June 20, 2006 12:00 PM PDT

Fighting Microsoft's piracy check

Counterfeiters aren't Microsoft's only opponents in its effort to combat piracy: Some of its customers are against it, too.

The company is forging ahead with a program, Windows Genuine Advantage, tied to its free software downloads and updates, that checks whether the Windows installation on a PC is pirated. But some people, including some who say they own a legitimately acquired copy of Windows, have challenged the need for such validation.

Most of their criticism is directed at the way Microsoft's antipiracy technology, Windows Genuine Advantage, interacts with a PC. Recently, the software maker was lambasted over its WGA Notifications tool, which it pushes out as a "high priority" update alongside security fixes. There have also been complaints about the tool collecting information from PCs and causing system troubles.

"The issue is not that they are trying to reduce the number of pirated copies. It's the unethical way in which they go about it," a CNET News.com reader using the name "jabbotts" wrote in response to a recent story on Microsoft's antipiracy efforts.

But there is more going on than just talk. Some Windows users have started to search for ways around the antipiracy technology, setting up a struggle between Microsoft and WGA opponents. Since the 2004 introduction of the WGA program, multiple hacks and tricks to circumvent the piracy check or to remove the software have been published on the Internet. And the hunt for effective workarounds appears to be continuing.

Windows Genuine Advantage is a stepped-up effort by Microsoft to boost the number of Windows users who actually pay for the operating system. The company has said that roughly a third of Windows copies worldwide have not been acquired legitimately--as a boxed product or bundled onto a machine, for example.

Microsoft has gradually expanded its pirate-busting efforts. Today, Windows users must have their PC electronically approved before they can download add-on Microsoft software such as Windows Media Player and Windows Defender. WGA excludes security updates from this requirement. When the antipiracy program started, validation was optional for downloads.

As the program has grown, so have efforts to circumvent it. One Web site, for example, lists 15 methods--including step-by-step directions and links to file downloads--to disable Microsoft's copyright-check tools and WGA Notifications warning messages.

One of the listed methods is to install the "905474.exe" program. This "crack" was also suggested by CNET News.com readers providing story feedback. The file, named after the number for the support article for WGA on Microsoft's Web site, is widely available on the Internet. (Caution: CNET News.com hasn't tested this application, and it isn't wise to install files from sources that aren't known and trusted.)

"I have licenses for all my PCs," wrote CNET News.com reader "kamwmail-cnet1." But citing a lack of trust in Microsoft, this reader installed the 905474.exe tool. "Install this hack. Boot your PC. You're in business, private business," the reader added.

Other proposals to defeat the piracy checks vary from the simple--such as blocking the Microsoft applications using firewall software--to the more complex, such as replacing files that are part of the checking tools with cracked versions of those files. Some methods require changes to the Windows Registry, which calls for more advanced technical knowledge on the part of the PC owner.

The hacks and workarounds are a sign of the indignation among some Microsoft users, including some CNET News.com readers.

"A few days after the first WGA notification program was released, a workaround was found, so Microsoft reworked the program so the workaround doesn't work, then pushes the software onto people's systems under the guise that it's a critical update," wrote a reader using the nickname "thedreaming."

"It's not a critical update to users, just (to) Microsoft," the reader added.

Some readers say the workarounds are functional, but it isn't clear if they all are. A cautionary note on the Web page that listed 15 ways to bypass WGA also warned that, with the new releases of WGA, some cracks no longer work. It is even possible that some of the hacks will work for one user, but not for another, according to the Web site. CNET News.com did not test any of the workarounds.

Stepped-up effort
Microsoft advanced its antipiracy program in November last year, when it started pushing out a tool called WGA Notifications alongside its security updates. The tool has been sent millions of Windows users in a number of countries. In April, the U.S. joined the list of covered territories, as did the United Kingdom, Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand.

The first time a computer owner runs WGA to check if their version of Windows is genuine, the software sends data on the system back to Microsoft. This information covers the Windows XP product key, the maker of the PC, the operating system version, PC bios information and the user's local setting and language. Microsoft discloses that this information is transferred in its WGA tool license.

In past weeks, reports have emerged that the WGA Notifications software connects to a Microsoft server each time the PC is started--something Microsoft didn't previously disclose. Also, as it has become clear that the tool isn't a finished product, millions of Windows users may unwittingly be subjects in a trial run for a Microsoft antipiracy program.

This has irked some people, even those who have acknowledged Microsoft's right to fight piracy and who have supported the WGA program in the past. Users shouldn't be pushed into being guinea pigs, many readers argued.

"I spent several hours trying to fix an office machine which slowed to a crawl or froze after this update was installed," wrote CNET News.com reader "umbramistweave," in response to a story about the prerelease status of WGA Notifications. "It's beta. It's flawed. It should not have been released as an update."

Other readers also reported PC trouble after installing the WGA software.

"Windows Update should only be used for delivering completed, non-beta software, period," wrote CNET News.com reader "john55440."

In response to the criticism, Microsoft maintains that there is a real benefit in validating a copy of Windows.

"Our experience is that customers--as long as the process is understandable, unobtrusive, quick and painless--appreciate not only their copy of Windows more, but also appreciate Microsoft more," David Lazar, director of the Windows Genuine program at Microsoft, told CNET News.com last week.

That comment brought out some zealots. One reader, using the nickname "imacpwr" wrote: "Mac just keeps looking better and better and better...That's it Microsoft, just keep shooting yourself in the foot. Before you know it you'll be on your knees begging the public to come back."

See more CNET content tagged:
antipiracy, Microsoft Windows Genuine Advantage, hack, reader, Microsoft Corp.

200 comments

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Delusions of Validity?
A product validation check makes people appreciate Windows more? Microsoft more? Get real.

I don't care if Microsoft wants to validate my copy of Windows (copies, actually). But it CERTAINLY has absolutely zero affect on how much I appreciate them.

I have to wonder how they collected that "data" and the content validity of the question.
Posted by dagwud (44 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Validity
Validation is not the real issue, why doesn't MS inform us to what they are using our Information for? it is tiring to see how many programs are tracking your activities, Microsoft does not need to do anything other than validate their over long registration key, anything else is and should be confidential to the owner and should not be harvested by any software company at all.
Hey Apple get real with your prices and compete for my business
Posted by Sir Limey (43 comments )
Link Flag
I would like to inform everyone before they read this who I am. I am are tired security and intel specialist. This validation software is just one of many. We will become a facist society of human beings. It deosn?t matter what country you live in. It?s not if it will happen, it?s when. It sucks but get used to it.
Posted by phatboybc (1 comment )
Link Flag
Pointless
As most every tech news outlet has reported at one time, the pirates use Volume license keys from big business. That makes them infinitely harder to shutdown, you invalidate 1 or 2 keys and 10,000 machines go without updates and complain about illegal keys.

