From GNU/Linux to Warhammer & back again!
By now its common knowledge that Google has released publically, figures on the takedown requests it has recieved from copyright holders and their affiliates. Microsoft figured heavily in this release which is what I wish to look at a little closer and maybe offer some alternative reasoning to the requests themselves.
Firstly, this article is not about the rights or wrongs of IP. Regardless of your views on file-sharing and copyrighted material/law, I ask those be put to one side for the moment.
I think the one thing we can all agree on is that there are alot of searches (possibly through Google) whereby users are looking for “warez”. Lets consider something else (again in the ethos of common ground) – as the current law stands, it is perfectly reasonable for Microsoft to make a take-down request of Google, like the idea of copyright or not, currently there is nothing to stop Microsoft (or indeed anyone else) requesting that material/link or whatever gets removed. Now here though is where further consideration asks some questions which don’t seem to make sense.
Lets say Microsoft is concerned about copyright infringement and file-sharing – whilst they can (as stated above) make requests of Google, one would expect then that they would have cleaned up their own house first (or at least at the same time) – let me explain. Try a Bing search for MS office on PirateBay – you get a direct link. If Microsoft is so concerned about its IP then surely its own product should be a top priority to purge of such links? But then if you consider it further, possibly not.
If we are agreed that Bing would like a slice of the pie that Google has in terms of search numbers and we agree that there are a considerable number of people using Google to search for “warez” – would it be suspicious minded to think that if Microsoft can make numerous takedown requests of Google, whilst keeping Bing “intact”, those that search for warez will be more likely to move over to Bing and thus bring value in terms of usage to Bing? Whilst that may simply be a creative idea in respect of the recent news, it strikes me as strange that after all those take-down requests of Google, that Microsoft hasn’t even done something so simple as remove all PirateBay entries from its own product.
Maybe there’s someone who can explain why Microsoft hasn’t even seemed to take the most simple steps in keeping its own house in order whilst it is busy tackling Google? Or maybe someone could say what it actually is that Microsoft is asking Google to take-down?
Personally, I think Microsoft products are moody enough without using a “cracked” version. I remember the misery of being a Windows user with all the malicious code out there (and I was using a genuine version). To use Microsoft products and trust in the integrity of a “cracked” version, is akin to putting your wedding tackle into a lions mouth and flicking its love-spuds with a wet towel (Credit for quote: Arnold Rimmer, Red Dwarf)
Some Microsoft Advocates often refer to Linux/FOSS users with the derogatory term “freetard” and even if we look past at the apparent double standards Bing employs in comparison with requests made of Google and we ignore the millions of Windows users using the uTorrent client and downloading copyrighted material, we need only look to Microsoft themselves and a very interesting article by torrent freak, who, after researching a few Microsoft IP addresses, find that records show, their machines have been very busy downloading copyrighted material for free too. Hypocricy? Would we expect anything less from a company that employs
a man someone like Steve Ballmer?
In relation to piracy, it’s alleged by TorrentFreak:
Look up a range of IP-addresses assigned to Microsoft and enter those into the search form on YouHaveDownloaded one by one. While we expected that it might take a while to find one, we already had a handful of offenders after two dozen tries.
Priceless, but hardly surprising. And in light of “warez” seemingly ok if they are linked in Bing results, should we have expected anything less from Microsoft? – I’ll let you decide.
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