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!

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.

Byron Kaye

PC World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

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.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

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?