Tech Time Warp: The breakthrough against software piracy that wasn’t

In this edition of Tech Time Warp we go back to April 14, 1995, when the Chinese government began widespread efforts to stop its government agencies from using pirated software. The move came after a Feb. 27, 1995, accord agreement between the U.S. and China in which government officials announced enhanced copyright enforcement measures, including evidence-collecting task forces, increased ability for Chinese customs officers to search for and destroy pirated materials, and removal of quotas on American film imports. According to The New York Times, U.S. officials considered it the “most comprehensive and detailed copyright enforcement agreement…ever negotiated with any country.”

The persistence of piracy

The problem is it wasn’t very effective. Piracy remains a perennial problem around the world and has been particularly rampant in China:

What’s really interesting is when cybercriminal meets cybercriminal, as was the case during the 2017 WannaCry attack. All those pirated copies of Windows weren’t receiving regular Microsoft securities updates. This was leading Chinese infrastructure—government agencies, police, and universities, among other entities—to be particularly hard hit by the global ransomware attack. Skipping those security patches, no matter the reason, is a mistake.

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Photo: Golden Dayz / Shutterstock

This post originally appeared on Smarter MSP.