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Microsoft Sues and Gets Sued 192

Posted by kdawson
from the days-in-court dept.
wubo writes, "Microsoft is apparently stepping up its anti-piracy measures by publishing the locations and specifics of their pending lawsuits. Check out the snazzy map — warms me heart and soul." And to even the scales of justice, one of the last remaining class-action antitrust lawsuits filed against Microsoft in a state court is set to go to trial in Iowa later this year. An anonymous reader writes, "Iowa consumers who purchased Microsoft products in the last 12 years are being represented in a class action anti-trust lawsuit against Microsoft. The jury trial begins on November 13 and is expected to last 6 months." Bill Gates is on the witness list.
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Microsoft Sues and Gets Sued

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, 2006 @04:32AM (#16094787)
    Aw. I live in Iowa; now I wish I had actually bought my MS stuff.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by kkiller (945601)

      So, so that's the Windows Genuine Advantage!

      Buy stuff, get to take part in class action lawsuits...

      • by mikael (484)
        My favourite quote from the Microsoft site:

        **Free T-shirt offer good only to the first 500 Partners who Register, Attend and fill out the web seminar survey, with a valid U.S. address. This offer is non-transferable. Limit one t-shirt per company. Please allow 4-6 weeks for shipment. Microsoft is not responsible for non-delivery of gift due to incorrect postal information provided by respondent.
        Government Customers: Microsoft intends that this promotion comply with applicable federal, state, and local gover
    • by s4m7 (519684)
      Yeah me too.

      I cannot believe that after nearly a decade of running nothing but linux and BSD, This finally happens about a year after I buy a new laptop.

      aw Eff it. I'm dual booting.

    • by rmadmin (532701)
      Wheee. I knew this was coming down the pipe because I used to work with one of the people working on the case.
  • wow. (Score:2, Insightful)

    Microsoft is apparently stepping up its anti-piracy measures by publishing the locations and specifics of their pending lawsuits.

    Wow, a whole 73 lawsuits. In a nation of 260 million people. That tremble in the force you feel is the pirates quaking in their boots.
    • Re:wow. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by smilindog2000 (907665) <bill@billrocks.org> on Wednesday September 13, 2006 @05:03AM (#16094854) Homepage
      They're not suing 73 kids with 73 copies of stollen Windows. They're taking down mass-scale producers. They claim to have seized over 32,000 fake CDs, and stopped over 70,000 "auctions". I have no idea what they mean by auctions.

      If you've just got a copy of Windows on your machine you lifted from work or the net, I wouldn't worry too much. As that recent /. article said, Microsoft can actually make MORE money by allowing some piracy. It keeps kids with no cash from switching to Linux, for example. I've always felt MS has somewhat lax copying security on purpose.

      I've also felt they deliver a buggy system that degrades over time all by itself on purpose. If forces you to upgrade. I've gone through several Windows machines this decade, but the Mac I bought my wife in 2000 is still kicking, and still quite useful. The difference is in the software.
      • ahahahahah (Score:2, Insightful)

        I've gone through several Windows machines this decade, but the Mac I bought my wife in 2000 is still kicking, and still quite useful. The difference is in the software.

        I'm not sure what kind of mac you're talking about, but if you bought it in 2000, it certainly can't be useful for anything more than email, considering that OS X ran miserably on existing hardware when officially released in 2001 [macdailynews.com]. (And if your wife is running OS 9, then your comparison is even more ridiculous and irrelevant.)
        • Re:ahahahahah (Score:5, Informative)

          by Professor_UNIX (867045) on Wednesday September 13, 2006 @05:48AM (#16094941)
          Ummm, that guy is bitching that an 800MHz Powerbook with 1GB of RAM was slow running 10.2.x, which is a bunch of bullshit since I'm running 10.3.9 on an 800MHz G3 iBook with 640MB of RAM and it runs fine. Hell, we had 333MHz G3 B&W Powermacs with 384MB of RAM that ran OS X 10.1.x just fine when we still had those machines. The guy is a wanker, plain and simple.
          • Re:ahahahahah (Score:5, Informative)

            by Eivind Eklund (5161) on Wednesday September 13, 2006 @06:08AM (#16094996) Journal
            Newer versions of OSX are faster (also on old hardware) than older versions.

