Microsoft said March 15 that it is suing seven U.S. residents and a New York-based company, for allegedly using Internet auctioneer eBay to sell pirated Microsoft software.
Customers suspecting something was wrong with what they bought tipped off Microsoft to all but one of the alleged offenders, the company said.
The lawsuits, filed March 10, only target the individuals or the company using eBay in order to sell the goods. eBay is not named as a defendant in any of the suits.
"Online auction sites are an excellent way for people from around the world to buy and sell goods," Microsoft attorney Matt Lundy says, in a press release.
"We strongly believe in the convenience and global reach of the virtual marketplace. Unfortunately, a number of online sellers are undermining trust in the system."
eBay spokesperson Hani Durzy praised the lawsuits.
"Good for Microsoft. This is what brand owners should be doing."
The litigation blitzes broader message to consumers is to beware, Microsoft wrote in a press release.
"When it comes to software purchases, you may be getting less than what you bargained for."
The suits are part of the software industrys continuing battle against pirated or otherwise illegal versions of software.
The amount of pirated software is extensive. The Business Software Alliance, an industry trade group, claims a fifth of all the software purchased is actually counterfeit.
U.S. authorities have also sprung into action. Last June, it announced the results of an international undercover operation, "Operation Site Down," that targeted underground privacy networks called "warez" groups.