Continuing its worldwide assault on software piracy, Microsoft has filed 20 lawsuits against resellers accused of distributing unauthorized copies of its software.
The lawsuits, filed against 20 resellers in the U.S., accuse the companies of either distributing counterfeit software on CDs or installing it on PCs that are then sold to consumers and businesses, a practice known as hard disk loading, Microsoft said Tuesday.
The software maker filed the lawsuits in nine U.S. states. The names of the companies and the states where they are located are listed in
a Microsoft statement.
Microsoft also announced the results of its first large-scale forensic analysis of counterfeit versions of Windows acquired in 17 countries. The company found that 34 percent of the 348 counterfeit copies analyzed could not be installed on computers, and that 43 percent contained additional programs that aren’t part of Windows.
The legal actions and the forensic analysis are part of Microsoft’s broader Genuine Software Initiative, a program to protect the company’s intellectual property.
In 2005, Microsoft introduced Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) as part of this initiative. WGA automatically checks that customers using Windows Update, Microsoft Update for Windows and the Microsoft Download Center have a legitimate version of Windows before they can download updates from those services.