A Singapore court has fined a software retailer $US900,000 on charges of selling pirated copies of Microsoft programs.
The fine, one of the largest handed down in the region for the infringement of intellectual property rights, comes as part of the Singapore Government's crackdown on CD-ROM piracy, which grew to alarming proportions late last year.
"This should act as a serious deterrent to other illegal software traders," Microsoft said in a statement.
"The message to software pirates is that it is just not worth the risk anymore."
The retailer, who pleaded guilty to 314 charges relating to 2517 illegal copies of Microsoft programs, has already been given a 38-month jail sentence for previous copyright infringements and possession of obscene material.
In the first three months of this year, police here launched 20 raids against software pirates in Singapore's notorious Sim Lim Square complex, seizing more than 7000 pirated articles, and arresting 21 people.