Microsoft piracy sees Aussie retailer fined

Microsoft piracy sees Aussie retailer fined

Summary: Microsoft Australia has chalked up another win in its crusade against those who pirate its products down under as another company yesterday settled with the Redmond giant to the tune of $50,000.

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Microsoft Australia has chalked up another win in its crusade against those who pirate its products down under as another company yesterday settled with the Redmond giant to the tune of $50,000.

Laptop Factory Outlet, a New South Wales-based retailer of laptops and desktops, settled with Microsoft Australia yesterday after company directors admitted to piracy offences.

The directors admitted to purchasing old laptops and reusing the Windows Certificate of Authenticity stickers on different machines, which Microsoft has said were full of pirated software. These PCs were then on-sold to customers.

As part of the settlement, Laptop Factory Outlet must pay $50,000 to Microsoft, while agreeing to replace any counterfeit software with a genuine copy.

Laptop Factory Outlet customers are being urged to get in touch to organise their replacement.

Attorney for Microsoft, Clayton Noble, urged consumers to look out for the signs of illegitimate software, as it may pose a security risk.

"If a Certificate of Authenticity affixed to your new PC appears used or tampered with, or names a PC manufacturer that doesn't match the PC you bought, this is an indication of counterfeit software preloaded onto your PC. Other indicators of counterfeit software are discussed on Microsoft's website, which helps empower consumers to make informed software purchases and avoid counterfeit-related risks. If your software is not genuine, you cannot be sure of what you're getting.

"Tampering with Certificates of Authenticity can trick consumers into buying software that is not genuine and properly licensed. This can expose them to the potential dangers of counterfeit software, including the risk that it comprises malware which causes computer viruses, or key-logging software that can be used to steal identities," Noble said.

Microsoft Australia has recently gone on the offensive against piracy in Australia, calling for measures including implementing cyber cops to track down pirates, all the while, pursuing legal action for those caught infringing on its intellectual property, including the measures taken against Laptop Factory Outlet and a Brisbane-based software company in March.

Topics: Microsoft, Piracy, Security

Luke Hopewell

About Luke Hopewell

A fresh recruit onto the tech journalism battlefield, Luke Hopewell is eager to see some action. After a tour of duty in the belly of the Telstra beast, he is keen to report big stories on the enterprise beat. Drawing on past experience in radio, print and magazine, he plans to ask all the tough questions you want answered.

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