Microsoft Ordered To Pay $388M For Pirating Windows Activation Technology

A jury has ordered Microsoft to pay $388M to security software firm Uniloc, who alleged back in 2003 that Microsoft infringed on the firm's patents for Windows Activation, one of the most horrible features ever.

One way to look at this—the hasty, vindictive, techno-populist way—is to see this whole thing as some kind of cosmic rebalancing, in which Microsoft is finally paying a huge, literal price for years of subjecting us to broken product activation runarounds in virtually every major piece of software they've released in the last eight years. Their 30 days is up, their trial period (ha!) over, etc etc etc.

Another way: A gigantic company, who has produced loads of useful products despite succumbing to the temptations of overbearing antipiracy measures, has been forced to shovel an ungodly sum of money to a company that only produces overbearing antipiracy measures. So, hurray. [WSJ]