Piracy

Microsoft files multiple lawsuits around the world on WGA evidence

Microsoft has filed 52 lawsuits around the world, in addition to referring another 22 cases to law enforcement agencies in 22 different countries. This is part of its global antipiracy efforts, with all 74 cases involving either Microsoft Windows or Microsoft Office.

Microsoft has filed 52 lawsuits around the world, in addition to referring another 22 cases to law enforcement agencies in 22 different countries. This is part of its global antipiracy efforts, with all 74 cases involving either Microsoft Windows or Microsoft Office.

According to Ars Technica:

Of the 52 lawsuits filed, 15 involve what Microsoft describes as the "largest-ever commercial counterfeit syndicate." That group operated in China and was broken up by law enforcement officials therein that country earlier this year. Software counterfeited by the group found its way to store shelves and onto the PCs of unwitting consumers; Microsoft estimated its retail value at over $500 million.

Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) is credited by Microsoft for helping crack the counterfeiting rings. The investigations were triggered by the counterfeit software's inability to pass WGA checks. Certainly, it does make it easier for Microsoft to start getting a handle on international large-scale piracy operations.

Do you reckon we will be seeing cheaper Microsoft Windows and Office software now that piracy's under control?

About

Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.

121 comments
j-mart
j-mart

I myself from a personal point of view see no point in purchasing any Microsoft product or pirating it. At home I have one old machine with Win98 which I keep because it runs my old CAD software (1999 vintage) really well, with all of my newer machines all completely open source. My home machines do what I want at home,which is not what I do at work. At work my employer provides me with all the software I require, which the company pays for. There is no need to have pirated software, but the area that needs tidying up,is the area of some of the BS surrounding propriety file formats and the "patents" that some companies have obtained. This grey area need to be got rid of. Though ridding the world of the "pirates" is probably an impossible task, those in this industry should work to reduce them as much as possible. If the software that you want to use, comes at a price that gives you value for your money, like everything else you purchase, you don't mind paying for it. But some, such as Vista, XP, I can't see this value so I don't bother to purchase them, or use them at home, though my employer, due to the software applications used to produce the products we sell does, and the cost though not good value for the money is factored into the final selling price of our products.

apotheon
apotheon

One must reasonably ask two questions, based on this article: 1. Is Microsoft counting retail value of the "counterfeit" software by US retail prices (more than $300), Chinese effective prices (less than $3), or something between the two (such as perhaps average revenue per unit for US OEM installations)? 2. How the heck does breaking up a single "counterfeiting ring" qualify as having "piracy" "under control"?

Tig2
Tig2

Near as I can tell this is just Microsoft's way of controlling public perception about its WGA. Let's look at this- last month the WGA server shut out hundreds (thousands?) of people for approximately 22 hours- although the Microsoft time was 4 hours and there are reports that have it at days. I've been waiting for them to try to redeem the WGA in the court of public opinion. How better than to report on how effective it is? This is a non event. It's spin control. Move along, nothing to see.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

First off, I'm with WTRT: how does this report justify using the phrase, "...now that piracy's under control?" I only took two semesters of Econ. Assuming piracy was under control, would someone explain to me how this would alter Microsoft's pricing policies in the customer's favor?

Absolutely
Absolutely

... but I will certainly not go beyond what is personally convenient to doing "as much as possible." [i]Though ridding the world of the "pirates" is probably an impossible task Those in this industry should work to reduce them as much as possible.[/i] I'd also not mind the $50,000 reward for informing on corporate software pirates. If I see any, I'll certainly report them, but that's where I draw the line -- substantially short of "as much as possible." Until Microsoft respects my personal property -- capricious deactivation, inventorying my hardware in exchange for the [i]privilege[/i] of using their software, for which I [i]also[/i] am required to pay! -- I won't be doing them any [b]favors[/b] protecting their "intellectual property."

Media-Ted@Juno.com
Media-Ted@Juno.com

When the bottom fell out of M$BS about how great their crap was; when the only thing which really passed muster was their ability to shut down more people faster than ever before in history; when people reacted and refused to buy Vi$ta because of its acknowledged deficits plus its aggressive cyber-terroristic attacks on machines (from within - not on orders from some "mother$hip", as the display laptop demonstrated in St Joseph, MO last spring, ... not even connected to the www - yet it still refused to start with the WGA warning(s)); M$ was forced to pretend to backpeddle with promi$e$ of change in $P1, but within a short time, were grinding out the Pravda report(s) of how wonderfully effective they are in winning their war - which, by their own admission, is off somewhere in another part of the world - - - yet they continue their unabated war on American and close friends nations and peoples as though they are going to bear the brunt of M$' brutality. Well, to me it's the sameole sameole.