            Basically, they improve the engineering rather than just add more features. Good call, in my book.

            Eivind.

            • by mgblst (80109)
              This happens with every OS, except for one. For some reason, we have all come to expect that this is the norm.
          • by drsmithy (35869)
            Ummm, that guy is bitching that an 800MHz Powerbook with 1GB of RAM was slow running 10.2.x, which is a bunch of bullshit since I'm running 10.3.9 on an 800MHz G3 iBook with 640MB of RAM and it runs fine. Hell, we had 333MHz G3 B&W Powermacs with 384MB of RAM that ran OS X 10.1.x just fine when we still had those machines.

            If your idea of "fine" is a G3 running OS X, then any PC released in the last decade will run Windows "fine".

            • by walt-sjc (145127)
              It all depends on what you are doing.

              Browsing the web, email, wordprocessing, itunes, iphoto, chat, work fine and CPU isn't a big factor. That's probably 95% of non-gamer home use. Games are not really a big focus on the mac like they are on Windows. People with simple needs should not waste their money buying a new computer all the time when the old one works fine. It's a major source of toxic waste in our landfills and is a waste of natural resources.

              But back to the FA, I fully support MS's effort agains
        • We do indeed run OS X. The machine shipped with OS X 1.0 (which sucked) on a separate CD. By default, OS 9 was installed. I converted it over right away, and had to deal with a fair amount of pain, both from the system, and from my not-so-happy wife. After a while, Apple release better versions of OS X, and Adobe released OS X native software, and these applications do indeed run very well on that old machine.

          My wife still uses the machine heavily for publishing work, running lots of Adobe applications,
        • by Dekortage (697532)

          "I'm not sure what kind of mac you're talking about, but if you bought it in 2000, it certainly can't be useful for anything more than email...."

          Let's see... I have a PowerBook G3/400mhz with a slightly dated version of OS X that we still use for word processing, e-mail, web surfing, watching DVDs, iPhoto... remind me again, why is that not useful?

          Or worse, I have a beige G3/333mhz minitower (same OS X) running a file server, backup server, print server, web server... remind me again, why is that not u

          • Re:ahahahahah (Score:4, Interesting)

            by MightyYar (622222) on Wednesday September 13, 2006 @08:21AM (#16095295)
            My favorite part about MacOS has always been the portability... a hard drive with the most recent OS on it will boot any Mac. When my 350MHz G3 finally died, I bought a new G5 tower, popped in the old hard drive, and I was off to the races... I do the same thing with Windows, but it then consumes a half-day of my life cleaning up the afterbirth, and never really seems as nice as a fresh install.
      • by drsmithy (35869)
        If forces you to upgrade. I've gone through several Windows machines this decade, but the Mac I bought my wife in 2000 is still kicking, and still quite useful.

        If your wife is happy with a ca. 2000 Mac running OS X, then it's pretty clear she doesn't have a great deal of sensitivity to OS performance.

      • by gutnor (872759)
        "If forces you to upgrade. I've gone through several Windows machines this decade, but the Mac I bought my wife in 2000 is still kicking, and still quite useful."

        This story looks like the soap melodrama of the /. geek. Not far from the "Brian had been left by Alison and start drinking. Hopefuly Brenda just left Jason after he got his brain tumor and start looking after him ..."

        I also bought a computer to my girlfriend in 2000. It was a WinME version, probably the worst Windows ever at the very bottom of the
        • by ZiakII (829432)
          I also bought a computer to my girlfriend in 2000. It was a WinME version, probably the worst Windows ever at the very bottom of the software quality scale, on a cheapo "bottom of the range" laptop. And it is also still kicking and still quite usefull. Actually it is even more usefull than before because we are using it to play music/movies in the bedroom over the wireless, what was not its purpose before.

