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01.31.10

What Makes Hollywood Happy: Microsoft Sues BitTorrent Tracker for $43,000,000

Posted in Courtroom, DRM, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 9:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Pirate

Summary: Microsoft takes on Web sites that merely provide links to arbitrary files on people’s hard drives

FROM the company that itself applied for patents on DRM-laden torrents comes a lawsuit which would make Hollywood cheerful [1, 2]: [via]

In conjunction with Lithuanian anti-piracy outfit LANVA, software giant Microsoft has sued the alleged operator of the country’s largest BitTorrent site. Microsoft is demanding $43 million from the defendant and his company for assisting in the illegal distribution of Office 2003 and 2007.

Microsoft is attacking sharing as a whole rather than issue takedown requests that prevent sharing of its proprietary software. This puts Microsoft alongside the RIAA and MPAA. The FSF has been fighting to defend file sharing, which needn’t be copyrighted material at all. Microsoft should go after downloaders of its software, not the Web site which was abused by users. Doesn’t Microsoft have registration mechanisms and kill switches with which to track illegal installations? Maybe it’s just not interested in enforcing these.

“No less than Bill Gates himself said in a recent Fortune article that Microsoft competes better against Linux in China when there’s piracy than when there isn’t.

“So, Microsoft actively looks the other way as people pirate its software. It builds its market share that way, and lets people get used to the idea of having Windows at a certain price.”

ECT

For those who wonder why Microsoft is a threat to Free software, this is another reason. Microsoft is seeking to bankrupt the very means of Free software distribution, just as SourceForge was once sued for merely hosting software that might be used to share files that might be copyrighted.

“Should we ban pen and paper because they can be used by terrorists to communicate?”To attack P2P as a whole is like attacking USENET as a whole. Just because something can be used illegally does not mean it should be banned. Should we ban kitchen knives too and use our teeth instead? No? Should we also remove our teeth? How about communication? Should we ban pen and paper because they can be used by terrorists to communicate? Should we ban hard drives because they too can be used for filesharing (plugging them to different computers)? How about USB keys? They already happen to be taxed by the copyright cartel in some countries, so buying them is an admission of (and fine for) copyright violation that was not committed.

“Everybody is connected to everybody else, all data that can be shared will be shared will be shared: get used to it.”

Eben Moglen

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3 Comments

  1. Chips B. Malroy said,

    January 31, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    Gravatar

    Quoting the title: “What Makes Hollywood Happy: Microsoft Sues BitTorrent Tracker for $43,000,000″
    —————————————————————————————
    First MS come out with WGA. Then MS sues XP copywrite commercial infringers (pirates). But don’t forget the Russian Schoolmaster that was sued indirectly and Billy G. would not intervene on his behalf. This title is about another way of MS using the patent lockin to sue torrent p2p outfits, so to slow down the piracy of MS products, except that MS would like control of the torrent technology itself by extending it with patents/encryption.

    As MS continues to decline in profits they will become more disparate for money. It is clear from a comment at Mini, the direction of things to come short term at MS:

    http://minimsft.blogspot.com/2010/01/microsoft-fy10q2-results.html?showComment=1264876924027#c8201273057094733373

    Quote: “Windows 7 was available for ordering in the first quarter of fiscal year 2010.

    Revenue July–Dec 2008 was $31.7B
    Revenue July–Dec 2009 is $31.9B

    Virtually flat. We have launched a new operating system, and still making only as much revenue as during the recession season.

    Now let us look at the net income equation.

    Income July–Dec 2008 was $8.54B
    Income July–Dec 2009 is $10.23B

    A growth of almost 20%. Where is this growth coming from? Cost cutting and layoffs. Expect more of what worked.”
    —————————————————————————————Also expect more lawsuits for copywrite/patent infringement. And how can you be sure, that MS will never sue individual user like the media companies have? MS has data mined much of their software to phone home, including Windows and Office. Its not like they do not have the data already who to sue.

    Again, if MS continues to lose Market Share and Profits, at some point, it is not unreasonable that they go after those who do not pay in mature markets.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I think you’re right about “extending” the technology. Wait until they use their patents to make “signed” (or approved with DRM) torrents as the more/only legal form. Forget checksums…

  2. uberVU - social comments said,

    February 1, 2010 at 3:12 am

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by schestowitz: What Makes #Hollywood Happy: #Microsoft Sues #BitTorrent Tracker for $43,000,000 http://ur1.ca/l576

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