REDMOND, Wash., April 4, 1997 — In a new initiative to protect its academic customers, Microsoft announced today that it has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against CompuFacts Canada, Inc. d/b/a Akran Systems of Ottawa, Canada, a former Microsoft Authorized Education Reseller, for alleged illegal distribution of Microsoft software to a local school board.
In its Statement of Claim filed in the Federal Court of Canada, Microsoft alleges that Akran Systems installed about 500 unlicensed copies of MS-DOS 6.22 operating system software on computers it sold to the Ottawa Board of Education – an illegal practice known as hard-disk loading.
“The filing of this lawsuit serves several purposes,”
stated Jim Lowe, Microsoft Corporate Attorney.
“First, we want to protect educational customers by sending a message to the reseller community that illegal activity will not be tolerated. We want to remind consumers that they should demand legitimate software when purchasing a computer. Also, by curtailing illegal hard disk loading of software in the Canadian reseller channel, we want to protect all the resellers who distribute genuine Microsoft software.”
This case began when the Ottawa Board of Education contracted with Akran Systems to purchase some 500 personal computers pre-installed with licensed copies of MS-DOS 6.22 operating system software. When the Board was ultimately unable to obtain licenses for the software from Akran, an investigation into the matter by Microsoft commenced, resulting in the filing of this lawsuit.
“The Ottawa Board of Education gets an A+ for demanding that their supplier provide legal software,”
stated Jeff Dossett, general manager of Microsoft Canada Inc. and president of the Canadian Alliance Against Software Theft (CAAST).
“This type of illegal activity is taken very seriously by Microsoft Canada and we intend to do everything in our power to ensure that our customers receive legitimate Microsoft software.”
“Pirated software also poses many risks to consumers. Unlike legitimate software, pirated software doesn’t come with any technical support, any warranty or any assurance of quality. And pirated software often times can infect your entire computer system with a virus, which can damage your hard disk and destroy valuable data,”
Microsoft is working hard to help consumers understand the warning signs that may indicate pirated software:
No end user license agreement.
No Certificate of Authenticity
Prices that are
“too good to be true.”
No product registration card.
No backup disks, manuals, or other materials for software installed on a new computer system.
Backup disks have hand-written labels, are not shrink-wrapped, or appear to be of inferior quality.
Manuals are photocopied, are not shrink-wrapped, or appear to be of inferior quality.
Microsoft works closely with the Canadian Alliance Against Software Theft (CAAST) to protect consumers from hard disk loading and other forms of software piracy.
To report piracy of Microsoft products or to inquire about the legitimacy of Microsoft products, consumers should call the Microsoft Anti-Piracy Hotline at 1-800-RU-LEGIT, e-mail or visit the Microsoft Canada Anti-piracy web site located at http://www.microsoft.com/canada/piracy/default.asp . To receive industry-wide information about software piracy, consumers can call the Canadian Alliance Against Software Theft (CAAST) Anti-Piracy Hotline at 1-800-263-9700 or visit their WEB site located at (http://www.caast.org/) .
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Contact: Karen Porter, (206) 936-5992
Michael Eisen, (416) 981-9400 Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.
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