• Windows Licensing
  • What should I do if I suspect I have unknowingly acquired illegal Microsoft software product(s)?

    First, return the product to where you obtained it and ask for a legitimate replacement product or verification that the product you acquired is legal. If the vendor refuses to help you, ask for your money back and find a legitimate dealer who will provide you with legally licensed Microsoft products.

    If the vendor refuses to give you a refund, report these actions to your local Consumer Affairs Office and the Better Business Bureau (http://www.bbb.org/). You should also report piracy by completing an online reporting form or contact the Business Software Alliance (BSA) anti-piracy hotline at (888) NO-PIRACY to report your concerns.

    What does Microsoft do to follow-up on the leads I provide?

    Every lead is processed with the legal department and Microsoft's actions can take many forms, from a warning letter to criminal prosecution.

    I made a report to the anti-piracy hotline several weeks ago and the reseller is still distributing software illegally. Why haven't you done anything about it?

    Unfortunately, stopping someone from illegally distributing software can be a lengthy process. While Microsoft would like to end it immediately, investigating a suspicion of piracy often takes many months. Be assured that Microsoft is actively investigating the individual that you reported.

    I reported a company for piracy. Can you tell me how the investigation is going?

    Microsoft devotes substantial time and energy to its fight against software piracy, and you can be assured that it is taking the appropriate action in response to your report.

    Many communications received by the Microsoft anti-piracy hotline are legally privileged and confidential, as are communications within Microsoft related to investigations. Therefore, status reports and details regarding investigations or case matters relating to individuals or organizations cannot be disclosed.

    I think I may have acquired illegal copies of Microsoft products as well as products from several other software publishers. Who can I contact for help?

    We realize that sometimes it can be challenging to tell whether software is genuine, and invite you to visit Microsoft's How to Tell website for more information. There you will find more information about genuine Microsoft software and how to determine if your software is genuine.

    For help regarding software piracy of Microsoft products and other software products, contact the Business Software Alliance (BSA) at (888) NO-PIRACY or software@bsa.org. You can also contact any of the international Business Software Alliance (BSA) anti-piracy hotlines. For a complete list of hotline numbers, review the BSA Web site at http://www.bsa.org/ and go to the list of International hotlines.

    If I report someone for piracy, will I get a reward?

    Unfortunately, Microsoft does not give out any rewards for information on software piracy. However, the information you provide is very important because of the harm piracy causes to unsuspecting customers, legitimate businesses, the software industry and the economy. The information you provide may even help catch a criminal or a criminal group and prevent the crimes they commit.

    I want to report someone for piracy, but I don't want them to know it was me. Do I have to give you my name?

    No. However, this information helps us to follow up more aggressively by lending credibility and reliability to the report. You can trust that Microsoft will not disclose your identity except in rare cases that may be required in a legal process.