Microsoft protects nonprofit orgs from anti-piracy take down

Microsoft has begun an effort to prevent governments from using laws regarding software piracy to take down nonprofit organizations in 12 countries, including Russia and China.

In these tightly controlled countries, many use software piracy inquiries to invade and take down these nonprofit organizations which may not fully agree with the government. Microsoft's plan is to give free licenses to these organizations so that legally, the governments will have no reason to interfere and take advantage of anti-piracy laws.

Usually the victim organizations happen to be in former Soviet republics and Russia, with the later being more common in this practice. In China not many cases of this abuse have occurred, but Microsoft wants to protect whomever they can. 

Nonprofit organizations would be given software licenses, completely free, for software they already posses. This would change their pirated copies into legal copies and prevent governments from stepping in and disbanding the organization based purely on piracy claims. Microsoft already provides copies of free software to some nonprofit groups, but it appears this policy is not well known and therefore not used as much as it could be.

When several raids occurred last month, Microsoft made matters worse when their own counsel failed to clarify anti-piracy laws. Microsoft apologized and vowed to help protect nonprofit organizations instead of aiding in these types of take downs. Microsoft never wanted to inadvertantly make matters worse for these organizations, and thus the idea to give free licenses to organizations was created. Doing so will make it tougher for controlling governments to exploit laws to take down opposing organizations.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

News Corp blocks Hulu access for Cablevision subscribers [update]

Next Story

Angry Birds has wings; 1 million downloads in first day on Android

44 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Sooo...Microsoft's reaffirming/extending "goodwill", in the form of licensed software, to NPOs in countries that are isolationist, if not pro-west? If that's the case, then this shouldn't be news-worthy.

kizuran said,
Sooo...Microsoft's reaffirming/extending "goodwill", in the form of licensed software, to NPOs in countries that are isolationist, if not pro-west? If that's the case, then this shouldn't be news-worthy.

It must be so easy for you to sit up there on your all-knowing pedestal of news worthy information while the rest of us poor peasants run around in chaos.

good pr move ms, happy to see them help the unfortuante non profit companies

Free windows 7 and servers software for everyone =)

Putin, is that you?

Sidroc might be right though. I've heard the FSB love to go around helping old ladies cross the street, help out the homeless, etc.

Turion said,
Apple would never to this, Good One MS!!!!
Well, seeing as it has to be on Apple approved hardware, even if Apple allowed OS X use for any NPO for free, they would still need to purchase a Mac to be legal.

This was either not thought out well or cry's as a total PR stunt. Microsoft not getting enough good press?!?

If your government is bad enough to try to pull things on you simply for not agreeing with you... Then chances are they can also declare you NOT a non-profit group & if you're not a non-profit group... Then you can't get free Microsoft software.

The Visitors said,
This was either not thought out well or cry's as a total PR stunt. Microsoft not getting enough good press?!?

If your government is bad enough to try to pull things on you simply for not agreeing with you... Then chances are they can also declare you NOT a non-profit group & if you're not a non-profit group... Then you can't get free Microsoft software.

Countries don't get an open ride to lock out websites they don't like easily actually. Shutting down websites hosted in other countries is actually very hard. They have to take it to international court to close down domains and servers they disagree with. The piracy issue has actually been coming up as a new way for them to get domains blacklisted.

Zero tolerance means just that. It is hypocrisy otherwise.

There is a big difference between giving them the software outright and them stealing in the first place.

Foub said,
Zero tolerance means just that. It is hypocrisy otherwise.

There is a big difference between giving them the software outright and them stealing in the first place.


...They have been GIVING NPOs their software for free for quite a long time. It's just that many people don't know this.

/- Razorfold said,

...They have been GIVING NPOs their software for free for quite a long time. It's just that many people don't know this.

Maybe because more just steal it.........

Glen said,
This is a very good PR move for Microsoft. Nicely done.

Except its not a new PR move as such =/ MS have given NPOs free software for a long time now.

onebadolepuddycat said,
the topic, which is licensing the software on these machines
For nonprofit groups. Still, what was your point?

Mr aldo said,
For nonprofit groups. Still, what was your point?

there was no point. he didnt even know what or why he pasted that. But i guarantee its some crap from a linux forum he thought was going in the right spot cause he saw MS.

onebadolepuddycat said,
Microsoft....philanthropy? I smell a red herring.....

You shouldn't, knowing that its former boss Bill Gates is the biggest philanthropist of all time.

pezzonovante said,

You shouldn't, knowing that its former boss Bill Gates is the biggest philanthropist of all time.

Microsoft has created a system in which security patches, hot fixes, updated and secure web browsers etc, all require validation. Microsoft Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) puts them at an advantage of selling more software licenses, however it puts netizens at the disadvantage of being on the net with unpatched bots and botnets (unvalidated, unsupported, unpatched compromised machines running windows) courtesy of Microsoft. If they can find, license and patch these machines it would be advantageous for Microsoft corporation, and much needed damage control.

onebadolepuddycat said,

Microsoft has created a system in which security patches, hot fixes, updated and secure web browsers etc, all require validation. Microsoft Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) puts them at an advantage of selling more software licenses, however it puts netizens at the disadvantage of being on the net with unpatched bots and botnets (unvalidated, unsupported, unpatched windows users) courtesy of Microsoft. If they can find, license and patch these machines it would be advantageous for Microsoft corporation, and much needed damage control.

And that has to do with..?

onebadolepuddycat said,

Microsoft has created a system in which security patches, hot fixes, updated and secure web browsers etc, all require validation. Microsoft Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) puts them at an advantage of selling more software licenses, however it puts netizens at the disadvantage of being on the net with unpatched bots and botnets (unvalidated, unsupported, unpatched compromised machines running windows) courtesy of Microsoft. If they can find, license and patch these machines it would be advantageous for Microsoft corporation, and much needed damage control.


So because Microsoft offer benefits to those that actually pay for their software they are the bad guys?

It's like asking a warranty from the original company for a device you bought a clone from some sellers on ebay...

onebadolepuddycat said,

Microsoft has created a system in which security patches, hot fixes, updated and secure web browsers etc, all require validation.

This isn't even true.

EDIT: And they removed WGA from the secure web browsers a long long time ago.