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Businesses The Almighty Buck

BSA's Tactics and Motives Questioned 237

Posted by kdawson
from the shakedown-artist-is-still-an-artist dept.
_Hellfire_ sends us over to Baseline Magazine for a longish article entitled After 20 Years, Critics Question the BSA's Real Motives, which paints the Business Software Alliance in the same colors as the RIAA. "A recent Associated Press story highlighted the fact that 90 percent of the $13 million collected by the BSA in 2006 came from small businesses. Since 1993 the group has collected an estimated $89 million in damages from businesses on behalf of its members, every penny of which it keeps. 'I don't know of a business where you can get away with raiding a customer with armed marshals and expect them to continue to do business with you...' said [Sterling] Ball, who shifted his company to open source software after the raid."
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BSA's Tactics and Motives Questioned

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  • BSA? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Geoffrey.landis (926948) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @04:51PM (#22227362) Homepage
    I have to say, I read the headline and really wondered why slashdot was interested in the Boy Scouts of America.
    • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

      by jtroutman (121577)
      I read it and wondered why Slashdot had an article on motorcycles...BSA (Birmingham Small Arms) was a British motorcycle manufacturer. Back in the day, the bikes were called "beesers", which is why BMWs are now called "beemers" (though, the cars should be called "bimmers", "beemer" only refers to the motorcycles).
  • Same again (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Wowsers (1151731) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @04:57PM (#22227430) Journal
    It's the same situation in the UK, the little guys get screwed over software licenses that for example, may have expired and nobody keeping an eye on things, whilst the big companies have big lawyers to get away with it.

    Should make Linux a bit more of an interesting proposition.
    • by jorghis (1000092)
      I dont think this is a big company having the resources to defend themselves kind of issue. Its more likely that big companies have more money and are more inclined to go out of their way to minimise their chance of getting sued. Therefore a big company is likely to have an IT department that does a good job of making sure it has licenses for everything and doesnt cut corners to save a few bucks here and there.
      • Re:Same again (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Chris Burke (6130) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @07:35PM (#22229312) Homepage
        Therefore a big company is likely to have an IT department that does a good job of making sure it has licenses for everything and doesnt cut corners to save a few bucks here and there.

        Yes, that's very true, the big company can afford to pay people solely to look after their licensing.

        It also has to do with the kinds of licensing small business vs large ones can afford. A large corporation can afford site licenses or bulk-licenses where a large number of users are covered by a single license. It's much easier to keep track of, and to know whether any particular user of the software is legal (either they all are, or any machine that can get a license from the license server is), and easy to know when it expires (there's one date).

        Whereas a small company that has to buy individual licenses (especially in the form of shrink-wrapped boxes which means the license is in paper form) has a lot more to keep track of, like when each piece of software was purchased and thus when it expires, and more documentation to dig up when the BSA comes knocking. Plus the BSA is notorious for going after technical violations of licenses where things like moving a hard drive from one machine to another is against the terms, so even though Software In Use == Legal Software Licenses and thus the software vendor got all the money they deserve, the BSA will still force them to pay a fine.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Opportunist (166417)
        It's more a matter of revenue.

        You have a small company that you could either get to buy a handful of licenses or pay a steep fine.
        You have a huge company that you could either get to buy a ton of licenses or pay about the same fine.

        Question for 500: Which one of those is going to get sued, and which one gets the option to "correct" their licenses?
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Herby Sagues (925683)
          I've seen plenty of such BSA actions around businesses I work with. In most cases where steep fines were applied the companies were basically above 90% pirate. It's not about lack of dedication to counting licenses, but about either complete disregard for IP and law, or absolute carelesness. In the cases where there was a low percentage of piracy, either no fines were applied (strong notes and recommendations to legalize were received though) or small fines ammounting to somewhat more than the missed licen
    • Thats why you never get involved with a software lease. You are tied to them forever then, having to be forced upgrades, etc.