They say this is to stop the back room resellers putting pirate copies of windows on machines they sell....sorry I don't buy it.
Posted by schubb (202 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I did buy it...
What about the IT employee that decided that buying $200 XPHome machines and then installing a VLK to get the machines to Pro..all because the boss wanted to save money? I've seen it. I've had to fix it.
I don't like MS spying (it's spyware, isn't it?) but I also agree that there are too many illegal licensed machines...search the torrents, even google for Windows XP Volume License and see what's out there...
Bravo MS...keep us legit. Just make sure to keep charging us for an OS that allows trojans, worms, keyloggers, virii, spam and spy-mal-ad-ware...
Posted by Below Meigh (249 comments )
Link Flag
stupid
come on microsoft had a monopoly for years its time it ended
Posted by komradkyle (12 comments )
Reply Link Flag
There Will Always Be Software Thieves
The thieves are the one's obviously hemming and hawing about the validity check. You can't cheat an honest man, as the saying goes. As usual they want something free with all the benefits--what a joke. I personally have never run into any problems with it. If they are looking for something "free" they should go try that turkey OS called Linux and watch how fast they come running back to Windows.
Posted by WJeansonne (480 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Privacy
It really doesn't matter whether it's pirated or not, Microsoft does not have the right to go poking through *your* personal computer to see what's on it. I don't have a problem with them trying to stop piracy, but don't invade my privacy to do it.

And yes, I've switched to that "turkey OS called Linux" and haven't looked back. Spent a few years dual booting, then at the beginning of this year, I wiped Windows and went Linux only. CentOS 4 for a while, and a couple weeks back, Ubuntu 6.06 LTS.

Everything I need is here, web/email, office software, image editing, web page development, CD/DVD burning and multimedia, everything works. As a bonus, being a web designer, my favorite editor just happens to be Linux only, Quanta+.

I have never looked back. And when Vista ships & forces massive hardware upgrades for the new Aero interface, my NVIDIA GeForce 2 MX400 will be doing the 3d effects just fine with XGL.
Posted by jsmith1785 (30 comments )
Link Flag
Lazar is dreaming...
"Our experience is that customers--as long as the process is understandable, unobtrusive, quick and painless--appreciate not only their copy of Windows more, but also appreciate Microsoft more," David Lazar, director of the Windows Genuine program at Microsoft, told CNET News.com last week.

Experience with WHO? I don't know a single legitimate customer that would validate (pun intended) that statement. Not to mention the fact that the entire process actually exposes some customers, such as those in finance or military, to violations of law by allowing their systems to be compromized by an outside entity.
Posted by Methuss (101 comments )
Reply Link Flag
There will always be Microsoft Thievery.
MicroShaft had done it in the pass when they sent out the same info with their Windows 3.1 program. Now they're trying it again with WGA for WinXP. Tell me, Microsoft employee you, why should Microsoft know what programs (non-microsoft programs) are installed on my PC's? Will cookies and script files be sent over next?

As for Linux, yep, already looking into it. Will definitely install Linux on some of those PC cases with that Windoze XP sticker on the side. Hey, can I have a refund if I mail in those XP license stickers? I mean, afterall, you charged me for it and are now driving me off of it.
Posted by kamwmail-cnet1 (292 comments )
Reply Link Flag
This is a free market, people!
If you don't like the product, don't buy the product. It's ridiculous how people who ***** and moan about Windows and rave about OSX and Linux seem to continue to use Windows. If it gives you that much angst, stop using it! For the love of Pete, take your own advice and switch to one of Microsoft's miriad competitors!

And please don't hack the product illegally and then bask in your own self-righteousness. That only makes life harder for the rest of us trying to make a living writing software.
Posted by Neo Con (428 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Hack the product illegally?
I bought it. It's mine to do with as I wish as long as I do not sell it or otherwise profit from it.

Another stupid armchair lawyer.

Come to think of it, another stupid armchair economist too. "It's a free market", hey so why are you buying gasoline if you don't like the environmental impact? Just buy something else. "It's a free market".
Posted by kamwmail-cnet1 (292 comments )
Link Flag
People would buy the soft IF...
The ******* piece of **** worthed the money spent. In some countries ya can't just buy Windows, cause it costs almost half the PC!! And don't tell me they still can buy Windows Starter, 'cause it can't be installed on good config PC, only in crappy systems. The mere fact that they're charging a piece of software that is only the barebones of what a real system should have (read: photo-editing, authoring, stability, Antivirus, Antispyware, etc.) is just nonsense. The OS is the BASICS of computing. I can take that Adobe systems charge 1 thousand for their suites, but that's a Pro app. Windows, although they call it Pro, has nothing Pro to it. It's still a basic platform.
That's what made the software so unpopular.
Posted by boolean22 (2 comments )
Link Flag
I bought the software
and you friggin moron this wasnt in it when i bought it.

I bought a legit copy so what the heck should i be dealing with their problem?
Posted by volterwd (466 comments )
Link Flag
Free markets...
I build my own computers, use Linux (partial to Ubuntu) and I stare unaffected at these kind of arguments. But being smart enough to legally not pay for an operating system which makes these kind of demands on legitimate users does not preclude comment on issues - one could ask, for example, why Microsoft would settle with defunct operating system Be for $23M payout if they considered themselves free marketeers rather monopolists? I would suggest you explore another great concept of democratic societies - free speech. Some people consider it of greater issue than free markets. I find the idea that people should only comment on issues if it affects them personally to be repugnant - genocide, anyone?
Posted by timb2006 (4 comments )
Link Flag
How irresponsible...
To highlight a crack program with no verification whether it contains a trojan or other malicious software. Disclaimer or not,this is irresponsible. Anyone willing to download some random crack program to get around WGA is really taking a risk, and CNET isn't serving its readers well by featuring such an approach.
Posted by gbrayjr (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Assuming you know what a hack is..
you would know to run virus scans and monitor it's online access activity.

