Microsoft Launches Global Effort to Fight Software Piracy

Microsoft is launching a global effort to fight software piracy. As part of the effort, the company has filed 20 lawsuits against software resellers in the U.S. for selling pirated copies of Microsoft Windows XP and various versions of Office.

Microsoft is partnering with customers and governments around the globe to combat counterfeit software .

Dubbed Global Anti-Piracy Day, the effort includes a series of education and enforcement actions in 49 countries.

As part of the strategy, Microsoft has filed 20 lawsuits against software resellers in the United States it accuses of pushing pirated copies of Office 2007 Enterprise, Microsoft Windows XP Pro, Office 2003 Pro, and Office 2007 Pro.

The lawsuits are part of a counterpunch by Microsoft against an illegal industry estimated by the Business Software Alliance of costing the U.S. economy $8 billion in 2007 alone. Globally, that number is nearly $50 billion.

"One of the reasons we believe this announcement is important is it consolidates a lot of our activities in connection with our partnerships with governments, our customers and partners," said Bonnie MacNaughton, Microsoft senior attorney.

The initiative is extremely broad, so much so that Microsoft has created an interactive map users can scroll over to find out what Microsoft has planned for particular countries. In Brazil for example, Microsoft is partnering with the American Chamber of Commerce to launch a blog that will raise awareness among educators about the importance of teaching young people about the threat piracy poses. In Italy, the company began an employee anti-piracy ambassador program to educate family and friends through informal social networks.

And then there are the lawsuits.

Here is a list of the U.S. companies being sued by Microsoft, with the respective case numbers when available:

A-1 Discount Computer Sales & Service Inc., U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Jacksonville Division Case No. 3:08-cv-999-J-32JRK

Broad Computer Center, Inc., U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Eastern Division Case No. 2:08-CV-00984

Computers Unlimited and Services, Inc., U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Eastern Division Case No. 2:08-CV-00985

Custom Computer 4 Less, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, Lafayette-Opelousas Division Case No. 6:08-cv-01569

Hill Country Computer, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division Case No. 4:08-cv-00396

MainPC, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of NY Case No. 08-civ-8975

Miracle Computers LLC, U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota Case No. 08-cv-5772.

Epic Computer Solutions, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Lubbock Division Case No. 5:08 -cv-00207-C.

Best Deal Computers, Chula Vista, CA

Brereton Computer Service, Pasadena, CA

Century Software, Los Angeles, CA

Computer Czech, West Hollywood, CA

Computers Plus, Chula Vista, CA

Cygma Computer, Los Angeles, CA

H&C Computer, Chula Vista , CA

JY Computer, Northridge, CA

SP Computer, San Diego, CA

Compatible Computers, Torrington, CT

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