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Microsoft Sued Over WGA
Thursday, June 29 2006 @ 04:00 PM EDT

Microsoft has just been sued over its Windows Genuine Advantage tool. Here's the complaint [PDF], and you can read all about it in Todd Bishop's article in SeattlePI. It was filed in California, and seeks to be a class action lawsuit, similar to the Sony rootkit ones:
A computer user is suing Microsoft Corp. over the company's Windows Genuine Advantage anti-piracy tool, alleging that it violates laws against spyware.

The suit by Los Angeles resident Brian Johnson, filed this week in U.S. District Court in Seattle, seeks class-action status for claims that Microsoft didn't adequately disclose details of the tool when it was delivered to PC users through the company's Automatic Update system.

I can't say I'm surprised. When I read David Berlind's piece demonstrating that the tool downloaded without adequate and clear notice first, I was pretty sure this would happen next. Then when I heard Microsoft had changed its EULA and its WGA policy, I knew there was a lawsuit in the air.

Ben Adelman is quoted in the article as calling the disclosure "slim to none." The lead lawyer representing the plaintiff is Scott Kamber of Kamber & Associates, a New York firm. Kamber was also involved in suing Sony:

"The statute says that people have a right to know what's on their computer," Kamber said. "We're at a point in time right now where people's rights on their own computers and technology are really at issue."

The article mentions that some feel that there was no harm done. That depends on how you define harm. Some might well feel that the undisclosed "calling home" feature was harmful, precisely because it wasn't disclosed, and because anything on your computer that is running that you don't know about is a security issue for you, if only because you don't know how to protect your computer or even that there are potential issues. Then there is the issue of private information about you being collected by Microsoft without your knowledge or control. On what basis is that not at least potentially harmful? What does Microsoft do with that collected information? Whose data is it, anyway?

Another problem with a system like this is very much the same problem with DRM and why DRM will never work. Here's why: your computer is dumber than your dog. At least your dog knows who you are and that you are really you.

Computers regularly mess up with such simple tasks. Exhibit A: I broke down the other day and backslid on my decision not to buy from iTunes. I felt I just had to buy a song I was longing to hear, so I went to iTunes, which I no longer was buying from due to Apple changing the terms of the deal after the fact. (I know. I am imperfect. I yam what I yam.) Anyway, the system thinks I have used up three computers now. You only can "authorize" 5 or 6 computers to use iTunes.

But the funny thing is, this is the same computer I first used with iTunes. It broke down a couple of times and I got a new hard drive and I reinstalled the software without reinstalling the iTunes Library, but it's the same one and only computer. Try telling that to their system. And you know how it is. If you argue with a computer, the computer wins.

That is a problem with WGA also. I read that it has been calling folks pirates who are not, who sent in their computers to be fixed and now trigger the stupid computer problem.

That is an issue in the litigation, interestingly enough:

21. However, WGA can malfunction and mistakenly identify a licensed Windows XP copy as unlicensed when, for example, a user transfers his legitimate Windows XP copy to another system with different hardware or significantly changes the hardware on the original system (e.g. installs a new hard drive). In this way, WGA impinges on users' fair use rights under 17 U.S.C. Section 117(a)(2) to use legally space-shifted Windows XP copies

Finally, someone is raising the destruction of users' fair use rights in a court of law, even if somewhat tangentially. I am sure this is just the beginning of this issue being brought to the courts.

The statutes that Microsoft is being sued under include Washington State's Consumer Protection Act, Washington Rev. Code Section 19.86.020; Washington's anti-spyware laws, specifically Washington Rev. Code Section 19.270.040; the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act, California Civil Code Section 1750 et seq.; California's anti-spyware laws, specifically California Business & Professions Code Section 22947.4; and California's Unfair Competition Law, California Business & Professions Code Section 17200.

