Microsoft targets auctions in counterfeit crackdown

Beware of the Blue Edition

Microsoft continues to crack down on people it believes are counterfeiting and selling its software. On Thursday the company will add another 63 legal filings in 12 countries against individuals who it says are selling counterfeit Microsoft products.

The 63 actions are against people allegedly selling counterfeit versions of Microsoft Office, Windows XP and other products at online auction sites, said Matt Lundy, senior attorney with Microsoft's anti-piracy and anti-counterfeiting team.

Of the cases being filed, 16 are against defendants in the U.S., 12 each in Germany and France, and seven in the U.K. The other cases deal with activity originating in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Japan, Mexico and New Zealand.

Auction sites are especially dangerous for consumers because they allow counterfeiters to reach anyone who browses the Internet, giving them a broad swathe of potential victims, Lundy said.

In one case Microsoft is working on, a defendant operating in New Zealand was able to ship counterfeit software from China to customers in the U.S., he said. "This demonstrates the global reach that the Internet and online auction spaces can provide pirates," Lundy said.

Sites at which the alleged activity occurred include Amazon.com, Craigslist, eBay, MySpace, PCWorld and PriceGrabber, to name just a few, according to Microsoft.

A popular scam Microsoft is targeting in this round of legal activity is a fictitious marketing scheme called the "Blue Edition." In these cases, counterfeiters say they are offering a special edition of Microsoft software, called the Blue Edition, that is available very cheaply because it was part of a manufacturer's surplus of the product, Lundy said.

"It's critical for customers to understand that Blue Edition is fictional," Lundy said. "It's merely an attempt by pirates to fool unsuspecting consumers into buying this product."

Microsoft identified the Blue Edition scam through complaints from customers that came directly to the company or were posted at online auction sites when people realized their merchandise was counterfeit, Lundy said. Most of the Blue Edition cases Microsoft is dealing with target customers in the U.S., he added.

Microsoft's continued legal activity to prevent the sale of counterfeit or pirated software is part of its Genuine Software Initiative, described at the company's Web site.

Microsoft also has a site called "How To Tell" that helps people determine whether the Microsoft software they were sold is genuine.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Microsoftlegalpiracy

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Elizabeth Montalbano

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

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.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?