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Microsoft Uses WGA To Obtain Record Jail Sentences 311

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the zomg-i-can-ping-my-router dept.
theodp writes "According to Microsoft, 'No information is collected during the [Genuine Advantage Program] validation process that can be used to identify or contact a user.' That's little comfort to the software counterfeiters who were just handed jail sentences ranging from 1.5-6.5 years by the Futian People's Court in China, especially since Microsoft contends that much of the estimated $2B in bogus software was detected by its Windows Genuine Advantage program. 'Software piracy negatively impacts local economic growth,' explained Microsoft VP Fengming Liu in a celebratory New Year's Eve press release. But then again, so does transferring $16B of assets and $9B in annual profit to an Irish tax haven, doesn't it?"
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Microsoft Uses WGA To Obtain Record Jail Sentences

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  • GOOD! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by plasmacutter (901737) on Thursday January 01, 2009 @08:56AM (#26290473)

    Seriously, There is a persisting writeup from a japanese LUG years ago talking about how pirated copies of windows cannibalize the linux userbase and dev base.

    Pirated windows is the bane of linux, and I applaud microsoft for slitting their own throat by pursuing windows counterfeiters.

  • by KDR_11k (778916) on Thursday January 01, 2009 @09:02AM (#26290489)

    Sounds to me like they were just bragging that WGA actually noticed when a user had a counterfeit copy, not that it had any effect on the sentence.

  • And a lot of you guys will be screaming murder. Have you realized that GPL enforcement and Windows license enforcement comes from the same thing as Copyright law?

  • Re:Tenuous Summary (Score:4, Interesting)

    by FredFredrickson (1177871) * on Thursday January 01, 2009 @09:45AM (#26290671) Homepage Journal
    I work in computer repair, and a lot of our customers get the WGA notification that warns them they've "stolen" software when they just haven't actually run the check correctly. If anything fails during a windows update, it's likely to pop up. And god forbid a windows update fails due to random reason #2358. Personally, I'd like them to be a bit more accurate.

    People call my store all the time accusing us of giving them stolen software. I explain that they have an OEM sticker on their PC and we'd never do that, but heck, Microsoft might get them to buy a second or third copy- so maybe that was their plan.
  • ridiculous (Score:3, Interesting)

    by toby (759) * on Thursday January 01, 2009 @10:54AM (#26290987) Homepage Journal

    Microsoft is a convicted criminal enterprise. It beats the hell out of the rest of us why Americans remain so unconcerned about the vast scale of their theft, not to mention the tax evasion - and continue to let them get away with it and even defend them... No wonder your house of cards is collapsing...

  • by Paradigm_Complex (968558) on Thursday January 01, 2009 @11:13AM (#26291103)
    Most GPL && Linux fans in the audience welcome Microsoft's efforts to crack down on Windows piracy. People who are using pirated copies of Windows are using Windows drivers and Windows applications and Windows games and overall increasing Windows market-share. If someone is not using Windows (pirated or otherwise), they'll be much more likely to jump towards Linux - especially if they're looking for a free(-of-charge) OS. The GPL fans should be cheering at such suicidal actions from Microsoft.

    /.'s arguments against WGA (and other sorts of DRM) have more to do with how it treats the legitimate end-users rather than getting software without cost/payment. There isn't really anything comparable with GPL'd software, what with how the GPL is specifically designed to avoid such things.
  • by Grimbleton (1034446) on Thursday January 01, 2009 @11:51AM (#26291359)

    I'm in college right now. My dad makes about $27k a year supporting his wife and my brother. He makes just enough that I don't get shit from the government via FAFSA. I'm working as many hours as I can pick up in a worker-saturated college town that exists around the college, and only going to school at about 3/4 time.

    Where is my advantage again?

  • by Creepy Crawler (680178) on Thursday January 01, 2009 @12:15PM (#26291491)

    Thats an economic fallacy called the Window Broken Fallacy.

    The gist is that a kid breaks a window,therefore stimulates the economy to "create hundreds of dollars" of potential wealth in services and such.

    The fallacypart is that would have happened any number of different ways. Instead, the person with the broken window is out that much money.

  • by Overzeetop (214511) on Thursday January 01, 2009 @12:39PM (#26291645) Journal

    I keep telling people we should drop the tax rate on corporations in the US to about 2-4%. That would make it one of the lowest tax rates in the world. Of course, I recommend that they do that and change the tax system to gross receipts basis. Nobody seems to like that part.

  • Re:Not good! (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 01, 2009 @12:54PM (#26291735)

    Just use the phone authentication and lie that you are installing new system.

    MS stores system change data only for 60 days or so, or that at least what their third level support accidentally told me :)

  • Re:Not good! (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 01, 2009 @01:17PM (#26291851)

    That would be great, except that I changed it too many times within 60 days and now my key is flagged as 'pirated,' as both the robophone activation voice and an MS rep tell me. :(

  • Re:GOOD! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by davidphogan74 (623610) on Thursday January 01, 2009 @02:15PM (#26292303) Homepage
    Well, I'd say two of the points are significant hurdles Linux has to learn to overcome somehow. I think the biggest problem Linux has is that it's advocates don't realize most users could care less about things like scripting, just don't ever get them near a command line. Also, the geek perception is a problem. A few weeks ago I had a friend at my house, and we were watching internet video off my Ubuntu system connected to my TV, and wanted to watch something on my other computer. As I was browsing for the file she asked me why the computer didn't look normal. I explained it was running Linux, and her response was, "Well, that proves it. You're definitely a geek." She knew Linux was another OS, but apparently to her Windows is the normal one, Mac is the artist/hipster one, and Linux is the geeky one.
  • by temcat (873475) on Thursday January 01, 2009 @02:51PM (#26292577)

    The thing I protest against here is the sense of entitlement itself. It's one thing to say "I like when foo and bar are socialized and paid from the pockets of all people whether or not they actually need them." It's completely another thing to presume that you somehow entitled to foo and bar. No, you're NOT, however much you like them. You can enjoy them since this is the way things are set up at the moment, but these aren't your rights.

    Taxes are robbery, yes it's that simple. When you're taking money from another people under the threat of violence and use it to the end of your choice (however noble this end is in your opinion,) you're committing robbery. And it's precisely what state does with taxes. It's directly equivalent to you taking money from people on the street threatening them with your gun to help someone in need. The society-wide scale of this act doesn't change its essense.

    What I essentially want to say is this: I have no problem with people who support robbery and honestly admit it. I do have a problem with pretending that robbery is not what it is.

    Moreover, you cite some noble goals that you believe are achieved by socialism (legalized statewide robbery.) Other people may have different noble goals or prefer different ways to achieve the same set of goals. Therefore you cannot speak for the whole society/nation, only for yourself and for people that share your opinion. So it isn't "society" whose needs you discuss, just "you and the like-minded people."

    The specifics, namely the necessity, means and scope of financing military, police, road and transport, agriculture etc. are discussable. However, this is a very long and somewhat separate topic, which it really makes sense to discuss only with people who have accepted the fundamental points of ethical and logical nature stated above.

Mommy, what happens to your files when you die?