Pirate software dealer sold £3 million in goods

Pirate software dealer sold £3 million in goods

Microsoft estimates that a UK company sold £3 million in counterfeit software before the site was shut down earlier this year.

Microsoft estimates that a U.K. company sold £3 million (US$5.2 million) in counterfeit software before legal action, followed by a settlement, shut the site down earlier this year, a company antipiracy official said Friday.

Zoobon, an online trader, was closed down in January following an out-of-court settlement, said Macha Alexander, head of Microsoft antipiracy in the U.K. Microsoft notified law enforcement in March 2002 after customers called about the legitimacy of the products they bought on sites such as eBay, she said.

As part of the settlement, details of the case could not be discussed until Thursday, Alexander said. Other terms of the agreement were also not made public, she said.

The illegal software is believed to have come from outside the U.K., Alexander said.

"We're very, very protective of our customers," Alexander said. "We are really trying to work very hard to close down these types of traders."

From August through October, about 21,000 counterfeit Microsoft products were withdrawn from eBay, Alexander said. About 60 percent of those were low-quality recordable CDs and DVDs, she said.

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