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India hires elephant to "stomp out piracy" 52

Gambit Thirty-Two pointed us to this story, in which Indian magistrates called an elephant in to "crush hundreds of pirate compact discs." This was to symbolize crushing priacy in India. And, sorta related-Nate will be in India from May 10 - June 10. If you can hook him up with telnet during that time, drop him a line/a.
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India hires elephant to "stomp out piracy"

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    ...this was aimed more at professional bootleggers than Joe User (Sandeep User?). And, IMHO, there's a difference at least in degree if not in kind between copying proprietary software for your own use and copying proprietary software and passing it off as legit for the purpose of making money - which I hear is extremely common in part of Asia. I'm as much in favor of free software as anyone, but these guys sound like "free beer" types.

    That having been said, yeah, the whole thing is probably just for publicity. "Look, US, we're committed to stamping out piracy of your software! Really!" Just like China shutting down bootleg CD factories...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    In lots of developing countries, software is not the only thing being pirated. I'm surprised they didn't have the elephant step on piles of fake designer clothing too.

    My brother was in India a few months ago. Children sell "bottled water" and then collect the bottles and refill them again and again with hideous polluted water and sell it to tourists.

    India is trapped in a "defect, defect" nash equilibrium in many ways. It will take a lot more than one trained elephant to rid the country of its poverty, violence, and terrible living conditions.

    The for-profit software industry will impose new and unequal "castes" that will only serve to embroil India in a rigid and unneeded technocracy. What India needs is cooperation. What India needs is OSS.
  • MANY INDUSTRIES started out as black market operations. The first uses of the printing press involved the for profit illicit printing of bibles, pornography, dissenting voices, etc.

    Similarly, internet and software technology is driven largely by people who see an opportunity to make money. Lots of money has been made by companies (like Micro$oft) who manage to make billions before the DOJ catches on and starts enforcing laws in an as yet unfamiliar domain. Software piracy is a perfect example of the conflicting interests that define the issue. Right now manufacturers have more to lose by improving security and protecting their copyrights than they do by simply letting the piracy continue .

    Let's face it, profit making companies often have more to gain from the standardization that their product gains as a result of its mass distribution, legal or not. In the long run, owning the standard is what is important, not controling every aspect of distribution in the short term.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Cool down Bhai :)

    If it is bad in his view point, experiences and facts, let's see it objectively. No problem can be solved by bashing someone. There are problems, but they are there everywhere!

    When i had to go to US for my work, my family people were very worried. They had read a news item about people getting killed in a departmental store shoot-out. They had heard about school children possessing guns. Many had adviced me not to go out after 7PM, I may be mugged.

    From there view point US was a very insecure place to live-in, but people living in US know the reality.

    When in Bangalore, i use to come back home from office many times at 2pm in night, alone on a bike. I had never faced any problem! and again in US also, we used to go by car at mid-night to diners and return back. Nothing had happened to me.

    So let's not exagarate issues and bash one-another.

    India is Improving and India will improve! I have that faith!

    --
    I have found the absolute truth, that there is nothing called an absolute truth
  • In their little (or big, considering the elephant) roundup and subsequent crushing of CD's, they could end up crushing Linux CD's full of Free Software without knowing that making copies of Free Software is OK.

    It will take a long time before people realise that you can take a company's flagship product in their boxed set and make unlimited copies for unlimited distribution and unlimited usage without infringing any copyrights (with the possible exception of non-free software included in Caldera, SuSE, and the Apps CD in Official Red Hat). It just sounds unusual.

    I remember once when someone told me that I shouldn't be copying CD's. I told him I was copying Red Hat CD's from their boxed set, and he said "isn't that illegal?" I told him that it's legal, even recommended, to make copies of Linux and give it to your friends. Not only thats, it's legal to start a company whose sole purpose is selling Linux distributions made by other companies and organisations. The premise is bound to confuse anyone.

    So, what's the elephant's opinion on this one?
  • I heard on my local news today that a church is asking people to bring in 'objectionable' material - books, cds, etc. and they will then have former professional football player for the Green Bay Packers Reggie [god-tells-me-what-to-do] White stomp on them...

    how's that!?
  • Isn't OSS the solution? This seems really obvious to me. Hey India, get Linux!
  • Now if we could just get one to stamp out those silos they're storing the grapes of wrath in...

  • how's that!?

    Totally fucked up.
    Beer recipe: free! #Source
    Cold pints: $2 #Product

  • by Q*bert ( 2134 ) on Friday April 30, 1999 @08:32AM (#1909342)
    In Boston, famous free software champion Richard Stallman, head of the FSF, contracted with local zookeepers to have a herd of wild gnus trample over thousands of CDs of proprietary software. When asked where he obtained funding for such a venture, Stallman replied, "We couldn't justify spending money on proprietary software, so we just asked for donations. Fortunately, the gnus are based on free DNA code, so we were able to lease them in good conscience."
    Beer recipe: free! #Source
    Cold pints: $2 #Product
  • Man, that's sneaky.

