Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 12th Sep 2010 21:16 UTC
Microsoft Piracy is a big problem for large software vendors licensors like Microsoft. As such, the Redmond giant is undertaking several anti-piracy efforts all over the world, and, of course, it attempts to make its software harder to crack through activation and validation. As The New York Times has discovered, however, the prevalence of pirated Microsoft software in Russia is giving the Russian authorities a pretence to raid the offices of outspoken advocacy groups or opposition media - supported by Microsoft lawyers. Update: Microsoft responds with a blog post that says all the right things, including "Microsoft will create a new unilateral software license for NGOs that will ensure they have free, legal copies of our products."
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In the face of protests from the accused, this is not a PR-credible act for a government ... at the very least it is considerably less credible than the case where the accused admit to be using commercial software.

We're talking about Russia. Russia is pretty much a dictatorship at this point. If even in the US large corporations control the legal agenda, how do you think Russia is going to be?

Russia's government doesn't need to worry about PR because they control most of the media, and use fear as a means to silence the rest.

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