Microsoft hit by second WGA lawsuit

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Microsoft hit by second WGA lawsuit

Antony Savvas

Microsoft is facing a second lawsuit over its Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) anti-piracy program.

WGA checks that the Windows operating system running on a machine has a valid licence, but internet bulletin boards have been packed with criticism of the program, claiming it is full of bugs.

Microsoft also recently downloaded the program onto users’ desktops after describing the software as an essential security update, which has angered some users.

Users have also complained that WGA has activated pop-ups on their screens, claiming they are running illegal copies of Windows, when they are not.

The latest WGA class-action suit filed in the US District Court of Seattle has Engineered Process Controls LLC and Univex Inc as its plaintiffs, along with individuals Edward Misfud, David DiDomizio and Martin Sifuentes.

The individuals are listed as owners of licensed copies of Windows XP running WGA.

The lawsuit alleges that WGA is a spyware program and that Microsoft misled users by labelling it as a critical security update.

The plaintiffs also claim that Microsoft did not make users aware that WGA frequently contacted its central servers to relay information on users’ machines.

If an operating system is found to be invalid by WGA, Microsoft blocks software upgrades to the machine’s OS.

The lawsuit is demanding unspecified damages, and calls for the company to warn users of the risks from using WGA, as well as producing a tool to remove it from users’ machines.

Microsoft has so far not responded to the lawsuits, but maintains that WGA is bug-free, and that the licence that comes with WGA makes clear what it is.


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