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Although Linux lovers will rightly say that an anti-piracy initiative isn’t necessary in the FOSS world, free and open source software has overtaken the world yet, and the piracy of commercial software is still a crime that Microsoft is most definitely investigating, chasing and prosecuting.
Ars Technica's Ken Fisher suggested in his article, WGA failure highlights major flaw in Microsoft's anti-piracy strategy, that Microsoft needs a new "anti-piracy" strategy. I not only agree that they need a new strategy, I'll even go so far as to help them craft it.
Recently there have been numerous discussions on software and media piracy, with a few people even saying that open source could be the solution to stopping software piracy... However, software piracy is one of open source's biggest enemies, and few people realize that.
In the Middle East, Microsoft has started a heavy campaign against software piracy which is forcing companies to use only its genuine software, but the opposite is also happening as many others are switching to Free Software.
There is no equating software piracy, the theft and misuse of copyrighted software, with using open source, where the license specifically allows and encourages the redistribution of the software. Piracy violates the terms of the copyright and license. It's possible to do this with open source software as well, by not following the terms of the license.
Software piracy statistics scream for attention every May when the Business Software Alliance (BSA) releases its piracy report. Its angst is understandable when it rues that almost half of the estimated one billion personal computers (PCs) have pirated/unlicensed software, resulting in losses of $48 billion — an increase of six times over the 2007 figures.
A frequent meme in piracy trash talking is that piracy is linked to malware (example). If your child is downloading pirated material (so the argument goes) they will be downloading it from a malware infected site and infecting their own computer resulting in poor performance, data loss and ID theft. A variant of this argument is that the downloads expose the kids to evil pornographers.