Microsoft's fight against piracy, Mumbai dealers trapped

CIOL Bureau
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BANGALORE: In a move to curb software piracy, software giant, Microsoft

tracked down three Mumbai based computer dealers who were selling pirated

Microsoft software products. However Microsoft entered in to a settlement with

the three dealers. As part of the Dealer Test Purchase Program (DTPP) conducted

by Microsoft across Asia, Dhrishti Computer, Realtime Computers and Ultratek

Computers were found to be selling personal computers from their premises,

installed with unlicensed copies of Windows 98 and 95, Office 97 and 2000 and

Visual Fox Pro.


Following reports filed by the DTPP investigating team, Microsoft issued

notices to all three distributors asking them to attend a settlement meeting,

where the dealers agreed to sign an undertaking not to copy, sell or distribute

unlicensed copies of Microsoft software programs. The dealers have also

undertaken to surrender all unauthorized copies of Microsoft software in their


This settlement will heighten awareness to the dangers of hard disk loading,

an illegal practice where computers have pirated software installed onto the

computer, ready for sale to unassuming customers, amongst Indian computer


Counterfeit and pirated goods are developed in order to defraud or deceive

the public for monetary gain. If found guilty under the Act, offenders risk

criminal penalties for each piece of infringing merchandise found, as well as a

jail term or both. Senior management deemed guilty of the offences committed

would also be liable for imprisonment.


"Microsoft believes that its best defense against counterfeiters and

piracy is educated customers," said Microsoft Corporate Attorney, Huey Sze

Tan. "The more we can inform and educate consumers on the risks they face

when using counterfeit products, the closer we come to eradicating the problem

of piracy. Microsoft's Dealer Test Purchase Program seeks to identify dealers

and distributors who have unauthorized software in their possession and engage

in hard disk loading of such unlicensed software on computers sold to


"Microsoft takes the illegal practice of hard disk loading by resellers

and dealers very seriously, as it impacts directly on its customers and

legitimate channel partners. Microsoft intends to expand the DTPP action to

ensure that this illegal action is curtailed," Huey Sze Tan said.

In order to combat piracy, Microsoft has established an anti-piracy hotline

that customers can use to report suspected acts of piracy and counterfeiting.

The hotline seeks to encourage the public to report any incidence of software

piracy, which in turn facilitates appropriate legal action against offenders of

Intellectual Property Rights.

To report the illegal use of pirated software please call the hotline on 080

553 5224.