      It may cost more in the short term, but at least its yours to use 20 years from now if you feel like it, and turns to to be cheaper in the long run.
      • by Vancorps (746090)

        How many computers do you keep around for 20 years? Same with servers, a 3 year lease leaves you paying for 80% of the value of the product and you get refreshed with new hardware after the term is up. As a result you always have hardware under warranty and you get to take advantage of increased processing ability. Of course not every business grows as fast as the one I'm responsible for. We just started leasing hardware as we're finding it to be far simpler all around. Don't have to worry about Windows or

        • by nurb432 (527695)
          Due to advancements 10 year old computers and software are still viable today ( office 97, PIII 900, for example ) and today's machines will be useful in another 10 if not longer.

          ALso lots of agreements force you to upgrade within a certain amount of time after the old release is retired. I suppose a lease may be fine for some, but ill *never* lease if i have any say-so in the matter. I want ownership of the software and hardware and retain the freedom of choice down the road.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Simon Brooke (45012)

          How many computers do you keep around for 20 years? Same with servers, a 3 year lease leaves you paying for 80% of the value of the product and you get refreshed with new hardware after the term is up. As a result you always have hardware under warranty and you get to take advantage of increased processing ability. Of course not every business grows as fast as the one I'm responsible for. We just started leasing hardware as we're finding it to be far simpler all around. Don't have to worry about Windows or Office licensing, it's all built-in.

          Leasing makes a lot of sense, especially when you consider that you're not forced to run the new software on the new hardware. You always have the ability to use an older version. That is the reason a Vista license is valid for XP with a simple phone call if you're a single sap at home or through the VL site if you're a business customer.

          Of course you do pay for the convenience but it's quite worth while. That NT4 license from the 90s isn't all the useful to me now. Same with Netware 3, of course I do get a number of servers without an OS and use Debian for my workhorse servers. Then I don't have to worry about expiring licensing and all I have to do is remap the LUN when I get the new server to replace it.

          Looking in my server rack, there's nothing there less than eight years old and one machine which is twelve years old (and that one is still serving the same system it served twelve years ago, which says something for stability). All of them except the old one run Debian. The thing is, except for big databases, few server-side tasks are actually that demanding - they're all bandwidth limited, not processor limited (even big database systems are more likely to be IO-bound than mill-bound). I agree a twenty

    • I don't really see what you have to question. The BSA has been pretty blatant that they're *all* about collecting money via any means possible from any one that they can basically extort it from.

      Quite frankly, a quick look at their business model shows them to be what they are - the new corporate raiders.

      2 cents,

      QueenB.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by dpninerSLASH (969464) *
      These folks are pros; within 15 minutes of speaking with you they'll know whether or nor you run running legitimately-purchased software or not. If you're out of compliance you're up a creek and you had better believe that they won't even think of letting go.

      If you are in compliance, be cooperative and let them look over your inventory. The moment they start demanding payment politely escort them off your property, and remind them if they continue to push the matter you'll have every consumer advocate g
  • Him again? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Otter (3800) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @04:59PM (#22227466) Journal
    ...said [Sterling] Ball, who shifted his company to open source software after the raid.

    Perhaps a more accurate title would be "After Eight Years, We've Found a Second Person to Put In a Story With Sterling Ball"?

    Admittedly, the new guy, who seems to have been knowingly using unlicensed software, isn't the most sympathetic figure, but at least it's a break from extrapolating Sterling Ball to the entire business world.

  • ...then you probably weren't actually a customer, so I doubt the software company would be very depressed to lose your business.

    Not that I condone the BSA....
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by larry bagina (561269)
      not true. A lot of it is paperwork compliance. Like installing Photoshop on 1 computer. The graphic designed gets a new computer and the old one is sent to a different department without uninstalling. If you're a big company with site licenses and an IT staff that reimages computers daily, no problem. If you're a small business, oops.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @05:14PM (#22227686)
      A) much of the time they get their authority to raid you from the agreements you signed when you became a customer; not being a customer makes you much safer

      B) most of the people they get actually had licenses but have no clue how to fulfill the strict audit requirements. No the stickers on the back of your machine are not enough. You must have a purchase agreement for _everything_

      C) most of the time the they threaten jail sentences (for the IT managers and staff) and accept money.

      People just don't bother to fight because it's not worth it unless you are whiter than white, which is almost impossible in any company actually working and not spending it's entire time preparing for a BSA audit.

