Ernie Ball Strings hates Microsoft (Go Team!)

Discussion in 'rec.music.guitar' started by 'nuther Bob, Aug 22, 2003.

  1. feklar

    feklar Guest

  2. 'nuther Bob

    'nuther Bob Guest

    On Sun, 24 Aug 2003 03:27:48 GMT, "Robert Barker"
    <rwbarker@spambegonecox.net> wrote:

    >The liabilities incurred are
    >there to punish piracy. Unfortunately, it's almost impossible to tell the
    >difference between the intentional act and the unintentional one, after the
    >fact.


    I don't disagree with liabilities. I think the BSA legislation is
    way too excessive in terms of penalties allowable and the BSA itself
    is the business equivalent of a terrorist organization.

    Bob
  3. "'nuther Bob" <norealaddy@somephonydomain.com> wrote in message
    news:d0jhkvs9eoohpnan5imm85sqoarrq6e97b@4ax.com...
    > On Sun, 24 Aug 2003 03:27:48 GMT, "Robert Barker"
    > <rwbarker@spambegonecox.net> wrote:
    >
    > >The liabilities incurred are
    > >there to punish piracy. Unfortunately, it's almost impossible to tell the
    > >difference between the intentional act and the unintentional one, after

    the
    > >fact.

    >
    > I don't disagree with liabilities. I think the BSA legislation is
    > way too excessive in terms of penalties allowable and the BSA itself
    > is the business equivalent of a terrorist organization.
    >
    > Bob


    You won't get an argument from me on THAT. What surprises me is that no one
    appears to have mounted a (successful?) legal challenge to either the
    organization, or the outlandish penalties.
  4. salvarsan

    salvarsan Guest

    Robert Barker wrote:
    > "'nuther Bob" wrote:


    >> I don't disagree with liabilities. I think the BSA legislation is
    >> way too excessive in terms of penalties allowable and the BSA itself
    >> is the business equivalent of a terrorist organization.

    >
    > You won't get an argument from me on THAT. What surprises me is that no one
    > appears to have mounted a (successful?) legal challenge to either the
    > organization, or the outlandish penalties.


    Part of the rules of a legal challenge on the BSA is that
    the challenger must pay legal costs for both sides.


    -drh
    --
  5. ryanm

    ryanm Guest

    "'nuther Bob" <norealaddy@somephonydomain.com> wrote in message
    news:5gtfkv8ti813gf9u7gf7o7sb3o28bjf4mv@4ax.com...
    >
    > We're not talking about drug legislation, which may or may not assess
    > proper penalties in many areas. That's another discussion. We're
    > talking about the BSA, which is a Microsoft sponsored effort to force
    > unreasonable and unprecedented penalties for copyright violations. The
    > BSA would not exist if it were not for Microsoft's efforts. The laws
    > providing for these outrageous intimidations and invasions of
    > companies would not exist without Microsoft's power having been
    > wielded to force these laws through. These numbers have no basis
    > in reality and the powers afforded to the BSA are unreasonable. It's
    > about as close to the Patriot Act's excesses as you can get.
    >

    But, again, less offensive than the penalties charged for "crimes"
    through which no one is harmed and nothing was damaged. I just have a hard
    time taking comments like yours seriously from a group that so adamantly
    supports the way Napster was handled and the issue of copyright violations
    when it pertains to them. It's the ultimate evil when someone steals $0.11
    from your favorite artists, but when someone steals thousands from MS then
    suddenly the penalties are too stiff and the body charged with assessing
    violations and charging those who break the law is "unreasonable" and
    "outrageous". You can't have it both ways, either copyright violations are
    serious and deserve stiff fines and sentences, or they're not that serious
    and I should only have to pay $0.33 (or whatever the ASCAP and whatnot are)
    for each song I pirate. Which is it?

    ryanm
  6. ryanm

    ryanm Guest

    "salvarsan" <salvarsan@radix.net> wrote in message
    news:3F481329.40AF5C06@radix.net...
    >
    > ...and you're evading the issue at hand.
    >
    > A fella could waste a lot of time reading
    > your unsubtle evasions and ad hominems.
    >

