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Nerdy Photo in Vista DVDs Thwarts Disk Pirates

CowboyNeal posted more than 6 years ago | from the tiny-family-albums dept.

Windows 265

maximus1 writes "Microsoft says that the tiny photo on the Windows Vista Business Edition installation disks is an anti-piracy feature. The tiny photo of three grinning men — less that 1 mm in size — is one of several images incorporated into the hologram's design intended to make it harder to replicate a Vista DVD, according to Nick White on Microsoft's Vista team blog. 'The real story is interesting, but conspiracy theorists will be disappointed to learn that it is not the result of a deliberate attempt to deceive,' White wrote."

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265 comments

If it were porn... (5, Funny)

rufo (126104) | more than 6 years ago | (#19513501)

...would Vista be pirated less or more?

Re:If it were porn... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19513545)

then the photo would have been more famous than Vista itself!

Re:If it were porn... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19513567)

If it were the same three guys it would be pirated less.

How is someone supposed to know (5, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#19513509)

that they are supposed t look for that to see of the copy they have is legit?

And it only assumes the buyer cares.

Re:How is someone supposed to know (1)

rufo (126104) | more than 6 years ago | (#19513553)

It's just like any other Microsoft disc. Who the hell besides a geek would actually know that Microsoft discs have shiny holograms on them?

You will never know. (-1, Troll)

twitter (104583) | more than 6 years ago | (#19514013)

it only assumes the buyer cares.

It also assumes that the factory did not print 16 million extra copies and that the "pirates" won't be able to duplicate the image. The widespread counterfieting of currency is evidence to the contrary. M$'s attempt to print money by boxing bits is laughable, despite his previous success. Vista is still not selling.

Re:How is someone supposed to know (5, Informative)

Saxerman (253676) | more than 6 years ago | (#19514321)

There are a host of anti-counterfeit measures on currency. And for the most part the average consumer will neither know nor care, and just keep passing the stuff off as genuine. Yet the Fed certainly cares, and they are certainly looking for the stuff. Adding tiny anti-counterfeit designs doesn't make it harder to print fake currency, it makes it easier to identify the stuff as fake. So they can locate fake currency floating in the wild and hopefully trace it back to its source.

Watermarks such as this are designed to prevent counterfeits, not piracy. There are large scale counterfeit operations designed to pass themselves off as legitimate software resellers. Considering the type of disc presses these organizations have access to these days, they can stamp some very authentic looking discs.

The BSA and other such agents look out for these tiny missing features, so they know when and where to release the hounds.

A mom and pop shop with a few extra installs than licenses is small potatoes. They group stamping 100s of thousands of discs in China and selling them as genuine in Europe are the big daddy potatoes.

Fascinating (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19513519)

And by fascinating I mean WHO CARES?

It's all about the photo (3, Insightful)

Shabbs (11692) | more than 6 years ago | (#19513537)

Yes, cuz a tiny little photo is going to stop the piracy. Stop the presses... gather 'round children... PIRACY HAS BEEN ELIMINATED!!!!

All pirates care about is 1) Does it install? 2) Can I "activate" it?

Cheers.

Re:It's all about the photo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19513753)


All pirates care about is 1) Does it install? 2) Can I "activate" it?


You are thinking of yourself.

REAL pirates primarily care about: Can I sell it and get away with it?

Amateur.

Re:It's all about the photo (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19513795)

REAL pirates primarily care about: Can I sell it and get away with it?


REAL pirates primarily care about: Can I SAIL it and get away?

Re:It's all about the photo (2, Funny)

Shabbs (11692) | more than 6 years ago | (#19513995)

Aaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrgh... 'tis true matey. On both statements. I was thinking about the smaller pirate, lower case "p". ;)

Cheers.

Re:It's all about the photo (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19514011)

All legitimate customers care about is 1) Does it install? 2) Can I "activate" it? 3) Will Microsoft provide support?

