Microsoft plays hardball with unlicensed dealing

Software giant Microsoft has squeezed more than $52,000 out of four Melbourne PC dealers in copyright damages for peddling counterfeit and unlicensed software.

Green System Technologies, whose directors agreed in the Federal Court to pay the behemoth $20,000 for loading a hard disk with Windows 95, Office 97 and Publisher 97, had already paid the Business Software Association of Australia (BSAA) $10,000 for loading Microsoft software.

The other guilty parties were La Computer Group and MCG Computer Australia, who together paid $25,000 for selling counterfeit copies of Windows 98, and Powerhouse Computers, which paid $7000 for selling counterfeit versions of Windows 95 and Office Professional 97.

Chairman of the BSAA, Jim Macnamara, recently told IDG that software piracy was indirectly costing the Australian economy up to $1 billion a year. In fact, Macnamara believes 33 per cent of all PC software in Australia is pirated.

"The most common piracy is happening inside the business," Macnamara said. "It ranges from the individual who makes one copy for a friend through to companies that have hundreds and hundreds of PCs and . . . just run one or two programs right across.

"People treat software as though somehow it's exempt from all the other laws in our society. The copyright act is very clear. Company directors need to take note of it," he warned.

Microsoft Australia said in a statement issued yesterday it was currently involved in 25 software copyright investigations, with "a further 17 legal actions pending".

None of the guilty companies were available for comment.

Join the newsletter!


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

Byron Kaye

PC World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill


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

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?