andy.nelson
andy.nelson

First off, I guess the fundamental thing to consider is that any large corporation will target itself to generate X% profit growth year on year. This is after all the fundamental reason anyone goes into business, TO MAKE MONEY. Therefore, based on previous year's business, MS know they need to sell X units at X$ to hit that revenue/profit target and thus keep the shareholders happy. The shareholders' happiness is essential, as it is their inward investment that funds growth periods, R&D etc. I have absolutely no problem whatsoever with big businesses making big money. I am 100% comfortable with Bill Gates being loaded too. At the end of the day, the guy came up with a great idea and a great product that despite it's niggles, still allows 99.9% of people on the planet to do their job a lot quicker and better. I know that if I had a product that someone was trying to rip off or devalue by piracy, I'd be doing far worse than just issuing lawsuits.......... ;-)

Media-Ted@Juno.com
Media-Ted@Juno.com

... in response to request by nentech: When the bottom fell out of M$BS about how great their crap was; when the only thing which really passed muster was their ability to shut down more people faster than ever before in history; when people reacted and refused to buy Vi$ta because of its acknowledged deficits plus its aggressive cyber-terroristic attacks on machines (from within - not on orders from some "mother$hip", as the display laptop demonstrated in St Joseph, MO last spring, ... not even connected to the www - yet it still refused to start with the WGA warning(s)); M$ was forced to pretend to backpeddle with promi$e$ of change in $P1, but within a short time, were grinding out the Pravda report(s) of how wonderfully effective they are in winning their war - which, by their own admission, is off somewhere in another part of the world - - - yet they continue their unabated war on American and close friends nations and peoples as though they are going to bear the brunt of M$' brutality. Well, to me it's the sameole sameole. BTW, I went to St. Joe a couple of weeks ago and that same Everex Laptop which was the subject of my railing on Vi$ta when it went belly-up as the salesguy "demonstrated" it for me; well, it's still there, and it still says it does not have a genuine copy of Vi$ta and it still cannot/will not work. They even offered to knock off $150 if I would buy it off the display shelf. If they had offered me a "free" copy of XP, I might have taken the bait...

j-mart
j-mart

In the case of Microsoft, that some of that "Intellectual Property" that they wish us to protect taking into account the whole "software patent" argument may not all be theirs.

Media-Ted@Juno.com
Media-Ted@Juno.com

... How'd it end up clear down here??? I guess it's late and I'm very tired. Sorry.

roaming
roaming

Or are you really that naive and unworldly?

apotheon
apotheon

"[i]I have absolutely no problem whatsoever with big businesses making big money.[/i]" Me neither. My problem tends to be with the coercive, dishonest manner in which some people pursue "big money". "[i]the guy came up with a great idea and a great product that despite it's niggles, still allows 99.9% of people on the planet to do their job a lot quicker and better.[/i]" Quicker and better . . . than [b]what[/b], exactly? Also . . . where did you get that 99.9% figure? I think it's grossly exaggerated. "[i]I know that if I had a product that someone was trying to rip off or devalue by piracy, I'd be doing far worse than just issuing lawsuits.[/i]" People aren't trying to "rip off" the "product" -- the term "rip off" implies actual theft. "Piracy" is copyright infringement, not theft. Even the US Constitution's provisions for copyright law clearly distinguish it as a form of limited monopoly, rather than property. People aren't trying to "devalue" the "product", either. They're trying to get the software for a cost equal to or less than its worth to them. The fact of the matter is that "piracy" serves as a corrective factor, reducing the artificially inflated value created by monopoly power in the market. Given a free market economy, MS Windows would not cost hundreds of dollars retail.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

After all.. an OS is only an OS and can be replaced easily.. you may even have a case to hasle MS for a valid Vista license to hold on too incase it evolves into what it was supposed to be (eventually).

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

As many have pointed out, there's no evidence that this incident has brought piracy under control. It doesn't matter what we think MS would do in that case if it actually hasn't (and probably won't) happen.

