Microsoft doesn't like piracy, wants the EU to do something about it

Microsoft has a good reason to be peeved over piracy in the EU, considering it lost a portion of 13.5B to unlicensed software distribution. Knowing this, don't act surprised to hear that Microsoft wants a piracy reform in the EU, according to Bloomberg

Microsoft wants the EU to act more like the US in terms of piracy by bankrupting anyone who is caught pirating software. Essentially, Microsoft wants to scare the pants off you with a high damage amount so that you wouldn't even think about piracy, not even in your sleep. 

In Europe, about 35 percent of software deployed on personal computers was pirated every year since 2007, compared with 20 percent in the U.S., according to a May study by BSA and researcher IDC

The idea is that the damages would be high enough to deter piracy, avoid the costly courtroom battles and basically save Microsoft a bunch of money. Hopefully these fines will prevent you from downloading software and make everyone a lawful citizen yet again. 

Sure the case has merit as the piracy in the EU is taking a significant chunk of revenue away from Microsoft; but lets make the law reasonable, okay? 

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In first place, I think that those "pirates" only "pirate it" because they are pretty close to MS wants from them... bankrupt them. And I mean the users that download and install on their computers, not sell the copies, because I'm against that.

alot of people i know have pirate windows and office! (i dont cause my boss provided me with a copy). the main reason they have pirated copys is the price! if windows bought down there prices people would likey buy a copy!

If you stripped out all the pirate copies of windows their market share would be somewhat lower in the UK thats for sure. And bankrupting pirates is beyond draconion.

They can't lose what they never had in the first place. Also, Microsoft has been convicted many times now of stealing from customers (overcharging).

Problem is Windows is monopolized, Office, you kinda have options, but when you're hired by a company for IT support or so, you have to know windows backwards, you can't do that unless you buy it, and the prices of Windows Operative System are very high, and most people can't afford it. Most IT companies won't value your knowledge just on Linux. So, problem 1, the price. Problem two, to work in IT, you have to have money to afford to buy a operative system which you will be working on. No mentioning to have a MCSE certification, you have to sell your guts since they are expensive as hell. That's on of my problems.
I don't mind downloading a illegal copy and have to reinstall it every 30 days, is it legal to use Windows during that time without being activated?
For office ,well, OpenOffice, LibreOffice, Kingsoft Office (this latest is awesome) are good alternatives for using, but for support a customer that uses MS office, you have to know something about it and that something you dont get it just by using MS office at work I guess, specially with Outlook. This is my opinion.

SO yeah, drop the prices, of the OS's mainly.

Theft is theft. People try to convince themselves otherwise. I use Ubuntu, it has I need. LibreOffice is as good as MS Office for the non-corporate requirements. For Windows users there is liberkey.com for all their software needs.
If your morals are not enough then remember, you can't hide from Karma. What you win by theft, you will loose another way somewhere else.

Jivan Naveen said,
Theft is theft. People try to convince themselves otherwise. I use Ubuntu, it has I need. LibreOffice is as good as MS Office for the non-corporate requirements. For Windows users there is liberkey.com for all their software needs.
If your morals are not enough then remember, you can't hide from Karma. What you win by theft, you will loose another way somewhere else.

Holier-than-thou attitudes are NOT the solution.

Piracy is not stealing. If I take your bicycle without paying you for it, then that is stealing. If I use a matter replicator, and make a copy of your bicycle, which I use, it does not deprive you of your bicycle, so I have not stolen from you. This is one of the key differences between theft and copyright violations. Copying software is a copyright infringement, not theft. That is why you get sued into oblivion, but not arrested.