As for relief, among other things like damages, they are asking for injunctive and equitable relief, "prohibiting Defendant from engaging in the acts of unfair competition or deceptive trade practices alleged" and requiring Microsoft to delete "all data surreptitiously or otherwise collected" and "ordering data, funds or other assets obtained by unlawful means as alleged above to be impounded, or a trust imposed, to avoid dissipation, fraudulent transfers, and/or concealment of such assets by Defendant."


  


Microsoft Sued Over WGA | 412 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Corrections here
Authored by: MathFox on Thursday, June 29 2006 @ 05:19 PM EDT
PJ yis who she yis!

---
If an axiomatic system can be proven to be consistent and complete from within
itself, then it is inconsistent.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off topic thread
Authored by: MathFox on Thursday, June 29 2006 @ 05:22 PM EDT
Other Legal/Open Source topics are welcome here; make links if you know the HTML
to do so (Hint: posting as HTML gives better results).

---
If an axiomatic system can be proven to be consistent and complete from within
itself, then it is inconsistent.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Microsoft Sued Over WGA
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, June 29 2006 @ 05:27 PM EDT
'Harm'

There was a case refered to on GL that refered to the old 'damage to chatels.'
The argument MS is trying on here is similar to the defendent there - I think. I
would really need to pull up the case again. Can anyone remember it? The
argument was about stealing CPU cycles.

--

MadScientist

[ Reply to This | # ]

Microsoft Sued Over WGA
Authored by: kberrien on Thursday, June 29 2006 @ 05:27 PM EDT
Happy to see this. Its unfortunate it has to reach a litigation level, as it
appears public opinion wasn't enough to deter Microsoft.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Microsoft Sued Over WGA
Authored by: SilverWave on Thursday, June 29 2006 @ 05:30 PM EDT
It was a HUGE error by MS.
Say the word: Spyware!
SpywareSpywareSpywareSpywareSpywareSpywareSpyware
But...
Cant concentrate as Iím still so happy with the SCO resultÖ
SCO got such a kicking by Judge Brooke Wells's :D

Happy days.


---
RMS: The 4 Freedoms
0 run the program for any purpose
1 study the source code and change it
2 make copies and distribute them
3 publish modified versions

[ Reply to This | # ]

I yam what I yam
Authored by: mossc on Thursday, June 29 2006 @ 05:39 PM EDT
Exhibit A: I broke down the other day and backslid on my decision not to buy from iTunes.
I have not bought a single CD since ~1999 and maybe go to the movies once a year. I try not to support any company or organization that is lobbying to take away my rights.

Somethings are just hard to pass up. Netflix is very convenient service but it does support MPAA. The way I justify my subscription to netflix and trips to the movie theatre is with contributions to EFF. Every year I total up netflix bills and movie costs and match that number with a donation to EFF.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off-Topic: Lyons can't resist bashing GL while reporting...
Authored by: SirFozzie on Thursday, June 29 2006 @ 05:41 PM EDT
Even when he agrees that it's a big loss for SCO in their case:

http://www.forbes.com/2006/06/29/ibm-sco-linux_cz_dl_0629ibm.html?partner=yahoot
ix

[ Reply to This | # ]

Amateurs!
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, June 29 2006 @ 06:04 PM EDT
These guys say which laws were broken in their complaint? These guys specify
what software was causing harm?

Amateurs!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Does trespass apply here?
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, June 29 2006 @ 06:06 PM EDT

After all, Microsoft (or whoever) is treading on your property without your
permission.

[ Reply to This | # ]

What about the XP EULA?
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, June 29 2006 @ 06:43 PM EDT
I seem to recall when XP came out that a few "nutcases" were crying
about the EULA including permission for the system to phone home, install
software, remove software, inactivate 'your' computer, and whatever else MS felt
was best for you.
IANAL, but even if not legally, then simply by reputation, I say no one should
be suprised by this.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Betrayal of Trust
Authored by: Prototrm on Thursday, June 29 2006 @ 06:58 PM EDT
That's what I got recently after my computer applied the automatic update to my
XP box. I found out about WgaTray.exe when my firewall stopped it from calling
Redmond.

