Lots of folks have been submitting the story of Microsoft's China operations being caught with its fingers in the cookie jar in directly copying the code
from a small company called Plurk. This isn't just the look and feel that was copied, but it appears that some of the code itself was directly copied. Of course, this seems doubly amusing, since Microsoft has, in the past, been at the forefront of complaining
about "piracy" in China -- even as the details
have long suggested Microsoft benefited greatly from unauthorized copying of its software in China, by building tremendous lock-in and making Microsoft the defacto standard. Of course, when a Microsoft exec recently announced that "piracy" was no longer a threat
who knew he meant because Microsoft had decided to go in the other direction and use it to its own advantage?
Of course, I'm joking there. Microsoft continues to insist that piracy is a huge problem, and over in India, Dan
alerts us that Microsoft has actually been fined
for harassing "pirates" by trying to take them to court in the national capitol, instead of where the "piracy" actually happened:
According to the Court, Microsoft is needlessly abusing its unlimited cash flow as a power tool to financially hurt the defendants, who will have to travel all across the country in order to defend themselves. This abuse of "money power" to "harass" defendants is unacceptable according to the Court.
"When the constitution of India provides equality before law, this equality has to be all pervasive and cannot be allowed to be diluted because of money power or lobbying power," Judge Dhingra commented on the case.
So, it's fine to try to bankrupt "pirates" as you're pirating software yourself? Of course, Microsoft will squirm out of this one just fine. It'll claim it was a mistake, probably throw some money at Plurk (who just got a ton of free PR) and move on, still claiming that "piracy" is bad, bad, bad and must be stopped (especially in China).