Romanian President Tells Bill Gates How Awesome Pirated Software Is For His Country

from the keep-sending-it,-please dept

Back in the old days, even Bill Gates would admit that piracy actually helped Microsoft, as it helped get people “addicted” to the software and built up the network effects that made Microsoft into the massively profitable powerhouse it is today. However, more recently, he’s been among those campaigning for overly strict efforts to stamp out piracy, so it must have been rather uncomfortable for him earlier this week on his European Vista launch tour to listen to Romanian President Traian Basescu talk about what a wonderful boon for the Romanian economy pirated Microsoft software has been, noting that it helped create a Romanian IT industry. Apparently, the tech industry in the country is still growing rapidly. And, of course, it’s very likely that this has helped Microsoft’s bottom line tremendously. The growth of any IT industry in the country, aided by the unauthorized copies, almost definitely resulted in many more legitimate licenses being purchased than would have happened otherwise. Yet, these days, Microsoft won’t admit that at all, and rather pretends the opposite is true; claiming that unauthorized copies “harm” the economy, by not having that money go into the local Microsoft bank account. Of course, confronted with all of this, Bill Gates stood mute and didn’t say anything about the issue of how such unauthorized copying helped make Microsoft so successful.


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Comments on “Romanian President Tells Bill Gates How Awesome Pirated Software Is For His Country”

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39 Comments
haywood says:

I learned to pirate from Bill

The first instructions you got with DOS were to; make a copy. Good advice as the ferrous on those early disks was pretty short lived. He taught an entire generation to copy…Er back-up software. The reason PC left Mac in the dust was the availability of a mass amount of “free” software. Perhaps few will admit it, but that’s what drove the revolution.

Araemo says:

Re: I learned to pirate from Bill

Yep, I remember that.

A LOT of software did that, until they started using disks with holes in them or what have you as anti-piracy measures. Then they started the ‘disk replacement’ programs where you paid $5-$50 ‘shipping and handling’ to get replacement disks.

At least microsoft still lets you make copies/make your own windows install disks. I haven’t used my originals in years(Mostly because I slipstreamed SP2, and then SATA/RAID drivers onto the disks, gotta love nLite)

ScaredOfTheMan says:

MS is way too overconfident

MS and Everyone knows that unauthorized copies of windows is what brought them here.

The challenge for them is this idea that they can convert these “addicts”. If they were the only show in town then yes, but they are not. By tightening the Screws all they are doing is waking up the “lazy people” into finally looking for alternatives. (which are plentiful).

vista is not the operating system everyone wants…. its success is purely a function of an exploited monopoly. That’s not the best position to be in for a software comapny.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: MS is way too overconfident

people throw around the word “monopoly” waaay too much. Microsoft is *not* a monopoly. They have an obscenely huge market share, yes. but they aren’t a monopoly.

also, i dunno what you’re talking about with the success of vista. i’d have to say that the release of vista is not living up to anyone’s expectations. even i, who was not looking forward to vista at all, was someone surprised by the lack of enthusiasm.

i also have to say that i think microsoft is a little bit too greedy with their current piracy tactics. they do have a huge market share, so its not like piracy is hurting them all that much. for the most part, i’d say people who pirate the software are people who wouldn’t purchase it in the first place due to its price. beyond that, i’d say having people pirate windows would be great because it now greatly increases the chances of them becoming dependent on microsoft. its not always the initial purchase that has to make the profit for a company. sometimes its the customer always having to come back to them later on. so, they shouldn’t complain too much when they lose some money on their first “transaction” with a person because chances are they’ll make money off the same person later down the road. they should be looking at the pirated software as a hook.

Collin says:

Re: Re: MS is way too overconfident

I agree with you, people that do not understand basic english grammar (sentence strucuture or punctuation) should not post.

How embarrasing wood it b if some1 criticizing anuther posters engrish made a PUNCTUATION ERROR????

Do you speak it.

– or –

Do you speak it?

It bothers me when people write derogitory comments to someone else ONLINE (yes, this page can be viewed in countries other than the US). That poster you are calling a motherfucker is just trying to contribute to a healthy discussion of Microsoft, why do you feel the need to belittle them?

jlambeth1 says:

Re: MS is way too overconfident

You hit that right on the head. I was a lazy M$ user but this past weekend, after reading too much on how much Vista stinks, I started tinkering with Linux. After trying out a few different flavors of Linux, I was very impressed and will be switching to them as soon as I am more comfortable working in this new environment.

Corrupt_Data says:

Re: Re: MS is way too overconfident

Switching to Linux? I respect you much. Don’t you have a boatload of Windows apps like me? I tried Ubuntu for a week and while I got many things to work through WINE it was all a hassle to spend extra effort and have things run at 80% or less than on Windows. At least for my hardware the Linux drivers are awful 🙁

Todd (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: MS is way too overconfident

A lot of what you are trying to use Wine for can probably be found natively for Linux and will run much better.
AmaroK instead of iTunes
OO Writer instead of Word
GNUcash instead of Quicken etc…

Some of the native Linux replacements are much better then their Win counterparts (if you give them a chance) and some are not; but try to find native Linux apps instead of using Wine and CrossOver Office when you can.

