The Channel logo

News

By | Kelly Fiveash 2nd November 2007 12:46

Microsoft fires cannon at counterfeiters

Walk the plank, arr

In its latest attempts to rid pirates from its shores, Microsoft has set up a new* website to help its customers spot dodgy software.

Redmond also confirmed on Wednesday that it had filed 20 lawsuits in the US against alleged distributors of counterfeit copies of Windows XP and Office 2003.

It's a two-pronged attack from Redmond to send out a clear message to Microsoft resellers warning of the possible consequences of punting pirated goods.

The new website, ominously named How To Tell, has been described by Microsoft as forming part of its Genuine Software Initiative intended to ensure customers and channel partners are dissuaded from buying and selling dodgy copies of its software.

In recent months, Microsoft has been making similar legal noises in Europe, clamping down on the so-called "grey software" or parallel importing market, where branded goods bought in one country are flogged elsewhere at a marked-down price.

Microsoft said that as a big name vendor in the world of computers it had a social responsibility to target violations against intellectual property, which it reckoned negatively impacted the US economy equivalent to 750,000 jobs being lost annually.

Of course, pirates are also undoubtedly putting a dent in the firm's profits too. ®

Bootnote

While Microsoft is punting the How To Tell website as a new tool in its fight against software piracy, we actually reported on it in May 2004.

comment icon Read 12 comments on this article alert Send corrections

Opinion

Privacy image

Frank Jennings

Two working parties, ministers galore... but data transfer law remains in limbo
EMC_Unity_bezel

Chris Evans

It does simplify the hardware setup, whatever it is
A microscopic view of the biometric shark skin. Pic: James Weaver

Chris Mellor

Do something and stop faffing about in the bush league

Kat Hall

International system in general needs greater transparency

Features

Nerd fail photo via Shutterstock
Shouting match
Single market vs. rest of the world
hacker
Mostly it's financial crime. Here's what all the cool kids' terms mean in English
Apple logo. Pic: Blake Patterson
Plenty of bumps in the 40-year road for Mac makers