Re:It's all about the photo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19514299)

All legitimate customers care about is 1) Does it install? 2) Can I "activate" it? 3) Will Microsoft provide support?

For home users, I think it comes down to reasonable risk. If a home user could get Vista for free versus $100 with support, I'm thinking many would go with the former. I don't think most home users see copying software as a big deal and would forgo support so they can use the money to gas up their SUV instead. Most legitimate businesses obviously care about support and legality, though.

LESS THAT 1 MM IN SIZE (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19513541)

LESS THAT 1 MM IN SIZE
LESS THAT 1 MM IN SIZE
LESS THAT 1 MM IN SIZE
LESS THAT 1 MM IN SIZE
LESS THAT 1 MM IN SIZE
LESS THAT 1 MM IN SIZE
LESS THAT 1 MM IN SIZE
LESS THAT 1 MM IN SIZE
LESS THAT 1 MM IN SIZE
LESS THAT 1 MM IN SIZE
LESS THAT 1 MM IN SIZE
LESS THAT 1 MM IN SIZE
LESS THAT 1 MM IN SIZE
LESS THAT 1 MM IN SIZE
LESS THAT 1 MM IN SIZE
LESS THAT 1 MM IN SIZE
LESS THAT 1 MM IN SIZE
LESS THAT 1 MM IN SIZE
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fail (1, Redundant)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#19513543)

The images are less than 1mm in size and are not visible to the naked eye, so must be viewed using optical magnification. Their presence does not affect the contents of the DVD any more than would applying a label to the front of an audio CD you may have created at home. These security measures were never intended to be impossible to find, but rather difficult to reproduce. While it's extremely difficult to replicate a holographic design in general, the inclusion of original images makes it that much more so. Incorporating optical security into our physical media is just one of many efforts to ensure that Microsoft customers get what they paid for.

since when do software pirates care about watermarks if they can still copy the data just fine? For that matter, how many pirated copies of Vista actually exist? [such negative reaction to it why pirate it?]

Re:fail (5, Informative)

rborek (563153) | more than 6 years ago | (#19513577)

Microsoft is more worried about the large-scale pirates - the ones that sell the disks to unwitting consumers, either standalone or as part of a new PC. This would allow them to more easily show that the disks themselves are counterfeit.

Re:fail (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#19513643)

I understand that but how many customers would go to the trouble of checking the disk for their new hologram image that is less than a millimeter across? so they can say "well it isnt our fault you bought a pirated copy, we did put a watermark on the legal copies after all." especially when 20% of their windows genuine advantage tests result in a legal copy being branded as a pirated copy, why not fix that too?

Re:fail (4, Interesting)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 6 years ago | (#19513731)

It only takes one customer (or test buyer) to spot a counterfeit and provide information allowing the counterfieter to be traced.

Plain pirates who do nothing to disguise what they are selling as legit may do some damage but buisness customers are easilly scared away from them by the threat of audits, counterfieers OTOH can sell at a much higher price to buisness customers taking sales directly from MS.

Re:fail (1)

Darundal (891860) | more than 6 years ago | (#19513837)

Yeah, but this is not something that a customer would spot. It is not something that a customer, even a one who would know to do so, would. It is something that Microsoft can use as proof positive, after the fact, to say that these discs are counterfeit.

Re:fail (1)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 6 years ago | (#19513973)

So do they manufacture their disks in country or farm it out to some factory in taiwan that would be willing to make an 'extra' run?

Sports Merchandise (1)

buckhead_buddy (186384) | more than 6 years ago | (#19514167)

It doesn't work for sporting goods which have little holograms on them saying "Officially Licensed [Org] Merchandise". Consumers don't know what they should be looking for. If they know they need to see a hologram for official merchandise, the ones who care don't know what it's supposed to look like and won't know the difference between a cheap bubblegum card quality hologram and the official one. All it really does is raise the price of the merchandise and raise a bit more money for the packaging houses (you don't think Microsoft would eat the cost themselves do you?)

