SHENZHEN, CHINA, 11 NOVEMBER 2010 - Microsoft Singapore has reached a civil settlement with Royalplus Network Private Limited.
The company charged the retailer for selling netbooks that contained infringing copies of Microsoft software and affixed with recycled Certificates of Authenticity (COA) stickers at IT show Comex in 2009.
Settlement worth US$ 62,250
Microsoft seized 55 netbooks preinstalled with infringing copies of Microsoft Windows at the event. In a settlement worth US$ 62,250, Royalplus paid an undisclosed amount to Microsoft, will also issue a public apology and legalise the 55 netbooks with Windows 7 and Office 2010.
Microsoft's NGO partner will donate the netbooks to charity organisations such as the Singapore Society for the Physically Disabled so that they can be used as part of their ongoing IT training program.
Software piracy is not a victimless crime. It harms local economies and poses a risk to users, said Vincent Wong, director, Small and Mid Market Solutions and Partner Group, Microsoft Singapore. Our objective with this settlement is to increase awareness of the risks of counterfeit software and to improve the overall experience for consumers regardless of where they shop.
Singapore's PC software piracy rate fell to 35 per cent in 2009, according to the Seventh Annual BSA and IDC Global Software Piracy study. But, losses from use of unlicensed software increased by more than 20 per cent from US$163 million in 2008 to $197 million in 2009.
Noting combating piracy to be an ongoing effort, Tarun Sawney, senior director of Anti-Piracy, Asia for the Business Software Alliance said that both companies and the industry should work with the government to continue to encourage businesses and the general public to use genuine software, and capture the negative implications piracy has on the growth of the IT ecosystem.
We are encouraged with the fact that consumers are increasingly becoming more discerning about purchasing genuine software, added Wong. Microsoft is expanding its awareness campaign and will be adding its Ask for Genuine Microsoft Software' blue logo sticker to the entire line of retail products for Windows and Office, which includes Original Manufacturer Equipment, Full Packaged Products and Office 2010 Product Key Cards.
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