Microsoft Sues Another Rogue Software Licence Vendor – Buying & Selling Disused Microsoft Software Licences Since 2004

Microsoft Sues Another Rogue Software Licence Vendor



Discount Licensing are pleased to see that Microsoft are continuing to take action against rogue vendors.

In October 2019, Microsoft announced that it would be suing the German company Lizengo for illegally selling Windows and Office licence keys at heavily discounted prices. The keys, which were sold as gift cards through the popular German supermarket chain Edeka, came under suspicion when customers began querying their suspiciously low prices.

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Although Lizengo claimed that the keys were new and legal, the PIDs (Microsoft Product Identifiers) suggested otherwise. It turned out that many of the keys had been released only to the Chinese market, making them illegal to sell in Europe. Other keys were found to be the result of leaked licences from academic institutions, meaning that they could be activated by up to 30 separate users.This is further proof of the widespread nature of licence key fraud and shows just how careful you need to be when purchasing a Microsoft licence. It is worth remembering that Microsoft licence prices tend to be fairly rigid, and if a deal for new licensing seems too good to be true, it probably is. Many people wrongly assume that buying an activation key is the same as buying a licence (the right to use the software), but this is a mistake. Owning a genuine activation key does not automatically mean that you own the licence, thus entitling you to use the software.

For a business, Microsoft has the right to audit you at any time to check the legality of your licences. The financial penalties can be severe, as well as the reputational damage from the negative press (software manufacturers want it known that they will take action so as to discourage others from being non-compliant). In this case, by not doing proper due diligence, the supermarket has potentially exposed themselves to action from the software manufacturer, so it pays to background check any low cost licences, especially if they are being resold. No doubt as part of any settlement, the resellers will need to provide a list of customers who have bought the software as this presents a sales opportunity for the manufacturer. Look out for red flags apart from below market prices such as the absence of a postal address or working phone number. If a company is impossible to contact, it usually means that they have something to hide.

With so much fraud around, you need a licenced seller that you can trust. At Discount Licensing, we perform thorough background checks on all licences we supply to make sure that they are legitimate.

At Discount-Licensing, we specialist in Microsoft Volume Licensing, and the software manufacturer (in this case, Microsoft) records all of their sales. This makes it very easy for us to check the validity of a software licence on the market. All of our licences are 100% legal and fully auditable, so you can rest assured that you won’t find yourself in trouble further down the line when you purchase secondary software licences from us. We also carry robust professional indemnity insurance to give further protection to our customers.

If you have any questions about pre-owned software licences, don’t hesitate to get in touch, or take a look at our blog for more tips on avoiding rogue software traders.

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