Needless to say, my firewall doesn't come from Microsoft, LOL!

Anyway, I've learned my lession: no more automatic updates from Microsoft! From
now on, I'll do it myself, thank you very much! I have to laugh, though, at the
phrase "Trusted Computing", when Microsoft proves again and again that
*IT* is the one that cannot be trusted!

I don't know the original URL off-hand, but Microsoft has an article describing
how to remove the offending software. The article ID is 921914, and is entitled
"How to disable or uninstall the pilot version of Microsoft Windows Genuine
Advantage Notifications"

[ Reply to This | # ]

Doesn't really matter....
Authored by: nuthead on Thursday, June 29 2006 @ 07:44 PM EDT
If it looks too bad for Microsoft, they'll just settle. They've done that often
enough before.

[ Reply to This | # ]

But...But
Authored by: mobrien_12 on Thursday, June 29 2006 @ 07:49 PM EDT
Microsoft said it wasn't spyware! They said to be spyware it has to be
malicious.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Microsoft Sued Over WGA
Authored by: brian on Thursday, June 29 2006 @ 07:53 PM EDT
PJ: "I can't say I'm surprised. When I read David
Berlind's piece demonstrating that the tool downloaded
without adequate and clear notice first, I was pretty sure
this would happen next. Then when I heard Microsoft had
changed its EULA and its WGA policy, I knew there was a
lawsuit in the air."

Neither am I surprised. I predicted this several days ago
when it first hit the off topic thread...

http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20060625001523547#c453326

B.



---
#ifndef IANAL
#define IANAL
#endif

[ Reply to This | # ]

Microsoft Sued Over WGA
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, June 29 2006 @ 08:34 PM EDT
Also note this WGA-related article on Slashdot.

I don't know if it's true or not, it says a "Microsoft technician stated...".
But if it IS TRUE, that means that they will intentionally and specifically BREAK the software you purchased from them, without having told you of that restriction when you purchased it. NOT good.
:( I really hope it is a bogus report.

[ Reply to This | # ]

WGA Ate My Office
Authored by: Nivuahc on Thursday, June 29 2006 @ 08:37 PM EDT
So I let the Microsoft Update thinger have it's way with my work machine the
other week. I got tired of seeing the reminder every day.

So today I go to use Excel for something, which I rarely do anymore, but I
wanted to use it just this once.

Imagine my surprise when I see that Microsoft Office, which I personally ordered
and my company bought and paid for, is no longer on my machine.

Don't go blaming the IT guys... I'm the lone IT guy at my small company. I
didn't uninstall it. I haven't uninstalled anything in a while. But, sure
enough, Microsoft Office is no longer there... the only thing I've done
differently is let the WGA update through.

No warning, no anything... just *poof*

Thanks Microsoft!

---
My Doctor says I have A.D.D... He just doesn't understand. It's not like... Hey!
Look at that chicken!

[ Reply to This | # ]

EULA "under duress"
Authored by: gvc on Thursday, June 29 2006 @ 09:04 PM EDT
It seems to me that the court needs to examine the legality of these update
EULAs. To my eye, they say "If you want this system that contains a
significant chunk of your life/livelihood to continue to operate you must accept
these additional terms."

Such agreement is hardly freely given; even less so than the agreement you must
make before first using your new purchase.

So I think that the clarity of the EULA matters not -- consent , informed or
not, is not voluntary.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Street ball rules
Authored by: justjeff on Thursday, June 29 2006 @ 09:38 PM EDT
I suppose it depends on how deep your pockets are, but it sometimes seems to me
that if you are one of the big boys, you are allowed to play by "street
rules." The one I'm thinking of today is, "No harm, no foul."

When PJ says that the change in EULA signalled that a lawsuit was in the air,
I'm guessing that Microsoft's defense will be something along the lines of,
"No harm, no foul. Besides, we changed this and that and we won't do it
any more."

Its a bad analogy, I know, but...

In most states in the U.S., there are laws against doing certain things. There
are also laws against attempting to do those things. There are even some laws
these days against having the capability of doing those things.