          You bought a computer for your girlfriend running Windows ME? and she didn't leave you? She is cl
      • or it forces you to reinstall your OS every 6 months or so, which isn't such a bad idea anyway. If I got a nickel for every time someone asked me why their computer was so slow, only to find that their registry has 10 miles of old half-uninstalled, forgotten about programs and they'd never done a defrag/scandisk, I'd be able to retire before finishing university!
      • by C10H14N2 (640033)
        Strange... I have a laptop still running Win2k that I use daily. There's no noticeable instability compared to my XP machine or the two linux systems I have on the same desk. I have no love for Microsoft, but from my experience a properly patched Win2k Pro system is pretty rock-solid.

        Stability issues are far more often behavioral in nature.

        That said, I think your assessment of petty piracy is pretty accurate. I have my suspicions about the genuineness of the OS on my laptop as I bought it from a small shop
      • I've gone through several Windows machines this decade, but the Mac I bought my wife in 2000 is still kicking, and still quite useful.

        I've got a useful computer that was made in 1998. Granted, it's a Xeon workstation that run Windows and it's one of the best-built computers I've ever seen. I did get it relatively cheap, but that's because the machines depreciate properly.
    • by Jugalator (259273)
      That tremble in the force you feel is the pirates quaking in their boots.

      Note it's not about piracy in general, but pirates that sell their stuff.
      I'm sure there are still a lot though, but far less than if including "regular" pirates.
    • The bulk of their activity is shutting down eBay trades. This is highly effective. They don't need a lawyer. eBay probably does it all for them using one of those watching scripts.
    • by neoform (551705)
      Um, doesn't the US have a population closer to 295 Million?
  • And of course (Score:5, Informative)

    by Joel from Sydney (828208) on Wednesday September 13, 2006 @04:39AM (#16094801)
    The actual list [microsoft.com] of people getting sued.
    • Re:And of course (Score:4, Informative)

      by remembertomorrow (959064) on Wednesday September 13, 2006 @05:28AM (#16094899)
      There was actually a computer repair/sales place in the town where I live that went out of business after being sued by Microsoft.

      Apparently, they were including XP Pro for free with their bundles.

      If you're going to offer your customers Microsoft products, at least make them pay for it. Not worth the risk. Either that or offer alternatives.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by smilindog2000 (907665)
        Agreed. There's no point wasting energy putting down MS for suing scam businesses. I bet their customers didn't know they were getting software illegally. I'd be pissed if I found that software I bought with a machine wasn't legit.

        It's probably more productive to get fired up about stupid suits where some mom gets sued for what her daughter was downloading.
        • it's not so bad for the customers. If you can prove that you bought the copy in good faith as legitimate (i.e. with a receipt) M$ will give you a legitimate CD-Key for free. At least, that was the scheme about a year ago, I assume that it's still running.
      • There was actually a computer repair/sales place in the town where I live that went out of business after being sued by Microsoft.

        Apparently, they were including XP Pro for free with their bundles.


        Same here, except they were selling Windows XP OEM CDs as if they were Windows XP retail packages and without bothering to sell these OEM CDs along with one of their home brewed PCs like they were supposed to. They didn't go out of business though.
      • heh the place where i bought my first x86 computer is being sued.. good they deserve it! they sold crappy hardware, my 486 board had missing components and they just moved some jumpers around to hide the defective functions, but as soon as i wanted to change some stuff i started having problems and realized what happened
    • Grief, that list has everyone from CompUSA to the mom and pop store down the street. I know of one guy in town who's store was almost ruined fighting such a bogus charge, but seeing a list like that drives home how common such things are. The local who was sued eventually won in court. There was no way he could tell the fakes from the real because they had all the little stickers and worked. His distributor burnt him and was in turn burnt by someone upstream but the whole thing has the stink of an extor

      • Computer Plus USA is not CompUSA, so M$ might not be shaking down it's larger corporate pals this way. The extensive list of small shops is still disturbing and I stand by my opinion that it's another part of the non free extortion.

