Posted by Frank McCoskerManaging Director, Global Strategic Accounts
At Microsoft, we are driven by the idea that technology helps enable people to realize their full potential. Our involvement with Research4Life is a great example of how access to technology and the information it can provide helps others do great things. Research4Life is a global partnership formed from a shared vision of providing the developing world with access to leading scientific research information that can help them address the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
This month, representatives from Microsoft, along with several UN organizations, the world’s leading scientific journal publishers, research universities and others met in New York City for the annual partners meeting to discuss the past, present and future of this multi-sector initiative. The passion and commitment of this group, who often volunteer their time and talents on top of their day jobs, was evident throughout the meeting, which was well timed as world leaders met at the Millennium Development Goals Summit during the UN General Assembly.
Research4Life aims to grant access to top research and academic journals in the fields of environment, agriculture and health to institutions in developing countries either for free or for a fraction of the normal costs. Microsoft is the technology partner in Research4Life in what has quickly become a dynamic partnership between – the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the World Health Organization (WHO), leading academic publishers and Yale and Cornell Universities.
Posted by Brad SmithSenior Vice President and General Counsel
Today, more than 10,000 friends, neighbors, colleagues and citizens will participate in the United Way of King County Day of Caring. It’s an opportunity for people to connect with their local community and make a difference – whether it’s helping people who have become homeless, assisting with the completion of a tax return, reading to kids, or undertaking a habitat restoration project. People can make a difference.
On a personal note, today also marks an important part of co-chairing the United Way of King County’s annual campaign with my wife Kathy Surace-Smith. When we agreed to co-chair together, we toured many of the service agencies supported by United Way and experienced first-hand, the challenges facing local community organizations. It’s one of the reasons we are both excited to take part in an event that benefits a huge cross-section of our community in a direct way.
The turnout for this year’s Day of Caring is the biggest ever and is a great testament to the leadership the United Way has shown encouraging and helping people get involved by volunteering. There’s no question that more and more people in our society feel an increased desire to connect to their community. The need is more acute in today’s struggling economy, and a volunteer’s impact is greater than ever.
Posted by Pamela PassmanCorporate Vice President, Global Corporate Affairs
I am proud to work for a company like Microsoft that has a long-standing commitment to protecting children. I am especially pleased to be able to share that Microsoft is participating in a new collaborative effort with other technology companies, advocates and the Demi and Ashton Foundation (DNA) to find new ways to put technology to work protecting children from sexual exploitation and abuse.
Today, I joined Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher, the co-founders of the DNA Foundation, at the annual Clinton Global Initiative meeting in New York City to discuss this effort. At the event, the DNA Foundation launched their “Real Men” campaign to raise awareness about the issues of child sex trafficking and exploitation. They also shared some information about the work Microsoft and others have been exploring with them in a task force to develop creative technological solutions to help address this horrible problem.
Posted by Akhtar BadshahSenior Director, Global Community Affairs
Founded in 2005 by President Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative was created to turn ideas into action creating a more integrated global community with shared benefits, responsibilities, and values. It brings together people from around the world, and channels the capacities of individuals and organizations to realize social and economic change. It focuses on practical solutions to global issues through the development of specific and measurable Commitments to Action.
Microsoft is a proud partner of the Clinton Global Initiative. We share the same belief that collaboration between individuals and the private, public and nonprofit sectors can address the world's most pressing problems.
Posted by Brad SmithSenior Vice President and Microsoft General Counsel
(Cross-posted from the Official Microsoft Blog)
A story in yesterday’s New York Times reports on anti-piracy enforcement actions in Russia that have been used for more nefarious purposes than protecting intellectual property rights.
As General Counsel for Microsoft, it was not the type of story that felt good to read. It described instances in which authorities had used piracy charges concerning Microsoft software to confiscate computers and harass non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and others engaged in public advocacy. It suggested that there had been cases when our own counsel at law firms had failed to help clear things up and had made matters worse instead. Whatever the circumstances of the particular cases the New York Times described, we want to be clear that we unequivocally abhor any attempt to leverage intellectual property rights to stifle political advocacy or pursue improper personal gain. We are moving swiftly to seek to remove any incentive or ability to engage in such behavior.
Some of our internal teams around the world were already looking at these issues, and they had turned to human rights advocates to ask for advice. We pulled these internal teams together to assess the issues raised in the New York Times story, and yesterday morning we had our internal counsel in Moscow, Paris, and London on the phone with a number of our senior Legal and Corporate Affairs personnel from the Seattle area.