The rulings stem from a raid conducted on 9 February, when the Queensland Police investigated the home of the accused, Queenslander Howard Tsang. According to a statement issued by Microsoft attorney Clayton Noble yesterday, Tsang had been selling counterfeit Microsoft software on eBay, using at least 38 different aliases to do so.
'He used those aliases to sell over 100 copies of counterfeit Microsoft software, including Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 and Office 2010,' said Noble. The attorney said Tsang was charged with 35 counts of fraud and pleaded guilty to all. He was placed on probation for a period of one year, and will also be forced to repay money which he had obtained through sales of the software.
Separately, Microsoft also undertook a civil case in the Federal Magistrates Court of Australia against Tsang, with the court yesterday awarding the software giant $90,000 in damages, as well as prohibiting Tsang from importing or selling counterfeit Microsoft software.
Microsoft's statement yesterday said the case demonstrated the coordinated work undertaken between Microsoft and local law enforcement authorities to stop the illegal sale of counterfeit software online. In addition, the software giant said its action was actually helping to keep people's PCs safe from malware.
'Mr Tsang's customers might think they bought genuine Microsoft software, but they've been sold fakes,' said Noble. 'Those counterfeit software copies may contain dangerous viruses, spyware and other malware. Microsoft's tests of software available on online pirate software sites found that 35 percent of the counterfeit software offered contained malware. This harmful code can lead to identity theft, increased system instability and data loss.'