Anti-piracy enforcers claiming to represent Microsoft used to shut down dissident media in former USSR


16 Responses to “Anti-piracy enforcers claiming to represent Microsoft used to shut down dissident media in former USSR”

  1. 5ynic says:

    Off topic (beg your indulgence this once!): Re Chrs#4 – I’ve asked lawyer friends and drawn a blank on this one… Can any of you clever BB regulars please enlighten me: Is there a technical term (or term of art) for the tactic of making common practices illegal so that you can later arrest whomever you want?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hello linux??? Why cant these journalists use Linux if they cannot afford to pay for Windows? How hard can it be? They would rather risk it all with Mr. Pirated Windows than to use Linux which is freeware 100% Linux have more than 100,000 available software within its repositories that I am sure can meet every one of these people’s needs.

  3. Anonymous says:

    this is why i dont use microsoft products anymore.

  4. highlyverbal says:

    “any suggestion that Microsoft approved or supported this police action is inaccurate.”

    Well this is not strictly true.

    Certainly Microsoft is in favor of an IP enforcement regime that has these kinds of powers. And I don’t remember any Microsoft proposals for checks on these powers? Sanctions for their abuse? So they definitely approve/support at a regime level. Everyone said that this is what it would entail!

    The only thing that they can honestly claim here is that person x was not representing them in an investigative capacity in this matter.

    • Frenetic says:

      @highlyverbal: That’s pretty much what I was going to say.

      Microsoft supports “intellectual property” laws from which brutal censorship regimes logically follow. Freedom of speech and strong copyright are mutually exclusive objectives.

  5. TheAntipodean says:

    Time to move to Open Office on Linux Mint.

  6. holtt says:

    My vote for putting the updates at the top of the article not the bottom.

  7. Danny O'Brien says:

    Just to be clear, Microsoft says they knew nothing about this raid. Here’s their statement on the matter:
    “The raid against Stan Media was initiated by the Kyrgyz police without any involvement from any Microsoft employees or anyone working on Microsoft’s behalf. The identified local lawyer has been representing Microsoft in a few enforcement actions targeting resellers of pirated software, but at this time he was asked to assist the police to identify possible unlicensed software in the role of a technical specialist from the local ‘Association of Right Holders of Intellectual Property Protection’. No claims were filed on Microsoft’s behalf and any suggestion that Microsoft approved or supported this police action is inaccurate.”

    More info on the story from Jeffrey Carr here:

  8. dculberson says:

    Sounds like someone needs some concrete and lead computer cases. Nothing like 30,000 pounds of ballast to keep a computer network in place.

  9. Danny O'Brien says:

    (and yes, Internet Advocacy Coordinator at the Committee to Protect journalists is my new gig, though I was surprised as anyone that IP issues would crop up so quickly. I was somewhat hoping to give that side of things a rest after working on them so long at EFF…)

    If you want to follow this stuff more closely, I’m at

  10. rmstallman says:

    I was disappointed that the article uses the propaganda terms
    “pirated” and “Intellectual Property”. The latter term is so
    misleading that even quoting a name in which it appears spreads
    confusion if you don’t deconstruct the term.
    See for more information.

    Also, to say that “software piracy” is a “legitimate problem”
    whitewashes the real problem: proprietary software which forbid

    Brazil used unauthorized copies of software as an excuse in the 90s to
    arrest activists of the landless rural workers’ movement. In that
    case, the copies really were unauthorized, but that didn’t alter the
    effect. To protect themselves, they moved to GNU/Linux. Everyone
    else should do that too.

  11. Chrs says:

    Wonderful example of why widely-practiced things probably shouldn’t be illegal. It’s far too tempting to selectively target enemies of the enforcement structure, whether state or corporate.

    Of course, there’s the choice between changing the situation by improving enforcement or by legalization, but either way, change.

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