Microsoft is reporting that a Mexican drug cartel is selling fake copies of Microsoft Office and is branding it with their own FMM cartel insignia. The cartel is reportedly selling fake copies of Office 2007 and is flaunting it in authorities faces.
The low risk, high profit crimes are helping to fuel the cartel's influence in Mexico, according to SeatlePi.com and Bloomberg.com. But it goes beyond a street vendor selling a few copies to make a couple bucks; the counterfeit ring is vast in size and profitability. In a blog post today by David Finn, associate general counsel for Microsoft's anti-piracy unit, he states:
According to an analysis by the Mexico Attorney General published in other articles, the group's illegal counterfeiting activities involved a sophisticated distribution network of 180,000 points of sale in stores, markets and kiosks, earning more than $2.2 million dollars in revenue every day. It's no wonder that enforcement agencies and governments are deeply concerned about this trend.
Counterfeiting is a serious crime as it pulls resources away from corporations who could use the funds to further R&D efforts. Not only that, but in Mexico, if you buy from the cartels, you could be funding the ongoing drug wars.