Nice try in sounding self righteous and "knowledgable" (puke).
Posted by kamwmail-cnet1 (292 comments )
Link Flag
Doesnt make sense
I dont see people having issues with their Car security alarm that goes on and on even though nobody wants to steal it. Everything has a bug! Remember that!
I am sure you'd add all sorts of anti-theft stuff to your car and brag about it (even if it malfunctions once in a while).
But when a software company does it (especially MS), you go bonkers!!!
Take a break guys! Be practical... Microsoft spends loads of money developing these software and nobody would want their hard work to be taken for a ride.
You dont like it, dont use it. But whatever u do, stop cribbing!
Posted by sarmasriram (7 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Nope, not especially MS.
I went bonkers with stupid companies and their "cookies" on the website, too. It's basic. It's something called PRIVACY. Look it up, it's an American thingie. You might not understand it.
Posted by kamwmail-cnet1 (292 comments )
Link Flag
Who needs WGA anyway?
Who needs WGA anyway, for with Windows XP, I've found and excellent p2p torrent file(or HTTP) on the neowin net, with regular updates of security fixes and patches, with either a smart, or user manual select feature!

It sure beats M$'s, adhoc marginalizing approach by a large margin!

At least the net, does provide one with the freedom of choice at this point time!
Posted by heystoopid (691 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Thanks Microsoft, a new Mac user is born!
I´d like to thank Microsoft for introducing this stupid check - it
was the final straw that made me dump my perfectly valid one year
old Windows XP Pro laptop for a wonderful MacBook Pro! Windows?
Never again!
Posted by andrewholden (17 comments )
Reply Link Flag
WGA and VISTA both are going to sell Macs...
This paranoid mentality of MS and their upcoming Vista Bloatware has me about to switch and I even build my own. This will come to a halt if I migrate to the MAC but what I have seen of the Beta version of Vista is not good. That coupled with an MS that will challenge my confidence with them by making WGA a critical update has me seriously opting for Apple.
Mind you, this will not be inexpensive for me since I have been running MS since MS started.
Posted by fred dunn (793 comments )
Link Flag
Macs Rock!
Aren't you glad you did it? I'm using a Power Book right now.
It's great. Excellent OS that pretty much does everything
Windows does and doesn't crash while doing it!

Don't get me wrong, I believe that Windows has it's place out
there, but the Mac OS is excellent.

Charles R. Whealton
Charles Whealton @ pleasedontspam.com
Posted by chuck_whealton (521 comments )
Link Flag
Hooray for Microsoft!!
I'm glad Microsoft is becoming much more aggressive with the WGA tool. I have never understood why some people think they are entitled to free software. Why should I continue to pay for those who steal the operating system and other software?
Posted by wjohn587 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Paying for pirates
Do you really think that if they stopped every single pirate copy of Windows worldwide that they would actually drop their prices? I think not.
Posted by jsmith1785 (30 comments )
Link Flag
Who said anything about Piracy? It's PRIVACY.
But hey, I guess you MicroShaft employees have a difficulty in understanding the difference.
Posted by kamwmail-cnet1 (292 comments )
Link Flag
Who said anything about Piracy? It's PRIVACY.
But hey, I guess you microsoft employees have a difficulty in understanding the difference.
Posted by kamwmail-cnet1 (292 comments )
Link Flag
Why do I have to pay?
For an operating system I don't use. I have tried
to get a refund or get a bare-bones system yet I am
still forced to pay the Microsoft tax? Why??!
Posted by Johnny Mnemonic (374 comments )
Link Flag
Idiot
Because for years Bill Gates forced people to buy software they did not want or need and now karma is kicking his a$$.

No one except an idiot would feel sorry for Gates. He is an extortionist. A thief. A liar.

He is getting his just rewards now, and still he is crying all the way to the bank.

Torrents forever!
Posted by R Me (196 comments )
Link Flag
thanks
As a legitimate Microsoft cumstomer, having purchased Windows XP Professional, I too resent the anti piracy update. It's repeated pop up results in my hitting the red X every time. There are more simple, benign methods of ascertaining that I have a legal copy of the OS. Like anyone going back and forth from a live concert gig, just showing their ticket or stamp is enough to get past the doorman/men. Having the installation of Microsoft spyware is like being body-checked as well as showing proof of purchase in order to go to the toilet or go outside for a breath of fresh air. It all adds up to the global paranoia going on currently because of the neocon anti terrorist feeding frenzy that has eaten up and regurgitated the entrails of the US Constitution and Bill of Rights. Like the useless failure of the USA football team in the World Cup, this isn't evidence of a nation in decline.
Cheers.
Posted by mozartsbum (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Legitimate Users Harmed by WGA
Contrary to the claim that only thieves are inconvenienced by WGA. I have a legal and valid Windows XP that was incorrectly invalidated by the defective WGA software. This denies me updates and patches to which I am entitled and leaves my system open to the myriad Windows security flaws.

The WGA tool encourages me to buy the software again (the software that I already own) and does not provide any way for me to contact Microsoft over the WGA error.

I am severely and negatively impacted in the following ways:
- Legitimate software that I own has been invalidated.
- I am denied critical Windows updates.
- I either have to take an excessive amount of time to track down contact information and argue with someone at Microsoft over the incorrect invalidation of my software, or I have to simply give in and buy the product again.

I am certain that I am not an isolated case. Microsoft has undoubtedly screwed countless other legitimate product owners.
Posted by Comment101 (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
one here!
Over the weekend I ran Windoze Update manually to make sure I
got the latest patches (I do have it set to do this automatically,
but the machine isn't always on - or plugged in:). Unfortunately,
since I work with Macs at work, I got lazy and just installed
everything.

When the wga trashware tried to phone home, my firewall asked
me if I wanted to allow this. I said no, thinking it would be fine.
The machine kept working all night without issues.

Then I tried to start it again last night. WGA can't verify my
license (yes, it's a legally purchased copy with a real and legal
license), so IT WON'T EVEN LET ME LOG INTO MY OWN MACHINE!
To access MY OWN COMPUTER, I have to hook a phone line into
my modem and allow it to phone some 800 number to verify my
legal license. Nice way to get around my firewall.

Unfortunately for them, I'm too stubborn and ticked off to allow
this to happen. Unfortunately for me, it's hard to remove the
program and edit the registry when I can't even log into the
machine. I'll be looking for my install CD tonight (it's in storage)
and hoping there's a way to still roll back to a prior restore
point.

