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The Courts Government Microsoft News

Taiwan Group Responsible For 90% of MSFT Piracy 229

Posted by kdawson
from the so-this-means-the-bsa-can-disband-right dept.
Stony Stevenson writes "Microsoft claims that a small group led by a recently jailed Taiwanese man was the source of almost all high-quality pirated copies of its software up until his arrest in 2004. The claim suggests that Microsoft practically wiped out commercial piracy of its products with the arrest of Huang Jer-sheng, the owner of Taiwan-based software distributor Maximus Technology. Microsoft announced today that Huang and his associates. who were all recently sentenced to jail time, had been responsible for the 'production and distribution of more than 90 percent of the high-quality counterfeit Microsoft software products either seized by law enforcement or test-purchased around the world.'"
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Taiwan Group Responsible For 90% of MSFT Piracy

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  • by Electrode (255874) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @02:36AM (#22303912) Homepage
    I didn't think there was such a thing as high-quality Microsoft software, pirated or otherwise...
    • Re:High quality? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by arivanov (12034) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @02:39AM (#22303938) Homepage
      Compared to a stripped and vandalised "recovery disk" it is high quality. You could actually install from it.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by amirulbahr (1216502)

        What do you people have against recovery disks? The way I see it:

        Pros:

        • Installs quicker
        • All drivers are installed
        • Some useful preloaded apps are on there (e.g. DVD player, cd recording apps, acroread...)
        • No need to activate thanks to SLP [wikipedia.org]

        Cons:

        • Some useless bloatware comes installed

        By the time you remove the bloat-ware, you're still better off. The vast majority of customers will have a better experience using recovery disks. If it really bothers you, then you already know how to do it yourse

        • Re:High quality? (Score:5, Informative)

          by just fiddling around (636818) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @07:41AM (#22305320) Journal
          You are making the assumption that the recovery disk contains all that. In fact, most of the recovery content is on your hard disk. Now, if you try to repair your PC after the original HDD fails what happens? You have a nice shiny disc, a legitimate paper "licence" to Windows and no way to install it back.

          Surprise!

          THAT is what makes "recovery disks" crap, even more than the bloatware and crapware.
          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by RedHelix (882676)
            You're getting recovery discs confused with recovery partitions. A recovery disc from any of the major OEMs always has the OS or OS installation script on it as of like 4 years ago. Granted, you didn't always get a recovery disc with a new machine until OEMs had you start burning your own, but the discs can always get you back up and running from scratch. When I worked in Geek Squad hell, I never had a problem reinstalling the OS on a machine after the hard drive failed unless the person didn't have recove
        • Re:High quality? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by jimicus (737525) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @07:41AM (#22305322)
          While 90% of end users will probably benefit from a simplified recovery process, it's a pain for the other 10% for a number of reasons:

          1. The recovery disk can't be used to boot the PC into a recovery mode to try and rescue any data.
          2. The recovery disk will almost certainly blow away anything else that's on the system - potentially including other partitions containing other OS installations. Whereas a straight Windows install can be instructed not to do this. Pretty vital if you need to restore data.
          3. If the OEM provides a recovery disk, chances are the only way to get hold of a genuine, plain Windows install CD which eliminates the first two problems is to go out and buy a retail copy of Windows. Which is pretty galling when you look at the invoice for the PC and see that you've already bought Windows, you should have no need to buy it again.
          4. If you get this far and decide to buy a retail copy of Windows - ok, you've accepted that, so be it. But - ah - the PC is two or three years old and can't possibly run Vista.
          5. The bloatware on the recovery disk can make supporting PCs harder. Case in point: most wireless network cards have software which replaces the Windows user interface for wireless networking. Which means that now you can't easily talk your friend through setting up wireless networking over the phone because you have no idea what they can see.
          6. The bloatware provides a false sense of security - "I don't need AV because I've got Symantec that came with my PC" (but I didn't read the small print and it hasn't updated in 11 months).
          7. Even when the addon software is justifiable, it is frequently of pretty appalling quality. (HP, I'm looking at you and the backup application you ship with new PCs. Specifically, the application which takes backups perfectly happily but you can't easily restore from them. It's just as well I tested that before I handed the PC over to my mother).
        • Re:High quality? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by mikael (484) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @09:07AM (#22305974)
          Say you have a dual boot hard disk drive, that has three or more partitions on it (Windows partition, a couple of Linux partitions for kernels, user home directories, Swap space etc....). For whatever reason, you need to reinstall the Windows partition. As far as the recovery disk is concerned, the whole hard disk drive belongs to Windows and no-one else. So you can either delete the partition altogether or leave it as it is until Judgement day.
      • Re:High quality? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by couchslug (175151) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @09:01AM (#22305906)
        Compared to either, a live Linux CD wins.

