09.02.11

Microsoft Strikes Back In Vietnam (Leaked)

Posted in Asia, Cablegate, Microsoft at 10:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Ho Chi Minh

Summary: Microsoft co-opts diplomats that the US public pays for to lobby for changes in law overseas and “MICROSOFT CHOSE TO USE ITS SINGAPORE LEGAL OFFICE AS THE “BAD COP” IN ORDER TO KEEP MR. CUONG OUT OF THE LIMELIGHT AND PRESERVE HIS “GOOD COP” ROLE WITH LOCAL COMPANIES,” reveals a secret diplomatic cable

In a record labelled “VIETNAM’S IPR ENFORCEMENT: MICROSOFT STRIKES BACK UNCLASSIFIED”, information is revealed regarding Microsoft’s operations in Vietnam, which we recently covered in this post. Also see:

Let’s go through he cable very quickly and highlight some bits of interest:


060441Z Nov 02

2002HOCHI01123 - UNCLASSIFIED
 
 
 
                           UNCLASSIFIED     PTQ0090

PAGE 01        HO CHI  01123  01 OF 02  060451Z 
ACTION STR-00   

INFO  LOG-00   AGRE-00  AID-00   AMAD-00  CEA-01   CIAE-00  COME-00  
      CTME-00  DINT-00  DODE-00  ITCE-00  DOTE-00  SRPP-00  EAP-00   
      EB-00    EXME-00  E-00     UTED-00  VC-00    FRB-00   H-01     
      TEDE-00  INR-00   ITC-01   LAB-01   LOC-01   L-00     VCE-00   
      AC-01    NSAE-00  NSCE-00  OES-00   OMB-01   OPIC-01  PA-00    
      PRS-00   ACE-00   SP-00    SSO-00   SS-00    TEST-00  TRSE-00  
      USIE-00  DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00  SAS-00     /010W
                  ------------------040D37  060550Z /38    
FM AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 7037
INFO AMEMBASSY HANOI 
AMEMBASSY BANGKOK 
AMEMBASSY BEIJING 
AMEMBASSY SINGAPORE 

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HO CHI MINH CITY 001123 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
STATE PLS PASS TO USTR EBRYAN AND KALVAREZ 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: VM, ECON, ETRD, KIPR, IPROP 
SUBJECT: VIETNAM\'S IPR ENFORCEMENT: MICROSOFT STRIKES BACK 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
 
PAGE 02        HO CHI  01123  01 OF 02  060451Z 
 
1. (SBU) SUMMARY:  INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS (IPR) ENFORCEMENT 
AUTHORITIES IN HO CHI MINH CITY, VIETNAM RAIDED LOCAL COMPUTER 
SHOPS ON OCTOBER 17, SEIZING APPROXIMATELY 7000 PIRATED DISKS. 
THIS ACTION MARKS THE FIRST ILLEGAL SOFTWARE RAID IN VIETNAM. 
ALTHOUGH MICROSOFT CLAIMED VICTORY, THE RAID IN FACT HAD LIMITED 
SUCCESS DUE TO INADEQUATE TRAINING AND MICROSOFT\'S OWN INTERNAL 
DILEMMA - WHETHER TO PUSH FOR STRONG IPR ENFORCEMENT OR GOOD 
RELATIONS WITH RETAIL DISTRIBUTORS.  END SUMMARY. 
 
2. (SBU) MICROSOFT ESTABLISHED A REPRESENTATIVE OFFICE IN HANOI IN 
1996 AND A BRANCH IN HCMC TWO MONTHS AGO.  IT IS THE FIRST 
SOFTWARE COMPANY TO TRY TO ENFORCE THE 1997 U.S-VIETNAM COPYRIGHT 
AGREEMENT.  WHEN MICROSOFT\'S CHIEF REPRESENTATIVE IN VIETNAM, MR. 
NGO P 
HUC CUONG, OPENED THE HCMC OFFICE, HE TOLD CONSUL GENERAL AND 
ECONOFF THAT MICROSOFT PLANNED TO RAID ILLEGAL SOFTWARE SHOPS AND 
CRACK DOWN ON VIETNAM\'S RAMPANT PIRACY RATE.  MR. CUONG ESTIMATED 
THIS RATE AT 94 PERCENT, DOWN FROM THE PREVIOUS YEAR\'S 97 PERCENT. 
 
