Last October 21, 2008, Microsoft announces the “Global Anti-Piracy Day” to highlight the collaborative efforts to protect Microsoft’s partners and consumers from software counterfeiting and piracy. They provide a 24-hour snapshot of the types of education initiatives and law enforcement actions aimed at tackling piracy and promoting respect for intellectual property that take place on an ongoing basis in local markets around the world.

Here’s the excerpt the official press release of Microsoft about this world wide event and the video that contains reactions and comments about this anti-piracy event:

Initiatives include a new blog to raise awareness among educators in Brazil about the importance of teaching students about innovation and the cost of piracy, the launch of an employee anti-piracy ambassador program at Microsoft Italy, and the donation of computers seized from dishonest computer dealers to a local charity in Indonesia. Also taking place are local law enforcement training sessions and numerous legal actions against software counterfeiters and pirates.

In the Philippines, Microsoft Philippines has announced that the Pilipinas Anti-Piracy Team (PAPT), specifically the Optical Media Board, has recently initiated inspections against six software retailers allegedly selling pirated disks of numerous programs. Microsoft worked with the National Bureau of Investigation conducting three raids against system builders that pre-installed PCs with unlicensed copies of Windows XP, Windows Vista or Microsoft Office as an incentive for sale. Microsoft also has run education programs to teach system builders about the consequences of software piracy under local laws by issuing letters and holding regular meetings. A survey carried out between June and September showed that piracy rate in the system builder segment has, as a result, dropped from 90 percent to 70 percent.

In connection with this, WGA (Windows Genuine Advantage) validation tool for China causes some surfers from the said country to comment negatively about this aggressive measures of Microsoft against piracy. Here’s an excerpt from Reuters report about the different reactions of Chinese surfers:

The “Windows Genuine Advantage” program, which turns the user’s screen black if the installed software fails a validation test, is Microsoft’s latest weapon in its war on piracy in China, where the vast majority of 200 million computer users are believed to be using counterfeit software, unwittingly or not.

“Why is Microsoft automatically connected with my computer? The computer is mine!” one angry blogger wrote on popular Chinese web portal Sina.com. “Microsoft has no right to control my hardware without my agreement.”

Another blogger railed over the cost of authorized versions.

“If the price of genuine software was lower than the fake one, who would buy the fake one?” he wrote.

A visitor to a Beijing internet cafe said Microsoft was violating people’s rights.

“If, when I’m programing, the computer screen goes black, that will probably cause some important information to be lost,” he said. “Who will pay me for my loss then?”

My opinion about this is that people should respect intellectual property right and if they don’t want to cause them any problem later in connection with the use of pirated softwares, just buy the legitimate one. If they can’t afford it then use Open Source software, no fees and no problem with intellectual property rights. 🙂

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