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Microsoft Privacy Politics Your Rights Online

MS Gives Free Licenses To Oppressed Nonprofits 151

Posted by samzenpus
from the here-you-got-enough-trouble dept.
victorl19 writes "Microsoft is vastly expanding its efforts to prevent governments from using software piracy inquiries as a pretext to suppress dissent. It plans to provide free software licenses to more than 500,000 advocacy groups, independent media outlets and other nonprofit organizations in 12 countries with tightly controlled governments, including Russia and China."
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MS Gives Free Licenses To Oppressed Nonprofits

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  • http://yro.slashdot.org/story/10/09/13/221216/Microsoft-To-Issue-Blanket-License-To-NGOs [slashdot.org]

    If slashdot didn't have a shitty search feature, maybe mods could find reposts easier. Just sayin.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by cappp (1822388)
      Nope. It's an update. Look at the date of the story on NYTimes, it's 2 days ago. More importantly, it adds new info' - specifically

      But it is now extending the program to other countries: eight former Soviet republics — Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan — as well as China, Malaysia and Vietnam. Microsoft executives said they would consider adding more.

      If anything we now know that Microsoft was a little deceptive when they previously

      • Re:Repost (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anpheus (908711) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @11:09PM (#33928672)

        Previously the "blanket" license applied in Russia. They're adding it to more countries.

        That's not deceptive. That's you calling it deceptive.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by cappp (1822388)
          Not quite. They explicity stated [itworld.com] that they'd

          issue a blanket software license to nonprofit groups and journalist groups outside the U.S.

          Now maybe they meant only Russia but it doesn't take much to read that statement as applying globally. An ambiguity I'm sure they didn't mind.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by billsayswow (1681722)
            There's a huge difference between a statement that's easy to misinterpret, and deliberately misinterpreting a statement.
          • Re:Repost (Score:5, Informative)

            by Gadget_Guy (627405) * on Sunday October 17, 2010 @11:51PM (#33928882)

            I hate to tell you this, but itworld.com is not an official Microsoft outlet. What Microsoft actually said [technet.com] was:

            One challenge, however, is that some NGOs in a number of countries, including Russia, are unaware of our program or do not know how to navigate its logistical processes, which involves ordering the donated software through a Microsoft partner. We'll solve this problem by providing a unilateral NGO Software License that runs automatically from Microsoft to NGOs and covers the software already installed on their PCs. We'll make this new, non-transferable license applicable to NGOs in a number of countries, including in Russia.

            So they started in a few (mostly unnamed) countries and now they have expanded it.

            • by cappp (1822388)
              Thanks for finding the original there, I had assumed that the definitive tone in the itworld piece was a quotation and that was pretty dumb on reflection.

              It's fantastic that Microsoft is expanding the list of included countries and they should be applauded for it - but they shouldn't benefit from the positive PR of claiming to be doing something that they weren't.
              • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

                by Sean Hederman (870482)

                What should they do exactly?

                "We are terribly sorry to hear that a tiny number itworld reader have misinterpreted their misreporting of our original statement and unfortunately came to the mistaken conclusion that we had given this license worldwide. In order to rectify this horrible mistake (since it's unfair that we gain any advantage from people's misunderstanding), we will be cutting our marketing budget to compensate. But when people mistake what we're saying in a NEGATIVE light, then that's okay, and w

          • by bloodhawk (813939)
            how is quoting an ITWorld news story that generalises what was actually said come down to proof of explicitly stating it? So are we now holding Microsoft to account for how journalists write their stories? If you actually go and have a look at the actual MS statement they are not explicitly stating what you say at all. They say Russia and some other unamed countries.
          • by jimicus (737525)

            Now maybe they meant only Russia but it doesn't take much to read that statement as applying globally. An ambiguity I'm sure they didn't mind.

            Maybe you would, but I'd consider that to mean "some countries, but the US isn't one of them so don't get your hopes up".

      • by wmac (1107843)
        But not Iran. Iranian groups don't get even a bed sheet let alone a blanket (license)!
        • by linumax (910946)
          Microsoft doesn't have any operations and/or sales in Iran. Almost all commercial software is pirated. Even if they did, in Iran government doesn't really need to offer an excuse to investigate anyone.
    • That story was specifically in response to Russian attempts to use software piracy as a pretext to harass opposition NGOs, and Microsoft was focusing on Russia alone to counter that. This is a follow-up where the same program is pre-emptively expanded to other regions where same tactics may be employed by the governments.

