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Indian companies against Microsoft’s anti-piracy drive

Software PiracyGujarat (INDIA) is the land of Mahatma Gandhi who took to Satyagraha, the non-violence movement, as a weapon against the British to demand India’s freedom. This land saw another movement on the 16th May, 2007, however a weird one at that – Anti-Piracy Antagonism Movement! The reseller community of Gujarat declared a one-day General Strike (notoriously known as Bandh in India) to protest against Microsoft for serving an anti-piracy notice to them.

Ok, here is the story. A Sleuth-Customer goes and asked the resellers for installation of Microsoft Windows. And when the pirated version of the OS was installed, a notice was served where the reseller had to pay a fine of Rs. 2 Lakh (~ $5,000). The notice also states that if the reseller continues to sell/install pirated softwares, they would have to pay a fine of over Rs. 16 Lakh (~ $40,000).

The resellers under the umbrella of South Gujarat Information Technologists Association (SITA) are furious that “Microsoft is targeting only resellers and not undertaking any activity to educate the end-user about the advantages of buying genuine copies of the software. People here are hardly aware about the usefulness of buying licensed copies of software. They assume that the PCs come bundled with the software.”

SITA believe it is just a service that they are rendering to the customer. “The customer assumes that the dealer would install the OS when s/he comes to install the machine. Since we are not charging anything extra for installing the software, it means that we are actually not trading in pirated software, for us this is just a Good-Will that we are offering to our customers. Besides the pricing of their operating systems is way too high for the Indian markets,” remarks a reseller.

SITA have boycotted some Microsoft training program. They’re planning to stop all purchase of Microsoft products for this quarter. The protests in the Gujarat market are expected to have repercussions in the Mumbai market as well. Partners dealing in Microsoft products believe that sales are likely to be hit if the boycott continues especially in this quarter.

Disclaimer:
I personally use an Apple Mac, am totally against Piracy. I buy music CDs, Movie DVDs and I don’t pirate them. On the Microsoft/Windows front, me, my team and our company use only IBM hardwares (they have the best support in India specially Mumbai) which comes with OEM version of Microsoft Windows Operating System. Everything else like Development Tools, IDEs are mostly Open Source or Free.


UPDATES

2007 20th May: This article got dugg to the front page of Digg around 10:00 am Indian Standard Time.

2007 22nd May: Ravi Venkatesan, Chairman of Microsoft India, says Piracy is very bad in India. Listen to the podcast interview by Kamla Bhatt to find out what Ravi has to say about Microsoft in India.

2007 22nd May: Jerry Kirkpatrick details The Market Function of Piracy. Knock-offs are pirated products. Because they are usually cheaper than the original, knock-offs tend to appeal to a more price-conscious segment of the market; that is, the buyers of pirated products are probably not legitimate prospects for the innovative new product, either because they cannot afford, or do not want to pay, the higher price. Message to the innovative marketer? Either drop the price of the new product or produce a cheaper version or be the first to exploit a new technology, something the movie and recording industries chose not to do.

REFERENCES

68 Comments

  1. Hi Friend.....

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  2. Hi Friend.....

    We have just released an Indian Blogs Directory. We plan to develop the largest online Indian Bloggers Community. So please go ahead and include your blog into our directory. You can link to us or write about us on your blog. Not mandatory for submission though.

    You can submit your blog here:
    http://indiacounts.com/

    Regards
    India Counts

  3. Yeah Microsoft prices suck, if you don't wish to pay them, then don't use them =)

  4. Yeah Microsoft prices suck, if you don't wish to pay them, then don't use them =)

  5. The cost of Microsoft products are very high. They must re think about the present indian situation. They must reduce the price. It will definetly increase their business.

  6. The cost of Microsoft products are very high. They must re think about the present indian situation. They must reduce the price. It will definetly increase their business.

  7. "We are not against piracy but against the way Microsoft is working to stop it." (!?)
    Is it not a self contradicatory statement?
    I think what u meant to say was "We are not against anti-piracy.."

  8. "We are not against piracy but against the way Microsoft is working to stop it." (!?)
    Is it not a self contradicatory statement?
    I think what u meant to say was "We are not against anti-piracy.."

  9. Ah yes, I stand corrected. I had the words in mind but made a typo, it is corrected now to reflect what the resellers were saying.

  10. Ah yes, I stand corrected. I had the words in mind but made a typo, it is corrected now to reflect what the resellers were saying.

