Feeds

Secondhand Office 97 seller to sue after MS pulls eBay auction

'Pretty shocked' by piracy accusation

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top three mobile application threats

A Brit has threatened to sue Microsoft after it pulled his auction from eBay.

Justin Mowle put his copy of Microsoft Office 97 Professional on ebay.co.uk earlier this month. The ten-day auction went quite well for Mowle, starting at £1 and drawing a top bid of £70.

However, no sooner had the sale ended than Mowle received an email from eBay saying it had removed his auction, number 1216594085, from the site "at the request of Microsoft".

According to the message, which was also sent to the top bidder, Microsoft had "filed a sworn statement that it [the auction] offers a product or contains material which violates their copyright, trademark or other rights."

"In the interest of protecting all eBay members, we remove such auctions from eBay to avoid any association with potentially infringing or unlawful items," eBay told Mowle.

Microsoft said it believed the software offered for auction was "not genuine Microsoft product or that the proposed transaction otherwise infringes Microsoft's intellectual property rights."

Mowle denied he was a software pirate, and told The Register he merely wanted to shift the full copy of Office Professional because he had bought a full copy of Office 2000 as a replacement.

"If I cannot sell my old software, why should I upgrade to Office XP when that is released?" he asked, adding he had threatened to sue Microsoft for accusing him of being a pirate.

"I was pretty shocked really. I don't see why you can't sell an old copy of your software."

Microsoft seemed to agree, and yesterday the software giant changed track, informing eBay it had no problem with Mowle's auction being reinstated.

According to Julia Phillpot, Microsoft UK anti-piracy manager, the auction interference was normal procedure.

"If customers buy illegal product they blame the auction site," she said. "If something looks suspicious we ask the auction site to take it down."

Sellers who query auctions being taken down have to prove to Microsoft that the software is genuine - this could either be by providing a serial number or proof of purchase. ®

Related Stories

Auction software pirate signs public confession
Online auctions top Net fraud complaints list
SIAA sues auction site pirates
Novell stings pirate for $600,000

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.