      • by jb.hl.com (782137)
        Yes. Extortion. Of course, twitter.

        Please, get help.
  • Is this the best time for Microsoft to be making sure as few people as possible pirate Windows? Surely now, as XP is going out to make way for Vista, and OS X is gaining momentum, they should be practically encouraging it.

    Microsoft has a few important things going for it, but the user share and market dominance is the most important; I wouldn't want to test it, it's easier than ever to switch to Linux.
    • by cskrat (921721) on Wednesday September 13, 2006 @05:39AM (#16094922)
      But if you'll notice, they aren't suing end users (ala RIAA), they are suing businesses or people that have made a business out of selling the pirated copies. I wouldn't be surprised if, in many of these cases, it was the end users that turned to Microsoft to report a bogus copy after having issues with their illegitimate and possibly cracked version that they purchased with good faith that it was a legitimate, albeit possibly discounted, copy.

      The actions of Microsoft in these cases show that they are trying to improve their image with the end users by persuing the business that deceived them while simultaneously offering said end user a discounted or complimentary legitimate copy to help resolve the situation. Furthermore these actions are also considered to be defence of copyright so that they do not lose that copyright.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by bogado (25959)
        I would mod you up, but as much as I hate MS and windows, and I do, they are doing the right thing here. Suing the people who make business out of pirating makes sense, it is the same with people that want to bundle GPL stuff and hide their changes.

        And not suing the users and give them a way to legalize their machines is the correct way to deal with this. If MS were the [R/MP]IAA they would already have pulled the plug on pirated copies, making a huge number of people furious and many people would loose a l
  • Obeying the law (Score:4, Interesting)

    by KiloByte (825081) on Wednesday September 13, 2006 @04:42AM (#16094805)
    Suing... Microsoft? Isn't it the epitome of a law-abiding corporation? It is supposed to sue people, not the other way around.

    This makes me sick. For example, we have strict privacy laws in Poland -- in theory. Every single database that includes any personal data needs to be reported to GIODO -- and you need every person on your list to agree to that use. You also need to provide a way for every person to review whatever data you have on file about them, and/or request their removal.
    And if you anger the powers that be, you will be controlled and face stiff penalties. Unless you have enough political clout, that is.
    Now, take a wild guess who is playing a major role in building the henhouse...
  • by skrolle2 (844387) on Wednesday September 13, 2006 @04:45AM (#16094814)
    From the webpage:

    Legal actions are intensifying against resellers involved in defrauding consumers and businesses with counterfeit and pirated software. Microsoft has filed over 70 lawsuits in the last year alone.

    This is a good thing. A lot of people have no problems with downloading software or other copyrighted materials illegaly, as long as it is for free. But a lot of people are against selling such items, or making a profit off of it. Unfortunately, the copyright lobby views both groups as filthy stinking pirates, but the public don't really care about the first group, and only view the second group as the real pirates that actually ought to be punished for it.

    What Microsoft is doing here, is targeting the second group only. And that is a good thing.
    • by donaldm (919619)
      Actually piracy has helped Microsoft, so going after the big pirates is more for publicity of the "Don't do it we will eventually catch you" but in reality you would not have pirates if customers did not want the cheap software. The best way of pushing people to Open Source is to make piracy very difficult and Microsoft is well aware of this, hence the balancing act.

      In many ways the people who support those pirates are no more different than a person who goes to his local pub and buys a nice HD-TV for 10% o
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      A lot of people have no problems with downloading software or other copyrighted materials illegaly, as long as it is for free. But a lot of people are against selling such items, or making a profit off of it. Unfortunately, the copyright lobby views both groups as filthy stinking pirates, but the public don't really care about the first group, and only view the second group as the real pirates that actually ought to be punished for it.