  11. Hmmm.
    Microsoft knows very well that it is not easy for people living in third world countries to buy genuine microsoft products....microsoft keep this thing in mind that most of the world's population is living in asian & african continent so they must made their products sell acc to average income of middle class so that they can buy it .
    Otherwise the World will learn to live "Without Windows"
    Linux is an alternative.

  12. Hmmm.
    Microsoft knows very well that it is not easy for people living in third world countries to buy genuine microsoft products....microsoft keep this thing in mind that most of the world's population is living in asian & african continent so they must made their products sell acc to average income of middle class so that they can buy it .
    Otherwise the World will learn to live "Without Windows"
    Linux is an alternative.

  13. That's right. Microsoft induced piracy till last year to built a huge Microsoft community.

    Now, its time for them to break the tradition with a strong foot. My foot.

    Microsoft waited and watched for long time and now it can't. It doesn't matter to us people.

  14. That's right. Microsoft induced piracy till last year to built a huge Microsoft community.

    Now, its time for them to break the tradition with a strong foot. My foot.

    Microsoft waited and watched for long time and now it can't. It doesn't matter to us people.

  15. Go open source man! Use Linux (or FreeBSD, or whatever) and ditch Microsoft! If you can't buy it, then don't buy it! Linux is not the best, but it is better. :-)

  16. Go open source man! Use Linux (or FreeBSD, or whatever) and ditch Microsoft! If you can't buy it, then don't buy it! Linux is not the best, but it is better. :-)

  17. Hmm .. the reason for piracy is the high cost of Microsoft OS ., which doesn't suit the indian economy . So some ppl are making this their bussiness buying a copy and duplicating it untill they get their investment back or even more profits . Only micosoft can solve this but it won't so nvm they are the losers right?

  18. Hmm .. the reason for piracy is the high cost of Microsoft OS ., which doesn't suit the indian economy . So some ppl are making this their bussiness buying a copy and duplicating it untill they get their investment back or even more profits . Only micosoft can solve this but it won't so nvm they are the losers right?

  19. If they know that they are helping piracy but do not genuinely wish to do so, they should look for alternatives, wherever possible. I don't think those resellers know about great free and open source alternatives. They should look forward to that and in the long run, even contributing to the free/open source softwares.

    Having said that, the bandh was POINTLESS. They are making POINTLESS POINT. If Microsoft finds that someone is pirating their software, they won't be happy as they could have got $$$ for that.

  20. If they know that they are helping piracy but do not genuinely wish to do so, they should look for alternatives, wherever possible. I don't think those resellers know about great free and open source alternatives. They should look forward to that and in the long run, even contributing to the free/open source softwares.

    Having said that, the bandh was POINTLESS. They are making POINTLESS POINT. If Microsoft finds that someone is pirating their software, they won't be happy as they could have got $$$ for that.

  21. Well, if you want to use something you have to pay for it one way or another.

    Now, in the capitalist way of life if the product you want have strong demand then the seller will take advantage and set high prices, that's the way it works and you have to cope with it or make another choice, the solution on this case:

    go Linux, it's free, or go Mac, with this option you pay the Os when buying the machine(my choice at home and at work, and yes I made my employer get a Mac for me)

  22. Well, if you want to use something you have to pay for it one way or another.

    Now, in the capitalist way of life if the product you want have strong demand then the seller will take advantage and set high prices, that's the way it works and you have to cope with it or make another choice, the solution on this case:

    go Linux, it's free, or go Mac, with this option you pay the Os when buying the machine(my choice at home and at work, and yes I made my employer get a Mac for me)

  23. Would LOVE a Joost invite if you are still offering.

    Thanks,
    Adam

  24. Would LOVE a Joost invite if you are still offering.

    Thanks,
    Adam

  25. The main reason for piracy is the cost of OS in third world countries such as India/Pakistan etc. There, the latest full genuine version of Windows OS would cost you approximately 24,000 Pakistani Rupees (400 USD). That is more than enough to buy a decent motorbike, pay 1 years rent (if living in a large town) and an average family of five to live happily for 3-4 months. Only a tiny percentage can actually even think about buying the genuine version. While the pirated version on the same OS is selling for as low as 30 Pakistani rupees (50 cents) Ironic is not it?
    If Microsoft wants to stop piracy than it has to release cheap version of its OS that are affordable by families whose monthly income is a mere average of less than 6000 Pakistani rupees (100 USD).

