… well, sort of, anyway. Allow me to explain.
Today, we had a news submission about the BSA’s new scheme to teach children about the ‘evils’ of software piracy. To make this ‘learning’ (or should I say ‘indoctrination’) more fun for the kiddies, they got a mascot. Take a good look at it, what do you think it is?
It’s a ferret… supposedly.
When I first read that the BSA was using a ferret, I thought that we should call it a rat instead, since BSA is filled with dirty low-life rats. Then I hopped over to the site and had a look at it for myself. I swear, it looks like a weasel! A drugged-up homie weasel!
On a whim, I fired off an e-mail to Mike Magee at my favourite IT news site The Inquirer. If you’re not familiar with The Inq, think of it as The Register without the hubris. Indeed, Mike was the founder of The Reg, and he told me that he still owns 23% of it. Here’s part of the e-mail I sent to Mike:
The Business Software Alliance has received US Justice Department funding of $200,000 to ‘educate’ children about software piracy. More info at
What I’m wondering is why this organisation, which boasts some of the richest companies in the world as its members, is receiving US government funding?
Another point of interest is the mascot of this new Playitcybersafe.com initiative. It is _supposed_ to be a ferret. To me it looks like a weasel. A seriously drugged-out, homie weasel. A weasel may be the perfect choice for the BSA, but is a drugged-out homie character really the best choice to encourage children not to steal? I would say it does the exact opposite. You can see this weasel at
And here’s part of Mike’s response:
Many thanks for the nice letter. And for the tip. The BSA is up to all sorts of tricks and we’ll certainly cover this one.
A few hours later… BANG! Weasel Watch is born! Some excerpts:
HEAVILY SUBSIDED TRADE organisation the Business Software Alliance (BSA) has received $200,000 funding from the US government to promote a software piracy scheme aimed at children.
But that has raised questions about why the Justice Department has chipped into the scheme, seeing as the BSA is already subsidised, in fact paid for, to the tune of millions, by some of the richest IT companies in the world.
In fact the BSA Weasel, pictured above, looks like it’s either drugged up or it’s about to bite someone’s ankle, don’t you think?