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Microsoft Businesses

Microsoft Launches Comical Effort to Fight Piracy 332

Posted by Zonk
from the don't-copy-that-floppy dept.
theodp writes "A week before the release of Vista, Microsoft is expanding its fight against software piracy with a new educational effort that includes comics. Making its U.S. debut Monday, the Genuine Fact Files campaign aims to make Microsoft's message more accessible to a broader audience. BTW, Vista's Software Protection Platform (SPP) can put unvalidated copies of the software into a reduced-functionality mode. From the article: 'Microsoft plans to draw attention to it through banner ads on its Web sites and promotional material that it will hand out through partners. By using comics, the company aims to make the message more accessible to a broader audience. They are black and white, in a style similar to newspaper comics.'"
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Microsoft Launches Comical Effort to Fight Piracy

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  • So uncool (Score:4, Insightful)

    by udderly (890305) * on Monday January 22, 2007 @08:17AM (#17709456)

    Isn't it peculiar that when someone (an individual, gov't or corporation) tries to pander to the hip or "kewl" crowd, it actually comes off as even more contrived and lame. This Microsoft comic reminds me of junior-high school health classes about drugs or sex.

    Besides that, Microsoft has to walk a fine line with software piracy. If they could eliminate it entirely, that would be when you would see a more mainstream adoption of FOSS.

    • Re:So uncool (Score:4, Insightful)

      by TodMinuit (1026042) <todminuitNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday January 22, 2007 @08:18AM (#17709472)
      If they could eliminate it entirely, that would be when you would see a more mainstream adoption of FOSS. ... That makes NO sense. If FOSS applications were equal to that of the closed source realm, people would be using them regardless of whether piracy was possible.
      • Re:So uncool (Score:5, Insightful)

        by MindStalker (22827) <mindstalker.gmail@com> on Monday January 22, 2007 @08:22AM (#17709500) Journal
        What he means is that there are a LOT of people who are using pirated versions of Windows who would switch to something free if they couldn't pirate windows anymore. There is a huge percent of the population of the world who simply can NOT pay $200+ for an OS for their personal computers. Most of China for example, and plenty of places in the US as well. Nowadays you can get a computer for $400 or so from Dell with Windows installed, but in the past when building your own computer was cheaper, there were a lot of people who the $200 difference in adding an OS would have simply opted to have no computer at all.
        • There is a huge percent of the population of the world who simply can NOT pay $200+ for an OS for their personal computers.

          Add to that 400+ for an office suite, 100+ for anti-(virus/spyware), 100ish for Quicken, and you've doubled the cost of the machine. Software is simply overpriced. If Microsoft, and the rest, reduced their prices by an order of magnitude, they'd find a lot less people getting their software from illegitimate sources.
          • Re:So uncool (Score:5, Insightful)

            by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Monday January 22, 2007 @09:35AM (#17710052) Homepage Journal
            If Microsoft, and the rest, reduced their prices by an order of magnitude, they'd find a lot less people getting their software from illegitimate sources.

            I might be the most anti-DRM/anti-Intellectual Property person around here, but this argument that a company should lower its prices to discourage stealing is ridiculous. You're saying that because Rolex charges $5k for a watch, then it's OK to steal one.

            Microsoft can charge what they want for a product and you can decide whether or not to buy it. Or, you can decide to pirate a copy, but please don't justify stealing by presenting yourself as a crusader against high-prices. [by the way, I'm not saying necessarily that I believe using a hacked version of Windows is stealing]

            I'm also not one of the "free-market" types, but the best way to get Microsoft to lower prices would be to have some competition in the marketplace that competes on price-point (which leaves Apple out).

            Linux does that to a certain extent, but it's not enough.
            • Re:So uncool (Score:4, Insightful)

              by aussie_a (778472) on Monday January 22, 2007 @09:41AM (#17710118) Journal

              I might be the most anti-DRM/anti-Intellectual Property person around here, but this argument that a company should lower its prices to discourage stealing is ridiculous. You're saying that because Rolex charges $5k for a watch, then it's OK to steal one.
              I find your claim to be anti-IP while still equating copyright infringement with stealing ridiculous.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by TimTheFoolMan (656432)
              It seems to me that the GP didn't say that the high price made stealing OK. They merely said that reducing the price would reduce piracy. Look at AutoCAD. You can make a very strong argument that one of the primary reasons for its market position is because they looked the other way at piracy, while keeping the price ridiculously high. They got market share from piracy, and outrageous revenue from "honest" users.

