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Microsoft Casts Legal Net on Education Software Smugglers

Microsoft filed law suits last week to stop what it charged were smuggling operations that were reselling software intended for students and schools to unsuspecting retail consumers. Microsoft filed nine lawsuits and issued more than 50 cease and desist letters in efforts to shut down the alleged smuggling operations.

Microsoft said companies in Jordan and elsewhere have made millions of dollars in illegal profits by posing as academic resellers of Microsoft Windows and Office software, then diverting the software intended for foreign schools to Internet retailers in the United States.

Microsoft claims the retailers sold the software at a profit to unsuspecting American consumers who were not licensed to use the software. The lawsuits were filed in federal courts in California, New York, New Jersey, Florida, Nevada, and Montana.

Commenting on the lawsuits, Bonnie MacNaughton, senior attorney at Microsoft, said, "To those who say software piracy is a victimless crime, I would say this case tells a different story."

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About the Author

Paul McCloskey is contributing editor of Syllabus.

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