      This is because until the 70's, non-commercial copyright infringement

  • HAHAHAHA (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Im NoT On The List :P
    Guess that havent found me yet
    HAHAHAHAHAHAH
    See im anonymous so they wont know my Ip or anything :P i found my coppy through aol.com so my search will be totaly confidential
    Im sooo LEET
    • Re:HAHAHAHA (Score:4, Funny)

      by Patrik_AKA_RedX (624423) <patrik.vanostaey ... m ['gma' in gap]> on Wednesday September 13, 2006 @06:24AM (#16095020) Journal
      I have some very bad news to tell you. So sit down for a moment and ignore the SWAT-team for a moment that's breaking down your door and open a window to let the tear gas out.
      You see, AOL made a little oops. I know, those hand cuffs are a bid uncomfortable. They accidently released a few search logs. Hmm, these police car seats are pretty comfortable. So some people might have gotten some information on what you were looking for on the internet. You're supposed to push you thump in the inkt and then on the paper. But I'm sure this isn't going to affect your life negatively at all. Hmm, that cellmate seems to have a liking for you. So I suppose you don't hold this little slip-up against us and aren't going to give up your subscription, are you?
  • by Blacklotuz (575879) on Wednesday September 13, 2006 @04:59AM (#16094847)
    This being Slashdot, I know nobody bothered to read the article before bashing Microsoft, but if you'll look at the list of defendants, they're almost all small time computer sales or software sales companies. Microsoft isn't the RIAA; they don't waste lawsuits suing Grandma or Little Susie because they're running a copy of Windows without a valid product key. What they do care about is companies who sell pirated copies of Windows to consumers for a profit. Some of these consumers even PAY for a pirated copy of Windows and are told they're getting a licensed copy. I know some people will argue with me that this is a good thing, but if you are a consumer who's been sold a pirated copy of Windows without your knowledge, Microsoft will even help you get a free or discounted copy if you just let them know who sold it to you. A lot of people instantly think it's Microsoft's way of getting you to rat on your family friend who's loaned you his install CD and key, but again, that's not who MS is looking for. So before you start crying foul, this sort of site isn't meant to scare you, it's meant to scare the guy selling 1000's of copies of Windows to unsuspecting consumers for a profit.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by isaacklinger (966649)
      Slashdot is really hammering the copyright violation lawsuits. What's the point here? That if you break copyrights you're going to get sued? Fine. Lets all mature to a point where we can deal with the consequences to our actions.
      • by penix1 (722987)

        Slashdot is really hammering the copyright violation lawsuits. What's the point here? That if you break copyrights you're going to get sued? Fine. Lets all mature to a point where we can deal with the consequences to our actions.

        Although I agree with you there is a flipside to this argument. The lobbies for the big copyright holders such as Microsoft have skewed the copyright laws to the point of ridiculous. They have bought the politicians to ensure never ending profit from copyrighted works. Ensuring a pe

    • by nigham (792777)
      Parent is right. And too bad, actually. If Microsoft were really to make big gains in avoiding piracy, less people would have Windows, and we'd see a greater switch to Linux and other alternatives - which might make the whole driver / application scene for Linux way better.
    • by mgblst (80109)
      Sure, you are right, they are not the RIAA. But if you remember, the RIAA started by going after the distributors before they started going after individuals. They still received a lot of grief for that.
    • ... the list of defendants, they're almost all small time computer sales or software sales companies. ... if you are a consumer who's been sold a pirated copy of Windows without your knowledge, Microsoft will even help you get a free or discounted copy if you just let them know who sold it to you.

      Yes the list of defendants is a who's who of mom and pop computer store owners. Have you ever thought that they too might have been passed off an "illegitimate" copy by their distributor? The wild and wacky

  • Because pirating Microsoft products is actually easier than using them legitimately (to an extent)!

