Microsoft settles with Queensland pirate

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Microsoft settles with Queensland pirate

EBay seller fined $90,000.

A Queensland man accused of selling more than 100 copies of counterfeit Microsoft software on eBay has been fined $90,000 in the Federal Magistrates Court.

Twenty-seven year old Howard Tsang faced criminal and civil lawsuits filed by the Queensland Police in Brisbane and Microsoft in Sydney after a police raid on his home on 9 February.

Tsang was accused of operating at least 38 different eBay aliases to sell counterfeit copies of Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, and Office 2010.

The Queensland Police Fraud Squad was allegedly alerted to the case by Tsang’s eBay customers.

Based on evidence obtained during the raid, Tsang was found guilty of 35 counts of fraud in the Brisbane Magistrates Court, and placed on probation for a year.

Police also assisted Microsoft in its civil lawsuit, which was filed in Sydney’s Federal Magistrates Court on 8 March, and settled yesterday.

Microsoft obtained injunctions to restrain Tsang from importing or selling counterfeit Microsoft software. Tsang was also ordered to pay Microsoft $90,000 in compensatory damages.

Legal counsel Clayton Noble told iTnews today that the software giant was happy with the outcome.

In a blog post yesterday afternoon, Noble warned that counterfeit software copies may contain malware that could lead to identity theft, system instability and data loss.

He urged consumers to purchase software from reputable retailers, noting that Police, online trading sites like eBay, and Microsoft were coordinating their efforts to combat fraud.

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