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back to article Load of Microsoft software falls off back of lorry

A UK computer distributor has warned the channel to keep an eye out for a shipment of software stolen from a lorry bound for Warrington last month. Cheshire-based VIP said that the theft was reported to police on 14 January. The firm added that the software is largely worthless because Microsoft has already de-activated the …

COMMENTS

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Gates Halo

Um...?

If Microsoft isn't aware of the theft, how'd they already deactivate the license keys?

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Wishful thinking

I do wish people would stop lying in public.

Does this mean that Microsoft trace every piece of software they make? They have the serial numbers, product keys and location of every item in the back of a truck?

They might have, I don't actually know, but I would be really, really surprised that they knew what these codes were at all. Are they really unique? What about corporate copies? or are a lot of businesses about to find their software no longer works because a truck got hijacked in Essex.

If these codes are unique and so well known as to their location, why do we "need" windows genuine advantage to get updates?

Sounds like a truck load of bull to me.

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Black Helicopters

@ Um...?

I was thinking the same thing myself...

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Anonymous Coward

Damage limitation

Sounds to me like the "already deactivated" line is a smokescreen to discourage people from buying stolen copies, just like the laughable "stolen petrol can damage your engine" statement made by some police department or other last month after a spate of forecourt drive-offs.

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Paris Hilton

What was left?

Apparently the thieves left behind all copies of Vista. They have heard such bad press about it they just didn't want the hassle!

Microsoft have also included the missing products in their sales figures. This was done because officially they left Microsofts warehouse so they count as a sale.

Meanwhile Microsoft refuses to refund the money or give replacement goods to the purchaser due to restrictions as noted in the MS EULA: "If this product is stolen on route to you then you are solely responsible and Microsoft are in no way entitled to refund your money or replace your goods. All your cash belong to Microsoft."

Paris, because her pleasure curtains are opened daily.

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Anonymous Coward

worthless...?

"The firm added that the software is largely worthless because Microsoft has already de-activated the license keys on all affected stock."

Largely worthless - so it was Vista disks then?

:-)

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Coat

Article correction...

The firm added that the software is largely worthless because (it came from) Microsoft (end sentence)

Yes - the one with the penguin on the back please...

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Linux

sum

"worth a five figure sum"

Bearing in mind that this is microsoft, so 'worth' is very different to 'cost', I would put forward that this five figure sum is: 1+1+1+1+1 ($)

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Happy

Another shining example

of Microsoft and dodgy security!

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JC

@ Steve

Yes, in this era of computers it is a rather trivial thing to track product shipments to installation keys. If you had billions of dollars and nothing better to do, wouldn't you too?

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Dead Vulture

@ Um...?

Isnt it likely that theres more than one person working for Microsoft? Just because one representative doesnt know about it doesnt mean nobody in M$ does.

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@ Um..?s

You're asking a company as big as Microsoft UK to know everything that is going on at any one time at any part of its business.

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Silver badge

Re: "If these codes are unique and so well known ... "

My God I am soooo in agreement with you !

Brilliantly said.

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Anonymous Coward

@@Um... ?

Same here. It seems quite impossible to deactive licenses that have been stolen, if you are not aware of the theft.

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Unhappy

THIS is piracy!

Fer fecks sake!

Not copying for non commercial use. Actually TAKING the product in transit. That's real piracy, that's theft.

Now we've all seen a real example, can we stop with the shit about downloading is piracy?

Likely not.

Andrew?

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Gates Horns

THe Borg

Is Michala Wardell an auto reply bot, because piracy isn't involved so they can't be vigilant. Unless the lorry was moving pirated copies which were then stolen.

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Pirate

Rotten Meat ?

I guess that this uses the same logic as stolen food always being contaminated

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Pirate

...theft of computer software worth a five figure sum

IF Microsoft have deactivated it, then the software has zero value; the discs and packing have minimal value.

If it is a distributor that was robbed, then Microsoft have already sold the software to them, so how can they deactivate it, legally? Presumably the distributor's insurance will cover their loss. ( £100 for scrap discs and boxes or 5 figures for zero value software?)

