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M$ sues US software pirates

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Microsoft today announced that it is filing four lawsuits against companies in Virginia and California for alleged distribution of counterfeit and/or illicit software and software components.

The software giant said that the "allegedly illegal or questionable actions" of four companies were brought to its attention by consumers calling a US anti software piracy hotline, and Microsoft's test purchase programme which monitors the legitimacy of software through random purchases from resellers.

"We have an obligation to protect consumers and legitimate resellers," said Mary Jo Schrade, a senior attorney at Microsoft.

"In filing these lawsuits we hope to curb the amount of pirated and counterfeit software on the market, and keep illegal software from finding its way into the hands of unknowing consumers and businesses."

"In these cases we sent cease-and-desist letters to help them understand our concerns," she explained.

"As a last resort we will take legal action to help ensure that software identified as Microsoft's is genuine, legitimate software."

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