Despite evidence this has been going on for years
, it apparently took a NY Times article calling Microsoft out
for the company to officially change its policies on assisting the Russian government in cases involving supposedly unauthorized copies of Microsoft software
Microsoft announced on Monday that it would essentially prohibit its Russian division from taking part in software piracy cases against government opponents, responding to criticism that it was assisting the authorities in a crackdown on dissent.
Microsoft's general counsel, Brad Smith, claimed that they "unequivocally abhor any attempt to leverage intellectual property rights to stifle political advocacy or pursue improper personal gain." Would have been nice if that had been made clear before it was revealed in the NY Times how eager Microsoft appeared to be to help the Russian government out.