Maybe Microsoft could use these tips?
1. Have a live-dvd download (or something simular) on you website so people can try the program legally (live-cd's help you find out if linux is something for you. Why wouldn't it help others to find out if the newest windows version is something for them)?
2. Ask reasonable prices for you product. No one wants to spend a lot of money when all actually need is firefox and libreoffice...
3. Don't annoy your (legit) customers with irritating DRM. Some company's seem to obsessed with annoying legit users who payed for their software. (For example the always online drm from ubisoft. Users who buy the game cannot play when their connection drops out or when the servers are down again.)
4. Not really that annoying but still: Don't make a dozen different versions of the same product. For example just have 2 windows versions (for the end user). A home edition and a more expensive 'pro' edition. Most home users just only seem to need facebook anyway...
5. Payed software should always be better then any (and all) popular free software.
6. Not everyone who downloads an illegal thing, would have bought it
7. Some people who downloaded illegal software, have a license... but a broken cd/dvd

For now I'll stick with xubuntu, libreoffice, opera browser and for my gaming needs I have a PS3

sirnh1 said,
Maybe Microsoft could use these tips?
1. Have a live-dvd download (or something simular) on you website so people can try the program legally (live-cd's help you find out if linux is something for you. Why wouldn't it help others to find out if the newest windows version is something for them)?
2. Ask reasonable prices for you product. No one wants to spend a lot of money when all actually need is firefox and libreoffice...
3. Don't annoy your (legit) customers with irritating DRM. Some company's seem to obsessed with annoying legit users who payed for their software. (For example the always online drm from ubisoft. Users who buy the game cannot play when their connection drops out or when the servers are down again.)
4. Not really that annoying but still: Don't make a dozen different versions of the same product. For example just have 2 windows versions (for the end user). A home edition and a more expensive 'pro' edition. Most home users just only seem to need facebook anyway...
5. Payed software should always be better then any (and all) popular free software.
6. Not everyone who downloads an illegal thing, would have bought it
7. Some people who downloaded illegal software, have a license... but a broken cd/dvd

For now I'll stick with xubuntu, libreoffice, opera browser and for my gaming needs I have a PS3


Very good calls IMHO.

GS:mac

Microsoft wants the EU to act more like the US in terms of piracy by bankrupting anyone who is caught pirating software. Essentially, Microsoft wants to scare the pants off you with a high damage amount so that you wouldn't even think about piracy, not even in your sleep.

Great. Scary sentences instead of sentences balanced to the crime done. Let's throw the entire legal system out of the window while we are at it, Microsoft?

This is the kind of crap reasoning that make it a worse crime to pirate Office 2010 than rape an underage girl...

Northgrove said,

Great. Scary sentences instead of sentences balanced to the crime done. Let's throw the entire legal system out of the window while we are at it, Microsoft?

This is the kind of crap reasoning that make it a worse crime to pirate Office 2010 than rape an underage girl...


It's scary because it was paraphrased from the original article. Typical sensationalism.

I do love how companies say how much is lost due to piracy. How many of those people pirating software would pay if forced? Probably very few. Europe is a large area comprising of wealthy and poor countries. In poorer countries a Windows license is the equivalent of a months wages or more for some people. It's good to see Microsoft being socially aware of their customers situation.

paulbeattie87 said,
I do love how companies say how much is lost due to piracy. How many of those people pirating software would pay if forced? Probably very few. Europe is a large area comprising of wealthy and poor countries. In poorer countries a Windows license is the equivalent of a months wages or more for some people. It's good to see Microsoft being socially aware of their customers situation.

The article mentions that they are most interested in France, Germany, Italy and the UK, which are hardly the poor parts of the EU

In addition to that, the article is not entirely clear on if they care too much about personal pirates, or counterfeiters (think large scale activities, which usually run for profit and are repeatedly mentioned in the article, more so than "pirates")

At any rate, the part that ****ed me off was AutoDesk complaining that a licencee would pay for one of their products, then use more than just that one product. IT MIGHT HELP IF YOU DIDN'T CHARGE $3000.00 FOR AUTOCAD YOU JACKASSES

Sraf said,

The article mentions that they are most interested in France, Germany, Italy and the UK, which are hardly the poor parts of the EU

In addition to that, the article is not entirely clear on if they care too much about personal pirates, or counterfeiters (think large scale activities, which usually run for profit and are repeatedly mentioned in the article, more so than "pirates")

At any rate, the part that ****ed me off was AutoDesk complaining that a licencee would pay for one of their products, then use more than just that one product. IT MIGHT HELP IF YOU DIDN'T CHARGE $3000.00 FOR AUTOCAD YOU JACKASSES

Office, Photoshop, Autocad and a WHOLE LOT of of other software programs are so over priced, I wouldn't pay for it in a million years!! Yes, I know those aren't all MS products, but the same principle.

