Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Does Microsoft's Approach to Addressing Counterfeiting Make More Sense?

A lot of companies out there are suing eBay for the sale of their counterfeit goods on the site. Microsoft is taking a different approach and going after the guilty parties involved, personally.

TechWeb did an interesting article with the specifics of Microsoft's latest legal actions, here.

In reality counterfeits are being sold on numerous auction sites, flea markets and even retail outlets. The Arizona Republic recently reported about how counterfeits are being smuggled across the border in massive amounts.

Interestingly enough, they mentioned "pirated software" being sold right on the streets:

Outside Computer Plaza, an electronics bazaar downtown, street hawkers carry binders full of pirated software. They will even help install the software on laptops. Adobe Photoshop, which costs $650 in the United States, can be bought outside Computer Plaza for 40 pesos, or $4.

Link to Arizona Republic story, here.

Getting off subject - this article mentions counterfeit "quality label" scotch being sold. I wonder if anyone has ever been poisoned, or gotten sick from consuming counterfeit goods?

Counterfeiting costs the economy and private companies billions and might cost consumers, also.

The sad truth is that although some people buy counterfeit merchandise (knowingly) - some of it looks so much like the real thing - there are a lot of people, who might actually believe they are getting the genuine product.

There is no telling what can come "bundled" in a counterfeit software package. Malware and crimeware could easily be installed in a system in this manner, along with other "problematic" software applications.

So just as one might get sick from drinking "counterfeit scotch," a computer could come down with a "nasty" virus from installing counterfeit software.

And there is something more personal to worry about -- if crimeware was to be installed in this manner -- the end result of this illness might very well be a person's financial resources and something more important, their identity.

So far as the Microsoft approach to attacking counterfeiting - it is far more realistic in my opinion (going after the source) - and (perhaps) spending financial resources doing this will be a service not only to Microsoft, but the public-at-large, also!

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