        I can rescue, troubleshoot, surf with, and easily install from a variety of live Linux CDs.

        The tools are there to build something similar:

        http://www.911cd.net/forums/ [911cd.net]

        using Windows PE exist, but MSFT doesn't bother. Too bad, really. It would make user lives easier.
    • by flyingsquid (813711) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @04:40AM (#22304584)
      I didn't think there was such a thing as high-quality Microsoft software, pirated or otherwise...

      Obviously, he modified the software extensively before selling it. The fact that it was high-quality is, of course, what tipped people off that it wasn't an authentic Microsoft product.

    • By what standard? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by jdickey (1035778) <jdickey.seven-sigma@com> on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @05:49AM (#22304846) Homepage

      Of course it's high quality; it just doesn't meet your needs.

      Vista is the first Windows infestation to officially, publicly acknowledge what serious MSFT-watchers have known for some time: the population of usees and customers are two entirely separate, non-overlapping groups.

      The usees, of course, are the poor sheeple who bought a PC and naively expect Windows to "work" because it's the "market" "leader".

      The customers are abviously the MPAA, RIAA and other "content" industry groups (collectively known as the MAFIAA (Media Authoritarian Fanatic Ass-farking of America) to friend and foe alike). Of course, "everyone" knows that all major media content these days is made using Macs or *nix boxen.

      Their customers are happy as the proverbial clams with Vista. Especially since they never have to actually touch it!

    • I think what they mean is that, compared to the official microsoft versions, the pirated copies are a much better product.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Kamokazi (1080091)
      Hey, I just got back from China a week ago, and let me tell you, the copy of "Windows Vista Professional" I got for $2.50 was top notch. I mean it actually came with a DVD cover, and probably only fifty or so trojans eager to steal my personal information. (In all seriousness, I did actually buy one as a souvenier...and it was named Vista Professional, which of course isn't actually a real version of Vista, but funny nonetheless. I can't read the Mandarin on it, but on the back it mentions CRACK and readm
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by hey! (33014)
      Sure. This explains Vista. They nailed this guy before the product launch, consequently there are no high quality copies around.
    • I didn't think there was such a thing as high-quality Microsoft software, pirated or otherwise...

      Of course there is. It's called "paint".
  • by DuncanE (35734) * on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @02:37AM (#22303920) Homepage
    Come on... using "High quality" and "Microsoft products" in the same sentence?

    So they were responsible for 9 out the 10 pirate copies of Microsoft Flight simulator then? ;-)
  • by boguslinks (1117203) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @02:38AM (#22303924)
    had been responsible for the 'production and distribution of more than 90 percent of the high-quality counterfeit Microsoft software products

    Why doesn't MSFT sell these "high-quality" products instead of the crap they've been selling us for years.
  • by timmarhy (659436) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @02:38AM (#22303928)
    Does anyone really believe they have any clue how much of their software gets pirated?

    90% sounds like a nice marketing department developed figure.

    • by darkonc (47285) <stephen_samuel.bcgreen@com> on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @02:48AM (#22303982) Homepage Journal
      Methinks that they have no problem with 'poor' people pirating their software on the sly and for free, because it keeps the monopoly alive. It's really unlikely that they're going to willingly kill 90% of that piracy market. ( If everybody who wanted an office suite or OS but couldn't (or refused to) afford MS's prices was 'forced' to go with OpenOffice and/or Linux, MS's death--grip on the market would very quickly be pried open. )
      These guys, on the other hand, seem to have been selling 'legitimate' copies of Microsoft products for real cheap -- That really does cut into Microsoft's market, which is people who are willing to pay for their products in return for either a clean conscience or to keep the MS police at bay.

      Microsoft has no problems killing those pirates.

      • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

        by kamapuaa (555446)
        Wow, imagine that. Microsoft most vigorously pursues the piracy which hurts them the most financially.

        And furthermore, if more people used OpenOffice, Microsoft Office would be less popular.

        Any opinions on whether the pope is Catholic, or if bears shit in the woods?

