Wednesday, October 29, 2008

China's NCA versus Microsoft: Pot Calling the Kettle Black?

Last week Mr Yan Xiaohong, vice-president of the National Copyright Administration of the People's Republic of China (NCA Chinese) criticised Microsoft's Windows Genuine Advantage software, according to an AFP article. Mr Yan's has a problem that this system which turns computer desktops black every hour if the installed Windows XP operating system fails an authenticity validation test: "Measures for safeguarding (intellectual property) rights also need to be appropriate. We've paid great attention to the 'black-out' issue."

According to the AFP Mr Yan also said: "The company adopted unified prices in the past without considering the income gap between developed and developing countries[.]" Read the AFP article here.

Who is to blame here?
  • Microsoft because of the quote by Mr Bill Gates in Fortune magazine which hounds him ever since about that Microsoft did not enforce its copyright in China to secure market share: "They'll get sort of addicted, and then we'll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade," read more here, and now that they do, they allegedly enforce in a consumer unfriendly way.
  • China's NCA, because so far they seem to be unable to effectively enforce Microsoft's copyright and this is a case of best defense is offence and Microsoft is only securing that users "are getting the experience they expect"?
  • Or both Microsoft and China's NCA?
  • Nobody?
What do you think?
Mr Joel Martinsen of has a great article 'Kong Yiji and the question of software piracy' about it here.
The Haidian District People's Court in Beijing lodged a case by Mr Liu against Microsoft because of its Windows Genuine Advantage system. Cheng Zhiliang wrote an article about it for the Shanghai Daily named: 'Microsoft sued for anti-piracy measures', read it here.
Is Microsoft budging because of the pressure? Mu Xuequan of via Xinhua wrote 'Microsoft to take more flexible pricing strategy in China' read here.

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