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Tech / Lobbying

BSA Relaunching With Broader Focus

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October 11, 2012

After 24 years, the Business Software Alliance is rebranding itself as BSA, the Software Alliance with a renewed focus on combating piracy and promoting cloud computing.

The group formally unveiled its new look and focus Thursday. Along with the new name, the group will sharpen its focus on three main areas: combating piracy, opening global markets by fighting trade barriers, and advancing cloud computing.

When the group was first launched more than two decades ago, it was aimed at promoting the interests of the business software market. Since then, the distinctions between business and consumer software have largely disappeared, BSA President and CEO Robert Holleyman said in an interview Wednesday.

"This is really a recognition of the role software plays in society and what we do for the industry as its advocate," said Holleyman, who will remain head of the group.

While combating piracy will remain a major focus of the group, Holleyman also said the group recognizes that how piracy occurs is changing. He noted that while the move to cloud computing will decrease piracy, he said it will still occur and that policy makers need to address the new forms of piracy that will take place.

"The conventional wisdom is that piracy goes away in the cloud," he said. "It will be reduced but not go away."

He said the new threats include the emergence of black market cloud providers offering users access to pirated software.

When asked about how BSA will differ going forward with other industry groups that represent the software industry, Holleyman said BSA is much more global with 14 offices around the world. Along with its new look, the group also has moved its Washington headquarters from downtown to Capitol Hill.

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