Microsoft to give free licensed software for Nonprofit Organizations
When Microsoft Corp. realized that government authorities in Russia and some other countries were using the anti-piracy investigations as a ploy to suppress their activism activities, it announced its decision to provide these nonprofit organizations with free licensed software technologies from its workshop.
Earlier in the wake of rising cases of software piracy around the world, Microsoft had sought the intervention of government of various countries to help it gain lead on those using pirated software. But the recent reports from media and complaints by the nonprofit organizations stating the nefarious motives of the government behind carrying out these anti-piracy crackdowns on their systems has prompted Microsoft to grant free licensing to more than 5,00,000 advocacy groups and media organizations in a dozen different countries around the world that also include China and Russia.
Once installed, these licensed technologies will give no right to the governmental authorities to investigate these groups on account of limiting piracy activities. The first such instance where lawyers retained by Microsoft assisted legal authorities in Russia in suppressing the activities of opposition media and various activists’ organizations was reported last month by New York Times. It was only after this that the software giant went ahead with making fundamental changes in its anti piracy policies. It also published a public apology in the leading dailies and vouched to intervene in the matter and protect the rights of the groups involved.
Initially it was only extended towards the groups in Russia but now the company has decided to provide the free software license to such groups in other countries of the world like Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and other countries belonging to former Soviet Union and also Malaysia, China etc. Though such incidences are not that rampant in these countries as in Russia, nevertheless there have been instances when the law enforcers used Microsoft’s anti piracy policy as a disguise for enforcing other restrictive measures.
According to Experts in China, the legal structure of the country has endowed the security services with sufficient tools to keep a tab on the activities of advocacy units and they need not carry out their activities behind the veil of Microsoft’s anti piracy crackdown.
The current measure by Microsoft will not only ensure that legally licensed software is used by the nonprofit concerns thus checking piracy, but also that the officials do not use Intellectual Property Laws to achieve their own selfish ends.
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