A top Chinese copyright official on Monday suggested Microsoft to consider more about "the price affordability of Chinese customers" amid recent "misunderstandings" over its "black-out" measure to stamp out piracy in China.
National Copyright Administration Vice-Director Yan Xiaohong told Xinhua, "the administration understands and supports the rights-safeguarding move taken by institutions including Microsoft."
But he pointed out that they should "pay attention to the methods".
"Whether the 'black-out' method should be adopted is open to question. Measures for safeguarding rights also need to be appropriate, We've paid great attention to the 'black-out' issue, so do many experts," he said.
Yan made the statement on the sidelines of the 2008 International Copyright Forum in response to the software giant's latest move to allay privacy.
Microsoft's latest anti-piracy tool turns computer desktops black if the installed software fails a validation test.
The program launched just after midnight on Tuesday, turns the desktop black every hour and users must manually restart the desktop.
The move has been met with fury by Chinese computer users and renewed complaints over the price of genuine software.
Yan said the strategy of using a unified global price for Microsoft products was questionable.
"We believe Microsoft's price policies should fit the Chinese situation. The company adopted unified prices in the past without considering the income gap between developed and developing countries, so we need to kindly remind them that Chinese customers' affordability should be considered," Yan said.
But some software specialists called on the nation to use more of domestic products when facing the American company's latest anti-piracy move.
"The black screen teaches us a better lesson than all preaching," said Ni Guangnan, a leading researcher at the Institute of Computing Technology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering.
"Now people understand why China needs its own software, especially basic programs.... Aren't worse things likely to happen in the future?" Ni asked.
(Xinhua News Agency October 28, 2008)