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Microsoft Launches Comical Effort to Fight Piracy

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the don't-copy-that-floppy dept.

Microsoft 332

theodp writes "A week before the release of Vista, Microsoft is expanding its fight against software piracy with a new educational effort that includes comics. Making its U.S. debut Monday, the Genuine Fact Files campaign aims to make Microsoft's message more accessible to a broader audience. BTW, Vista's Software Protection Platform (SPP) can put unvalidated copies of the software into a reduced-functionality mode. From the article: 'Microsoft plans to draw attention to it through banner ads on its Web sites and promotional material that it will hand out through partners. By using comics, the company aims to make the message more accessible to a broader audience. They are black and white, in a style similar to newspaper comics.'"

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So uncool (4, Insightful)

udderly (890305) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709456)

Isn't it peculiar that when someone (an individual, gov't or corporation) tries to pander to the hip or "kewl" crowd, it actually comes off as even more contrived and lame. This Microsoft comic reminds me of junior-high school health classes about drugs or sex.

Besides that, Microsoft has to walk a fine line with software piracy. If they could eliminate it entirely, that would be when you would see a more mainstream adoption of FOSS.

Re:So uncool (4, Insightful)

TodMinuit (1026042) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709472)

If they could eliminate it entirely, that would be when you would see a more mainstream adoption of FOSS. ... That makes NO sense. If FOSS applications were equal to that of the closed source realm, people would be using them regardless of whether piracy was possible.

Re:So uncool (5, Insightful)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709500)

What he means is that there are a LOT of people who are using pirated versions of Windows who would switch to something free if they couldn't pirate windows anymore. There is a huge percent of the population of the world who simply can NOT pay $200+ for an OS for their personal computers. Most of China for example, and plenty of places in the US as well. Nowadays you can get a computer for $400 or so from Dell with Windows installed, but in the past when building your own computer was cheaper, there were a lot of people who the $200 difference in adding an OS would have simply opted to have no computer at all.

Re:So uncool (0, Redundant)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709602)

You don't have to consider the people who can't, but also the people who just don't want to. I think that if most people were presented with the option of Windows for $200, plus the cost of MS Office $300?, they'd pick Linux and OO.o (or Koffice, or whatever, not trying to start a war here) in a heart beat. The problem is that people don't really pay that much for their software. They get windows really cheap, or maybe even a negative cost when you consider that Dell has cheaper prices than the small retailer down the road who actually offers a computer with no OS, because Dell sells more. Yes I know that dell has/had the n-Series, but those were actually at least in not more expensive than the comparable windows only model.

Re:So uncool (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709762)

There is a huge percent of the population of the world who simply can NOT pay $200+ for an OS for their personal computers.

Add to that 400+ for an office suite, 100+ for anti-(virus/spyware), 100ish for Quicken, and you've doubled the cost of the machine. Software is simply overpriced. If Microsoft, and the rest, reduced their prices by an order of magnitude, they'd find a lot less people getting their software from illegitimate sources.

Re:So uncool (1, Redundant)

nick13245 (681899) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709780)

If they can't afford a $200 operating system, they shouldn't be using it. Maybe if piracy wasn't so easy, more people would be forced to move to another operating system like Linux. Instead, people decide that it's easier to steal. Microsoft owns the software. They can charge however much they want, and they have the right to protect their software from piracy. They're doing a very good job at it, and I applaud their efforts.

Re:So uncool (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709918)

True, but the point is MS as a company has to walk a fine line. If from the beginning people didn't pirate windows, home computer use of windows would have been MUCH less. These people would then have not demanded windows for their work computers. In effect their buisness is very much built upon home pirating use. Now on the other hand if this had been the case, MS would have significantly dropped the price by now, either way, the computer software world would be a totally different beast, more akin to the hardware world, where price competition is strong.

You got the key point (1)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710026)

Maybe if piracy wasn't so easy, more people would be forced to move to another operating system like Linux. Instead, people decide that it's easier to steal.

So far, piracy is easier than learning to use Linux/BSD/whatever. But what if Microsoft succeeds in making it hard?
I think they would gain some new customers among the lazy and wealthy(who would finally pony up the license fees), but at the same time the poor but smart would prefer to put in the effort to move. As a result, revenue would rise at the expense of market share.

So Microsoft has a little dilemma here ;-)

Re:So uncool (1)

coleopterana (932651) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709850)

*snicker* That's exactly what I did. I left college. I couldn't use Win2k safely anymore. I stopped wanting to deal with all the security BS, and I didn't need it for school/work (this might seem trivial to readers here, but for laboratory analytical researchers, you can't just move your software over to Linux at the drop of a hat, and you work way too much to not take it home). I guess you could say we all have to leave our abusive relationships someday.

Re:So uncool (1)

uradu (10768) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709884)

> in the past when building your own computer was cheaper, there were a lot of people who the $200 difference
> in adding an OS would have simply opted to have no computer at all.