      • by Skrynesaver (994435) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @04:55AM (#22304634) Homepage
        Perhaps the title is misleading, the linked article claims that this group was responsible for 90% of counterfeit MS products. That's not piracy, it's forgery - individuals downloading and burning copies for their own use is piracy random definition according to my personal dictionary. This however was organised crime (insert "and MS isn't?" joke here) a very different proposition.

        While I loathe and detest MS and their general operating methods, (particularly the whole BSA garbage), they are entirely justified in prosecuting this crew for fraud/forgery etc... though they may get bit by the "boy who cried wolf" syndrome as they, among others, have been claiming that every kid with a torrent client is a threat to the stability of the economic system itself. </rant>

        • So does this mean MS will stop complaining about piracy now that they stopped the big bad guys?
    • by treke (62626) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @02:49AM (#22303992)
      The quote in the summary is more specific. It's the "production and distribution of more than 90 percent of the high-quality counterfeit Microsoft software products either seized by law enforcement or test-purchased around the world."

      So they're only talking about the stuff they've confiscated and not claiming it's 90% of everything that exists.
      • by kripkenstein (913150) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @03:17AM (#22304150) Homepage

        The quote in the summary is more specific. It's the "production and distribution of more than 90 percent of the high-quality counterfeit Microsoft software products either seized by law enforcement or test-purchased around the world."

        So they're only talking about the stuff they've confiscated and not claiming it's 90% of everything that exists.
        That's pretty much it. They're talking about 'high-quality piracy', not casual piracy as in downloading from the Pirate Bay or burning your friend a copy. High quality piracy in this context means that CDs are pressed, covers forged, everything in order for the product to look like it is authentic. It is then sold as if it were in fact authentic (as opposed to casual piracy, where no money trades hands).

        It is very hard to know how much casual piracy there is. However, it is far easier to know how much high-quality piracy exists, because we are talking about actual physical products here, tangible evidence. They are also manufactured somewhere. Then, assuming that law enforcement captures such high-quality piracy in a random sampling manner (that is, all such forged products have the same chance to be caught - a working hypothesis, debatable of course), then this Taiwanese group was the source of 90% of that. So, presumably (by statistical inference) this group is responsible for 90% of high-quality piracy.

        It's a little surprising that a single group is so dominant in this area, actually, I wouldn't have expected it. However, the more interesting question is what will happen now: if suddenly 90% of these forgeries vanish off the market, what will the people buying them do? Will other suppliers fill the gap, or will the buyers turn to casual piracy, or to alternate OSes?
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by cp.tar (871488)

          However, the more interesting question is what will happen now: if suddenly 90% of these forgeries vanish off the market, what will the people buying them do? Will other suppliers fill the gap, or will the buyers turn to casual piracy, or to alternate OSes?

          It's not that interesting a question, methinks.

          As these pirated copies were sold off as genuine, I'd guess that most of the users actually believed they were buying legitimate copies.
          Therefore, most of those people will be off buying legitimate copies, directly increasing Microsoft's revenue (as opposed to casual pirates, who indirectly increase Microsoft's revenue by giving them free mindshare).

          People will turn to alternate OSes when two conditions are met:

          1. Equivalent apps become available on the alte
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by kripkenstein (913150)

            However, the more interesting question is what will happen now: if suddenly 90% of these forgeries vanish off the market, what will the people buying them do? Will other suppliers fill the gap, or will the buyers turn to casual piracy, or to alternate OSes?

            It's not that interesting a question, methinks.

            As these pirated copies were sold off as genuine, I'd guess that most of the users actually believed they were buying legitimate copies. Therefore, most of those people will be off buying legitimate copies

            I'm not sure. If Windows cost them $10 before and now costs the full $150 or so, they won't just run to buy legitimate copies. I'm not saying they'll go off and run Linux - they might look until they find another pirated version, or get someone to help them download and burn one. Perhaps only a small minority might be motivated to seek alternate OSes, that is why I left this at the end of the list of options. But I seriously doubt the majority will just happily start paying full price.

            • by SL Baur (19540)

              If Windows cost them $10 before and now costs the full $150 or so, they won't just run to buy legitimate copies.

              All Microsoft Windows installations in internet cafes in the Philippines are pirated. The economics don't permit them to buy a full license (it's about 6,000 pesos for a single and presumably legitimate Microsoft Windows XP license at Octagon[1]) and still make a profit, the economics also doesn't permit them to go to alternative O/Ses because they need the games to turn any kind of profit[2] at all.

              I'm not saying they'll go off and run Linux - they might look until they find another pirated version, or get someone to help them download and burn one.

              The latter, I believe. Oh well.

