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Microsoft Told to Pay Tax on License Fee 282

MissingRainbow writes "To avoid paying taxes in India, Microsoft wanted a court to believe that it is selling its product and that there are no royalty payments involved. Their own EULA worked against them in this particular case however as it states, "the product is licensed, not sold". The court ruled against them."
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Microsoft Told to Pay Tax on License Fee

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  • pwndbyowneula tag. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Whiney Mac Fanboy ( 963289 ) * <> on Thursday April 03, 2008 @12:22AM (#22948044) Homepage Journal
    I suggest two new tags - 'pwndbyowneula' or 'canthaveitbothways' (although the old faithful 'haha' adequately expresses the extent of my sympathy for MS).

    Oh, and for those wondering, RS 700 crore == 175 Million USD. (a crore is 10 million).
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by capnkr ( 1153623 )
      ...or maybe "openmouthinsertfoot". :)

      Glad to see there is some justice still floating around out there...

    • by russlar ( 1122455 ) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @12:42AM (#22948170)
      That's almost as good as Safari for Windows' EULA banning itself. eulaselfpwnage?
      • Safari (Score:2, Offtopic)

        by Lonewolf666 ( 259450 )
        I guess Apple wants to limit Safari for Windows to Macs running Windows via Boot Camp (or whatever it is named now). So it does not completely ban itself.

        But I still think it is a stupid decision. They are limiting the market share of their product, in an area where a popular free alternative exists with Firefox. This is not like using MacOS to push hardware sales.
        • Re:Safari (Score:4, Insightful)

          by penix1 ( 722987 ) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @05:16AM (#22949268) Homepage

          But I still think it is a stupid decision. They are limiting the market share of their product, in an area where a popular free alternative exists with Firefox. This is not like using MacOS to push hardware sales.

          I don't think so. They are saving time, trouble and money by not supporting the problems of non-apple hardware. They are a hardware vendor after all. By not supporting competing hardware they automatically rule out 100s of different configuration problems. All one has to do is look at the fight Mozilla is having keeping up on security / bug issues in FireFox since it was first released for Windows to see that elimination of a subset of problems saves trouble for the developers.
          • Re:Safari (Score:4, Insightful)

            by ronanbear ( 924575 ) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @05:58AM (#22949396)
            I thought it was just an oversight. Safari for Windows is important because it's the same browser that the iPhone uses and getting Safari marketshare up on Windows was an important way to improve iPhone compatibility and allow web developers to test pages easily.

            Apple don't need a Eula to limit installing when standard disclaimers cover all the configuration problems.
        • by Bert64 ( 520050 )
          Safari doesn't really benefit Apple tho...
          It doesn't help them sell ipods like itunes does...
          The windows version doesn't help them sell macs...
          There's also nothing stopping someone else from taking the open source webkit and creating a new open source interface around it, and distributing it for free to be used on non apple labelled computers.
          It's just another alternative for windows users who got a horrendously outdated and buggy browser by default.
    • by LaskoVortex ( 1153471 ) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @12:43AM (#22948176)
    • How about 'bluegavelofdeath' ?
  • Got Karma? (Score:5, Funny)

    by russlar ( 1122455 ) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @12:26AM (#22948068)
    How appropriate, that in India, the birthplace of Karma, Microsoft gets whacked with a hefty dose of it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 03, 2008 @12:27AM (#22948078)
    He who lives by the EULA, dies by the EULA
  • dear god! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 03, 2008 @12:27AM (#22948086)
    leave the slashdot gui alone!
    • Re:dear god! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by QuantumG ( 50515 ) * <> on Thursday April 03, 2008 @12:29AM (#22948094) Homepage Journal
      Yeah, I hear ya. WTF guys. I don't need a massive "Reply to This" button.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        I think this is a vast improvement over past GUI on this site, at least since they started messing with it and got rid of viewing things by option at the top of discussions as nested/flat/threaded, etc. Go back to that or keep improving on this one. Its pretty good now.
        • by cp.tar ( 871488 )

          I like it as well.

          The only thing I'd love to see is the left-hand side menu collapsed and floating, so that I don't have to scroll up when I need it.
          I know that there was a Firefox extension that did that, but I can't remember which one it was. Or if it would still work.

          The forced preview is also a thing many users had been asking for for ages.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by argent ( 18001 )
        I think they need to roll back the whole frigging site about a year.
        • by cp.tar ( 871488 ) <> on Thursday April 03, 2008 @01:42AM (#22948460) Journal

          I think they need to roll back the whole frigging site about a year.

          To what? OMG PWNIEZ?

          • by Dunbal ( 464142 )
            I think they need to roll back the whole frigging site about a year.

            To what? OMG PWNIEZ?

                  Actually, that was TWO years ago. Time sure flies, doesn't it?
        • by pembo13 ( 770295 )
          aside from the large buttons, I like it... it seems more readable... not that I need to be reading Slashdot more.
        • Re:dear god! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by mcvos ( 645701 ) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @05:37AM (#22949324)
          I like the Ajaxiness. The only real problem today is the gigantic buttons, but that should be easily fixed.

