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打击盗版,微软一个人的战争

Tory Newmyer 2012年05月10日

微软想要求外国制造商证明他们没有使用盗版软件,没想到却导致其他科技巨头的群起而攻之。业界认为,自证清白的工作需要耗费不可估量的资金。法案带来的麻烦比实际的好处大得多,可谓得不偿失。

    接近微软的战略专家表示,这个问题之所以变复杂了,就是因为牵涉到了微软的参与。罗杰•萨拉扎是微软支持的一个游说团体的负责人,他说:“在我看来,反对这个法案的人是想在法案里找出一个现在根本不存在的妖怪。如果这是一种妄想症也就罢了;但如果他们反对的原因只是因为支持这个法案的人是他们最大的竞争对手,那就根本是另一回事。”

    反对该法案的游说者则斥之为一派胡言。他们认为微软采取的政策过于高压,表明微软对自己的义务看得过重了。“这很可悲,就好像好莱坞《冰河世纪》里的那个松鼠一样,总是追着最后一颗坚果不放。”

    微软在自己的老家华盛顿州已经取得了不小的胜利。华盛顿州去年颁布了一项法律,规定如果有制造业企业使用盗版软件,一经查实,将被禁止在该州销售产品。而且大型零售商如果销售这些产品也会被追究责任。前年,路易斯安那州也通过了一个类似的法案。

    微软去年在美国国会花了734万美元的游说资金,这个数字在科技领域仅次于谷歌。微软希望能取得监管机构的支持,让他们帮助自己打击盗版。就在上个月月初,参议院的小企业委员会(the Senate Small Business Committee)除了三名成员之外,联名向联邦贸易委员会(the Federal Trade Commission)寄了一封信,要求后者使“采取一切可以动用的手段,打击盗版和非法盗用美国制造业信息技术的行为。”这封信表示,要想阻止美国制造业的继续衰退,打击盗版势在必行。不过信中并没有提到微软。

    译者:朴成奎

    Strategists close to Microsoft suggest the simple fact of the company's involvement is generating the tsuris. "It seems to me the opponents are trying to find bogeymen in the bill where none currently exists," says Roger Salazar, who's heading a Microsoft-backed coalition supporting the measure. "If it's paranoia, that's one thing; but if they're doing it because the proponent is one of their biggest competitors, that's another thing altogether."

    Lobbyists for the opposition call that nonsense. Instead, they argue Microsoft is taking an overly heavy-handed approach, a reflection on its misguided reliance on its own incumbency. "It's a sad state," says one, "almost like the Hollywood studios trying to hold on to that last nut as long as they can."

    The Redmond, Wash.-based company already has scored a significant win in its own backyard. Washington state last year adopted a law banning manufacturers found to be using pirated software from selling their products in the state -- and it opened big retailers peddling those goods up to liability, as well. Louisiana approved a similar bill the year before.

    And in Washington, DC -- where Microsoft spent $7.34 million lobbying last year, second only to Google in the tech sector -- the company is hoping to enlist regulators to act as its cops on the beat. Early last month, all but three members of the Senate Small Business Committee sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission asking the agency to use "all the tools at [its] disposal to fight the theft and use of stolen American manufacturing information technology." The letter framed the request as an imperative to stop the decline of American manufacturing. It didn't mention Microsoft.

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