              [1] Octagon is happy to sell notebooks preinstalled with Linux and no O/S,

            • by cp.tar (871488)

              I'm not sure. If Windows cost them $10 before and now costs the full $150 or so, they won't just run to buy legitimate copies. I'm not saying they'll go off and run Linux - they might look until they find another pirated version, or get someone to help them download and burn one. Perhaps only a small minority might be motivated to seek alternate OSes, that is why I left this at the end of the list of options. But I seriously doubt the majority will just happily start paying full price.

              Then again, not everywhere in the world does Windows cost the same. IIRC, in Taiwan the price is nearer to $10 anyway...

              However, if the price of the pirated product was lower, then yes, your original question stands. But somehow I think that majority of those users will still buy legitimate copies -- if they had intended to pirate software, they would've helped themselves to a free copy.
              I'd wager many of them just thought they were getting a bargain.

              I do, however, hope that this will drive at least som

        • by GomezAdams (679726) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @04:02AM (#22304406)
          It won't be long given the pricing structure of Microsoft products that someone will step in to fill the orders for cheap knock offs. High quality or otherwise. I've been in the high tech shopping district in Taiwan and the prices for these pirated items are (usually) far below the price of legitimate copies.

          Also been in Mexico City where street vendors sell about any software title on the planet - some slick copies, some shoddy.

          And I doubt the 90% figure. Looks and smells like some marketing drone pulled it out of his @ss.
        • by houghi (78078) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @04:27AM (#22304498)
          I for one am glad that they stopped the monopoly position that specific company/person had on that market share.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Asic Eng (193332)
          It's a little surprising that a single group is so dominant in this area, actually, I wouldn't have expected it.

          Well Taiwan accounts e.g. for over 80% of the world's laptop production (at least that's what they claim here [taiwanembassy.org] - table in German only, but should be easy to read). So it would make sense that a lot of the industrial copying of software would be there, too.

        • That's pretty much it. They're talking about 'high-quality piracy', not casual piracy as in downloading from the Pirate Bay or burning your friend a copy. High quality piracy in this context means that CDs are pressed, covers forged, everything in order for the product to look like it is authentic. It is then sold as if it were in fact authentic (as opposed to casual piracy, where no money trades hands).

          In fact it's more like trademark fraud (or fraud in general) than piracy.

          If there is such a thi

        • by asuffield (111848)

          It's a little surprising that a single group is so dominant in this area, actually, I wouldn't have expected it.


          Probably because it's not a very big area. There isn't a large commercial market for forged copies of Windows because TPB has the need covered.
    • It's called statistical sampling...

      By looking at the pirated stuff that you found, and then applying statistical sample you can get the percentage of the source. Though it comes with a catch. The catch is that the number you found is +- a specific number. That number could be +- 2 percent or +- 20 percent.
    • by sunking2 (521698)
      By high quality they are talking about copies of the entire product, box and all. Give joe schmoe a real boxed copy of winxp and a pirated boxed copy and they wouldn't know the difference, assuming they don't notice the mispelled word here or there. This is what they are talking about. Not your torrents. I'm sure just about everyone here has gone to a computer show and seen table after table of super cheap CDs that look legit, until you look really close. In this case MS is talking about the business of pir
    • Does anyone really believe they have any clue how much of their software gets pirated?

      90% sounds like a nice marketing department developed figure.

      no, but as long as they're the ones trumpeting the numbers, we can be free to suggest to them that now that we've reduced their pirating by 90% can they tear down their crappy Genuine Windows activation monstrosity
  • The jail times. (Score:2, Informative)

    by deft (253558)
    In case you wondered as I did... the penalty for being 90% of the pirating...

    "Huang was recently sentenced to four years in jail by a Taiwanese court. Three co-defendants received between 18 months and three years in jail. Six individuals were originally arrested in the case."

    I wonder how rich they are off it.
    • I don't know which is worse, some years of jail time (and getting off for good behavior), or being charged $222,000 for 24 lousy song files. The Thomas case makes being the #1 world pirate look glamorous by comparison.

