jcphil writes "Salon has an article that explains why Microsoft has toned down its anti-piracy actions in China and other developing markets. The answer is simple: due to the network effect, the more users you have, the greater your strength in the marketplace. And it doesn't matter if their Windows is pirated or not. So, in effect, software piracy in countries like China helps Microsoft to compete with Linux." Meanwhile, the RIAA doesn't feel the same logic applies to record sales in the U.S., and has started an ad campaign to convince the public that sharing music hurts artists.