              Sound familiar? - Tim
            • Re:So uncool (Score:4, Insightful)

              by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Monday January 22, 2007 @10:34AM (#17710752)
              "I might be the most anti-DRM/anti-Intellectual Property person around here, but this argument that a company should lower its prices to discourage stealing is ridiculous. You're saying that because Rolex charges $5k for a watch, then it's OK to steal one."

              Unfortunately the argument is not as simple as that. The 'protection' put in place hurts the legitimate customer. Imagine if said Rolex decided to stop working because for reasons unknown to you it no longer saw you as its rightful owner. You paid $5k for this new Rolex and the older models never had this functionality before. Then, the line they feed you is "It's to keep prices down!" What are you going to say besides "Really? The price is the same as it has always been!" ?? The result is that stolen Rolexes with that feature removed are going to go up in demand.

              Microsoft wants to combat piracy, right? How's that supposed to work if Windows becomes a bigger annoyance to those that paid for it? There's no justification of 'stealing' here, it's about Microsoft handling this in an unproductive way.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by LanMan04 (790429)

              You're saying that because Rolex charges $5k for a watch, then it's OK to steal one.

              Or, you can decide to pirate a copy, but please don't justify stealing by presenting yourself as a crusader against high-prices.

              Wow, you're an idiot.

              He's not saying pirating is OK because the price is expensive, he's *MAKING A PREDICTION* that if Microsoft were to lower their prices, less people would pirate their products. That's almost certainly true, morals (which *you* brought up) aside.

          • Re:So uncool (Score:4, Insightful)

            by arminw (717974) on Monday January 22, 2007 @12:43PM (#17712560)
            ....Software is simply overpriced......

            As with any item of commerce, don't buy it if you cannot or will not afford it. Until someone invents an atomic duplicator, it will always cost considerably more to make a copy of some tangible hardware. Software is a product of mind. All such pure mind products, especially digital ones, are intrinsically easily and inexpensively copied, without any great additional expenditure of money or effort. Acquiring the fruit of someone else's effort, whether that effort is physical or mental, without paying the one putting forth such effort is called stealing. If someone has a kid mow their lawn for an agreed price, and then doesn't pay, that person has stolen from that kid. If a particular kid wants more than you are willing to pay, you can find another one who will do it for a lower price or mow the lawn yourself.

            Writing software requires effort and expense. The people who wrote that software deserve to be paid for that effort. Copying software without paying for the mental effort it took to write, IS *STEALING*, morally speaking, and also illegal as in copyright law violation.
        • by uradu (10768)
          > in the past when building your own computer was cheaper, there were a lot of people who the $200 difference
          > in adding an OS would have simply opted to have no computer at all.

          Well, depending on the specs you're shooting for, you can still build something somewhat cheaper today, but alas WITHOUT Windows. Once you add (even an OEM copy of) Windows into the mix, the whole equation collapses. I must say though that MS have succeeded pretty handily in souring the Windows "pirating" experience with the w
        • Piracy is an essential part of the closed source business model. It works as asp shareware.

          The difference: shareware means registrators are "good guys".
          Piracy means unautorised users should feel as "bad guys"

          The piracy the Companies go after is not the average joe unauthorised use, but commercial
          counterfeiting of their software products.
        • Re:So uncool (Score:5, Insightful)

          by shawn(at)fsu (447153) on Monday January 22, 2007 @11:04AM (#17711066) Homepage
          There is a huge percent of the population of the world who simply can NOT pay $200+ for an OS for their personal computers.
          But yet they can pay for the computer?
      • Re:So uncool (Score:5, Insightful)

        by clickclickdrone (964164) on Monday January 22, 2007 @08:28AM (#17709534)
        That makes NO sense
        I'm not so sure. There are a lot of reasonably savvy people who are basically just lazy. Got a new PC? Off to your fav. appz source to grab the latest MS Office, XP Pro (probably Vista RTM now), Nero, Photoshop CS etc. If suddenly it becomes impossible to find those, they'll be happy with 80-90% of the functionality at 0% of the price by doing a bit of research, hunting around then grabbing the closest equivalent free versions.
        There are a significant number of people who used pirate software through collage when they're broke, get used to them then when they're financially better off, start to buy the real thing. You'll start losing those sales if they start off with free software right from thr word go.
        • There are a significant number of people who used pirate software through collage when they're broke, get used to them then when they're financially better off, start to buy the real thing. You'll start losing those sales if they start off with free software right from thr word go.

