Microsoft Flexes Muscle for Global Anti-Piracy Day

Kachina Shaw

The selection of October 21 as Global Anti-Piracy Day may have been random, but Microsoft is tying its renewed emphasis on reducing the use of unlicensed and otherwise illegal software to the larger economic fears that businesses and end users alike are dealing with right now.


The ongoing anti-piracy efforts of Microsoft center around education on the effects of pirated software on businesses and the wider economy, along with legal action ranging from civil suits to raids conducted by local law enforcement agencies, based on information and assistance provided by Microsoft.


Recent actions being highlighted today include technical training to enable law enforcement agencies in China to better identify pirated software; a seminar on the value of intellectual property to the Chilean economy; nine civil actions against alleged software pirates, plus increasing the awareness of the value of intellectual property in Portugal; two lawsuits against resellers allegedly providing pirated software in Ontario, Canada; and 38 raids against software pirates in Turkey. This map shows more activity along these lines, as well as some customer comments on their direct experiences with unlicensed software.


Microsoft officials, fully aware that they cannot stop software piracy, plan for wider awareness of the company's activities with organizations like the Business Software Alliance to scare at least some folks straight, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. That includes everyone from resellers loading counterfeit programs onto the boxes they sell to individuals selling unlicensed copies of software on eBay. Many of the latter, working as fronts for larger counterfeit software providers, may find their wares purchased and tested by Microsoft teams.


Chinese users today are reporting that their screens are going black -- the result of Windows Genuine Advantage checks finding unlicensed software running. Shanghai Daily.com says unhappy users are alleging a "monopoly act." And sites like Pirate Bay are counting on Microsoft continuing not to bring lawsuits against individuals using illegal software -- and promoting anti-anti-piracy by linking to sources of counterfeit software.


Anti-piracy numbers:


48: number of countries in which Microsoft is launching or relaunching anti-piracy education and enforcement actions today


5: number of continents on which those 48 countries can be found


20: number of resellers against which Microsoft announced legal action today, for allegedly selling pirated software


1/3: number of PCs globally, at minimum, that contain pirated, unlicensed or counterfeit software, according to Microsoft


$50 billion: Cost to businesses, globally, of pirated or unlicensed software in 2007


800-785-3448: telephone number customers can call to give Microsoft hot anti-piracy tips

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Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Oct 21, 2008 12:30 PM David Gerard David Gerard  says:
This is really quite breathtakingly tasteless and offensive of Microsoft, given the recent heavy news coverage of, oh look, *actual robbery and murder at sea* off the coast of Somalia. Yes, copying that floppy is *exactly* like that. Offensive idiots.My blog rant: http://tinyurl.com/5rt664 Reply
Oct 22, 2008 10:59 AM Shrihari Lele Shrihari Lele  says:
MS needs to have more efforts on educating the users on Benefits of using genuine software and risks associated with use of pirated software. This can be more effective in reducing the piracy and not earn a badwill for MS. Reply
Oct 22, 2008 12:06 PM Tom Delany Tom Delany  says:
It's out there. For instance: http://www.microsoft.com/piracy/default.aspxAs a developer myself, you have to excuse me if I have no sympathy for software pirates. Reply
Oct 22, 2008 2:22 PM Kiitan Iyiola Kiitan Iyiola  says:
Will it not be better to understand why people prefer to pirate? Could it be poverty? Could it be anger? I see a line drawn between the rich and the poor. May be it will be better if software companies can make available lite version of their software and ask people to pay for pro instead of the 30 or 90 days trial. Reply
Oct 22, 2008 7:16 PM Tom Delany Tom Delany  says:
If your concerned with the use of the word "piracy" check out the definition - the unauthorized reproduction or use of a copyrighted book, recording, television program, patented invention, trademarked product.If you want to bring up philanthropy and concern for the less fortunate: MS and it's employees gave 84.2 million for nonprofits and educational institutions in 2007.I'm not sure what you find tasteless and offensive? Reply
Nov 18, 2008 10:18 AM Roman Roman  says:
Kiitan Iyiola is absolutelly right. Reply

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