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back to article Microsoft DMCA takedown requests targeting OpenOffice

The vigilant folk at TorrentFreak think they've found something odd: among the hundreds of thousands of sites Microsoft has recently asked Google not to index are requests to remove references to sites that in no way infringe Microsoft's rights but instead mention the the free OpenOffice suite. TorrentFreak's report on the …

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Google will stop indexing torrent sites?

When did this start happening? Will I have to start using mIRC again to figure out where to go for free stuff?

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ACx

Re: Google will stop indexing torrent sites?

Google: google custom search torrents

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Facepalm

That probably involves tuning whatever 'bot it uses

What, a piece of MS SW not working perfectly first time?

This can't be right.

No you've made a mistake, surely.

Reality can be wrong perhaps, but never MS. I'm sure you'll find that buried deep within the EULA somewhere you've sworn on the lives of all your nearest and dearest that MS are right under all circumstances.

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Joke

Re: That probably involves tuning whatever 'bot it uses

They've limited it to our "nearest and dearest"?

That's an improvement... shows that Microsoft is listening to its customers...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: That probably involves tuning whatever 'bot it uses

"What, a piece of MS SW not working perfectly first time?"

Except that as pointed out in these very pages recently, we've learned that it's not Microsoft that generates these takedown requests, and the logic used is.. strange to say the least:

http://goo.gl/7jNWTE

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Anonymous Coward

Re: That probably involves tuning whatever 'bot it uses

>strange to say the least

Why do you find that strange? Shirley Microsoft should know better than anyone not to entrust important software jobs to Microsoft.

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Anonymous Coward

Blocking OO

Unintended but convenient!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Blocking OO

Yeah just like secure boot is MS's DRM for W8 but has the consequence of kicking Linux in the nuts

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Blocking OO

I'm happily running Linux on a secureboot (uEFI) system. I'm also running Windows pre-8 on a securebooted system.

In all honesty the Linux machine was insatlled first and I didn't even realise that the system wasn't BIOS when I got it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Blocking OO

"Yeah just like secure boot is MS's DRM for W8 but has the consequence of kicking Linux in the nuts"

Linux can just disable secure boot. so it's a non event. And it's a BIOS manufacturers standard - not a Microsoft one....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Blocking OO

Methinks AC 8:10 might have meant WRT rather than W8. Reasonable comparison if (s)he did.

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Mushroom

Re: Blocking OO

try doing that on an ARM device...

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Linux

Re: Blocking OO

As the AOL-inflicted once said; "Mee too!"

My two main machines are near enough identical apart from the operating systems. Apparently at least one distro has been putting a lot of effort into addressing the UEFI secure boot problem, to the benefit of most UEFI afflicted Linux users out there.

Not that we are likely to like Microsoft any better for putting us in that position in the first place, of course!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Blocking OO

Like an iPad you mean?

Microsoft are selling RT tablets with an OS and as locked down. There is no expectation to be able to install Linux. Just like if you go and buy a new PS3 these days...

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Anonymous Coward

@AC 08:25GMT - Re: Blocking OO

From Wikipedia

(quote) while the UEFI specifications do not require it, Microsoft has asserted that their contractual requirements do, and that it reserves the right to revoke any certificates used to sign code that can be used to compromise the security of the system (/quote)

How's that for a BIOS manufacturers standard ?

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Could it be ....

.... that Microsoft see Open Office as a competitor to one of their own products and are trying to stifle it? One interesting aspect of this is that Open Office is free, so there is no company has its sales and therefore its profits affected - so no damages can be claimed.

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Wounded Knee.

You're exactly right they, any competition right now is too much for Microsoft to handle. This type of piracy has been happening for over a decade, so bothering with it now only shows their open wounds.

From where I'm standing, their entire line of consumer software besides Office is going down in flames. So now they have to protect their last remaining piece on the board, or it really could be checkmate.

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Happy

Re: Could it be ....

Oh oh-

The writing's on the wall.

As MS sinks slowly beneath the waves...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Could it be ....

Open Office probably infringes loads of MS patents. I'm sure they could bury it if anyone actually started using it...

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Re: Could it be ....

They got a kind of agreement with Sun about that.

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Re: Could it be ....

Well if Microsoft had actually done something innovative with Office since the 90s this maybe true but they just fiddle about with the UI and add new features that only 0.01% of users need then charge another small fortune for a new version.

I have yet to find something useful that office 2013 does that i couldn't do with office 97.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Could it be ....

You can hook excel up to a HPC cluster, that's pretty innovative.

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Devil

Re: Could it be ....

"You can hook excel up to a HPC cluster, that's pretty innovative."

If you need a cluster to run the calculations on your Excel sheets something has got horribly out of hand.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Could it be ....

>You can hook excel up to a HPC cluster, that's pretty innovative.

Looks like mark l 2 grossly overestimated the usefulness... new features that only 0.0001% of users need

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Re: Could it be ....

Or it could be that they just set their anti-piracy bot for 'torrent AND *office*' - no way to say clearly if this was malicious, or simply incompetence and arrogance.

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Anonymous Coward

"Open Office probably infringes loads of MS patents"

The last (remarkably similar) claim round here was never substantiated, and the poster also didn't seem to realise that some of the allegedly affected products were already covered by bi-directional no-sue technology transfer agreements.

So, evidence please, or STFU.

Or I'll probably send the boys round if you post the same shot again.

Or maybe not. Who knows, in the absence of evidence.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Could it be ....

>Or it could be that they just set their anti-piracy bot for 'torrent AND *office*' - no way to say clearly if this was malicious, or simply incompetence and arrogance.