          Good point. There are lots of academic copies of Photoshop Pro, MS Office, and such. I am older and didn't get these in school, so I am much more versed in The Gimp and Open Office. This is especialy true when the big anti-pira
          • Good point. There are lots of academic copies of Photoshop Pro, MS Office, and such. I am older and didn't get these in school, so I am much more versed in The Gimp and Open Office. This is especialy true when the big anti-piracy business busting BSA started their heavy handed tactics. I very quickly fled to free alternative legit software and started avoiding those behind the BSA squad.

            I flat-out pirated those in college. No money, no time to mess around. After graduating, I went legit. Except, I stil

      • by udderly (890305) *
        I'm not claiming that FOSS applications are necessarily the equal of closed-source software (although many of them obviously are)--it's just that you can't get cheaper than free.

        I have so many customers who are running pirated Windows or Office that it's not even funny. That or they are still running Office 97. If these people had to shell out $250-$400 for Office or $150 for XP Pro, they would switch in to OO and Linux in about the same time it would take to hear that it's free (as in beer).

        My wife i
        • Re:So uncool (Score:5, Interesting)

          by paeanblack (191171) on Monday January 22, 2007 @08:46AM (#17709648)
          My wife is a perfect example of someone who *doesn't* need Windows. She logs on in the AM to check her Yahoo mail account, checks the local news, buys some stuff from Amazon or eBay, then heads to work.

          That's not a matter of not needing Windows, that's a matter of someone not needing a desktop PC at all. Imagine a cell phone cradle that supported a keyboard/mouse/monitor console. She has one console at home, has one at work, and she carries her "desktop" in her purse.

          I'm still curious why we are still years away from practical products like this.
          • by grahamlee (522375)
            We're not; you are though. The SunRay server software has a "WanRay" component which allows you to use a SunRay over a WAN; there are even WLAN-capable laptop form-factor SunRay devices from Tadpole. This means that you could have a SunRay at home and at work (or just take one with you) and wherever you are, your desktop state is retained at the server and available when you stick the smartcard in the front. I used to run SunRays in a physics lab, the only real problem in that setting was with
            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              by paeanblack (191171)
              We're not; you are though. The SunRay server software has a "WanRay" component which allows you to use a SunRay over a WAN; there are even WLAN-capable laptop form-factor SunRay devices from Tadpole. This means that you could have a SunRay at home and at work (or just take one with you) and wherever you are, your desktop state is retained at the server and available when you stick the smartcard in the front. I used to run SunRays in a physics lab, the only real problem in that setting was with sharing resou
              • by grahamlee (522375)
                My point was more that the 'port your state around' bit is here now, and is even smaller than the PDA that the OP wanted to have to lug about ;-). The laptop sunray was a mere aside...
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by CrazedWalrus (901897)

            That's not a matter of not needing Windows, that's a matter of someone not needing a desktop PC at all.

            That's true of most computer owners. When computers moved away from the scientific/business user and into the mainstream, they became vastly overcomplicated and expensive for the purposes they generally serve. My Blackberry does most of what people do with their computers, but the interface is a little cramped, which is where your idea comes in.

            It seems like WebTV was probably a great idea that was simply before its time. Here to fill the niche now is task-specific Linux desktops (Internet client, Business

          • by tbannist (230135)
            It's simple:

            Microsoft doesn't make cell phones or have a monopoly on cell phone embedded operating systems, thus it is against their interests to support or encourage this type of device.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by gad_zuki! (70830)
            >Imagine a cell phone cradle that supported a keyboard/mouse/monitor console.

            Okay. It will need a video chipset to drive at least a 1024x768 display. At least 256megs of ram. Wifi. USB controller. Local storage of say 4 gigs minumum. A decent OS. Apps.