    To clarify this, I don't condone pirating software that you don't already own. While this statement sounds odd, anyone who has had to deal with Windows Product Activation or Office Product Activation should know just how painful Microsoft makes it to activate your software after you've passed some arbitrary threshold. I spent a half hour on the phone with one of their activation people a few days ago attemp
    • Microsoft needs to stop treating every customer like criminals and then maybe more of them will feel inclined to start paying for the software.

      Wait a minute! If somebody steals your software, they are not a customer, they are a pirate. Your ending clause "maybe more of them will feel inclined to start paying for the software" indicates you are specifically refering to those people who did not pay for the software in the first place. So, let's fix your statement so it is more correct:

      Microsoft needs t
      • by walt-sjc (145127)
        Um, the parent poster WAS a legit paying customer. You seemed to have missed his point which was that MS's anti-piracy systems have pushed people into circumventing the AP technology, and therefor have actually encouraged piracy rather than increased sales.
      • by orasio (188021)
        Wait a minute! If somebody steals your software, they are not a customer, they are a pirate.

        Let's clarify this: software is _not_ property, it can't be stolen.
        You are using an analogy that doesn't work.
        When someone steals something from you, you don't have it anymore. That doesn't happen in the case you describe.

        There is not such thing as intellectual property. That is just an slogan, like "diamonds are forever". Intellectual stuff can't be regarded as property, because you can't own things that don't have
        • There is not such thing as intellectual property. That is just an slogan

          I had typed a long, thoughtful response to your comment, but then /. went down before I submitted it, so now you get the Reader's Digest version ;-)

          Mostly your post amounts to semantics. The usage of the word "steal" refers to the act of taking something that doesn't belong to you -- in most Western nations it is illegal to install software for which you do not have a license (or, to use your own words, software for which you have
      • by penix1 (722987)

        Microsoft needs to stop treating every pirate like criminals and then maybe more of them will feel inclined to start paying for the software.

        I agree that the line you are referring to was a poor choice of words. But the overall premise of the post is still valid. They are treating their customers as if they were pirates with product activation. When the activation fails, it is the customer that has to initiate (sometimes unsuccessfully) the remedy either legit or not. The legit route the GP is referring to

    • Windows has gotten to the point where I need to get on the phone just to activate the software. Internet activation no longer works. Nevermind that it would be easier to copy the installation ID into a chat room and copy the confirmation ID back, and that all they ask you anyways a yes or no "Did you install Windows on any other computers?" after putting you on hold. I have been tempted to crack it, but then I wouldn't be able to use Windows Update.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by RivieraKid (994682)
      I've had this problem where you cannot activate even on exactly the same hardware because MS have arbitrarily decided you have used Windows too often.

      I have found, however, that if you go through the wizard to telephone MS and activate over the phone, but instead opt to enter a new product ID, enter your current, valid, legal product ID and then try to activate over the Internet.

      If it doesn't work, try a couple more times. Every time I've reinstalled Windows on the same hardware and failed the first act

  • Well judging from Microsoft's past experiences in court, they'll probably be found guilty, and not do jack sh*t about it. Even the EU couldn't get them to budge.

    They're not bringing anything new to the table, I don't see why the folks in Iowa decided to sue Microsoft at this particular time, when they could've brought the same claims to the table around 5 years ago.

    Microsoft will probably bring the "but there are alternatives to Windows" claim in its defense. Well for 93% of the population, Linux is as mu

    • by Weedlekin (836313)
      "judging from Microsoft's past experiences in court, they'll probably be found guilty"

      There is no "guilty" verdict in civil suits.
  • Some people said in the comments "piracy will always exist as long as there's money in it" or such. Yeah. likely. But there's another important reason for piracy: CONVENIENCE.

    Count steps, cost in time and effort, behind purchasing a legal piece of software, and obtaining it from illegal source.

    Legal, downloadable:
    - Find website.
    - Access "shopping part"
    - Dig through marketing junk, looking for "buy"
    - Enter full billing information, usually involving grandmother's dogs name and shoe sizes of all children.
    - Ag
    • by mrjb (547783)
      I'm even lazier.
      sudo apt-get install softwarepackage
    • by Eivind (15695)
      What you write is more or less true, except reality is actually worse.

