Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Microsoft charges five more GTA resellers with piracy
2 March, 2005
by Mark Cox

Microsoft Canada has announced that has commenced lawsuits in the Federal Court of Canada against five resellers in the Greater Toronto Area relating to hard disk loading, selling unauthorized versions of Microsoft software with computers.

"We are making a real concerted effort to work with our system builders, to help honest system builders be able to compete in this market," said Susan Harper, business development manager at Microsoft Canada Co. "We really want to make this a level playing field."

In each of the five cases, the lawsuits allege copyright infringement and seek damages, an accounting of profits or statutory damages, injunctive relief and declaratory relief. The whole range of Microsoft software is involved, including Windows operating system software like Microsoft Windows ME and Microsoft Windows XP Professional, as well as various versions of Microsoft Office suite software including Office 2000 Professional, Office 2000 Premium, Office XP Professional and Office Professional Edition 2003.

Microsoft Canada has regularly gone after software pirates in the past, but now appears to be especially aggressive in trying to deter other offenders. Since the GTA cases were filed, the company has filed similar charges in Federal Court against another batch of resellers, most of whom are on the west coast.

As part of this campaign, Microsoft also has publicized the names of companies against which it commenced litigation and successfully settled in other hard disk loading activities in Ontario, and against which it obtained consent judgments restraining them from distributing unlicensed Microsoft software and from infringing Microsoft's copyright and other intellectual property rights going forward. They are:

• AJ&T Computer Centre (Toronto)

• ASK Used Computer, Parts and Exchange (Toronto)

• Canadasys Computers Inc. (Scarborough)

• Computer Concepts (London)

• Computer Exchange & Services, Inc. (Toronto)

• Computer Service Depot Inc. (Waterloo)

• Filtech Enterprises Inc. (Toronto)

• Hi Computers Inc. (Scarborough)

• L.A.P. Electronics (London)

• Lee's Hi-Tec (Peterborough)

• MCB Computers (Etobicoke)

• Micro Advanced Computers Inc. (Toronto)

• ND Computers (Toronto)

• NetWork Systems Computers (St. Catharines)

• PC Hut (Guelph)

• Rama Computers Inc. (North York)

• Real Tech Computers (London)

• SD Computers Inc. (Cambridge)

• Startech Computers Inc. (Toronto)

• Subtec Computers Inc. (Toronto)

• Tyko Computer Inc. (Markham)

Harper stressed that Microsoft is going after the whole range of system builders who sell pirated software, including the very small who don't do much business.

"Resellers who are across from the small guy selling illegal software, think that Microsoft doesn't bother to focus on them, but we are focusing on all types of system builders."

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