Microsoft Launches Anti-Piracy Campaign in the Northeast
Program Aims to Benefit Legitimate Resellers of Microsoft Software Products
Redmond, Wash. - March 21, 1996 -- Microsoft Corporation today announced that the company has launched an anti-piracy initiative in New York and New Jersey aimed at curbing illegal distribution of Microsoft® system software, including MS DOS® and the Microsoft Windows® family.
Microsoft targeted 44 computer resellers that it identified as engaging in an illegal practice known as "hard disk loading," in which pirated software is installed on computers sold to end users.
Microsoft has filed copyright infringement litigation in federal court against two of the resellers, Comlab Computers, Inc. of Elmsford, New York, and Wincom Enterprises in New York City, after repeated attempts to terminate the alleged software piracy, without litigation, failed. The remaining resellers either stopped their infringing activity after being contacted by Microsoft, or reached a negotiated settlement.
This initiative is part of a North American anti-piracy campaign the company has undertaken to address the problem of "hard disk loading" of pirated software in the reseller channel. This campaign helps to support legitimate resellers of Microsoft. products and decrease unfair competition by pirate dealers. While Microsoft continues to work closely with others in the industry to fight applications software piracy through the Business Software Alliance (BSA), this effort is aimed specifically at hard disk loading of systems software such as MS DOS and the Microsoft Windows family.
The primary goal of this anti-piracy campaign is to curtail illegal hard disk loading of software in the North American reseller channel through education and one-on-one meetings with vendors. "This form of piracy competes directly with legitimate software resellers," said Joachim Kempin, senior vice president of OEM Sales at Microsoft. "Our goal is to level the playing field by reducing piracy and supporting the efforts of honest resellers who distribute genuine Microsoft products."
Microsoft's investigation of computer resellers suspected of software piracy in the New York and New Jersey area was based on leads obtained from a variety of sources, including the Microsoft Anti-Piracy Hotline. The company has also deployed 'mystery shoppers' across North America to monitor resellers suspected of hard disk loading, including periodic revisits to resellers who have been through this program.
The first wave of this anti-piracy campaign occurred in the Silicon Valley area, where Microsoft conducted a six-month long investigation of 54 computer resellers suspected of software piracy. The company is currently conducting investigations of suspected pirate resellers in other areas of North America.
Customers or resellers with questions about the legitimacy of Microsoft products should contact the Microsoft Anti-Piracy Hotline toll-free at 1-800-RU-LEGIT (785-3448) or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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