Nope. They have a legal obligation to review every URL by human eye and ENSURE every single one is correct. Negligence, incompetence and arrogance are still all illegal in this context. That's probably why they've tendered out the dirty work to a scapegoat even though it's their responsibility... some sort of attempt at pre-emptive distancing.

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Linux

Re: Wounded Knee.

"their entire line of consumer software besides Office is going down in flames"

It may not have flames but it is smoldering pretty good.

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Linux

Re: Could it be ....

"I have yet to find something useful that office 2013 does that i couldn't do with office 97."

Yes, relieving you of your hard earned money.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Could it be ....

"If you need a cluster to run the calculations on your Excel sheets something has got horribly out of hand."

Or you happen to work in oil and gas, or pharmacology, or geology, or weather forecasting, or financial markets, or insurance or numerous other industries where crunching large sets of numbers is routine...

nb - many of these sectors also happen to be where the best paid jobs are. So my condolences that you are probably not very well paid....

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Re: Could it be ....

In Excel you can have more than 256 columns and 65536 rows on your spreadsheet.

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Re: Could it be ....As MS sinks slowly beneath the waves...

And is found at the bottom of the Atlantic, alongside the MS Titanic.

May it forever rust in peace.

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Well, at least they're not trying to block LibreOffice. Maybe this can be a good thing and get the last three OpenOffice users to switch to LibreOffice as well.

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Anonymous Coward

Mine's Better Than Yours

"My Libre Office is better than your Open Office"

"No it isn't"

"Yes it is."

"No it isn't"

"Yes it is."

And on and on and on and on..............

Who cares? Use one or the other, or both if you want. But please stop the schoolyard jibes that only serve to make people who use open source look like whining brats.

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Go

RE: Martijn Otto

No thanks. I'll keep my Open Office, the same software I've used for 5+ years.

(and no snarks about how it's exactly the same as it was 5 years ago because no one's maintaining it!)

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Re: RE: Martijn Otto

At least LibreOffice are removing Java code from their suite, something that OpenOffice have no incentive to do because they've got Oracle pulling their strings.

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Ha ha, and how exactly could they try to block libreoffice? They can't.

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Law Talk?

Uhm... DMCA requests are submitted under penalty of perjury not "good faith effort - sorry if we're wrong". I hope the Apache Foundation sues anybody involved in this.

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Re: Law Talk?

Sue for what? Damages? And who would have grounds to sue?

These were third-party torrents for a freely redistributable open-source software.

Don't get me wrong, I would love to see Microsoft slapped silly, but it's not going to happen.

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Re: Law Talk?

They might actually be doing Openoffice / Libreoffice a favour.

The right way to get free software is to download it via the appropiate web-site (www.libreoffice.org, www.openoffice.org). If you don't know where that is, Google is your friend. If you're professionally paranoid, you check the sha256sums after you've fetched it.

The wrong way is to trust that www.dodgyfreedownloads.ru is your friend and that what you download has no added extra malware. And if a site is advertising a MS Office torrent, it's definitely very dodgy!

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Re: Law Talk?

"I would love to see Microsoft slapped silly, but it's not going to happen"

As if $BIGCORP would need any external help for that.

Just sit back, have some popcorn, and watch the show.

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Re: Law Talk?

But the perjury only covers that you swear you are the rights holder or acting on their behalf - it doesn't swear that the link actually infringes

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Law Talk?

The important thing is that no money was hurt.

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Re: Law Talk?

"But the perjury only covers that you swear you are the rights holder or acting on their behalf - it doesn't swear that the link actually infringes"

It sort of depends on who writes the DMCA - I've actually seen both. Here's the thing though - the *are not the rights holder* and are claiming to be under penalty of perjury so, yeah... It could also easily be argued that they're abusing the system because a) they are and b) they're bringing the court system into disrepute.

Loss has nothing to do with it. Frankly millions of people, companies and governments use OpenOffice and for people to go round claiming ownership of the IP when they don't *is* damaging - actually the point is that damages will be awarded for abuse of the system. In the Diebold case there was no actual monetary consequential loss but it didn't stop the court awarding 150k in damages. There's also a punitive damages option to make the people involved think about and check what they're sending out in future.

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Anonymous Coward

Jail

I've got a way of making sure these type of 'requests' are more accurate in future - jail the lawyer involved for 3 months for every inaccurate claim. You can bet they won't claim a hair's breadth more than they are allowed then.

Oh, and 3 wrong claims in a year and you lose the right to challenge for an entire year from the date of the last offence.

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Re: Jail

Wouldn't the 3 month/inaccurate claim kinda make the ban superfluous after the 3rd one anyway? After all a year is only 12 months, and it's almost certain that they're going to fire off more than 1 at the same time.

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Coat

Re: Jail

What?

You mean, apply consequences to actions? To lawyers?!?

Shirley, you jest. (Or, you are a communist, socialist, pinko euro-ist with no understanding how the Great 'Murikun Legal system works. Sieg Dollah!)

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Good excuse...

...for anti-competitive behavior and action against an alternative product just when Microsoft is desperately trying to bolster their own new Office 365 software as a service. Predatory corporations never let a good excuse or opportunity go to waist.

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Coat

Re: Good excuse...

" Predatory corporations never let a good excuse or opportunity go to waist."

All MS apps are full fat so they're sure to go to "waist"

The one with the elastic belt ------------->

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Facepalm

Make it more accurate?

What using something like "%ppen%office%" as opposed to simply "%office%"?

Hmmm, tricky stuff!

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