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Fri, Sep 23, 2005 6:22 pm

FBI Cybercrime Chief Goes to China

A September 21, 2005 article titled FBI cybercrime chief heading to China states that the FBI's assistant director of its Cyber Divsion will be headed to China in November to meet with Chinese counterparts to discuss intellectual property issues.

Software piracy in China is a big issue for Microsoft. Reportedly one can buy copies of Microsoft Windows operating systems or Microsoft Office in China for a few dollars. An InformationWeek article titled Microsoft Fights Priacy In China, Linux Wins states that the Business Software Alliance, of which Microsoft is a member, alleges that 90 percent of all software in China is pirated resulting in a $3.5 billion revenue loss for software vendors (this of course presumes that all those using the software would buy the software, if they couldn't get pirated versions, which is unlikely). Microsoft has resorted to offering lower-priced versions of its software in some markets to encourage users who wouldn't be able to otherwise afford Microsoft's software to buy legitimate copies rather than use pirated copies.

Who knows whether Microsoft's Bill Gates was most irked by this rampant software piracy in China or China's embrace of Linux when he reportedly accused the Chinese government and the Chinese people of treating Microsoft badly (I'm trying to keep this blog P.G. rated, so see "'China has f*cked us' - Bill Gates", if you want the details.. China has embraced Linux, which, since its source code is freely available, frees them from the worry that Microsoft or some other company may have installed hidden back doors that would allow other nations' spy agencies access to Chinese systems and, of course, frees China from reliance on software companies in other nations. I can certainly understand Microsoft executives being upset about the rampant piracy, but, of course Microsoft's own behavior when dealing with competitors shows that it doesn't hold ethical behavior in high regard, if such behavior might impede the company's success.

References:

  1. Federal Computer Week
    September 21, 2005
  2. Microsoft Fights Piracy In China, Linux Wins
    By Maria Trombly
    Byte.com
    September 6, 2005
  3. 'China has f*cked us' - Bill Gates
    By Andrew Orlowski
    The Register
    September 7, 2005

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