Good Luck

jlambeth1 says:

Re: MS is way too overconfident

You hit that right on the head. I was a lazy M$ user but this past weekend, after reading too much on how much Vista stinks, I started tinkering with Linux. After trying out a few different flavors of Linux, I was very impressed and will be switching to them as soon as I am more comfortable working in this new environment.

Bumbling old fool (profile) says:

I'm thankful for it

Look, we can’t be upset at Microsoft for this newfound stance on piracy of their software.

The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.

Yes, that was a shameless star wars quote. However, its perfectly applicable.

Everyone knows that Microsoft was able to build its empire thanks in large part to piracy. So if they try to remove piracy, then that will only allow someone else to build an empire with either the benefits fo piracy, or just because they get a new userbase that cannot (yet) afford to properly license windows.

So I’m thankful that microsoft is trying to alienate all its customers, both the paying and the nonpauing. This action will breed competition, which history has shown, is good for all.

Ken says:

Its true.. Piracy does help

Nobody wants to hear that something illegal turned out to be beneficial.

But the truth is, being able to pirate software help slingshot MS and all software companies by allowing more people access to use their software.

I started playing with Windows and DOS only because it was free ! As a kid, I can’t afford the costs of software. But by using the software, I became use to it and now its a part of everybody’s lives.

Agent Smith says:

Ubuntu has excellent base installed software and very extensive list of extras which are easy to manage.

There is a bit of a curve, but it’s on the right track and help is never far away.

I myself am actively trying to remove the microshaft from my…. (I’ll leave the explicits to the others – they are far better at it.)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

You can also try SuSe, i have been running v9x for about 2 years, kids like how fast the internet works with Frirefox on it. They even use the openoffice which is aprt of the install. It costs about 50-60 at bestbuy but having the install disks is worth it. They also have other utilities on the installs. I have this config running on a Dell dimension from 02. It is set to dual boot and i chose to put in another harddrive for this in case reformatting and reinstall was needed. Turns out I have had to reinstall xp on the other hd 3 times because of your typical windows issues, but the same Suse install is in tact.

good luck

redhammy says:

hmm...

The growth of any IT industry in the country, aided by the unauthorized copies, almost definitely resulted in many more legitimate licenses being purchased than would have happened otherwise.

This seems like a good piece of text to put a link on or something to back it up. Otherwise, you’re just being appalled that Microsoft won’t admit to something that you imagine might be true.

Michael Long says:

Numbers?

The growth of any IT industry in the country, aided by the unauthorized copies, almost definitely resulted in many more legitimate licenses being purchased than would have happened otherwise.

Almost definitely? Have numbers, or is this just a “common sense” assumption? Or wishful thinking?

And the next time you’re at work, I’d like to hear your reaction to your boss’s statement that all your work this week was REALLY appreciated, and will almost definitely result in a paycheck… sometime in the future.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Numbers?

“And the next time you’re at work, I’d like to hear your reaction to your boss’s statement that all your work this week was REALLY appreciated, and will almost definitely result in a paycheck… sometime in the future.”

there’s a difference between an employee getting paid for work and a company making money in the economy. the analogy you draw here isn’t very good. a huge install base due to piracy is most likely much more beneficial than a much smaller install base where everyone paid. knowing the the difference between wanting to make a quick buck now or much more money later is what separates good companies from the bad ones.

Lawrence D'Oliveiro says:

Different Strokes for Different Fokes...

Back in the 19th century (and into the early 20th), the US considered itself a developing country, which meant among other things it didn’t feel the need to respect the copyright laws of other countries. For instance, the works of Charles Dickens were mercilessly ripped off and sold without the author getting a penny.

Another well-known case was an early silent film, George Melie’s “La Voyage Dans La Lune”. A copy of this was stolen by Thomas Edison, who exhibited it widely it in the US, again without the original artists getting a single penny. This story is told in the last part of Tom Hanks’ epic 12-part series “From The Earth To The Moon”.

But of course, when other countries try to claim similar rights nowadays, they get told nooooo…

|333173|3|_||3 says:

Well stuff claiming the rights then.

Just do it. If enough little countries refused to recognise any US patents or patents held by US companies, and treated Copyright and trademarks likewise, then:
1) The USA could not invade^7^7^7^7^7^7liberate them all.
2) TEhy might make more on tax than they loose on US aid.
3) The rest of the world likes them for being anti-american without blowing things up/crashing planes.
4) M$ gets annoyed.
5) ditto the RIAA/MPAA
6) even if they make less on tax than they loose on US aid, everyone else has to be nice to them.

This won’t happen though, because they are genarally too busy arguing amongst themselves to agree on such things. Good thing for the USA

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