      In addition to being much harder to acquire and install, the "legal" proprietary software is frequently inferior to the pirated version.

      For example, the "legal" version may require the DVD to be in the drive at all times. It may require you to "activate" the product which you already bougth and paid for. It may require you to *repeat* this process if you buy a new computer, or even if you just change components in your existing comput

    • Illegal:
      - Launch your favourite P2P program.
      - Type program name, Click "download" on the list.
      - Relax as it downloads.
      - Unzip.
      - Click "serial.txt", copy the serial.
      - Install.

      Umm, you forgot a few steps. You forgot the part where the illegal copy was infested with all sorts of malware. Let me finish the scenario for you:

      - during the install your machine sends your private information (credit cards, passwords, etc) to some illicit server
      - a root kit gets installed, turning your machine into a po

      • by SharpFang (651121)
        run virus scan, run rootkit scan, run malware scan BEFORE installing.

        If I know a thing or two about these problems, these steps happen transparently thanks to virus scanner running in the background. The moment I click on the program, the antivirus will abort execution and display a warning if the program is a trojan.
        OTOH if I have no clue, my computer is already infested with enough spyware from porn webpages and "freeware".
        • these steps happen transparently

          It really depends on how you set them up. Many are configured to run a full scan every day at a certain time. Some are configured to do an "access scan", but this can really slow down your system so often it isn't the default. Plus, there are things called "shallow" scans and there are "deep" scans. You are right though, with most modern virus scanners, realtime protection is provided - especially when you try to run an executable, or when a process attempts to modify sy
      • by orasio (188021)

        Now, these steps don't happen every time - that's what keeps people coming back. But you have to admit, many of the "crackers" are doing this sort of thing. The "free software" is the bait. So perhaps you need to add a few steps to your illegal process - run virus scan, run rootkit scan, run malware scan BEFORE installing. Of course if you do that, then the legal path looks like the simpler path.


        Back in the day, I used kazaa networks, and that kind of thing never happened to me. I suppose it _could_ happen,
  • by rucs_hack (784150) on Wednesday September 13, 2006 @06:06AM (#16094988)
    There is a tendancy (of which I have been guilty myself) to assume that WGA is bad just because microsoft are doing it. I'm not a great microsoft fan, but I am a software developer, and I see their point in a way.

    If your product is software, how else but via software are you going to enforce legality? Go on, answer that one? Postcards? Hey man, shareware days are long gone, and they failed because of piracy, postal registration doesn't work. Nowadays it's electronic product monitoring or nothing, sorry.
    And for that matter, what's wrong with wanting people to pay for it if it's non free software?

    These are reasonable points if you remove references to microsoft. It wouldn't be fair to say I was trolling just because I think it's reasonable to expect to be paid.
    I don't like a lot of what microsoft are doing, but you must point out when things they are doing are fair or reasonable, or you're just as bad.

    There are also no ways to 'phone home' with any peice of software without sending some kind of identifying material, even if its just the originating IP. That's a lose lose situation, they can't do it at all without being accused of invading privacy, and yet if they don't then piracy of windows products will spiral even further out of control.

    Everyone I know who's complained about WGA has a dodgy copy of windows, almost everyone with legal copies either hasn't even noticed unless I've pointed it out, or doesn't care.

    I've only known one person with a legal windows copy who got screwed by WGA, and that was a corporate install in a university lab, so probably a mistake by the IT dept giving the wrong key.
    • by Flyboy Connor (741764) on Wednesday September 13, 2006 @06:31AM (#16095033)

      Everyone I know who's complained about WGA has a dodgy copy of windows

      I've got TWO legal copies of XP for my current PC. The first was delivered with the PC, but not in the language I preferred. So I bought a second copy.

