More Software Piracy Busts
Microsoft's full-time effort to harry software counterfeiters netted a few
more legal actions this week. Eight software dealers in four countries -- the
United States, Canada, Egypt and the Netherlands -- attracted
either by Microsoft or by local authorities.
"One of the reasons that we're taking these actions is that we received
over 400 complaints over our 1-800-RU-LEGIT hotline," said Bonnie MacNaughton,
senior attorney and North American regional lead on the Microsoft Worldwide
Anti-Piracy Enforcement Team.
North American customers were suspicious when they installed their software
and saw notifications that the software was licensed for users in the Middle
East only, or licensed for students and academic institutions only, MacNaughton
The software with the Middle Eastern notification arose from a PC program in
Egypt called the PC Initiative. The program is designed to provide low-cost
software to Egyptian citizens. Instead, according to Microsoft, the dealer supplied
Egyptians with counterfeit software and exported the actual software to the
lucrative U.S. market, where it was presented as legitimate. Egyptian authorities
raided a source of the unlicensed software on April 30, according to Microsoft.
Other programs exploited by software dealers were the Volume Licensing program,
where dealers allegedly stole product keys and even peeled Certificates of Authenticity
off of computers, and the program discounting software for students and academic
In addition, Microsoft built on settlements in previous lawsuits against software
dealers in the United States to trace the source of their software to a firm
in the Netherlands.
"Microsoft has alleged that HW Trading BV and its principal, Samir Abdalla,
received more than $3.7 million from just three dealers in the U.S. between
March 2006 and March 2007 in payment, in whole or in part, for unlicensed software,"
Microsoft said in
Posted by Scott Bekker on May 08, 2008 at 11:58 AM