BSA equates software pirates to Somali pirates

In what may be one of the worst PR pitches I've seen for a while, the Business Software Alliance tries to capitalize on the Easter weekend hostage drama off Somalia.

Some pieces essentially write themselves. This is one of them.

I received the following e-mail this morning with the subject "BSA  Launches Faces of Piracy Campaign." It came from the domain, which I assume is the Business Software Alliance's public relations firm for this campaign.

We've all been following the events of the past week of the pirates off the Horn of Africa. Piracy takes many forms, some more violent than others. I wanted to let you know that the Business Software Alliance is launching a new campaign today "Faces of Internet Piracy" that shows the real-life impact of software piracy--from hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines to jail time. Click on the picture below to learn more about the campaign...let me know if you're interested in writing about this.

Whatever you may think of the BSA and its tactics in general, this has got to be one of the most tone-deaf and cynically opportunistic PR pitches I've seen for quite some time.

It's one thing to figuratively equate piracy with making digital copies of software, music, movies, or books. We can debate endlessly whether such actions are truly stealing or not. But that's not the point.

It's that to literally and deliberately equate the two in the wake of pirates taking a ship's crew hostage and the US Navy subsequently killing three of the attackers...Well, words fail me.

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