      • by AHuxley (892839)
        Not a repost. They seem to want to escape PR of this http://tinyurl.com/2usjw6p [tinyurl.com] [yhrm.org] has a link to a letter sent back ~April 15 2010.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by kholburn (625432)

          Not a repost. They seem to want to escape PR of this http://tinyurl.com/2usjw6p [tinyurl.com] [yhrm.org] has a link to a letter sent back ~April 15 2010.

          They could end up being accused of interfering in internal politics of another country by subsidising dissident groups.

          No good way out of this really.

        • Re:Repost (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 18, 2010 @12:47AM (#33929182)

          Please don't use URL shortners. Im not gonna click that link, and a good portion of other people are not going to click that link. The information you were trying to spread is not being spread.

          You take what very well may be an informative post, and relegated it to possibly being a trollish goatse post. It would be like taking a samsung dvd player and rebranding it as a $generic_brand. No one is gonna buy it, we all think its no good. No one is gonna click your link because it looks like $generic_goatse

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by rtfa-troll (1340807)
            I agree that the principle is bad. Apart from the lack of information in the link name, it doubles the number of servers involved and will break the way back machine. However, in the particular case of tinyurl it's worth knowing that if you go to their homepage you can set things so that you see the URL before visiting it.
          • by AHuxley (892839)
            Slashdot rejects some of the longer links with a "Filter error: That's an awful long string of letters there."
            the link is
            www . yhrm. org/ eng/news/network/ microsoft_avoids_taking_ responsibility_for_its_representatives_action_in_ anastasia_deni

            ie remove spaces
          • by tehcyder (746570)
            Slashdot displayed the yhrm.org original address after the link too, so I could see it wasn't goatse.
          • Please don't use URL shortners.

            For URLs in posts on Slashdot, I can agree. But for URLs in signatures, which are limited to 120 characters, what do you recommend?

      • by makomk (752139)

        That story was specifically in response to Russian attempts to use software piracy as a pretext to harass opposition NGOs, and Microsoft was focusing on Russia alone to counter that.

        To be more precise, Microsoft's actions were a response to an article in the New York Times about Russian attempts to use software piracy as a pretext to harass opposition NGOs and the fact that Microsoft representatives were supporting them. This had been going on for well over a year, but until the story hit the NYT no-one could get Microsoft to do anything about it.

    • Movement to Overthrow MS Tyranny.

      Can I have a free MSDN license?

  • So basically, they're taking a bunch of organizations in countries that probably have a 95% or higher piracy rate, and giving them free licenses.

    So it's costing Microsoft essentially squat, but potentially improves human rights in said countries.

    Commendable, but not exactly as philanthropic as MS probably wants to come across as....

    • by shriphani (1174497) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @10:19PM (#33928386) Homepage
      yeah because it is almost everyday that a large software vendor aims to reduce someone's level of suffering by not collecting any $$ on their product.
      • Microsoft has always had this policy. "If You're Going To Steal Software, Steal From Us" [informationweek.com]. They attempt to identify groups who would never pay anyway and get them to get Windows/Office etc. for free, which starts a lock in so that the other people are forced to get Windows/Office etc. to read the documents sent by the people who aren't paying.

        MS reacts mainly to threats to it's bottom line. In this case, it was likely that they would end up being sued in the US or elsewhere for the illegal acts of their

        • by rtb61 (674572)

          Even worse, shock horror, they might use free competitors products instead. Which of course is what it is really all about, get all journalists to become accustomed to the M$ product so the free product is different, not the same and as a result awkward to use and will reflect as such in reviews.

          Of course most of those countries will end up doing the work on, mobile android products, easier to hide than a desktop.

      • They're not attempting to reduce anyone's level of suffering, they're attempting to ensure that people are locked in to Microsoft products. These people generally can't afford MS software, so they have two options:
        1. Pirate Microsoft software.
        2. Use cheaper / free alternatives.

