Canada’s slipping in competitiveness and it’s your fault

Shame on you. Canada's losing ground in worldwide IT competitiveness because you're running unlicensed software.
Or so says the Business Software Alliance, a Microsoft-led consortium dedicated to, ahem, policing unlicensed software. As evidence, the BSA points to the Economist Intelligence Unit's IT Industry Competitiveness Index, compiled at the behest of … the BSA.
Nobody here is disrespecting the EIU's credentials as a research oufit, but hired-gun reports that don't reflect the interests of whoever's writing the cheque don't pay the bills. And even taking that into consideration, the BSA laying the blame at the feet of software piracy — or, as it's referred to in this report, “legal environment” — it's so collosally self-serving it's embarrassing. It's 10 points out of 100; even if government was actively encouraging software piracy, burning its own CDs of Microsoft Office 2010 and distributing them by mail, even if the legal score went from 10 to zero, that on its own would not account for Canada's drop to seventh place worldwide. There are a whole lot more factors at play here.
It's frustrating. We're so bad … listen, we've already been on a U.S. blacklist as an intellectual property piracy haven. Oh, wait … then-Industry Minister Tony Clement *asked* the U.S. to put us on the blacklist to justify the government's draconian DCMA-style copyright legislation. There's an intentional villification, a twisting of facts to suit, as U.K. tech Website The Register calls them, “Microsoft's jackbooted BSA thugs” that has to stop.
Stop exaggerating the prevalance and economic cost of software piracy, or we'll all go open source. Then we'll have a 10 out of 10 on the legal scale.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Dave Webb
Dave Webb
Dave Webb is a freelance editor and writer. A veteran journalist of more than 20 years' experience (15 of them in technology), he has held senior editorial positions with a number of technology publications. He was honoured with an Andersen Consulting Award for Excellence in Business Journalism in 2000, and several Canadian Online Publishing Awards as part of the ComputerWorld Canada team.

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