Tech giant Microsoft announced today that they are suing Comet over the illegal production and sale of over 90,000 ‘fake’ Windows CDs. UK based electronics company Comet have allegedly burned counterfeit copies of Windows XP & Vista recovery disks and distributed them to customers upon the sale of a new PC, thereby avoiding licensing costs to themselves. Comet have responded to these allegations with the following statement:
“We note that proceedings have been issued by Microsoft Corporation against Comet relating to the creation of recovery discs by Comet on behalf of its customers. Comet has sought and received legal advice from leading counsel to support its view that the production of recovery discs did not infringe Microsoft’s intellectual property. Comet firmly believes that it acted in the very best interests of its customers. It believes its customers had been adversely affected by the decision to stop supplying recovery discs with each new Microsoft Operating System based computer. Accordingly Comet is satisfied that it has a good defence to the claim and will defend its position vigorously.”
In Comet’s defence, they seem to be under the impression that they are only acting with the customers best interest in mind and are bundling the disk in free alongside the new PC, in which case Comet are correct in saying they are not selling the disks, however Microsoft can still argue that they are responsible for distributing the illegally copied disks. If Comet have previously sought legal advice on the matter then they obviously believe themselves to be completely within the law, however I’d wager Microsoft feel the same way and believe they too have only the customers best interests in mind. I’m sure we’ll be hearing more on this case as it develops through the coming weeks, I will be sure to keep you posted.