        Guess which one is more of a threat to Microsoft.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by igny (716218)

      So basically, they're taking a bunch of organizations in countries that probably have a 95% or higher piracy rate, and giving them free licenses.

      So it's costing Microsoft essentially squat, but potentially improves human rights in said countries.

      Commendable, but not exactly as philanthropic as MS probably wants to come across as....

      The kew word is potentially. In reality it does squat, period. The governments can always find other pretexts to raid NGOs. There are other software companies, not just MS, products of which could be pirated too.

      • They don't even need to find pirated software, they could plant evidence of murder or something like that, or just make something up. Getting people arrested is much easier when you don't feel a need to be honest.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by tehcyder (746570)

        The kew word is potentially. In reality it does squat, period. The governments can always find other pretexts to raid NGOs. There are other software companies, not just MS, products of which could be pirated too.

        So, because Microsoft can't stop all potential human rights abuses, they should just do nothing?

    • by bsDaemon (87307) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @10:23PM (#33928414)

      Well, what else would you expect them to do? Recently, Russia was raiding the offices of politically undesirable organizations using software piracy as an excuse, and Microsoft lawyers were involved. Microsoft had stopped agreeing to press charges once it became obvious that the government was just using them as an excuse. Now, they're going ever further than they already had and being explicit about who they are giving licenses to.

      Just because it doesn't cost them anything doesn't mean it isn't still worth something. And providing free licenses is a big step up from not prosecuting pirates. They'll be able to get software updates and security patches, which will cut down on the amount of out-of-date, exploitable software out there to become part of spam bots, which is good for everyone.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by cbiltcliffe (186293)

        Just because it doesn't cost them anything doesn't mean it isn't still worth something.

        True. But it's probably worth more to Microsoft than it is to the recipients of these donations.

        They'll be able to get software updates and security patches, which will cut down on the amount of out-of-date, exploitable software out there to become part of spam bots, which is good for everyone.

        I have never quite understood this "can't get security patches on pirated software" statement.
        I've seen dozens of pirated Windows installations, and almost every one of them was capable of running the Windows Update website and installing patches.
        Every single one was running automatic updates, which installs all critical security patches.

        Pirated Windows can always get security updates, with one single exception

        • True. But it's probably worth more to Microsoft than it is to the recipients of these donations.

          Umm, it's currently not getting Microsoft any money, and won't in future. Might stop them getting negative PR, and might even get them some good PR. The recipients will have less of a chance of going to jail on trumped up charges.

          Yeah, I can see how you might think the recipients aren't getting much value from this compared to Microsoft

          You know, sometimes even bad companies do good things (or at least stop doing

          • sometimes even bad companies do good things (or at least stop doing bad things), and they should be commended in such cases, instead of this churlish suspicion and ill will.

            I think Microsoft, because of its long tradition of foul play and , has reached a point of no return where anything good they might ever do will always be received with suspicion and distrust. They've got no one to thank but themselves.

            • s/ ,/ lack of ethics,/

            • Consider a badly-behaved child. You punish them, and try to change their behavior. After some time, their behavior DOES change, but you now ignore the improvement and continue punishing them for their past misdeeds.

              Is this fair?

              Even if they are not entirely well behaved, their improved behavior MUST be noted and approved. Otherwise not only do you make them anti-social, but you also discourage future improvements by other, similarly misbehaving children.

              If there's no reward for improving your behavio

      • by ctmurray (1475885)
        I agree. They need to not be party to this bullying tactic by these repressive regimes. Regardless of any side benefits or underhanded motives one might ascribe to MS.
      • They'll be able to get software updates and security patches, which will cut down on the amount of freely-available FOSS software installations, which is good for Microsoft.

        Fixed that for you.

      • by makomk (752139)

        Microsoft had stopped agreeing to press charges once it became obvious that the government was just using them as an excuse.

        No, they stopped agreeing to press charges once it became obvious that the whole thing was a major embarrasment for them - that is to say, once it reached the NYT. Prior to that no-one could get Microsoft to do anything, even though it was blatently obvious that the license infringement claims were in fact a pretext and the police were making entirely false statements to the courts.

    • a bunch of organizations in countries that probably have a 95% or higher piracy rate,
      Citation needed.

