Clash between East And West

Microsoft has been cracking down on piracy in China recently and this has made a lot of Chinese people angry on the Internet. 
The new version of its Windows Genuine Advantage anti-piracy programme turns the on-screen background black every hour if the installed software fails a validation test. Previous versions simply notified users their product was counterfeit.

Angry Chinese user: "The computer is mine!" one angry blogger wrote on the popular Chinese web portal "Microsoft has no right to control my hardware without my agreement."

My Response: Software always controls hardware. You can’t have software without hardware.  When you obtained an unlicensed and unauthorized copy of Windows, you don’t retain ownership of the software.  Microsoft still owns the software because you, or the person you bought your computer on, didn’t pay for it.  So you don’t own the software running on your computer and Microsoft can do whatever they want with it because it’s still their property.  If you had bought a license to use Windows, then you would have a valid complaint, but you don’t, and the software running on your computer is still property of Microsoft until you pay for a license to own it instead of buyiing it once and making 1000 copies of it.

Chinese Lawyer: Dong Zhengwei, 35, a Beijing lawyer, has complained to the public security ministry, describing the software giant as the "biggest hacker in China, with its intrusion into users’ computer systems without their agreement or any judicial authority".

The users installed software that is owned and is property of Microsoft. They did not purchase a license to own the software themselves, so the software that they’re running on their home computers is property of Microsoft because the user doesn’t have a license to own it. Since the user doesn’t have a license to own the software, there is no "intrusion" because the software is still owned by Microsoft and they can change the behavior of it any way they see fit.  This change that Microsoft has done only affects copies of Windows where the user has not purchased a license to own the software and thus, is only affecting software installations that are owned by Microsoft.

Chinese Lawyer: He told the official China Daily newspaper that he believed the measure breached China’s criminal law, adding: "I respect the right of Microsoft to protect its intellectual property, but it is taking on the wrong target with wrong measures. They should target producers and sellers of fake software, not users."

My Response: Microsoft is not targeting users, they’re targeting unlicensed copies of their software.  Chinese companies who continue to sell computers with illegal installations of Windows on it are passing the burdon of obtaining a license to own the software onto the user.  The Chinese companies are the ones lieing to their customers and the people who purchased computers from these Chinese companies need to take a class action lawsuits against the Chinese companies if they believe that they’re entitled to a licensed copy of Windows.  It is always the individual’s resposibility to ensure that they have the proper license.

Microsoft argues that counterfeit software poses a far greater risk to information security and says that it is helping users who may not be aware that they are using a fake product – and who risk problems such as data corruption or even identity theft.

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