"Cheap" Kiwis puzzle BSA boss

Users of unlicensed software in New Zealand are less likely to settle when the Business Software Alliance comes calling than those anywhere else in the Asia Pacific region. Ron Eckstrom, the BSA's Asia-Pacific VP, knows that to be true - but he can't figure out why. 'Some people have told me it's the rugged farming culture,' he muses. 'Maybe they're just cheap.'

Users of unlicensed software in New Zealand are less likely to settle when the Business Software Alliance comes calling than those anywhere else in the Asia Pacific region.

Ron Eckstrom, the BSA's Asia-Pacific VP, knows that to be true - but he can't figure out why.

"We're trying to figure out whether we're doing something wrong - whether we're being too aggressive or what," says Eckstrom. ""Our enforcement officer here spends all day long doing settlement meetings with people we've sent letters to. They're coming in and waiting like it's a doctor's office and taking turns begging us not to so sue them.

"But they don't want to pay. I don't know ... some people have told me it's the rugged farming culture. Maybe they're just cheap. They don't want to spend any money.

"In Australia, at these same types of meetings, they settle 80% of the time before going to court - here it would be maybe 30%. Even Thailand has a higher settlement rate. It's like 60%. Singapore was 100% last round."

Eckstrom sees about 10 New Zealand leads a week, relating to "corporate end users, dealers or counterfeiters - that's what makes it to my computer. Our new hotline started in November - and we'ere up over 2800 calls, although a lot of those are simply asking questions about licensing."

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