Dealer of forged Microsoft licenses goes to jail

A German court has sentenced a dealer to three years in prison for distributing Microsoft products with forged licenses.

A German court has sentenced a software dealer to nearly three years in prison for distributing Microsoft products with forged licenses.

The dealer, a 42-year-old Turk, was arrested in June 2006 by German police for selling Microsoft products with falsified licenses on a large scale, Microsoft Deutschland said Thursday. He had been held in custody until the court ruling, which ended with a sentence of two years, 11 months in prison.

After eight days of hearings, the district court in Bochum, Germany, found the Turkish dealer guilty of reselling 18,555 products with forged licenses to other dealers who were unaware of the illegal activity. The court referred to the dealer as a "clever offender" who was driven by greed. The dealer was not identified.

Microsoft estimates the loss of the forged licenses at Euro 4 million (AUD$6.6 million), including the money paid by customers who acquired software they were unable to use.

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