  26. The main reason for piracy is the cost of OS in third world countries such as India/Pakistan etc. There, the latest full genuine version of Windows OS would cost you approximately 24,000 Pakistani Rupees (400 USD). That is more than enough to buy a decent motorbike, pay 1 years rent (if living in a large town) and an average family of five to live happily for 3-4 months. Only a tiny percentage can actually even think about buying the genuine version. While the pirated version on the same OS is selling for as low as 30 Pakistani rupees (50 cents) Ironic is not it?
    If Microsoft wants to stop piracy than it has to release cheap version of its OS that are affordable by families whose monthly income is a mere average of less than 6000 Pakistani rupees (100 USD).

  27. You've got to be kidding me! The reseller is certainly responsible for their actions, and should be willing to accept the consequences.

    Additionally, the price of Microsoft software does vary by region, and consumers in India pay a much lower price than those in the United States.

  28. You've got to be kidding me! The reseller is certainly responsible for their actions, and should be willing to accept the consequences.

    Additionally, the price of Microsoft software does vary by region, and consumers in India pay a much lower price than those in the United States.

  29. Hi Brajeshwar,

    Could I possibly get a Joost Invite from you?
    manofsan AT yahoo DOT com

    I'd really be grateful :)

  30. Hi Brajeshwar,

    Could I possibly get a Joost Invite from you?
    manofsan AT yahoo DOT com

    I'd really be grateful :)

  31. both r at fult actually , microsoft & the resellers

    1)microsoft should try harder to educate people of india abt piracy & that windows os is not free
    2)why do the resellers offer pirated windows....they should just say that xp costs 3000 ...& ask the customer to pay until & unless they start doing this how will people learn that the os is not free....i totally support microsoft in its ways of fighting piracy......after all they have invested millions!

    if ur still givin joost invites..plz send it to me :)
    thanx

  32. both r at fult actually , microsoft & the resellers

    1)microsoft should try harder to educate people of india abt piracy & that windows os is not free
    2)why do the resellers offer pirated windows....they should just say that xp costs 3000 ...& ask the customer to pay until & unless they start doing this how will people learn that the os is not free....i totally support microsoft in its ways of fighting piracy......after all they have invested millions!

    if ur still givin joost invites..plz send it to me :)
    thanx

  33. I strongly believe you can't force the people to buy original version of every software..If you do so you'll be the loser,believe me you'll definitely lose at least 50% of the sales..If you want them to buy original softwares,only one mantra...slash your price..Do you think the guy who purchasing computer for his children will ready to spend 10k for MS-office? Never!
    Breakdown Insurance

  34. I strongly believe you can't force the people to buy original version of every software..If you do so you'll be the loser,believe me you'll definitely lose at least 50% of the sales..If you want them to buy original softwares,only one mantra...slash your price..Do you think the guy who purchasing computer for his children will ready to spend 10k for MS-office? Never!
    Breakdown Insurance

  35. How does piracy hurt microsoft? It allows them to have total market dominance and promotes application lock-in. Honestly I think most people who pirate in other countries couldn't afford the real software anyway.

  36. How does piracy hurt microsoft? It allows them to have total market dominance and promotes application lock-in. Honestly I think most people who pirate in other countries couldn't afford the real software anyway.

  37. What is required is a Free Software OS that is easy to install and to use and has drivers for all hardware.

    Unfortunately GNU/Linux has not provided this so far.
    Let us hope they do so in the future.

    On our home computer we have Windows XP (OEM which cost
    about Rs 3000; I update it regularly from the MS site)
    and Debian GNU/Linux (now Sarge, soon Etch, the current stable version).

    Please visit http://www.debian.org and try it out.
    Also, C-DAC has a version of Debian called Boss.
    Get more info. from Google.

    My main OS is Debian but my children usually use Windows.
    I hope I can someday remove Windows from our machine!

  38. What is required is a Free Software OS that is easy to install and to use and has drivers for all hardware.

    Unfortunately GNU/Linux has not provided this so far.
    Let us hope they do so in the future.

    On our home computer we have Windows XP (OEM which cost
    about Rs 3000; I update it regularly from the MS site)
    and Debian GNU/Linux (now Sarge, soon Etch, the current stable version).

    Please visit http://www.debian.org and try it out.
    Also, C-DAC has a version of Debian called Boss.
    Get more info. from Google.

    My main OS is Debian but my children usually use Windows.
    I hope I can someday remove Windows from our machine!

