Microsoft strikes eBay pirates with 55 lawsuits

Since filing 26 lawsuits against alleged sellers of pirated software in the U.S. this summer, Microsoft has turned its attention to auction sites like eBay, and the company has now decided to keep its lawyers busy by filing an additional 55 lawsuits worldwide. The new lawsuits target dealers on auction sites who allegedly sold counterfeit copies of Microsoft software to consumers and businesses. The lawsuits are largely split between the United States and the European Union, with 15 in the U.S., 10 in Germany, 10 in the Netherlands, five in France, and five in the United Kingdom. However, some of the remaining 10 suits were filed in locations as diverse as Argentina, Australia, Korea, and Mexico.

Microsoft says many of the affected dealers were identified through the Windows Genuine Advantage scheme, which gives users of pirate Windows licenses discounts on legal licenses if they report the source of their counterfeit software to Microsoft. As with this summer’s round of lawsuits, Microsoft said it first sent cease and desist letters to the dealers, and that it moved on to legal action after they allegedly continued to sell pirated software.

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