Microsoft is picking up the bits and pieces of what still remains after the closing down of a Chinese global software counterfeiting syndicate, which was involved in the manufacturing and distribution of in excess of $2 billion worth of pirated software from the Redmond company. The counterfeit software products involved a range of Microsoft offerings, including Windows Vista and the Office 2007 System.
Back in July 2007, a multiyear investigation, led by the FBI and China’s Public Security Bureau, brought to its knees a major software counterfeiting syndicate that operated from the Guangdong province in China, but that had ramifications all over the world, on five continents and in 27 countries. Microsoft participated in the investigation, too, providing information from end users gather via its anti-piracy mechanisms, such as Windows Genuine Advantage and Office Genuine Advantage.
"The criminal syndicate broken up this past summer by Chinese law enforcement and the FBI was linked to a significant amount of illegitimate Internet activity. We took note of that fact and followed up globally, since we have a responsibility to help combat cyber-pirates who operate without borders and attempt to deceive unsuspecting software consumers around the world", revealed David Finn, associate general counsel for Worldwide Anti-Piracy and Anti-Counterfeiting at Microsoft.
Six months later, the Redmond company is still working to close the lid shut on the Chinese software counterfeiting syndicate. In this context, Microsoft has began gunning after online resellers associated with Guangdong-based software piracy syndicate. No less than 15 of the 52 lawsuits filled around the world can be traced back to Chinese supplier of bootlegged products. In addition, 22 lawsuits were referred to the local authorities in just as many cases, under accusations of allegedly selling counterfeit Microsoft software.
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"The 52 lawsuits filed today were filed in Belgium (1), Canada (1), France (3), Germany (12), Hong Kong (1), India (1), Ireland (1), Italy (2), Netherlands (7), Turkey (1), South Africa (1), the United Kingdom (6) and the United States (15). Twenty-two criminal cases were referred to law enforcement in Argentina (1), Belgium (1), China (1), Dominican Republic (2), France (3), India (1), Japan (2), Korea (2), Mexico (1), Panama (1), Poland (3), Taiwan (3) and Turkey (1)", Microsoft informed.