Simply way to many free, excellent alternatives.

cork1958 said,

Office, Photoshop, Autocad and a WHOLE LOT of of other software programs are so over priced, I wouldn't pay for it in a million years!! Yes, I know those aren't all MS products, but the same principle.

Simply way to many free, excellent alternatives.

AutoDesk is the worst of the worst though, where a single software title from them can cost as much as the whole Adobe Creative Suite Master Collection (Which is also overpriced)

Sraf said,

At any rate, the part that ****ed me off was AutoDesk complaining that a licencee would pay for one of their products, then use more than just that one product. IT MIGHT HELP IF YOU DIDN'T CHARGE $3000.00 FOR AUTOCAD YOU JACKASSES

Pft, $3000 is a drop in the ocean compared to some software. I had to buy a certain software application which cost me £12,000 ($18,700) with an annual maintenance fee of £1,600 ($2,500). Now THAT is expensive.

PeteWhite said,

Pft, $3000 is a drop in the ocean compared to some software. I had to buy a certain software application which cost me £12,000 ($18,700) with an annual maintenance fee of £1,600 ($2,500). Now THAT is expensive.

Is that commercial software, or something that would conceivably have some home use as well?

Windows I can understand, if you are unable to get a pirate copy then you will go out and buy it. Don't start the whole, but you can get linux etc etc for free.....it's not the same thing at all. Office though is a different story. Maybe MS should ditch wordpad and integrate works or something into the OS. Then again they would probably get sued like they did over IE. Suppose they could offer it for a free download though. If they gave a free no frills word/excel etc etc and people STILL download a pirate copy of office then they get everything they deserve if they are caught.

glen8 said,
Windows I can understand, if you are unable to get a pirate copy then you will go out and buy it. Don't start the whole, but you can get linux etc etc for free.....it's not the same thing at all. Office though is a different story. Maybe MS should ditch wordpad and integrate works or something into the OS. Then again they would probably get sued like they did over IE. Suppose they could offer it for a free download though. If they gave a free no frills word/excel etc etc and people STILL download a pirate copy of office then they get everything they deserve if they are caught.

They do offer a no frills free set of Office tools via Live

Steal a 59p chocolate bar - expect to pay 59p if you get caught.
Steal £150s worth of software - expect to pay £150 MILLION if you get caught
...

The Teej said,
Steal a 59p chocolate bar - expect to pay 59p if you get caught.
Steal £150s worth of software - expect to pay £150 MILLION if you get caught
...

Steal a 59p chocolate bar, expect to be caught and arrested, then given a criminal record

/I'm not saying 150Mil to a single user is a valid sum, just that the chocolate bar analogy doesn't work

I'm sure its not hard for MS to track. If, for example, they see 12 million unique visits to WIndows Update only only sold 5million copies then it's obvious that a large part of the other 7 million is stolen.

If you need over 100 euros to upgrade your OS makes lots of sense to make it otherwise! Drop the price to get less piracy on your back.

The EU and the police do not have the resources that Record Labels and publishers do..or maybe the time...or the inclination...these fines and penalities are designed to deter and or fine those ppl selling pirated copies en masse or businesses using pirated copies from which they are then deriving their profit from.

MS nor the EU gives a toss about you having your pirated copy of Office or Win7 at home.

'Microsoft wants the EU to act more like the US in terms of piracy by bankrupting anyone who is caught pirating software.'

They'll never be able to do this. How can you bankrupt somebody who already doesn't have money to buy the software in the first place. 95% of the people on the Balkans don't believe they should pay for software.

kavazovangel said,
95% of the people on the Balkans don't believe they should pay for software.

So what? Because they don't believe they should pay, it's normal they don't?
If you don't want to pay for Windows, MS Office or Photoshop, you can use a Linux distro, OpenOffice and the GIMP. If you need paid products (e.g. because OpenOffice has problems opening OpenXML files), it means you have the money to buy them.

Whilst there is no excuse for piracy, this will never happen.

