Microsoft hits U.S. firms with piracy lawsuits

— 8:54 AM on July 18, 2006

After rolling out its Windows Genuine Advantage Notification app and being sued twice in the process, Microsoft has decided to strike back at software piracy with some lawsuits of its own—26, to be exact. Filed in seven U.S. states, the lawsuits accuse a number of companies of selling pirated copies of Windows and Office to consumers and businesses. A Microsoft senior attorney said the companies in question were first sent warning letters, but that their decisions to continue selling pirated software prompted the lawsuits. That said, one of the companies based in Denver, Colorado claims it never received a letter and that the pirated software it is accused of selling likely comes from a batch of 10-15 eBay-bought Office licenses it believed to be legal.

Microsoft may be going after small fish, then, but Yahoo News says market saturation is driving the software giant to focus on anti-piracy efforts more and more aggressively in order to boost sales. A Forrester Research analyst also believes Microsoft is taking a harder stance on software piracy in the U.S. in order to entice countries like China, Russia, and India to do the same.

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