Software and the state: free Microsoft for Russian NGOs.

Author:Suderman, Peter
Position:Citings - Nongovernmental organizations - Brief article

IN RECENT years Microsoft has been a world leader in efforts to combat international software piracy, lobbying for tougher legislation all over the world. But in September the company reacted to a Russian crackdown on Microsoft pirates by sending the alleged scofflaws free software.

The proximate cause was a report in The New York Times revealing that when Russian police and other state authorities confiscated computer equipment from activist organizations, they frequently had a handy excuse: Those computers were running unlicensed and illegal Microsoft software. According to the Times, Microsoft's Russian offices backed the cops in their efforts.

Microsoft responded almost immediately, setting up a program allowing...

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