Absolutely
Absolutely

I didn't mean that as a 'gotcha' on jm, or on Nick for that matter, just an irony. It seems to take an entity of the magnitude of the EU to have an impact on Microsoft, which supports jm's basic premise. On the other hand, my casual observations of comments here by IT department managers who would switch their companies to alternative OSes is that institutional relationships, habit, and compatibility difficulties, especially as perceived by non-experts, work against many practical arguments to switch, so as Nick said, about all a person can do is switch themselves, and bring it up when acquaintances' computers crash. I thought something about that was ironic. Mainly, I think it's strange that being [u]dependent[/u] to such an extent on one corporation, particularly one with such a lousy track record in security, is so passively accepted in so many industries.

apotheon
apotheon

I think jmgarvin was specifically referring to fighting MS with lawsuits, not "fighting" by boycotting -- effectively, ignoring the existence of MS rather than going toe-to-toe with it.

Absolutely
Absolutely

jmgarvin: [i]The reality is that unless you are a huge government or multiple corporations, you, as a private individual, cannot fight MS.[/i] I would say the opposite is true; private individuals can switch without having to secure approvals of bosses.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

But it's a passive engagement. To fight any corporation (particularly M$), you don't purchase their products and let your friends family, and acquaintances know why. If your reasons are persuasive enough, they don't buy either and pass the word. Eventually...

jmgarvin
jmgarvin

The reality is that unless you are a huge government or multiple corporations, you, as a private individual, cannot fight MS.

Absolutely
Absolutely

[i]It would be fair to say in the case of Microsoft, that some of that "Intellectual Property" that they wish us to protect taking into account the whole "software patent" argument may not all be theirs.[/i] I've read before how much of Microsoft's code is "stolen." What seems more plausible to me is that most of it -- the part that is any good, as opposed to wide-open invitation to bot-nets -- is self-evident, ie, not subject to protection as IP. Anyway, the more that Microsoft sells, the more $ the proper owners of any of Microsoft's IP which "may not all be theirs" will be able to recover from Microsoft, when and if they successfully sue for it.

jmgarvin
jmgarvin

The "MS Patents" are typically not their patents anyway....bah...

nentech
nentech

You may want to repost your comment in the right place There is a lot of posts between this and the one you were replying too I would change the content of your post to point to the new location Cheers Col Ps Had some time so I decided to check what I had missed

apotheon
apotheon

You're lucky if you've only seen this happen twice. I have personally been the target of such attacks based on those faulty assumptions here at TR in a bare minimum of four different discussions -- twice by the same guy (maxwell edison).

royhayward
royhayward

I am not sure why this is the case. But this has happened now in two forums here on TR that I have seen on these issues. The first was a discussion on MP3s and now we have one on MS and WGA. RV, when someone disagrees with you, and you have to turn your argument into a personal attack, you are telling the rest of us the you have lost. Apotheon has not confessed to any crime, or act of theft or piracy. Yet you accuse him of being a thief and pirate. Why do you need to do this. This weakens your argument. Your "challenge to any that claim to be superior ethically" fails when you do this. (not to mention going back to 1879 and quoting a poet.) Ethics and morals are not the same as the law. They really can't be. Laws are (hopefully) our best attempt at making rules for society, but our ethics and morals will at time encourage us to move around was is legal to do that which is moral. Example: speeding is breaking the law. Speeding to get a pregnant woman to the hospital is moral. Example 2: intalling an OS that we don't have a license for is illegal. Installing that OS to recover data that is needed to ... is moral. There needs be no "cognitive dissonance" on these behaviors. This is for soldiers who are in situation where they have taken lives or doctors that have to perform triage. I have never heard of a speeder that had a crisis of conscience just from driving too fast. Its just not that big of a deal.

