Microsoft Sues 10 for Software Piracy

Microsoft wants you to know that "Not For Resale" isn't just a recommendation. The Redmond company on Thursday announced that it had filed seven lawsuits against individuals who violated its Action Pack subscription agreement and three others against companies for pirating software.

The Microsoft Action Pack Subscriptions, or MAPS, offers a way for partners to obtain heavily discounted software from Microsoft. However, the software must only be used for internal testing and development, and may not be deployed on production systems or resold.

Microsoft says that some of the nine individuals named in the suits attempted to sell MAPS software through online auction sites. These are the first lawsuits to be filed in relation to MAPS abuses.

"Our partners are negatively affected by the activities of those who compete unfairly by either selling illegal software and components or abusing agreements that other partners abide by," said John Ball, general manager for Microsoft's U.S. System Builders Partner Group.

Ball said the actions of these unscrupulous parties were detrimental to other Microsoft partners who abide by the law. "These dishonest resellers sell products at minimal costs, undercutting the business of legitimate resellers."

The non-MAPS lawsuits were filed in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, alleging counterfeit software abuses. Microsoft says Auction Hut, Comp-Discounts Software and Computer Techs were selling counterfeit software and did not change their behavior after being warned.

Microsoft added that its new Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) program and RU-LEGIT hotline helped uncover the illegal operations.

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