Man charged with selling lots of counterfeit Microsoft software

Windows XP may be close to the end of its official life, as far as Microsoft's support for the operating system is concerned. But for one man, his alleged practice of selling a counterfeit version of the old Windows OS will likely see him spend a lot of his life inside a prison cell.

Computerworld.com reports that Bruce Alan Edward, 48, of Atlanta, Michigan, was arraigned on Thursday in federal court. He has been charged with selling counterfeit copies of both Windows XP Professional and Office 2003 Professional via eBay.

The report claims that Edward sold a total of 2,500 copies of the software products between May 2008 and September 2010. Normally, the total amount that Microsoft would have taken in from the legitimate sales of the software would have been over $1.2 million. Edward received $140,000 for selling the unauthorized Microsoft software.

Now, Edward is facing five counts of criminal copyright infringement and one count of mail fraud for his alleged actions. If the court system finds him guilty on all the charges, he could face up to 45 years in jail, along with $1.5 million in fines. There's no word on when or if this case might go to trial.

Source: Computerworld.com
Pirate PC image via Shutterstock

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18 Comments

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Hey - that kinda looks like my old Toshiba T2150CDT laptop (except it didn't have a touchpad) - you can forget about it being able to run Windows XP - I bought it back in 1995 and I think it only could be upgraded thru Windows 98.

Yeah laptops from the past were really big old honkers, but I think those Intel Ultrabook commercials are really funny because they're showing laptops that are twice as big as these.

If they want to gig people for selling pirated copies of software, they should take a trip to the middle east. Every time I went through a Bazaar in Iraq I'd see things like home-made copies of "Windows XP Gamer Edition" selling for $5 USD (targeting American troops in the area), complete with home-made paper inserts and printed CD labels and everything. Another one I saw a lot was pirated copies of AutoCAD 3-D.

Lord Method Man said,
Distributing Windows XP and Office 2003 should be a crime in itself, regardless of if its pirated or not.

seriously ?
So i guess if your working pc that isn't good enough to run windows 7
and still works fine the way it is and may also be running custom designed software
specifically for XP you should go out side and drop it in the garbage can because you don't approve ?

gimme a break your hillarious.

PS a couple months ago there was stories at neowin showing White House machines running XP so lets see how stupid you think they are..

Lord Method Man said,
Distributing Windows XP and Office 2003 should be a crime in itself, regardless of if its pirated or not.

Opinionated opinion is very opinionated.

I am Not PCyr said,

So i guess if your working pc that isn't good enough to run windows 7

New PC, what's it gonna be?

I am Not PCyr said,

seriously ?
So i guess if your working pc that isn't good enough to run windows 7
and still works fine the way it is and may also be running custom designed software
specifically for XP you should go out side and drop it in the garbage can because you don't approve ?

gimme a break your hillarious.

PS a couple months ago there was stories at neowin showing White House machines running XP so lets see how stupid you think they are..

I think those self service checkouts that are more common nowadays in the supermarkets also still run on XP, not to mention the actual checkouts as well

Lord Method Man said,
Distributing Windows XP and Office 2003 should be a crime in itself, regardless of if its pirated or not.

Wow, the ignorance involved in this comment is actually beyond comprehension!

chconline said,
I bet if you killed or murdered someone, your sentence won't even be that long, lol.

This is one of the reasons that I feel that intellectual monopoly law needs a complete and utter overhaul. The priority and punishment of the crime is massively overblown!

I feel that this is mainly down to the fact that they feel that this is an issue that is so rampant and impossible to fight, they try to punish people in ludicrous ways to try and make people fear getting caught as a way to sway people from getting involved in the activity.

But in the end of the day it just makes the legal system look unjust, causing people to feel less sympathetic towards the people complaining about their stuff being copied and distributed.

I will say that I do disagree with resell piracy, mainly because they do not have the freedom of information ideology behind their copying other than just trying to make a quick buck. But I feel that these types of pirates should get a maximum of five years in jail. The fine should also be based off of a percentage of their yearly income to make sure that it stings but doesn't cripple them.

Edited by Ad Man Gamer, Nov 10 2012, 4:33am :

Well, at least we know for sure none of the soft will work on the damn laptop in the pic attached - looks like a nice suit though ..

the guy should burn for being an idiot ... hate it when people sell for profit (i have no issues when you dl and use it for yourself though as "trial"

What an idiot to think he could do such a thing with impunity. On a side note, you gotta love the laptop image up there from 1999.

another beatup from the media and Microsoft, no one would have paid $1.2m for their overpriced and superseded software - you can't even buy it from Microsoft if you wanted to!