Microsoft has long been one of the most ardent proponents of expanding U.S. copyright law. But that enthusiasm doesn't extend to the new Stop Online Piracy Act, which its lobbyists are quietly working to alter, CNET has learned.
It's little surprise that Web-based companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter oppose SOPA, which is designed to make allegedly piratical Web sites virtually disappear from the Internet. They, and many civil liberties and human rights groups, worry that SOPA could jeopardize legitimate Web sites too.
But Redmond's skepticism is notable because unlike the Web companies, Microsoft earns nearly all of its revenue by licensing software--which can, of course, be pirated--and loses money on Bing and its online services division. What's even more telling is that Microsoft had enthusiastically endorsed a narrower version of the copyright bill, called Protect IP, earlier this year.
I don't think there is something strange here. Microsoft always operated like that. Due to the way they earn revenue and market model they follow.
They want to control piracy not eradicate it. They do generate revenue from people who may illegally download software at first, but later on they purchase it because they use it extensively. It's not the same business type, as with other models like shareware, or open source software who rely on other ways to generate revenue. So it may look like they lose first, but in the end they gain more.