apotheon
apotheon

"[i]Yet here on Wikipadia is this statement about copyright infringement:[/i]" That passage is mostly about the term "piracy", and in no sense does it specifically equate copyright infringement with theft. Furthermore, there's a distinct difference between a court ruling that the term "piracy" (or even the term "theft") to describe copyright is not infringement and a piece of legislation specifically equating theft with copyright infringement. Finally, any use of the term "theft" to refer to copyright infringement directly contradicts the denotative meaning of the term "theft", regardless of the law. "[i]I equate the theft of services, software, text without permission of the author, etc, to be theft plain and simple. No quibbling of terms.[/i]" Have fun with that. Saying something doesn't make it so. The use of "theft" in place of "copyright infringement" is still inaccurate. "[i]No rationalizations accepted.[/i]" It's not rationalization -- it's a statement of fact with regard to the definition of a term. You can believe copyright infringement is morally wrong all you like, and if you do I look forward to your arguments -- but only if you can express them clearly. Any argument that copyright infringement is "theft", however, is going to have to address the fact that copyright infringement does not involve the removal of property from its legal owner. "[i]Thus my challenge to any that claim to be superior ethically, yet define theft as something else, and in many posts claim that they don't like the code take your very astute advice, and . . .[/i]" Your phrasing in that statement, and in the passages preceding it, is vague and unclear. However, my understanding is that you insinuate that I differentiate between theft and copyright infringement in some attempt to assuage my conscience by reassuring myself that "stealing" MS Windows (actually, using it without a license) is not wrong. Here's how things actually work in my life: 1. I believe that copyright law is an unnatural imposition on the natural economic forces of a free market. I believe that this tends toward market failures, and infringes on the rights of individuals who wish only to deal fairly with one another in the market. 2. Until 2003, I actually favored "copyright reform" that would put greater control over copyrighted materials into the hands of their actual creators, and remove that control from corporations who exercise market monopoly power to force assignment of copyright to them. The sort of reforms I favored would also have (at least until the Singularity) reduced effective copyright durations without causing any individual copyright holder to have to sadly watch his copyright go away in his lifetime. 3. My opinions changed pursuant to both a conversation with a friend in summer 2003 that questioned the foundations of my belief about copyright and my increasing involvement at about that time in open source communities. 4. I actually obey copyright laws (assuming effective fair use provisions circa 2003) more diligently now that I believe they are unethical than I did then. I simply refuse to condemn others for the act of violating copyright law. 5. I don't just obey copyright law more diligently because I use open source software. I obey copyright law more diligently as regards video, print, and audio content as well. I do so for reasons unrelated to whether or not I have any specific use for copyrighted materials such that it would be more convenient for me to violate copyright law. I do so, in short, because A) I pick my battles more wisely than I once did, and B) it's easier to appear credible when arguing against copyright law if one is not actively engaged in copyright infringement. In other words, and to make a story short, I diligently obey copyright law in large part so I can honestly dispute stupid character assassination attacks that state or imply that I'm a "thief" who just wants to justify his own actions. It's annoying, but it's worth it to aid in making a logical case for my position and in pointing out when others utterly fail to do so, but choose the low road of accusation and [i]argumentum ad hominem[/i]. "[i]One of us will be congruent with law, the other changing their belief to match their behaviors.[/i]" There's the more direct accusation I expected. Good job! You've just joined the ranks of those who, when they cannot construct a well-reasoned argument, resort to insults and epithets. I would not be surprised if you casually violate copyright law more often than I do. My behavior [b]is[/b] congruent with the law. My belief is that the law is wrong. You obviously failed to account for that possibility when you composed this message. I wonder if you'll continue to fail to account for it now that I've made the fact this possibility is in fact a reality so painfully, blatantly obvious to you. Again, to summarize: 1. I do not use a belief that copyright law is wrong to justify copyright violation because I don't have anything in that regard to justify. 2. That has nothing at all to do with whether "theft" and "copyright infringement" are the same thing.

RV
RV

You wrote: "Incorrect. So-called "piracy" in this context refers to copyright infringement, not theft. They are completely different, separate, unrelated violations of law. There is no connection between copyright infringement and theft at all, period. Theft involves the removal of property. There is no removal of property involved in copyright infringement." Yet here on Wikipadia is this statement about copyright infringement: "Copyright infringement (or copyright violation) is the unauthorized use of material which is covered by copyright law, in a manner that violates one of the original copyright owner's exclusive rights, such as the right to reproduce or perform the copyrighted work, or to make derivative works. For electronic and audio-visual media, unauthorized reproduction and distribution is occasionally referred to as piracy or theft (an early reference was made by Alfred Tennyson in the preface to his poem "The Lover's Tale" in 1879 where he mentions that sections of this work "have of late been mercilessly pirated"). The legal basis for this usage dates from the same era, and has been consistently applied until the present time.[1][2] Critics of the use of the term "piracy" to describe such practices contend that it unfairly equates copyright infringement with more sinister activity, though courts often hold that under law the two terms are interchangeable.[3]" That page can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_infringement I equate the theft of services, software, text without permission of the author, etc, to be theft plain and simple. No quibbling of terms. No rationalizations accepted. In psychology cognitive dissonance is when the beliefs and behaviors of an individual disagree. Until that dissonance is resolved there is stress. To relieve that stress an individual must either change their belief, or change their behavior. Examples are people who own a PC, made in the same ODM factories, with the same components, one added chip, and call them Macs, claiming they are not PCs. Another example is the person who steals Windows by illegal copying/cracking and then calls MS a variety of names because they want to be paid for their labor. They appeal to the masses and somehow change their belief so that their behavior, clearly theft, can be viewed as fighting for a cause. Therefore a thief can believe he/she is moral. I am simple in these thoughts, not quibbling terms, or putting spin on my behaviors. Thus my challenge to any that claim to be superior ethically, yet define theft as something else, and in many posts claim that they don't like the code take your very astute advice, and . . . "Perhaps you should have a look at a few such systems that already exist. Why reinvent the wheel? OSes like Darwin, FreeBSD, and Plan 9 are freely available for download. Go get 'em." Or for the self proclaimed experts, that they come out with their own product. If you disagree that copyright infringement and theft are not the same thing, then we'll just have to disagree. One of us will be congruent with law, the other changing their belief to match their behaviors.