            Now its 4x as big, 4x as expensive, and ugly.

            A quick look at dell's site shows me a PC can be had for 500 dollars which comes with a 19inch LCD, 60gig drive, 512megs of ram.

            Why would anyone get a super-phone? Hell, I have a treo and love it, but its not f
      • That makes NO sense. If FOSS applications were equal to that of the closed source realm, people would be using them regardless of whether piracy was possible.
        firstly even if they were "equal" people would be likely to stick with what they were familiar with unless put under high pressure not to.

        secondly even though windows/windows server/office/iis/.net and linux/samba/openoffice/apache/php aren't equal (they each have thier own strenghts and weaknesses) i'm sure there are plenty of people who use pirate MS
    • Re:So uncool (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Scoria (264473) <slashmail.initialized@org> on Monday January 22, 2007 @08:22AM (#17709492) Homepage
      It depends on what age group Microsoft ultimately targets with their campaign. A 9 or 10-year-old would be much more likely to accept their propaganda than, say, a 14-year-old. Microsoft seems keenly aware that older people can generally recognize their campaign for what it is, but that younger people won't be as cynical, and might not differentiate this from anything else they are taught in the classroom.
    • Re:So uncool (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Divebus (860563) on Monday January 22, 2007 @08:28AM (#17709542)
      It will be just as effective as the FBI warnings on all DVDs. That's not a deterrent. Shutting off your OS remotely is a deterrent for the user - a deterrent from using the OS to start with, that is. I wonder which Einstein® thought this one up?
    • MS propaganda efforts are always very entertaining. Not to forget comical Ballmer. We find it entertaining, so why not the kids.

      The point is that the classical consumer software works the same as shareware.
      Shareware: you are the good guy when you register
      Classic Model: You are the bad guy when you got a copy from your friends.

      One is driven by fear, the other by reward. But both need distribution by copying. Unautorised use is part of the business model in both cases! De facto the closed source software mark
    • I thought nobody under 30 read comics anymore, especially in the US. And that the only way comics got a wide recognition these days were through movie and television adaption.

  • by Ythan (525808) <ythan@@@taconic...net> on Monday January 22, 2007 @08:18AM (#17709470) Homepage
    But are they black and white like newspaper comics?
    • What this means is these strips won't be funny either. "Look, everyone! Cathy still can't fit into a bathing suit, Garfield pulled on Odie's tongue again, and stealing from Microsoft is wrong."
      • I think "newspaper-style" was added to the word comic so nobody would confuse it with the stand-up variety.

        Redundant really, since Microsoft's anti-piracy schemes have never stood up...
    • I'd assumed by black and white, they meant "The world is black and white. Downloading anything you don't own is bad. If you download things, you're supporting sodomizing kittens. Who grow up to be terrorists."

      Somehow, I doubt these comics will cover some of the more debatable aspects of the issue (for example, downloading clips from a radio broadcast. I don't download the latest Weird Al CD, I buy it. But what about the latest JRock CD that I can't actually buy in America, anyway?).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 22, 2007 @08:19AM (#17709474)
    Vista's Software Protection Platform (SPP) can put unvalidated copies of the software into a reduced-functionality mode

    So you can avoid bloat and annoying requesters by not validating a copy?
    • by slughead (592713)
      Vista's Software Protection Platform (SPP) can put unvalidated copies of the software into a reduced-functionality mode

      So you can avoid bloat and annoying requesters by not validating a copy?


      No, they reduce functionality by adding "over 300 new innovative desktop productivity solutions that let you do things from browse photos to surf the 'net, with better access to your media through We'reFairlySureItPlaysSomewhere(TM) technology."
  • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Monday January 22, 2007 @08:19AM (#17709476)
    Microsoft Launches Comical Effort to Fight Piracy

    Awesome! I can see it now. Popeye eating some spinach and tying an octopus' legs around three unshaven guys with eye patches. Brilliant!

    Oh, wait... did the OP mean copyright infringement? Then why did the OP use a term that means armed taking of actual property?

