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December 15, 2005

Microsoft sues 10 for software piracy

Posted by David Hunter at 2:14 PM ET.

Press release:

Microsoft Corp. today announced that it has filed 10 lawsuits against companies for allegedly pirating software and against people for allegedly selling not-for-resale software to unsuspecting purchasers. The actions, taken amid a technology landscape pocked by the fraudulent activities of those seeking to undermine fair business practices, are designed to help protect Microsoft’s partners and consumers from those engaging in the illegal sale of Microsoft® software — from counterfeit products to not-for-resale software deceitfully obtained and sold at retail.

Seven lawsuits filed against nine individuals from California, Maryland, New York, Texas and Virginia allege breach of a software agreement by which the individuals obtained a number of Microsoft Action Pack Subscriptions (MAPS). The MAPS Initiative is a program that provides eligible partners with discounted Microsoft software packages for product evaluation and internal use. The MAPS-related lawsuits, the first Microsoft has filed, allege egregious abuse of this program by people who have repeatedly and knowingly broken the terms of the agreement. Some of those named in the suits have allegedly attempted to sell software from their subscriptions to consumers through online auction sites.

Three other lawsuits, filed by Microsoft against companies in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, allege counterfeit software abuses.

In related news from last week, Microsoft and eBay UK substantially reduced pirated Microsoft sales:

According to Microsoft, more than 21,000 suspect software sales were removed from the UK eBay site between August and October this year.

Over half (52 per cent) were sales of counterfeit Microsoft Windows, while 36 oer cent were fake copies of Microsoft Office.

According to Microsoft, the crackdown is working. It says that eBay removed 11,535 suspected counterfeit sales from the site in August. This fell to 4,460 in September and 5,423 in October.

A band of approximately 100 suspected illegal traders accounted for more than 3,000 of the items.

and closed down the UK firm Zoobon:

The current stage in the campaign against piracy from the Business Software Alliance (BSA) has claimed its latest victim after Manchester based Internet retailer Zoobon was closed down for selling counterfeit Microsoft software.

Following the investigations, an out-of-court settlement was reached between Microsoft and the individuals behind Zoobon under which they ceased trading and gave an undertakings not to sell counterfeit Microsoft software in the future. Zoobon’s site on eBay site has closed down.

Finally, speaking of the Business Software Alliance, they released a study done with consultants on the economic effects of software piracy reduction. Microsoft issued a statement in support of it.

Filed under Legal, Piracy

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