3. (SBU) PLANNING FOR THE ACTUAL RAID REACHED HIGH LEVELS OF 
INTRIGUE, AND ILLUSTRATES WHY IPR ENFORCEMENT IS SO DIFFICULT IN 
VIETNAM.  MICROSOFT CHOSE TO USE ITS SINGAPORE LEGAL OFFICE AS THE 
\"BAD COP\" IN ORDER TO KEEP MR. CUONG OUT OF THE LIMELIGHT AND 
PRESERVE HIS \"GOOD COP\" ROLE WITH LOCAL COMPANIES.  THE SINGAPORE 
REPRESENTATIVE WORKED CLOSELY WITH AN EXPATRIATE LAW FIRM IN HCMC, 
AS WELL AS MR. HUYNH TAN PHONG, THE HEAD OF THE MARKET MANAGEMENT 
BOARD (MMB).  (NOTE:  SOURCES SAY THAT MICROSOFT\'S DECISION TO USE 
ITS SINGAPORE OFFICE MAY HAVE BACKFIRED.  THE SINGAPORE OFFICE, 
FAMILIAR WITH THAILAND AND INDIA, FAILED TO APPRECIATE THE 
DIFFICULTY OF WORKING IN A COMMUNIST COUNTRY WHERE IPR ENFORCEMENT 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 03        HO CHI  01123  01 OF 02  060451Z 
IS A BRAND-NEW AND SUSPECT CONCEPT.  MISUNDERSTANDINGS AND MUTUAL 
FRUSTRATION WERE FREQUENT.  CONGEN NOMINATED MR. PHONG FOR AN IPR 
INTERNATIONAL VISITORS GRANT LAST SUMMER AND WILL CONTINUE TO 
FOCUS ON BUILDING IPR ENFORCEMENT CAPACITY AS PART OF THE 
MISSIONWIDE STRATEGY.  END NOTE.) 
 
4.  (SBU) THE MMB IS THE RELEVANT IPR INSPECTION AUTHORITY ON 
SOFTWARE PIRACY.   MICROSOFT HELD A ONE-DAY TRAINING FOR 40 MMB 
INSPECTORS ON HOW TO IDENTIFY COUNTERFEIT DISKS, WHICH ARE EASILY 
DISTINGUISHABLE FROM GENUINE PRODUCTS.  HOWEVER, MR. PHONG WAS 
RELUCTANT TO PROCEED WITHOUT SPECIFIC AUTHORITY FROM THE HCMC 
PEOPLE\'S COMMITTEE.  MICROSOFT ACCORDINGLY SOUGHT AND OBTAINED 
STRONG ENDORSEMENT FOR THE RAID FROM DR. NGUYEN THIEN NHAN, THE 
COMMITTEE\'S FIRST VICE CHAIRMAN AND AN ACTIVE IT SUPPORTER.  BUT 
AT THE LAST MINUTE, MR. PHONG POSTPONED THE RAID - WITHOUT 
EXPLANATION - POSSIBLY TO ASSERT HIS INDEPENDENCE. 
 
5. (U) ON THE APPOINTED DAY, MMB INSPECTION TEAMS, WITH 
REPRESENTATIVES FROM MICROSOFT AND THE EXPAT LAW FIRM IN TOW, 
SIMULTANEOUSLY RAIDED SEVEN RETAIL OUTLETS AND SEIZED 
APPROXIMATELY 7000 DISKS.  THE STORES RANGED FROM SMALL \"MOM AND 
POP\" SHOPS TO LARGE SOPHISTICATED OPERATIONS.  ONE STORE WAS EVEN 
SELLING PIRATED SOFTWARE ON ITS WEBSITE, WWW.PCLEHOAN.COM.  MMB 
TEAMS CONFISCATED THE DISKS AND WILL EVENTUALLY DESTROY THEM. 
SOME OF THE SHOP OWNERS COMPLAINED, \"HOW CAN YOU DO THIS WHEN THE 
GOVERNMENT ITSELF IS USING OUR (COUNTERFEIT) STUFF?\"  THE MMB, 
ALSO RESPONSIBLE FOR SETTING THE FINES, HAS NOT YET ANNOUNCED THE 
CHARGES OR THE AMOUNTS.  FINES COULD REACH VND 20-40 MILLION 
(USD1300-2600) FOR THE FIRST VIOLATION AND VND 50-70 MILLION 
(USD3300-4600) FOR EACH ADDITIONAL VIOLATION.  EACH PIRATED DISK 
COULD BE CONSIDERED A SEPARATE VIOLATION. 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 04        HO CHI  01123  01 OF 02  060451Z 
 