Well, depending on the specs you're shooting for, you can still build something somewhat cheaper today, but alas WITHOUT Windows. Once you add (even an OEM copy of) Windows into the mix, the whole equation collapses. I must say though that MS have succeeded pretty handily in souring the Windows "pirating" experience with the whole Genuine Advantage thing, "pirating" in many cases consisting of installing one purchased copy on multiple home computers. While there might be workarounds, installing SPs can be such a PITA that it seriously makes one consider alternatives. And frankly, for many of the extra computers a geek might find useful in the home, which often tend to be in some sort of server role, Windows doesn't really hold a lot of advantages over Linux. As soon as you don't need to run Windows-only desktop productivity apps on a particular machine, Linux can easily become the preferred choice.

Re:So uncool (1)

Elektroschock (659467) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709898)

Piracy is an essential part of the closed source business model. It works as asp shareware.

The difference: shareware means registrators are "good guys".
Piracy means unautorised users should feel as "bad guys"

The piracy the Companies go after is not the average joe unauthorised use, but commercial
counterfeiting of their software products.

Re:So uncool (1)

tomee (792877) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709524)

Well, there would be some people who currently pirate the software who would then be presented with a barrier for getting the new software, which might make them reconsider their options when otherwise they are just too comfortable with what they have.

Re:So uncool (5, Insightful)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709534)

That makes NO sense
I'm not so sure. There are a lot of reasonably savvy people who are basically just lazy. Got a new PC? Off to your fav. appz source to grab the latest MS Office, XP Pro (probably Vista RTM now), Nero, Photoshop CS etc. If suddenly it becomes impossible to find those, they'll be happy with 80-90% of the functionality at 0% of the price by doing a bit of research, hunting around then grabbing the closest equivalent free versions.
There are a significant number of people who used pirate software through collage when they're broke, get used to them then when they're financially better off, start to buy the real thing. You'll start losing those sales if they start off with free software right from thr word go.

Re:So uncool (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709934)

There are a significant number of people who used pirate software through collage when they're broke, get used to them then when they're financially better off, start to buy the real thing. You'll start losing those sales if they start off with free software right from thr word go.

Good point. There are lots of academic copies of Photoshop Pro, MS Office, and such. I am older and didn't get these in school, so I am much more versed in The Gimp and Open Office. This is especialy true when the big anti-piracy business busting BSA started their heavy handed tactics. I very quickly fled to free alternative legit software and started avoiding those behind the BSA squad.

Much of my software is un-regestered. Registration is not required. It's more of a privacy issue than a piracy issue. Is it possible to register your copy of Ubuntu, Open Office, Abi Word, Gnome, Banshee, and the Gimp? I have not been asked to register any of it.

Re:So uncool (1)

udderly (890305) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709544)

I'm not claiming that FOSS applications are necessarily the equal of closed-source software (although many of them obviously are)--it's just that you can't get cheaper than free.

I have so many customers who are running pirated Windows or Office that it's not even funny. That or they are still running Office 97. If these people had to shell out $250-$400 for Office or $150 for XP Pro, they would switch in to OO and Linux in about the same time it would take to hear that it's free (as in beer).

My wife is a perfect example of someone who *doesn't* need Windows. She logs on in the AM to check her Yahoo mail account, checks the local news, buys some stuff from Amazon or eBay, then heads to work.

Re:So uncool (4, Interesting)

paeanblack (191171) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709648)

My wife is a perfect example of someone who *doesn't* need Windows. She logs on in the AM to check her Yahoo mail account, checks the local news, buys some stuff from Amazon or eBay, then heads to work.

That's not a matter of not needing Windows, that's a matter of someone not needing a desktop PC at all. Imagine a cell phone cradle that supported a keyboard/mouse/monitor console. She has one console at home, has one at work, and she carries her "desktop" in her purse.

I'm still curious why we are still years away from practical products like this.

Re:So uncool (1)

grahamlee (522375) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709796)

We're not; you are though. The SunRay server software has a "WanRay" component which allows you to use a SunRay over a WAN; there are even WLAN-capable laptop form-factor SunRay devices from Tadpole. This means that you could have a SunRay at home and at work (or just take one with you) and wherever you are, your desktop state is retained at the server and available when you stick the smartcard in the front. I used to run SunRays in a physics lab, the only real problem in that setting was with sharing resources between users, but I think that the processor set interface which Solaris now has would obviate that.

Re:So uncool (2, Funny)

paeanblack (191171) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709912)

We're not; you are though. The SunRay server software has a "WanRay" component which allows you to use a SunRay over a WAN; there are even WLAN-capable laptop form-factor SunRay devices from Tadpole. This means that you could have a SunRay at home and at work (or just take one with you) and wherever you are, your desktop state is retained at the server and available when you stick the smartcard in the front. I used to run SunRays in a physics lab, the only real problem in that setting was with sharing resources between users, but I think that the processor set interface which Solaris now has would obviate that.

A portable desktop in a "laptop form-factor device"? Sounds intriguing...I think you may be on to something.

