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back to article Microsoft guns for web sales biz in piracy crackdown

Microsoft reportedly has two more companies in its sight as the software giant’s licensing crackdown focuses on China. Redmond said it is seeking compensation of at least at least 10 million yuan (£980,000) and a printed apology in the People’s Daily from two Beijing-based e-commerce firms for installing pirated versions of its …

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Bronze badge

"Redmond had massively miscalculated "

Were they using excel?

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Pirate

Good luck with that...

I doubt even mighty Micro$oft can bring down the Great Wall with a trifling $1,000,000 lawsuit. Better off building an update that crashes non-registered versions. I'm sure the kids at Redmond are well trained in that art.

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Silver badge

Keep up the good work Microsoft:

http://news.cnet.com/2008-1082_3-5065859.html

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Keep up the good work Microsoft:

So what's your point? The guy's was caught fair and square with ilegal software. That's him treating people poorly, in fairness. Or vicarious liability, whatever. Still, wonder whether he would've stayed with MS if he hadn't been caught with illegal copies. If so, it's not a win for Linux per se but rather someone throwing a tantrum after being named and shamed. Impressive that you've gone back four years just to put sarcasm in your title, but in the end a bit pointless I'd say. D+ (for the effort.)

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Facepalm

Re: Keep up the good work Microsoft:

Your link is a story about someone who ripped off Microsoft using unlicenced copies, and then got really angry when caught. Open Source movement, if it's looking for champions, can choose from much better people than that.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Keep up the good work Microsoft:

Also: Be very clear that one of the most damaging threats to FOSS is the rampant piracy of commercial software. Why use something new and free, if you can just rip off what you used to use for free? Ripping off software involves no learning of new skills, no help for the FOSS community and holds back development of FOSS.

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Holmes

Re: Keep up the good work Microsoft:

Maybe you should re-read the article, because it tells a different story

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Silver badge

Re: Keep up the good work Microsoft:

He had paid for a licence for X amount of Windows seats. He bought in new computers and installed additional WIndows OSs without giving up the old ones, exceeding the number of seats he had paid for. Now it wasn't very nice that he got raided and it's possible that this is due to mistakenly breaking the law rather than wilful (he tries to imply the former, but he would, wouldn't he, so we don't know). But basically, the link is a story about someone using MS sofware without properly paying for all his installs as I said. And I have read the story, thanks.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Keep up the good work Microsoft:

Given that the auditors could 'tell' the software wasn't being used, I somehow doubt the license 'violation' was through using unlicensed versions of Windows.

What's far more likely is that a Department using (for instance) Visio passed their machine onto another department. Visio wasn't used by the new department, but was present on the hard-drive.

I think you've also missed the important point about why he was so pissed. Yes he should have managed his licenses better, but it reads slightly differently to how you seem to have perceived it. I don't think he took issue with being raided (though probably wasn't over the moon), more the fact that even after settling the BSA were plastering his company's name all over the place as an 'example'.

If you've ever had any dealings with the BSA, you'll know it's never pleasant. Even when you are 100% compliant it's an absolute nightmare. They begin with an assumption of guilt and proceed from there, not to mention their habit of pretending to be a Law Enforcement body.

All that said, Ball should have kept better track of his licenses. Doesn't change the fact he was treated very poorly though, and it's not the only company that that's happened to is it?

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Re: Keep up the good work Microsoft:

Be careful here. Microsofts definition of Piracy is very very very woooly.

If I wipe and reinstall a PC with the OEM disk that came with it and the licence key on the machine, thats fine

If I wipe and reinstall the PC with an identical (and this is the key) dvd that didnt come with that machine (but is identical to the one that did) and use the licence key on the machine, thats piracy in Microsoft's Eyes and you will get done for it.

If I hand my desktop to one of my salesguys, it gets reinstalled with one of the generic Win7 disks kicking about, rather than the generic dvd it came with that has something soundling like 'Dull' stamped on it, then it gets setup for that person to use then without pirating anything I'm x1 licence out of compliance. I purchased enough licences, I have enough disks/recovery partitions and everything still ties up with the right keys but its now technically illegal.

For PC repair shops compliance is a total and utter nightmare...

Mr X's Hard disk is gone, he wasnt offered/didnt make revoery disks - Thats a new copy of windows please despite your key being intact

Mr X's Key is faded (look at the bottom of your laptop) and needs a re-install. Manufacturer blames MS but thats a new copy of windows needed to (unless its Tosh or Sony who play nice)

Mr X's PC just needs reinstalling but the media is scratched or missing - again, new copy needed

If you make licencing difficult to comply with and as impossible to understand as you can, you will find people that break the law. I feel sorry for the guy in that post the way I feel sorry for our gustomers when I tell them that the dead HD in their PC will also carry £65 M$ tax because the recovery partition got nuked.

