Largest Seizure of Suspected Counterfeit Microsoft Products in Canadian History
High Tech Counterfeiting Charges Laid Against Ontario Software Distributor
REDMOND, Washington - April 29, 1997 - Following an RCMP raid that resulted in the largest seizure of allegedly counterfeit Microsoft® products in Canadian history, Microsoft Corporation today announced that criminal charges have been laid against an Ontario distributor and the firm's principal.
"We want to thank the RCMP for its excellent work in this case," said Jeff Dossett, general manager of Microsoft Canada Inc., and President of the Canadian Alliance Against Software Theft (CAAST). "Counterfeit products pose a serious threat to the Canadian marketplace. They are the tools of professional criminals whose sole motivation is greed, often at the expense of unsuspecting customers. Unlawful behavior on the part of any reseller will not be tolerated. Microsoft will work with Canadian law enforcement officials and pursue all possible legal means to eliminate such behavior and protect our loyal customers and other legitimate software resellers."
According to court documents dated March 6, 1997, United Data Distribution, based in Markham, Ontario, and the firm's principal, Joey Cho Yee Lo, distributed illegal copies of the Windows® 95 operating system and Microsoft computer mice to Canadian resellers. The Newmarket detachment of the RCMP conducted a raid at United Data Distribution's premises in December 1996, seizing 4,300 units of suspect Microsoft mice and 474 units of suspect Windows 95 software. This was the largest seizure of allegedly counterfeit Microsoft products in Canada's history.
Based on this investigation, United Data Distribution and Lo are charged with two counts of copyright infringement for the sale and distribution of allegedly counterfeit Windows 95 software, and one count of criminal passing off for distribution of allegedly counterfeit copies of Microsoft mice.
"It appears that the RCMP have apprehended a major supplier of counterfeit software and hardware," said Jim Lowe, Microsoft Corporate Attorney. "This case sends a clear message to distributors, resellers, and consumers. People who distribute illegal products do get caught, and consumers and resellers need to demand genuine Microsoft products."
Consumers or resellers with questions about the legitimacy of Microsoft products should call the Microsoft Anti-Piracy Hotline at 1-800-RU-LEGIT or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. To receive more information about software piracy in Canada, call the Canadian Alliance Against Software Theft (CAAST) Anti-Piracy Hotline at 1-800-263-9700 or visit their Web site located at (http://www.bsa.org/canadadocs/default.htm).
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