apotheon
apotheon

"[i]Amen![/i]" Considering the content of your post, following that title, I think you must have either responded to the wrong person or completely misunderstood the point made by the post to which you responded. "[i]outright theft, which is what piracy is.[/i]" Incorrect. So-called "piracy" in this context refers to copyright infringement, not theft. They are completely different, separate, unrelated violations of law. There is no connection between copyright infringement and theft at all, period. Theft involves the [b]removal[/b] of property. There is no removal of property involved in copyright infringement. "[i]Don't like the price of cars? Steal a bunch and the price will go down right?[/i]" Absolutely not. The economics of theft and copyright infringement are entirely different, because the two acts have little or nothing in common aside from legality. It requires only a very rudimentary understanding of basic economic principles to be able to figure that out. I recommend you get a very rudimentary understanding of basic economic principles before you continue any further in this vein. "[i]The world does not owe any of you anything.[/i]" I don't think that has anything to do with anything anyone has said in close proximity to your post. Why did you say that? It appears to be irrelevant to the discussion at hand, from where I'm sitting. "[i]I am waiting for your websites with your free downloads of better systems you have coded yourselves and work better than anybody elses.[/i]" Perhaps you should have a look at a few such systems that already exist. Why reinvent the wheel? OSes like Darwin, FreeBSD, and Plan 9 are freely available for download. Go get 'em.

Gone Fishing
Gone Fishing

"Time shifting a rental, or making a copy of what you bought originally" Is illegal They need to stop BSing everyone and tell the truth the whole truth If someone misleads you why would you listen to anything they have to say There are places in the world where it is illegal to copy anything covered by copyright for any reason Just so you know

RV
RV

Every one of you that has pirated copies of MS, and are upset because of WGA need to go to Apple and get a PC that has a chip so you cannot get it on a real PC, defined by me as heaving support for thousands of hardware devices. The rest of you need to stop talking switching to Linux, you need to do it! Intellectual property??? Please get real. Time shifting a rental, or making a copy of what you bought originally, is entirely different from outright theft, which is what piracy is. Don't like the price of cars? Steal a bunch and the price will go down right? The only thing that differentiates the folks that steal cars and rent them is that th renters don't expect a free ride. The world does not owe any of you anything. You can afford anything you want the old fashined way . . . YOU CAN EARN IT! I am waiting for your websites with your free downloads of better systems you have coded yourselves and work better than anybody elses.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

But somehow I doubt that "responsible economic modeling" is what M$, the MPAA, or RIAA have in mind when they start crying about losses to piracy.

Absolutely
Absolutely

Ironically, Nick, apotheon's distinction of piracy from theft is a necessary first step in any responsible economic modeling of how much revenue is really lost due to piracy.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

[i]Even if you knew the exact number of unlicensed copies of a given piece of software floating around, that wouldn't give you an accurate representation of missed revenue opportunities. [/i] Agreed. But that count does provide a basis for damage calculations accepted by the courts, even if the defense is able to show that none of the copies was actually installed.

santeewelding
santeewelding

You draw a line ("something for nothing"), go right to the edge ("doesn't necessarily mean"), and adduce the incontrovertible ("would pay for it"). Excellent.

apotheon
apotheon

Even if you knew the exact number of unlicensed copies of a given piece of software floating around, that wouldn't give you an accurate representation of missed revenue opportunities. After all, many people using unlicensed software (or listening to illegally downloaded songs, or whatever) would never use that software (or listen to that song, or whatever) if the only way to get it was to pay for it. In other words, someone may be getting something for nothing, but that doesn't necessarily mean that person would pay for it if it wasn't available for free. Microsoft, the MPAA, the RIAA, and others of that ilk refuse to differentiate between potential customers who infringe copyright instead, and casual copyright infringers, because if they admitted a difference the supposed "losses" they could report with any certainty would be laughably small -- and would utterly fail to convince anyone that they're just poor widdle victims.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