This especially won't change just because Microsoft wants it to.

Whilst there is no excuse for piracy, this will never happen.

This especially won't change just because Microsoft wants it to.

And punishing genuine customers is part of their plans as well. I still haven't got my mistakenly blocked genuine Office 2010's blocked product key unblocked due to their and Digital River's incompetence.

No one i know would pay what MS is asking for their Office Suite. And if I hadn't gotten my license from a friend I'd just gone with Open Office.

Microsoft wants the EU to act more like the US in terms of piracy by bankrupting anyone who is caught pirating software.

Microsoft can go **** themselves. The disproportional penalties in the United States isn't getting the country anywhere, beyond having 1% of the population stuck in prison for whatever reason.

Bill Gates
[..] And as long as they're going to steal it, we want them to steal ours. They'll get sort of addicted, and then we'll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.

Glassed Silver said,

Bill Gates is a wise man.

GS:mac


oh yes, no checks on installing office... win7 can be used without a license forever (except not geniune, no background and an anoying popup few times a day )
as said above, MS does NOT fight piracy for home-users. they fight piracy in cooperations! Just look at their bussiness line of products, its so much harder to crack compared to their home products, quite sure MS can make it very hard if they'd want too

Make the software affordable then. Look what Netflix has done to movie piracy. Why pirate older shows when you can just watch them whenever you want at a REASONABLE price?

Music? I do not buy any of it anymore. Most of it is over hyped crap that is shoved down our throats. Between Spotify and XMRadio I get to listen to what I like without your damn commercials.

ozyborn said,
Make the software affordable then. Look what Netflix has done to movie piracy. Why pirate older shows when you can just watch them whenever you want at a REASONABLE price?

Music? I do not buy any of it anymore. Most of it is over hyped crap that is shoved down our throats. Between Spotify and XMRadio I get to listen to what I like without your damn commercials.

Like netflix? Would u want to subscribe to use your OS of choice? I don't think so

ctrl_alt_delete said,
Like netflix? Would u want to subscribe to use your OS of choice? I don't think so

It's coming very soon to your computer, don't worry

BSA = Bull **** Alliance. They make these numbers up out of thin air based on assumptions built on the back of more assumptions. 35% of all software in Europe is pirated?? Yeah, sure it is.

roadwarrior said,
BSA = Bull **** Alliance. They make these numbers up out of thin air based on assumptions built on the back of more assumptions. 35% of all software in Europe is pirated?? Yeah, sure it is.

Couldn't have said it better myself. The BSA is the software equivalent of the RIAA. They both embellish and outright lie about piracy, Often a small sample is used and they extrapolate some ludicrous figure like 35%.

roadwarrior said,
BSA = Bull **** Alliance. They make these numbers up out of thin air based on assumptions built on the back of more assumptions. 35% of all software in Europe is pirated?? Yeah, sure it is.

It is more like 90%, tbh.

roadwarrior said,
BSA = Bull **** Alliance. They make these numbers up out of thin air based on assumptions built on the back of more assumptions. 35% of all software in Europe is pirated?? Yeah, sure it is.

Actually I'm sure Microsoft can tell how many pirated copies they've locked down. So not because you don't have the telemetric data doesn't man it was taken out of thin air.

ctrl_alt_delete said,
Actually I'm sure Microsoft can tell how many pirated copies they've locked down. So not because you don't have the telemetric data doesn't man it was taken out of thin air.

BSA are paid lobbyers, and yes, they do make it up. The proof: ask them for their data. You'll see what their answer is.

Captain555 said,

BSA are paid lobbyers, and yes, they do make it up. The proof: ask them for their data. You'll see what their answer is.


What's bizare about them is that they represent themselves as "non-profit" organization. I used to work for a big gaming magazine few years ago and they were selling us some BS about being non-profit and wanted a free full-page ad about piracy and how people should report it to BSA etc. Rrrright, they got a very critical editorial instead, we made fun of them in front of all readers, it pi**ed them off completely

Microsoft wants the EU to act more like the US in terms of piracy by bankrupting anyone who is caught pirating software.
Destroying lives so a huge-ass company makes more profit, that's ****ed up.

undu said,
Destroying lives so a huge-ass company makes more profit, that's ****ed up.

