Microsoft Suing UK Retailer Comet for Allegedly Selling Counterfeit Windows CDs

Microsoft have announced that they have initiated legal proceedings against struggling UK electronics retailer Comet, for allegedly selling over 94,000 counterfeit copies of Windows Vista and Windows XP recovery discs.


Microsoft say that Comet Group PLC  produced thousands of counterfeit Windows CDs in a factory in Hampshire, going on to sell the fake software CDs to purchasers of Windows PCs and laptops in their retail stores:

“As detailed in the complaint filed today, Comet produced and sold thousands of counterfeit Windows CDs to unsuspecting customers in the United Kingdom,” said David Finn, associate general counsel, Worldwide Anti-Piracy and Anti-Counterfeiting at Microsoft. “Comet’s actions were unfair to customers. We expect better from retailers of Microsoft products — and our customers deserve better, too.”

Comet have responded in a statement saying they do not believe they have acted unlawfully, but in the best interests of it’s customers:

“We note that proceedings have been issued by Microsoft Corporation against Comet relating to the creation of recovery discs by Comet on behalf of its customers.

“Comet has sought and received legal advice from leading counsel to support its view that the production of recovery discs did not infringe Microsoft’s intellectual property.

“Comet firmly believes that it acted in the very best interests of its customers.  It believes its customers had been adversely affected by the decision to stop supplying recovery discs with each new Microsoft Operating System based computer. Accordingly Comet is satisfied that it has a good defence to the claim and will defend its position vigorously.”

Whilst Comet may feel that they have done nothing wrong, copying software without permission is surely the same as any other piracy, regardless of whether it is well intentioned or not. 

What do you think about the case aginst Comet?  Are Microsoft right to pursue legal action aganist them?  Let us know in the comments below.


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