Microsoft charges retailers with piracy

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Microsoft charges retailers with piracy

Microsoft has opened another front in its war on software pirates, filing suit against multiple U.S. computer retailers.

The complaint charges that the companies distributed counterfeit license agreements for Office 97 and Windows 95.

Among those named in the suit are 4 Star Trading Co., Centurion Computers and Software Inc., Gateway USA Inc., MJ Micro Inc., R.P.M. International Inc., Software Wholesale Club Inc. and Volume Software Inc.

Microsoft alleges that these companies distributed bogus End User License Agreements (EULAs), and/or sold counterfeit software to investigators or customers.

As an example, Microsoft cited a price list on the Gateway USA site (no relation to PC maker Gateway Inc.), which states that “everything herein is priced for paying with cash, cashier’s check or certified check.” Sources at Microsoft say the emphasis on cash payments caught the attention of investigators, since software pirates often prefer cash in order to hide income from their accounting books.

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