Feting Gates, Romanian lauds piracy

Publish date: 02-02-2007
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BUCHAREST: Pirated Microsoft software helped Romania to build a vibrant technology industry, President Traian Basescu told Bill Gates on Thursday.

"Piracy helped the young generation discover computers," Basescu said during an appearance with the chairman of Microsoft. "It set off the development of the IT industry in Romania."

Basescu was meeting with Gates to celebrate the opening of a Microsoft technical center in Bucharest.

"A bad thing, piracy, became in the end an investment in friendship toward Microsoft and Bill Gates, an investment in educating the young generation in Romania, which created the Romanians' friendship with the computer," Basescu added.

Gates made no reply to Basescu's comments.

Romania introduced anti-piracy legislation 10 years ago, but copyright infringements are still rampant. Experts say about 70 percent of software in Romania is pirated, and salesmen still visit offices in Bucharest to sell pirated CDs and DVDs.

The new center is to employ up to 600 local specialists and provide assistance to customers in Europe, particularly France and Germany.

Gates received the Star of Romania from Basescu on his trip through Europe to promote Microsoft's latest operating system, Vista. Later Thursday he addressed the Paris Entrepreneurs Show.


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