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By | John Oates 1st December 2004 13:32

MS sues resellers for counterfeit certificates

Eight US firms named...

Microsoft is taking action against US resellers who are using dodgy Certificates of Authenticity (COA) to pass off counterfeit software as the real deal.

Eight companies are facing legal action after a year-long investigation by Microsoft. The software giant bought hundreds of computer systems and packaged software. It was surprised that most of the COAs were not fake but had been removed from genuine machines or software packages. The certificates are attached either to the computer itself or to packaged software. They include a unique code number to identify the relevant piece of software.

Microsoft says it contacted all the resellers named and they refused to stop acting illegally. Resellers can illegally buy standalone COAs to pair with copied software to make it appear genuine.

More details at Microsoft.

The firm warned that this legal action would not end the campaign - Microsoft will continue to buy systems and software it suspects are dodgy.

Microsoft UK last week said it would replace counterfeit copies of Windows XP with genuine versions. The offer applies only to pre-installed software. According to the Business Software Alliance, 36 per cent of computers worldwide contain illegally copied software. ®

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