The Business Software Alliance
June 13, 2002 8:35 AM   Subscribe

The Business Software Alliance is now running new radio ads in the Chicago Area (on 101.1 FM and other channels) saying, "Is your boss riding you hard all day? Want to get your boss back? Call the BSA and tell us your boss is pirating software!" Is this extortion or a necessary wake-up call?
posted by Maxor (17 comments total)
I looked high and low for a recording of the radio ad currently playing in the Chigaco area (the campaign started this week on Monday) but wasn't able to find one. If anyone has a recording, please post it! Once you hear the actual radio ad, you won't believe your ears - it's just begging employees to turn in their bosses for revenge.
posted by Maxor at 8:37 AM on June 13, 2002

This is a common tactic of the SPA (just check out the questions on the report form)-- disgruntled current and former employees are probably the number 1 source of their tips.

And, frankly, good for them. If you run a business and you are stealing software, you should expect it, and you get what you deserve.
posted by malphigian at 8:41 AM on June 13, 2002

I'd like to hear a copy, since as presented it doesn't seem to say they actually have to be pirating software, just that if you don't like your boss you should implicate him.

Or is their assumption that all bosses pirate software?

I'd like to see the second part of the campaign, where the BSA tries to convince the bosses to track problem employees as they pirate software from the company for personal use.

Me? I want to make a really useful program, and release a fully functional demo whose license expires on, say, August 1st, but which pings back to my server every time it's used. Only, don't sell copies. Make it so that anyone using the software is a de-facto pirate. So much easier to track that way...
posted by kfury at 8:42 AM on June 13, 2002

"Does someone you know pirate music or movies? Turn him in! Make easy money!"

"Say, kids, are your parents or mean old brothers and sisters music thieves? We'll pay you to help us find out."

-- Advertisements coming soon.
posted by pracowity at 8:48 AM on June 13, 2002

"Don't suspect your neighbor, report him!" (guess which movie that's from)
posted by insomnyuk at 8:53 AM on June 13, 2002

It sounds like they are asking people to do the right thing for all the wrong reasons.
posted by dewelch at 8:58 AM on June 13, 2002

Which, in this world, is about all you can hope for. Why would you turn is a boss you liked for pirating software?
posted by Irontom at 9:08 AM on June 13, 2002

Once the KGB is officially part of Homeland Security (why do you think Ashcroft's been in Russia?), this kind of thing will be common anyway. Don't forget that Bush's plan is to use Neighborhood Watch groups to keep an eye on all of us.
posted by troybob at 9:13 AM on June 13, 2002

I heard one of the commercials yesterday on the way to work (101.1 and Mancow), and I was disgusted. I would never report my boss if we were pirating software, and some of the other tactics that the BSA has used have been pretty tacky. Like the letters that they sent out to a buttload of businesses early last year claiming that they had illegal software. Basically they were trying to get companies to turn themselves in by claiming that someone had already turned them in. It frightened a lot of people in my company, not because we have pirated software, but because of the implication that we were under suspicion for having pirated software, when that was not the case.
posted by schlaager at 9:16 AM on June 13, 2002

Any employee with some rudimentary ability to reason (which he must have if he knows if and how software is being pirated) would probably know that if he reported his 'boss', his business would face thousands of dollars in fines or a costly lawsuit, and the damage it would do to his company would probably put his job at risk. But I guess it's targeted towards the disgruntled, irrational employees, so it will probably work on occasion.

Also, what dewelch said.
posted by insomnyuk at 9:22 AM on June 13, 2002

Uhm yeah usually the treatement reserved to spies isn't nice. Expecially when you denounce a crack dealer or some drug traffic. While this action is obviously good because they are the scum of earth and really kill people, I don't see why a company shouldn't hire a private investigator.

Oh ! Here's the reason ..." Get $1000 for reporting your Boss ! " while it actually costs thousands of dollar to start a private investigation with a professional investigator, you can pay $1000 to any moron on earth that doesn't know that his name will turn up in court, be avaiable in public record and receive the mark of "SPY" forever.

Wonder if any other , even law abiding company, will hire him/her again ? Ahaha no, no one will hire him/her because a SPY is always a bad thing : there are pro investigators that don't receive the blame because their job is to report, and they don't do that occasionally, it's a profession, even if a controversial one.

Report drug dealers, now that's an action worth the risk.
posted by elpapacito at 9:28 AM on June 13, 2002

Once the KGB is officially part of Homeland Security (why do you think Ashcroft's been in Russia?), this kind of thing will be common anyway.

Let me guess...the Soviets really WON the Cold War, but agreed to let it appear that WE had won for 15 years, giving our government a chance to begin the conversion process to totalitarianism....
posted by rushmc at 9:30 AM on June 13, 2002

now that's a novel worth writing... or perhaps instead the plot for the next Oliver Stone movie
posted by 10sball at 9:46 AM on June 13, 2002

For the humor-impaired, the Ashcroft-in-Russia thing was a joke. Unfortunately, so is Ashcroft, though he is someone we should really be more scared of.
posted by troybob at 10:06 AM on June 13, 2002

[insert obligatory free software advocacy]
posted by electro at 1:29 PM on June 13, 2002

For the humor-impaired
posted by rushmc at 2:06 PM on June 13, 2002

I would never report my boss if we were pirating software,

Which begs the question: what criminal activity would you report your boss/company for? Imagine how different things might be if some of the secretaries at Enron had called anyone and said "Uh, you know, my boss is shredding financial documents here..."
posted by Dreama at 2:26 PM on June 13, 2002

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