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Microsoft Piracy Pleas Fall on Deaf Ears in China

By David Vranicar
Sep 21, 2012 9:04 AM PT

Microsoft has asked China to crack down on pirated Office software used by four major state-run companies, according to Bloomberg.

Microsoft Piracy Pleas Fall on Deaf Ears in China

Speaking to a government panel last month, Microsoft named China National Petroleum Corp., China Post Group, China Railway Construction Corp. and Travelsky Technology as serial users of pirated software. Microsoft alleged that 40 percent of Office and Windows server client software used by China National Petroleum -- which according to Bloomberg is the parent of China's most valuable company -- is unlicensed, while 84 percent of China Railway Construction's Office software is unlicensed.

A spokesman for China National Petroleum said the company hadn't heard about Microsoft's complaints, which means he was either bluffing or China hadn't taken Microsoft's allegations all that seriously.

If these companies do indeed use pirated software, they wouldn't be alone. In May, the Business Software Alliance published a report alleging that China has a US$9 billion illegal software market -- compared to a $3 billion legal software market.

Apple Unveils iPhone, Samsung Unveils Lawsuit

A new phone, a new round of patent allegations.

Just in time for Apple's iPhone 5 release, Samsung announced plans to add the iPhone 5 to existing patent lawsuits in the U.S., according to Reuters.

Apple and South Korea-based Samsung have engaged in patent battled in 10 different countries. Last month, Samsung was ordered to pay more than $1 billion for infringing on Apple patents.

According to The Wall Street Journal, once Samsung includes the iPhone 5 in the U.S. case -- a move it could extend to cases in other countries, as well -- it can seek sales bans on the phone.

The iPhone 5 is being released in a slew of countries Friday -- the U.S., UK, Canada, Germany and Japan among them -- and in 22 more countries next week. According to Reuters, Apple had more than 2 million orders for the iPhone 5 in the first 24 hours it was available.

Cybersex Shutdown in The Philippines

The Philippines has outlawed everything that falls under its rather broad definition of "cybersex," according to Mashable.

The new law prohibiting cybersex, detailed here at a Philippines government website, also makes it illegal to upload porn. The wording of the legislation prohibits the "lascivious exhibition of sexual organs or sexual activity, with the aid of a computer system, for favor or consideration."

Guilty parties face fines of up to $24,018, which is extra problematic because, as of 2010, per capita income in the country was about $2,000.

Google Ditches Music Service in China

Google has shut down its Chinese music service, reported here by Tech In Asia.

Google first made the announcement (in Chinese) on its Google China blog, conceding that the website, launched in 2009, hadn't had the success Google anticipated.

Microsoft Wins Ruling Against Google, Motorola

Not to be out-litigated by Apple and Samsung, Microsoft and Google made courtroom news Thursday when a German court awarded another patent victory to Microsoft.

As the BBC explains, the court ruled that several Motorola tablets and phones infringed on patents owned by Microsoft.

German courts sided with Microsoft in patent disputes in May and again in July.

Tech Trek is a blog that looks at tech news from around the world. David Vranicar is a freelance journalist. His ECT News Network archive, with links to articles and podcasts, is available here. You can email him at

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