Feeds

Comet 'sold 94,000 pirate Windows CDs', claims Microsoft

Redmond sues retail chain over counterfeit disc allegations

Reducing security risks from open source software

Updated Microsoft has accused high-street retailer Comet of pirating 94,000 Windows Vista and Windows XP recovery CDs and selling them to consumers.

The software giant announced this morning that it had filed a suit against Comet Group PLC, accusing the group of manufacturing counterfeit discs at a factory in Hampshire and selling them through its UK retail outlets. Comet has 248 stores across the UK. A spokesperson for Microsoft was unable to say where the suit has been filed.

The allegedly counterfeit recovery discs were then sold to customers who had bought desktops and laptops running Windows, Microsoft said.

Microsoft's associate general counsel for worldwide anti-piracy and anti-counterfeiting David Finn called Comet's actions "unfair to customers" in this morning's statement.

"We expect better from retailers of Microsoft products - and our customers deserve better, too," he said.

In an official statement, Comet told The Reg it had sought legal advice from "leading counsel" to "support its view that the production of recovery discs did not infringe Microsoft’s intellectual property."

Responding specifically to Finn, Comet said it "firmly believes that it acted in the very best interests of its customers" and that punters had been "adversely affected by the decision to stop supplying recovery discs".

"Accordingly Comet is satisfied that it has a good defence to the claim and will defend its position vigorously," the retailer said.

Comet made an operating loss for the six months to October of €6.4m (£5.3m). Owner Kesa Electricals group is selling Comet to private equity shop OpCapita for £2 with the sweetener of a £50m capital injection from Kesa. The deal is expected to close next month. ®

This article has been updated with comment from Comet.

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
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.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.