Piracy rampant and blatant in Romania – cheers, Bill!

From this EnGadget article…

Romanian president Traian Basescu has a bigger reason than most to owe the Microsoft founder a debt of gratitude: he claims that rampant software piracy in the Eastern European nation was the single biggest factor in developing a healthy IT industry. Yes, believe it or not, a head-of-state actually stood up in public – at a press conference to celebrate the launch of a Microsoft global technical center – and told Gates face-to-face how illegal copies of Windows “helped the young generation discover computers…set off the development of the IT industry…[and] helped Romanians improve their creative capacity…” Indeed, nearly 70% of all software used in Romania today is pirated, according to some experts (pirates even peddle their wares to legitimate businesses, reportedly), despite the anti-piracy legislation passed some ten years ago. Amusingly, Basescu justified his countrymen’s ridiculous levels of IP theft by claiming that “it was an investment in Romania’s friendship with Microsoft and Bill Gates.”

What a wally. Nevertheless, it’s a clear- if far from shining – example of how sharing things is great for growth. Just maybe not the growth of Microsoft. I wonder what the future president of Freenation might say if he ever gets to meet Gates…

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