Microsoft Sues Over Pirated Vista, XP Recovery CDs
- By Kurt Mackie
- January 05, 2012
Microsoft has filed suit against U.K.-based retailer Comet for allegedly selling counterfeit Windows Vista and Windows XP system recovery CDs.
Microsoft alleges that the counterfeit CDs were made in a factory in Hampshire, U.K. and then sold to customers who had bought Windows-based computers at Comet retail locations. Comet has 248 stores across the United Kingdom.
Microsoft claimed in a released statement that Comet sold 94,000 counterfeit CDs. Based on that number, Comet may have gained £1.4 million ($2.2 million) in illicit sales revenues, according to calculations in a report by the Guardian, which priced the recovery disks at £14.99 ($23.40) apiece. The alleged infractions took place from March 2008 to December 2009, according to the story.
Comet released its own statement on Wednesday claiming that the recovery disks were made "on behalf of its customers" after Microsoft stopped providing them. The company's legal counsel doesn't agree that Microsoft's intellectual property was infringed.
"Comet firmly believes that it acted in the very best interests of its customers," the statement reads. "It believes its customers had been adversely affected by the decision to stop supplying recovery discs with each new Microsoft Operating System based computer."
David Finn, Microsoft's associate general counsel for worldwide anti-piracy and anti-counterfeiting effort, took an opposite view. "We expect better from retailers of Microsoft products -- and our customers deserve better, too," Finn said in a prepared statement.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.