Microsoft is taking legal action as part of its channel monitoring program against four Canadian resellers that allegedly sold unlicensed copies of Microsoft products. The vendor has also, for the first time, disclosed its ongoing channel and monitoring actions, which includes strategies like mystery shoppers, mediation meetings and ongoing monitoring.

The lawsuits Microsoft has filed against the four resellers allege that the resellers illegally installed unlicensed software on the hard disks of computers or distributed counterfeit software to customers in the local market. Microsoft discovered the alleged software piracy through its channel monitoring program, which was developed to reduce software piracy and protect both consumers and resellers from illegitimate software.

According to Microsoft, the four resellers installed/distributed unlicensed copies of Microsoft Windows XP Home, Windows XP Professional and Office Professional Edition 2003. They allegedly engaged in the practice of hard disk loading, which occurs when unlicensed software is installed on a computer and the necessary components (such as installation discs and certificate of authenticity) are not provided to the customer.

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