[i]The problem is that copyright infringement does not involve "taking something from the owner", et cetera. How about the IP, or the right to earn money from their product? Ok you haven't mugged Bill in the street, but you have robbed his company of $X in revenue. [/i] You have obviously bought the MPAA/RIAA/M$ IP argument hook, line, and sinker. And you are incorrect. Under the law, there is no confusing copyright infringement with theft. Theft is a physical taking. Copyright infringement is not a physical taking. Simple as that. There are no exact figures of how many un-licensed copies of software exist or are in use, therefore any value placed on "losses" to piracy is purely speculative. Only when a piracy is discovered and prosecuted can losses be calculated and that calculation will apply [b]only[/b] to that case.

Absolutely
Absolutely

http://articles.techrepublic.com.com/5100-22_11-5272932.html Also in my Workspace, in the category "TechRepublic guides," for future use. No need to thank me, the message above is all the thanks I'd ask, and more! [i]Alas, I believe that we have missed the opportunity.[/i] Was there any such opportunity to miss? Many of your observations on the IT culture vs. the end user culture look like specific manifestations of short-term thinking without long-term thinking. [i]If I tried to teach an end user to think outside the GUI, I would soon be in trouble. [/i] It depends which end user. Really, although that is more true in the workplace than in college. People tend to take a different attitude toward how "busy" they are, and how much they indulge their curiosity vs. treating it as "idle," when "on the clock." It's unfortunate that so many employers encourage that erroneous attitude, but considering how hard it is to find [u]good[/u] help these days -- how many shi++y collectors of paychecks will abuse any latitude given, to chat on MySpace, etc. -- I am unwilling to be very harsh on management as such. [i]And IT doesn't really want an end user to know and understand what they are doing anyway, so maybe it is better this way.[/i] Some helpdesk guys are like that. The ones I enjoy talking to even when not required for purposes of work are the ones who recognize that work that never changes, never requires original thought, and never necessitates learning more to advance, is, by definition, work not worth bothering to do; [b]all[/b] such work [b]should[/b] be automated, and that mindset blasted off the planet by free market economics. [i]Give me a learning curve any day! I, like Absolutely, would rather learn for myself how to do a thing than to have to constantly be screaming for help.[/i] That's long-term thinking. [i]And I am tired of the crap view that end users have of IT... and that IT professionals tend to have of end users. (Warning- generalization here) They see us as keeping them from being productive, we see them as requiring constant hand holding. So if I take the time to teach someone something, I can change that person's view. They won't need me to do basic tasks, I won't have to worry about needing to hold their hand.[/i] Certain people simply have crappy personalities and will stir up conflict & initiate alpha dog competition at every opportunity. In addition to short-term thinking, the [unrestrained] impulse to engage in competitive urination for distance is responsible for an enormous number of widely-believed myths about animosity among cultural groups, which in fact have to do only with the personality disorders of the drama queens that stir up controversy for its own sake. The us-them cultural biases that result are generally the result of attempts by mostly-rational people, to [i]rationalize[/i] something that is totally irrational, conflict for its own sake. [i]I refuse to believe that a large percentage of people prefer to compute without some level of knowledge.[/i] Proper use of a tool does require some knowledge of its operation. The common analogy of a corporate "end user" to an automobile driver is flawed in that most car owners use our vehicles merely for convenience. Taxi drivers and chauffeurs and other [b]professional[/b] drivers tend to have a knowledge of internal combustion engines which would make Ballmer and his fanbois uncomfortable.

