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Software looters cause loss of VAST amounts of wealth!

P: n/a
LW
Who among this group believes that Microsoft (or any other creator of
intellectual property) does NOT have both a RIGHT and a DUTY to
protect the product of their minds?
================================================== =========

Microsoft denies WGA kill switch in Windows XP
Eric Lai

June 30, 2006 (Computerworld) Microsoft Corp. today denied
speculation that it plans to cripple copies of Windows XP for users
who refuse to install its controversial antipiracy tool, Windows
Genuine Advantage (WGA).

But the software company confirmed that for its upcoming Windows Vista
operating system, companies will be required to activate their
software differently than they do today in order to prevent the
leakage of volume licenses that are the source of most Windows piracy.

A ZDNet.com blogger reported earlier in the week on a conversation
between a Windows user and a Microsoft support staffer, who allegedly
admitted that users who refused to install the WGA update would be
given 30 days before their copies of Windows would stop working.

ZDNet.com said that Microsoft refused to deny the report at the time.
But later, Microsoft appeared to sing a different tune.

“No, Microsoft antipiracy technologies cannot and will not turn off
your computer,” said a spokeswoman with Waggener Edstrom, Microsoft’s
public relations firm. “The game is changing for counterfeiters. In
Windows Vista, we are making it notably harder and less appealing to
use counterfeit software, and we will work to make that a consistent
experience with older versions of Windows as well.”

Microsoft last fall began testing WGA as a way of trying to find
pirated copies of Windows. In mid-June, it announced that users would
need to download and pass WGA to be eligible to download the latest
versions of add-on software such as Internet Explorer 7 and Windows
Media Player 11. Users would still be able get the latest security
updates, though. Companies that buy Windows XP through large package
deals are exempt from having to install WGA.

Since then, Microsoft has taken considerable heat from consumers and
the media, who have likened WGA to spyware that has sometimes
inaccurately labeled legal copies of Windows as pirated.

Through its spokeswoman, Microsoft said that “80% of all WGA
validation failures are due to unauthorized use of leaked or stolen
volume license keys.”

Still, WGA has been so controversial that it led a French programmer
to develop a tool to delete WGA and a Windows customer in Los Angeles
to file a class-action lawsuit.

Microsoft has tried to appease customers by releasing a new version of
WGA that checks users’ computers only once a month, rather than every
day.

The lawsuit, filed this week in U.S. District Court in Seattle,
alleges that WGA violates antispyware laws by not fully disclosing
itself when it was delivered to Windows users through Auto-Update. The
suit is headed by the same lawyer who also led the class-action
lawsuit earlier this year against Sony Corp. for not disclosing that
it had placed copy-protection rootkit software on customers’ PCs via
music CDs it sold. The rootkits disabled users' protections against
viruses and spyware. Sony later settled the lawsuit.

Microsoft called the lawsuit “baseless.” It said WGA is a necessary
part of its campaign to catch those illegally using Windows XP,
especially those using volume license keys issued to corporations.

Volume licenses have long been Microsoft’s Achilles heel. Corporations
are generally issued a single volume license key -- a text string of
alphanumeric characters -- which is used to activate hundreds or
thousands of copies of Windows at a time. Those strings can be copied
or stolen and have been passed around on the Internet.

To thwart the practice, corporations that upgrade to Windows Vista
along with Longhorn Server will be required to run a small application
called a Key Management Service. According to Microsoft and analysts,
the service will track how many copies of the software the companies
have paid for and how many they have installed.

When asked if companies that have installed more copies of Vista than
they have purchased will find those copies de-activated, Microsoft
said through its spokeswoman that companies “should think of it more
like an application that tracks and protects their use of their Volume
License keys and installations.”

Paul DeGroot, an analyst at Kirkland, Wash.-based Directions On
Microsoft, said that while most consumers may find this sort of
tracking by Microsoft intrusive, many corporations may actually
welcome it.

“Most corporations have no interest with getting away with anything at
Microsoft’s expense,” he said. Indeed, corporations, especially those
that have merged with another company or undergone a restructuring,
often have a hard time keeping track of all the software they own.
Most will “overbuy licenses because it’s cheaper to do that then to
designate staff people to actively manage them.”

Microsoft said the Key Management Service will include administrative
tools to help companies manage licenses.

“Microsoft isn’t tracking the numbers of copies installed; the key
management services are internal to the organization,” the spokeswoman
said. “We will be rolling out Vista deployment guidebooks and
information for customers and channel partners later this summer.

As for consumer users of Vista, DeGroot said there is a good chance
they will encounter WGA, or something like it.

The Microsoft spokeswoman added, “We don’t have specific details to
share on individual features of WGA in Windows Vista at this time, but
WGA will continue to be a part of Microsoft’s Genuine Software
Initiative.”
Jul 1 '06 #1
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4 Replies


P: n/a
I would guess your answer to your question would be no then.

--

Terry Kreft
"LW" <pr*****@private.com> wrote in message
news:pr********************************@4ax.com...
Who among this group believes that Microsoft (or any other creator of
intellectual property) does NOT have both a RIGHT and a DUTY to
protect the product of their minds?
================================================== =========

<SNIPPED LARGE PIECE OF COPYRIGHT MATERIAL>
Jul 1 '06 #2

P: n/a
On Sat, 1 Jul 2006 19:12:33 +0100, "Terry Kreft" <te*********@mps.co.uk> wrote:
I would guess your answer to your question would be no then.


Anything which prevents dowloads of new versions of windows media player would be a blessing in
disguise!

Jul 1 '06 #3

P: n/a
LOL!

--

Terry Kreft
"polite person" <sn**@snippers.com> wrote in message
news:uv********************************@4ax.com...
On Sat, 1 Jul 2006 19:12:33 +0100, "Terry Kreft" <te*********@mps.co.uk> wrote:
I would guess your answer to your question would be no then.
Anything which prevents dowloads of new versions of windows media player

would be a blessing in disguise!

Jul 1 '06 #4

P: n/a
On Sat, 01 Jul 2006 12:08:34 -0500, LW <pr*****@private.com> wrote:

My problem is not if MS wants to check to see if I have a legal copy of its
software but rather to insist I install updates whether I want them or not.

Chuck
--
The Microsoft spokeswoman added, “We don’t have specific details to
share on individual features of WGA in Windows Vista at this time, but
WGA will continue to be a part of Microsoft’s Genuine Software
Initiative.”


Jul 1 '06 #5

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Replies have been disabled for this discussion.