A vice-director of the National Copyright Administration has reprimanded software giant Microsoft, saying it used 'the wrong methods' to protect its intellectual property rights. Yan Xiaohong said yesterday in Beijing that although the Chinese government supported companies standing up for their rights, businesses should be careful in how they do it. Mr Yan was asked to comment on recent moves by Microsoft to blacken the computer screens of people who used illegal copies of Windows XP and Office software. People who updated their software installed a plug-in that turned their screens black. Microsoft intended this as a warning against piracy. Although the black screen does not harm computers, the move has upset many users on the mainland who accused Microsoft of holding them hostage and invading their privacy. Microsoft has said the update is not compulsory, and that it would enable users to determine if their copies were counterfeit or genuine. Yesterday Mr Yan weighed in on the controversy, saying Microsoft had ignored the interests of users in developing countries. 'Standing up for its own rights, of course, is important,' Mr Yan was quoted as saying by Xinhua. 'But resorting to a 'black screen' is something else, and we are concerned about such a move.'