Tig2
Tig2

"Have you had trouble finding ALSA drivers for your sound card or something? Does audacity not get the job done for you? I just do not understand how you can say those things, in such sweeping terms, unless you have not given the competition a chance. Linux is a different hassle, but it's all in up-front learning curve, which I strongly prefer to never-ending coddling." One day I really must take the time to hunt up the emoticon page with the formatting information on it... I strongly believe that one of the main things that has KEPT us from progressing to a more open structure is that we sat end users in front of a machine and taught them just enough to run the programs that they needed. We never bothered to teach them the power of the command line and we have ignored the fact that Joe User wasn't going to go out and get that knowledge on his own for the most part. Oh sure, there were some. Many of them ended up in IT because they WERE motivated to learn, but many more did not. Todays IT Department is filled with "One Trick Ponies", able to execute in their niche but without a strong understanding of the whole. And business is peopled by individuals that are, in many cases, only marginally capable of logging on or off. Change anything about their workflow and they get ticked. I get that we see this as an exciting challenge while the "average" end user sees a tool with which to do a job, but we should have been more proactive in the beginning- we should have pressed our end users to learn more about the machine that they were using. At least enough to make it work properly for them. Alas, I believe that we have missed the opportunity. If I tried to teach an end user to think outside the GUI, I would soon be in trouble. And IT doesn't really want an end user to know and understand what they are doing anyway, so maybe it is better this way. Give me a learning curve any day! I, like Absolutely, would rather learn for myself how to do a thing than to have to constantly be screaming for help. And I am tired of the crap view that end users have of IT... and that IT professionals tend to have of end users. (Warning- generalization here) They see us as keeping them from being productive, we see them as requiring constant hand holding. So if I take the time to teach someone something, I can change that person's view. They won't need me to do basic tasks, I won't have to worry about needing to hold their hand. I refuse to believe that a large percentage of people prefer to compute without some level of knowledge. Incidentally, a large number of Mac users like the machine BECAUSE you can slip into Unix world and tune the things you don't like. That was a main driver for me to buy mine.

Absolutely
Absolutely

[i]([b]the majority[/b] of whom want to turn on their computer, click an icon and do the job in hand, NOT write some command line or have to remember code or whatever)[/i] Is that really, exactly what the majority wants? Would they not, as they did in the days of DOS and even versions 3.11 & 95 of Windows, happily use a "command line or have to remember code or whatever," if learning that little bit more provided greater stability of the GUI they use most of the time? Am I the only one? Oh, no, there's TiggerTwo up there. How much has the population of computer users increased, since 3.11? "99.9%" of the people you're citing as pleased with Microsoft Windows do not properly understand what a trivial amount of "code or whatever" there is to remember, to use a stable computer, efficiently, to manage the processes that enable the convenient GUI-delivered applications that are, of course, the reason computers are used. [i]The point I'm making is that for a huge amount of people on this planet (the majority of whom want to turn on their computer, click an icon and do the job in hand, NOT write some command line or have to remember code or whatever), Microsoft products are actually pretty much the best option.[/i] Have you had trouble finding ALSA drivers for your sound card or something? Does audacity not get the job done for you? I just do not understand how you can say those things, in such sweeping terms, unless you have not given the competition a chance. Linux is a different hassle, but it's all in up-front learning curve, which I strongly prefer to never-ending coddling.

apotheon
apotheon

"[i]How about the IP, or the right to earn money from their product?[/i]" Everyone has a right to (try to) earn money from something. Nobody has a "right" to succeed. Success is something that depends on conditions in economic markets and how one's product or service interacts with those conditions. It has little or nothing directly to do with effort. "[i]Ok you haven't mugged Bill in the street, but you have robbed his company of $X in revenue.[/i]" Even leaving aside the pejorative implied connection of someone arguing against strong copyright law with people who violate copyright law, that's a patently (pun intended) false statement. One cannot rob another of something the other does not yet own. Accepting the notion that one can steal something the supposed victim doesn't even own, regardless of whether the person claims he or she would, eventually, have owned it, leads pretty directly to some very absurd logical consequents. After all, if you impulse-buy the last copy of the last Harry Potter book from your local bookstore, and someone else arrives several minutes later with the express intent of purchasing that book (not as an impulse buy, in other words), you might then be accused of theft according to these premises.

Gone Fishing
Gone Fishing

They will take a suspect argument change it to look logical Then repeat it often enough and loud Until it drowns out any truth that may oppose what they want you to believe Two things 1 The more often someone hears something the greater the likelihood they will accept it then agree with it After all if every one else accepts it I must be wrong 2 Logic is superior to emotion and reason because it is just so logical Understand that and you will be part way there Edit to add IP was invented/adopted by the PR men It just sounds so cool and gets the right emotional response Stick to copyright or copyrights IP talks about ownership of ideas Ownership of ideas is impossible to prove Copyright talks about ownership of your work and creations Hope this help you understand some of the methods used by the Pr men and spin-doctors Look out for them They never give up They try to distract and confuse

