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Software vendors in Beijing are already selling pirated versions of the Windows 7 operating system after its official China release on Oct 23.
Roughly 30 percent of the 20 vendors METRO interviewed yesterday at Hailong Plaza, the largest market selling electronic products in Zhongguancun, offered a pirated version of Windows 7. Piracy software vendors have kept a low profile when selling the pirated operating system due to a tough government attitude and Microsoft's aggressive marketing campaigns. Though Microsoft is offering the world's cheapest retail price of Windows 7 to Chinese customers at 399 yuan ($58) each, many mainland users still think it is too expensive.
Zhang Weiwei, a college student, said she would rather choose a pirated version of Windows 7 because it can be bought at only 20 yuan. Wu Haitao, director of the intellectual property department of Microsoft China, said it is shortsighted for customers to purchase pirated versions.
Speaking at an international summit on software copyright in Beijing yesterday, Wu said they have been trying for years to let customers know the huge investment Microsoft has put into every generation of the Windows operating system, and how the flaws in pirated versions can damage their computers. A rogue computer reseller who sold pirated software to unwitting consumers in Port Elizabeth and Johannesburg has been handed a suspended prison sentence and ordered to pay compensation to his victims. Computer shop manager Vikesh Singh, who traded as PE Technologies in Port Elizabeth and later as Vision Technologies in Johannesburg, was found guilty in the Specialised Commercial Crime Court in Port Elizabeth on June 15 of fraud and multiple contraventions of the Counterfeit Goods and Copyright Acts for selling counterfeit and unlicensed copies of Microsoft software. Singh also pleaded guilty for contravening the Companies and the Close Corporations Acts by acting as a manager while disqualified, as he had previously been convicted of theft. He was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment, suspended for five years, provided he doesn’t contravene the Counterfeit Goods Act or the Copyright Act. Dale Waterman, Microsoft’s Corporate Attorney for Anti-Piracy for the Middle East and Africa, said every year, thousands of South African consumers and businesses are affected by counterfeit software which they have acquired unwittingly.
The effects of pirated software can have a devastating impact on the livelihoods of consumers, says Waterman.


One of Singh’s victims said he had lost personal data after a system malfunction caused by the counterfeit software. The case followed an SAPS Commercial Crime Unit raid on PE Technologies in Newton Park in August 2008 after a two-year investigation by Microsoft, including undercover test purchases.
A further SAPS raid in April 2009 followed after another undercover Microsoft test purchase confirmed that PE Technologies in Port Elizabeth were still engaged in what is referred to as “Hard Disc Loading”, a term used when a PC shop or reseller installs a copy of Microsoft software onto a computer, but fails to distribute the authorized package of genuine Microsoft software components. Investigations also confirmed that PE Technologies in Port Elizabeth had been using a stolen Volume Licence Key belonging to another legitimate customer to install pirated copies of the Microsoft Office suite, and that Vision Technologies in Johannesburg had then subsequently been engaged in the practice of Hard Disc Loading. Marius Haman, Head of Anti-Counterfeiting at Bowman Gilfillan Attorneys, said increasing partnerships between the public and private sector is crucial to the success of combating software piracy and counterfeiting in general in South Africa.
Grand Theft Auto 5 is still months away from making it to PC, but take a walk down Lamington Road in Mumbai and you can get a copy today. Lamington Road is Mumbai’s IT shopping haven, where computer hardware and software stores line both sides of the street, and pavement vendors offer all manner of gadgetry and mobile accessories (usually the cheaper Chinese variety). Over the last few years, pirated software had become a rare sight at these roadside stores, but today, every second store is selling pirated computer software, movies, and mostly games.
All three stores were asking Rs 200 for GTAV – at least four times more than a pirated game should cost. Around the same time, game publishers and local distributors were also attempting to grow the PC games market in India. Also was that some secret camera photography or were they dumb enough to let you take pictures? Is your sale thread missing, not sure about its approval (after 48 hours), head here and raise a ticket.
He was also sentenced to a fine of R80 000, or four years’ imprisonment conditionally suspended for five years, for contravening the Companies Act and the Close Corporations Act.  Singh was also ordered to compensate four customers, who had been sold counterfeit Microsoft software and acted as witnesses in the criminal case, three times the value of their purchases, and ordered by the court to pay compensation to Microsoft of R150 000.


Counterfeit software can contain dangerous viruses, spyware and other malware that can actually harm consumers through identity theft, loss of data, system failures and opening the door to online spam, virus and fraud networks. It was a packaged like a genuine product with what I thought was a genuine hologram CD and a certificate of authenticity, but I started getting messages to say that the product was not genuine.
Microsoft had received several complaints from local consumers and legitimate computer shops in the region.
Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. I assumed they’d try to strike a bargain as I walked away, but one of them instead tried to justify the price by saying GTA5 was a premium game and a new release. We will be fined over 10,000 yuan and probably also sent to prison if they catch us," a woman surname Zhao, who works for a video store in Hailong, told METRO. Our commitment is to do everything we can to help our customers and protect our legitimate partners,” said Waterman.
I then approached Microsoft for assistance after Vikesh Singh refused to replace the product with genuine software,” said the customer, who asked to remain anonymous. During the raid the SAPS seized a large quantity of fake Microsoft software, packaged to look like genuine products, and being sold to unsuspecting customers as the genuine article.



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