Microsoft Releases Utterly Bizarre And Confusing Anti-Piracy Video

from the fear,-uncertainty-and-disorder dept

Boo! You didn’t see me there, did you? That’s because I’m one insidious sonofabitch. My name’s piracy, and I’m everywhere. I will do things like disguise myself as a photocopier and infiltrate your business via identity theft. Or, umm, something. Here, I’ll let this dramatic PSA from Microsoft fail to explain it to you:

Understand? No? Good! We want you confused and bewildered! If you’re not careful, I will steal your external hard drives and stalk your attractive female employees. I even contribute to littering. And I do it all to the ominous notes of pizzicato strings, like Elmer Fudd hunting wabbits. Learn more at Microsoft’s anti-piracy website, which is so poorly designed as to look like a knockoff itself—that is, if I don’t run off with your computer first. Muahahaha! Piracy!

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Companies: microsoft

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Comments on “Microsoft Releases Utterly Bizarre And Confusing Anti-Piracy Video”

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crade (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Super LOLZ

I’m also a coder, and I don’t get it. Yeah, buy our overpriced shit or you’l be sorry? It doesn’t seem to even get that across… why would we be sorry? because bad stuff will magically happen to you if you don’t? Is it supposed to be karma? Only the one lady was supposedly accidentally buying counterfeit software right (yeah right, thats believable)? The other people were doing completely unrelated stuff… Why does the video description say “3 ways counterfeit software can sneak into your business”?

Cowardly Anonymous says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Super LOLZ

The counterfeits were the devices they were using. Like Lobo, I have enough insight into the peculiarities in play to figure out what they were going for.

Essentially, Microsoft is telling people to be careful about:
-What Browsers you use (plus downloads/online purchases/worker tendencies to do these things/dangers inherent from trash with critical info on it)
-What you install on scanning devices
-What you install on mobile storage devices

They are, of course, trying to pretend that they are the only one’s on the market that provide legit stuff.

The reason things get confusing is that the girl downloading has a lot of stuff all mashed together. Further, all of this is simple stuff, compared to the harder stuff in the other examples.

The watcher catches one of the items from the simple collage and is perplexed as to at least one other simple thing. This causes them to write off the more complicated events as esoteric as well, without attempting to explore what they could mean.

The video is too short to smooth out the explanation and separate the simple elements, but contains too much information to state in a fast indirect manner.

Of course, it is also primarily a big scare tactic, and may be confusing by design, as they realize they are misdirecting the watcher.

hothmonster says:

Re: Super LOLZ

I thought it was more of an attempt to lump more things under the word piracy. First piracy was robbing ships. Currently its robbing ships OR copyright infringement. Now they want piracy to mean robbing ships OR infringement, online fraud, hacking, identity theft and copier impersonation.

Piracy was no long a bad word since the general public no longer really cares about infringement. More often then not they do not side with the corporation.

So now they are making piracy scary again by sticking all these other crimes under the umbrella.

TtfnJohn (profile) says:

Re: Re: Super LOLZ

Logically that piracy is both robbing ships and copyright/patent infringement.

By extension that means that all the pirates are from Somalia, even the guy having lunch in the copier. Which must also mean that the IP extremist’s top villain Google must also have a large presence in Somalia which is where they hide their nefarious activities on servers squirreled away there.

Now if only Megaupload had done the same thing the site would still be up and running and Dotcom wouldn’t be fighting an extradition request.

See, it does all make sense if you only look at it like the bob’s and AC’s of the world want you and us to look at it.

It might take a night of beer and a truckload of pot brownies to get there but I assure you that it’s worth it!

Konraden (profile) says:

Re: Super LOLZ

I’m still trying to understand it. Microsoft seems to have equated everything information related to “piracy.” Data theft isn’t piracy, neither is credit card fraud, but they it seems they want you to believe that. In fact, that woman purchasing Office 2010 from “Litasoftware” may be purchasing a legitimate copy of Office from a third-party retailer. Who do we know, we have no access to any information aside from a guy in black lycra. It might be pirated, or it could be totally legitimate. What are they trying to say?

