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By | John Oates 3rd April 2007 15:10

Microsoft hits Middle East pirates

Student copies mis-sold

Microsoft is taking legal action against several companies it accuses of selling academic copies of Office to ordinary punters.

Schools and colleges can get cut-price software from Microsoft, but Microsoft says some resellers, in Jordan and elsewhere, have been selling the software on to companies and consumers in the US.

Microsoft has filed nine lawsuits and sent over 50 cease and desist letters. The legal action was started in the US, where the software was sold.

Microsoft UK anti-piracy head Michala Alexander told The Reg: "We're taking action against several global organisations who have been getting hold of academic copies of Office and selling them on in breach of the terms and conditions."

Alexander said the launch of Vista has increased piracy for older versions of Microsoft software: "It's like the end of season sale. We've not seen any Vista products in the UK yet - we made a big investment in anti-piracy measures and I think the activation process certainly helps."

As part of the same crackdown, Microsoft has settled with eDirectSoftware one of its biggest distributors of academic software, after its involvement in a similar scheme. ®

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