Microsoft finally have closure as the man behind the sales firm ITAC, Barry Omesuh, is sentenced to up to nine months in jail per sentencing and must pay £2.5 million in damages to Microsoft after an overwhelming battle against piracy. The Manchester based distributor, ITAC, who are now out of business, were behind selling ‘grey’ copies of Microsoft’s software.
Omesuh was sentenced due to the fact that he was parallel importing by selling a software in a region that is actually intended for a different region, thus finding himself outside of his rights. Omesuh was given 7 sentences which range between one month to nine months and he has been ordered to carry out his time simultaneously by the Royal Courts of Justice in London.
Microsoft are clearing not taking any prisoners in their protection to their intellectual property and have proved that they will settle for nothing less than justice. ITAC were originally made to pay out £1 million to Microsoft in 2006 for parallel importing, however the company continued on selling the software through an unauthorised company in the Middle East. Microsoft have been battling against the company since 2004, and although they have won their battles in the past this victory is coming as great news for Microsoft as it should herald in the end of the illegal dealings through ITAC.
The High Court found Omesuh to be in contempt of court as he was found to have misled the court regarding the reality of the value of his assets. When issuing her judgement, Mrs Justice Proudman highlighted how, “The defendant was a wholly unreliable witness who on his own admission told a number of bare-faced lies about relevant matters over a period of time.”
The anti-piracy attorney for Microsoft UK, Graham Arthur, has underlined Microsoft’s stance on piracy, saying, “This case against ITAC and Mr Omesuh shows that Microsoft takes a zero tolerance approach to anyone who undermines the level playing field for our retailer community.
“We are working hard, sometimes behind the scenes, to ensure the software reseller market is a place where all retailers can compete on an equal footing. We want to make sure that retailers caught cheating the system are held accountable for their damaging actions,” said Arthur.
ITAC can no longer damage Microsoft as the company went into administration in March 2008, however, Microsoft faces an ongoing battle against many other organisations around the world who continue to supply illegal copies of its software. However, ITAC are one less organisation to worry about and Arthur continued to discuss how resolute Microsoft is about tackling the crisis.
“We caught ITAC trading illegally more than once which shows how determined we are to protect genuine, honest businesses from being undercut by unscrupulous traders. In today’s climate, we believe this is more important than ever, particularly when the culprits blatantly persist in their unlawful trading,” continued Arthur.