Re:So uncool (2, Insightful)

CrazedWalrus (901897) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709868)

That's not a matter of not needing Windows, that's a matter of someone not needing a desktop PC at all.
That's true of most computer owners. When computers moved away from the scientific/business user and into the mainstream, they became vastly overcomplicated and expensive for the purposes they generally serve. My Blackberry does most of what people do with their computers, but the interface is a little cramped, which is where your idea comes in.

It seems like WebTV was probably a great idea that was simply before its time. Here to fill the niche now is task-specific Linux desktops (Internet client, Business Workstation, Scientific Workstation, Audio Pro workstation, etc), where a given distro has pre-defined package sets to fill the most likely needs of a given class of user. I think that's why people need to stop shying away from trying to convert people to "Linux on the Desktop", and to start looking for classes of users where this is feasible. A big niche is the web browser/email/IM types who just use their computer as a communication device, and this niche is easily filled by Linux.

Re:So uncool (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709886)

Imagine a cell phone cradle that supported a keyboard/mouse/monitor console. She has one console at home, has one at work, and she carries her "desktop" in her purse.

Not sure that's needed. Chips are cheap as chips:) Putting components of equivalent power to those in a mobile phone would probably be so cheap as to not affect the price sufficiently. To me, it seems the main issue with a PC is the amount of space it takes up. It really requires a desk and a section of a room to itself. This is more of a problem if you want more than 1 computer.

Re:So uncool (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709862)

That makes NO sense. If FOSS applications were equal to that of the closed source realm, people would be using them regardless of whether piracy was possible.
firstly even if they were "equal" people would be likely to stick with what they were familiar with unless put under high pressure not to.

secondly even though windows/windows server/office/iis/.net and linux/samba/openoffice/apache/php aren't equal (they each have thier own strenghts and weaknesses) i'm sure there are plenty of people who use pirate MS software now who would rather put up with a switch to linux than pay for MS software. I'd imagine this is especially true in poorer countries where the time/money balance is somwhat different.

microsoft can't admit it but i'm postive they would preffer you to run pirate MS software than to run a linux based stack because while windows remains dominant some people will continue to pay for it (buisnesses threatened by the BSA, OEMs, the paranoid, those without access to a supply of pirate software, those who simply respect copyright etc)

Re:So uncool (3, Interesting)

Scoria (264473) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709492)

It depends on what age group Microsoft ultimately targets with their campaign. A 9 or 10-year-old would be much more likely to accept their propaganda than, say, a 14-year-old. Microsoft seems keenly aware that older people can generally recognize their campaign for what it is, but that younger people won't be as cynical, and might not differentiate this from anything else they are taught in the classroom.

Re:So uncool (4, Insightful)

Divebus (860563) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709542)

It will be just as effective as the FBI warnings on all DVDs. That's not a deterrent. Shutting off your OS remotely is a deterrent for the user - a deterrent from using the OS to start with, that is. I wonder which Einstein® thought this one up?

Didn't stop Joe Camel (1)

Merkwurdigeliebe (1046824) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709922)

So, perhaps it depends on other factors.. but that idiotic camel seemd to have brought many a teenager into that cancer-inducing habit quite successfully using "cartoons" or in the least a cartoonish character...

Re:So uncool (1)

norman619 (947520) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710028)

Your comment would be true for those who only use their PC's for word-processing and email. That would be a small percentage. One the top uses people have for PC today after email and word-processing is gaming. You failed to take into account the software developers. They are not very likely to start porting things over to a FOSS when the Windows user base is pretty much locked in. If anyone who did more than just email and word-processing did as you said I would be willing to bet that $200 price tag would become less of an obstacle. I tried moving to Linux not too long ago and while I loved the OS I couldn't do what I needed to get things done. I'm all for FOSS but until software vendors actually start supporting it they will not be a viable alternative to the MS juggernaut that is Windows. Porting their applications to another OS is costly. Keep that in mind.

I don't understand! (4, Funny)

Ythan (525808) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709470)

But are they black and white like newspaper comics?

Re:I don't understand! (1)

GLowder (622780) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709494)

Well, they may be black and white, but they'll be red all over.

Re:I don't understand! (1)

sentientbeing (688713) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709570)

Comics?

Is this a joke..?

Newspaper-style (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709708)

What this means is these strips won't be funny either. "Look, everyone! Cathy still can't fit into a bathing suit, Garfield pulled on Odie's tongue again, and stealing from Microsoft is wrong."

Re:Newspaper-style (1)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709788)

I think "newspaper-style" was added to the word comic so nobody would confuse it with the stand-up variety.

Redundant really, since Microsoft's anti-piracy schemes have never stood up...

Re:I don't understand! (1)

BakaHoushi (786009) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709970)

I'd assumed by black and white, they meant "The world is black and white. Downloading anything you don't own is bad. If you download things, you're supporting sodomizing kittens. Who grow up to be terrorists."

