Microsoft announces that it has launched a dedicated Twitter feed for its anti-piracy enforcement team. Despite attempts by Microsoft and other IT companies to curb piracy, often through aggressive policies, a recent report by McAfee suggests that the rate of file-sharing sites hosting unauthorized content has been rising steadily in the past few months.
Microsoft's Anti-Piracy Enforcement Team now has a Twitter feed.
, which began on
Nov. 3 with a link to a Microsoft page describing how to tell whether a piece
of software has been pirated, has only four tweets but is expected to expand. A
Microsoft spokesperson described the Twitter handle as a way for the company
"to connect with the public on the issues of pirated and counterfeit
Microsoft's Corporate Communications division already has a Twitter feed here
Like many IT companies, Microsoft has been moving to embrace social
networking and microblogging as tools for connecting with the online community.
recently announced that Facebook and Twitter will be incorporated more fully
into its search engine, Bing
, with users able to search Twitter feeds for
real-time information or post data to their Facebook pages.
According to McAfee, the number of new file-sharing sites hosting
unauthorized content has rocketed upward in the past three months, despite
the continuing legal pressure on sites such as Pirate Bay
to shut down. McAfee's
Third Quarter Threats Report found a 300 percent jump in the number of sites
posting pirated content.
Despite this, Microsoft has continued an aggressive campaign against piracy,
sometimes with unintended consequences. In September, Microsoft seemed to have
concluded a long legal battle against security company Uniloc, which had
alleged that Microsoft infringed on its patent relating to anti-piracy
technology, when a federal judge tossed out a $388 million damage award against
Specifically, Uniloc had argued that Microsoft's anti-piracy registration
system for Windows XP and certain components of Office violated its own
product-activation patent. Uniloc announced on Oct. 1 that it planned to appeal
the federal judge's verdict.
In addition to piracy, Microsoft has been forceful in its attempts to
prevent users from installing the full version of Windows 7 onto a blank hard
drive using an upgrade disc. Although such a feat is technically possible, Redmond
has argued publicly in blog postings that
to do so without a "full qualifying license" violates EULA (End User
Doubtlessly, issues such as these will end up being reported on the new