      In other words, the best way to avoid the BSA is to stop being a Microsoft customer and switch over entirely to free software like Linux. Even if you claim the proprietary stuff is better (which it isn't) is it really worth destroying your life for a few bucks more of your employer's time?
      • by ivan256 (17499) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @12:00AM (#22231148)

        B) most of the people they get actually had licenses but have no clue how to fulfill the strict audit requirements. No the stickers on the back of your machine are not enough. You must have a purchase agreement for _everything_


        Keeping certificates is not enough. I worked for a company that got audited once. It was a small business, but run by a pair of lawyers who were sticklers for details. They shredded old paperwork after some number of years, and they got nailed because they had the certificates that came with NT 4.0, but not the receipts.

        I honestly believe you could do everything by the book, and they'd still find something to nail you for... Not to mention that the audit costs your business in both time and money.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward
          As someone who has gone through a rather extensive BSA audit, I cant agree with your comment - all we did to show compliance was produce the license certificates or electronic licenses (via Eopen or similar), no receipts were shown or asked for, and we had no problems with that at all. The audit took a week, they left accepting we were in compliance, and we had no fine to pay. All in all, while no audit is a pleasant experience, this was better than some others I have been through as they went out of thei
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by ivan256 (17499)
            I'm curious as to when your audit was. The one I describe was in 1999. They may have changed practices since... Or you might have gotten lucky... Or somebody higher up on the chain from you might have greased some palms...

            And it's not a matter of "agreeing." It happened exactly as I described.

            For the conspiracy theorists out there, I'd like to add that the servers at said company ran Linux, even though the workstations were NT.
    • by erroneus (253617) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @05:17PM (#22227720) Homepage
      ...uhm, According the Sterling Ball, he was only out of compliance by 8%. This would mean he was 92% legitimate. This would seem to indicate that they WERE actually customers.

      I find it interesting that there is such a strangle-hold in the software world. It's ridiculously oppressive. It's also amazing to find what people will tolerate. I guess some of the reality is that you rarely know anyone directly who has had the worst of experiences. But it amazes me still that even after a BSA run-in, companies continue to use the software of companies that enable the BSA to operate. In some respects, it seems unavoidable, but it's all about how we got where we are and looking at what it would take to over-throw the systems we have in place now. It would take LOTS to overthrow Microsoft, Adobe, Apple, Autodesk and the rest and switch over to F/OSS or something along those lines. It would lead to better things in the future, but people aren't willing to take short-term, personal hits for long-term, social benefit. Lots of people saw it all coming from far away and long ago, but people wouldn't listen and they still won't listen.

      But things seem to be changing... slowly...
    • Not at all true (Okay, I'm probably responding to a troll). It's not easy to keep in compliance with licenses is many situations. Is a license transferable? Does a new install on the same computer need a new license? How do you define a new computer? (New hard drive? CPU? Motherboard?) If you upgrade (or downgrade) the OS, do you need a new license? I'd be surprised (ands suspicious) if *any* company of 50+ people that run proprietary software exclusively is in 100% compliance with all their license r
    • by geekoid (135745)
      I can't speak to this guy specifically, but the BSA has raided people who are perfectly legit. Costing them a lot of money in disrupted business. Business get no recourse and employees find themselves being yelled at by people with guns.

  • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @05:00PM (#22227494)
    How about: After 20 Minutes
  • by QuantumRiff (120817) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @05:01PM (#22227506)
    We got "anonymously tipped" a week after I took over the job of an incompetent admin, who was in charge of all the licensing, and kept telling everyone it was fine to install this and that, when it wasn't. The fun thing was that even if/when you pay the fine, you have to get back into compliance. I remember calling around to MS about some licensing issues for SQL server. Talked to 3 different people, got 3 totally different answers about how many licenses we would need. I read the info from a script, to make sure I was keeping it the same. If the company that SELLS the damn software can't understand their own licensing, how can they expect us to? We ended up having our lawyers and the BSA lawyers figure it out.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      We ended up having our lawyers and the BSA lawyers figure it out.


