Microsoft has reached a settlement with three Sydney resellers, all accused of hard-disk loading Microsoft software.
The vendor received several reports of hard-disk loading on its piracy hotline, and instigated proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia for all three cases.
Jie Wen Deng, trading as Trinity International Computers, was accused of hard-disk loading copies of Windows 98 and Office 97 Professional.
COC Technology and its director David Chen were also accused of hard-disk loading copies of Windows 98 and Office 97 Professional.
Aussiena Enterprises, trading as AME Computers and Australian Multimedia Electronics Company, and its directors, An Shi Zheng and Xin Fan, were accused of hard-disk loading copies of Windows ME and Office 97.
The matters were settled when all three companies agreed to pay a total of $51,000 for costs and damages for infringement of copyright.
Microsoft corporate attorney Vanessa Hutley said all three dealers acknowledged their infringement of copyright and have all provided assurances they will respect Microsoft's intellectual property rights in the future.
"It sends out an important message to the legitimate channel that we will protect our intellectual property and allow them to compete on a level playing field," she said.
Huxley said Microsoft receives over 200 calls a month on its piracy hotline and acts on most cases where more than one complaint proves to be legitimate.