    How is that an evasion, we're talking about violations of copyright law?
    You can't have it both ways, either I should only have to pay something like
    $0.30 for each song I pirate (triple the ASCAP fees and stuff), or the BSA
    is justified in enforcing large fines for software copyright violations.
    Either Sony is overstepping their rights as a copyright holder by suing all
    the people they are suing, and the entire Napster case was a farce (actually
    it was anyway, since they never violated anyone's copyright), or the BSA is
    perfectly justified. These are precisely the same issue, possession/use of
    multiple copies with only one (or often no) license. There was no evasion,
    and the ad hominems were yours, with the "get real" and the "obtain reading
    comprehension". You just want to flip flop on the issue when it hits closer
    to home.

    ryanm
  7. ryanm

    ryanm Guest

    "'nuther Bob" <norealaddy@somephonydomain.com> wrote in message
    news:d0jhkvs9eoohpnan5imm85sqoarrq6e97b@4ax.com...
    >
    > I don't disagree with liabilities. I think the BSA legislation is
    > way too excessive in terms of penalties allowable and the BSA itself
    > is the business equivalent of a terrorist organization.
    >

    Nah, they're the business equivalent of the War on Drugs: a nice idea
    driven all the way off the end of the earth by politicians who seek to
    appear "tough" on something.

    ryanm
  8. ryanm

    ryanm Guest

    "'nuther Bob" <norealaddy@somephonydomain.com> wrote in message
    news:5gtfkv8ti813gf9u7gf7o7sb3o28bjf4mv@4ax.com...
    >
    > We're not talking about drug legislation, which may or may not assess
    > proper penalties in many areas. That's another discussion. We're
    > talking about the BSA, which is a Microsoft sponsored effort to force
    > unreasonable and unprecedented penalties for copyright violations. The
    > BSA would not exist if it were not for Microsoft's efforts. The laws
    > providing for these outrageous intimidations and invasions of
    > companies would not exist without Microsoft's power having been
    > wielded to force these laws through. These numbers have no basis
    > in reality and the powers afforded to the BSA are unreasonable. It's
    > about as close to the Patriot Act's excesses as you can get.
    >

    If you look into it, you'll find that more than half of the BSA's
    initial funding came from Apple and Adobe. MS just happens to be the victim
    of much more piracy, and sees a lot more money from licensing violations
    successfully prosecuted. The list of companies who support the BSA (through
    funding) is quite long and is essentially the who's who of the software
    world.

    ryanm
  9. ryanm

    ryanm Guest

    "salvarsan" <salvarsan@radix.net> wrote in message
    news:3F490506.74E7BC41@radix.net...
    >
    > Part of the rules of a legal challenge on the BSA is that
    > the challenger must pay legal costs for both sides.
    >

    Only if they lose, same as any other civil suit.

    ryanm
  10. fiferman

    fiferman New Member

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    After reviewing the articile it is quite apparent that the CEO of any company is ultimately responsable for any and all action that company proforrms knowingly or unknowly. This is why he or she is the CEO. Bottom line they tried to get away without paying the pipers fees. So you are actually asking us to feel bad for this guy? Hey what planet are you on, are? Are you for real?
  11. fiferman wrote:
    > After reviewing the articile it is quite apparent that the CEO of any
    > company is ultimately responsable for any and all action that company
    > proforrms knowingly or unknowly. This is why he or she is the CEO.
    > Bottom line they tried to get away without paying the pipers fees. So
    > you are actually asking us to feel bad for this guy? Hey what planet
    > are you on, are? Are you for real?


    As far as *I* have read the interview, they *have* paid their "piper's
    fees". They just refused to do business with Microsoft after that. As
    far as I can see, the CEO felt rather good about this move, so there is
    no reason for anyone to feel bad about it.