Konraden (profile) says:

Re: Super LOLZ

I’m still trying to understand it. Microsoft seems to have equated everything information related to “piracy.” Data theft isn’t piracy, neither is credit card fraud, but they it seems they want you to believe that. In fact, that woman purchasing Office 2010 from “Litasoftware” may be purchasing a legitimate copy of Office from a third-party retailer. Who do we know, we have no access to any information aside from a guy in black lycra. It might be pirated, or it could be totally legitimate. What are they trying to say?

GANOO (user link) says:

Re: I'd just like to interject for a moment...

Actually, you are not using 100% free software, as Firefox contains branding which is not licensed under the GPL, and is therefore not free.

Fedora’s version of the Linux kernel also contains nonfree, or “binary blobs”.

You should consider installing a fully free distribution of GNU/Linux (or GNU Plus Linux).

Not an Electronic Rodent says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

OK, so let’s rephrase. Who sits down at their work desk, in their big corporate office, and buys a single copy of Microsoft Office online using a corporate credit card?

Ummmmm someone about to be sacked for misuse of corporate computer resources and personal use during working time? :p

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Re:

OK, so I sorta understand the “don’t download from strange websites” one,…

I agree. Download your office software from here:

or here:

…but I couldn’t get WTF it was with the photocopier and the external hard drive.

Me either. Although, I did chase a creepy green guy out of a Xerox machine once back in the 90’s. It was after a couple-few drinks at an office party, so I don’t really remember all the details.

Another AC says:

Re: Re:

What I am trying to understand in the message is how the issue affects *me*. I don’t get the disappearing computer, the data loss, or the ‘identity theft’ from a photocopier, since none of those things are even possible with either piracy.

Maybe with ‘hackers’, but you threw that in so you would have a point, because they certainly never brought that up.

TtfnJohn (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Not for you but then you apparently need high end models working for you or any of this to happen.

And then there’s a identity thief hiding inside every copier and scanner too if only you get the right models. (See above)

Not only that but piracy forces itself into every office, crackers lay in wait at the other end of the WAN and LAN waiting for a nice view of cleavage before downloading malware!

All without most people, it appears, being aware of the dangers out there or in there or somewhere there on the bosses completely unsecured LAN running a Windows server, no doubt. (Not like there’s an ad agency in existence that will acknowledge the mere existence of other server OS’s.)

I know without reading the article what the ad is trying to say. I’m equally sure that no one over the age of 6 will take it seriously and precious few under that age will.

It’s certainly not going convince anyone with it’s year old beef stew approach to any of the topics it tries to cover.

Love the production values, though!

ltlw0lf (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I think it’s a pretty good commercial – reminding people that piracy and hackers are there pretty much at every turn.

And their number one target… Survey says… Microsoft.

Don’t have problems with hackers, viruses, worms, trojans, etc. on my Linux box, and my Linux and FreeBSD servers don’t have 02efpk.html for download from unsuspecting users from trojans sent to them on their windows box with hotmail reading and running them by default.

How Microsoft can claim, with a straight face, that they have anything to do with protecting you from hackers is beyond me.

Only people trying hard to ignore an issue could miss it (Hi Marcus!)

I am not trying to ignore, I am trying to understand, and I apparently missed it.

ltlw0lf (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I’m not one to shy from bashing Microsoft, but I think you’re confusing “most insecure” with “most highly targeted”.

Nope. I never said that they were the most insecure. I did say that they were the number one target. However, it begs the question, why are they a number one target? Its an argument I really don’t want to get into because it borders on jedi wars (religion,) but the usual answers as to why is that they have one of the largest footprints (which may be true for workstations, but certainly not servers,) or they are commercial and nobody hacks open source (which is arguable,) or that they are easier to hack. I left it as an exercise to the reader to figure out why they are the most targeted.

I have Windoze machines, which I am able to secure quite well, but what I really want to understand is why do you have to have elevated privileges to install user software on Windows? And why do large numbers of “user” software require privileged accounts in order to run properly. Once Microsoft figures out how to run a system so that elevated privileges are the exception and not the rule, things will be a lot better for them, but we’ve gone through a number of iterations and they haven’t managed to do so yet.

I do like how when I have run across trojans or viruses on the non-Windows side, I clear out the user’s directory and anything they had write access to and its done, whereas I have to format and reload Windows every-time because the user was using elevated privileges to web-browse. Non-windows systems tell you when you log in (at least through X-Windows running GNOME/KDE,) that you are being stupid if you log into the root account, and dropping root privileges doesn’t prevent stuff from working properly.