Remember, it's talking about "destroying lives" of people who pirated software. There are alternatives to every Microsoft product ; if you don't want to pay, use Linux, OpenOffice and other stuff.

People who code software have to get paid ; if everyone just pirated their software, do you think we'd have Office or Windows?

Aethec said,

Remember, it's talking about "destroying lives" of people who pirated software. There are alternatives to every Microsoft product ; if you don't want to pay, use Linux, OpenOffice and other stuff.

People who code software have to get paid ; if everyone just pirated their software, do you think we'd have Office or Windows?

So because people pirated they deserve their live to be made miserable?

Also, not everyone is pirating software, so that point is irrelevant to the discussion.

Also coders get paid every month, not just at the end of the project, we aren't talking about the money workers here, we are talking about company profits.

About the alternatives, yes they should be used before pirating, that's obvious.

undu said,
So because people pirated they deserve their live to be made miserable?

What should we do? Tell them it's bad?
It's quite obvious the current system doesn't work.
If you need a paid product for your job, then you have enough money to buy it. All these "I need photoshop to make gradients with text on them" people are just dumb.

undu said,
Destroying lives so a huge-ass company makes more profit, that's ****ed up.

They aren't talking about some dude in his house. They are talking about companies that are knowingly using unlicensed/illegal software or companies profiting from actual software piracy. Microsoft doesn't give a **** about some one off install of Office.

ahhell said,

They aren't talking about some dude in his house. They are talking about companies that are knowingly using unlicensed/illegal software or companies profiting from actual software piracy. Microsoft doesn't give a **** about some one off install of Office.

actually so far MS doesnt mind much for home users pirating their software.
Go check their bussiness products, try to pirate that, aint as easy as pirating windows, office etc.
Only thing MS does is release a anti-piracy update for windows every now and then, im quite sure it happends when in MS's eye's piracy numbers are to high.

I like what Microsoft did years ago by offering free products to students and heavily discounted prices to students as well. They later extended the discounts to Small Business. I can honestly say I've gone legit years ago with software. Movies however is a different story all together.

TCLN Ryster said,
No they didn't. They have no idea how much they lost to piracy.

^This. They can estimate but it's a finger in the air.

The only way you can get to these figures is to accurately understand whether everyone who downloaded an illegal copy of Office/Windows etc would have purchased one had the download not been available.

Most, I'd wager, would go for OpenOffice or LibreOffice if that was the case.

They have the majority of the the world over a barrel in terms of Office use, there really is no need for the absurd size of the profit they make off the back of an Office license anymore is there?

Wiggz said,

^This. They can estimate but it's a finger in the air.

The only way you can get to these figures is to accurately understand whether everyone who downloaded an illegal copy of Office/Windows etc would have purchased one had the download not been available.

Most, I'd wager, would go for OpenOffice or LibreOffice if that was the case.

They have the majority of the the world over a barrel in terms of Office use, there really is no need for the absurd size of the profit they make off the back of an Office license anymore is there?

This is exactly it. It's like developers complaining about PC piracy. A lot of people who pirate games would probably not of bought the game in the first place (were the download not available), so how is that a lost sale?

Wiggz said,

^This. They can estimate but it's a finger in the air.

The only way you can get to these figures is to accurately understand whether everyone who downloaded an illegal copy of Office/Windows etc would have purchased one had the download not been available.

Most, I'd wager, would go for OpenOffice or LibreOffice if that was the case.

They have the majority of the the world over a barrel in terms of Office use, there really is no need for the absurd size of the profit they make off the back of an Office license anymore is there?

A lot of pirated software can be found on family computers because the guy-that-knows-about-computers installed Office or the new Windows version since he's so nice...without paying, obviously. I think many of these Office copies would have been bought if they weren't pirated.

AFineFrenzy said,
This is exactly it. It's like developers complaining about PC piracy. A lot of people who pirate games would probably not of bought the game in the first place (were the download not available), so how is that a lost sale?