Not that I ever expect to be, but should I ever be charged with attempted bank
robbery, I expect to mount an effective defense by saying, "Well, no
harm, no foul. And I promise I won't do it any more."

[ Reply to This | # ]

Microsoft's kill switch?
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, June 29 2006 @ 10:46 PM EDT

There are some rumors floating around on the net that MS will use WGA to shut down PCs that it thinks are running pirated software.

Will this be a huge boost for Linux in the so-called BRICK countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and Korea)?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Microsoft Sued Over WGA
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, June 29 2006 @ 10:57 PM EDT
In the days of broadband everywhere, and unlimited monthly access, it's easy to
forget that once upon a time every bit came with a cost. I work in the cellular
data business where it's still status quo to charge $0.10 per K of transfer (or
thereabouts, but you get the idea.) I'm sure there's literally 1000's of users
out there right now paying for the daily phone home without even knowing it.
Over a year's period this could easily add up to a signifigant charge.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Microsoft Sued Over WGA
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, June 29 2006 @ 11:07 PM EDT
1984 here we come George Orwell was off by a few years, but it seems he had the
right idea. I am looking forward to everyone looking over our sholders.
Bill

[ Reply to This | # ]

Not surprising....
Authored by: toads_for_all on Thursday, June 29 2006 @ 11:38 PM EDT
....that MS would do this in this way, or that someone would sue over it.

I understand what MS *says* the purpose of WGA is, but it's another case of the
implementation being flawed.

MS, as any other copyright holder does (even under the GPL), has the right to
say how it's software is copied and set the terms for it's use. But the way
they're trying to enforce it is what is objectionable. I am one of those that
constantly changes my system, adding things, replacing things, on and on. I
will be highly pissed when (not if, it's inevitable) WGA informs me I have an
illegal copy, or I'm trying to install on too many machines. I've already run
in to this at work, and Norton Ghost can work wonders in a corporate
environment.

It's amazing to me that no one learned from "copy-protection" of the
late 80s/early 90s. Or, maybe they did. Maybe WGA is the result of
"negative know-how". If nothing else, it will add to that volume of
info.

I'm afraid it will take more than this lawsuit to kill WGA, though, even if it
becomes an end-user class-action suit. Corporate America may have to join in to
get the point across. There are too many alternatives now.

I, too, resent the implication that I am not to be trusted. I feel that WGA, as
well as DRM, are personal insults to those that do abide by the rules/laws, and
only wish to be left alone to use what they legally paid for. But I reserve
some of that resentment for those that don't, for without them, some companies
might not feel such excessive, intrusive, measures to be necessary. I suppose
the phrase, "2 wrongs don't make a right" comes to mind.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Let us not forget
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, June 29 2006 @ 11:39 PM EDT
WGA will send users to the dark places on the web. Will all users fork out for a
replacement copy of their Windows and Office when their copies are WGAeg, even
when genuine? Will they use cracker methods to get their copy re-installed? If
updating means a risk of being nuked or will they run the risk of viruses? If
they need a piece of Microsoft software will they risk getting it from Microsoft
or risk a Warz site with no WGA risk. I needed to download the NET framwork to
install an ATI card. I managed to use the unintrusive version but I seriously
considered getting it from elsewhere. If getting it had meant getting the whole
WGA spyware then I would have searched for an alternative.

This has soooooo many ways to backfire. For me, no more.

Tufty

[ Reply to This | # ]

Coming soon: WGA, the Sequel
Authored by: justjeff on Thursday, June 29 2006 @ 11:52 PM EDT
Even if you buy Microsoft's story hook, line and sinker, it is not hard to see
what will come next. Microsoft will start recruiting partners to join the WGA
game. Soon, the world will be split in two - the WGA blessed world, and the
rest. Is your machine running a genuine music player? a genuine banking
program? a genuine e-mail program?