andy.nelson
andy.nelson

I figured it was a generalization, actually. It's also obviously designed to give a greater impression of numbers than is actually realistic, however. It's probably not even the case that a majority of people use MS Windows in the world to get real work done, even though MS Windows almost certainly greatly outnumbers each individual other option. Perhaps 49.9% would be more accurate. . . . and that's ignoring the vast majority of people in the world who have never used a computer at all. The use of 99.9 was not intended to give any form of false impression Apotheon...I have no need to do so. As stated, it's a turn of phrase used casually. My humble apologies for not talking in specific figures. If that's their only criteria, MS Windows is not the only option. I wonder why so many people think it is. Good branding, big marketing budgets and a product set that while not perfect, helps most non-technically minded people do what they want with the minimum of effort & brainpower. That definition of theft works just fine, assuming you mean "without permission". I find it roughly accurate. The problem is that copyright infringement does not involve "taking something from the owner", et cetera. How about the IP, or the right to earn money from their product? Ok you haven't mugged Bill in the street, but you have robbed his company of $X in revenue. I'm going to assume you didn't mean me, specifically, since I'm not using cracked versions of software. Again, to clarify, my use of the word "you" is a generalisation used frequently on this side of the Atlantic to mean "someone, people in general, a non-specific hypothetical person"

apotheon
apotheon

You can't steal something from someone that doesn't own it yet. edit: . . . unless you're now claiming that copyright infringers are time travelers.

Gone Fishing
Gone Fishing

Which is stealing the company or person?s income Followed by the statements which conclude the so-called thief would have paid for it Don?t take so-called to mean not guilty

apotheon
apotheon

"[i]Sorry, my mistake, over here in the dull grey and cold UK, we use generalisations and turns of phrase such as '99.9' to mean 'a large number of', rather than as a genuine actual, verified figure!!!![/i]" I figured it was a generalization, actually. It's also obviously designed to give a greater impression of numbers than is actually realistic, however. It's probably not even the case that a [b]majority[/b] of people use MS Windows in the world to get real work done, even though MS Windows almost certainly greatly outnumbers each individual other option. Perhaps 49.9% would be more accurate. . . . and that's ignoring the vast majority of people in the world who have never used a computer at all. "[i]The point I'm making is that for a huge amount of people on this planet (the majority of whom want to turn on their computer, click an icon and do the job in hand, NOT write some command line or have to remember code or whatever), Microsoft products are actually pretty much the best option.[/i]" If that's their only criteria, MS Windows is not the only option. I wonder why so many people think it is. "[i]Maybe there's a difference in legality but my interpretation of theft, as defined by UK laws is taking something from the owner without paying with the intention of doing so and not paying for or giving it back.[/i]" That definition of theft works just fine, assuming you mean "without permission". I find it roughly accurate. The problem is that copyright infringement does not involve "taking something from the owner", et cetera. "[i]So unless you plan to use that cracked version once and then delete it and never use it again, I'd say 100% you have stolen it.[/i]" I'm going to assume you didn't mean [b]me[/b], specifically, since I'm not using cracked versions of software. In any case, in this hypothetical case of using cracked software, one would not be "stealing" software even by the definition you just provided -- because it does not involve taking anything from the copyright holder.

andy.nelson
andy.nelson

Sorry, my mistake, over here in the dull grey and cold UK, we use generalisations and turns of phrase such as "99.9" to mean "a large number of", rather than as a genuine actual, verified figure!!!! The point I'm making is that for a huge amount of people on this planet (the majority of whom want to turn on their computer, click an icon and do the job in hand, NOT write some command line or have to remember code or whatever), Microsoft products are actually pretty much the best option. Much like McDonalds, they aren't the best, there is better out there and often cheaper, but in terms of universal appeal and familiarity, there isn't much else. As you say, there are better and free products, but as a non-tech, I need to know that I can go to any computer in any place and find a familiar screen that will allow me to do the job with the minimum of applied brain usage. Maybe there's a difference in legality but my interpretation of theft, as defined by UK laws is taking something from the owner without paying with the intention of doing so and not paying for or giving it back. So unless you plan to use that cracked version once and then delete it and never use it again, I'd say 100% you have stolen it.

nentech
nentech

Carcass good way to describe some IT junk Just a shame some of that junk is new Have a happy new year Col

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

He could always put whatever OS including his existing winXP license (assuming he has one) on the hardware. (even ReactOS with Duke Nuke'm Forever.. oh yeah... hehe) My focus was more on if the discounted cost of the hardware justified buying it from the shop or not. The bit about the Vista license that would come with it was just trying to fine a use for all the pieces of the carcus. Also, with the Vista license, he would have the option to upgrade to Horizon (or whatever comes next in the progression; Windows -> Vista -> ?horizon? ). Still, my interest would be in the hardware and what a more flexible OS could do with it.

nentech
nentech

He could wait until the next one comes out With some luck Microsoft will have learnt something from this joke they call Vista and give us an OS worth upgrading to Or it could be just the same old BS they usually pump out But the first thing they need to do is fire that idiot Ballmer