          What I'd like to know is, why do we get a completely revamped UI every week? Why not simply make the obvious improvements and stick to that?
          Every other week I discover that folding and unfolding has disappeared or reappeared in a different form. I also like the "quote parent" button, so I'd appreciate if it stopped disappearing all the time.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by MMC Monster ( 602931 )
            Agree. Slim down the buttons and this will look quite nice.

            An added benefit: I usually middle click on reply instead of left click, so that I keep my place in the thread and don't have to reload the page. Now left click on reply brings the reply box inline with the thread. :-)

            Of course, it will be bette
          • I like the Ajaxiness.

            This is Slashdot. It bloody well needs to be completely usable without Javascript. What do they think this is, ZDNet?
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Chabil Ha' ( 875116 )
        I like being able to reply to comments inline, but I browse the site with an iphone and the uberbig boxes don't make for a very great browsing experience.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 03, 2008 @02:15AM (#22948608)
          Slashdot viewing experience may vary for the trendy and pretentious.
        • by Björn ( 4836 )
          I like the boxes. They make finding the parent post much easier, but then I'm not browsing on an iPhone. Don't know about the buttons though.
        • Yeah, who'd have thought that your mobile browsing experience may be sub-optimal on a 320x480 screen?

          Not anyone who drank the apple-flavored kool aid, apparently.

      • Re:dear god! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @12:50AM (#22948220) Journal
        /. can do whatever the hell they want to the look of their website.
        Just gimme an option in my settings [] to change it back.
        • I just wish I could view Slashdot without having to turn up the font size every time. Just because I *can* read 9-pixel text doesn't mean I want to.
          • by chthon ( 580889 )

            With Firefox you can ask to display a font of at least n points in size. I have put this to 14. I also always use a non-serif font, which is also more legible for me.

        • IT doesn't even display the same across browsers. Load it in IE6, your see what I mean. I swear, they need to stop letting retarded monkeys play with the slashcode.

          They supposedly gave us an option to not use this crap in our preference settings. However, it doesn't seem to be working.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        Yeah, I hear ya. WTF guys. I don't need a massive "Reply to This" button.

        They're trying to appeal to an older half blind crowd. Just be thankful there isn't sound.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          I am part of that older, half-blind crowd you inconsiderate clod, and I hate the new layout! This isn't improving the appearance of Slashdot, it's changing it for the sake of changing it.
          • Actually I think it's an improvement. D2 was kind of busted before. Now the threading works better. Yeah, the lines are too heavy and the buttons are too fat and there's a few bugs in, but it's a step in the right direction. Oh, and forcing people to hit preview... thank you! Other places have had it for a while now and it really does work. I'm glad slashdot got there.
      • Re:dear god! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 03, 2008 @12:57AM (#22948256)
        I think a good compromise would be to integrate the Reply to this/Parent links into the title/score bar, but align it to the right side. Oh, and for the love of god, don't make the buttons so huge that the bar gets bigger in height.
      • by Zymergy ( 803632 ) *
        For a minute there I thought it was part of the April 1st thing.... but nope, today is the 2nd!
        And I keep thinking of several lines Lloyd Bridges (McCroskey) had in Airplane: "Looks like I picked the wrong day to quit sniffing Glue!" []
        -Nope, it's just the new /. layout!

        Oh ya, Ontopic: Ha Ha Ha Microsoft. I can hear all their lawyers giving out a big ol' Homer Simpson DOH!
      • Yeah, I hear ya. WTF guys. I don't need a massive "Reply to This" button.
        I'd take it if it meant the negative mod button was made smaller.
      • I like the new preview, but I'm with QuantumG here, This is taking up to much realestate on my old 1024x768 thinkpad. But I guess I can deal for the free news... for now...
      • I agree, it's awful. What's even worse is that it breaks the Firefox Slashdotter extension and I absolutely can't stand browsing /. without it. IMHO they should just have added many features the extension provides (inline expansion of long comments, quick reply, inline showing/hiding of comments, etc) instead of doing yet another useless and ugly redesign.
    • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

      by Enderandrew ( 866215 )
      I really like the new gui.
      • Steve? Is that you?
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Alsee ( 515537 )
        Yeah, I really love the new giant "Reply to This" and "Parent" buttons.

        You see I have twenty-twohundred vision, and I don't bother using any special browser software for the visually impaired.

        I also have cerebral palsy and because of my hand-spasms the gigantic buttons make it much easier to hit them with my mouse.

        I'm also really really stupid and the new button designs help smack me in the brain when I get confused and keep forgetting how to reply and that there are parent posts and how to get to them.

        I al
    • by i_liek_turtles ( 1110703 ) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @12:48AM (#22948212)
      Personally, I blame Microsoft.
    • by EdIII ( 1114411 ) * on Thursday April 03, 2008 @12:59AM (#22948268)
      Thank God you said something. I thought I was hallucinating.
    • by Hal_Porter ( 817932 ) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @01:24AM (#22948376)
      I think it would have been funnier if they introduced the new UI on April 1st and then said on April the 2nd that it wasn't in fact a joke.
      • by Alsee ( 515537 ) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @05:40AM (#22949332) Homepage
        No no, you *almost* had it there... they should have introduced the UI change on March 31. Then on April 1st they could talk about how it was an April Fools gag accidentally went live a day early. Then on April 2nd, as you suggest, they could state the April 1st talk about it being an "accidental early leaked gag" was all a joke.