      • It's 82% [nationmaster.com] actually, but I don't see how that invalidates GP's point.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by cbiltcliffe (186293)

        http://www.goehner.com/piracyru.htm [goehner.com]

        First paragraph:

        In Russia alone, with an estimated 94% software piracy rate...

        Ok...so I was off by one percentage point.

        http://www.chinatechnews.com/2009/05/14/9758-bsa-software-piracy-rate-down-to-80-in-china [chinatechnews.com]

        So China is down to 80%, according to the BSA. Not that I trust their figures, but anyway...according to the same article,

        there are seven countries where the software piracy rate is still over 90%, including Georgia, Bangladesh, Armenia, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, Azerbaijan, and Moldova.

        Now we look at the list of countries MS is providing free software to, according to the article:

        Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan — as well as China, Malaysia and Vietnam.

        At least a couple of countries appear in both lists. So a good portion of these countries are over 90% piracy.

        • When someone asks for a citation, he's not claiming you are wrong or that you have the value wrong, just asking for something more authoritative than a Slashdot post claiming it's so. This way when he makes the claim, he can point to what you cited rather than just your posting.
          • When someone asks for a citation, he's not claiming you are wrong or that you have the value wrong

            Actually that depends. Mostly it's more like a "I find that fact surprising and difficult to believe; could you prove it". However in a case like this, where the statistics can be easily found on Google, it's definitely has an implication that the poster isn't right. Slashdot isn't Wikipedia and, for flow of conversation, a certain amount of stuff is normally assumed. Not even close to Wikipedia :-)

            • by tepples (727027)

              Mostly ["citation needed" is] more like a "I find that fact surprising and difficult to believe; could you prove it".

              Agreed there. But:

              However in a case like this, where the statistics can be easily found on Google

              Citation needed. People who say "Ask Google" tend to leave out one important piece of information: what keywords to use. Even when I say "I tried searching with these keywords", I often get replies to the effect of "you're being too literal-minded with your keywords, you troll".

              • When I try "Russia software piracy" an article with the statistic most people have been quoting (94%) is the second link on the page.
        • Crime statistics? The vast majority of software piracy in those countries is probably not a criminal offence.

          How on earth do they get a number "number of units of software installed"? How do they count units pirated? Do they count free software? Is each RPM on my PC a "unit"?

          Living in a country on that list that is on that list with a 90% rate, the only things people pay for here are pre-installed copies of Windows on big brand PCs (e.g. HP, Dell etc.), a few things from vendors that threaten to sue if the

    • by c0lo (1497653)

      So it's costing Microsoft essentially squat, but potentially improves human rights in said countries.

      Commendable, but not exactly as philanthropic as MS probably wants to come across as....

      Not philantropic at all, even on the short term...
      The chinese govt., which pedals quite strongly on the RedFlag Linux [wikipedia.org], is set on the track of: "What to see what is contained in the docs these pesky disdents exchange? Buy some licenses from us!"

    • by lapsed (1610061)
      Sometimes Microsoft does things that benefits both themselves and their customers. All businesses do this from time to time -- it's how capitalism works.
    • Probably the exact opposite. It's probably making them money in the form of reduced taxes. Assuming the percentage of NGOs in the countries covered that actually have valid windows licenses is less than Microsoft's effective tax rate they can effectively write off the "donations" as tax deductions and overall probably come out ahead.
      • It's probably making them money in the form of reduced taxes.

        This license is automatic, meaning NGOs and journalists don't have to do anything to be covered by the free license. How would they come up with a figure to write off on their taxes without some paperwork from their clients. The amount of money involved here so probably so miniscule that it would not make much of a dent in their tax bill.

        Microsoft have plenty of other ways of avoiding their tax responsibility!

      • I do not see how that would work in any tax system I have come across. You can offset actual costs against profits, but you cannot deduct a foregone profit.

        If they gave them free CDs they could deduct the cost of printing CDs. If they pay a license fee to another MS subsidiary to cover this they might be able to deduct that cost from their taxes, but that will be less than retail cost, and overdoing it would make the tax authorities suspicious (and a good many countries have measures to control the use of t

    • by mea37 (1201159)

      Doesn't cost MS anything? LOL. Where to begin?

