Microsoft sues an IP address for allegedly pirating Windows and Office

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Credit: https://www.cnet.com/news/watch-microsofts-education-announcement-surface-windows/

Microsoft has filed a lawsuit against an IP address for allegedly activating copies of Windows, Office and other products without the permission of the real owner. The suit, according to Geek Wire, was filed in Western Washington District Court last Friday.

Geek Wire adds that someone used an IP address to attempt to activate unlicensed or pirated copies of Windows, Office and other Microsoft products. According to a WhoIs search result, the IP address (73.21.204.220) belongs to a Comcast office in the suburb of New Jersey.

During the software activation process, Defendants contacted Microsoft activation servers in Washington over 2800 times from December 2014 to July 2017, and transmitted detailed information to those servers in order to activate the software,” Microsoft said.

It is very likely that the IP address belongs to a store that installs unlicensed software on the devices it sells to its customers. Microsoft claims that the licenses were used more times than authorized or probably to activate software outside the region for which they were originally intended—necessitating the lawsuit. Microsoft is therefore claiming copyright and trademark infringement. The software giant is asking the court to impound all copies of the unlicensed software.

Can’t recall any software more pirated than Windows and Office—those two are miles ahead of the chasing pack.

Two years ago, Microsoft announced that it would not be providing free Windows 10 to pirates who upgrade from Windows 8.1 and Windows 7. The software giant instead said it would continue in its effort to treat all stolen versions of Windows as before, which means it won’t be offering an olive branch to pirates.

Microsoft stated that its policy on piracy has not changed, and upgraded versions of Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 will remain non-genuine” as the company would not support them:

“With Windows 10, although non-genuine PCs may be able to upgrade to Windows 10, the upgrade will not change the genuine state of the license. “Non-genuine Windows is not published by Microsoft. It is not properly licensed or supported by Microsoft or a trusted partner. If a device was considered non-genuine or mislicensed prior to the upgrade, that device will continue to be considered non-genuine or mislicensed after the upgrade. According to industry experts, use of pirated software, including Non-genuine Windows, results in a higher risk of malware, fraud — identity theft, credit card theft, etc. — public exposure of your personal information, and a higher risk for poor performance or feature malfunctions,” a company spokesperson said per Venturebeat.

The company however, offered an olive branch to pirates as it said it would provide a “mechanism” to address their status after the upgrade, which of course, didn’t mean that the company changed its terms and how it viewed piracy.

“We will provide a mechanism for non-genuine Windows 10 PC devices to ‘get genuine’ via the new Windows Store, whether they are upgraded versions of Windows or purchased,” a Microsoft spokesperson told Venturebeat. “We will have details on this as we get closer to launch.”


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Author: Ola Ric

Ola Ric is a professional tech writer. He has written and provided tons of published articles for professionals and private individuals. He is also a social commentator and analyst, with relevant experience in the use of social media services.

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