Microsoft crackdown snares illegal traders

Microsoft crackdown snares illegal traders

Software behemoth’s Keep IT Real campaign continues to trap software pirates

Microsoft’s piracy-busting Keep IT Real crackdown has uncovered a further raft of illegal traders that the software giant has claimed is ‘destabilising the reseller ecosystem’.

Since the launch of Keep IT Real last year, Microsoft has carried out undercover investigations, surveillance, forensic testing and joint raids with the police and Trading Standards.

The latest culprits include nine employees from market operator Wendy Fair Markets Ltd who were convicted at St Albans Crown Court of distributing unauthorised goods including Microsoft software.

In separate cases, VARs including Page Computers,, Corby Computers trading as Easy2pc, Twin-UK, Euro Computers and Phase 4 have all been found guilty of hard disk loading and trading in counterfeit software.

Michala Wardell, head of anti-piracy at Microsoft UK, said: “The Keep IT Real team continues to catch those who abuse the channel.

“Working with Trading Standards, Microsoft has taken part in various business raids and has provided forensic evidence in court. Each case is treated the same as a police investigation and all evidence is sent for analysis in our laboratories.”

Wardell added that she was glad to see government agencies taking piracy seriously and the small claims court helping with smaller cases to speed up the process. “The team is really starting to stamp piracy out, not just the big companies but the smaller ones too that think they cannot be caught,” she said.

Dave Simpson, commercial director at Microsoft Gold partner Softcat, said: “It is a difficult line that Microsoft has to tread when waving the stick of enforcement. It gives us full support in creating awareness for firms and end users about piracy.”