    I find their story plausible enough. As far as I remember it (the
    original article has expired on my news server and I can't find the web
    site anymore), there was a subtlety in the license agreement by which
    you couldn't transfer a license that you had once bought. This would
    make a software purchase significantly different from, say, a guitar
    purchase. Since software usually comes with installation media and other
    tangible things, this subtlety is easy to miss, I think. (Do *you* read
    and abide by *all* the fine print that comes with a Microsoft EULA? I
    know that I certainly don't read all of it --- and if I did, I'm sure
    that I'd not understand all of it --- and just assume that I have
    certain rights and duties that are more or less identical to all the
    other rights and duties I have when I buy something.) The guys and gals
    in Procurement are usually not contract lawyers, either.

    Given that Ernie Ball's error was easy to make, and assuming that Ball's
    statement in the interview was correct (and assuming that my memory of
    the interview is correct), Microsoft's handling of that incident was
    very heavy-handed. Therefore, Ball's decision to take his business
    elsewhere certainly seems reasonable. I know that I would certainly do
    so, too, if I got sued for what I percieve to be an honest mistake.

    Still, have fun and keep on playing,

    Stephan

    PS: These are my opinions and do not reflect the opinions of my employer.
    --
    Stephan Neuhaus
    University of the Saarland, Department of Computer Science
    Experimental Software Security at the Chair of Software Engineering
    Web: http://www.st.cs.uni-sb.de/~neuhaus
  12. JMK

    JMK Guest

    salvarsan <salvarsan@radix.net> wrote in
    news:KTP1b.2176$Jq1.93@nwrddc03.gnilink.net:

    >
    >> And for those who have to straddle the line between both, it's a
    >> goddamn headache.
    >>
    >> JMK (a Lintel user who prays to the Gods of Traversing Electrons
    >> every time an MS laptop has to make an NFS handshake with his Red Hat
    >> box).

    >
    >
    > Ditto. My Penguin does the Samba.
    >
    >
    > -drh
    > --
    >
    >


    It took a long time for us to convince our IT guys that
    Linux was a good way to go. Now that Sun has just about priced
    itself out of the market, and MS PC is a lousy heavy-duty
    computational platform, we're casting our lot with Lintel
    machines and Compaq Alphas, and are looking rather
    longingly at the new HP Itaniums.

    I am hopeful I can convince them of the utility of something
    like Samba.

    JMK
  13. JMK wrote:

    >It took a long time for us to convince our IT guys that
    >Linux was a good way to go.


    Our world is the workaday desktop users, and so we have a huge
    training issue to deal with - these are people that don't necessarily
    know how to change the paper feed in a network printer dialog - I
    really looked hard at switching to Star Office, but we'd have had to
    hire red people with pitchforks and bullwhips to get the users
    migrated.

    Then Sun priced themselves squarely in with Corel and Lotus
    and they became just another migration choice - a bait & switch by
    another name really - but it's a good product.

    EB's IT staff blew it, big time. Considering the size of the
    corp, I doubt the staff is as robust as it would be in a big 1000 seat
    organization.



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  14. "ryanm" wrote:

    > Last time I looked at the stats, something
    >like 40% of all companies with MS licenses were using more copies of the
    >software than they had licensed. MS loses more money to this kind of piracy
    >than any other company on the planet.


    This came to a screeching halt in 2001 for the big corps. MS
    audited EVERYONE in the dang universe, and a nice little boost to
    their yearly sales it was, too. Then they phased out upgrade products
    for most of their desktop and server line, so you pay the full tick
    for the new version (the subscription dealie is almost identical
    costwise - no dummies they).

    So these days, no they don't - except the small shops, as you
    note. There are a number of cooperative sort of opt in contracts so
    that small corps can get good pricing schedules for Select and
    Enterprise pool software from MS.



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  15. ryanm

    ryanm Guest

    "Stephan Neuhaus" <neuhaus@cs.uni-sb.de> wrote in message
    news:bif15f$1ou0b$1@hades.rz.uni-saarland.de...
    >
    > As far as *I* have read the interview, they *have* paid their "piper's
    > fees". They just refused to do business with Microsoft after that. As
    > far as I can see, the CEO felt rather good about this move, so there is
    > no reason for anyone to feel bad about it.
    >

    EB paid the fees to avoid litigation.