So yeah, I said number 1 target but I think it is safe to say that they are pretty damn insecure too.

[citation needed or GTFO] says:

Re: Re: Fanfiction central

Surprised we haven’t read any fanfiction between the intimate relationships between the usual ACs, Mike and Marcus.

“Oh, Marcus!” Mike’s heavy breathing gave away the building arousal in his loins. “Tell me those three special words that will take me over the edge!”

Marcus leaned in closer, his luscious lips brushing against his partner’s earlobe. “But won’t the Anonymous Cowards get jealous?”

“Please! I beg of you!” A coy smile formed on Marcus’ handsome visage. In one seductive breath, he uttered the words that would drive any IP extremist wild:

“Piracy. Google. Copyright.”

*Apologies to Leigh and Mike for delving into the minds of the TechDirt trolls/shills.*

bob (profile) says:

Malware thrives on P2P networks

What’s so hard to understand? Much of the software on P2P networks is infected with malware, often stuff that will track you and try to replace your links with affiliate links. I don’t know what’s so hard to understand about this. The malware authors have a big incentive to create infected software and “share” it, as you P2P junkies so lovingly call it. (Do you still use the verb “share” to describe infecting someone with an STD?)

joe says:

Re: Re: Malware thrives on P2P networks

“Much of the software on P2P networks is infected with malware, often stuff that will track you and try to replace your links with affiliate links.”

I nearly fell off of my chair laughing at that. It has often been my experience that the legitimate software i always full with that kind of stuff (toolbars for example, like while much of the stuff on P2P networks has been clean. Sure the occasional noob will complain over an obvious false positive, but that is only because they are clueless as to how their AV software works and the policies of certain developers behind them. Been sharing since the 70’s and have NEVER been infected with one iota of malware.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Malware thrives on P2P networks

What’s so hard to understand?

The entire video that was linked above.

Much of the software on P2P networks is infected with malware

Why didn’t you just ask “So the cops knew that internal affairs were setting them up?” so that when we replied that there was nothing like that at all in the video you could have just replied “Oh, you see when I get bored I make up my own movie. I have a very short attention span.”?

weneedhelp (profile) says:

Re: Malware thrives on P2P networks

Hey boB, how would you know that “Much of the software on P2P networks is infected with malware” You have your P2P running right now dont you?

“often stuff that will track you” – Oh you mean like my ISP and the government. At least I can get rid of the malware junk.

“and try to replace your links with affiliate links.” – You mean like going to (insert website here) and getting infected?

“Do you still use the verb “share” to describe infecting someone with an STD?” – Please cite when it ever was used that way.


Josh says:

Re: Malware thrives on P2P networks

Meh, I do some freelance repair and IT support and I find that most malware gets on peoples computers through visits to completely legitimate websites that have been compromised, or through places like CNET that give lots of BIG DOWNLOAD NOW links that don’t point to the software you actually think you are downloading.

No one gets Antivirus 2012 from P2P…

Cowardly Anonymous says:

Re: Malware thrives on P2P networks

Malware P2P tends die a quick death as the comments flood with warnings and the uploader is banned from the site. Don’t be the first to download unless you have good reason to trust the uploader and you’ll avoid all of the P2P malware. Of course, most malware creators apparently find that approach not worth it as they have better options to work with.

By the way, DRM is malware too. Most also consider the annoying toolbars/search bars to be malware, especially where they have been made difficult to eliminate. Since the supposedly legit stuff is often loaded with one or the other, P2P is actually the malware free environment, as it is actually driven by demand.

Linus Torvalds says:

Re: I see you are trying to "think".

@microshaft “bob” ( :

Much of the software on P2P networks is infected with malware

And you are a repeat-offending child-molester.

Like you, I provide no proof, but both our statements must be accepted as fact, even absent one scintilla of proof. Like fox “news”, anything we state is true by default.

often stuff that will track you and try to replace your links with affiliate links.

You must be in sales at microshaft – who else would say “replace your links with affiliate links”. (Excuse me for a moment. After quoting that, I have to go wash the manure taste out of my metaphoric mouth with lye soap.)

Btw, what you say hasn’t happened to me once in 15 years of intense web activity. Then again, I don’t use microshaft products. I’m sure its just bad design on their part, as usual.