Somehow, I doubt these comics will cover some of the more debatable aspects of the issue (for example, downloading clips from a radio broadcast. I don't download the latest Weird Al CD, I buy it. But what about the latest JRock CD that I can't actually buy in America, anyway?).

A _real_ feature... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17709474)

Vista's Software Protection Platform (SPP) can put unvalidated copies of the software into a reduced-functionality mode

So you can avoid bloat and annoying requesters by not validating a copy?

Re:A _real_ feature... (1)

slughead (592713) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709956)

Vista's Software Protection Platform (SPP) can put unvalidated copies of the software into a reduced-functionality mode

So you can avoid bloat and annoying requesters by not validating a copy?


No, they reduce functionality by adding "over 300 new innovative desktop productivity solutions that let you do things from browse photos to surf the 'net, with better access to your media through We'reFairlySureItPlaysSomewhere(TM) technology."

Good for them! (4, Funny)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709476)

Microsoft Launches Comical Effort to Fight Piracy

Awesome! I can see it now. Popeye eating some spinach and tying an octopus' legs around three unshaven guys with eye patches. Brilliant!

Oh, wait... did the OP mean copyright infringement? Then why did the OP use a term that means armed taking of actual property?

Re:Good for them! (5, Insightful)

Zonk (troll) (1026140) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709638)

Oh, wait... did the OP mean copyright infringement? Then why did the OP use a term that means armed taking of actual property?
<corporate_asshat>
Because downloading a torrent is exactly the same as attacking a ship, killing it's crew and doing random raping and pillaging. Only dirty hippies that hate America can't see that.
</corporate_asshat>

Copyright infringement != piracy
Copyright infringement != theft
Copyright infringement == Copyright infringement

Doesn't make it right, but be accurate when using a damn word.

Re:Good for them! (1)

Merkwurdigeliebe (1046824) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709988)

Call it bootlegging and call it a day. Well, it's what the hippies called it when they made unauthorized copies of music. So kind of borrow the term and extend its meaning.

Re:Good for them! (4, Informative)

Speare (84249) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709676)

Give up the fight, man, the word "pirate" in this usage is hundreds of years old.
There was very little trust in the print medium when it was first developed--it was seen as unstable and subject to piracy and fraudulent copying. Authenticity was hard to guarantee: indeed, the term "piracy" was first used by John Fell, Bishop of Oxford, circa 1675, to describe certain pernicious practices of early printers and booksellers. A "pirate" was someone who participated in the "unauthorized reprinting of a title recognized to belong to someone else." "Stationers" eventually emerged as the trusted practitioners who were placed in charge of various aspects of publishing--practices we would now recognize as printing, publishing, editing, and bookselling. Stationers worked out the conventional practices of making books, and thus made printing a viable economic enterprise with the elaborate complexity of producing a book eventually invisible to all but the practitioners in the trade.

Re:Good for them! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17709832)

Don't bring facts into this. You'll shatter their devoutly held belief that everyone else is an idiot and downloading someone elses copyright material without permission is their God given right, backed by the Constitution no less!

It's not that I don't download stuff via. BT, but at least I don't try to fool myself in thinking I'm not doing something illegal.

Re:Good for them! (2, Insightful)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709942)

Actually, copyright infringement is a god given right.
There's nothing in the ten commandments about not duplicating work. It does say thou shalt not steal, but stealing refers to depriving someone else of the item you've stolen, which isn't the case when producing a duplicate.

Copyright is an invention of modern law, intended to stifle the competition which would exist in a free market where anyone can produce duplicate copies of a work. It is so some people can make more money in the short term, while reducing the exposure of their media in the long term (no free copying means it will be distributed far less widely).

When an artist paints a work, how many people produce copies of it, and reprints etc, how many millions of copies of the mona lisa exist? If you want to make money from your work, sell the original, copies should be free for others to produce and distribute for the betterment of society as a whole.

Re:Good for them! (1)

darjen (879890) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709908)

the term "piracy" was first used by John Fell, Bishop of Oxford, circa 1675, to describe certain pernicious practices of early printers and booksellers
That may be the true, but since 1675 pirates have been known mostly as said people described above. I know that personally, the first thoughts that come to mind when I hear the word 'pirate' is not ol' Bishop Fell.

Sorry, but there is a lot of history to this usage (1)

p3d0 (42270) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709710)

I had the same pet peeve until I learned that the use of the term "piracy" in this way dates back centuries. I can't find a reference now, but I know I've read essays from the 18th century using the term in this manner.

Re:Sorry, but there is a lot of history to this us (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709966)

Agreed. The only time I ever see any attempt to correlate the two concepts is people complainign on Slashdot, or occasionally as a joke (I saw a cartoon where they attacked a pirate video on the high seas).

Honestly, the media companies don't want copyright infringers to be compared with pirates. Pirates have been romanticised for well over a century.

Torrent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17709484)

Anyone got a torrent for this?

Trojan. (1)

Prysorra (1040518) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709486)

On week number 26, the comic itself is the anti-piracy platform.

