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The Right of Reply article from Microsoft anti-piracy manager Julia Phillpott generated a small but good quality email bag (around 40 responses, of which five were whole-heartedly pro-Microsoft). However there was only one joke, from Kurt Kwart who asks " you mean Windows isn't free?". We hope that's a pseudonym you're using, Kurt. OK, So let's get The Register position on software piracy out of the way, first. We're agin it. Because stealing is wrong. As dutiful capitalists (well, some of us) we support the concept of intellectual property. (We buy all the software we are supposed to buy). We're with Microsoft on this one. However, we part company when it comes to grey or parallel trading, which MS is against, and which The Register supports. Restrictive distribution is against the interests of consumers. Also we think the figures used by Microsoft and other software companies estimating the effect of software piracy is suspect, a point eloquently developed by Steve Jackson, Center for Mass Communication Research Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media Columbia. Finally, MS has some problems in executing its anti-piracy strategy. From time to time, innocent computer retailers get trampled upon by over-enthusiastic enforcers. We publish the tale of one poor computer dealer below. ® Related stories MS piracy losses claims don't stack up -Graham Lea Right of Reply: MS says stealing is wrong Register readers weigh in Y does not mean X: decoding the MS reply Software piracy stops software development? MS anti-piracy tactics snare innocent dealers How would Graham Lea like having his IP infringed? Phillpot calls piracy kettle black Visit The Register's forum and share your views with the world.

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