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Darn, I Missed Anti-Piracy Day!

Tuesday was Anti-Piracy Day, according to Microsoft. (Don't confuse this with Talk Like a Pirate Day, which was a month ago.) This day is intended to highlight awareness of pirated software, especially pirated Microsoft software.
Tuesday was Anti-Piracy Day, according to Microsoft. (Don't confuse this with Talk Like a Pirate Day, which was a month ago.) This day is intended to highlight awareness of pirated software, especially pirated Microsoft software.Microsoft scheduled a carnival full of fun activities for Anti-Piracy Day, including 20 lawsuits against system builders who were bundling or selling pirated Microsoft software. Consumers can get in on the fun by visiting the Genuine Microsoft Software site or calling (800) RU-LEGIT to find out more.

Although hackers on Pirate Bay get lots of publicity for making a sport of stealing software, many users of pirated software don't even know they're using it. System builders often make illegal copies of software and sell them to unsuspecting customers. Few OEMs provide real Windows DVDs with systems nowadays. PC users are accustomed to having all the software installed on the drive, getting no retail box or media. That trend makes piracy easier than ever.

With those problems in mind, raising awareness of software piracy is an uphill battle; raising sympathy for it is darned near impossible. Nobody likes paying a lot of money for something that, in general, seems to cause them more pain than pleasure. Software companies don't help their cause when they inflate the cost of piracy by acting as if every pirated copy costs them the full retail price of the software. Microsoft's press release cited a Business Software Alliance study that put the annual cost of global software piracy at $50 billion, and I'm skeptical about that number.

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