By Mike Masnick on TechDirt:
from the surely-that’s-not-the-best-use-of-money? dept
In the past, Microsoft used to be willing to admit that unauthorized copies helped the company, as it helped establish its software as a near-monopoly in certain areas, and kept competitors out. But, in the past few years, the company has become more adamant, not just about denying any possible “benefits” to unauthorized copies, but in trying to crack down on them at any cost. The NY Times has an article highlighting Microsoft’s “fight” against unauthorized copies, and does so with dramatic (and cinematic) claims about how organized crime groups are turning to software copying, as an alternative to drugs.
Of course, this ignores the fact that such organized crime groups have actually discovered that it’s harder and harder to make money with counterfeit software — because more and more such software is just available for free online, leaving little reason to pay anything for it, especially from counterfeiters. But, what strikes me as most interesting through the blatantly ridiculous claims throughout the article from Microsoft’s folks and its stand-ins at the BSA, is that all the company is really doing here is spending a ton of money to convince people to look at cheaper (or free) alternatives.