      1. Even if you were right, so what? It is not at all uncommon for companies to manage their philanthropy in ways where the value is more than the cost. People do it, too. (Do you donate old clothes you aren't going to use any more, or do you run out to the store and buy new clothes to donate? Or are you the sort of asshat that doesn't donate at all yet feels entitled to badger MS's efforts?)
      2. TFA doesn't address the issue of support, but I've worked with chari
  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @10:22PM (#33928412) Journal
    Microsoft fundamentally believes there are some who will never pay for the software. Crackdown too hard on them or be too successful in preventing piracy, they might defect to Linux and open free software. So it did not try too hard to fight piracy. But the dissenters in oppressed countries might better served by specific hardened distros from Linux camp than by the free offerings from Microsoft. You never know if it has shown the source code to these governments or allowed them to install back doors.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      But the dissenters in oppressed countries might better served by specific hardened distros from Linux camp than by the free offerings from Microsoft. You never know if it has shown the source code to these governments or allowed them to install back doors.

      You assume that dissenters (specifically, opposition NGOs, since that's what this story is about) engage in some kind of activity which they need to keep hidden from their governments.

      This is not the case. I don't know, there may well be some real underground in both Russia and China, but NGOs are usually officially registered organizations that, while working towards some goals counter to the "party line", do so openly rather than undercover. They're not revolutionaries - their goal is not an armed uprisin

      • by Alex Belits (437) *

        I don't know how it is in China, but in Russia most opposition NGOs are already accused of being directly funded by CIA/Mossad/whatnot, and of acting solely in the interests of those powers to "dismantle the country and sell it to the West". For all the load of bullshit that it is, enough people believe it

        Indeed. They are actually paid by Soros, CIA only steps in when they destabilize the country enough for another "color revolution".

        • Hey, I thought Soros pays CIA, too? And it all goes through IMF! And the money is siphoned from all the poor bastards who get sucked into WTO!

          The guy on TV said so!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    My god, how low will this company stoop for a dollar? Now they pretend they are displacing competitive software not because it will earn them more money, but because they are feeling charitable. Everyone knows it's a charade, except the dim bulbs who can't read past a headline. Go ahead Microsoft, take more money from the stupid people who support your shallow pretense. They're the only one who buy your crap anymore, you make the rest of us sick.

  • Anything... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by QuietLagoon (813062) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @10:40PM (#33928526)
    ... to prevent them from switching to free and open software.

    Microsoft, in its recent press efforts, has shown it is very concerned about free and open software. So now Microsoft is trying to disguise itself as a free and open software vendor. A crack dealer will give away free samples to obtain and retain a customer......

    • Re:Anything... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by T Murphy (1054674) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @11:53PM (#33928908) Journal
      To be fair, if your oppressive government uses the software piracy pretext, "we use Linux" probably won't stop them from raiding the place (it would be treated the same as "but we paid for Windows"). Removing the pretext by making piracy a non-issue actually has some effect (how much of an effect depends on how much the government cares about having a plausible excuse). Yes, if everyone used Linux piracy would also be a non-issue, but unfortunately that isn't a realistic expectation.
    • by cosm (1072588)
      I don't know about you, but I will take crack over Microsoft Office any day. Apples to oranges people.
    • by Sentrion (964745)

      A crack dealer will give away free samples to obtain and retain a customer......

      You stole my thunder. That's exactly what I was thinking when I read the headline.

    • by mea37 (1201159)

      So we have two motive theories:

      In your theory, MS just wants to prevent NGO's from converting to free software. There is no evidence that the NGO's in question were considering such a switch; a number of them were just saying "screw it" and using illegal copies of the MS software. But, it does suit your preconceptions about MS, so it has that going for it.

      The other theory is that they actually don't want to participate in human rights violations. There is actual evidence for that, and it's not like we'd

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Think again. Not doing it would a public relations disaster of epic proportions. As it stands it's an averted one. A narrowly averted public relations disaster.

    The fact that they had to be told in the first place means they were well behind the curve -- as usual. I mean, seriously, they're the biggest software corp on earth, every resource you can think of. Think of what they didn't manage: A laid-back press conference saying they'd noticed years ago and quietly gave everyone they could think of a refund an

  • celebrate Microsoft's initiative and commitment to making this world a better place. I will write a personal letter to whoever made this decision if I can find out who saying the same.
  • America sucks. Where's my free copy of Office 2010?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by marcello_dl (667940)

      > America sucks. Where's my free copy of Office 2010?