What MS doesn't tell you, wont hurt you ;)

In other news... (0, Offtopic)

seven of five (578993) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709490)

Jack Chick [wikipedia.org] announces he's coming out of retirement.

Re:In other news... (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709580)

I read the wikipedia link, but it's not clear... Did he create those little 4" x 2" pamphlets you used to see in every restaurant that had a bright single-color front, and explain different aspects of Christianity? I used to read those as a kid and found them both entertaining and educational, even as someone who wasn't really Christian. (My parents had tried to drag us to a Methodist church for a while. They eventually gave up. I never really figured out why.)

I've seen a few of these pamphlets again recently, and ones that I had not read before. They weren't quite the same style, so I doubt they were the same artist.

Re:In other news... (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709596)

lol Crap, I somehow missed the links in that article to examples. Yeah, they are the same ones. Interesting.

Re:In other news... (1, Funny)

udderly (890305) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709640)

I noticed in the Wikipedia article that Jack Chick is part of the King-James-Only Movement [wikipedia.org] . I agree with them since everyone knows that the KJV is the bible translation that Jesus used.

Children Must Be Educated (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17709496)

I agree with Microsoft's campaign here. Piracy is rampant with kids nowadays, and they should be educated that downloading or illegaly copying software is wrong, and deprives hard working people of money that they should have been theirs.

I understand slashdot tolerates and even condones piracy, but it is illegal and kids should know they risk the punishment of law enforcement if they get caught.

Re:Children Must Be Educated (1)

robcfg (1005359) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709598)

I agree that children must be educated, but companies keep rising the prices using piracy as an excuse. I agree it's illegal, but it should be illegal too that a copy of Windows XP Home costs over 300 (I've seen it, really) and on your back they sell it for less than 50 to the big companies making PC's. Nobody's going to pay half of the money the computer itself costs for the operating system.

Re:Children Must Be Educated (2, Insightful)

GravelordBocephus (873797) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709606)

There's a big difference between being educated, and being educated by Microsoft. Educated would be "it's against the law to infringe copyright". Microsoft's so-called education would probably be "large corporations have the natural right to the ideas produced by their employees, it's perfectly acceptable to cripple software and mandate constant surveillance to make sure that your copy of Windows BS is completely above the board, trusted computing is only to protect content creators and only denies access to your computer you don't really need anyway..." and so on and so forth.
Microsoft educating children about copyright makes about as much sense as letting wolves teach sheep about nutrition.

Re:Children Must Be Educated (1)

Yfrwlf (998822) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709660)

Share information with your friends and family, don't let monopolies stay that way, ideas should be free, help improve technology not only for the rich but for the poor too (which means FOSS, but still, pirate for the sake of the poor)! :)

So lon as they respect my right ... (1)

quiberon2 (986274) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709502)

So ling as they respect my right to rnu my Linux, or OS/2, or FreeBSD, or ..., on any hardware I can get it to run on, then I have no problem with whatever they might want to do with their Windows.

I might well go to the expense of buying a Playstation 3, just to demonstrate that I have an alternative.

Re:So lon as they respect my right ... (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709550)

I might well go to the expense of buying a Playstation 3, just to demonstrate that I have an alternative.

And to demonstrate I have an alternative, I'll go for the cheaper option of not buying anything:)

Re:So lon as they respect my right ... (2, Informative)

pipatron (966506) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709564)

Rather don't. Since the Playstation 3 is from SONY, who are even more trigger-happy when it comes to DRM and artificial restrictions than Microsoft, you would still support it.

Re:So lon as they respect my right ... (1)

Habrok (987413) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709986)

But they're selling at a loss, don't they? So by buying a PS3 you can screw both MS and Sony. It's a win-win really.

Re:So lon as they respect my right ... (1)

limit (160671) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709734)

Congratulations on getting it to run on your toaster. Next time you might want to try something with more keys.

Don't Copy that Floppy! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17709518)

hmmm, a hip and cool campaign where the message is anti-piracy? I don't think it's EVER been tried before!


http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4837609090 332617729 [google.com]

Re:Don't Copy that Floppy! (4, Funny)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709818)

That campaign was a roaring success: you don't see anyone copying floppies now, do you?

Great idea! (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709864)

If they let Steve Ballmer sing a song about copying and show it to little children the children will grow up so utterly scared of him that they will never copy even legitimate files, ever.

The kids will dig it (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17709526)

OMG LOLZ! cOMICZ ... FREAKIN AWeSOME NOW I FINALLY REALIZE i MUST PAY FOR mY SOFTWARE, OMG LOLZ!!!!!!!!!!!111111

First Comic? (1)

What the Frag (951841) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709528)

Screen turns on, Borg Gates says:
"We are the Microsoft. Your computer will be assimilated. The piracy you were doing is over. We'll lock your computer until you pay for all your pirated software. Resistance is futile."

Balanced Reporting (1)

mulhollandj (807571) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709552)

No bias in this headline.

Re:Balanced Reporting - bias bias lol (1)

soupforare (542403) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709740)

Slashdot. No, that's unfair.
Internet. hmm, that's not quite right, either.
Journalism. !
Humanity. ?

