Microsoft borrows from RIAA's playbook

Friday, 20 February 2004, 2:23 AM EST

Anxious to stop the spread of its purloined Windows code, Microsoft is sending letters to computer users who are downloading the intellectual property, requesting they stop. It is a move reminiscent of the music industry's early tactics to stem the sharing of copyrighted material on peer-to-peer networks.

However, the similarity may end there, as Microsoft says it is not threatening to sue downloaders -- yet. "It is illegal for third parties to post Microsoft source code, and we take such activity very seriously," the company said.

Last week, a portion of Microsoft's Windows 2000 and NT source code -- arguably the software titan's most valuable trade secret -- leaked onto the Internet. It is now circulating on several P2P networks. Microsoft is working with law-enforcement authorities to investigate the postings.

By Erika Morphy at NewsFactor.

[ Read more ]

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