In a bid to crackdown on stolen Windows and Office activation codes Microsoft has sued a Wisconsin man. Surprisingly the man has been booked thrice and he already owes Microsoft $1.2 Million in fines. The complaint filed by Microsoft on Sept 8 accuses Anthony Boldin of Brookfield of selling activation codes to company investigators via the four websites that he maintained.
Microsoft sues repeat offender
While two of the websites shut their shop the other two is very much functional. The 25-character activation codes are unique and despite the fact that they can be used for an unlimited number of times they are still locked to a specific user.
Boldin seems to have sold the keys illegally to a Chinese firm and it seems that there is an entire Syndicate behind such efforts. The complaint further stated that “Over the past several years, criminals in China and elsewhere have created a global black market for decoupled product activation keys that have been stolen from Microsoft’s supply chain,” he further added that “The decoupled product activation keys end up in the hands of downstream distributors, such as Defendants, who then pass off the stolen keys to the general public as licensed software.”
The evidence furnished by Microsoft included how the company investigators actually bought activation keys to licenses of Windows 8.1 and other versions of Office at a discounted price on Boldin’s website. Out of the five keys bought by the investigator, one was meant for Microsoft’s internal use while the other four were stolen tokens assigned to an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) which is eventually assigned to a new device.
Microsoft has said in its complaint that,
“Now, 16 years after Microsoft brought its first action, Boldin continues to flagrantly disregard the clear and unambiguous injunctions of this Court by selling decoupled product activation keys.”
Microsoft has already issued a temporary restraining order which will put an end to Boldin’s illegal trade.