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UK e-tailer unknowingly sold counterfeit software

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 01 Dec 2005 14:16 User comments (6)

UK e-tailer unknowingly sold counterfeit software A British software website has discovered that it had been unknowingly selling pirated Microsoft software to its customers. was selling popular Microsoft software titles that came from a Chinese source which the e-tailer thought was a legitimate source. It had obtained copies of Microsoft Windows XP and Microsoft Office 2003 from this source and had sold $7,000 worth of the counterfeit goods to customers until Microsoft stepping in.
One of the customers who purchased a counterfeit copy of Windows XP, discovered that it wasn't legitimate when he used Microsoft's Product Identification Service. This data led Microsoft to Paul Rowling, owner of According to Microsoft, Rowling was shocked to discover that he had been unknowingly reselling the counterfeit software, and that he was extremely supportive at all stages of the investigations.

He gave Microsoft all the details of the Chinese source, and of customers who had accidentally received the software. He then help Microsoft to recover all the pirated software that was sold and paid for the customers to receive legitimate software instead. " has been in business just over two years and we've prided ourselves on providing top-quality software, hardware and gadgets at reasonable prices," said Paul Rowling. "We were shocked to find out that the software we'd been selling was counterfeit and apologize unreservedly to any customers affected. We have done everything in our powers to put the situation right and will continue to assist Microsoft while investigations continue."

Microsoft expressed concerns over the Chinese source, and how resellers can be easily fooled into buying pirated software. "We’re delighted that our Product Identification Service has proved instrumental not only in closing down an illegal supply chain, but also in helping provide genuine versions of our software to victims of the counterfeit trail," said Michala Alexander, Microsoft's head of anti-piracy. "We will continue to pursue all vendors suspected of selling illegal software to ensure that customers benefit from the full functionality, support and protection of our legitimate products."

Microsoft has been battling more actively with pirates in the last couple of years. Since the company already has the majority of the Operating System market, it is now looking to regain lost revenue due to piracy. The Windows XP operating system is one of the most pirate software titles in the world. Microsoft has put checks on its download websites to help users determine whether or not they are using pirated software. The company claims the main aim of these checks is to track down sellers of pirated Microsoft software - not to track down the individual using the pirate software. In order to get the customer to identify a source, the company has tried offering users discounts off legitimate software, or in some cases, free swaps.

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6 user comments

11.12.2005 14:53

i don't know if i believe he was all that internet savvy UK retailer should know better than to buy software from "a chinese source" why would he order from a chinese siource instead of a UK one unless it was suspiciously cheap ?

21.12.2005 15:49

this is common sense i wonder how many chinese companies even use legitmate window software.

31.12.2005 18:00

“Shocked to discover” reminds me of Casablanca. In Rick’s café: RICK to RENAULT How can you close me up? On what grounds? RENAULT I am shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here! This display of nerve leaves Rick at a loss. The croupier come out of the gambling room and up to Renault. He hands him a roil of bills. CROUPIER Your winnings, sir. RENAULT Oh.. Thank you very much. There was no Chinese source (it’s too pat); Paul Rowling knew the software was cracked; and MS knows Paul is lying. The real question is how did Paul expect a cracked copy of XP to pass muster with MS’s Product Identification Service? Paul must have mistakenly thought he had some trick that worked. Or maybe he just stupidly thought nobody would ever check. -- )|:(__ Nehmo __):|( --

41.12.2005 22:57

I wouldn't be too sure that this guy knew that the software he was selling was counterfeit, even if it was at an extremely low price. Microsoft sells volume licenses all the time, and he could have thought that he was buying a volume licensed software from the Chinese company. It could be that there was no Chinese source, but I wouldn't discount the possibility, considering that he has been very cooperative with Microsoft.

52.12.2005 7:14

I cannot deal with the idea that a retailer buys cheaper from intermediate than the original firm. In near past most of east governments have been accused that the piracy if official covered in their states. All have been informed about theese facts except a retailer in the EU! Cm' on we are not so dummies as we appear! Of course MS now has no reason since the above retailer will be under his pending axe. So there is no need to push further the rope...

69.10.2006 16:45

What are you upset about? I love this. Microsoft telling me what I can do with what I BOUGHT? What is mine? I can't have what I bought? Microsoft, I don't know what kind of dummy you take us for, but the day you come after me, I will make sure you die a horrid FINANCIAL death. Each wrong you do, I chalk it down so I can sue you. Don't worry, everything is ok. I don't bother you, you don't bother me, but DON'T TELL ME WHAT I CAN'T DO WITH WHATS MINE. Cause I don't know about you, but would you let someone tell you what to do with YOUR car that you bought? What and when you can listen to music on your home stereo that YOU BOUGHT? Of course not. What am I saying? MS loses both ways. To say I can't do anything with what I buy turns it into renting, meaning they are lying about buying and they can be sued for misleading/false advertising. No, I'm not worried, I get more excited the more they sue cause that means that one day, they will mess with the wrong person. And when they do, it's over. Adios, and have a good day!!!

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