Billion Dollar Piracy Software group cracked

A decade old criminal organisation which was sourcing and distributing bootlegged version of Microsoft's flagship products has been finally dismantled several years after the first steps were taken to end the illicit commerce.

The case started when, back in 2001, a container containing software worth USD 100 million was seized by the US Customs and soon afterwards, the investigation was extended to 22 countries worldwide.

Microsoft estimates that the group has sold nearly a billion dollar worth of software over the years, although the overall price to various other software companies (like Adobe, Macromedia, Autodesk or Maya) is worth to be much more.

Microsoft provided with more details about the mode of operation of mass counterfeiters; they go to great length to make sure that the fake end products looks like the real one, complete with manuals, holograms and packaging materials.

The owner of the counterfeiting unit and her two co-defendants received only light sentences - up to 4 years in prison.

Microsoft has been more aggressive lately with regards to global software piracy as it implemented more complex means - like Windows Genuine Advantage - to make its software more difficult to copy.