Microsoft Embarks on Lawsuit Rampage

By Sara Driscoll  |  Print this article Print


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The software giant issues legal proceedings against solution providers shipping non-genuine software.

Microsoft has launched a stampede against solution providers who deal in counterfeit or infringing software by filing 20 lawsuits in 13 states.

As part of its Genuine Software Initiative, the software giant said the lawsuits are part of its three-pronged approach to help protect legitimate channel businesses. Software piracy in the United States accounted for losses of $7.3 billion in 2006, according analyst firm IDC.

Sharon Cates, an attorney for Microsoft, said in a statement: "This isn't just about protecting Microsoft's intellectual property. This is also about protecting consumers and the thousands of owners of small and large businesses and their employees who make up the software industry and depend on it for their livelihoods."

Microsoft's three-pronged approach to preventing piracy includes promoting education for consumers and partners, seeking engineering solutions to dissuade pirates, and taking enforcement actions to protect honest software vendors, the firm said.

Microsoft has spent many billions of dollars helping end users identify illegal software and has set up a Web site to teach users how to spot the differences between genuine and non-genuine software.

To go to Microsoft's Web site and learn how to spot illegal software, click here.

"When consumers and businesses are looking for new computers and software, it is important to buy from reputable resellers," said Larry Malashock, vice president of Software Plus, a large software reseller in St. Louis, in a statement. "Customers often don't realize that these 'too good to be true' deals that they can get off the Internet or from non-reputable vendors don't come with the right licensing or the services provided by the legitimate channel. Counterfeit software can include code that will end up hurting their computing environment."

Sara Driscoll began her journalism career at 16 years old on her local newspaper, The Watford Observer. Working part time, she covered a range of beats. Leaving to complete her Journalism Degree at Bournemouth University, UK, Sara then went on to graduate and work for Emap. She began as a reporter on APR, Emap's construction title, being promoted to senior reporter with a year.Sara then joined VNU Business Publications as Deputy News Editor on CRN, the weekly trade title for channel players. She covered industry/business news from vendors, distributors and resellers, product announcements, partner announcements as well as market and trend analysis, research and in depth articles to predict up and coming trends in the sector. She was promoted within a year to News Editor, a year later to Deputy Editor and the following year became Editor. Sara remained editor of CRN for three years, launching the magazine on new platforms including CRN TV and eBooks, as well as several magazine and web site redesigns. She was called on for expert industry comment from various publications including appearing on live BBC news programs. Sara joined Ziff Davis Enterprise as Editor of eWeek Channel Insider. She runs the title in all formats – online up to the minute news, newsletters, emails alerts and events. She also manages the brand of Channel Insider in all formats - events, shows, awards, panel debates and roundtables.Sara can be reached at:sara.driscoll@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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