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Microsoft channel piracy case settled out of court

Storm Computers agrees to pay damages and sell only genuine software

Microsoft expects to reach more settlements with resellers as it continues its crackdown on channel piracy.
Microsoft expects to reach more settlements with resellers as it continues its crackdown on channel piracy.

Dubai-based reseller Storm Computers has pledged to sell only genuine Microsoft licences in future after settling allegations that it pirated the software vendor's products out of court.

Microsoft raided Storm's premises a few months back and said in a statement that it was "purportedly" found to be selling PCs loaded with pirated versions of its software.

Pirated CDs were also seized during the operation and two Storm employees were arrested, according to the vendor.

Under the terms of a civil settlement between the pair, Storm will only sell and distribute genuine Microsoft software to its customers in future. Both parties also agreed to an undisclosed amount of damages.

Mustafa Ali Khan, manager of Storm Computers, said: "We are highly appreciative of Microsoft's approach to our case. After talks with the company, we have come to fully understand the value of genuine software and the risks associated with distributing pirated software, both to ourselves and to our valued customers."

Microsoft claims it is making ground in its bid to reduce channel piracy, pointing to recent settlements it has made as evidence that resellers are turning their back on the illegal software trade.

"We expect 2010 to carry over this trend and usher in greater cooperation from resellers," said Jawad Al Redha, IPR manager at Microsoft Gulf. "Although local authorities have gained ground in reducing the incidences of piracy across the Emirates via a combination of awareness campaigns and enforcement activities, they still need more help from the software sector and the public to combat copyright violations."