College students care more about beer than software

Unethical sods


The ever-vigilant Business Software Alliance (BSA) has struck out against immoral college students, saying it's concerned about the lack of respect kiddies have for software.

The software industry trade group commissioned a study that found students are quite willing to pirate software. The collegians' main motivations for obtaining software illegally are to save money and to get back at a "prosperous" industry.

"Only 24 percent of 1,000 college and university students surveyed consider it wrong to make unauthorized copies of software," the BSA said. "Yet, despite their attitudes toward piracy, 93 percent of students surveyed agreed that "people who develop software deserve to be rewarded for their efforts." However, 89 percent said they didn't always pay for the copyrighted software they downloaded."

Free software fans probably make up a small portion of those interviewed, but it should be noted that copyrighted software does not always come with a pricetag.

While the BSA appears shocked by these results, many of you might not be. College students tend to have this nasty habit of cutting costs wherever possible to save up for the finer things in life like keg parties and food. They don't put ethics and the moral high-ground too high on their list of priorities while at school. But the BSA is concerned that this lack of concern for software could stick with them in the long run.

"Intellectual property theft is both wrong and illegal," BSA President Robert Holleyman said. "If schools don't educate their students on this issue, many of these students are likely to take their piracy ethic into the business world."

Armed with that logic, you might expect to see the streets filled with LSD-crazed, binge-drunk adults having open-air orgies. But we all know that this only happens in San Francisco, and that naughty children can turn into fine adults.

The BSA, however, went on to put the screws on the undergraduates. A second study, again commissioned by the BSA, found that more than 105,000 people lost their jobs in 2002 as a result of software piracy. U.S. piracy losses alone approached $2 billion in 2002.

It's unlikely that college students pocketing a copy of Office here and there made a large contribution to this total, but that's not really the point of the BSA's gripes. The heart of the matter goes back to the BSA's concerns of breeding immorality in our children.

The BSA cites Stuart Gilman, President of the Ethics Resource Center.

"We work with a great number of large multinational corporations that are concerned about what students may be walking out with" when they leave the academic world for the world of work, Gilman said. He adds that a student without a firm grounding in ethics is 'a time bomb walking into that organization.'"

One such "time bomb" appears to be nineteen-year-old Colorado College student Kiley Goodson-Dunlap.

"Software is something that's just there," she told the BSA researchers.

A quick background check on Goodson-Dunlap does reveal that she is up to no good. She has been fighting human rights abuses in China as an active member of Amnesty International.

"And if anyone has the duty to confront criminal acts, seeded in prejudice, intolerance, and manifested through reckless and negligent political clout--it is us, here in the United States because of the relative freedoms and comforts we enjoy which should make us sympathetic to those without basic freedoms rather than alienate us," she writes in a plea.

Keep an eye on that one.

The BSA is funded by many of the world's largest software companies, including Microsoft. Earlier this week, the Beast settled six more antitrust class action lawsuits. The company could shell out as much as $1.55 billion to the ten states that have settled so far with consumers receiving vouchers as compensation for paying too much for Microsoft software in the past. ®


Other stories you might like

  • Tesla driver charged with vehicular manslaughter after deadly Autopilot crash

    Prosecution seems to be first of its kind in America

    A Tesla driver has seemingly become the first person in the US to be charged with vehicular manslaughter for a deadly crash in which the vehicle's Autopilot mode was engaged.

    According to the cops, the driver exited a highway in his Tesla Model S, ran a red light, and smashed into a Honda Civic at an intersection in Gardena, Los Angeles County, in late 2019. A man and woman in the second car were killed. The Tesla driver and a passenger survived and were taken to hospital.

    Prosecutors in California charged Kevin George Aziz Riad, 27, in October last year though details of the case are only just emerging, according to AP on Tuesday. Riad, a limousine service driver, is facing two counts of vehicular manslaughter, and is free on bail after pleading not guilty.

    Continue reading
  • AMD returns to smartphone graphics with new Samsung chip for your pocket computer

    We're back in black

    AMD's GPU technology is returning to mobile handsets with Samsung's Exynos 2200 system-on-chip, which was announced on Tuesday.

    The Exynos 2200 processor, fabricated using a 4nm process, has Armv9 CPU cores and the oddly named Xclipse GPU, which is an adaptation of AMD's RDNA 2 mainstream GPU architecture.

    AMD was in the handheld GPU market until 2009, when it sold the Imageon GPU and handheld business for $65m to Qualcomm, which turned the tech into the Adreno GPU for its Snapdragon family. AMD's Imageon processors were used in devices from Motorola, Panasonic, Palm and others making Windows Mobile handsets.

    Continue reading
  • Big shock: Guy who fled political violence and became rich in tech now struggles to care about political violence

    'I recognize that I come across as lacking empathy,' billionaire VC admits

    Billionaire tech investor and ex-Facebook senior executive Chamath Palihapitiya was publicly blasted after he said nobody really cares about the reported human rights abuse of Uyghur Muslims in China.

    The blunt comments were made during the latest episode of All-In, a podcast in which Palihapitiya chats to investors and entrepreneurs Jason Calacanis, David Sacks, and David Friedberg about technology.

    The group were debating the Biden administration’s response to what's said to be China's crackdown of Uyghur Muslims when Palihapitiya interrupted and said: “Nobody cares about what’s happening to the Uyghurs, okay? ... I’m telling you a very hard ugly truth, okay? Of all the things that I care about … yes, it is below my line.”

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022