China Takes Microsoft to Court over Anti-Piracy Coup
Article by George Norman
On 29 Oct 2008
Following last week's release of its WGA (Windows Genuine Advantage) and OGA (Office Genuine Advantage) on the Chinese people in an attempt to cut down piracy rates, Microsoft ended up being sued – twice. The first one to sue Microsoft over the “black screen” incident was Dong Zhengwei; he is now joined by a Beijing resident known only by his surname – Liu.

In the lawsuit that Liu has filed with the Chinese authorities he demands that Microsoft take down the “You may be the victim of pirated software” notice from his desktop. Those of you who are used with the sue-inclined American culture might expect Liu to demand some astonishingly high monetary retribution – after all, Microsoft surely has some millions to spare. If you thought that then you would be wrong. Liu does not want any money from Microsoft!

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Dong Zhengwei as well does not want to obtain any monetary benefits from the lawsuit that he filed against Microsoft. He just wants the software manufacturer to be criminally charged for hacking into people's systems and installing that unwanted piece of software (WGA and OGA). He has also suggested that Microsoft be fined $1 billion.

The way Dong Zhengwei sees it is that Microsoft has the right to protect the intellectual value of its software, but it is going about it the wrong way. Private users are entitled to their privacy, they have rights that Microsoft has trespassed upon. Going after the individual user is not the answer; going after those that manufacture and market pirated software is. The only public institution that seems to be on Microsoft's side is the Chinese National Copyright Administration, but even they have stated that Microsoft should reconsider its methods.

What do you think? Are these lawsuits frivolous? Is Microsoft right for blacking out the screens of the larger part of the estimated 200 million users of pirated Windows software?



Tags: Microsoft, Windows, WGA, OGA
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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