My point here? I'm a legal paying customer, not a pirate, yet I'm
being treated as a criminal by Micro$haft. NEVER AGAIN.

Once I get some dough together, it's MacBook Pro time for me.
My legal copy of XP will go into BootCamp and my current PC
will turn into a Debian box. Screw this noise MicroCrapWare - I'll
never be suckered by you again. May you burn in bankruptcy
hell.
Posted by Dalkorian (3000 comments )
Link Flag
Legitimate users are harmed by WGA
I suspect around 20% (pure guess) of legit users are hassled by errors from WGA. From example I have 3 licenses for WinXP, and after installing it in a virtual machine, none of the 3 worked. The 3 came from OEM machines, which had had their hard drives formatted and Linux installed on them. Technically, shouldn't I be able to use those licenses? I think M$ is being over aggressive here.

Also, the way it just happens to take a flak cannon to your firewall and personal privacy is not great. It is horrible, I do not want my machine's to have these sorts of security flaws in them. If spend a couple hours locking down a WinXP box, only to have a "Critical update" blow it all to pieces is not great for me.

Ahh well, I could always kill it at the router, or if I can't do that, take it off the internet... Most non-techie users who are hassled by this are just gonna flop at this, and go buy another copy of Windows.

I just hope this helps push users to a better, more secure OS, like Linux, or if they're feeling brave, Linux (Ubuntu! go google Ubuntu) where YOU have control over your machine, not M$, or some cracker who managed to find an exploit in the WGA tool.

And the fact that it is just a beta, and normal users, and people who may be using their computers in corporate environments and *NEED* their computes for their day to day work, and may loose revenue if it becomes non functional due to beta software are being exposed to an unnecessary risk. If your machines are mission critical then sue Microsoft!.
Posted by Tinned_Tuna (4 comments )
Link Flag
Legitimate Users Harmed by WGA
I suspect around 20% (pure guess) of legit users are hassled by errors from WGA. From example I have 3 licenses for WinXP, and after installing it in a virtual machine, none of the 3 worked. The 3 came from OEM machines, which had had their hard drives formatted and Linux installed on them. Technically, shouldn't I be able to use those licenses? I think M$ is being over aggressive here.

Also, the way it just happens to take a flak cannon to your firewall and personal privacy is not great. It is horrible, I do not want my machine's to have these sorts of security flaws in them. If spend a couple hours locking down a WinXP box, only to have a "Critical update" blow it all to pieces is not great for me.

Ahh well, I could always kill it at the router, or if I can't do that, take it off the internet... Most non-techie users who are hassled by this are just gonna flop at this, and go buy another copy of Windows.

I just hope this helps push users to a better, more secure OS, like Linux, or if they're feeling brave, Linux (Ubuntu! go google Ubuntu) where YOU have control over your machine, not M$, or some cracker who managed to find an exploit in the WGA tool.

And the fact that it is just a beta, and normal users, and people who may be using their computers in corporate environments and *NEED* their computes for their day to day work, and may loose revenue if it becomes non functional due to beta software are being exposed to an unnecessary risk. If your machines are mission critical then sue Microsoft!.
Posted by Tinned_Tuna (4 comments )
Link Flag
Here is one for you...
I have a legitimate copy of windows xp. It has failed WGA almost everytime I have tried to run it (thank god for hacks).

In frustration, I have installed the same version on 3 other machines using the same license key (an OEM copy, so technically all these other machines are out of license/pirated) and they pass WGA perfectly.

If you think WGA is used to stop piracy you are wrong: it is meant to track you and send your information back to Microsoft. More likely it is reporting whether Office or Halo are legit rather than Windows. I doubt MS really cares whether Windows is pirated. It has sent internal memos in the past claiming piracy lead to windows popularity. A copy of windows on a machine, legit or not, is a good thing for Microsoft. However, the same can not be said for other Microsoft software.

If WGA is meant to detect pirated versions of Windows, then, by my tests, it fails horridly.
Posted by umbrae (1073 comments )
Link Flag
All users cheated
As has been determined in many lawsuits, all users of MS software have been cheated. Whether they know it or not. MS has abused it's monopoly position and continues to do so. Only a small portion of their customers have been compensated and not very well at that.

It's one thing to be the best, it's another to cheat your way to the top. If only more people would fight back.
Posted by freemarket--2008 (5058 comments )
Link Flag
If you're legit user...
You should fill out the form online if you know you have a legit copy from and OEM, and it won't validate it.
Posted by metsrok (7 comments )
Link Flag
MS employees here have a prob with understanding Piracy & PRIVACY.
It appears that the MS employees posting here have extreme difficulty in understanding the difference between Piracy and PRIVACY.

According to MS dictionary, if you value the American fad called PRIVACY, YOU Must be a PIRATE.
Posted by kamwmail-cnet1 (292 comments )
Reply Link Flag
PS...
ps. I forgot to add that in all reality, you just own the right to use the software, you dont actually own the software which is why it is called a license. You have to think of it as a long term almost non-revocable lease (I say almost non-revocable because many EULAs have some type of revocation of license section.
Posted by pmfjoe (196 comments )
Reply Link Flag
WGA Causes Blue Screen of Death
I finally allowed this thing to be installed on my computer, and what did it get me? It caused my computer to crash immediately upon reboot. If it wasn't for my non-microsoft firewall I'd have been screwed. After replacing the driver which caused the problem, you can't uninstall WGA, I was rewarded with a lovely message telling me that my legitimate copy of Windows wasn't genuine. News to me, my four hundred dollars, and CompUSA. Thanks Uncle Bill, Good Riddence.
Posted by dtrues (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Thank heavens I don't use Windows...
Because having Yet Another Hole punched in the firewall just so the OS maker can keep tabs on what I do, and worrying that an update or a feature may not be available because a bug or a smiliar CD Key may make them think that I somehow pirated their OS?

Yuck.

Seriously - my Macintosh doesn't do this at all, and my Linux boxes were installed from .iso files that I legally and freely downloaded.

It must really suck to be forced to subject one's personal data and personal property to the capricious whims of a large software company.

Okay, I can understand the need of a given company to prevent piracy of their products, but seriously... this method is rather intrusive (and costly in terms of bandwidth for those overseas who get taxed for it).