    > I find their story plausible enough. As far as I remember it (the
    > original article has expired on my news server and I can't find the web
    > site anymore), there was a subtlety in the license agreement by which
    > you couldn't transfer a license that you had once bought.
    >

    No subtlety, one license means one license. If that's too complicated,
    let me break it down: you buy one copy of the software, you're only allowed
    to install one copy of the software. Installing it on a second machine is a
    violation of the licensing agreement. It's that simple. EB got in trouble
    either because their IT dept was too lazy to uninstall the software on old
    machines, or because they were trying to use more copies of the softweare
    than they had licenses for. Incidentally, the latter is actually quite
    common in smaller companies. I have worked for several companies who bought
    one license and installed it 10 or 12 times, saying "we'll buy the rest of
    the licenses after we justify the need for the software", and not all of
    these companies were small, either. Sabre bought 3 of us 1 license of 3DS
    Max to "share" (which is illegal), and I worked for a game company that
    bought 1 license of A/W Maya for the whole modeling team to share (waay
    illegal, at $17,000 per license). Windows licenses are even worse, because
    MS is nice enough to provide multiple license installs, which means the IT
    guy gets one disc, installs as many copies as they need, and then reports to
    MS how many licenses they are using and pays accordingly. Well, if two weeks
    later they realize that they need an additional 10 licenses, most IT guys
    will just go ahead and do the install and not even think about the
    licensing, and if that happens, the legal responsibility falls squarely on
    the CEO and board of directors. Last time I looked at the stats, something
    like 40% of all companies with MS licenses were using more copies of the
    software than they had licensed. MS loses more money to this kind of piracy
    than any other company on the planet. Think of this in terms of $$$ lost
    from MS perspective (we're talking about tens of thousands of copies of
    their software being used illegally), and then you might understand why they
    take it seriously. Literally millions of dollars lost because of this theft,
    dwarfing any claim of lost revenue the members of the RIAA may have had
    against Napster. If the way Napster was handled wasn't the definition of
    "heavy-handed" then I don't know what is.

    > Given that Ernie Ball's error was easy to make, and assuming that Ball's
    > statement in the interview was correct (and assuming that my memory of
    > the interview is correct), Microsoft's handling of that incident was
    > very heavy-handed.
    >

    Except that MS didn't handle it, the BSA did. So Ball took his business
    elsewhere because the BSA was heavy-handed (and they are), and because the
    only license violation he got caught for were MS licenses.

    ryanm
  16. ryanm

    ryanm Guest

    "John S. Shinal" <jshinal_REMOVE_THIS_PART@mindspring.com> wrote in message
    news:3f4bb0c8.16269962@text-east.newsfeeds.com...
    >
    > This came to a screeching halt in 2001 for the big corps. MS
    > audited EVERYONE in the dang universe, and a nice little boost to
    > their yearly sales it was, too. Then they phased out upgrade products
    > for most of their desktop and server line, so you pay the full tick
    > for the new version (the subscription dealie is almost identical
    > costwise - no dummies they).
    >
    > So these days, no they don't - except the small shops, as you
    > note. There are a number of cooperative sort of opt in contracts so
    > that small corps can get good pricing schedules for Select and
    > Enterprise pool software from MS.
    >

    True, but even still, MS products are the most commonly pirated products
    around. They still lose a *lot* of money to pirates. But that's including
    the SE Asian market, which ignores our copyright laws and makes millions of
    copies of Windows a year and sells them for $5-$10 each.

    ryanm
  17. Re: Re: Ernie Ball Strings hates Microsoft (Go Team!)

    On Tue, 26 Aug 2003 13:34:17 -0600, "ryanm"
    <ryanm@fatchicksinpartyhats.com> wrote:

    > No subtlety, one license means one license. If that's too complicated,
    >let me break it down: you buy one copy of the software, you're only allowed
    >to install one copy of the software. Installing it on a second machine is a
    >violation of the licensing agreement.


