Reports are buzzing around about the story that Microsoft is suing UK white goods retailer Comet for (allegedly) “creating and selling more than 94,000 sets of counterfeit Windows Vista and Windows XP recovery CDs”. While overall the legal opinions appear to suggest that Microsoft has a strong position - illegal copying of its intellectual property, Comet is robustly defending its own corner. Its actions, says the company, were in the best interests of its customers.
The official statement is:
“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.”
The customer is also being held up as the reason for Microsoft’s action, with the software company’s associate general counsel, Worldwide Anti-Piracy and Anti-Counterfeiting David Finn stating: “Comet’s actions were unfair to customers. We expect better from retailers of Microsoft products — and our customers deserve better, too.”
The suit charges Comet with producing the counterfeits in a factory in Hampshire and then selling the media to customers from its retail outlets across the UK.