Due to the fact that one needs to be present on most computers in order for them to work at all, operating systems are among the most pirated types of software around.
There can be little doubt that across its range in its 29 year history, Microsoft’s Windows operating systems have been pirated countless millions of times. It’s a practice that on some levels Microsoft has come to accept, with regular consumers largely avoiding the company’s aggression.
However, as one or perhaps more pirates are about to find out, the same cannot be said of those pirating the company’s products on a commercial scale.
In a lawsuit filed this week at a district court in Seattle, Microsoft targets individuals behind a single Verizon IP address – 22.214.171.124. Who he, she or they are is unknown at this point, but according to Microsoft they’re responsible for some serious Windows pirating.
“As part of its cyber-forensic methods, Microsoft analyzes product key activation data voluntarily provided by users when they activate Microsoft software, including the IP address from which a given product key is activated,” the lawsuit reads.
Microsoft says that its forensic tools allow the company to analyze billions of activations of Microsoft software and identify patterns “that make it more likely than not” that an IP address associated with activations is one through which pirated software is being activated.
“Microsoft’s cyber-forensics have identified hundreds of product key activations originating from IP address 126.96.36.199…which is presently assigned to Verizon Online LLC. These activations have characteristics that on information and belief, establish that Defendants are using the IP address to activate pirated software.”
Microsoft says that the defendant(s) have activated hundreds of copies of Windows 7 using product keys that have been “stolen” from the company’s supply chain or have never been issued with a valid license, or keys used more times than their license allows.
In addition to immediate injunctive relief and the impounding of all infringing materials, the company demands profits attributable to the infringements, treble damages and attorney fees or, alternatively, statutory damages.