Re:fail (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 6 years ago | (#19513615)

"since when do software pirates care about watermarks if they can still copy the data just fine?"

If it is a mark of authenticity that is difficult to duplicate, it's easier for discriminating customers to skip. It's the same concept the gubment uses to make money difficult to counterfit.

high quality fakes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19513629)

This is to help reduce what Microsoft calls high quality fakes. Those are versions that are made to look like the original, actual product, packaged like the original, actual product, and sold at prices similar to the original, actual product. The people who buy them think they are buying a legitimate copy of Windows. There are relatively few of these around (I think...), but to Microsoft they are high priority targets because everyone who bought one of those copies thought they were buying something from Microsoft, so you only need to get them what they want. You don't have to convince them that they should pay $x for the software in the first place, like you would with someone buying a $5 pirated copy of Windows.

Re:fail (1, Flamebait)

DogDude (805747) | more than 6 years ago | (#19513665)

[such negative reaction to it why pirate it?]

There isn't a lot of negative reaction to Vista. There's just some in the uber-geek, OSS community. The rest of the planet is already switching to Vista.

Re:fail (2, Insightful)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 6 years ago | (#19513701)

actually at the community college i graduated from in may, every non-geek i knew of with vista either had trouble with it or just outright hated it.

geeks tand to get things fixed or returned, while non-geeks are more likely to live with the problems and bitch a lot.

Re:fail (5, Funny)

GFree (853379) | more than 6 years ago | (#19513749)

Dude, for most of us Slashdot might as well be the planet. So shut up and (sudo) get me a sandwich!

Re:fail (2, Informative)

mulvane (692631) | more than 6 years ago | (#19513819)

To date, I have already had 28 people come to me to wipe Vista and put XP on Vista pre-loads. What part of the planet is switching?

Re:fail (5, Interesting)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 6 years ago | (#19513825)

There isn't a lot of negative reaction to Vista.

Dell had to revert back to selling XP due to customer demand. Many poles, published on many sites, indicate that the business world is nonplussed with Vista and many have no plans to migrate over. This includes our shop that runs all XP on the desktop and Linux on the servers only.

Many, many people are not interested in Vista, particularly since it won't run a lot of popular software. By the time you can't get support for XP, we will have already migrated to either OS/X or Linux. There IS a lot of negative reaction to Vista. The average gamer or grandma may not care because it is their only choice, but many of us will stick with XP until a better choice comes along. I run IT and I haven't bothered installing it, although I can for free. Won't run all my hardware and software, is buggy as hell, so why would I?

What really matters: More people are trying to pirate XP than Vista. When people won't even STEAL a product, I would consider that a negative reaction to it.

Re:fail (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19513911)

Eh, bullshit. I've heard plenty of people bitching about how slow Vista is.

Re:fail (2, Interesting)

GFree (853379) | more than 6 years ago | (#19513733)

For that matter, how many pirated copies of Vista actually exist? [such negative reaction to it why pirate it?]

One point of reference would be to check the number of seeders/peers on any given torrent site for a particular OEM version of Vista Ultimate, pre-activated.

Last time I checked there were a couple hundred seeders and about a thousand plus peers, keeping in mind of course that once you download a new OS, chances are you're gonna get straight to burning and installing it, which reduces the seeder level a lot.

Funnily enough, I also saw torrents for XP which had HIGHER levels of seeders/peers than Vista. Weird.

exactly (5, Interesting)

ihatewinXP (638000) | more than 6 years ago | (#19513743)

The pirate copy I bought in here in Beijing had these security features:

1. Plastic sleeve
2. No box
3. Burned CD with "Vista 32 Eng" written in Sharpie on the front.

And it works great. Even came with the guys phone number in case I had problems applying the validation hacks.

If youre going to buy a pirate version what do you care? I have seen the nicer versions (with fake box et. al.) but trust me, no one is fooling themselves into thinking that they are getting a $400 program for ten bucks.