Only in B&W? (1)

kaufmanmoore (930593) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709572)

C'mon Bill, you can afford to at least make it look like the Sunday comics.

Typo in Headline (5, Funny)

shadowknot (853491) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709578)

The headline should read: "Microsoft Launches Comical Effort to Fight Privacy"

Easy enough mistake to make.

Canada is one step ahead of them (2, Funny)

Donniedarkness (895066) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709592)

Anyone else remember [URL=http://www.captaincopyright.ca/]Captain Copyright?[/URL]

I don't see how he changed anything.

Well, they're changing the site around, but [URL=http://www.midtimod.dk/blog/index.php?/archiv es/594-Captain-Copyright.html]this site[/URL] has one of the comics up.

Re:Canada is one step ahead of them (1)

Easy2RememberNick (179395) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709670)

Ah Ha! I was just thinking about that but I couldn't remember where I saw it. I knew it was from here (Canada) but other than that I couldn't remember... either that or I blocked it from my memory.

  (btw you're using phpBB forum type tags to submit the links, you have to use actual HTML etc... here on Slashdot)

  Captain Copyright [captaincopyright.ca]

  Yeah this guy at this link you submitted is using the same name:

  Captain Copyright [midtimod.dk]

  Is Captain Copyright copyrighted? lmao

Reduced functionality (2, Insightful)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709616)

How is the average user going to know if they have been placed in `reduced functionality mode`, or are simply experiencing the usual inability to shut down their PC (yes, even on XP), virus attacks, confusing USB installation (do I install the hardware first and then the drivers, or the drivers first, or plug the hardware in and see what happens, or what, exactly?), games juddering and freezing (presumably updating my file indexes or checking for updates is so important that the flippers in my pinball game can take up to half a second to respond) etc?

Re:Reduced functionality (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709992)

How is the average user going to know if they have been placed in `reduced functionality mode`,

The "Welcome to Windows Vista" message should be your first clue.

(Yes. I know it's a linux nerd comment! It's a joke dammit!)

Maybe it's just me.. (1)

zyl0x (987342) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709620)

By using comics, the company aims to make the message more accessible to a broader audience.

I don't thinkthe Swedes [microsoft.com] are really classified as a "broader audience".

It ain't over yet (3, Insightful)

Dekortage (697532) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709634)

From the article: "The antipiracy fight is a multimillion-dollar effort, Hartje said. Although it has been going on for some time, Microsoft can't say whether the fight is paying off. 'This is a multi-inning game. We're in the first inning and it is too early to tell what the long-term impact will be,' she said."

This is the first inning? C'mon, pirated software was online (BBSs) in the 1980s, if not earlier, and even then I could buy illegally-copied software from semi-shady PC hobby stores. Forget "don't copy that floppy" -- how about "don't copy that data cassette" or "this software download will take 16 hours on your 1200 baud modem, assuming your housemates don't pick up the phone and disrupt the signal".

Nah, it's more like double-death overtime, and Microsoft is losing.

Re:It ain't over yet (1)

painQuin (626852) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709950)

Nah, it's more like double-death overtime, and Microsoft is losing.

I don't mean to be overly picky (ok maybe I do) but if it's overtime, aren't the teams usually tied? I don't know sports particularly well, but...

Re:It ain't over yet (1)

Dekortage (697532) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710006)

"if it's overtime, aren't the teams usually tied?"

That's exactly what I mean. MS and the pirates are tied, but in this round of overtime, MS seems to be losing. They'll catch up, then the pirates will pull ahead, and back and forth.

I've heard of this... (4, Insightful)

staticdaze (597246) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709642)

can put unvalidated copies of the software into a reduced-functionality mode
Why is this news? This has been done for a while; it's called crippleware [wikipedia.org] . Microsoft just seems to have implemented their own version of it, which will probably suffer the same fate as all other protection mechanisms.

Give us more than ONE FREAKIN KEY (5, Interesting)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709654)

Paying 200-300 bucks for a personal installation of windows for only ONE computer is incredibly lame. That may have been fine back in the days of Windows 95 when most households only had one computer because they commonly cost an average of 1500-2000 dollars. Nowadays they are going for less than 500, so it seems more common for families to have 2 or even 3 PCS. Why charge nearly 1000 dollars so they can all "upgrade" for a single house? If they ever expect to sell Vista in the magnitude they desire and get the software behind it in a reasonable timeframe, they NEED to include at least 3 personal keys for each $300 vista license, otherwise they'll have to wait for people to replace their PCs with storebought Vista computers.

Of course after saying all that, vista upgrades will be so uncommon, buying a new PC will be pretty much the only guaranteed way most people will have Vista at all. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Re:Give us more than ONE FREAKIN KEY (4, Informative)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709716)

This is precisely why Apple makes MacOS X, iLife, and iWork available in family packs that cost only marginally more.

