Microsoft scored another anti-piracy victory last month after two resellers were fined a total of more than £10,000 for dealing with and supplying counterfeit products.
The vendor is using the two firms as examples of what happens to companies when they supply pirated goods.
Julia Phillpot, Microsoft's UK anti-piracy manager, said: "With the UK piracy rate at 26 per cent, Microsoft is working with IT industry bodies and companies to combat software piracy."
Aldershot-based Computers 2000, one of the companies implicated, was fined £4000 after being found guilty of supplying counterfeit OEM Office 97 Professional Edition software.
Judge Moses told the company: "There is a positive obligation upon retailers to acquire the necessary knowledge in the field so that they take all reasonable precautions to avoid the commission of an offence."
In a separate case, counterfeit mice imported from Taiwan have cost MST Associates £6300 in fines, following raids on its Windsor offices. Customs and Excise also seized 1000 pirated copies of Windows 95 OEM during the raid. Microsoft said it is seeking compensation from MST.
MST customer MorexPlus Technologies pleaded guilty to offences relating to these and other counterfeit goods charges and has agreed to pay Microsoft undisclosed damages.
"We are pleased that the judiciary is prepared to impose substantial fines that financially impact channel members who break the law," Phillpot said.
Microsoft has claimed that its whistle-blowing anti-piracy hotline has received an average of 500 calls a month from individuals and organisations in the UK wishing to report suspected piracy.
First published in Computer Reseller News
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