      Ouch, wouldn't it have been cheaper to pay developers to move to open source alternatives? I am only half kidding here.

      • Not really, our "dot-com" product was pretty much Windows/Office based. (I really did try to convince them to move to Linux on the backend...) Funny thing was that MS was an angel investor in the company....
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by RobBebop (947356)

          Funny thing was that MS was an angel investor in the company....

          Microsoft funded business pirates Microsoft SQL.... story at 11.

    • by PCM2 (4486)
      Anonymous tip or no anonymous tip, why did your company agree to the audit? If I rang your doorbell and asked to see your accounts payable for the last 12 months, you'd laugh me out of the lobby.
  • The piracy business seems to be a lucrative one, all around.
  • adversaries (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SoupGuru (723634) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @05:05PM (#22227578)
    Is it only in the technology world where it seems that vendors and their customers are more like adversaries? Is there any other realm where the manufacturer demonizes the very people that buy the products that pay the rent? I'm sure the fact that 0s and 1s are easy to replicate makes this standoff easy to achieve but it's to point where a valid business model would include giving something away and then suing everyone to pay the bills. Of course, it already is a business model, I suppose. When it comes to patent trolls, the music and movie industry, and software producers it just seems like they are able to get away with treating their customers like dirt more than anywhere else.
    • When it comes to patent trolls, the music and movie industry, and software producers it just seems like they are able to get away with treating their customers like dirt more than anywhere else.

      I dunno ... have you driven a GM car lately?
  • The real motive (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Harmonious Botch (921977) * on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @05:09PM (#22227630) Homepage Journal

    After 20 Years, Critics Question the BSA's Real Motives...
    The real motive? Money, obviously. I'm not trying to flame here, but their motives are just like almost every other business: they wanna make a buck. And they have found a market in which to do it. I'm not saying that they are angels, but if the market is what it is, we should not be surprised if someone satisfies it.

    The real culprits here are the legislators who make the laws that cause such a market to exist.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ScrewMaster (602015)
      ... their motives are just like almost every other business: they wanna make a buck.

      You could just as easily apply that premise to the Mafia. Look, the desire to make a buck does not make every such effort acceptable. An organization whose only product is intimidation, extortion and litigation cannot be considered a legitimate business entity in any civilized society.

      So far as the BSA is concerned, the term "racketeer" comes much closer to the mark. Sooner or later they're going to piss off the wrong
  • Armed Marshals? WTF? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by 0racle (667029) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @05:18PM (#22227734)
    BSA isn't a law enforcement agency, how on earth do they swing armed marshals for their shakedowns?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ianare (1132971)
      Didn't you get the memo? The police, like most other government agencies, have been on sale to the highest bidder for quite some time now. This is especially true for local departments, but the feds are not immune from it.

      Note that when the legislators are bought also (as appears to be the case here) it makes the process much, much easier for the buyer.
    • by rahvin112 (446269)
      All marshals are armed. Having a marshal present means that it's an armed Marshal. Specifically placing the term Armed in front of Marshal implies they aren't normally armed or that somehow they drew guns or something. It's call sensationalizing the situation. Under every EULA you agree to of a company that is a member of the BSA has terms that authorizes the BSA to come in and audit you at any time at your expense. What normally happens is the BSA gets a tip and they show up at the office and demand an aud
      • by geekoid (135745)
        ALso, if you say thisn isn't a good time, can you come back in a week? they go get marshals. And they WILL say "Armed Marshals"
        • ALso, if you say thisn isn't a good time, can you come back in a week? they go get marshals.

          Sure, because they don't want to give you time to clean house.
  • BSA is not the government. What gives them the right to bust into your office and demand fines?
  • either pay for the software that you use or use open source. Sorry no-one gets my support in this type of issue.
    • by vux984 (928602) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @07:22PM (#22229212)
      either pay for the software that you use or use open source. Sorry no-one gets my support in this type of issue.

      A lot of those BSA audits fine people who have legitimately purchased and licensed software.

      I know of a company that got nailed because they'd been with a product a long time and gradually growing. So each time a new version come out they bought x upgrade licenses plus y new licenses. After a decade or so and some 7 or 8 upgrades, their last of which was like 150 upgrades and 20 new licenses they got nailed...