6. (SBU) THE EXPATRIATE LAWYER WORKING WITH MICROSOFT CALLED THE 
RAID A SUCCESS, BUT POINTED OUT VARIOUS WEAKNESSES IN THE 
ENFORCEMENT CHAIN.  FIRST, THE MMB TEAMS FOCUSED ONLY ON THE 
MICROSOFT TRADEMARK VIOLATION.  TEAMS SEIZED MICROSOFT SOFTWARE 
AND LEFT BEHIND BLANK DISKS OR BLATANTLY PIRATED SOFTWARE OF NON- 
MICROSOFT ORIGIN.  SECOND, EACH MMB TEAM HAD A DIFFERENT APPROACH. 
SOME TEAMS LEFT BEHIND DISKS LABELED ONLY AS \"MS WORD,\" WHILE 
OTHERS SEIZED ANY MICROSOFT PRODUCT, REGARDLESS OF LABELING. 
THIRD, THE TEAMS SEIZED ONLY A SMALL NUMBER OF DISKS, ALTHOUGH 
MICROSOFT\'S PRE-RAID SURVEY SHOWED THAT EACH STORE STOCKED 5000- 
10,000 PIRATED DISKS.  THE LAW FIRM REPRESENTATIVE WHO ACCOMPANIED 
MMB ON THE RAID URGED MICROSOFT TO INSTRUCT MMB TO SEIZE GREATER 
QUANTITIES OF PIRATED MATERIAL, BUT THE MICROSOFT REPRESENTATIVE 
BACKED DOWN IN THE FACE OF ANGRY PROTESTS FROM SHOP OWNERS. 
FINALLY, THE TEAMS SEIZED A DISPROPORTIONATE AMOUNT OF DISKS FROM 
SMALL OPERATORS, WHOSE SALES HAVE LITTLE IMPACT ON THE MARKET. 
THE MMB SEIZED ONLY APPROXIMATELY 500 DISKS FROM EACH OF THE BIG 
OPERATORS, AND LESS THAN 100 FROM THE STORE SELLING PIRATED 
SOFTWARE ON THE INTERNET (AFTER SHOP MANAGERS AGAIN DISPUTED 
MICROSOFT\'S RIGHT TO SEIZE NON-MICROSOFT PRODUCT).  THE TEAM 
SEIZED ONLY 40 DISKS FROM THE BIGGEST KNOWN COMMERCIAL DEALER. 
 
7. (SBU) MICROSOFT ANNOUNCED ITS SATISFACTION WITH THE RAID AND 
PLANS TO CONDUCT MORE IN COMING MONTHS.  MR. CUONG WANTS FUTURE 
RAIDS TO FOCUS ON THE REAL PROBLEMS IN VIETNAM: COMPUTER STORES 
LOADING SOFTWARE DIRECTLY ONTO HARD DRIVES AND MULTIPLE COPIES 
DISTRIBUTED THROUGH AN ORGANIZATION WITH ONLY ONE LICENSED DISK. 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
                           UNCLASSIFIED     PTQ0096 
 
PAGE 01        HO CHI  01123  02 OF 02  060451Z 
ACTION STR-00 
 
INFO  LOG-00   AGRE-00  AID-00   AMAD-00  CEA-01   CIAE-00  COME-00 
      CTME-00  DINT-00  DODE-00  ITCE-00  DOTE-00  SRPP-00  EAP-00 
      EB-00    EXME-00  E-00     UTED-00  VC-00    FRB-00   H-01 
      TEDE-00  INR-00   ITC-01   LAB-01   LOC-01   L-00     VCE-00 
      AC-01    NSAE-00  NSCE-00  OES-00   OMB-01   OPIC-01  PA-00 
      PRS-00   ACE-00   SP-00    SSO-00   SS-00    TEST-00  TRSE-00 
      USIE-00  DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00  SAS-00     /010W 
                  ------------------040D60  060552Z /38 
R 060441Z NOV 02 
FM AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY 
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 7038 
INFO AMEMBASSY HANOI 
AMEMBASSY BANGKOK 
AMEMBASSY BEIJING 
AMEMBASSY SINGAPORE 
 
UNCLAS SECTION 02 OF 02 HO CHI MINH CITY 001123 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
STATE PLS PASS TO USTR EBRYAN AND KALVAREZ 
 
 
THE LAW FIRM, HOWEVER, BELIEVES MMB FEELS IT HAS DONE ENOUGH FOR 
MICROSOFT THIS YEAR AND WILL BE RELUCTANT TO EMBARK UPON ANOTHER 
RAID SOON. 
 