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Bronze badge

@h4rm0ny, try reading it

Can you read it?

>>who ripped off Microsoft using unlicenced copies

"We pass our old computers down. The guys in engineering need a new PC, so they get one and we pass theirs on to somebody doing clerical work. Well, if you don't wipe the hard drive on that PC, that's a violation. Even if they can tell a piece of software isn't being used, it's still a violation if it's on that hard drive. "

This happens when some of their frea*ing licenses are NOT commodity. Unlike any other goods I can't resell bundled copy of Windows if I want to. Microsoft lives by its very own laws.

Nothing had changed since 2003.

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IT Angle

why would you want to pirate microsoft software anyway

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Devil

10 million yuan

Did anyone else see a Dr Evil/Austin Powers moment there?

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Childcatcher

its about time....

microsoft should just distribute the os for free for non commercial use...

the only problem in doing so would be that they would face all sorts of antitrust moaning....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: its about time....

You can already get a very large amount of their software for a hundred quid (ish) a year, for dev use. Have a look at technet, there are varying levels of subscription.

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Stop

Re: its about time....

Oh look, a Microsoft software article, did you know you can subscribe to Technet?

Geez...

It's getting as a bad as every article about browsers. You know at some point during the comment thread that someone is going to post "Opera has been doing this for years, Opera really is the best, Why was Opera not mentioned? Opera is my browser and I use it everyday. Opera tastes like yummy honey on crumpets..."

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FAIL

Lobby group the Business Software Alliance says 78 per cent of China's computers ran on counterfeit software in 2010

I always find it curious that they use the term 'counterfeit' in these situations. Let's be honest, the software is (generally) not fake is it? It may be unlicensed, hell it may even be full of malware but it's not like someone has sat down and created an OS that looks and works like Windows and then sold it as Windows is it?

A fake handbag is counterfeit. A Dodgy fiver is counterfeit, an unlicensed copy of Windows is real, but unlicensed.

Too pedantic perhaps, but it bugs the f*ck out of me almost as much as when they conflate copying software with murder, pillage and rape

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Dodgy

"They are accused of installing dodgy versions of Microsoft Windows, Office"

Are there other kinds?

-A.

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N2
Bronze badge

Re: Dodgy

Nuff said

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Thumb Up

Mr X

"Mr X's Hard disk is gone, he wasnt offered/didnt make revoery disks - Thats a new copy of windows please despite your key being intact

Mr X's Key is faded (look at the bottom of your laptop) and needs a re-install. Manufacturer blames MS but thats a new copy of windows needed to (unless its Tosh or Sony who play nice)

Mr X's PC just needs reinstalling but the media is scratched or missing - again, new copy needed"

=======================================

Mr X should then re-order his OEM installations disks from the PC manufacturer. For about £40... and it's legal.

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Gold badge

Licensing scams

What richard 7 said. When I worked at a university surplus, we had bosses wanting us to put Windows on things for sale. We did not, we pointed out it was illegal, and shipped them for a while with Ubuntu, blank the rest of the time.

a) Slipstreaming violates the license. This is only available as a valid option with a site license or enterprise license, these are the only kinds that don't demand installation with the *original* install media only. We also had too many different models to make slipstreaming practical anyway.

b) The site license is a real scam. The corporate or enterprise type licenses still require you to pay a second time per computer to get one with the license sticker on it, then technically the sticker is "used up" the moment you install your corporate/enterprise windows over the "stock" version. So, you can install whatever corporate version of Windows you've paid big bucks for, then later on decide to move this computer someplace else, use the Dell CD you paid for and license sticker you paid for, and you are STILL in violation because that sticker was considered invalidated the moment the corporate windows was installed on it.

c) We'd have a pile of old Dell XP CDs, but for instance it's illegal per license to use an XP SP3 CD on a Dell that originally shipped with an XP SP1 CD, which makes it rather impractical to ensure compliance.

Clearly these companies in the article were not even trying to follow the license. But, with all the unusual rules in Microsoft's licenses, if Microsoft wants to do you in for license violations, they *WILL* find a license violation, even if you think you have everything in order.

These Chinese companies really should switch to free and open source software, then in addition to having higher quality, more efficient, and more stable software, they will not have to worry about companies coming in and fining them.

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Unhappy

But open-source software is communist!

Can't have any of that going on in new-economy China!

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