      Of course, due to the huge drop in piracy that this represents (-90%!), I can only wonder about what a +90% upsurge in global warming is going to do to this planet. Yikes.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @02:39AM (#22303936)
    The more interesting story would be, how did they catch him?
  • So now... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Swampash (1131503) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @02:49AM (#22303986)
    Microsoft will lower the price of all its retail products right? Since it's no longer competing with pirated software.
  • OMG (Score:3, Funny)

    by RuBLed (995686) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @02:50AM (#22303996)
    someone's still selling Windows 3.11 for Workgroups...
  • by Library Spoff (582122) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @02:51AM (#22304006) Journal
    Does this mean the cost of microsoft software will come down? We are always being told that piracy on this scale makes software companies push up prices. So when is the cost of vista (especially in the uk) coming down?
  • by Torodung (31985) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @02:56AM (#22304038) Journal
    Considering that most of the pirating Chinese world is using Sharpie scribbled CD-R's to install non-Genuine Windows, I don't think it matters terribly much if they've stopped "90%" of the flow of high-quality counterfeits.

    It's darned good that they caught the bastards, but wake me up when we stop 90% of the actual piracy in Asia.

    This strikes me as a fluff piece for nervous investors.

    --
    Toro
    • by king-manic (409855) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @03:04AM (#22304078)

      Considering that most of the pirating Chinese world is using Sharpie scribbled CD-R's to install non-Genuine Windows, I don't think it matters terribly much if they've stopped "90%" of the flow of high-quality counterfeits.

      It's darned good that they caught the bastards, but wake me up when we stop 90% of the actual piracy in Asia.

      This strikes me as a fluff piece for nervous investors.
      Have you been to china/taiwan/HK/S E asia in general. Some of the fakes are very convincing with packaging and so on. If you go out to a bigger local store you'll see a mix of very good fakes with legit software. They'll even translate it and hack it for use with their own servers. When i was there it was harder to find a legit copy of Warcraft 3 then a pirated one and the pirated ones where packaged decently (if nothing like the real package) and they hooked up the remnants of bnetD Asia. This isn't your geek pirating with black sharpies and spools of random software. This is the real piracy that MS ought to fight.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Gordonjcp (186804)
        Some of the fakes are very convincing with packaging and so on. If you go out to a bigger local store you'll see a mix of very good fakes with legit software.

        Just as a matter of interest, do they pirate things like Linux distros? I can see that people might sell convincing fakes of Redhat boxed distros, but I don't know if they'd sell. Perhaps if someone was getting what they thought was a support contract that turned out to be bogus?
        • by gauauu (649169)

          Just as a matter of interest, do they pirate things like Linux distros? I can see that people might sell convincing fakes of Redhat boxed distros, but I don't know if they'd sell. Perhaps if someone was getting what they thought was a support contract that turned out to be bogus?


          Oh yeah, the little quick-stop right outside my office in Shenzhen, China, sold pirated boxed copies of Redhat for about $1 each. I always wondered what the point was....


      • by Torodung (31985)
        Nope. I haven't been there. I've read about it, and similar problems in Russia.

        This is absolutely the kind of thing Microsoft should vigorously pursue and prosecute. I'm not apologizing for the criminal who was counterfeiting. I'm just in doubt of how much of a dent it makes, whether the 90% figure is exaggeration (it certainly sounds it), and whether this is a major bust, or a small one dressed up as a PR stunt.

        I can remember the street value estimates applied to cocaine busts of an earlier age. Exaggerati
        • by thona (556334) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @04:03AM (#22304418) Homepage
          ::It does surprise me that there is significant demand for "real looking" software,

          There is no demand.

          See, it goes like that:
          * Counterfeiter fakes software.
          * Counterfeiter and in between person pose as distributor, selling the windows copies with a SMALL discount.
          * Computer shops, always looking for a small gain (as margins are super slim) take that. Mind you, way talk about omaybe 5% less price, but if your margin is only 5% on the product, that doubles your margin.

          The shop may not know the software is fake (it was a little chaper, but it could just have been a sale), and the end user definitly does not DEMAND fake software. The whole reason it is so high quality is that the purchase chain (shop, end user) do NOT REALIZE it is fake.

          Criminal like hell. Nothing compared to copy some software where both parties know it.
          • by patio11 (857072) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @06:27AM (#22305004)
            >>
            Criminal like hell. Nothing compared to copy some software where both parties know it.
            >>

            This appears to be the Slashdot consensus morality:

            Make a perfectly functional copy, upload it to Pirate Bay, charge for advertising: No problem.
            Make a perfectly functional copy, sell it on a CD-R, charge $1 for it: Very little problem.
            Make a perfectly functional copy, sell it on a CD which looks real, charge $100 for it: Criminal like hell.

