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One of the most common reactions to vendor attempts to stamp out piracy is that after the initial headlines have been written and the furore died down the guilty parties often return to their law-breaking ways.
So it should come as a shock and a pleasant surprise to those channel cynics to see that two and half years after it initially took action against ITAC for parallel importing Microsoft has forcing the sales of ITAC managing director Barry Omesuh’s assets after investigations revealed the Manchester-based reseller had continued the practice.
With the terms of the original settlement broken Microsoft was able to break the non-disclosure agreement and reveal it had still not been paid the £1,000,000 sum it had agreed to pay the vendor.
When the original case flared up in 2006 the legal process kicked in and because of a non-disclosure clause in the settlement both parties involved were not allowed to say anything leading some in the channel to believe that Microsoft had lost.
“No one knew what happened and there was some belief in the channel that we had lost the case,” said Michala Wardell, UK head of anti-piracy and licensing at Microsoft.
“We are not going to walk away and will keep an eye on organisations and are not afraid to take action a second, third of fourth time,” she added “This is a shining example that we don’t give up.”
Grahm Arthur, corporate attorney, legal and corporate affairs, who is covering the anti-piracy beat as Wardell goes on maternity leave, said that after being caught the first time some channel players changed their tactics but still remained on the wrong side of the law.
“Microsoft is a big company with a lot of products and companies like ITAC look for vunerable areas in the chain of supply. We will plug the gaps and fix the holes and punish [those who take advantage of them],” he said.