Microsoft continues legal push against software fraud

Microsoft announced the filing of 52 lawsuits against sellers of pirated and fraudulent copies of its software, as well as referring another 22 cases to law enforcement.

Fifteen of the lawsuits stemmed from activity surrounding a Chinese piracy syndicate that Microsoft was successful in breaking up back in July of this year. That ring spanned five continents and 26 countries.

It was not immediately clear whom the remaining 37 lawsuits were directed toward, although it appeared all legal actions were surrounding online sales, including those through eBay.

Among the lawsuits, actions were filed in Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Turkey, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the US.

The company will also work with the leading auction site to help users purchase genuine software while there. The "Microsoft Buying Guide" contains details on how to spot counterfeit software, and the risks of purchasing it.

It will also continue to fight piracy and counterfeiting on the site by making use of eBay's features which allow it to locate and request removal of such software from the site.

"Microsoft is committed to taking the legal action necessary to protect consumers around the world from the dangers of counterfeit software, and we encourage consumers to look to the legitimate channel -- both online and offline -- when seeking genuine Microsoft software," associate piracy counsel David Finn said.

Again, the Redmond company turned to its sponsored study by IDC in 2006 which said that counterfeit software often contains malware and viruses, as well as other dangerous code.

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