    • Re:Good for them! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Zonk (troll) (1026140) on Monday January 22, 2007 @08:44AM (#17709638)

      Oh, wait... did the OP mean copyright infringement? Then why did the OP use a term that means armed taking of actual property?
      <corporate_asshat>
      Because downloading a torrent is exactly the same as attacking a ship, killing it's crew and doing random raping and pillaging. Only dirty hippies that hate America can't see that.
      </corporate_asshat>

      Copyright infringement != piracy
      Copyright infringement != theft
      Copyright infringement == Copyright infringement

      Doesn't make it right, but be accurate when using a damn word.
      • by cliffski (65094)
        Surely a more acceptable term than theft is 'freeloading'. That describes what people are doing, because they are taking (for free) something that would not exist if the majority had not paid for it.
        Or maybe Leeching.
        • by aussie_a (778472)

          Surely a more acceptable term than theft is 'freeloading'.
          Sounds like what most Linux users do.

          Or maybe Leeching.
          But I always seed after I download something!

          (download Linux ISOs of course ;)).
      • by aussie_a (778472)

        Because downloading a torrent is exactly the same as attacking a ship, killing it's crew and doing random raping and pillaging. Only dirty hippies that hate America can't see that.
        I take offense to that. Our raping and pillaging is never random. We only ever do it to places we aren't fond of.

        An Anonymous Pirate
      • by Dobeln (853794)
        "Pirating" has been the term in general use for, well, ever. I used to "pirate" = "piratkopiera" ST games back in the day from my friends.
      • Re:Good for them! (Score:4, Informative)

        by shark72 (702619) on Monday January 22, 2007 @11:56AM (#17711824)

        "Copyright infringement != piracy"

        I agree 100% that many of us find it distasteful to use this word, but to claim that it does not have this meaning is, frankly, tilting at windmills.

        The word "piracy" is an example of a homonym, or as some call it, a homophone. Type "dict piracy" into your Firefox toolbar (we're all running Firefox, right?) to get the following definition:

        "2. the unauthorized reproduction or use of a copyrighted book, recording, television program, patented invention, trademarked product, etc.: The record industry is beset with piracy."

        We're all smart enough not to confuse dogs and trees when we hear the word "bark," so it's disingenuous to suddenly pretend to be homonym-challenged.

        Another common bit of misinformation is that this is some sort of new meaning of the word. Not so; it shows up in court rulings from the 19th century, and if you're lucky enough to have an OED around, it'll tell you a lot more about the etymology.

        Again: you may find the definition distasteful. But there's no point in claiming that the definition does not exist.

    • Re:Good for them! (Score:5, Informative)

      by Speare (84249) on Monday January 22, 2007 @08:53AM (#17709676) Homepage Journal
      Give up the fight, man, the word "pirate" in this usage is hundreds of years old.
      There was very little trust in the print medium when it was first developed--it was seen as unstable and subject to piracy and fraudulent copying. Authenticity was hard to guarantee: indeed, the term "piracy" was first used by John Fell, Bishop of Oxford, circa 1675, to describe certain pernicious practices of early printers and booksellers. A "pirate" was someone who participated in the "unauthorized reprinting of a title recognized to belong to someone else." "Stationers" eventually emerged as the trusted practitioners who were placed in charge of various aspects of publishing--practices we would now recognize as printing, publishing, editing, and bookselling. Stationers worked out the conventional practices of making books, and thus made printing a viable economic enterprise with the elaborate complexity of producing a book eventually invisible to all but the practitioners in the trade.
      • by retrosteve (77918) on Monday January 22, 2007 @10:15AM (#17710498) Homepage Journal
        ...and the usage continued well into the 19th century too.

        Gilbert & Sullivan wrote "Pirates of Penzance" in 1879, inspired by the copyright "Pirates" in New York who had come to watch their London performances of their previous show (HMS Pinafore) and then "ripped" the words and music and performed something very similar in New York a short time later.

        Without paying royalties of course.

        In fact, to avoid "Pirates" itself being pirated, G&S took the trouble to perform it FIRST in New York (they both travelled there personally -- and travelling trans-Atlantic was only by slow boat in those days) and establish ownership and royalty channels, before sailing back home to London to premiere it there.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 22, 2007 @08:22AM (#17709496)
    I agree with Microsoft's campaign here. Piracy is rampant with kids nowadays, and they should be educated that downloading or illegaly copying software is wrong, and deprives hard working people of money that they should have been theirs.

