Microsoft Director of Business & Sales Operations - Eric Ligman

Eric Ligman, Microsoft Director of Business & Sales Operations Blog

How does that eBay deal look now? Microsoft Files Lawsuits Against Online Sellers to Help Protect Consumers From Illegal Software

For those of you that read our Blog consistently, you may recall the earlier posts about why internet search engines and auction sites are not the place to look for software deals along with the programs like Windows Genuine Advantage from Microsoft and the large rewards being offered by the BSA (up to $200,000!) for information regarding companies utilizing illegal or counterfeit software, to help address the issues with the proliferation of illegal Microsoft software being sold on the internet.  Well, today Microsoft announced the latest round of lawsuits, this time focused on eBay resellers who have been trying to convince you that their “OEM” software was real and just a “great deal.”


Every day I hear people say, “But it looks legitimate,” and every day we advise them to realize that by randomly purchasing “great deals” found on internet search engines or auction sites is just asking for trouble.  If you see great deals on “OEM” or “NFR” software out there, alarms should be going off in your head alerting you to the impending danger staring at you from the screen.  If you have not read them before, or you might want to read them again, be sure to review our posts on: OEM Office License changes, OEM Windows License changes, and NFR Software.  We also have several resources for you posted on our site, including:


1) Things you NEED to know about OEM software. MANY misconceptions exist today.

2) What do I need to show proof of ownership for my Microsoft software?

3) What is the difference between OEM, Retail Box, and Volume Licensing software? Which is right for me?


So, for all of the Partners out there…  Next time you hear a client mention that “deal” they got on their Microsoft software online, take a close look at that software because it may be worth up to $200,000 to you from the BSA.  (Even though it is probably not worth anything to the client since illegal and counterfeit software does not provide any licenses to run the software).


For all of the businesses out there, be sure to read today’s lawsuit announcement and first, determine if you purchased anything from these or any other auction site suppliers (Noone said the ones listed today are or will be the only ones to make our list now or in the future).  If so, take advantage of our Windows Genuine Advantage program and offer to validate your Windows software and also be sure to check out the other resources listed above and on the Microsoft Anti-Piracy website.


If you still think the online “deal” you found is just a great find on your part, I’m sure the folks at 1-888-NOPIRACY (1-888-667-4722) or would be happy to come in and help make that determination for you, and they’ll even do the audit for you.


Seriously, the bottom line is this…  Please protect yourself from all of these online frauds trying to separate you from your money.  If a deal looks too good to be true, it is.  If someone is trying to convince you that their “OEM” or “NFR” software is just priced aggressively for your benefit, see it for what it is…  A hoax.  Work with a legitimate technology Partner to help you with your technology needs.  Trying to save $50 on a copy of Windows is not worth the $150,000 fine (for that same copy of Windows) that you face if that “deal” is actually illegal.  Talk with a Small Business Specialist in your area about how you can take advantage of legitimate savings opportunities such as Open Value or the new Small Business Platform offer which legitimately does save you about 30% off the cost of your Microsoft software.


 – Find a Microsoft Small Business Specialist near you


Thank you and have a wonderful day,


Eric Ligman
Microsoft US Senior Manager
Small Business Community Engagement
This posting is provided “AS IS” with no warranties, and confers no rights