Friday, October 31, 2008

Windows Users In China Accuse Microsoft Of Hacking, Seek $1 Billion Fine - - 28 Oct 2008

Beijing, China (AHN) - A man from Beijing has sued Microsoft while a Chinese lawyer asked the government to fine the U.S. firm $1 billion for turning black the desktop screen of computers installed with pirated software.

A Beijing man surnamed Liu asked the Haidian District People's Court to compel Microsoft to remove the Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) program on his PC and the permanent desktop screen warning "You may be a victim of counterfeit software."

"Microsoft has no right to judge whether the installed software is pirated or not. It has no right to penalize users by intruding on their computers," said Liu, according to the People's Daily Online.

Beijing lawyer Dong Zhengwei, 35, asked last week the State Administration for Industry and Commerce to fine Microsoft. He also asked the Ministry of Public Security to order Microsoft to stop what he described as hacking and infringement of privacy perpetrated by the company through its WGA.

Meanwhile, the China Computer Federation condemned Microsoft on Tuesday for what it called "unsolicited remote control of computers" since introducing WGA in China last week to combat illegally copying of its software for sale to the public at a cheaper price.

"If a company believes others have infringed their intellectual property rights, it can collect evidence and take judicial measures to deal with the infringement according to Chinese law," the federation said in a statement.

The WGA does not stop computers using the Windows XP operating system from functioning. The warning label can be erased but reappears every one hour.

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