But my even more ghetto pirate version only cost $5 and it came with Office 2007 as well (which employed the same counter measures) ;)

Re:exactly (3, Insightful)

Geoffreyerffoeg (729040) | more than 6 years ago | (#19513823)

no one is fooling themselves into thinking that they are getting a $400 program for ten bucks.

That's for the $10 copies. There are, however, the $400 copies, in which case people are fooled into thinking that the $400 they're paying for this program is going to Microsoft instead of some thief's pocket.

(And yes, this is in fact theft. The data might not be "stolen", but the $400 definitely was stolen.)

Re:exactly (3, Insightful)

Carnildo (712617) | more than 6 years ago | (#19513937)

(And yes, this is in fact theft. The data might not be "stolen", but the $400 definitely was stolen.)


No, it isn't. Selling an item with the pretense that it's a different item is called "fraud".

Re:exactly (2, Funny)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 6 years ago | (#19514141)

That's funny, the legal copy I got from Microsoft is in a thin jewel case, no box, and is a burned DVD with "Vista Vista RTM x86" written in Sharpie! My valid key is even written in pen on the little paper cutout insert. I think it was downloaded with this cool program called Microsoft File Transfer Manager.

Re:fail (1)

nascarguy27 (984493) | more than 6 years ago | (#19514057)

I have a fully legit copy of Vista that I got through MSDN-Academic Alliance, while I was in school. I received a DVD image and burned it to a DVD. Fully legal. No fancy hologram. I have since paid $150 for the Ultimate Upgrade.

Works exactly as intended (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19514315)

The counterfeiters may not care, but it will deter businesses from patronizing them. By adding difficult-to-copy markings and telling the world about it, Microsoft lets businesses know those counterfeit "Microsoft" DVDs won't help a bit if they're audited by the BSA [bsa.org] (not to be confused with the Boy Scouts of America [scouting.org] ). Disgruntled (ex)employees will know about the counterfeit copies of Vista, and will gladly report license violations to even the score with their antagonists.

The three guys trap your soul ... (4, Funny)

siddesu (698447) | more than 6 years ago | (#19513563)

Then, if the disk is illegally copied, they send the soul to Microsoft Hell. And if the disk is genuine, the soul goes to Microsoft Heaven.

Re:The three guys trap your soul ... (2, Funny)

Joe U (443617) | more than 6 years ago | (#19513703)

Which one of those is 'dll hell'?

Re:The three guys trap your soul ... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19513735)

all three of them

What would Microsoft Heaven be, anyway? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19513881)

Cuz we're already in MS Hell....

Re:The three guys trap your soul ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19514117)

The guy on my left looks a little like Leo Laporte or Bill Clinton.

Re:The three guys trap your soul ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19514127)

Then, if the disk is illegally copied, they send the soul to Microsoft Hell. And if the disk is genuine, the soul goes to Microsoft Heaven.

What's the difference, again? I forgot.

Re:The three guys trap your soul ... (2, Funny)

kaizokuace (1082079) | more than 6 years ago | (#19514237)

too bad microsoft's software cant tell if it is authentic or not! or do they also have false positive hell?

All I know is ... (4, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 6 years ago | (#19513565)

... if I worked on the 'Vista' team I sure wouldn't want my picture printed on the DVD. What if someone recognized me on the street? Or in prison?? Or on /.???

Re:All I know is ... (4, Funny)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#19513601)

... if I worked on the 'Vista' team I sure wouldn't want my picture printed on the DVD. What if someone recognized me on the street? Or in prison?? Or on /.???
how can we recognize you unless you uploaded your own photo? for all we know you look like this: 8>)

Re:All I know is ... (4, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 6 years ago | (#19513683)

how can we recognize you unless you uploaded your own photo? for all we know you look like this: 8>)
OK ... where's that hidden camera?

Re:All I know is ... (1)

Daychilde (744181) | more than 6 years ago | (#19513821)

"Move your head a little to the right... a little more... just a little more... okay, there. Perfect." /ex-tech support who got tired of the "ZOMG can you see my screen!!??!!11" questions - before the days of remote access... heh.

