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Software Stan cuts deal with Eastern Europeans

Collects more souls in exchange for licences

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Microsoft is stepping up its war against the software pirates, this time in Eastern Europe. The Bulgarian government had been using unlicenced Microsoft software, but has now been brought into the fold. Rather than follow its normal course of action when it discovers someone using pirate copies of its products - i.e. threaten them with legal action - the Great Stan of software has made friends with the Sofia administration. A licencing agreement between the two has resulted in all Microsoft software in use by the Bulgarian government being legalised. Helping the Bulgarian government get its software licences in order is a move toward getting Bulgaria taken more seriously on the international trade scene, the two parties claim. Microsoft’s man in Bulgaria, Bo Kruse, said: "Microsoft views this commitment from the Bulgarian government to comply with intellectual property rights as a step towards fully legalising the software market." But then he would say that, wouldn’t he. In reality, eastern and central Europe is a major piracy blackspot for Microsoft and no other governments in that part of the world have taken steps toward cleaning up their act. In exchange for this new found co-operation, Microsoft will help the Bulgarian IT industry get off the ground by hosting a number of technology seminars, aimed at promoting the use of legal software. Naturally. ®

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