            It would appear, on the basis of available evidence, that the Slashdot consensus doesn't give two bits about IP rights as applied to software, but thinks they are really, really important when applied to the distinctive branding on cardboard boxes. I suppose Microsoft should have invested more in Pretty Box Rights Management? It would probably make them more popular around here.
            • by thona (556334) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @07:44AM (#22305342) Homepage
              I personally see it as vastly different. Because it affects the cunwary consumer.

              See, if I ask you to copy me software, and you do, we do something illegal, and we can discuss the moral. But we both KNOW it. It is a fact, I dont pay, we know what we get into.

              In this fact, there is the additional dimension that not only is software illegally copied, but it is done so to swindle an unsuspecting third party for money. It means that while the copy person knows it is fake, the person paying does not know so, and in fact THINKS he purchases it legally. Besides the obvious moral issue it opens that third party to legal claims, because he is comitting a crime by using this illegal copy, albeit not knowing it.

              One case where "I did not know" is a very sad defense.

              And this "betraying another unsuspecting party" does add tremendously. If I steal software, this is between me and the company putting it on the market, and the person allowing me to copy. If I make counterfeit software, I involve a third party that does not want to be in this game.
            • by Ioldanach (88584)
              The Slashdot consensus doesn't care much for copyright

              A) unless the violator is taking a notable profit, OR
              B) but we do care about Trademark infringement.

              I'd like to think its the latter. That's the way I personally lean. I feel that a company goes through a lot to keep its good name and when it stamps a product as its own, I can expect that the product has a particular set of qualities to it. When someone infringes on that trademark, not only are they profiting at the expense of the trademark owner, but
  • They used to be in the opera piracy [imdb.com] business, but that was too exciting.
  • by Thanshin (1188877) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @03:05AM (#22304086)
    Every time I read news about "piracy", the "pirates" are "stealing" 90% of the money!

    Now I wonder:

    A - Is it 90% of the 10% left from the previous "pirate" operation?
    So, after three or four captures, it becomes clear they are actually selling legally less than 1/100 of a single copy.

    B - Are the "pirates" stealing copies from other "pirates" and repitating them?
    So, 10% of the copies would be legally sold and 90% would reach the final clients after being "pirated" about twenty times.
  • You know, I gotta say, there's a difference between Good and Bad piracy, in my mind.  It seems to me that as long as you aren't making money off it, even indirectly, it's okay.

    And yes, I know the Pirate Bay may well be making bank.  But I still bought one of their t-shirts.  We're in a war, you know!
    • Re:good/bad pirate (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Icarus1919 (802533) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @03:44AM (#22304304)
      Let's not fool ourselves. I pirate things all the time, but I've never told myself what I was doing was "good" piracy.
      • Anything that helps not pay the Microsoft Tax and helps to reduce their profits be even a few cents is good piracy! Put the fuckers and their shoddy wares out of business.
  • by SeaFox (739806) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @03:54AM (#22304354)
    ...must have more 0's and not as many 1's.
  • hmmmm (Score:5, Funny)

    by muszek (882567) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @04:39AM (#22304578) Homepage
    90% of the supply for a gigantic market is gone? Seems like a perfect business opportunity :)
  • Wait... so if the evil pirate guy is Maximus, does that make Microsoft Commodus?
    Will Huang Jer-sheng and Emprorer Bill duke it out like gladiators?
    Will Gates fix the fight by embracing our pirate/gladiator hero and then extending a poison dagger into him?
    This sounds like a reality TV show in the making.

  • Strategic FUD? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Bones3D_mac (324952) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @05:22AM (#22304738)
    Considering just how adamant Microsoft has been about killing off XP, it makes one wonder if the "high quality" label used here may allow the guy to become a practical scapegoat for Microsoft, should they attempt some underhanded tactic like setting their authentication system to automatically flag all future XP serial numbers it encounters as pirated, regardless of the product's legitimacy. By claiming all currently unsold retail and system builder versions of XP are pirate copies, it wouldn't take much to bury the OS beyond a mass recall of all unsold discs to be used as "evidence".

    Of course, this couldn't ever really happen, but it does make you think...
  • Keys (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PhotoGuy (189467) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @07:04AM (#22305156) Homepage
    There was no mention in the article how these pirates handled keys and activation and such.

    An exact copy of the pretty box and manuals and holograms and stuff is fine, but if it's an exact copy of the CD contents itself, it won't activate properly. Do they use hacked versions of the binaries? You'd think that would stand out (failed updates and such). Anyone know?

It appears that PL/I (and its dialects) is, or will be, the most widely used higher level language for systems programming. -- J. Sammet

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