8. (SBU) COMMENT: MICROSOFT\'S ENFORCEMENT EFFORT DEMONSTRATES SOME 
OF THE COMPLEXITY IN TRYING TO DEFEND IPR RIGHTS IN VIETNAM\'S 
OVERWHELMINGLY COUNTERFEIT SOFTWARE MARKET. POST HAS LEARNED THAT 
AS MANY AS HALF OF THE SEIZED DISKS WILL BE RETURNED TO THE SHOPS 
BECAUSE THEY ARE BLANK OR CONTAIN NON-MICROSOFT SOFTWARE.  WITHOUT 
ADEQUATE TRAINING AND CLEAR UNDERSTANDING OF TRADEMARK AND 
COPYRIGHT LAW, THESE RAIDS CAN ONLY BE HALF-MEASURES.  MICROSOFT 
REPRESENTATIVES EXPRESSED FRUSTRATION THAT OTHER SOFTWARE 
COMPANIES ARE NOT ACTIVELY ENFORCING THEIR IPR RIGHTS IN VIETNAM. 
THESE OTHER COMPANIES ARE CONTENT TO LET MICROSOFT CARRY THE WATER 
-- AND ALSO INCUR THE WRATH OF POTENTIAL RETAIL DISTRIBUTORS. 
WHILE THE CONFLICT BETWEEN STRONG IPR ENFORCEMENT AND GOOD RETAIL 
RELATIONS REFLECTS THE ALMOST TOTAL LACK OF PURE, LEGITIMATE 
DISTRIBUTORS IN VIETNAM, MICROSOFT AND OTHER COMPANIES WILL HAVE 
TO ADDRESS THESE COMPETING GOALS MORE EFFECTIVELY BEFORE THEY CAN 
EXPECT STRONG ENFORCEMENT OR SALES.  MEANWHILE, IPR ISSUES WILL 
CONTINUE TO UNDERMINE VIETNAM\'S OWN AMBITIONS TO BECOME AN IT 
CENTER.     YAMAUCHI 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 


So taxpayers in Vietnam pay their police/authorities in order to serve as extended Microsoft staff (who are used as a proxy like the BSA). They then attack the Vietnamese population. Why? Because the US says it needs to be done. Those who think outside the box can easily see what’s wrong with this picture.

“They’ll get sort of addicted, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.”

Bill Gates

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2011/09/02/vietnam-microsoft-actions/

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Was Microsoft Ever First in the Market?

    Confronting the false belief that Microsoft ever innovates anything of significance or is "first" in some market/s



  2. Links 1/8/2021: 4MLinux 37.0, IBM Fluff, and USMCA Update

    Links for the day



  3. Microsoft Knows That When Shareholders Realise Azure Has Failed the Whole Boat Will Sink

    The paranoia at Microsoft is well justified; they've been lying to shareholders to inflate share prices and they don't really deliver the goods, just false hopes and unfulfilled promises



  4. [Meme] Nobody and Nothing Harms Europe's Reputation Like the EPO Does

    Europe’s second-largest institution, the EPO, has caused severe harm/damage to Europe’s economy and reputation; its attacks on the courts and on justice itself (even on constitutions in the case of UPC — another attempt to override the law and introduce European software patents) won’t be easily forgotten; SUEPO has meanwhile (on Saturday, link at the bottom in German) reminded people that Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos have driven away the EPO’s most valuable workers or moral compass



  5. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, July 31, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, July 31, 2021



  6. [Meme] When it Comes to Server Share, Microsoft Azure is Minuscule (But Faking It)

    Don't believe the lies told by Microsoft's charlatans and frauds; Azure has been a total failure and that's why there are layoffs as well



  7. [Meme] Mozilla Has Turned From Technical to Marketing

    Way back, long before Mozilla and Firefox got hijacked by politics (turning Mozilla into a VPN reseller that lies about its stance on privacy), geeks were driving the company, not corporate lawyers and spying/marketing people



  8. Over 1,500 (Known/Unorphaned) Gemini Capsules and Over 160,000 Page Requests in gemini.techrights.org During July

    Techrights is expanding at gemini:// (Gemini space) and over 1,500 capsules are reported to have been found (less than 4 months ago it was about 1,000)



  9. Links 31/7/2021: Kernel Additions and Linux Mint 20.3 Release Date

    Links for the day



  10. Microsoft Azure Stagnating

    Reprinted with permission from Mitchel Lewis, former Microsoft employee



  11. For 17 Days (and Counting) António Campinos Has Failed to Respond to Call for Compliance With the Law

    Team Campinos has been so arrogant and so evasive that there’s no indication (yet) that it will follow court orders (Willy ‘Guillaume’ Minnoye openly bragged about ignoring court orders and he's still cheering for the EPO's abuses); therefore, staff of the EPO takes collective action



