Microsoft today filed 52 lawsuits in 22 countries against resellers who allegedly sold counterfeit Microsoft software online.
Some 15 of the 52 lawsuits filed involved software traced to the largest-ever commercial counterfeit syndicate, which was broken up earlier this year by Chinese authorities, the FBI and Microsoft. Through its investigations, Microsoft reported it had found that the counterfeit software produced by the Chinese syndicate was distributed in some markets through domestic online sellers.
"The criminal syndicate broken up this past summer by Chinese law enforcement and the FBI was linked to a significant amount of illegitimate internet activity," said David Finn, associate general counsel for Worldwide Anti-Piracy and Anti-Counterfeiting at Microsoft.
"We took note of that fact and followed up globally, since we have a responsibility to help combat cyber-pirates who operate without borders and attempt to deceive unsuspecting software consumers around the world."
Finn added: "As part of our ongoing effort to combat software piracy, 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."
In addition, Microsoft announced the release of a new educational guide to help consumers spot and avoid counterfeit software offered on online marketplaces. The software giant is working with eBay to educate the auction site's users regarding counterfeit software and has produced the Microsoft Buying Guide, which details best practices.
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