    Sorry, couldn't resist. :)

  • One issue that affects piracy is the monopolistic pricing used by MS. Korean bootleg PC makers had a protest a month or two ago because they were being asked to pay $150 for WinDoze, while a few big OEM's were only paying $70 or so (sound familiar?). The whole anti-piracy thing was being used to decrease competition.

    As I recall MS at the same time was giving away MS Word, because a rival Korean product was so much better. MS had tried to buy out the rival company, but failed.

  • Yeah, it aged me about 30 years! ;-) BTW, I wasn't comparing Heathrow to India. I was just happy to be back on safe soil!!
  • You would not believe it. I was (and still am) shocked at the extent of pollution. There are no pollution controls or ways of dealing with garbage. Plastic is the worst thing. You see it all OVER the place. The air? Be prepared to recover for a month. Most "sewers" are open and run along the sides of the streets. It's really a society that is in no way, shape, or form ready or able to deal with most modern technologies. Being there is like visiting a living museum of humans' past.
    I don't mean to attack Indian people. I have many Indian friends and co-workers. It's just that the country itself is *so* uncivilized.
  • Point well taken. Civilized is certainly not the word I should have used. Sorry.
  • No, actually, the only two times I've ever set foot in England were in-between flights to and from India and JFK. Try again.
    I was being serious, though. Perhaps, the second half of my comments are what have ticked off a few drunks. But I have never lived in fear of death for 10 days straight. Literally. I forgot to mention my connecting flight in India on Indian Airlines. Ever been in a 737 that literally BOUNCED on the runway, the pilot landed so hard and fast? No. But I have...... That was yet another example that the country simply isn't able to handle "modern" technologies.
  • Yeah, ok, whatever. Where did you get the idea I don't like my kid being exposed to commercialism?

    I was not `whining' about Micros~1 per se, although that is something I can find no fault with, I was angry that Micros~1 should have such access to my kid, and in such a crass manner.




  • by Si ( 9816 ) on Friday April 30, 1999 @09:33AM (#1909351) Homepage
    Micros~1 had a shill at my kid's school the other day, handing out frisbees with skull-n-crossbones on 'em and telling the kids `Now boys 'n' girls, don't do any naughty software piracy, and report your parents if they do.'.

    Meks me mad, poisoning young minds like that[1].

    My son scratched out the M$ logo on the frisbee right in front of the shill's face :) Yay! Go Josh!


    [1] Not that piracy is necessarily a good thing, but I don't think Micros~1 should have any access to my son's mind.
  • "It's just that the country itself is *so* uncivilized."

    This would make the US 'civilized' in comparison?

    India is poor, unsanitary and crowded. But Indian families are strong and spiritual. They value education and moral living. So India might not be Westernized or fully industrialized, but it is civilized.

    While America is Westernized and industrialized, recent events lead me to believe that it may not be entirely civilized. (see Jerry Springer Show)...

  • I did a bit of research and found that software prices in India are very high, especially in comparison to the per capita income. A legal copy of Windows NT Workstation sells for 16,200 rupees, about 378 U.S. dollars. This is greater than the annual per capita income, according to figures from the Indian embassy. I assume that the owner of a computer in India would have a higher income, but it still seems outrageously expensive.

    How much of the revenue from software sales stays in the Indian economy, vs. going into Bill Gate's pocket?

    I generally disapprove of software piracy, but I have a hard time criticizing piracy when the relative price of software is far higher than in the United States. What if someone told you that it would only cost $20,000 to buy a copy of the software needed to read and create Microsoft Office files? What if you had to have this software to do business with other companies?

    I hope India will switch to free/open source software and tell Microsoft to buzz off.
  • Whatever gives you this idea. Try to look outside of the shell you live.. India is NOTHING like this. The Govt. is liberal and we do not need any authorization. NASSCOM (which is the Association being talked about) is a non-govt entity. So next time..find out more before you go around projecting things in a negative light.
  • When I clicked on the link for that story, I was hoping for a picture ;-).

    Cheers,
    Roy Ward
  • Bring in a Win NT/95/8. 8^) Chuck it into the pile. Declare it "Spawn of Lucifer Himself".

    Optional: Kick Reginald in the groin for me. Tell him it's for that "Native Americans are sneaky" comment...

  • India - long roads, no traffic rules, drunk good haulers, almost dying, extremely polluted, always getting conned. The kind of country that turns you into a real man!

    Finally, comparing Heathrow Airport to anywhere isn't a fair comparison.

    The beauty that is Heathrow. Ahhhh....
  • Back in 1985 (if my memory serves me) President Moi of Kenya ordered the burning of millions an millions dollars worth of irory tusks as a symbolic protest to the illegal sale of elephant tusks.

    now india gets an elephant to crush cd's.

    pretty ironic!
    p
  • Well, look at it this way....

    You're in a 3rd world country but you're highly educated. Now, what's the easiest high tech industry to start with? Yup, computing. You just don't need a whole lotta infrastructure to do that.

    However imagine that you need to buy software. Lets say it comes down to about $10,000 for a package that would get your business up and running. That's peanuts in the US but an absolute fortune in a 3rd world country. And MS won't scale the price down to fit in with the local market. I couldn't raise enough money if I sold both my kidneys and half my liver.

    Its not so much free beer as trying to sell cars in California starting at half a million each.


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