Feeds

Secondhand Office 97 seller to sue after MS pulls eBay auction

'Pretty shocked' by piracy accusation

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

New hybrid storage solutions

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

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Why Oracle CEO Larry Ellison had to go ... Except he hasn't
Silicon Valley's veteran seadog in piratical Putin impression
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed
Remastered so hard it would be difficult or impossible to master it again
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.