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Ken

Ferreting out copyright scofflaws

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By: David Becker

Just when you thought software licensing enforcement couldn't get any more fun, the copyright cops at the Business Software Alliance have enlivened the process with a spunky cartoon ferret.

The BSA--a trade group supported by Microsoft, Adobe Systems and other major software makers to enforce software licenses and copyrights--revealed the new mascot Tuesday as part of a national campaign to scare kids out of using peer-to-peer networks.

The "Play It Safe in Cyber Space" campaign will culminate with a four-page comic book, distributed in conjunction with tot journal the Weekly Reader, meant to impress kids with the idea that it's not OK to freely swap software, games, music and other copyrighted content.

The comic will feature the droopy-drawers ferret, who for now is referred to as the "Copyright Crusader." Kids are urged to help select his final name by submitting votes next month through the BSA's Web site.

Kids will get to choose from five potential names, none of which have been revealed. You can always try to write in "Sterling Ball," if you want to give the BSA folks a chuckle.

The campaign also includes an online game in which the ferret races to destroy pirated copies of software while collecting valid licensing agreements.

The ferret, by the way, does seem to be an odd mascot choice for an organization devoted to strict legal adherence, given that the weasel-like mammals are outlawed in California and several other states.

Source

Ken's comment: Brainwashing, and misuse of valuable education time in schools (where it is most common to see the Weekly Reader).

I'd like to give the BSA more than a chuckle. I wonder if they'd like a punch in the throat? One for every BSA employee! And a kick in the head for those in the highest of positions.

Oh, by the way, i'm going to increase my pirating of software by 30% this month, just to make up for the bullshit going on here.

I will not pay 500 - 1000 dollars for Visual Studio.NET. I will not pay 300 - 500 for the latest Microsoft swiss chees OS. I will not pay the ridiculous price of Photoshop and others. To top it all off, the limiting of installations to a certain number via "registration" erks me.

However, certain software I do pay for, like Nero Burning ROM, news readers like Agent, and I make donations to Spybot Search and Destroy as well as others. They're not as pricey, or restrictive. They deliver quality software with few bugs.

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Well put Ken.

I'd just add that they should have chosen a weasel if that was the sort of mascot they wanted.

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Well, a Ferret is suposedly in the weasel family so they made an OK choice.

On a side note, I'd like to see them eaten alive by rabid ferrets.

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