No way, folks... I may never play HalfLife2 and such (though Quake4 runs just fine on my Mac...), but at least I know that no one is rummaging through my computer and leaving open potential holes for crakcers and script kiddies to wriggle in through.
Posted by Penguinisto (5042 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Life in a G8 Country
I am not suprised by the predictable outrage of all these "legitimate" users of Windows XP. In the West, there are copyright and patent laws that are supposed to enhance quality of life and protect each individual's right to innovate (i know its not perfect...). Imagine if our society degraded to the point where all software was pirated (a case akin to Asia's moral fibre today). Who would want to do business? There wouldn't be any capital justification to labour relentlessy; the end would never justify the means. I would like to think we are different. Microsoft has every right to protect their property; it is their fiduciary duty to the Microsoft stockholders and employees. I hope the WGA is implemented immediately upon the launch of VISTA so everyone knows the rules from the get-go.
Posted by vc73 (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Oh Puhleese
Lemme get this straight...Have you looked at which "society" is cleaning the economic clock of the G8 countries? I'm sorry...just where do the Walmarts of the world get virtually all their goods manufactured? The software I've purchased from Microsoft is not "their property"; it's mine. If us "G8"-ers are soo superior to the immoral Asian masses, can you please explain why companies like Sony and Microsoft insist on treating us the same. Or why, we should be unwitting testers for their buggy software (software that I might add is of no value to use "G8"-ers)...If Microsoft wants beta testers, let them pay for them. All this from a company that wants you to trust it blindly to install "security" products on your PC.
Posted by wascallywabbit (3 comments )
Link Flag
Sell for less
Windows XP Pro $25 dollars for everone
Office XP 2003 Pro $25 dollars for everone

Trash all other versions (Home and MS Works Small Business)

All people will get first education on how to use Office software in their home.

All will be cheap enough making it worthless to pirate.

LINUX will be dropped for the cheaper Microsoft.

Mac's will become doorstops.

No more need Genuine Advantage Checks.

Everybody smiles everybody happy.

World Peace!

WOW...........The simple life!
Posted by Ted Miller (305 comments )
Link Flag
Life in a G8 Country?
>>I hope the WGA is implemented immediately upon >>the launch of VISTA so everyone knows the rules >>from the get-go.

Me too. That way no one in their right mind will buy it.
Posted by willdryden (271 comments )
Link Flag
Life in a G8 Country
Once again, I'm not sure if you are a blatant troll, a M$ shill, or just pathetically lost-in-the-woods naive. Truthfully, I have no idea which is worse.

Living in the G8, as you would seem to indicate, companies are entitled to do pretty much anything that they dang-well please, just because, you know, they can? And that we are somehow vastly superior to the "degraded society" of Asia because of our system of copywrights and patents that have become patently (haha) intrusive and invasive.

Living in the "first world" of the G8, shouldn't I, as a taxpayer and a non-criminal, be treated as such? I have violated no copywright laws, every MP3 that I have is from my CD collection that I bought and paid for with the fiat money issued by my government. Yet I have to subject myself to the digital equivalent of a body cavity search just for the privilige of running overpriced bloatware just so that I can play Oblivion without heart ache? Ummmm... Well, hell no. WGA is not the straw that broke the camel's back (it was, truth be told, added after the fact; YAAOOK*) (*yet another act of overkill)
, it's just one more indignity. One more slap in the face.

If this goes on, then maybe we'll see guys dressed up as techs storming a boat in Puget Sound and throwing crates of Vista into the water. (+5 to your history exam if you catch this reference.)

Back to your comments regarding the Asiatic countries... I've got some Japanese and Chinese business associates that would take great umberage to what you've implied about their neck of the woods. While perhaps not as sophisticated as the people from the backwoods of West Virginia and Kentucky, I'm reasonably confident that there ARE a few homes in China that are wired for the Internet. I understand that a few of them even have broadband. One or two might even have some extra money that they use to buy, you know, stuff. And... If my sources are correct, then they even have a "white market" where they can buy... (and this is the real secret) AUTHORIZED VERSIONS. I've been hearing the cutest little rumors about this tiny, sparsely populated country called India. Maybe one day they'll even have tech and call centers there.

Perhaps you shouldn't be contributing to the general conversation. Take your condescending and rascist (and please, don't degrade yourself further by stating that some of your best friends are Asians) ravings, write them on little scraps of paper and keep them to yourself.

A final note... Your... Uh, I'll be charitable and refer to it as a "point" about the pirated software, a lack of capital justification, etc... I call attention to the fact that there is a very real and emergent OS and its attendant software packages. Linux... Coming to a desktop near you... (And if the Beta 2 of Vista is any indication... It'll be sooner than you think.)
Posted by mjohnson13 (5 comments )
Link Flag
Turkey?
Dunno ab't that - I've been running various flavors of Linux for over a decade and have been running an exclusive mix of OSX and Linux on my personal machines for three years running now - one of the Linux boxes even operates as a personal media center for my television - it replaced my old DVD player and TiVo very nicely (shrug). I've had to reinstall OSX exactly zero times, and I upgraded one of the Linux boxes once - from SuSE 7.2 to Fedora Core 5. Zero viruses, zero spyware, zero slowdowns in performance (no registry to get corrupted, y'know), and no machine has (to this date anyway) been compromised.

Haven't felt the need to go "running back" yet. ;)
Posted by Penguinisto (5042 comments )
Reply Link Flag
As usual, main reason for WGA ignored...
While CNET of courses manages to mention piracy in passing, it's obvious that CNET doesn't consider software piracy much of a big deal--but considers Microsoft's WGA program far more alarming. Yawn...this is just the usual Windows mud slinging I've grown to expect as par for the course from CNET.

Apparently CNET hasn't noticed its own headlines of recent years, but the majority of problems that Microsoft's had with piracy stem from mom & pop, "we build it for you" stores. These stores often take a single copy of Windows and install it on dozens to hundreds of the machines they sell locally, and often the poor consumer doesn't even know that the "great deal" he's getting from his local store unfortunately doesn't include a legitimate copy of Windows--even though the customer himself believes he's paid for it. The last few major cases Microsoft has prosecuted, in fact, deal with this exact scenario.

The WGA program is geared precisely for these people, isn't it? It's to alert people to the fact that the copy of Windows they've purchased is illegitimate.

OK, so what's the one thing people would normally do who suddenly discover that their copy of Windows isn't legitimate? I can tell you that if it was me I'd return to my place of purchase and raise hell about it. I'd also tell Microsoft from whom it was that I purchased the bogus software in the first place.

