Microsoft swoops on UK pirates as BSA reveals the damage

Microsoft has settled out of court with five UK companies selling illegal copies of its software as part of its global crackdown on pirates.

Microsoft has settled out of court with five UK companies selling illegal copies of its software, as part of its global crackdown on piracy.

Microsoft settled with five resellers, who have all admitted to selling software illegally. These are: Fleetwood Computers (MRG Distribution) in Derby; Seaford Computer Services East, Sussex; Dinas Computers Ltd, Cardiff; Subnet1 Ltd, Middlesex; and JC Computer Supplies, County Durham.

The move is part of Microsoft’s global Play Fair Day initiative, which highlights the damaging effects of pirated software on the UK IT industry.

The British Software Alliance (BSA)  recently claimed that reducing software theft in the UK by 10% over four years would create 13,011 high-tech jobs, £5.4bn in new economic activity and £1.5bn in new taxes.

Microsoft has also released research, conducted by the Harrison Group, highlighting the negative effects that pirated software has on the performance, reliability and security of PCs.

The study found that 24% of the pirated operating systems tested became infected at installation and 25% of the counterfeit versions of Microsoft software tested were unable to download automatic Windows and Office updates.

Microsoft is holding Play Fair Day activities in more than 50 countries.

Peter Sketch, director of anti-piracy at Microsoft UK, said businesses need to be educated about the risks that counterfeit software poses.  

“To address the increasing sophistication of software counterfeiters in the UK, we are committed to educating businesses about the serious risks of counterfeit software and are investing in developing new forensic technologies. We’re also supporting government and law enforcement agencies in taking action against software counterfeiters,” he said.

Microsoft has settled with 119 UK companies this year who have been found to be selling illegal software.

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