Home Your Tech Home Tech Microsoft and The MPO Group in software counterfeiting settlement
Microsoft has reached a multi-million dollar settlement with The MPO Group, a Microsoft authorised disk replicator, following a several-year investigation into the production and distribution of counterfeit Microsoft server software.

As part of the settlement, MPO has acknowledged that it breached the disk replication agreements it had in place with Microsoft after unlawfully replicating thousands of Microsoft server software disks using a fake Microsoft licensing agreement.

Headquartered in France, with operations in Ireland and Thailand, MPO Group's Thai subsidiary manufactured 20,000 counterfeit copies of Microsoft Exchange and SQL Server products in July 2003. In the ensuing year, investigators and attorneys in Microsoft’s Worldwide Anti-Piracy team, traced them back to the MPO Group’s Thailand manufacturing facility at MPO Asia.

According to MPO, the company's local Thai office had manufactured the disks after relying on what turned out to be forged documentation from a third party that purported to have a license from Microsoft to distribute Microsoft software. In fact, no such license existed, and Microsoft does not license its software to be reproduced and distributed in this way.

MPO Thailand’s production of the counterfeit disks resulted in copyright and trademark infringement and a breach of the Disk Replication Agreements between Microsoft and MPO. Once MPO realised what it had done, MPO cooperated with Microsoft in a joint and comprehensive worldwide investigation that continues to find counterfeit Microsoft software in the international distribution channel.

“We are pleased to have settled this case with the MPO Group so quickly and look forward to an ongoing relationship with them,” said David Finn, Associate General Counsel, Worldwide Anti-Piracy and Anti-Counterfeiting at Microsoft.
“We appreciate the steps MPO has taken to tighten their security procedures to prevent a recurrence of this type of wholesale counterfeiting of Microsoft software, and to help track down all those responsible for distributing the counterfeits.” Frank Holland, Microsoft vice president of operations, said, "Security, controls and compliance are absolutely vital in the supply chain of a company like Microsoft, where intellectual property is at the heart of our business."

Gerard Courcier, MPO industrial manager, said, "As France's largest independent replication plant, MPO values and recognises the rights of artists and creators of intellectual property. We are active members of the International Recording Media Association's Anti-Piracy Compliance Program, which helps manufacturers of prerecorded media protect the intellectual property rights of their customers. In this particular case we have worked together with Microsoft to track down those responsible for distributing the counterfeit software and have now taken steps to tighten our security procedures to prevent a recurrence of this type of event."


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Stan Beer


Stan Beer co-founded iTWire in 2005. With 30 plus years of experience working in IT and Australian technology media, Beer has published articles in most of the IT publications that have mattered, including the AFR, The Australian, SMH, The Age, as well as a multitude of trade publications.


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