I agree completely, not every pirate copy is a lost sale:
If I know that I can download for free both MS Office (illegally) and LibreOffice (legally), I'll go with the one that is famous (Microsoft, if you didn't understand me;)), if that option is not there, I'll simply go for the other option, and will not go and pay at least $300 for a word processor that I will use once a month.

(fyi: I have an authentic Office 2010 copy, provided by my employer)

TCLN Ryster said,
No they didn't. They have no idea how much they lost to piracy.

This is so easy to resolve. Drop the price of your software to a reasonable price and everybody will buy it. They would even make more money.

The most expensive part in a PC is the Windows License. There is no other way to look at it. You make 2 types of license available, one for home, one for business. The home license (talking Windows here) should be no more than 49$. Everybody would buy one. Bye Bye Piracy.

Plus imagine all the money they would save with not having to support this humongous infrastructure for activation.

AFineFrenzy said,

This is exactly it. It's like developers complaining about PC piracy. A lot of people who pirate games would probably not of bought the game in the first place (were the download not available), so how is that a lost sale?

would not of bought. That makes no sense at all.

would not HAVE bought.

/end spellingnazi.

AFineFrenzy said,

This is exactly it. It's like developers complaining about PC piracy. A lot of people who pirate games would probably not of bought the game in the first place (were the download not available), so how is that a lost sale?

I don't buy this argument, what about admission to a theme park? If I was never going to go because it was too expensive, can I sneak under the fence and ride for free all day long? Hey if the rides weren't full it's not costing them anything and they never lost a sale!

You use something, you *should* pay for it... many people just don't want to (or at least that's how I see it).

I honestly don't mean this to sound aggressive or accusational to anybody but why should a person get to use something if they won't pay for the privilege?

northerngeek said,

I don't buy this argument, what about admission to a theme park? If I was never going to go because it was too expensive, can I sneak under the fence and ride for free all day long? Hey if the rides weren't full it's not costing them anything and they never lost a sale!

You use something, you *should* pay for it... many people just don't want to (or at least that's how I see it).

I honestly don't mean this to sound aggressive or accusational to anybody but why should a person get to use something if they won't pay for the privilege?

Your have a high moral code and that is to be admired. But most of the time this high moral code is not shared by companies, which are driven by profit only.
Piracy is stealing but on the other hand it gives consumer a bit power against media and software companies ripping them off.

Borix said,

Your have a high moral code and that is to be admired. But most of the time this high moral code is not shared by companies, which are driven by profit only.
Piracy is stealing but on the other hand it gives consumer a bit power against media and software companies ripping them off.

You are not being forced to use it so you are not getting ripped off.

Borix said,

Your have a high moral code and that is to be admired. But most of the time this high moral code is not shared by companies, which are driven by profit only.
Piracy is stealing but on the other hand it gives consumer a bit power against media and software companies ripping them off.

Piracy is not stealing. If I take your bicycle without paying you for it, then that is stealing. If I use a matter replicator, and make a copy of your bicycle, which I use, it does not deprive you of your bicycle, so I have not stolen from you. This is one of the key differences between theft and copyright violations. Copying software is a copyright infringement, not theft. That is why you get sued into oblivion, but not arrested.

The Skeptic Canuck said,

Piracy is not stealing. If I take your bicycle without paying you for it, then that is stealing. If I use a matter replicator, and make a copy of your bicycle, which I use, it does not deprive you of your bicycle, so I have not stolen from you. This is one of the key differences between theft and copyright violations. Copying software is a copyright infringement, not theft. That is why you get sued into oblivion, but not arrested.


using software, games, music or films is a USAGE license, you do NOT own the rights to the actual product. Your only allowed to use it. By copying/sharing, you need a distribution license, which you dont have.
if you buy a bicycle, you OWN the bicycle, its not just a usage license.

your argument is invalid and outdated.

Doli said,

You are not being forced to use it so you are not getting ripped off.

I understand your argument but i don't agree. For a non-geek consumer (99%) windows and ms office is almost a must and that is the way ms wants it.

Captain555 said,

snipped...
The most expensive part in a PC is the Windows License.

No it isn't. At least in my case the windows license was the cheapest part of it, and I can't be the only one for which that is true.