Eventually, Microsoft will proclaim that it can stop viruses and spam and
cloudy days by restricting the programs that Windows will run to only
"Genuine" programs. Since only Microsoft and Microsoft partners can
create a genuine program, that will be the end of free (in either sense of the
word) software.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Resetting your Authorized Computer List
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, June 29 2006 @ 11:54 PM EDT
PJ,

If you already know about the Deauthorize All button in iTunes, please
ignore.

Apple has put a button on the Account Information screen that will let you
deauthorize all of the computers you have authorized in the past. Go to the
iTunes Music Store, and then click on the account button (usually your e-mail
address) in the upper right hand corner of the window (right below the
browse button).

On the Account Information Screen, there is a button that labeled
"Deauthorize All". But be warned, I think it only works once per
year. Before they had that button, I actually e-mailed them and they reset it
for me. They have been pretty friendly about it (since I *always* forget to de-
authorize my computers before I re-install the OS).

Thanks for the great news site!

--pojo

[ Reply to This | # ]

WGA, spyware, and...
Authored by: justjeff on Friday, June 30 2006 @ 12:12 AM EDT
It recently occurred to me that Microsoft branded spyware might be considered a
good thing to some people. After all, it will be installed EVERYWHERE, not
just nearly everywhere. It will be un-uninstallable.

Imagine what will happen when the President of the United States realizes that
TERRORISTS USE MICROSOFT WINDOWS! "I understand that you have software
which scans every PC in the world. Here's what we would like..." How
cooperative will Mr. Ballmer be when he gets a telephone call from the Attorney
General? How big a favor does Microsoft owe President Bush? If the AT&T
database looks good to the FBI, imagine what they will be able to find in the
WGA database.

Soon Microsoft will be able to sell tickets. If the FBI gets to take a look,
will the RIAA and MPAA be far behind?

[ Reply to This | # ]

When does a computer cease to be the "same" computer?
Authored by: Pogue Mahone on Friday, June 30 2006 @ 01:50 AM EDT
PJ wrote: but it's the same one and only computer.

Two new heads and three new shafts, but it's still the same hammer.

---
All science is either physics or stamp collecting. (Ernest Rutherford)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Just trying to be helpful defense??
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, June 30 2006 @ 02:05 AM EDT
From the seattlepi article:

Windows Genuine Advantage "is installed with the consent of the user and
seeks only to notify the user if a proper license is not in place."


I'd love to see the law which says "just trying to be helpful" is a
defense to unauthorised tampering with data.


[ Reply to This | # ]

A question for the Legal Eagles here
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, June 30 2006 @ 02:19 AM EDT
If Microsoft has changed the EULA, do users need to re-agree?

Tufty

[ Reply to This | # ]

No Home PC with Windows
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, June 30 2006 @ 02:25 AM EDT
I was setting up a PC for my family around the time this story broke.

I extracted the tool from my company supplied Laptop (I have not choice but to
run Windows due to some tools I must use).

The Home PC, even though I had a MS license, now has SuSE Linux on it, and any
games the kids have will be running under Wine.

I also built up a PC for my mother. Also had a Win license for that, but it is
now Linux too.

The WGA was the last straw for me.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Pffft... The answer is easy enough: Don't run Automatic Updates!
Authored by: luvr on Friday, June 30 2006 @ 03:02 AM EDT
I have never run Automatic Updates; in fact, even deleted the Automatic Update service from the system. As far as my system is concerned, Windows Genuine Disadvantage doesn't even exist.

Once you have zapped Automatic Updates, you can begin to think about the next step: Zapping Windows altogether. There's no rush (particularly since Windows Genuine Disadvantage won't run on your system, and, thus, won't kill it), but at least you won't have to degrade to Windows Vista, should that ever get released.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Microsoft Sued Over WGA
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, June 30 2006 @ 04:45 AM EDT

Well, I wouldn't sue Microsoft; I'm not the sueing type.

But I would say 'who is paying the electricity bill and Internet access charge for this computer', and that will lead on naturally to the question of who is going to allow any software to run on this computer.

If it's my boss, he can make it run Windows if he likes.

