Microsoft India today announced the launch of new consumer-led education and enforcement initiative to reduce the menace of piracy in the country, based on the voluntarily submitted consumer reports on piracy.
Aptly calling the initiative the 'Consumer Action Day', the move aims to protect consumers from the risks and perils of pirated and counterfeit software and to educate, enable and empower consumers to fight and reject piracy by reporting instances of software piracy and counterfeiting by the resellers and instances where they have been the victim of piracy.
Over the last few months, Microsoft received numerous complaints of serious nature from alert and diligent consumers, who had unknowingly purchased unlicensed and counterfeit software and found it riddled with viruses or malware.
Today, consumers who are victims of piracy or those who are aware of pirated products which have been sold to them by fraudulent means can register a complaint with Microsoft by logging into www.microsoft.com/piracy or can write to firstname.lastname@example.org or call phone numbers provided at the said sites.
Online resources like http://www.microsoft.com/howtotell/ provide detailed information and examples of unlicensed/counterfeit software to help consumers identify if their software is original, while Microsoft Genuine Advantage(WGA) and Office Genuine Advantage (OGA) help consumers validate whether their software is original or not.
Microsoft has taken steps to help consumers, who have provided full support, information and evidence to Microsoft's anti-piracy team. Additionally, based on these complaints, Microsoft sent several caution notices to those resellers identified by the customers, and initiated few civil legal actions on the errant resellers based on the consumer reports.
Microsoft also undertook police led criminal market sweeps against channel pirates in the known hot-beds of piracy in the country that included Lamington Road and Fort Area in Mumbai, Lalbagh in Lucknow and Krishna Nagar in New Delhi.