Microsoft settles thousands of piracy cases across globe

Software giant claims to have reach settlements with 3,265 copyright infringers over past 12 months.

Microsoft settled 3,265 copyright infringement cases around the world during the last 12 months, as part of the software giant's ongoing fight against piracy.

The company's software is considered to be among the most pirated in the world, with the firm regularly warning users off cheap versions of Office and Windows as they are unlikely to be authentic.

In a statement, Microsoft said it had settled 3,265 cases over the past year, with the majority resulting from tip-offs by end users.

Out of these settlements, 35 took place in the US, while the remaining 3,230 cases occurred in 42 other countries across the globe.

David Finn, associate general counsel in the Microsoft Cybercrime centre, said the company was pleased to have resolved these cases, given the economic impact counterfeit software use can have.

"Software counterfeiting negatively impacts local and global economic growth, stifles innovation, and puts consumers and businesses at risk," he warned.

In total, Microsoft claims to have been contacted by more than 450,000 counterfeit software whistleblowers since 2005.

According to a recent study by analyst IDC on the dangers of using pirated software, end users will waste 1.5 billion hours dealing with counterfeit software-induced security issues.

Its findings also suggest that one in three consumer PCs running counterfeit software will be infected by malware in 2013.

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