    I understand slashdot tolerates and even condones piracy, but it is illegal and kids should know they risk the punishment of law enforcement if they get caught.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      There's a big difference between being educated, and being educated by Microsoft. Educated would be "it's against the law to infringe copyright". Microsoft's so-called education would probably be "large corporations have the natural right to the ideas produced by their employees, it's perfectly acceptable to cripple software and mandate constant surveillance to make sure that your copy of Windows BS is completely above the board, trusted computing is only to protect content creators and only denies access t
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 22, 2007 @08:26AM (#17709518)
    hmmm, a hip and cool campaign where the message is anti-piracy? I don't think it's EVER been tried before!


    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4837609090 332617729 [google.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward
    OMG LOLZ! cOMICZ ... FREAKIN AWeSOME NOW I FINALLY REALIZE i MUST PAY FOR mY SOFTWARE, OMG LOLZ!!!!!!!!!!!111111
  • C'mon Bill, you can afford to at least make it look like the Sunday comics.
  • by shadowknot (853491) * on Monday January 22, 2007 @08:34AM (#17709578) Journal
    The headline should read: "Microsoft Launches Comical Effort to Fight Privacy"

    Easy enough mistake to make.

  • by Donniedarkness (895066) <Donniedarkness.gmail@com> on Monday January 22, 2007 @08:37AM (#17709592) Homepage
    Anyone else remember [URL=http://www.captaincopyright.ca/]Captain Copyright?[/URL]

    I don't see how he changed anything.

    Well, they're changing the site around, but [URL=http://www.midtimod.dk/blog/index.php?/archiv es/594-Captain-Copyright.html]this site[/URL] has one of the comics up.

    • Ah Ha! I was just thinking about that but I couldn't remember where I saw it. I knew it was from here (Canada) but other than that I couldn't remember... either that or I blocked it from my memory.

      (btw you're using phpBB forum type tags to submit the links, you have to use actual HTML etc... here on Slashdot)

      Captain Copyright [captaincopyright.ca]

      Yeah this guy at this link you submitted is using the same name:

      Captain Copyright [midtimod.dk]

      Is Captain Copyright copyrighted? lmao
    • by Jesus_666 (702802)
      We clearly need our own lame superhero comics to edumaculate people about things like privacy and fair use rights.

      I can see it already: Private Privacy is a WWII war hero who fights for peace and freedom... of information.
      The Commando Line is a group of elite soldiers who defeat their foes by piping vital information through grep and sed.
      The Backup Referee protects not only fair play but also fair use.

      And of course... The Linux Foundation is our alternative to the various Justice Leagues etc. Staffed
    • And what about the Play It Cyber-Safe [playitcybersafe.com] campaign by the Business Software Alliance? Here a hip anthro-ferret offers kids a "Cyber Ethics Champion Code" and a game in which he battles the evil forces of copyright infringement. "Stop the pirates from freezing the city. Throw your ball into the pirates and their stolen software before they hit the ground."
  • by Threni (635302)
    How is the average user going to know if they have been placed in `reduced functionality mode`, or are simply experiencing the usual inability to shut down their PC (yes, even on XP), virus attacks, confusing USB installation (do I install the hardware first and then the drivers, or the drivers first, or plug the hardware in and see what happens, or what, exactly?), games juddering and freezing (presumably updating my file indexes or checking for updates is so important that the flippers in my pinball game
  • It ain't over yet (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dekortage (697532) on Monday January 22, 2007 @08:44AM (#17709634) Homepage

    From the article: "The antipiracy fight is a multimillion-dollar effort, Hartje said. Although it has been going on for some time, Microsoft can't say whether the fight is paying off. 'This is a multi-inning game. We're in the first inning and it is too early to tell what the long-term impact will be,' she said."

    This is the first inning? C'mon, pirated software was online (BBSs) in the 1980s, if not earlier, and even then I could buy illegally-copied software from semi-shady PC hobby stores. Forget "don't copy that floppy" -- how about "don't copy that data cassette" or "this software download will take 16 hours on your 1200 baud modem, assuming your housemates don't pick up the phone and disrupt the signal".

    Nah, it's more like double-death overtime, and Microsoft is losing.