      They couldn't properly show that every single license had a proper upgrade trail going all the way back to version 1 some 15 years ago. Some one had long since thrown away the floppies and receipts showing that those had been purchased.

      Of course the vendor had changed names and been bought out at some point, and they certainly didn't have any records going back that far either.

      So some 50 of their 150 upgrades had been ruled in 'non-compliance' simply because they were upgrades of upgrades of upgrades that could only be traced back 4 or 5 versions, but not back to an original purchase in the early 90's.

      So, even if you pay for the software that's not enough. You have to cover your own ass so carefully its absurd.

      Even the government doesn't require you to keep records that far back.

      The BSA's tactics would be roughly akin to the RIAA showing up in your home, grabbing your ipod full of 5000 songs you ripped from your CD collection and demanding you prove you own it all.

      So you confidently walk over to your CD's and start handing them over...but you've only got maybe 100 on hand... you put the rest in storage in your basement and attic. Now its a royal hassle... but you start digging through your boxes of stuff and passing those CDs over too.

      And when its all done you've found the original CD for some 4900 songs... but you just can't locate the last 8 CDs. Maybe they were in your previous cars glove box when you sold it? Maybe you lent them to your brother? Maybe you stepped on them, broke them, and tossed them? Who knows... they're gone.

      Too bad for you: Only 98% compliance... prepare to be fined big time for the balance...

      And that's when they look at the stack of 494 CDs you spent the last several hours digging out when they say, "Now what about these? Do you have receipts?"

  • tell them to go fish (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SuperBanana (662181) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @05:34PM (#22227954)

    'I don't know of a business where you can get away with raiding a customer with armed marshals and expect them to continue to do business with you...

    If the BSA ever shows up at your door, unless they have a court order, tell them to get lost. If they refuse, slam the door in their face and call the police. Write down every license plate number you can see.

    For extra giggles, when you call the police, complain that the people who won't leave are dressed like police officers (the BSA guys wear those black nylon rain jackets with big yellow letters to try and look like government agents), and if they're armed, make sure to mention that too. Cops don't take kindly to people pretending to be them.

    • by QuantumG (50515)
      They show up with court orders dude.. do you honestly think people are letting them in to audit their computers without one?

      I don't know which is more fucked.. that courts are happy to give private citizens warrants to search the premises of other private citizens or that the police are often more than happy to help them execute the warrants.
      • That really is fucked up. Is this not an issue on a constitutional level?
      • by nobodyman (90587)
        They show up with court orders dude..
        Civilians with court orders? I doubt it, unless they're being escorted by law enforcement.
        • by Qzukk (229616)
          I doubt it, unless they're being escorted by law enforcement.

          And thus, the armed marshals in the quote in the summary.
          • by QuantumG (50515)
            It's perfectly legal for them to hire private security if the police are not willing to help.
      • They show up with court orders dude.. do you honestly think people are letting them in to audit their computers without one?

        The BSA's modus operandi is:

        1)Get a tip from a disgruntled ex employee. 2)Show up with a team of people, unannounced, and use ignorance, surprise, and fear to their advantage. 3)Threaten legal action if they're not permitted to run their auditing tools.

        Then, 4)Blackmail you into paying huge arbitrary fees that are way above what it'd cost to buy licenses, but plausibly less tha

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by hcdejong (561314)
          Show up with a team of people, unannounced, and use ignorance, surprise, and fear to their advantage.

          In other words, nobody expects the BSA?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MrNemesis (587188)
        Wow, getting your office raided by armed police... on the strength of an anonymous tip-off... for (alledgedly) having unlicensed software?! Call me a cynical commie, but I'm not exactly quaking in my boots that the chain of local corner shops might be using a dodgy version of office. Not that this system is open to abuse or anything...

        Hello, BSA? I have reason to believe that my ex-company are using illegal software!
        What?! What's the address?
        1 Microsoft Way. They're using using modified GPL c
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The GPL is the only license you need. Everything you're paying $150 to $150,000 for software to do can be done by free (libre) software.