OTOH, what is the thing that people will do who know they're running a bogus copy of the OS, and have been running a bogus copy of the OS for a long time, but who suddenly get caught by the WGA program? They're going to ***** and moan, just like we see here, aren't they?

It goes without saying that these people aren't going to go to their place of purchase and *****, since they already know the copy they've been running is bogus. Instead, they'd rather "go to Microsoft" in the hopes that they could con someone there just like they probably did in the early days of XP, when they had to phone in to Microsoft to get a copy of WindowsXP validated that wouldn't validate over the Internet. So predictible.

Remarks like the following I find annoying because they are so easy to see through:

""I have licenses for all my PCs," wrote CNET News.com reader "kamwmail-cnet1." But citing a lack of trust in Microsoft, this reader installed the 905474.exe tool. "Install this hack. Boot your PC. You're in business, private business," the reader added."

Interesting, isn't it, how "kamwmail-cnet1" has no trouble at all in "trusting" Microsoft to supply the OS he runs on all his machines, and no trouble at all "trusting" Microsoft to supply whatever number of updates and patches it wishes to supply those machines gratis, but, according to CNET, he cannot "trust" Microsoft enough to properly administer the WGA program? Sorry, but that's just not believable.

On my machine at home I'm running a copy of WindowsXP which I purchased in 2001. Since then it has been updated innumerable times and moved to several different platforms with vastly different hardware setups, has been validated by Microsoft maybe a dozen times both by phone and over the Internet and, lo and behold, the WGA program has never caused me, or *anyone else* on my home network, the slightest problem. But then, I *know* that my copies of Windows are legitimate, so I've not been surprised by the fact that WGA hasn't caused me any problems.

But at work, the only direct experience I've heard of where the WGA kicks in happened in a situation where it *should* have kicked in. An employee took a copy of the company's XP home (corporate edition) and installed it improperly to his home system--and whammo--the WGA caught him. Predictibly, he didn't like it either...;)

I think the remarks here about, "Gee, I'd rather go to the Mac where I can run all the bogus software I want" are pretty funny. I agree with them and wish them well--it would suit me just fine if the people who object to paying for a Microsoft OS would move to Apple for that privilege.

All that said, I think that Microsoft could do with a bit of revision to its non-commercial licensing. I note that my copy of Vista Beta2x64 includes *TEN* local licenses (for ten machines.) I also note that Apple is smart enough to provide for more than the one-license-per-machine dictum that Microsoft has been so fond of--unless I'm mistaken. Microsoft could save itself a lot of work by simply acknowledging the fact that today's home user is likely to have a network and so the one-license-per-machine stipulation is unrealistic and unreasonable, outside of a business environment, that is.

As long as there are small computer hardware shops that want to pirate Windows in quantity I think there will always be a plain and obvious justification for the WGA program. But when it comes to home/family use, I think that Microsoft could revise its licensing policies in that regard and ultimately save itself a whole lot of work.
Posted by Walt Connery (89 comments )
Reply Link Flag
RE: As usual, main reason for WGA ignored
Walt,
I once was also a Microsoft supporter who believed that only the pirates would be irked by their genuine "advantage" program. This time they have gone too far. I, like thousands of other ticked-off legitimate users who are posting to blogs at MS support and elsewhere, am running legal Windows that I purchased from Office max in a box and installed myself, and have suffered from the underhanded, unethical tactics of Microsoft. You and microsoft need to understand that installing per-release anti-piracy code disguised as a critical update so that they can work out this phone-home system they are building into Vista is unethical. I am one of the 40% of users who took the time to read the EULA, and declined the "update" because I don't have time to be troubleshooting their pre-release code on my machine when their post release code is buggy enough. Well guess what, it broke my Microsoft Update, and i was forced to install a 'WGA software update' just to access the site at all. And after that, the Notifications tool I declined was really installed. I had been dealing with the idiots at MS tech support for months who just know how to paste corporate answers into their emails without fully reasing the issue.
You are correct in pointing out that the mom and pop shops do just copy windows on machines they build/fix. I would have to say that more often it would be machines that are fixed rather than built. The average mom/pop shop is fixing far more Dells and Hps than it is building them, because anyone who builds Pc's knows that you can't compete with them price-wise, and most consumers shop for the lowest price. And this is a tremendously small segment of the market in the US anyway. The fact is there are alot of Certificates of Authenticity out there that don't match the code on the drive, but you cannot assume that means the code on the drive was not paid for originally at some point. MS does need to revisit its licensing.
The real issue here is that Microsft is installing spyware on your machine. They did it to me even when i declined it, they slipped it in. My machine has never failed any windows validation checks. But alas, you CANNOT uninstall this "update". SOFTWARE THAT INSTALLS WITHOUT YOUR CONSENT THAT PHONES HOME DAILY AND CANNOT BE REMOVED IS SPYWARE, no matter what spin the people at MS try to put on it. It should never have been classified as a critical update, as MS claims it would enhance the security of the machine. If I want to check the validity of my software for security purposes, i can do that anytime by visiting their genuine advantage site. The only purpose is to catch pirates at everyone else's expense. Ironically, The "fix" touted on MS sites is to reinstall Windows, which alone is dangerous is SP2 is not slipstreamed, and turn off automatic updates to prevent this from installing again. Yes, turn off automatic updates! Now when I purchased Xp, one of the touted features was that it would install security updates quickly and effortlessly. Now in order to keep my machine free of spyware that connects daily to MS so they can debug future Vista features, i have to disable this functionality? I thought I bought something I own, but apparently not. And look out, because they are putting this in Vista where it will phone home every 90 days to see if it is still genuine. That's not the concern of a paying customer. Microsoft can go jump in a lake and Walt, you need a reality check that MS is really taking us all for a ride. I would like to be compensated for all my wasted time as an unwilling software tester, or "guinea-pig" as stated in the article., and also not everyone who has a problem with MS is a hacker or a pirate, (although now I understand how some of those folks may have got to that point). I for one, am sick of jumping thru hoops to correct the failures of a multi-billion dollar corporation, and these recent sneaky tactics are enough. I'm dumping MS after all this, and you and the other MS fans can keep your noses way up high in their corporate butts that will soon crap on you too. Saying things like "it would suit me just fine if the people who object to paying for a Microsoft OS would move to Apple".
That's ridiculous. I don't know many people running pirated Macs! In fact you always spend more to run a mac than a comperable windows box. The only problem is I don't want to be a Mac-lover in their utopia fantasy land of Steve Jobs is GOD and apple is perfect. Those folks are even more brainwashed. So, maybe its time for linux? But i do know this, Microsoft has unleashed a massive test program that is damaging computers everywhere that are licensed, legal, and validated, and cannot repair or uninstall it. I can't wait for the class-action suit. They really deserve it.
Posted by whataheadache (11 comments )
Link Flag
Agree with you
I cannot say anymore than that. It is true: The people who are ******** about WGA are the ones that WGA was designed to stop. Microsoft does have a way that if you come up with a false possitive to get validated properly. Remember that if a customer payed for a copy of a product the company will value that person. Also I would ***** that Microsoft shouldn't be putting this product on the main update page if it is beta but I haven't had any major problem with it. The users that do are ones that WGA is preventing from getting updates.
Posted by wildman6801 (1 comment )
Link Flag
False assuptions?
What you state is what Microsoft wants you to believe is always the case. The problem is that it isn't always accurate.