If it's me, I'll make the choice. Anyone tries to intimidate me, I'll turn the computer off and use pencil and paper. Crayons if I want colour.

The computer and its software supports me in what I want to do. Not the other way round. What I want to do is between me and my Queen. Bill Gates doesn't come in to it.

Has to be that way.

[ Reply to This | # ]

All this fuss....
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, June 30 2006 @ 05:28 AM EDT
over WGA. Just think of what they will have built into Vista....

[ Reply to This | # ]

At last
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, June 30 2006 @ 07:06 AM EDT
A good use for the anti spyware laws. I never expected them to work against
spammers or other malware creators for jurisdictional reasons. Now we get Sony
and Microsoft with them.
8-))

[ Reply to This | # ]

OT: DiDio's comments on SCO
Authored by: gvc on Friday, June 30 2006 @ 08:35 AM EDT
<i>"I recall earlier rulings where the judge issued scathing comments
to SCO. The onus is on SCO to show the smoking gun. The judge in this case is
again asking SCO to 'put up or shut up,' " she said. "With each
passing month that SCO doesn't come forward to exhibit evidence of its claims,
it loses more and more credibility, and it doesn't help its case to sell Unix
products."</i>

http://www.heraldextra.com/content/view/184660/3/

Sorry, Ms. DiDio. The time for "put up" expired; they've been told to
"shut up."

[ Reply to This | # ]

Statutes
Authored by: MplsBrian on Friday, June 30 2006 @ 10:00 AM EDT
The statutes that Microsoft is being sued under include Washington State's Consumer Protection Act, Washington Rev. Code Section 19.86.020; Washington's anti-spyware laws, specifically Washington Rev. Code Section 19.270.040; the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act, California Civil Code Section 1750 et seq.; California's anti-spyware laws, specifically California Business & Professions Code Section 22947.4; and California's Unfair Competition Law, California Business & Professions Code Section 17200.

Someone ought to sue in Utah using Yarro's law.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Microsoft Sued Over WGA
Authored by: SpammersAreScum on Friday, June 30 2006 @ 03:05 PM EDT
Useful, but it doesn't solve the other half of "C&C".

---
Don't take life so serious, son. It ain't _nohow_ permanent.

[ Reply to This | # ]

problem with WGA
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, June 30 2006 @ 03:17 PM EDT
There's a series flaw in WGA, it unfairly places blame on legitimate end users.
Those who use illegal copies of Windows have created key generation code which
creates workable (the Windows installer thinks they are valid) keys. If these
overlap someone's legitimate license, then they get the "you do not have a
valid copy of Windows..." message(s). People have apparently received
brand new copies of Windows, either installed on a new machine or by itself,
which WGA reported were invalid.

To be honest, I have spoken to someone who said they simply walked into CompUSA
and wrote down a key from a machine on the sales floor. Imagine if you're the
customer who brought that machine home, and WGA tells them they they've bought
an invalid Windows license.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Microsoft/WGA and No Intenet?
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, June 30 2006 @ 03:33 PM EDT
Now I am hearing about Microsoft using the WGA to eventually shut-off (if they haven't already) all the un-licensed versions of Window/Word.... Here's a major flaw in their plan.... What about all the government networks that are NOT tied to the internet - What about all the users that are NOT tied to the internet?

Think of the rippling effect this would have if all of the Microsoft machines on the US/UK/EU Government(s) restricted networks just suddenly quit working.

Talk about a law suit ...

So they get the WGA through the natural patching system - and then the machine cannot reach Microsoft - so they shut down ... Someone clearly hasn't thought this through ....

[ Reply to This | # ]

Windows updates and wga are a nuisance
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, June 30 2006 @ 04:48 PM EDT
Here at my work, I spend alot of time fixing the windows updates. Its one thing
to fix someones outlook problem, but sometimes the windows updates stop because
xp has to go out and get wga again. It stops the auto updates and then computers
slow down and its a big pain! Windows updates would be better off without wga.

