Microsoft is launching a global effort to fight software piracy. As part of the effort, the company has filed 20 lawsuits against software resellers in the U.S. for selling pirated copies of Microsoft Windows XP and various versions of Office.
Microsoft is partnering with customers and governments around the globe to
combat counterfeit software.
Dubbed Global Anti-Piracy Day, the effort includes a series of education and
enforcement actions in 49 countries.
As part of the strategy, Microsoft has filed 20 lawsuits
resellers in the United States that it accuses of pushing pirated copies of
Office 2007 Enterprise, Microsoft Windows XP Pro, Office 2003 Pro and Office
The lawsuits are part of a counterpunch by Microsoft against an illegal
industry estimated by the Business Software Alliance of costing the
economy $8 billion in 2007 alone. Globally, that
number is nearly $50 billion.
"One of the reasons we believe this announcement is important is it
consolidates a lot of our activities in connection with our partnerships with
governments, our customers and partners," said Bonnie MacNaughton, Microsoft
issues new Exploitability Index.
The initiative is extremely broad, so much so that Microsoft has created an
interactive map users can scroll over to find out what Microsoft has planned
for particular countries. In
for example, Microsoft is partnering with the American Chamber of Commerce to
launch a blog that will raise awareness among educators about the importance of
teaching young people about the threat piracy poses. In
the company began an employee anti-piracy ambassador program to educate
families and friends through informal social networks.
Microsoft also commended the Chinese government for its recent sentencing of
two illegal operators found guilty of manipulating the Microsoft Open License
program and selling unlicensed software to unsuspecting customers.
"There is growing evidence that highly organized, transnational criminal
organizations and networks are involved in the counterfeiting of software and
other goods," said John Newton of the Intellectual Property Rights
Project, Financial and High-Tech Crime Subdirectorate, INTERPOL General
Secretariat, in a statement. "This is a global problem with global sources
of supply; this is why we need to work together-the public and the private
sectors-to stop this trade.
"To that end, Microsoft and INTERPOL are now cooperating with police
and customs agencies around the world to use all available intelligence to
ensure that our joint investigations lead to arrests and convictions of
criminal counterfeiters," he said.