Re:Give us more than ONE FREAKIN KEY (1)

zdzichu (100333) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709804)

Microsoft Vista Family Pack [zdnet.com] . Buy one Ultimate and get next licenses for $50 or $100.

Re:Give us more than ONE FREAKIN KEY (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709882)

So you have to buy one at double the price ($400 Ultimate version retail purchase required, OEM doesn't qualify), then you get the $200 version for half price ($100) on the rest of the families computers. Oooooh, what a bargain.

Re:Give us more than ONE FREAKIN KEY (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17709816)

Paying 200-300 bucks for a personal installation of windows for only ONE computer is incredibly lame.
You're right, but why would you do that? Windows Home OEM costs about 100$.

Re:Give us more than ONE FREAKIN KEY (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709824)

That less than $500 system is unlikely to run vista fully and may be very slow at it. So that may make people install xp on it and get the key form online, there older systems, work, and so on.

Editor fueling (1)

nstlgc (945418) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709688)

BTW, Vista's Software Protection Platform (SPP) can put unvalidated copies of the software into a reduced-functionality mode.
What, there wasn't enough flamebait in the editorial? Needed to add something to make it, well, Slashdot-worthy?

Nothing like picking a sureshot argument that has relatively little to do with the actual article.

Piracy for the Poor (1)

Yfrwlf (998822) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709722)

I think I'll launch a campaign called that, aimed at teaching that sharing ideas, while giving competition (oh noes!) to large corporations, is good for the world and especially the poor. You aren't forced to pay for the use of math, and neither should you be for ideas which can be freely shared. Greed is what makes people not want to share that which is freely shareable. It may be difficult to share REAL property, but it is not difficult to share ideas which should be no ones property! Fuck patents and fuck copyrights. Let the space age begin already!! Patents hold the world back from advancing in technology. The industrial revolution was set back at least 20 years because of the steam engine patent! FUCK THAT, where's my holodeck! Let pure competition occur and free the ideas! Make companies have to come up with NEW technology to stay ahead of competition!

What is "genuine" software? (1)

milo_a_wagner (1002274) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709736)

For me, the most interesting thing about all this is Microsoft's strangely stipulative definition of "genuine."

This is all put better than I could do it here [upenn.edu] . I think this has been discussed before, but it's worth revisiting.

By making pirate copies of Vista run in reduced-functionality mode, it seems as though Microsoft is moving back toward the generally accepted definition.

Corporate Propaganda (1)

Metathias (995621) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709744)

I just got through watching the first episode up on microsoft's web site. I just love how randall mentions that the site where all this WAREZ he found by reading a BLOG. With all the all the ganda going on in government around political blogging it's no surprise that corporations have decided to attack as well.Is it just me or does randall kinda look like a young mitnick? People need to let microsoft know this sort of blatant ganda does not go unrecognized. Im just wondering where they are gonna be presenting this crap? A corporate conference near you? Schools? Local best buy training centers? Next thing were gonna start seeing is computer oriented versions of Blood on the Highway. Goes something like "Thats right timmy. So the next time you are thinking about pirating music or software. You might as well be putting a gun to a developer or musicians head. So unless you wanna kill dont be a PIRATE!"

History repeats itself (2, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709746)

Remember when some soccer moms were up in arms about music lyrics? The result: all CDs with questionable lyrics got slapped with a little label. And that drove the kids to them. Nothing like saying to a child that they can't have something to make them more curious about it and want to try it.

corepirate nazi mindphuking hypenosys comical? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17709752)

as in payper liesense stock markup FraUD felonIEs are funnIE?

from previous post: many demand corepirate nazi execrable stop abusing US

we the peepoles?

how is it allowed? just like corn passing through a bird's butt eye gas.

all they (the felonious nazi execrable) want is... everything. at what cost to US?

for many of US, the only way out is up.

don't forget, for each of the creators' innocents harmed (in any way) there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/US as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile will not be available after the big flash occurs.

'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi life0cidal glowbull warmongering execrable.

some of US should consider ourselves very fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate.

it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc....

as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis.

concern about the course of events that will occur should the corepirate nazi life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order.

'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

What is interesting to me... (4, Interesting)

HairyCanary (688865) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709754)

... is that they think the issue is education. Everyone I know of that pirates software does it quite knowingly. Even my parents, who are 60-70 years old, are fully aware that they are running pirated copies of Windows.

Does Microsoft (and along the same lines, the RIAA, MPAA, etc) believe education is really the problem? I think it's just marketing to justify the draconian measures (DRM and the like) that they want to use to control as much of our daily lives as they can get away with. If it were really about piracy they'd just correct their business model.

A Window On Their Soul (2, Interesting)

CmdrGravy (645153) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709760)

"Get the genuine facts campaign"

Are non genuine facts still facts or are they lies ?

It seems Microsofts understanding of the word fact is something which optionally may or not be true which leads me to believe that they are not someone I'm going to be trusting as far as I can throw them.

Is the fact that these is a genuine facts they are presenting us with a genuine fact or its self or is it one of those other not genuine, or partially genuine facts ? Who can tell.