    • Dear god, even the GUI has dupes!

      (Check out the "Cancel Reply" and "Cancel" buttons with the same exact functionality.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Not only this is awful, the sheer amount of javascript they've added makes it practically unusable. I was relatively happy when Firefox 3.0 beta 4 processed the scripts a lot faster than 2.0, making browsing Slashdot comments less of a chore... and now they've brought this abomination to the site.
      • In lightweight mode (e.g. without javascript) the new UI is a large improvement - boxes around content with nice buttons and nesting all clearly visible.
        • by mgblst ( 80109 )
          Nice Buttons? Maybe, but they take up too much room. I enjoyed being able to read more than 3 comments on the page at the same time. I am after content, not prettiness (why I run on lite mode). Give me my content back, please!

          This is almost enough to make me start doing some work. Evil bastards!
    • by waveman ( 66141 )
      There used to be a way to change the threshold on a discussion so you only see comments with a score > X. After 1/2 an hour I still cannot find this. Is there any way to do this? If so, please make it possible for people to find it!

      This is a show stopper for using slashdot for me.
  • A better icon (Score:4, Insightful)

    by edwardpickman ( 965122 ) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @12:49AM (#22948216)
    Maybe instead a Borg Bill should be portrayed as Pinocchio.
  • by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @01:42AM (#22948462) Homepage
    That would be the "Total Cost of Pwnership!"

    Damnit! I have gone for YEARS without using the term or anything similar simply because I thought it was stupid. Now look who's doing it?
  • Reassuring (Score:2, Funny)

    by RichPowers ( 998637 )
    That even MS employees don't read the EULA...
  • by realkiwi ( 23584 ) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @02:06AM (#22948562)
    So do terrorist software pirates pay tax? Nope []
    Well look who is in the same boat...
  • Great piece of evidence in any Microsoft-unfair-business-practices lawsuit, establishing their basis, motive, and degree of integrity.
  • You can't always get what you want
  • by GumphMaster ( 772693 ) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @03:32AM (#22948922)
    The article implies that there neither sales tax nor company income tax (of the MS subsidiary/partner) exists in India. Is this the case? Is the tax on royalties the only tax income the Indian people get from software peddlers in India?
  • by Ciggy ( 692030 ) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @05:30AM (#22949314)
    The only thing that slightly worries me about this: if the EULA is what is causing MS to pay the tax, then in paying the tax, MS can clearly say that the EULA is valid (in India at least) as the government has demanded legal taxes based on it.
    • by scsirob ( 246572 )
      Well, I do not know Indian law at all, but in The Netherlands you can be slapped with income tax for illegal activities. If you run an illegal radio station and broadcast ads, the tax office can make an 'educated guess' of how much you made off of that, and tax you for it. This however does not legalise your illegal radio station..
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        The US does that too.

        I once saw a PDF published by the IRS explaining how to report money from alternative income sources. There was a section on "bribes and kickbacks", a section on illegal drug sales, a section on "other illegal activities".

        They just want your money; they don't care how you made it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by tinkerghost ( 944862 )

      The only thing that slightly worries me about this: if the EULA is what is causing MS to pay the tax, then in paying the tax, MS can clearly say that the EULA is valid (in India at least) as the government has demanded legal taxes based on it.

      Not really. What it says is that MS doesn't believe what it's trying to tell the Indian court. Whether the EULA is legitimate or not, MS operates as if it is - as such, they are stating the software is licensed not sold.

      Courts - in the US & most western countries

  • by kwandar ( 733439 ) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @10:47AM (#22951352)
    The treaty is based on the model treaty of the Organization for Economic Development ("OECD"). Article 7 of OECD treaties says there is no withholding tax on sales, while Article 12 says that there may be up to a 15% withholding tax on royalties.

    As much as I might like to say "ha ha, its MS", there is a real question here. Does the customer buy the package software, or the license to use the software?

    This issue won't work in India's favour. They may collect more tax but Indian business will be hurt as we would charge extra if there is withholding tax. Also, Indian companies can expect the same treatment when selling their software to other countries, as well.

    Treaties are a two way street.
  • by Dr.Dubious DDQ ( 11968 ) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @11:19AM (#22951744) Homepage

    I hadn't thought about it before, but considering what the RIA/MPA/BSA and such are costing us in court time and enforcement, perhaps it's time to crank up the royalty tax rates to offset the costs (and I would assume that payments for permission to use patents should also count as "royalties", yes?).

    Certainly a substantial increase in the royalty tax rate should perhaps be a part of any "intellectual property" "reform" bill as proposed by those who profit from it (and perhaps this would encourage people to go back to actually SELLING things and slow the stampede towards the "bribe someone for permission to use under restricted conditions" model...)

God made the integers; all else is the work of Man. -- Kronecker