I have 6 computers in my home, and at least 7 licenses from Microsoft (I tend to loose track after I know where the "Certificate of Authenticity" that has the product key is located for the boxes I have up and running are. All of them should be legal--three are installed with the box (2 Dell, 1 IBM) and 3 are boxed editions purchase at Staples (2) and BestBuy (1). All are major vendors, not one of them even conceivable that they would have "illegal" licenses.

WGA caused one of my machines to crash on installation, required me to reinstall windows and then the update worked. No change to the hardware was done, but the install crashed my system. It most likely was caused by the numerous changes I make to that machine (it is one of the 3 I built from scratch -- no, I take that back, I think that was the machine I started years ago, and had OS/2 on originally -- it has had numerous changes though, and many license (original NT box purchased after 3.1 came out, upgraded to 2000, then to XP Professional when that came out). It has had clean installs over the years when things either died (main hard drive) or crashed (the registry is a pain, it should have been dropped long ago).

The only justification they could have for saying it does add value is that they produce updates (to what I would call software malpractice -- buffer overrun errors, and other security patches) for those that have it installed. DDOS attacks on servers, spammer, and other mass attacks on the internet use unpatched slave computers where the owner is unaware the machine is unpatched, infected and remotely controlled.

While the proximate cause for the damage is not Microsoft, their irresponsible software development practices are responsible for much of the damage. With modern development tools, and the ability of the processors (ever since the 80386 processor) to segregate code and data so that never the twain should meet, there is NO EXCUSE for the errors in the OS. Justification based on irresponsible action on their part is no justification at all. All persons are harmed by the irresponsible writing of software -- even those that do not use a computer (the billions of dollars lost by companies that were infected by worms pass those costs on to us -- a $6 billion worm cost a lot of money to all of us).

Because Microsoft originated the defects that allowed these things in the first place, Microsoft should be forced to provide patches to all machines that could negatively impact the world (both legal and illegal copies of Windows) so everyone does not have to pay for Microsofts irresponsible design and workmanship. Microsoft is not the proximate cause of the plague of malware, but they are a contributing factor. They make money (and lots of it) from the software they develop. They should consider the patching of the mistakes not a benefit to the user, but a cost of business due to lack of quality. Critical/Security updates should be provided, even to illegal users, free of charge. Microsoft is the proximate cause of security flaws, which allow the proximate cause of malware to easily exploit the users and even those who have no computer at all. They have a responsibility to the world at large to release patches freely for as wide a possible distribution as they can. Not doing so is like leaving loaded guns on the floor of a toddler nursery and claiming they are not the ones responsible for the damage. Badly designed and/or implemented software is dangerous. It must be fixed even if it should not have been installed in the first place.
Posted by bwithnell (12 comments )
Link Flag
false presumptions?
What you state is what Microsoft wants you to believe is always the case. The problem is that it isn't always accurate.

I have 6 computers in my home, and at least 7 licenses from Microsoft (I tend to loose track after I know where the "Certificate of Authenticity" that has the product key is located for the boxes I have up and running are. All of them should be legal--three are installed with the box (2 Dell, 1 IBM) and 3 are boxed editions purchase at Staples (2) and BestBuy (1). All are major vendors, not one of them even conceivable that they would have "illegal" licenses.

WGA caused one of my machines to crash on installation, required me to reinstall windows and then the update worked. No change to the hardware was done, but the install crashed my system. It most likely was caused by the numerous changes I make to that machine (it is one of the 3 I built from scratch -- no, I take that back, I think that was the machine I started years ago, and had OS/2 on originally -- it has had numerous changes though, and many license (original NT box purchased after 3.1 came out, upgraded to 2000, then to XP Professional when that came out). It has had clean installs over the years when things either died (main hard drive) or crashed (the registry is a pain, it should have been dropped long ago).

The only justification they could have for saying it does add value is that they produce updates (to what I would call software malpractice -- buffer overrun errors, and other security patches) for those that have it installed. DDOS attacks on servers, spammer, and other mass attacks on the internet use unpatched slave computers where the owner is unaware the machine is unpatched, infected and remotely controlled.

While the proximate cause for the damage is not Microsoft, their irresponsible software development practices are responsible for much of the damage. With modern development tools, and the ability of the processors (ever since the 80386 processor) to segregate code and data so that never the twain should meet, there is NO EXCUSE for the errors in the OS. Justification based on irresponsible action on their part is no justification at all. All persons are harmed by the irresponsible writing of software -- even those that do not use a computer (the billions of dollars lost by companies that were infected by worms pass those costs on to us -- a $6 billion worm cost a lot of money to all of us).

