Court Orders Serial Counterfeit Trader to Pay $304,994.95 Damages

Melbourne, Australia – 19 September, 2013 –– The Federal Circuit Court of Australia recently awarded Microsoft judgment against Paul McLane, trading as Software Paul, for producing and selling counterfeit copies of Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office across the Melbourne area. The Court ordered Paul McLane to pay $4,994.95 in compensatory damages, plus $300,000 in additional damages due to the flagrancy of Paul McLane’s repeated infringements of Microsoft software copyright. The Court also imposed orders restraining him from infringing Microsoft’s copyright in the future.

Paul McLane was identified by Microsoft’s intellectual property investigators as selling counterfeit copies of Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office during sweeps carried out in 2012 across technology swap meets and markets in the Melbourne area. As part of the investigation, Microsoft analysed four copies of counterfeit Windows and two copies of counterfeit Office sold by Paul McLane, finding that:

  • One Windows copy and both Office samples contained malware
  • The Windows Update on all four Windows samples was disabled, while Windows Firewall had been tampered with making activation impossible
  • One Windows sample had User Account Control set to “Never notify”
  • Another Windows sample had Remote Desktop turned on and a modified hosts file, which can be a vector for attack by malware

The Court found Paul McLane to be a repeat offender who previously had 1,473 counterfeit discs seized by the Victorian Police in 2005 and a further 799 in 2006. Furthermore, the Court held that Paul McLane had blatantly infringed Microsoft’s copyright as early as 2006 and continuing up until June 2013.

“Given the serious losses caused to our consumers by the malware hidden in counterfeit software products, Microsoft welcomes this judgment against Paul McLane,” said Clayton Noble, Microsoft Australia legal counsel. “According to an IDC study, consumers will spend 1.5 billion hours and US $22 billion on resolving issues created by the malware concealed in pirated software in 2013, while over a quarter using counterfeit solutions will have their PC infected with a virus. The risks of deploying pirated software are serious, ranging from system crashes and data loss to identity theft. We encourage all consumers to purchase their software from reputable retailers they can trust.”

For more information about safe ways to purchase genuine Microsoft products, please visit

For the full IDC report, please visit

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