  • by staticdaze (597246) on Monday January 22, 2007 @08:45AM (#17709642)

    can put unvalidated copies of the software into a reduced-functionality mode
    Why is this news? This has been done for a while; it's called crippleware [wikipedia.org]. Microsoft just seems to have implemented their own version of it, which will probably suffer the same fate as all other protection mechanisms.
  • by PrescriptionWarning (932687) on Monday January 22, 2007 @08:47AM (#17709654)
    Paying 200-300 bucks for a personal installation of windows for only ONE computer is incredibly lame. That may have been fine back in the days of Windows 95 when most households only had one computer because they commonly cost an average of 1500-2000 dollars. Nowadays they are going for less than 500, so it seems more common for families to have 2 or even 3 PCS. Why charge nearly 1000 dollars so they can all "upgrade" for a single house? If they ever expect to sell Vista in the magnitude they desire and get the software behind it in a reasonable timeframe, they NEED to include at least 3 personal keys for each $300 vista license, otherwise they'll have to wait for people to replace their PCs with storebought Vista computers.

    Of course after saying all that, vista upgrades will be so uncommon, buying a new PC will be pretty much the only guaranteed way most people will have Vista at all. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
    • by soft_guy (534437) on Monday January 22, 2007 @08:59AM (#17709716)
      This is precisely why Apple makes MacOS X, iLife, and iWork available in family packs that cost only marginally more.
    • by zdzichu (100333)
      Microsoft Vista Family Pack [zdnet.com]. Buy one Ultimate and get next licenses for $50 or $100.
      • So you have to buy one at double the price ($400 Ultimate version retail purchase required, OEM doesn't qualify), then you get the $200 version for half price ($100) on the rest of the families computers. Oooooh, what a bargain.
    • That less than $500 system is unlikely to run vista fully and may be very slow at it. So that may make people install xp on it and get the key form online, there older systems, work, and so on.
    • by Technician (215283) on Monday January 22, 2007 @09:43AM (#17710128)
      Why charge nearly 1000 dollars so they can all "upgrade" for a single house?

      A simple site license would be fine. MS office was a couple hundred dollars a copy a few years ago. Novel's Star office was less than a hundred dollars and came with a home site license. Needless to say, I ran Star Office at home for a while until Open Office became better and replaced it.

      In keeping the budget balanced and avoiding piracy, many people find alternatives with better terms. We have more than 1 PC. A single PC license is to be avoided if at all possible. This requirement alone has introduced me to Free Open Software as an affordable replacement to the by each PC a copy model.

      The latest casualty is Light Factory. They went from a Registeration name model to a single PC locked registration. In the process, it broke the hot spare for a live performance. I upgraded to Freestyler in its place.

      Is free software the only ones who get a SOHO network and a cheap site license?
  • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Monday January 22, 2007 @09:02AM (#17709746)
    Remember when some soccer moms were up in arms about music lyrics? The result: all CDs with questionable lyrics got slapped with a little label. And that drove the kids to them. Nothing like saying to a child that they can't have something to make them more curious about it and want to try it.
  • by HairyCanary (688865) on Monday January 22, 2007 @09:03AM (#17709754)
    ... is that they think the issue is education. Everyone I know of that pirates software does it quite knowingly. Even my parents, who are 60-70 years old, are fully aware that they are running pirated copies of Windows.

    Does Microsoft (and along the same lines, the RIAA, MPAA, etc) believe education is really the problem? I think it's just marketing to justify the draconian measures (DRM and the like) that they want to use to control as much of our daily lives as they can get away with. If it were really about piracy they'd just correct their business model.
  • by CmdrGravy (645153) on Monday January 22, 2007 @09:04AM (#17709760) Homepage
    "Get the genuine facts campaign"

    Are non genuine facts still facts or are they lies ?

    It seems Microsofts understanding of the word fact is something which optionally may or not be true which leads me to believe that they are not someone I'm going to be trusting as far as I can throw them.

    Is the fact that these is a genuine facts they are presenting us with a genuine fact or its self or is it one of those other not genuine, or partially genuine facts ? Who can tell.
  • Are they in black and white or color? Newspaper or graphic novel style? Oh, how I wish someone would tell me because neither the summary nor the quote from the article say!

    Also, I'd like to know - what style are they in? And are they in color? Im asking because I couldn't tell from the article, and I don't think it said so in the summary.