    What's that you say? You've got requirement X, and no free software exists to do it? Get together with your competitors, pool your money, and hire a software company to make the GPL software you need.

    There's no excuse for proprietary software anymore; it's an inefficient waste of money. You hire a plumber to install a toilet so you can use it whenever nature calls. Would yo
  • Huh? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Martz (861209) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @05:45PM (#22228088)
    Why did they even let the BSA auditors into their company in the first place?

    AFAIK in the UK, the BSA doesn't have any legal powers to enforce such an audit to take place. Microsoft/Adobe/Foo are all businesses and so is the organisation I work for. What gives software companies special privileges to demand an inspection of someone else's business?

    If I sell chairs, am I allowed to go to Microsoft HQ and make sure that Ballmer isn't throwing them around, breaking the licence agreement printed on the underside? If a finger can agree to a supposedly legally binding contract, why can't the derrière?
  • A heartwarming story (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mattpalmer1086 (707360) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @05:56PM (#22228224)
    I was told this heartwarming story a few years ago by someone involved in creating the system described below. A very large, well known organisation (call them B) was threatened by a visit from either the BSA or FAST (can't remember which), on the grounds that yet another large software house (call them A) thought that B was using far more copies than they were paying for. B was a very large customer of A's software - they literally couldn't run their business without it, and A certainly knew it.

    They had the usual problems of any large organisation - software would get installed and not removed, people would move desks, jobs, etc. They weren't knowingly in violation, but they couldn't really honestly say how many licenses were in use or where everything was installed.

    They decided to write a system that would track all the licenses and software in use across the organisation, and allow it to be fully managed - installed and removed on demand. It could handle many different kinds of licensing for many different bits of software. There was nothing commercially available at the time that could do what they needed.

    Anyway, after doing this, they found out that not only had they had been over-buying company A's software licenses, the flexibility of the new management system allowed them to have far fewer licenses anyway. Effectively, they had been buying enough to cover installs in all the remote offices, for their more mobile staff, of which there were a lot. Apparently, it was a very pleasant moment when they told A they didn't need any more licenses for the next year or two.
  • I've never used microsoft (or any BSA stuff for that matter) stuff so it has not impacted me at all. Maybe finally the "suits" will have a reason to switch to linux.
  • by Trogre (513942) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @06:10PM (#22228444) Homepage
    What, are these guys above taxes as well as the law?

  • Or, to misuse another word for dramatic effect :

    "I don't understand this idea of 'real true rape,'" she said. "Unlicensed use of software is rape and selling unlicensed software is rape, and they all cause damage. When you talk about financial harm, the use of software that is unlicensed through the company is an enormous damage to the industry."

    Sure, you can find arguments to misuse words in this way, but not without diminishing the original meanings and equating the real crimes with the trivia that the BS
  • I interviewed Sterling about this very topic in his home. His video is here. If you like hi-res, you might want to consider downloading it, rather than streaming it. This is raw video (raw meaning un-retouched, not raw .dv), for the world to rip, mix, and burn, as long as you comply with our Creative Commons Attribute-ShareAlike license. The first segment is here

    http://www.archive.org/details/e-dv259_02_sterling_ball_001.ogg [archive.org]

    Slashdot doesn't let me link all of the video, so I'll just tell you that
  • by Locutus (9039) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @09:10PM (#22230112)
    I was a few years ago but I remember someone was threatening school districts across the country with some kind of audit which would have cost at the low end 10's of thousands of dollars and 100's of thousands for larger districts. Something about the Microsoft EULA or the BSA comes to mind but the real story was how the LTSP( Linux Terminal Server Project ) came to the rescue and stopped it. The timing of the threats was poor because there was some national conference around the time and the LTSP group met with many of those threatened. Some jumped onboard with LTSP and off Windows ASAP and others told Microsoft they were going too. Microsoft sent out apology letters and tried to make it look like a big mistake but the end result was that a handful of districts switched to Linux and the others did not but were left alone.

    I'm surprised this hasn't been brought up since if it wasn't the BSA directly, it was Microsoft and those two are tied at the hip with how they do 'business'. IMO

    LoB

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