      And I hate the WGA. I hate the fact that Microsoft will automatically inspect my PC every time I turn it on. I hate the fact that if I place too many new components in my PC, Microsoft will rate it as a new PC and will give me troubles. I hate the fact that Microsoft can influence the behaviour of my PC from a distance. And I hate the fact that I am treated like a criminal, while I have no intention of being one (except that I maybe get stimulated by all these flashes of hate to become one).

      I've only known one person with a legal windows copy who got screwed by WGA

      I'd say that is one too many.

      • by rucs_hack (784150)
        I didn't say I like WGA at all. In fact it pisses me off. What I don't have is an alternative to it.

        They will never just say 'oh well, we give up, after all, whats a few billion in lost sales between friends'.

        One is one too many perhaps, but could you do better? IIRC it was the IT depts fault anyway. I don't recall all the details though. Since I don't use windows in my lab it doesn't effect me.
      • by pongo000 (97357)
        I've got TWO legal copies of XP for my current PC. The first was delivered with the PC, but not in the language I preferred. So I bought a second copy.


        And we all continue to lament the fact that WGA is "acceptable" to the community despite its invasiveness. Gee, any wonder?

        Make your bed, sleep in it.
        • Hey, it was not as if I had any choice. I have to use that thing for work, and at work there is a certain 'standard.' PCs are not only a hobby, you know.
      • I've got TWO legal copies of XP for my current PC. The first was delivered with the PC, but not in the language I preferred. So I bought a second copy.
        Had you bought a Mac, you would simply have to set the language in the System Preferences / International [apple.com].
  • That Iowa suit looks ridiculous. The European suits have had some merit, but this one complains generically about Microsoft being a monopoly.

    "The purpose and effect of Microsoft's illegal conduct has been to deny purchasers of Microsoft operating systems and applications software at a competitive price..."

    At $40 per OEM Windows license, I don't see why they're upset. Complain about Windoze because it sucks, not because it's too expensive. Complain about Microsoft because they illegally use their OS monop
    • by Ldir (411548)
      It may look ridiculous to you, but it's the same suit other states have already won (e.g., California). The difference in Iowa is the AG's office says it is not willing to settle for Microsoft discount coupons. It wants cash for Iowans, arguing it's absurd to tell someone who's been "harmed" by MS that their remedy requires doing yet more business with the company that harmed them.
    • This suit just seems like a bunch of damned lawyers going for the gold.

      Given the fact that a District judge has allowed the case to go forward, I'd suggest a few years in law school may help to refine that opinion.
  • I was so hoping Microsoft had used Google maps for that.
  • Microsoft Sues and Gets Sued
    I had a very strange night last night, of the type that had me worried I might have accidentally slipped into an alternate universe. So I punched up Slashdot, and through the above headline I know without a doubt that I'm home.
  • Piracy (Score:3, Interesting)

    by franksands (938435) on Wednesday September 13, 2006 @08:51AM (#16095412) Homepage Journal
    I am completely in favor of MS chasing all pirate versions and distributors. One of the reasons Windows is so popular here in Brazil is that anyone can have a copy of any version of windows for R$10 (US$3!). If people only had the option to buy the orignial version which begins at R$700 (US$304), people would realize how overpriced Windows really is, and maybe start looking for existing alternatives.
    • True that. When my brother-in-law bought a PC with no OS*, he asked me to install pirated Windows XP, and refused my offer to install Linux instead. When he has to PAY for it, he will be more open-minded to alternatives, I'm certain!

      * (it had FreeDOS actually, but I'm sure he wouldn't know how to use that, or ever bother to learn how to use a CLI)
  • "USDC for the District of Colorado, (Case No. 06-CV-01368-PSF-MJW)"

    ! you may be a victim of lawsuit piracy.

    Your lawsuit number is not genuine. Authorities are being notified. You will be sued shortly...
  • Well, of course (Score:3, Informative)

    by xihr (556141) on Wednesday September 13, 2006 @04:23PM (#16098829) Homepage
    Of course they're going to name Gates specifically in the suit. That doesn't really mean anything at all.

The bogosity meter just pegged.

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