The important question (1, Redundant)

thesandtiger (819476) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709782)

Are they in black and white or color? Newspaper or graphic novel style? Oh, how I wish someone would tell me because neither the summary nor the quote from the article say!

Also, I'd like to know - what style are they in? And are they in color? Im asking because I couldn't tell from the article, and I don't think it said so in the summary.

Modding me "redundant" will just make this funnier to me.

Microsoft Launches Comical Effort to Fight Piracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17709812)

Microsoft Launches Comical Effort to Fight Piracy

Literally!

It's COPYRIGHT MAN! (3, Funny)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709822)

Fighting for Truth! Justice! And the American Way! Bravely defending the giant multi-billion dollar mega-corporations from the Evil Average Citizens! Watch as Copyright Man destroys lives! Breaks up families! Ruins Reputations! In defense of the the Good CEO's multi-million dollar BONUS! Copyright Man will insure that his master is able to afford his 14th house in Hawaii! Copyright Man will defend The Company's fleet of private jets! COPYRIGHT MAN!

In this episode, Copyright Man puts the hurts on a little girl with leukemia, her puppy and her elderly Grandmother...

Crippleware activation death (1)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709846)

"Vista's Software Protection Platform (SPP) can put unvalidated copies of the software into a reduced-functionality mode."

I think they may be learning. With flat out product activation you may be inclined to just go with another OS. I've put Linux on one of my desktop computers for the first time since about 2000 because I don't have a spare copy of Windows and (not that I'd do that sort of thing anyways) using the same copy of Windows XP for 2 PCs is an activation nightmare waiting to happen. If crippleware would keep me afloat enough to play some video files, then I may not have a Linux box in my living room. Granted Microsoft wouldn't make money on this either way, but they'd keep someone from potentially learning they can live with another OS with reasonable crippleware on Windows.

Hire the pro Microsoft! (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709852)

If you're going to make b&w comix warning of the evils and sins of "piracy", and eventual but certain punishment in a short booklet format, then there's only one man for the job!

I realize that hiring Jack Chick [empty-handed.com] could be tricky [chick.com] , but I'm sure that the right arguments will succeed.

Same old (1)

gx5000 (863863) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709856)

I couldn't agree more with most of the comments here today (a rarity)

Another foolish attempt at free Advertising.......uh wait...

Anyways, there are enough peeps that avoid *any* obstacles and would rather pay through
the nose to avoid having to even install a ATI Vid update, and this is where all this Vista stuff comes in. I shudder at the thought of all my evening clients surprising me with Vista on their PC's next time they call me in for a fix...

The Comic I'm sure is just another easy swing and pitch reminder that they're still working on making it tough on potential (Vista/mp3/avi/mpg/best friend's sister's bra hooks) hackers.

After the third week of release to the public, when the European (or whatever) hacker community releases a completely defanged Vista, we'll see how many peeps with already Pirated XP go for it. Seems no one remembers that the REAL Reason Win95 made big was because it became the most pirated OS of all time, locking in thousands if not millions of peeps in Microsoft's clutches at work, on their second PC's, and on their original PC's right after going to confession. Even a dealer knows the first taste has to be free.

This Cat and Mouse DRM and cripple ware drama is just that...Publicity Drama...**yawn**

Cheers
--
End of Line.

Anbody have a torrent? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17709916)

omg I gotta see these comix. anybody have a torrent?

In other news... (1)

vagabond_gr (762469) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709924)

unauthorized copies of Microsoft's new Anti-Piracy comics just appeared in various BitTorrent trackers.

And now, the continuing adventures of.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17709928)

Monkey Man! With his amazing chair throwing power and Zune squirting abilities, he continues to stop the evils of diabolical supervillans like "Tux the Penguin" and Steve "The Fruitman" Jobs, who continue to diabollically write stable/easy to use/secure software. Around the campus of Redmond, the cry of "Developers, developers, developers!" can only be one thing... the "Man of Sweat" is on the job. Now enjoy the further adventures os Monkey Man, whose secret identitiy, Steve Ballmer, continues in his quest to rid the world of this menace to M$ociety...

Channelling Jack Chick? (1)

eugene_roux (76055) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709946)

Am I the only one who immediately had the name Jack Chick [wikipedia.org] pop up in my mind when I read this?

I immediately started imaging Microsoft portraying "pirates" as evil devil-worshipping spawns of Satan, preferably in little pamphlets which could be inserted into iPod boxes (we all know only pirates buy iPods, don't we?) by concerned shop owners...

Erm, yes, I lived through the vilification of D&D during the eighties, why do you ask?

Wow... (1)

crossmr (957846) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709952)

I'm half way in and so far, they've made blogs look evil, and given the villain a nice communist background, and of course they're perpetuating the scary myth that every download is laden with viruses, spyware, and heroin. When the news stories were drawing comparisons between this and other comics, they forgot to mention Jack Chick. I wonder if Microsoft hired him to write for them.

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