    Here's the part that gets cloudy for me, and I've heard both that this
    is true AND that it's false. I guess I could try to decipher the EULA
    myself, but no thanks...

    Anyway, one IT guy told me that the "non-transfer" part of the EULA
    supposedly means that the registered user can't change. In other
    words, you hire a secretary on Monday, buy her a computer (with
    MS-Office) on Tuesday, and she adds her name to the "Your Name"
    section of the "New Computer" startup procedure. She quits on
    Wednesday, so Thursday you hire a different secretary.

    I've been told that the new secretary can't legally use the software;
    I've also heard that this is why some IT guys insist on using a
    gerenic "ABC Employee" name as the "registered to" name in Windows.In
    fact, it's still illegal, but it prevents the BSA from proving that
    the software's been transferred. Is any of this true?
  18. ryanm

    ryanm Guest

    Re: Re: Ernie Ball Strings hates Microsoft (Go Team!)

    "Mike McKernan" <mikemck333@optonline.net> wrote in message
    news:s3tnkv0e08d162go3j5543g8bud8huv6ol@4ax.com...
    >
    > Here's the part that gets cloudy for me, and I've heard both that this
    > is true AND that it's false. I guess I could try to decipher the EULA
    > myself, but no thanks...
    >

    Nah, it's true. One license is one license. You can install it wherever
    you want, but only once. Some licenses are machine specific and once they
    are installed on that box, that's where they stay until you contact the
    developer and get a new registration code for install on a different
    machine. Used to be the expensive apps came with a hardware lock, which is a
    little device that attaches to a serial/printer port, and you couldn't run
    the app without it. The trend has been away from hardware locks, though,
    because they are expensive and still crackable by anyone sufficiently
    determined to do so.

    > I've been told that the new secretary can't legally use the software;
    > I've also heard that this is why some IT guys insist on using a
    > gerenic "ABC Employee" name as the "registered to" name in Windows. In
    > fact, it's still illegal, but it prevents the BSA from proving that
    > the software's been transferred. Is any of this true?
    >

    Not true. The BSA isn't going around checking the user name on each
    computer, they're simply comparing the list of licenses purchased with the
    number of machines the software is installed on. The owner of the license is
    not the name entered in the registered user field, the owner of the license
    is the person who paid the bill. The non-transfer section (which doesn't
    appear in every EULA) is generally to keep several people from using the
    same license by running an app from a network location or something (which
    you can do with Office) and only having one person use it at a time. EULAs
    can get quite complicated (you should try reading the EULA on the A/W Maya
    network renderer install), but can generally be reduced to a common sense
    statement like "don't install more copies than you purchased, don't make
    copies of the install disc except as a backup, etc". The only time the
    registered user name is important is when some apps use the user name to
    generate the registration key. In those cases, what you're supposed to do is
    call the vendor and have them issue a new reg key for the new employee,
    which they are always happy to do because calling them and worrying about it
    demonstrates your compliance with their license.

    Most of this doesn't apply to software like Windows, though, because
    Windows is a per-machine license and has nothing to do with the user. MS
    sells the licenses one at a time or in groups of 5, 10, 50, 100, 500, etc,
    and MS doesn't care which employees use the licenses, as long as every
    installed copy has a license to pay for it. Software like Office is more
    complicated, because many companies run it from a network location and buy
    batches of licenses at a discount. They get in trouble when they have 500
    employees using Word but only 300 licenses, but there's no way for MS to
    find out about it unless an agency like the BSA goes in and actually looks.

    ryanm
  19. ryanm wrote:
    > "Stephan Neuhaus" <neuhaus@cs.uni-sb.de> wrote in message
    > news:bif15f$1ou0b$1@hades.rz.uni-saarland.de...


    >>I find their story plausible enough. As far as I remember it (the
    >>original article has expired on my news server and I can't find the web
    >>site anymore), there was a subtlety in the license agreement by which
    >>you couldn't transfer a license that you had once bought.