Because Microsoft originated the defects that allowed these things in the first place, Microsoft should be forced to provide patches to all machines that could negatively impact the world (both legal and illegal copies of Windows) so everyone does not have to pay for Microsofts irresponsible design and workmanship. Microsoft is not the proximate cause of the plague of malware, but they are a contributing factor. They make money (and lots of it) from the software they develop. They should consider the patching of the mistakes not a benefit to the user, but a cost of business due to lack of quality. Critical/Security updates should be provided, even to illegal users, free of charge. Microsoft is the proximate cause of security flaws, which allow the proximate cause of malware to easily exploit the users and even those who have no computer at all. They have a responsibility to the world at large to release patches freely for as wide a possible distribution as they can. Not doing so is like leaving loaded guns on the floor of a toddler nursery and claiming they are not the ones responsible for the damage. Badly designed and/or implemented software is dangerous. It must be fixed even if it should not have been installed in the first place.
Posted by bwithnell (12 comments )
Link Flag
ONCE AND FOR ALL!
The main reason customers like me (with valid MS software purchased at Circuit City) are upset is:

1. WGA is a BETA copy, not a fully functional product
2. Foisted as "critical security update" (which is a lie, since there is nothing related to customer security in it - it supposedly is an antipiracy tool - big difference)
3. Phones "home" to MS every day (why does it need to validate my OS every day? I do not re-install my OS every day, and neither does anyone I know.
4. Sends back unspecified information to MS (in other words, does not just "validate" the copy of Windows, but snoops in my computer.
5. There is no provision made to help customers that this tool has erroneously identified as a "pirate", when in fact all the customer did is they installed a new piece of hardware in their computer,or had to reformat their hard drive.

GET IT???????
Posted by itango (80 comments )
Link Flag
ONCE AND FOR ALL!
The main reason customers like me (with valid MS software purchased at Circuit City) are upset is:

1. WGA is a BETA copy, not a fully functional product
2. Foisted as "critical security update" (which is a lie, since there is nothing related to customer security in it - it supposedly is an antipiracy tool - big difference)
3. Phones "home" to MS every day (why does it need to validate my OS every day? I do not re-install my OS every day, and neither does anyone I know.
4. Sends back unspecified information to MS (in other words, does not just "validate" the copy of Windows, but snoops in my computer.
5. There is no provision made to help customers that this tool has erroneously identified as a "pirate", when in fact all the customer did is they installed a new piece of hardware in their computer,or had to reformat their hard drive.

GET IT???????
Posted by itango (80 comments )
Link Flag
As long as there are THIEVES
In house we "had" two copies Adobe® Creative Suite 2 Premium and one copy of CS Production Studio. We purchased these as "OEM discs" from a local shop after Jeanne/Frances hit us. The cost was about 20% less than ordering up the boxed retail set. (I really do not need the manuals anymore.) The software ran without a hitch, and was updated through Adobe.

After Wilma hit, I was having a HDD acting up and prepped for updating the PC(s). I reinstalled the Suites, and attempted to activate the software. Then Surprise, Surprise, Surprise. After 3 attempts (one while customer service was on the phone), there was no activation and many registry errors. After another 12 hours with Level 3 customer service; following requests for hardcopies of receipts (which took the bank 4-weeks to get), etc., Nada. The local shop was no longer in business and disappeared after Wilma. After additional investigation (4 months or so); the long story short was that the "OEM discs" were actually pirated copies and the Keys were useless for reinstallation now (and Adobe would not reissue keys). In the meanwhile the bad guys are somewhere (not in jail), and I get to list this as a loss to the IRS.

As long as there are THIEVES that want to pirate Windows or other media, I think there will always be a plain and obvious justification for WGA/DRM programs. I only hope they were more efficient in catching the thieves than upsetting the lives of legitimate users.
Posted by TKang (1 comment )
Link Flag
This is blasphemy
that anyone would circumvent all the effort the great God Gates has gone thru for us.

For penence you must face the northwest, kneel, and bow your head 3 times a day for each day you prevented the Empire MS from protecting you.
Posted by wtortorici (102 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Windows (RootKit) Spyware
This is going to be my last Windows/Os in my & my family Pc's.
This is one of the worst Windows spyware Made by M$ Itself,This tool want to connect with Bill Gates MotherShip every time you start the Os.

Next time i will wait before i get my pc update on Fat Tuesday(2nd tuesday of Every Month or so)

i can disable this service but next time you wan't to upgrade the windows it make you start this service again???


After Sony this is next Worst Spyware out there by any company.
Posted by sunny7v (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
so basically
Your family will suffer from the robbing of great software that their local school uses and local government pays for...so when your kids get made fun of because they are completely confused and disoriented because they don't have a Windows PC...they will be able to sit down and thank you.
Posted by imkain (66 comments )
Link Flag
New VISTA has special Spyware feature
One of the new features of MS Vista is the notion of a protected process. If you can get your hands on the approriate key to sign your application, you can force it to run in a special protected mode. The process cannot be stopped, it can hide itself from the process list, it can assume administrative privleges, and it can be made impossible to dump.

It's an intentional security feature to secure some processes at the risk that a malevolent process will be authorized to run invisibly in a way guaranteed to be unstoppable and unremovable.
Posted by Zymurgist (397 comments )
Link Flag
day 27 WGA still doesnt work on my WMCE 2005 machine.
Yes its fully licensed legit OS and not a copy and
I still get the 299 error and over 5 VIP whoopdeedoo MVP microsoft techies gave me directions and I made sure each dirction was followed exactly and still WGA killed my ability to update my machine....

Windows update no longer works because of this.
And Microsoft calls this a benefit. FOR WHOM?!?!?!

WGA SUCKS!!!
Posted by inachu (963 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Captive audience...
Wail and cry you want to. It's not like you have a choice in the
matter. With 95% of the market Microsoft dictates the terms, not
the customer. You will authenticate and you will like it because MS
says so. End of debate.
Posted by lkrupp (1608 comments )
Reply Link Flag
End of the debate? Not hardly.
Just because Microsoft is the biggest kid on the block does not make the debate go away. It means it remains unresolved.

Under the "MS is the biggest kid on the block" mantle, I would suggest the following for thought. This is one definition for extortion as applied in California. Other states have similar descriptions, but they do vary on a state-by-state basis.

The important bit re: my part of this debate, is that numerous people have said you can't complain about something for which you GAVE CONSENT (via the WGAP pre-install agreement). I don't agree with that, and here's one reason why...The Hobbs Act.

"The Hobbs Act defines 'extortion' as "the obtaining of property from another, WITH HIS CONSENT, induced by wrongful use of actual or threatened force, violence, or fear, or under color of official right." 18 U.S.C. S 1951(b)."


Now, consider the following definitions interpreted within the scope of this act. Possible criminal extortion per interpretation of existing law?


"Property": personal information

"Fear": deny/withhold vital services or threat of exposure (in this case, as a thief, even when you are not)

"Official right": software license (modified after initial purchase of license)
Posted by jmagecko (32 comments )
Link Flag
 

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