Aardvark Daily
BSA upset at Aardvark's link
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From the editor's desk:

Readers of this week's Aardvark Weekly will have found that the 'I Can't Believe It's True section includes a link to a site that appears to be blatantly selling unauthorised copies of commercial software. The BSA, an organisation set up to combat software piracy, has apparently taken exception to this link and considers that it should not have been included.

In a story on the matter published on IDG's @IDG site this morning, the BSA's Aaron Pederson says he is "disappointed" with the action, although he also admits that he's not familiar with "Bill Simpson is it?".

Of course readers will know where I stand on this issue and the (often controvertial) role of the "I Can't Believe It's True" section of Aardvark Weekly. In fact, this isn't the first time that Aardvark has highlighted an apparently illegal activity in this manner and I feel that it's better to publicly expose such wrong-doings rather than allow them to continue in relative obscurity.

Mr Pederson's comments are a clear indication that he believes Aardvark's readers can't be trusted. He is obviously implying that you are all going to rush out and illegally purchase pirated software once you know this site exists. I hope you're all suitably offended.

Perhaps their response is also an indicator that it's about time the BSA "wised up" and started looking closely at how the Net is being mis-used to trade in illegal software, and more importantly, how they can use the Net to crack down on such activities.

I also find it strange that the BSA would make such comments to the media - yet haven't had the good grace to even contact me for comment or to get the facts on the story. For instance, I could have told them that I emailed the postmaster@hkstar.com, advising them that this site existed and asking for comment as to whether they endorsed such activities in any way. Strangely enough - there has been no reply to that email.

Come on BSA, no body, least of all a software and content developer such as myself, endorses the theft of intellectual property - which is why I thought it important that the site was "exposed". Of course I may have made the error in assuming that the BSA was sufficiently "with it" to be aware of the Internet and perhaps even read Aardvark from time to time - but it looks like I was wrong.

Next time, get the name right and I might even give you some free assistance in how to:

  1. Use the Net to track down illegal software sites
  2. Use email to contact Aardvark directly when you have a query

In the meantime, I suspect Net-based software pirates may be breathing a sigh of relief, safe in the knowledge that they're protected by the BSA's lack of knowledge in this area.

Bruce Simpson

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