regulate or even be aware of what people install when you have tens of thousands of employees, at least without a lot of expensive, specialized infrastructure in place. I just think that a company like Sony/BMG, which has a very large interest in license enforcement -- and sure makes a lot of noise about it -- would have up to [b1c5aacbac4]47%[/b1c5aacbac4] of their software in violation of license, is hilarious. I know the reality is they are just as vulnerable as my company or anyone else's, yet it still smacks of sweet hypocrisy. )


31-03-2008 14:20:50

Oh I agree. I used to work in a small 30-person boutique consulting firm, and [i58b21f5356]we[/i58b21f5356] (and it was a 10th level duty of mine) had trouble keeping licenses current.

It's a discussion for another day, but, defining piracy would be a very interesting conversation to have around here.