Microsoft Corporation announced today it has filed a lawsuit against 21st Century Solutions Inc., an information systems reseller and former Microsoft Solution Provider in Omaha, Nebraska, for copyright and trademark infringement and breach of contract. The lawsuit is the result of an investigation launched following customer complaints to Microsoft's Anti- Piracy hotline. It alleges that 21st Century Solutions loaded unauthorized copies of Windows NT Server, Windows 95, and Microsoft Office Professional onto computers and servers that it sold.
Microsoft Solution Providers are specially trained and certified by Microsoft to provide computer systems and technology solutions to businesses, using a variety of Microsoft products. Ironically, part of the Solution Provider agreement states that the user agrees to make every effort to prevent the unauthorized duplication or pirating of Microsoft products and to take all available steps to protect against piracy.
"The increasing popularity of our BackOffice family of products unfortunately also means an increase in piracy," said Jim Lowe, Microsoft corporate attorney. "We recently launched a nationwide campaign to confront resellers who 'hard-disk load' our client/server software products. To date, the 21st Century case is one of worst abuses of software licensing that we've investigated."
Microsoft receives over 2,000 calls each month about piracy. If you have questions about the legitimacy of Microsoft products, you can contact the Microsoft Anti-Piracy Hotline at 1-800-RU-LEGIT (785-3448), or send e-mail to [email protected]