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Microsoft advises consumers to beware of counterfeit software

3 December, 2003 | Archived Post
Warning comes as Sydney-based reseller is caught in second copyright violationSYDNEY, Australia, Thursday 3rd December, 2003

Abstract:
Microsoft Australia today urged consumers to beware of counterfeit products as a Sydney-based computer hardware supplier faces a payout for a second copyright violation.

Press Release:
Microsoft Australia today urged consumers to beware of counterfeit products as a Sydney-based computer hardware supplier faces a payout for a second copyright violation.

Big Ben Computer (registered in the name of Ben Zhong Fan) made a A$55,000 compensation payment after being sued in the Federal Court for selling copies of Microsoft Windows software which it had hard loaded onto personal computers. It's the second time Big Ben Computer has been caught using unlicensed Microsoft products. In February 2001, the company reached a settlement with Microsoft for copyright violation and paid A$10,000 in damages.

Microsoft began re-investigating Big Ben Computer in May 2001. In December 2001, evidence was obtained of an illegal copy of Microsoft Windows being hard loaded onto a personal computer. Civil proceedings were filed in July 2002 and continued with a trial date set for October 2003. However, Big Ben Computer elected to settle the matter before the trial.

Chris Woodforde, Microsoft's Law and Corporate Affairs spokesperson, said Microsoft wants all consumers to be confident that they are receiving genuine product. "Microsoft continues to invest in new, innovative anti-counterfeiting security technologies that will make it harder for software pirates to copy our products. We also regularly monitor sales and distribution networks to ensure that consumers are not spending good money on bad software."

Mr Woodforde urged consumers to be vigilant when purchasing software. "It's easy to spot a fake if you know how. Recognising and looking out for anti-counterfeiting security measures, such as the Certificate of Authenticity and the edge-to-edge hologram on the packaging, will protect you from acquiring illegal products."

He adds that counterfeit products are often defective and missing valuable codes that can impact the security of PCs. Consumers who mistakenly acquire pirated products are also ineligible for technical product support and software upgrades.

Microsoft offers a Product Identification Service through its Anti Piracy Hotline (1800 639 963) where consumers can send in their product for verification if they are suspicious that they have been sold counterfeit products. Further consumers can visit the How To Tell web site, /australia/piracy/default.aspx, which provides a step by step guide to learn how to tell if a product is genuine.

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For further information please contact:
Stephen Rodi or Peter Sertori at Howorth Communications on 02 9904 2618 or howorth@howorth.com.au

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