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New Law Aims At Counterfeit Computer Products

Microsoft quickly endorses the amendment after taking its own steps to stem the problem.
President Bush on Thursday signed an anti-counterfeiting amendment making it illegal to use certain types of product authentication, such as registration cards or labels that attach to software boxes, to misrepresent counterfeit products as the real thing.

The step drew an immediate endorsement from Microsoft, which just last month filed lawsuits against eight computer builders and resellers for trafficking fake certificates of authenticity or for using legitimate certificates with pirated software.

"The new law will be a critical part of the overall effort to address software counterfeiting in this country," said Jack Krumholtz, associate general counsel and managing director with Microsoft, in a statement.

According to Microsoft, valid certificates of authenticity are being misappropriated--peeled off new PCs, for example--and paired with pirated software, while in other cases counterfeit certificates are printed and sold to resellers. Microsoft describes the practice as a growing problem that's already costing the company millions of dollars in lost revenue.