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Spanish police arrest 14 for Microsoft piracy

Spanish police have arrested 14 people on charges of intellectual piracy after discovering 3,000 forged copies of Microsoft's Windows XP Professional Edition software along with forged certificates of authentication.

The forged certificates are the first to be discovered for Windows XP Professional Edition and are believed to have been made in the country.

The software and more than 4,000 forged certificates were located in the north eastern city of San Sebastián. Some of the software was packaged with a certificate and manual, constituting a "pack" that could be sold for between €279(£193) and €414.

Microsoft estimated that the total pirated goods could have sold for as much as €1.2m on the open market.

Spain has one of the highest incidences of software piracy in Western Europe after Greece, according to data from the Business Software Alliance (BSA).

The piracy raid was particularly worrying since the software found was accompanied by forged certificates that would make the goods appear genuine to consumers.

The BSA is already working with Spain's Science and Technology Ministry on a campaign to raise awareness about the problem of piracy, saying that it is having a debilitating effect on the country's economy.

Scarlett Pruitt writes for IDG News Service


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