Microsoft takes legal moves against auction pirates

Microsoft said it is taking legal action against 55 resellers whom the company says sold pirated software on auction sites such as eBay

Microsoft is preparing 55 legal actions worldwide against sellers on auction sites who are hawking illegal copies of the company's software, the company said.

The actions are a mix of lawsuits and criminal complaints, said Jean-Christophe Le Toquin, a Microsoft attorney for Europe, the Middle East and Africa region. Microsoft has or will file 34 actions in Europe including Germany, France, Poland, Belgium, the U.K. and the Netherlands.

The company will seek prison terms for high-volume sellers and fines for less flagrant violations, Le Toquin said.

Microsoft has stepped up its anti-piracy campaign through legal suits. The company also sent out a program, Windows Genuine Advantage, to Windows computers that verifies whether the OS is a genuine, licensed copy.

Microsoft said it has received tips from consumers who have been notified that their OS is not legitimate, and those customers have informed the company where they bought the software. In the U.K., teams have visited software resellers to remind them of the legal consequences of piracy.

The new legal measures could take one to two years to wind through courts, depending on how quickly local police cooperate, Le Toquin said. Microsoft investigators purchased most of the fraudulent software through the eBay Inc. auction site, which hosts an estimated 50,000 pieces of pirated Microsoft software a year, he said.

Some fakes are of such high-quality that the compact discs and packaging are sent to a special Microsoft lab in Ireland for confirmation, Le Toquin said. Sellers draw buyers with prices well below market.

"It can be from a few euros to half the price," Le Toquin said.

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >

Mobile

Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2018

Roam freely in the digital world. Critically acclaimed performance and security at your fingertips.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?