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Note to all NGOs: please don’t make a mess with Microsoft donations

[ Thanks to M.
Fioretti
for this link. ]

“Many non-profit, non government organizations (NGO),
including those who try to express dissent in authoritarian
regimes, use popular software like Windows or Microsoft Office for
their activities without paying for a regular license, because they
have no money. Therefore, charging these organizations for software
piracy is an effective way to shut down disturbing voices. They are
violating laws, after all. According to the New York Times,
“Microsoft is vastly expanding its efforts to prevent governments
from using software piracy inquiries as a pretext to suppress
dissent.” This is good, but there are a few things that any NGO
should know about plans like this.

“The N.Y. Times article continues saying that Microsoft “plans
to provide free software licenses to more than 500,000 advocacy
groups, independent media outlets and other nonprofit organizations
in 12 countries with tightly controlled governments, including
Russia and China. With the new program in place, authorities in
these countries would have no legal basis for accusing these groups
of installing pirated Microsoft software.””

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