It’s a fact of life: Pirates be pirating. As a defence against having their intellectual properties swiped, cracked and traded online like so many baseball cards, a lot of companies have turned to Digital Right Management; a move that seldom does more than temporarily slow pirates and enrage paying customers. Fortunately, there’s a growing number of non-DRM related options out there for developers and software vendors to explore that’ll stymy piracy while respect the rights of their paying users. Read on for more!
Almost half of the computer users in the world are criminals; no good, stinkin’ pirates who pilfer programs they don’t hold the proper licenses for. At least, that’s what the Business Software Alliance (a trade group whose entire purpose is stopping the use of pirated software) says after conducting a 15,000 user study in 32 countries. You’re probably a hypocrite, too – at least according to the BSA numbers.
The Chinese government is getting ready to launch a new national campaign aimed at cracking down on violations of intellectual property rights and the production and distribution of pirated and counterfeit software and movies, the Xinhua News Agency reports.
According to the report, the campaign will last about six months and target pirated publications, software products, DVDs, designs, and other copyrighted products, both at the production and distribution levels.
The Chinese government vowed to "mete out stern punishment to businesses involved in the import and export of such goods," though didn't elaborate what exactly that punishment might be.
"I was aware that the BSA offers a financial payment but I never expected this much money," the whistleblower, only identified as a Microsoft certified IT Professional, was quoted as saying by the BSA. "This is definitely an extra motivation for other people like me, already frustrated by a management that thinks that they can get more with less."
This news comes on the heels of BSA's revelation that it settled with more than 1,000 companies in the first six months of 2010. It further said that these “settlements” helped it recoup £6.5 million in damages and licensing fees.
Softpedia reports that pirated copies of Windows 7 will be provided with security updates, update rollups, and even service packs. What is Microsoft thinking? Is Redmond promoting piracy?
The idea of providing security and other updates to pirated copies as well as legit copies of Windows might seem crazy, but here's the reasoning, straight from Paul Cooke, director of Windows Client Enterprise Security:
Keeping a machine up to date is one of the first steps in helping ensure that they remain reliable, compatible, and safe from threats when they are online. Some of the most famous incidents of malicious software infection have come after security updates were publicly available from Microsoft - Blaster, Zotob, Conficker and Sasser, just to name a few. Rest assured that we at Microsoft are committed to making sure that security updates are available to all of our users to help ensure a safe online experience for everyone.
Note that Cooke is laying the blame for many recent security problems where it belongs: on users and companies who will not upgrade their software to block such threats. By continuing the recent policy of allowing users of non-genuine Windows to receive security updates, Microsoft is saying, in effect, 'don't blame us if unpatched systems are compromised.'
However, don't think that Redmond's turning a patched eye to either casual piracy or software counterfeiting. Pirated copies of Windows 7 won't be eligible for some of Microsoft's goodies, and Softpedia points out that counterfeit copies of Windows often come with a "free" bonus: malware.
For your chance to sound off on security for software pirates, join us after the jump.
The World Series might be over (congrats Philly fans), but baseball fever is apparently sweeping through France in the form of a "three strikes" copyright enforcement proposal gaining ground in the country's Senate. The pitch is this: Get caught downloading illegal content a first time and receive an email from the ISP with a warning. A second strike earns a written letter via snail mail, and a third strike means you're out. Of course, in baseball striking out is only temporary until the next at-bat, and for internet surfers caught breaking the law three times, they'd have to wait a year before having their internet connection turned back on.
The controversial legislation is receiving widespread support with a cross-party vote showing 297 in favor of the new law and only 16 voting against. That leaves it up to the French National Assembly to vote on and decide the proposal's fate. If it should pass, the French government could find itself at odds with the European Parliament, who earlier this year shot down the notion of cutting off repeat offenders.
Think this type of legislation could ever fly in the U.S.? Hit the jump and post your thoughts.