IF it is NOT deactivated, then the purchasors of the booty are not likely to be Microsoft's normal customers, so few sales are lost, and Microsoft can replace the lost "software" for just the media and packing costs.

The only losers appear to be the insurance companies, who are probably right now wriggling to get out of paying for worthless junk. (deliberately doesn't specify whether de-activated or not)

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N

Worthless?

"Microsoft has already de-activated the license keys"

...so they fail the Windows Genuine dis Advantage?

Just like the genuine item.

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Happy

@JC

If I had billions of dollars I could find plenty to do! and you can be absolutely certain it wouldn't have anything to do with the location of a truck carry copies of some shite software.

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Linux

By the way ......

did anyone hear anything more about that lorryload of guinness

<http://www.drinksint.com/articles/54592/Police-hunt-for-Guinness-theft-clues.aspx?categoryid=9048>

or

the creme egg bandits

http://www.staffordshire.police.uk/news/2007/03_mar/19_easter.htm

..yet?

(Don't forget to call me ... i mean crimestoppers)

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Go

Re: By the Way

Or this:

A consignment of Single Malt Scotch Whisky, destined for the UK Christmas market has been stolen from an independent haulier in Hertfordshire, England.

More than 10,000 bottles of Bowmore Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky with a retail value of almost £300,000 were taken in the incident which happened around midday on Tuesday the 4 December.

The haul included various expressions of Bowmore, from 12 years old through to 25 years old.

Now that is a loss to all, not the Microshit stuff

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Anonymous Coward

Not QUITE worthless after all...

So, the thieves sell this stuff to a distributor, or flog it at a flea market; either way, THEY get money for the stolen stuff. Software that won't activate is only worthless to the foolish or unlucky end users who buy it, or the foolish distributors who have to give refunds on it (of course, anyone buying software at a flea market is asking for trouble, IMHO).

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Flame

Its the license vs. physical product game...

and software companies love to play it as much as the music industry. When something gets stolen, they count it as a physical product and count the loss, even thought it is really just a "license" and they can deactivate it. But when you want to resell your software as a physical product on ebay, then they call it a license and say it is non-transferable!

Likewise, you buy a CD, and want to convert it to mp3, they try to tell you that the CD is just a license, and you aren't allowed to convert it, but when your CD gets scratched, they treat it like a physical product and make you buy a new one.

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Coat

...so how does MS disable software, anyway?

The comment is *ripe* with potential, I tell ya:

Maybe they put it on a CD?

Maybe they call it 'Vista'?

Maybe they 'upgrade' it?

Looks like we need to explore this some more...

Mine's the anorak with the beeping pockets.

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So what is the point of those holograms?

If Microsoft thinks having perfect box copies of software out there that are made by Microsoft and hence completely perfect in every way and will look valid if people follow Microsoft's instructions on how to verify they are buying genuine Microsoft software, then the only way to know the software is stolen and can't be activated anymore, is by checking with Microsoft if the activation key is valid, which of course you can't do because it is inside the box and the box is sealed, and besides you aren't going to go to the store and write down the key, go home and check with Microsoft and then go back and buy that box.

So yes this has just become worthless to the unknowing end user, but it's still worth full value to the thieves since no customer could ever tell it was stolen by looking at it.

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Pirate

Wankers and clowns

What a bunch of wankers and clowns for less then five minutes work and the usual key generator any child over the age of six would have these deactivated products up and running without even trying !

They are so funny , me thinks it is far too late to send in a rescue team to find their single functioning brain cell !

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Gates Horns

Re: Wankers and Clowns

Well said!! I was hoping someone would have the sense to know that this software could be up and running in not time at all, valid licence key or not!

It seems that the police have never heard of key-gens, serials, etc that are easily downloaded from sites such as crack spider.

....and why do M$ even bother with the stupid hologram anyway.

I don't care whether it is a genuine copy or not as long as it works.

I wonder how many people actually read the EULA, probably less than 1%.

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