The malware authors have a big incentive to create infected software

And the dead turd authors at microshaft have a big incentive to create dead turds that any 4-year-old could infect in 5 seconds.

and “share” it

microshaft capitalists despise the word “share” (and use it as a derogatory epithet), like normal people despise the word “vomit”.

as you P2P junkies so lovingly call it.

(Ooh, the deep jabs of your grade 4 wit – they tickle like feathers!)

When I was 3, my mother told me to share my ice-cream cone with my big sister Lucy. I didn’t know she was a “P2P junkie”. Thanks for the info.

(Do you still use the verb “share” to describe infecting someone with an STD?)

I dunno. But I call counseling someone to use a microshaft product “infecting them with an ASTD (anti-socially-transmitted disease”.

I also know a horribly lame troll when I read one like yours. Either that, or you are the world’s biggest dope.


Long live free software and death to microshaft and its really bad trolls!

Anonymous Coward says:

My take on the ad was that people need to watch their data. When you photo copy id’s and credit cards, people can get a hold of the copies and use them.
Using credit cards online can be risky if you don’t know who the company is.

A good ad, but it has nothing to do with piracy. It has to do with using good personal security.

TtfnJohn (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Thing is that it briefly mentions non MS office packages so that’s where the piracy comes in. About 3 seconds of it. And that’s what one of the high end models working in the office downloaded the infected thumb drive which, it seems, grew legs, jumped off the desk and ran off with her credit card.

It has the potential to be a good ad about personal security at the office and the need for people to be careful about things like credit card numbers and what they take pictures of on copiers and scanners. The problem comes when the ad tries to cover too much ground in 60 seconds. Quite honestly it would have been far more effective as three 20 second ads focusing on each of the three messages they were trying to get out about security.

And then, for some of us anyway, maybe a lot of it, there’s the MS tag line off the end which, by itself, can negate a lot of the positive message(s) in the ad.

ltlw0lf (profile) says:

Re: umm

freeze at 0:21 = peer to peer

Hah! I froze it at 0:23, and it all makes sense…she is buying the software from an auction site! She isn’t buying it from Microsoft directly. So LitWare is some sort of EBay site.

Piracy apparently now includes buying legitimate software from auction sites too. If you don’t buy from Microsoft, you are apparently getting ripped off. Still don’t understand the rest, but ok.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: umm

Do a “whois” and you will find that the registrant and admin contact is one Robert Deluca of Redmond, WA, USA. Hmm. What large software company do we know of that happens to be in Redmond, WA?

Oh, and young ladies with corporate credit cards are using them to download illegal copies of Microsoft Office? Seriously? Really? That would be a sacking offense in most corporations. They really do not want a nasty visit from the BSAA.

The corporations that are watching the pennies are using Libre Office. The others are paying a discounted price to their local Microsoft dealer, and staying nice and legal.

The vast majority of illegal copies of Microsoft Office are used by people who are too lazy to investigate free alternatives. They are also deluded about the likelihood of getting caught. MS Office “phones home” whenever there is an internet connection. If MS figures out that you are anything other than a penniless nobody, the BSAA comes a-knocking.

ZombieBotsFromMars says:

Re: Re: Re: umm

Micro$oft will get to the point (and I’m betting I’m right) that in order to provide better “security” and “combat piracy” future version of Windows (past Windows 8) will only run certified (see: pay Micro$oft a s**t ton of money) software or Micro$oft created software. Basically: screw open-source.

And this little theory of mine is why I’m building a Linux running nothing but open-source software.

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re:

One time when I got home from the grocery store, pulled the NY Ribeye I bought out of the plastic bag. I inspected it to make sure it was safe, looked at the label to make sure it was from the store brand, and sniffed it to make sure it was real meat, not spoofed almost-protein.

I then put that steak into a lovely balsamic vinegarette marianade, allowed it to soak for nearly an hour, and then placed it on a clean plate to be peppered with garlic salt and crushed red pepper. Then I took the steak out onto my deck and opened the grill-


I died of testicular tortion later that day. And do you know why?

because #piracyiseverywhere….

Ian (profile) says:

Looks like they’re trying to say “don’t make copies of infinite goods, because you might lose scarce goods”. It’s not a bad ad–I mean, they knew how to scare people, by suggesting the loss of those scarce goods. It’d be a lot less effective if it was suggesting people might lose infinite goods.

