Microsoft Takes on Software Piracy: Tech Companies Up in Arms

  • Microsoft has begun a campaign to tackle software piracy at both the state and federal levels. The Redmond, Washington-based company hopes to make foreign manufacturers certify they are using legal software.
  • In its home state of Washington, Microsoft got the backing for a law that bans manufacturers using pirated software. It is now seeking legislation in the California State Legislature that will require state contractors to certify they do not use pirated software. And in Washington, DC, it has spent more than $7 million to lobby for federal legislation.
  • “Microsoft contends it is simply seeking to level a playing field whose tilt has accelerated the offshoring of manufacturing jobs over the last decade,” reports Fortune. “It points to a study by the Business Software Alliance showing that reducing piracy by 10 percent over four years would generate nearly $38 billion in new economic activity and create 25,000 new tech-industry jobs.”
  • Interestingly, other major tech companies including Apple, Cisco, Dell, HP, Google, IBM, Motorola, and Xerox are opposed to Microsoft’s efforts. They are concerned about the cost and complexity of certifying their worldwide supply chains.

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