    > No subtlety, one license means one license. If that's too complicated,
    > let me break it down: you buy one copy of the software, you're only allowed
    > to install one copy of the software. Installing it on a second machine is a
    > violation of the licensing agreement. It's that simple. EB got in trouble
    > either because their IT dept was too lazy to uninstall the software on old
    > machines, or because they were trying to use more copies of the softweare
    > than they had licenses for.


    I agree totally. But I have now located the interview again at
    http://news.com.com/2008-1082_3-5065859.html?tag=lh, and that's not what
    Ball says happened. Here is the relevant excerpt:


    Q: How did [the noncompliance with MS's EULA] happen?

    A: We pass our old computers down. The guys in engineering need a new
    PC, so they get one and we pass theirs on to somebody doing clerical
    work. Well, if you don't wipe the hard drive on that PC, that's a
    violation. Even if they can tell a piece of software isn't being used,
    it's still a violation if it's on that hard drive.


    What I read from this is that they bought a PC, bought the software
    (i.e., a license), installed the license and then gave that PC to
    someone else while buying a new PC. So, for every piece of software,
    there was a license (because the new PC also had licensed software
    installed on it), but apparently the BSA thinks that you have to buy new
    licenses in order to be able to pass the computer down to someone else.
    If I'm reading this correctly, then I stand by my point that this is an
    easy-to-miss subtlety. (Note that you can't transfer a Windows XP
    license from one computer to another, even if you destroy the original
    computer, so this scenario is not particularly unlikely.)

    Or maybe it even went as you suggested: They buy a PC with a license,
    say, for Visual Studio C++. Then they pass the computer down to someone
    doing clerical work and don't deinstall the C++ compiler, because the
    secretary isn't going to develop any C++ programs anyway. Those people
    working with C++ have all their licenses paid, right? Well, according to
    the BSA, that's not enough. For them, there are two copies of Visual
    Studio C++ installed, while only one license was paid for. While this
    may be a violation of the letter of the EULA, you could still argue that
    only one license was *in use* and that therefore the spirit of the EULA
    had not been touched. I still stand by my point that this is easily
    missed and does not call for the kind of heavy-handedness that Ball
    complains about.

    The interview does not, IMHO, support the scenario that there were two
    copies *in use* and only one paid for.

    Obviously, EB violated the letter of the EULA. Otherwise, the BSA
    wouldn't have had a case, and even Ball seems to agree that the EULA was
    somehow violated. You could then argue that EB only got what they
    deserved, but Ball seems to think (and I agree with him) that this is no
    way to treat a customer for an honest mistake (and I agree again).
    Therefore, Ball took his business elsewhere, and Microsoft (and probably
    other BSA members, too) lost a customer.

    You will probably argue that the BSA is not Microsoft, but the BSA is
    not exactly an independent organization either. They are paid by their
    members and do what they are told. For example, according to
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/archive/6408.html, the BSA stopped
    harrassing Antel after Antel agreed to use Microsoft software
    exclusively. So you could make a case for the BSA being just a front for
    their members' financial interests, and not a body that prosecutes
    copyright violations.

    Still, have fun, and keep on playing,

    Stephan
    --
    Stephan Neuhaus
    University of the Saarland, Department of Computer Science
    Experimental Software Security at the Chair of Software Engineering
    Web: http://www.st.cs.uni-sb.de/~neuhaus
  20. 'nuther Bob

    'nuther Bob Guest

    On Tue, 26 Aug 2003 15:06:36 -0600, "ryanm"
    <ryanm@fatchicksinpartyhats.com> wrote:

    > True, but even still, MS products are the most commonly pirated products
    >around. They still lose a *lot* of money to pirates. But that's including
    >the SE Asian market, which ignores our copyright laws and makes millions of
    >copies of Windows a year and sells them for $5-$10 each.
    >
    >ryanm


    ....and that's really the key point. Most of the pirating is
    phony CD's from Asia. But since they can't do much about that,
    they choose instead to try to terrorize US companies.

    Bob

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