Microsoft names six Auckland stores caught selling pirated software

Microsoft lawyer Clayton Noble

New Zealand computer stores caught selling pirated software
Insecure supply chains creating emerging cybercrime threat

A recent investigation undertaken by Microsoft New Zealand has identified six Auckland computer stores selling pirated software, the company says.

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.

The six stores paid a combined $34,000 in settlements for copyright infringement.

"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.

Low piracy rate in NZ
According to a recent Business Software Alliance (BSA) report, 22 percent of New Zealand software is unauthorised, the fourth lowest piracy rate in the world.

"New Zealand's strong respect for intellectual property, its robust legal system and general awareness of the benefits of using genuine, licensed software mean that New Zealand has one of the lowest software piracy rates in the world," says Noble. 

“But we’ve still got a long way to go. More than 1 in 5 copies of software in New Zealand are pirated. It would be great to see New Zealand leading the world in this area.”

Last month Microsoft's Digital Crimes Unit exposed an emerging tactic of cybercriminals – infiltrating unsecured supply chains to embed malware before a new computer even gets to the retail store.

"Unsecure supply chains are one of the key ways cybercriminals are getting malware to unsuspecting victims, so buying from a reputable retailer that has a secure supply chain is one of the best ways to ensure the authenticity of your computer's software," Mr Noble says.

"It's great to see Microsoft taking the necessary steps to discourage the distribution of pirated software, and educating consumers on the dangers of using unlicensed software," says Darren Smith, General Manager of PB Technologies, a Microsoft reseller.

“Retailers selling unauthorised software are trying to undercut those of us who are doing the right thing by our customers. It’s just not fair business practice."

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17 Comments & Questions

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What is the status where the software is brought from an authorised supplier eg USA but sold on NZ computers???

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According to a recent Business Software Alliance (BSA) report, 22 percent of New Zealand software is unauthorised, the fourth lowest piracy rate in the world.

Therefore we needed skynet??

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Darren Smith should read his own PB Tech website and explain why it is not legal to load one licence on two separate desktop PCs....

PBTech Listing for Office Retail Pack as from their website today...
"Microsoft Office Home and Business 2010 Retail Pack Licensed for 1 User 2 PCs - including (Word Excel PowerPoint OneNote Outlook)"

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone...

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That is one of the licence options available from Microsoft. A simple search of Microsoft's website will reveal this. Perhaps people should take some time to check the facts before posting stupid comments like this.

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Maybe you should try reading the Office Microsoft EULA before calling anyone stupid... this is verbatim from Microsoft website
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=13653

2. INSTALLATION AND USE RIGHTS.
a. One Copy per Device. You may install one copy of the software on one
device. That device is the “licensed device.”
b. Licensed Device. You may only use one copy of the software on the
licensed device at a time.
c. Portable Device. You may install another copy of the software on a
portable device for use by the single primary user of the licensed device.
d. Separation of Components. The components of the software are licensed
as a single unit. You may not separate the components and install them on
different devices.

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Wow - yes that is difficult to comprehend! If you have the reading age of a 10 year old that is.

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Actually, it's quite hard to find Microsoft EULAs on the web... Their terms are quite draconian in general, and I personally wouldn't do business with a company so hostile to its paying customers. I've consciously decided not to using software that imposes upon its users like that, and amazingly, I've found heaps of it, love it, and I wouldn't go back to MS software even if they changed their EULA.

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why the low fine , dose not match the torrent fines out there

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Listing from Darren Smith's PBTech website...
Microsoft Office Home and Business 2010 Retail Pack Licensed for 1 User 2 PCs - including (Word Excel PowerPoint OneNote Outlook)
... So is that correct under the one licence?

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#5 and #3, go check the damn product description. That's how the product is listed in the data feed, check pricespy and you'll find every single shop selling it this way, including big names like Bond & Bond etc.

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Maybe you can read the Microsoft End User Licence Agreement that everyone must accept as a part of installing this software on a device...

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=13653

Kiwi ingenuity says a Portable Device is a desktop on the back of a trailer and a married man and woman become one... lol

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anyone ripping off microsoft is fine by me - they have been ripping us off for decades

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That's simply ridiculous. Microsoft offer products that you can accept or decline. If you choose to purchase, you can hardly claim to have been ripped off.

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I dont need to rip anyone as open source apps are fine for my needs

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Whew! Escaped the dragnet.

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Just a small example of the sterling job the Department of Immigration is doing, 5 of those 6 companies are operated by visitors from Asia.

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No surprises there then.

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