CLEVELAND, Feb. 15, 2001 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that it has been awarded a total of $2,817,828 in settlements and judgments stemming from legal actions the company has taken against 10 Ohio resellers for the alleged distribution of counterfeit software. Microsoft has taken these actions to protect unsuspecting consumers from the harmful ramifications of acquiring bogus software.
The increasing pervasiveness of counterfeit software has a significant negative impact on consumers, the software industry and the economy. Counterfeit software has an increased potential for obtaining viruses and is often missing key elements, and consumers who acquire it are ineligible for valuable technical support, warranty protection and upgrades. In the past year, nearly 5 million units of counterfeit Microsoft items have been seized worldwide with an estimated value of over $1.7 billion. In addition, Ohio’s software piracy rate of 19.6 percent in 1999 cost the state more than 4,129 jobs and over $229 million in combined wages and tax revenues, according to a study by International Planning & Research Corp.
Microsoft will contribute the net proceeds of its anti-piracy recoveries to nonprofit organizations to help curb the negative impact that software piracy and criminal counterfeiting have on local communities worldwide.
Microsoft corporate attorney Janice Block is available today to discuss the Ohio settlements and judgments. Block is also available to discuss the warning signs of counterfeit software and the extent of software piracy in Ohio and throughout the United States.
Who: Microsoft Corporate Attorney Janice Block
What: Ohio software piracy settlements and judgments totaling more than $2.8 million
When: Thursday, Feb. 15
Where: Available for phone interviews; see contact information
Why: Microsoft, through education and legal actions, strives to protect consumers and the honest distribution channel from the negative effects of software piracy.
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