      Since the hate crime you committed against America is kind of grave, the free copy of Office 2010 is an insufficient punishment, I suggest they give you also free office 2007 and 2003 plus sources and the full ooxml specs.

  • Linux should really do this too. Oh, wait..
  • What the Russian gov't is doing to the political opposition is criminal. Odds are that M$'s motives aren't pure as I'm sure someone, if not the originator of the idea, knew M$ would get good PR in the West for their actions. If one grants that their ulterior motives are impure it only underscores the beauty of what M$ is doing: Giving the Russian gov't a dose of their own medicine. What M$ is doing is along the same lines as Russia in that they are both doing something that they know will get good PR in th

    • What the hell (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      This is ridiculous. I thought Slashdot was finally over this kind of thing?

      I'm sorry man, I lost you after the third dollar sign. No one will take your arguments seriously like this, anymore than anyone would take someone obviously biased against FOSS repeatedly using terms like "linsux" or "open sores".

  • First oppressed by the governments, and now oppressed by using Microsoft products. There is no mercy in this world.
  • by cas2000 (148703) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @11:22PM (#33928734)

    wow, that's harsh.

    it would be far less cruel to just leave them to the tender mercies of the secret police and torture squads.

  • Non-profit organizations tend to be of the community centered local skills development political lean.
    If they are true to their ideology they should be using open source.

    Using Microsoft software is not very community focused and even if they are not paying for it they are supporting the monopoly through futher extending the install base. And the talent level in local software is limited to install the software and if it fails, reinstall it.

  • Those software cost money to produce, so giving them away for free to another country's customers is obviously dumping by any measure.

    So those countries can complain to WTO that USA is dumping IP products to their country and apply import taxes on these licenses, then they can bust those organizations for "tax evasion" instead of piracy. What's more, since Microsoft gave them those licenses, they can "investigate" Microsoft for "assisting tax evasion" as a payback.

    Brilliant.

  • from what I recall from this old story, there was lots of noise about using open source software instead of Microsoft's because of how the government was using the licensing issues to dig into the computers. The move was to push for completely replacing Windows and Microsoft software because at that point there is nothing but a public relations issue for the government if word started getting out there was nothing to warrant the searches.

    This isn't unlike how Microsoft, via the BSA, was going after US Schoo
  • Link (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 18, 2010 @12:08AM (#33928976)

    For anyone who wants to see the link without being prompted to register to nytimes.com:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/17/world/17russia.html

  • Who do you think lobbied for laws that let government meddle in software licensing?
  • Piracy is much better than the alternative, using the alternative happily. Making a feel-good story out of giving to people what they have already taken that they cannot pay for must be such a cool result for a middlemanaging doublespeak specialist!
  • And who says microsoft can't be good, and do good deeds? :)
    Yet again MS is doing good deeds, helping those in need. Gates might not be in the helm anymore, but no one can argue that Gates wouldn't be a humanitarian.

    I know, this is /. and MS bashing is forte, but yeah, i'm kinda MS fanboy when it comes to desktop, and work productivity :) Nevermind, they actually do make GOOD hardware too, keyboards are way better than Logitech's for example. 2 best keyboards i've ever used have been Microsoft products, and

  • These are "oppressive governments" we are talking about here, right? So now when they raid you looking for licenses, they burn any they find, and, then they shut you down for operating on unlicensed software. Heck, if you are using Linux they could still do it. You'd have to go to court to prove them wrong. Their court.

    If they want you, they have you, laws be dammed.

    • by JSBiff (87824)

      There's also the matter that Microsoft isn't the only software in the world. They could just as easily crack down on someone for pirated copies of Photoshop, Autocad, or any other commercial software that the group might be using.

  • In other news, Microsoft was questioned by several media outlets on Monday morning about a recently discovered build of MS Office labeled 'MSOffice.trojanhorse' which was given for free to several so-called 'Oppressed Nonprofit' organizations. The software giant did not release a formal statement, but did advise one reporter that "all 'MSOffice.trojanhorse' users should keep their internet connection up while using their free copy of the office suite." ;)

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