[ Reply to This | # ]

A "genuine" advantage
Authored by: rsmith on Friday, June 30 2006 @ 05:15 PM EDT
Especially for Microsoft.

Licensing 6.x + WGA = continuous revenue for MS, or else.

If you haven't done so already, start planning you escape _now_.


---
Intellectual Property is an oxymoron.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Microsoft Sued Over WGA: will come to naught
Authored by: rsmith on Friday, June 30 2006 @ 05:23 PM EDT
Forgive me for being cynical, here.

MS can easily afford to buy off lawsuits. It has done so in the past, and
probably will do so again.

It can also buy enough congresspeople to enact a Microsoft Protection Act
(although it probably will be called differently :-)

---
Intellectual Property is an oxymoron.

[ Reply to This | # ]

..the destruction of users' fair use rights..
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, July 01 2006 @ 02:03 AM EDT
I think the "fair use" doctrine is the right not to be sued for
copyright infringement for doing something that is legally considered "fair
use". That is, there isn't a right to do those things, merely a defense if
you do them. "fair use" prevents you from being successfully sued for
copyright infringement if you, for example, quote (within reason) from a
copyrighted work in a review. DRM may make impossible some actions that would be
protected under "fair use", but "fair use" in the copyright
legislation doesn't grant you the right to do those actions, it merely protects
you if you (find a way to) do them.

Hence, "destruction of users' fair use rights", if it means anything
at all, means destruction of defenses at law, and that is not what DRM does.

I'm sure someone will post a polite correction if I'm wrong.

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WGA spyware behavior
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, July 01 2006 @ 11:28 AM EDT
Microsoft is a piranha swimming in the pond of spyware practises. Case in point
if you try updating your windows xp computer and if you click on custom (which i
always use) and after the your system is search to see what update you need and
the list is display-if you choose not to show wga tools again (hide the update)
and close update and return a few hours later and try to update again wga tools
is rechecked again and ready to be install if you dont noticed it. I would
suggest turning off autoupdate and use custom update instead.
If you're unfortune to install wga by accident and your system was incorrectly
identified as a pirated copy, as in my case, purchase a firewall and block
wgatray.exe from phoneing home to mircosucks and use tools that is avaiable out
their to remove wga because once installed no deinstallation is possible unless
third party tools in used.

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Microsoft Sued Over WGA
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, July 01 2006 @ 12:02 PM EDT
Typical large "class-action" suit. The lawyers will get millions and
the users that actually were harmed will get something paltry like a certificate
good for $5 off a MS product -- that expires in 6 months if not used...

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Microsoft Sued Over WGA
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, July 02 2006 @ 10:55 PM EDT
"Another problem with a system like this is very much the same problem with
DRM and why DRM will never work. Here's why: your computer is dumber than your
dog. At least your dog knows who you are and that you are really you."

totally agree with this statement - treacherous (trusted) computing will be
doing what this wga is doing. I don't care if it is in the hardware (chip) or
software - my fricken computer is my computer and you better dam well tell me
what is on it and what it is doing. I am sick of my privacy being invaded
because companies assume I am a theif.

I will not buy any product with drm.

I just use open source because I can have total control over MY information not
some company that I haven't met or trust.

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Ack Couldn't refuse to Install
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, July 03 2006 @ 08:54 AM EDT
Sheesh. I just installed a fresh out of the box never before used copy of
HomeXP bought directly from MS - so I guess that means there was only a 50/50
chance I'd turn up as a pirate.

Anyways, at the prompt for update, I tried hard but I couldn't get anything else
unless I addedd WGA. However, since the first thing I did before updating was
install a firewall, the next thing I did was prevent it from updating itself or
talking to MS.

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Monetary Damages
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, July 04 2006 @ 06:47 PM EDT
For a class action suit, there likely will be some monetary damages suffered by
those using a dial up connection. Unauthorized connections by this Microsoft
software will incurr telephone bill charges which the unwitting software
licensee will be charged for.

[ Reply to This | # ]

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