Code Confidential: The V.i. Labs Blog
Chinese Govt. Takes Steps Towards License Compliance, Megaupload’s Comeback and More – Week in Review 10/1/2012
Welcome to the latest software license protection and piracy update. This week the Chinese Government took a large step towards software compliance, Kim Dotcom of Megaupload plans a comeback and Tanzania joins Microsoft in combating software piracy. Read on for more and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Google+ and our RSS feed to get the latest news.
We’re also excited about our announcement last week introducing CodeArmor Intelligence for Flex NetPublisher. Read more in the press release or check out the solution brief.
China Takes Steps to Legalize Software in Government
This year the Chinese Government spent more than $150 million on software to bring government agencies into license compliance. The effort was made as a result of an investigation started in response to a 2010 report that found software piracy on government computers. As of today, all government departments at the central and provincial levels use licensed software; agencies at the county level and above will be in compliance by the end of 2013.
Two thirds of the newly licensed software was provided by domestic companies, such as Yozosoft. However, foreign software vendors see this as a big step forward towards curbing the high levels of software piracy in China. Microsoft said in a statement, “[We] believe stronger IPR protection will give Chinese entrepreneurs greater confidence to invest in building innovative and creative businesses, and will help lay a solid foundation for China to build an innovative economy.”
Megaupload founder plans a comeback
Kim Dotcom, founder of the popular filesharing site Megaupload, is planning to launch a new business by the end of this year. This past January, the United States Department of Justice seized Megaupload, claiming it promoted piracy and was responsible for widespread copyright infringement. Shortly after, Dotcom was arrested in New Zealand and is currently under house arrest while he awaits the result of a US extradition request.
With all this free time on his hands Dotcom has devised a new business called Megabox.com. The new website will supposedly allow artists to sell directly to consumers, bypassing industry middlemen. According to Dotcom Megabox would only charge 10% for this service, allowing artists to keep 90% of their revenue. He plans to launch Megabox and a new Megaupload by the end of 2012.
The popularity of Megaupload was largely responsible for the rise of cyberlocker websites. At its height Megaupload had over 150 million registered users, accounted for nearly 1% of all US internet traffic and earned Dotcom $42 million in 2010 alone. This explains how Dotcom can afford Bob Bennett, the lawyer famously known for defending Bill Clinton, as representative for Megaupload.
Dotcom’s extradition hearing has been delayed until March 2013.
Microsoft and Tanzania sign agreement against counterfeit software
The Fair Competition Commission (FCC) of Tanzania and Microsoft signed a memorandum of understanding to combat software piracy in Africa. The agreement aims to educate the population on the national economic loss and personal risks associated with the use of software piracy. Allan Mlulla, Director of the FCC said, “In Tanzania, pirated or counterfeited brand is a big problem, the best way for consumers or public is to deny [the] use of counterfeited brands.”
According to the BSA, the software piracy rate in South East Africa was 83% in 2011.
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