nav search
Data Center Software Security Transformation DevOps Business Personal Tech Science Emergent Tech Bootnotes BOFH

MS sues resellers for counterfeit certificates

Eight US firms named...

By John Oates, 1 Dec 2004

Microsoft is taking action against US resellers who are using dodgy Certificates of Authenticity (COA) to pass off counterfeit software as the real deal.

Eight companies are facing legal action after a year-long investigation by Microsoft. The software giant bought hundreds of computer systems and packaged software. It was surprised that most of the COAs were not fake but had been removed from genuine machines or software packages. The certificates are attached either to the computer itself or to packaged software. They include a unique code number to identify the relevant piece of software.

Microsoft says it contacted all the resellers named and they refused to stop acting illegally. Resellers can illegally buy standalone COAs to pair with copied software to make it appear genuine.

More details at Microsoft.

The firm warned that this legal action would not end the campaign - Microsoft will continue to buy systems and software it suspects are dodgy.

Microsoft UK last week said it would replace counterfeit copies of Windows XP with genuine versions. The offer applies only to pre-installed software. According to the Business Software Alliance, 36 per cent of computers worldwide contain illegally copied software. ®

Related stories

MS offers real Windows XP to users of counterfeit software
MS rewards reformed critic with $10m
Pulp Fiction writer sues Microsoft over virtual yoga

The Register - Independent news and views for the tech community. Part of Situation Publishing