Re:All I know is ... (1)

Cycloid Torus (645618) | more than 6 years ago | (#19513839)

It reminds me of the moving photos in the first Harry Potter - imagine having to spend whatever part of your personal aura captured forever on a Vista Business DVD - these guys are truly DEDICATED!! WOW.

I Feel Ripped Off (4, Funny)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 6 years ago | (#19513569)

The problem is that when I got my Vista upgrade discs through Dell for systems bought just before Vista was released, I don't have pretty hologram discs like that at all. I have just plain printed Dell labeled junk that anybody could counterfeit.

Let's see what's wrong... (5, Interesting)

perlhacker14 (1056902) | more than 6 years ago | (#19513599)

First off, nerds like us are the ones who pirate stuff in the first place. Second, if the image is so small, which user is going to see it, and if the user cannot see it, then claims of amnesty are theoretically possible. Third, due to the traditionally nonintimidating nature of the nerd, what pirate who sees the image will think and stop what they are doing? It seems that Microsoft demonstrates its foolishness through oversight and arrogance once again. Though, the whole idea is quite funny for the rest of us!

Re:Let's see what's wrong... (1)

ceroklis (1083863) | more than 6 years ago | (#19513759)

Third, due to the traditionally nonintimidating nature of the nerd, what pirate who sees the image will think and stop what they are doing?

You are right. They should have used this picture [applematters.com] to scare them off.

Re:Let's see what's wrong... (1)

jagdish (981925) | more than 6 years ago | (#19514041)

Actually they should have used a photo of a ninja instead of the nerd. Everyone knows ninjas beat pirates hands down.

ho8o (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19513611)

to foster a gay and world-spaaning

They dont really want to stop piracy (2, Interesting)

grapeape (137008) | more than 6 years ago | (#19513649)

If they really did it would eliminate the fallback excuse of why no one is buying it unless being forced to. The local CompUSA here was going out of business and even at 75% off during the final days they were open there were still dozens and dozens of vista boxes just sitting there.

"I buried Paul" (5, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 6 years ago | (#19513651)

Microsoft Corp. has clarified the identity of the mysterious trio on the installation disks for the business version of Windows Vista.
And no, you can't play the installation DVDs backwards and hear the devil talking, either.
Yeah, you have to play them forward to hear the devil talking.

The devil says, "join the botnet" (1, Insightful)

twitter (104583) | more than 6 years ago | (#19514025)

you have to play them forward to hear the devil talking.

And you have to let it onto your computer for it to do any real harm.

Avoid CLick through (5, Informative)

blhack (921171) | more than 6 years ago | (#19513653)

Real story [blognewschannel.com]
no ads.
This isn't an anti-piracy measure, Microsoft is actually pretty upset about it. They don't like easter eggs because it makes them look unprofessional. If they find the guys that did this, they will probably be fired.

Re:Avoid CLick through (0)

kernelpanicked (882802) | more than 6 years ago | (#19513927)

What nimrod modded you up? What do you mean IF they find the guys that did this? It's their f^&*ing picture, ffs.

Re:Avoid CLick through (3, Informative)

blhack (921171) | more than 6 years ago | (#19513987)

from TFA:

Microsoft doesn't like easter eggs in its products, doesn't like surprises that could make it look unprofessional or just be embaressing. Larry Osterman said, "Nowadays, adding an easter egg to a Microsoft OS is immediate grounds for termination". Jeremy Mazner has more:

        Leading up the release of Windows 2000, Microsoft starting getting a lot more serious about selling servers into the government and large enterprise markets. These guys saw NT 4 as the first really credible enterprise-class product from MS, and were evaluating Win2k to see how things were progressing.

        The story, as I recall it, is that one of these customers had some strong words for our easter eggs, suggesting that any company that could let such things frivolous things into their products wasn't doing a very good software engineering job, and thus couldn't be trusted to run an enterprise-scale business.

