Microsoft has rubbished claims that the tactics employed during its latest anti-piracy clampdown were heavy handed and bullying.
Last week, the software giant named and shamed 25 resellers it caught trading in illegal Microsoft products over the past six months.
Of those 25, 21 were independent computer shops and four had been caught using the online auction site eBay to peddle their wares.
Several of the firms involved have hit back at the way Microsoft has
One trader, pulled up for selling a refurbished PC containing an unlicensed copy of Windows XP, slammed the vendor’s decision to threaten his firm with legal action straight away.
“I thought Microsoft was supposed to send out a cease-and-desist notice before it threatens legal action, but it did not,” said the reseller.
“It is a bullying tactic because it is easier to roll over and pay a fine than spend money trying to defend yourself against a company the size of Microsoft.”
An anonymous reseller implicated during the clampdown blasted Microsoft for naming and shaming his entire company when it was only one of his staff at fault.
“The company has been tarnished by the activities of one individual, who we have since dismissed, and was hit with a £2,500 fine,” he said.
“It has all been very heavy handed and akin to being sent to court, going to prison and being slapped with a community service order.”
Michala Wardell, head of anti-piracy at Microsoft, defended the firm, saying it had received numerous tip-offs about all 25 firms from the channel and the public.
“Going down the cease-and-desist route depends on the level of suspicion we have and the volume of leads we receive,” she said.
“Naming and shaming is necessary to deter others and to assure customers and the channel that we have acted on the information they have given us.”
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