Just for laughs, picture it. Bored office drone is sitting there, eating a sandwich and looking for pirated (or free, it’s not clear) software. Suddenly, there are creepy eyes peering at them, and dramatic music as they get closer to their download… suddenly, the creepy guy is also eating a very similar sandwich. A moment later, the guy finds the software he wants, and the creepy guy is now wearing the same outfit. When he hits download, the creepy guy now has the same hairstyle.

The horror.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

I think someone should make an ad with someone in a third world country pirating educational software, and then have a two universe perspective from that point on in their life, where one does ok in school and the other does very well in school, where one has a tough life and the other has a succesful life.

Note, i dont think its that black and white, but as an example…… monkey see, monkey do

and then have ‘THE DANGERS OF FRAUD AND IDENTITY THEFT’, show up at the end

ltlw0lf (profile) says:

Re: it's so obvious

Microsoft finally admitting how insecure it is, being an enabler of theft

And how crappy its licensing system is.

According to the website, if you buy a computer with Windows 7 Home Edition on it, and then you buy a Windows 7 Professional Volume License and install it on the computer, you are violating their license. Apparently you can only buy computers with Windows 7 Professional on them and then “upgrade” them with a Windows 7 Professional Volume License (that of course you pay more money for.) Talk about confusing.

When it comes to the point that you have to have your lawyer review the license for software you plan on buying, they are doing it wrong. Lucky for them, they have marketshare to keep them afloat, but at some point customers are going to say “to hard,” and walk away to systems that have easier to understand licensing.

terry says:

Typical Microsoft - Yet another F. U. D. Campaign.

FUD is the Microsoft invention that has made the company the monopoly it is today.

If you are not familiar with FUD, look up Microsoft leaked Halloween Documents.

open source software “is long-term credible … FUD tactics can not be used to combat it,”

In spite of the above Microsoft internal statement they are going to try and try again just the same.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

That’s a xerox workcentre, and its a printer and a copier, so its probably networked. We have about 4 or 5 of them here and we used to refurb that model and ones similar to it.

The network controller runs linux, it encrypts images on a hard drive temporarily, and the rest of the system is custom xerox/fuji hardware, of which I doubt many exploits are available.

Seeing a person inside made me wonder how long it took to prep the unit to get someone inside. With all of the mechanicals, it had to take a good few hours to gut the machine. An then more to hack the plates between the scanner section on top and the printer below, the printer section to the feed tray section, and the bottom of the feed tray section into the base.

I still fail to see the risk. Anyone can steal your wallet and take your identity, no copier required.

Leigh Beadon (profile) says:

Re: Anti-Counterfeit, NOT Anti-piracy

This is not an anti-piracy website, so I don’t know what a lot of the previous commenters are reading. It’s about avoiding counterfeit software. Where does it mention piracy?

Um, the video (which microsoft uploaded to promote the website) is titled “Piracy Lurks Everywhere”, which is also the tag it shows immediately before the URL to the site

Anonymous Coward says:

Fucking pillokcs………..and they accuse us of misinformation, didn’t realise it was perfectly acceptable, as long as their the ones doing it

So, if piracy = counterfit and fraud, whats the new word for those who download media for entertaintment purposes, because obviously, we cant use piracy anymore ……….oh wait, i knw what their trying to do,


Anonymous Coward says:

What a bunch of goons out today. The only ‘problem’ with the video, is that it was out of order. The guy and second gal’s problems should have occurred after the install. Also, this is CLEARLY against the piracy (in the classic sense, as in selling what amounts to illegal goods) websites, and CLEARLY nothing to do with free alternatives.

But why let common sense get in the way of a good witch burning?

(Waiting to be called a shill, anti-tam, etc. although I only call out when everyone falls off the deep end into reactionary bullshit)

Watchit (profile) says:

Re: Re:

In the digital environment “piracy” is pretty much synonymous with illegal download of software/content. So, it might just be possible that Microsoft is so far out of touch that they don’t realize this, but I’d like to give them the benefit of the doubt in that regard and consider they probably made this video to scare people away from software that’s not theirs, since it might not be “legitimate”

most of the site they link to is “how to avoid counterfeit microsoft software and products.” and that P2P and auction sites (like amazon) should be “avoided”, instead people should shop at the Microsoft store. Their even as behind the times as to think people selling physical bootlegs is even really a problem anymore.

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