Microsoft’s investigators bought computers loaded with unlicensed Microsoft software at:
• IT Serve International
• Comtech International
• D&J IT Solutions
• Computer Xpress
• R.A.Y Tech
• Powernet Computers.
All six stores admitted breaching Microsoft’s copyright, and settlements were reached with each company.
"It tends to be the smaller, local computer stores that are the ones selling unauthorised software in New Zealand," says Clayton Noble, Legal Counsel for Microsoft.
"We don't put these people out of business, but it's important that we stop them selling the unauthorised software, which can often be full of malware that is capable of compromising computer security and even facilitating identity theft. Some strains of counterfeit software products contain hidden key-logging software that allows criminals to steal passwords, bank account details and other personal information."
Some pirated software is also unable to receive and install important security updates, which increases exposure to viruses.
The six stores paid a combined $34,000 in settlements for copyright infringement.