  39. Pay up or shut up! You should all goto jail for stealing software. It is very clear in the Licence you agreed too when you instaled the software. Their are other free and many times better alternatives out their, so you have no excuse. You have made your choice, now live with it, your ass now belongs to Microsoft.

  40. Pay up or shut up! You should all goto jail for stealing software. It is very clear in the Licence you agreed too when you instaled the software. Their are other free and many times better alternatives out their, so you have no excuse. You have made your choice, now live with it, your ass now belongs to Microsoft.

  41. I would say costly softwares are the primary reasons for piracy. Microsoft had a tough time in selling the Vista in China due to piracy.

  42. I would say costly softwares are the primary reasons for piracy. Microsoft had a tough time in selling the Vista in China due to piracy.

  43. whole scenario is changing, we are not too away from the day when we will have better free alternatives available.

  44. whole scenario is changing, we are not too away from the day when we will have better free alternatives available.

  45. Hi Great blog , My squidoo lens is also on same subject. I hope u dont mind if i share its details here :) Are DVD Decrypter Programs Hurting the Movie Industry?

    You should really stop and consider this question carefully. First

    there is a clear indication that DVD decrypter programs are used in a bad

    manner such as making illegal copies of movies for sale. But are you

    aware that there are actually legal situations that allow you to create

    copies of the movies you own on DVD? With most movies costing close to

    $20 each it is quite easy to see why people look for anything they can

    to help reduce replacement costs.

  46. Hi Great blog , My squidoo lens is also on same subject. I hope u dont mind if i share its details here :) Are DVD Decrypter Programs Hurting the Movie Industry?

    You should really stop and consider this question carefully. First

    there is a clear indication that DVD decrypter programs are used in a bad

    manner such as making illegal copies of movies for sale. But are you

    aware that there are actually legal situations that allow you to create

    copies of the movies you own on DVD? With most movies costing close to

    $20 each it is quite easy to see why people look for anything they can

    to help reduce replacement costs.

  47. Great blog. I really liked it. I have also created a lens in same niche. This is my first time , hope u guys like it. Here’s a brief intro: There are a clear indication that DVD decrypter programs are used in a bad manner such as making illegal copies of movies for sale. But are you aware that there are actually legal situations that allow you to create copies of the movies you own on DVD? With most movies costing close to$20 each it is quite easy to see why people look for anything they canto help reduce replacement costs. For more details: http://www.squidoo.com/DVD-Decrypter-Programs/

  48. Great blog. I really liked it. I have also created a lens in same niche. This is my first time , hope u guys like it. Here’s a brief intro: There are a clear indication that DVD decrypter programs are used in a bad manner such as making illegal copies of movies for sale. But are you aware that there are actually legal situations that allow you to create copies of the movies you own on DVD? With most movies costing close to$20 each it is quite easy to see why people look for anything they canto help reduce replacement costs. For more details: http://www.squidoo.com/DVD-Decrypter-Programs/

  49. I believe Microsoft has got a point and brilliant move. Because of pirated softwares so easily available, Indian market is unaware of Open Source Software which are of equal quality and free. Once, Microsoft is done with antipiracy, I hope there would be enough consumers willing to switch to Ubuntu.

    I would oppose Microsoft Licensing and Copyright & other monopoly tactics in first world countries but I support them in India (and hope it backfires).

    May the source be with you.

  50. I believe Microsoft has got a point and brilliant move. Because of pirated softwares so easily available, Indian market is unaware of Open Source Software which are of equal quality and free. Once, Microsoft is done with antipiracy, I hope there would be enough consumers willing to switch to Ubuntu.

    I would oppose Microsoft Licensing and Copyright & other monopoly tactics in first world countries but I support them in India (and hope it backfires).

    May the source be with you.

  51. Microsoft Software prices are too high for Indian Markrt. They will never ever be able to contain piracy if they keep this price.They should be more practical and set an Indian Price so that people can thing of buying Licensed versions. If they do such foolish antipiracy drive, People will be left with only one option- switching to Linux.95% of end users cannot afford the rates of Microsoft Softwares

  52. Why is MS OS priced higher in India than in America? I mean seriously you're selling softwares... Of which u can make multiple copies, without any extra resource, then sell it to huge population india has at a lower and affordable price... But no, u chose to rather overprice the dumb product to poor people ...bravo ???? ... Can't believe this is the same company whose chairman runs NGOs in India to alleviate poverty
    Soon we'll be done with microsoft as android steps into pc world, very soon linux will own the PCs

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