        The argument never made much sense to me. Easter eggs, at least on teams I worked on, were never anywhere near critical-path code. And they often seem to have been pretty well tested by every member of the product team who wanted to verify their name showed up. Maybe there's some story I don't know about how an Easter egg caused a perf hit, or crash or something (I bet if such a story existed, Raymond would know it.). In any event, it seemed like we one day got this email that said "no more Easter eggs ever again", and that was pretty much the end of it.

Re: You must be new to Microsoft products. (1)

Clockworkalien (1099495) | more than 6 years ago | (#19513943)

Microsoft has a long history of unprofessional easter eggs in their OS and applications: Windows 98 and Internet Explorer 7.0 have hidden full developer credits, the "SOY" easter egg in Windows XP, and Office 2000 had a developer created game (Dev Hunter). There are MANY more.

The only thing Microsoft may be ticked at is that this is the first time that an easter egg has happened in packaging.

Re:Avoid CLick through (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19514023)

it makes them look unprofessional

Luckily they have endless security holes, a sweaty CEO that throws chairs and sings about developers, an arrogant ex-CEO who sits and rocks backs and forth like he's at the special olympics, emails about "cutting off air supply" and "fucking burying" people, and.... a music player that SQUIRTS. This is all very professional.

Yah know, now that I wrote that out, I realize a lot of that could be cleared up just by getting rid of Balmer. BALMER IS THE EASTER EGG.

ha ha ha, just wait (0, Troll)

twitter (104583) | more than 6 years ago | (#19514125)

From your M$ blog article:

The fact that it took five months for this to get caught shows the problem: There could have been anything there. Whoever stuck in that photo could have stuck in a penis, and Microsoft will probably feel the need to go with overkill to prevent that ever happening.

Lesson learned: put your penis in it, they are going to fire you anyway. If you are short in that department, you might put a picture of someone you don't like in it.

What I'm waiting to see are Debian swirls, happy Mac faces, iPods, Tux and other funnies.

Before this, I thought Vista DVDs were worth less than an AOL coaster, but now I know there's entertainment value. Sooner or later, I'd like to add one of these to my software CD collection. It's significant enough as the failure of Windoze edition. They will end up in the trash sooner than later.

At least... (5, Funny)

ceroklis (1083863) | more than 6 years ago | (#19513669)

... they didn't use this one [trinity.edu] .

Who let the dogs out (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19513685)

woof

Slutty reporting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19513707)

Is it that hard to link to that picture? Even goatse would do...

Who is looking for these images? (1)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | more than 6 years ago | (#19513715)

"The images are less than 1mm in size and are not visible to the naked eye, so must be viewed using optical magnification."

So why bother with them then? Seriously, let's say that I wanted to know if someone was selling me a counterfeit vista disc. I look on the back and there's nothing there, how do I know whether or not the watermark is there?
Completely fucking worthless.

Re:Who is looking for these images? (1)

badboy_tw2002 (524611) | more than 6 years ago | (#19513751)

Because, as the article states but the summary doesn't, its not a piracy measure - it looks like some wiseguys got funny and slipped it in as an easter egg. RTFA.

So this is why Vista is so expensive (3, Funny)

Kildjean (871084) | more than 6 years ago | (#19513717)

Hmmm Embeded holographic images... So wait a second, is this why Vista is so Expensive? I mean are people who are paying $300 bucks for vista paying really $1 for the OS and $299 for the Hologram?

Sweet!

Worried about being authentic (4, Funny)

mmarlett (520340) | more than 6 years ago | (#19513747)

So does anyone have a torrent of this hologram? The Vista I have really needs it.

If you intentionally buy "pirated" software (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#19513781)

Do you really care it doesn't have the pretty little picture?

Sort of like counterfeit bills, if it passes at the local burger joint, its good enough. Who cares if the feds catch it at the federal bank and take it out of circulation? You got your use out of it.

