Microsoft’s anti-piracy efforts continue with a new report from Atlanta, Michigan where a 48-year-old man faces a maximum of 45 years in prison because he sold pirated Microsoft software.
According to a report by CIO.com, Bruce Alan Edward distributed counterfeit software worth more than $1.2 million (€940 million), including illegal copies of Microsoft Office 2003 Professional and Windows XP Professional.
It appears that Edward initially purchased the counterfeit software from China and Singapore and then listed the products on eBay. He used the U.S. Postal Service to deliver the ordered copies of the software, the same source reports.
It appears that selling pirated apps is a pretty profitable business, as Edward made more than $140,000 (€110,000) between May 2008 and September 2010.
The United States Department of Justice says that the man now faces a sentence of up to 45 years in prison and $1.5 million in fines (€1.17 million).
Piracy remains one of the main concerns for Redmond-based technology company Microsoft, while China still serves as the number one hub for distributing illegal copies of its software.
The Windows operating system, regardless of the version, and the Office productivity suite are two of the most pirated apps worldwide, with counterfeit builds delivered via several illegal channels.
According to figures released by the Business Software Alliance, the piracy software market is worth $9 billion (€6.9 billion) in China, while the genuine sector barely reaches $3 billion (€2.3 billion).
Microsoft struggles to reduce piracy in China and reports from the local media have pointed out that even state-owned companies rely on pirated Microsoft apps.
As a result, the software company has contacted the Chinese government, requesting an in-depth investigation on four different corporations, namely China National Petroleum Corporation, China Post Group, China Railway Construction Corp. and Travelsky Technology Ltd.
They’re all believed to run counterfeit copies of Windows and Office on their workstations, although all these claims have been quickly denied by company officials.