    Modding me "redundant" will just make this funnier to me.
  • by Greyfox (87712) on Monday January 22, 2007 @09:11AM (#17709822) Homepage Journal
    Fighting for Truth! Justice! And the American Way! Bravely defending the giant multi-billion dollar mega-corporations from the Evil Average Citizens! Watch as Copyright Man destroys lives! Breaks up families! Ruins Reputations! In defense of the the Good CEO's multi-million dollar BONUS! Copyright Man will insure that his master is able to afford his 14th house in Hawaii! Copyright Man will defend The Company's fleet of private jets! COPYRIGHT MAN!

    In this episode, Copyright Man puts the hurts on a little girl with leukemia, her puppy and her elderly Grandmother...

  • "Vista's Software Protection Platform (SPP) can put unvalidated copies of the software into a reduced-functionality mode."

    I think they may be learning. With flat out product activation you may be inclined to just go with another OS. I've put Linux on one of my desktop computers for the first time since about 2000 because I don't have a spare copy of Windows and (not that I'd do that sort of thing anyways) using the same copy of Windows XP for 2 PCs is an activation nightmare waiting to happen. If cripple
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 22, 2007 @09:20AM (#17709916)
    omg I gotta see these comix. anybody have a torrent?
  • unauthorized copies of Microsoft's new Anti-Piracy comics just appeared in various BitTorrent trackers.
  • Am I the only one who immediately had the name Jack Chick [wikipedia.org] pop up in my mind when I read this?

    I immediately started imaging Microsoft portraying "pirates" as evil devil-worshipping spawns of Satan, preferably in little pamphlets which could be inserted into iPod boxes (we all know only pirates buy iPods, don't we?) by concerned shop owners...

    Erm, yes, I lived through the vilification of D&D during the eighties, why do you ask?
  • I'm half way in and so far, they've made blogs look evil, and given the villain a nice communist background, and of course they're perpetuating the scary myth that every download is laden with viruses, spyware, and heroin. When the news stories were drawing comparisons between this and other comics, they forgot to mention Jack Chick. I wonder if Microsoft hired him to write for them.

  • Background: I am a Unit Commissioner with the local Boy Scouts and I have a Ph.D. in Computer Information Systems (Security and AI), so I am teaching the Computers Merit Badge classes at our local "Merit Badge College".

    In Boy Scouts, you have to do all of the numbered requirements. (Some are "Do three of these" and list, for example, A-H sub-requirements).

    Requirement 9 (the January 2006 revision) has three mandatory sub-sections.

    (paraphrased - I don't have the exact text)

    A. If a friend offers you a copy of
    • by wes33 (698200)
      C. Why do Copyright laws exist?
      I'm curious what the BS think is the right answer to C.
      Is it:
      "to protect the artist's property" [WRONG]
      or is it:
      "a temporary monopoly - a bad thing but here a necessary evil - granted to promote arts and sciences".
      Just wondering.
  • Very anti-Blog (Score:3, Interesting)

    by forgotten_my_nick (802929) on Monday January 22, 2007 @09:58AM (#17710302)
    Is it just me or did the interview and the cartoon seem to be suggesting that people stay away from blogs?

    I mean seriously, who posts pirated stuff on blogs? I thought it was all peer to peer these days?

    Only other thing I discovered from the cartoon is that if a chubby guy called Randall sucking on a chocolate bar like it was a wang comes up to your desk odds on your going to be fired.

  • by windowpain (211052) on Monday January 22, 2007 @01:33PM (#17713328) Journal
    But the little comic book-like video says that by using authentic software "You get: The assurance that your IT infrastructure is clean and stable"

    Oh really? Who provides that assurance? Certainly not Microsoft. I don't recall ever seeing any MS product (or any piece of software, for that matter) that isn't sold without a warranty including the implied warranty of merchantability. In other words the EULA plainly states the software is completely worthless and that by clicking through, you agree with the manufacturer that the software is completely worthless and that you are surrendering your right to sue them if the software destroys your computer, blows up you house and kills your family etc. etc.

    Like I said, I don't advocate stealing intellectual property but turning in criminals who copy and distribute what a manufacturer publicly declares is worthless crap is waaaaay down on my list of wrongs to right.

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