Sensible Idea (1)

HillClimber (530465) | more than 6 years ago | (#19513797)

I'm no Microsoft apologist, but this does make sense for them. The point is that law enforcement in any country can be pretty clueless on whether a CD is copied or not. This way, when they find a warehouse full of suspicious CD's, they have an easy way to tell if they are actually legit or counterfeit. This sort of thing is *not* designed for customers (who don't know about it) or illegal dupers (who don't care about it).

Re:Sensible Idea (1)

Virgil Tibbs (999791) | more than 6 years ago | (#19514049)

...so they just whip out their handy handheld electron microscope and have a look?
be serious the counterfeiters who want to pass it off as genuine might not even bother with the hologram.

Small image (1)

tailgate (301581) | more than 6 years ago | (#19513813)

The image is for people buying in bulk to verify it is legit. That we they aren't stuck with having to repay for copies they resale after they find out their illegal. Its not intented for the common end-user to assure their copy is legit.

I don't buy it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19513827)

Trying to counterfeit DVD's with hologram lables is near impossible anyway, isn't it? Why would such a DVD need additional microscopic pictures to make it more difficult to copy? Customs agents aren't carrying around microscopes inspecting DVD shipments are they? If the pictures aren't viewable to the nake eye, then who, exactly, is supposed to detect whether the DVD is counterfeit or not? I think the likely scenario is that the pictures are easter eggs, and Microsoft is spinning the story that it's part their anti-piracy campaign.

upon being told about the hologram... (1)

jsh1972 (1095519) | more than 6 years ago | (#19513993)

Bill Gates was quoted as saying "this is the stupidest fucking idea I've heard since I've been at Microsoft!"

The pirates response... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19514029)

A small goatse hologram in every pirated Vista DVD. Challenge over.

Kneel before ZOD (3, Funny)

jptechnical (644454) | more than 6 years ago | (#19514039)

If an explosion occurs nearby, won't it shatter the hologram releasing these three criminals that were imprisoned on Krypton nearly 3 decades ago? You know they must be pissed! They would have super human powers, and superman is nowhere to be found!

Does no one get it? (3, Insightful)

batkiwi (137781) | more than 6 years ago | (#19514051)

This is not about buying a cheap copy for $5 and "wondering" if it's real or not (hint: it's not). A contrived example of why this is important:

You go to your local mom and pop PC shop. You buy a PC for $1000 including Vista. They give you a disk that has a nice color silkscreened vista logo. 9 months later, the activation hack they applied and didn't tell you was applied is fixed via update, and you call MS to deal with validation. They ask you about your disk, which has no holograms. They tell you you've been "had," so you go back to the mom and pop shop and require a real copy, this time knowing what to look for and demand.

The same story could be told about small businesses who are not large enough to use corporate version with their own keyserver, and thus buy bulk professional licenses and have the CDs as proof of license.

I don't buy it... (2, Insightful)

chevybowtie (96127) | more than 6 years ago | (#19514075)

...you can download ISOs for Vista from Microsoft. Obviously, the disc itself is not important. It's the keys that determine legit or not. I'll bet they found out about this image only recently and this is the spin.

How is this news? (1)

Lachlan Hunt (1021263) | more than 6 years ago | (#19514157)

Microsoft have been using holographic images on discs as an piracy countermeasure for years. The only remotely interesting thing that the articles answers is who were the three guys, but it seemed fairly obvious to me that they would have been Microsoft employees.

I got your three grinning men (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19514193)

I can recall testing the sound on my new install by cat-ing a file called "microsoft (something-or-other).au" and it was Curly saying "I tried to think but nothing happened." This was on either FreeBSD-4.{2|3|5} or Slackware-3-ish.

It's all about the hologram (1)

weharc (852974) | more than 6 years ago | (#19514371)

The headline is misleading (this is /. after all). Hologram on the Vista DVD helps thwart piracy, said hologram just happens to contain a collage of photos and one of these photos just happens to be three grinning nerds. Move along, nothing to see here.
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