Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq: MSFT) has filed lawsuits against five Israeli businesses for copyright infringement on the sale of computers without licensed Microsoft software. Microsoft alleges that the defendants sold computers with unlicensed Windows operating systems and unlicensed Office programs to private investigators.
Microsoft filed the lawsuits with the Jerusalem District Court and with the Beersheva District Court together with motions for a permanent injunction against the shops, and a financial claim of NIS 250,000 per claim. The defendants are Shop Elat, X-Computers in Eilat, 3D Visual Technologies in Kiryat Gat, Osher Computers in Beit Shemesh, and Tuzali Computers in Ashkelon.
Microsoft Israel licensing and copyright manager Hagit Gross says, “In many cases, customers are unaware that they have received unlicensed software, which prevents them from receiving updates for the operating system, including updates intended to protect the computer. In addition, the sale of computers with unlicensed software results in unfair trade and harms legally operating retailers.
Things are better in recent years, but in the past I’ve had to explain to computer vendors and service providers that I want to pay for the software. using unlicensed software is a little like stealing cars or pick-pocketing. I hope this is the first of many such actions, and that the phenomenon gets obliterated. It would be nice if the sums recovered are donated to the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation or to providing computer equipment to Israeli schools in disadvantaged areas.