We hate to be repetitive here at TF, but the Business Software Alliance (BSA) leaves us little choice.
Representing major software companies, the BSA encourages people to report businesses that use unlicensed software.
If one of these reports results in a successful court case, the pirate snitch can look forward to a cash reward, which could amount to a million dollars per case.
According to a BSA executive the campaign has been very successful. It has resulted in many referrals and a decrease in software piracy rates.
Sounds great, but the way BSA recruits their snitches on Facebook is dubious and somewhat surrealistic. Instead of appealing to people’s ethics, the software group chooses to frames the campaign as a get-rich-quick scheme.
BSA continues to surprise us with new ads mainly targeting people who are short on money. For example, a few days ago this ad appeared in the timeline of thousands of Facebook users.
“Looking to pay off your credit card debt? If you know a company using unlicensed business software, file a report today to be eligible for a cash reward,” BSA’s latest Facebook ad reads.
It appears that every time we think BSA has found a new low, they come with a new ad that’s even more questionable. During the holidays, for example, they also appealed to the fact that many people are short on cash.
“Money can get tight during the holidays. If you know a company using unlicensed business software, file a report today to be eligible for a cash reward,’ the holiday ad reads, and there are more examples here.
While the BSA promises a quick cash solution, those who decide to report a pirating company are in it for the long haul. In the fine print it’s explained that people will only get a reward if a successful legal proceeding results in a settlement.
We reached out to the BSA find out more about how many people have been paid since the start of the campaign, but we have yet to hear back.
To be continued…