Microsoft Canada Co.

Microsoft Canada Co.

February 01, 2006 08:00 ET

Microsoft Canada Co. and Symantec Corp. Welcome a Recent Court Decision in the Fight Against Software Piracy

MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Feb. 1, 2006) -

Court Considers Negative Impact of Software Piracy on Legitimate Businesses in Sentencing of Convicted Distributor of Counterfeit Microsoft and Symantec Software

Microsoft Canada Co. and Symantec Corp. are committed to helping reduce software piracy on behalf of resellers and end-users, and today applauded a recent Ontario court decision in which a distributor of counterfeit software was sentenced to a jail term of 60 days in addition to significant fines. Mississauga-based Raeco Industries Ltd. known as Planet-rom.com and its principal, Ross Borge, were found guilty of knowingly selling or offering for sale counterfeit copies of Microsoft® Windows® 98 Second Edition operating system, Windows 2000 Professional and Symantec Norton Antivirus.

"A very important precedent has been set in Ontario regarding copyright law," said Lisa Csele, Crown Counsel for the Department of Justice. "The judge considered the negative impact piracy has on the Canadian economy, legitimate jobs and legitimate businesses in imposing a custodial sentence and this will likely be a very important factor in future sentences handed down."

Ross Borge has been convicted on two counts of copyright infringement while Raeco Industries Ltd. has been convicted of another five counts of copyright infringement. Borge received a custodial sentence of 60 days in jail to be served intermittently on weekends commencing on January 6, 2006. Raeco Industries and Borge were fined a total of $105,000 or $15,000 per count for the seven combined counts of copyright infringement.

"The outcome of this particular case reinforces the seriousness of copyright infringement," said Corporal Lisa Low Fowler of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. "I believe many companies will think twice knowing now that a fine is only part of the possible punishment for crimes of this nature."

The convictions stemmed from test purchases of counterfeit Microsoft and Symantec software from Planet-rom.com, providing the grounds for a search warrant which resulted in counterfeit Microsoft and Symantec software being seized. Ultimately, charges were laid under the criminal provisions of the Copyright Act and Criminal Code. On December 2, 2005 Ross Borge and Raeco Industries Ltd. were convicted and found guilty on seven counts of copyright infringement under section 42(1) (b) of the Copyright Act. The resulting sentence was handed down on December 15, 2005. The conviction and sentence are currently under appeal.

"This conviction is an important step in the industry's fight against software piracy and reinforces legal accountability for those who infringe copyright," said Michael Hilliard, corporate counsel, Microsoft Canada Co. "Microsoft firmly believes that education and assisting the efforts of criminal enforcement officials are important ways to help reduce the piracy rate in Canada and support distributors and resellers of legitimate software."

The software and technology industry is one of the key drivers of economic growth in Canada, and a recent BSA/Canadian Alliance Against Software Theft study suggests that cutting Canada's current software piracy rate of 36 per cent by 10 percentage points could create 14,000 new jobs in the IT sector and result in $7 billion in economic growth over a four-year period. Reducing Canada's software piracy rate is an industry effort and the cooperation of law enforcement and intellectual property rights (IPR) holders is instrumental in dealing with cases like this.

To learn more about protecting intellectual property and to learn "how to tell" some of the security features of genuine software which help ensure product authenticity, go to http://www.microsoft.com/canada/piracy/. To report piracy of Microsoft software or to inquire about whether certain items are legitimate, call the Microsoft Anti-Piracy Hotline at 1-800-RU-LEGIT or email piracy@microsoft.com.

About Microsoft Canada

Established in 1985, Microsoft Canada Co. is the Canadian subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq "MSFT") the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. Microsoft Canada provides nationwide sales, marketing, consulting and local support services in both French and English. Headquartered in Mississauga, Microsoft Canada has 10 regional offices across the country dedicated to empowering people through great software - any time, any place and on any device. Visit Microsoft Canada's web site at www.microsoft.ca.

(C)2006 Microsoft Corporation. Microsoft, and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.

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