  12. Raw: Elodie Bergot Breaking the Law by Threatening Against the Exercise of Fundamental Rights

    Over the years we saw a number of rude letters from Elodie Bergot, the grossly under-qualified spouse of a friend of Vichyite Benoît Battistelli; most of these we never published (we already have these and can always publish if the need arises), but those paranoid and insecure “Mafia”-like ‘cabal’ need to be exposed for the mobsters they are; for nearly a decade they’ve illegally bullied EPO staff in clear violation of the law (and for over 3 years António Campinos has kept those bullies on board); why does Europe do nothing and why is it never holding high-profile abusers accountable (only low-level facilitators)? Is it because the EU too is being infiltrated by them?



  13. Linspire Should Be Avoided in 2021 Just Like It Was Avoided 14 Years Ago

    The brand "Linspire" was brought back, but the agenda seems to be more or less the same, namely pushing proprietary software and serving Microsoft's commercial agenda (in 'Linux' clothing)



  14. The Death of Freenode Would Be Freenode's Own Fault

    Freenode is going dark and now it’s asking people to create accounts at IRC.com (just to get back into the network that they may have already occupied for decades) as if Freenode owns “IRC” as a whole



  15. Links 31/7/2021: KDE Progress and Activision Catastrophe

    Links for the day



  16. IRC Proceedings: Friday, July 30, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, July 30, 2021



  17. The Smartest Meter of All

    Yesterday a lady came over to take our power readings (electric/gas meter); secure these people's jobs as they help protect people's privacy (dignity) at home



  18. [Meme] A Web of False Dichotomies

    A reminder that Techrights is fully available (all blog posts and wiki pages) in gemini://



  19. Freenode Shrinks by Another Quarter and Gemini Continues to Grow (For Techrights at Least)

    Freenode continues to perish faster than we've imagined; it's a good thing that we've had contingencies set up; regarding the monopolised and increasingly centralised Web, we're still making baby steps towards weaning ourselves off it



  20. Links 31/7/2021: Wine 6.14 and Chrome 93 Beta

    Links for the day



  21. European Media Does Not Care About Europe's Second-Largest Institution Crushing Basic Laws and Fundamental Rights

    New video about the latest publication from SUEPO (the EPO’s staff union); it was published yesterday, seeing that the “Mafia” (what EPO staff actually calls the management!) hasn’t done anything to comply with a wide-ranging set of court rulings from ILO-AT; why has the media said nothing about this and what does that say about today’s media? The material is all in the public domain, in widely understood languages, and SUEPO spoke about it more than 3 weeks ago.



  22. Links 30/7/2021: Distro Comparisons and Tootle Introduced

    Links for the day



  23. [Meme] Enforcing ILO-AT Rulings...

    We’re still waiting for a statement — any statement (direct or indirect) — from EPO management, seeing that almost a month has passed



  24. 'Open Source' as a Failed Initiative

    A closer look at the dire state of the Open Source Initiative, or OSI, which no longer protects Open Source (let alone software freedom) but instead helps openwashing, Microsoft entrapment, and a coup against the FSF



  25. [Meme] Rowan and António Sittin' on a Tree...

    How much longer can Team Campinos keep issuing tons of noisy and self-congratulatory puff pieces to (perhaps) distract from the elephant in the 10th floor of the Isar building (EPO HQ)? Staff won't wait for eternity.



  26. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, July 29, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, July 29, 2021



  27. Half the People in This Letter Are IBM Employees

    IBM seems to be continuing its war on the FSF because IBM wants to own everything (CentOS being ‘canned’ was just part of the plan)



  28. The OSI Song

    The sad demise of OSI, which has become little but a front group of proprietary software companies in pursuit of openwashing services (and outsourcing to proprietary disservices looking to eradicate copyleft)



  29. [Meme] OSI is Doing Just Fine

    So what if OSI is run by someone who raised money from Microsoft (to sell Microsoft a keynote slot in a copyleft event — the thing that Microsoft attacks through GitHub!) while funnelling the OSI's funds to a serial GPL violator?



  30. The OSI's Defunct Elections (Privacy Breach), Conflict of Interest (Nicholson), and Other Lingering Problems

    The above, together with an email from the OSI below, serves to show they’re re-running a bad election and — yet worse! — there appears to be a conflict of interest implicating the OSI’s sole member of staff!


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts