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Microsoft Sues Comet Over Counterfeit CDs

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posted on Jan, 4 2012 @ 02:31 PM
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I saw this on the news just now.
blogs.wsj.com...
The electrical chain store 'Comet' in the UK is being sued for producing and selling Windows recovery discs to customers who bought new computers. Selling them for £14.99 each!

“In 2008 and 2009, Comet approached tens of thousands of customers who had bought PCs with the necessary recovery software already on the hard drive, and offered to sell them unnecessary recovery discs for £14.99. Not only was the recovery software already provided on the hard drive by the computer manufacturer but, if the customer so desired, a recovery disc could also have been obtained by the customer from the PC manufacturer for free or a minimal amount.
“Illegally replicating software and then selling it is counterfeiting. We’ve often encouraged our customers to buy from a trusted retailer. In this case, it is disappointing that a well-known retailer created so many unwitting victims of counterfeiting.”

Didn't Comet know that this is counterfeiting? I find it hard to believe they didn't.

So if the recovery software is included somewhere on the new computers, why did Comet 'pirate' and sell the discs I wonder? Has it been lying to customers saying there is no recovery without a disc since Microsoft stopped providing them?

On the other hand, if the software isn't included on the computers, then why has Comet not provided them for free to customers, rather than sell them and pocketing the money for itself? It would have looked better if it hadn't charged for the discs, but this looks like Comet has blatantly profited from piracy to the tune of £1.4million.
This is what Comet says:

Comet has sought and received legal advice from leading counsel to support its view that the production of recovery discs did not infringe Microsoft’s intellectual property.
“Comet firmly believes that it acted in the very best interests of its customers. It believes its customers had been adversely affected by the decision to stop supplying recovery discs with each new Microsoft Operating System based computer. Accordingly Comet is satisfied that it has a good defence to the claim and will defend its position vigorously.”

Comet is not denying it did it, but is it really going to stand up in court and say that it was justified in selling copied discs? And what about the £1.4million it made from the sale of the discs, how is it going to justify keeping all that profit?
My gast is well and truly flabbered.




posted on Jan, 4 2012 @ 02:43 PM
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Interesting. I'll keep my eye on this thread and hope some techies give us a good discussion on what's been happening



posted on Jan, 4 2012 @ 02:48 PM
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Thats messed up.

This is the sort of fraudulent thing that so many of my customers fear from the "tech support" world. People taking advantage of the ignorance of others.

Amazing to me that any business would chose to knowingly abuse their customers for short term gain rather than build a trusting and loyal base that will endure.

If I ripped off even one customer my entire base would collapse and I'd be destitute.



posted on Jan, 4 2012 @ 02:49 PM
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what happens when your harddrive crashes and you can't access the software on it, i find it easier to buy a CD locally then wait weeks for one to come in the mail. anyone else agree?



posted on Jan, 4 2012 @ 02:50 PM
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were they charging for just the media or for a cd with a license key stuck to the cd? as just a copy of the disk should be pretty much free (just costs etc) but if the were giving away a cd with a license key sticker then they may of been in trouble



posted on Jan, 4 2012 @ 02:52 PM
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reply to post by ZeroUnlmtd
 


Sure. You still have lots of options. Burn one off at the library. Get a friend to DL and burn it.

If you go to a shop the only thing they should charge you for is the disk it was burned on with maybe a tiny added fee for time.

No way in hell it should cost $30 to DL freely available software and burn it to disk.



posted on Jan, 4 2012 @ 02:55 PM
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Originally posted by JessopJessopJessop
Interesting. I'll keep my eye on this thread and hope some techies give us a good discussion on what's been happening


Seems ironic.. Jessop(s) will be watching this story closely..


Cant believe a company as big as Comet would be involved in this kind of skulduggery.. It is owned by a French electrical retail group which is one of the biggest in Europe..



posted on Jan, 4 2012 @ 02:56 PM
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Originally posted by ZeroUnlmtd
what happens when your harddrive crashes and you can't access the software on it, i find it easier to buy a CD locally then wait weeks for one to come in the mail. anyone else agree?


The software Microsoft is referring to is the software included with windows that helps the consumer create a "recovery disk". A recovery disk shod be made as soon after you purchase a computer.



posted on Jan, 4 2012 @ 03:00 PM
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It sounds like the company Comet was using the already included Microsoft recovery software that is included on every windows install to create a recovery disk for the customers and then selling it as a service.



posted on Jan, 4 2012 @ 03:01 PM
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Originally posted by mileysubet

Originally posted by ZeroUnlmtd
what happens when your harddrive crashes and you can't access the software on it, i find it easier to buy a CD locally then wait weeks for one to come in the mail. anyone else agree?


The software Microsoft is referring to is the software included with windows that helps the consumer create a "recovery disk". A recovery disk shod be made as soon after you purchase a computer.


i major in IT Computer Information Systems. But it does not take a genius to figure out that almost 99% of consumers will NOT create that disc due to being pure lazy. Now that aside, nobody is going to wait weeks for a disc to come in the mail, they'll just buy it or find someone else who's computer works to download and burn it for them



posted on Jan, 4 2012 @ 03:04 PM
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Originally posted by thisguyrighthere
reply to post by ZeroUnlmtd
 


Sure. You still have lots of options. Burn one off at the library. Get a friend to DL and burn it.

If you go to a shop the only thing they should charge you for is the disk it was burned on with maybe a tiny added fee for time.

No way in hell it should cost $30 to DL freely available software and burn it to disk.


A recover disk that is made using a different computer other than your own may not work properly die to the fact that the information on a recovery disk is computer specific and includes installed hardware and software information.

You best bet is to simply make a recovery disk as soon as you het your new computer out of it's box.



posted on Jan, 4 2012 @ 03:08 PM
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Originally posted by mileysubet

Originally posted by thisguyrighthere
reply to post by ZeroUnlmtd
 


Sure. You still have lots of options. Burn one off at the library. Get a friend to DL and burn it.

If you go to a shop the only thing they should charge you for is the disk it was burned on with maybe a tiny added fee for time.

No way in hell it should cost $30 to DL freely available software and burn it to disk.


A recover disk that is made using a different computer other than your own may not work properly die to the fact that the information on a recovery disk is computer specific and includes installed hardware and software information.

You best bet is to simply make a recovery disk as soon as you het your new computer out of it's box.


you're talking about two different things, either the recovery disc for drivers and software to your PC's Hardware or a recovery disc to the OS itself which both are almost criminally easy to find online



posted on Jan, 4 2012 @ 03:46 PM
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reply to post by ZeroUnlmtd
 


If I remember it well, when I bought this computer some two or three years ago, when I first turned it on it offered the possibility of making a recovery disk. The data for the recovery disk is in a separate partition, and by using an option during boot-up I can use that partition to re-create the original installation, including all the software the builder provided as an "added bonus" (although most of it was useless, as expected
).

Even after that first boot-up, the software to create a recovery DVD was still available and just a click away, and nobody needs to be have any special kind of IT knowledge, they just need to know how to read.

PS: my computer is a HP.



posted on Jan, 4 2012 @ 05:16 PM
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As someone else said, it sounds like a service more than anything. I need a reformat on my computer and of course I never made a recovery disk. I have to download an .iso from Microsoft, burn it and then do the formatting.

What's the difference if I did this or someone else did? This was Microsoft's answer to the problem. Would be nice if they just included a copy of their crappy software with my purchase. And also a copy of the key which has been warn down near illegible on the back of my laptop...



posted on Jan, 4 2012 @ 05:20 PM
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Originally posted by ArMaP
reply to post by ZeroUnlmtd
 


If I remember it well, when I bought this computer some two or three years ago, when I first turned it on it offered the possibility of making a recovery disk. The data for the recovery disk is in a separate partition, and by using an option during boot-up I can use that partition to re-create the original installation, including all the software the builder provided as an "added bonus" (although most of it was useless, as expected
).

Even after that first boot-up, the software to create a recovery DVD was still available and just a click away, and nobody needs to be have any special kind of IT knowledge, they just need to know how to read.

PS: my computer is a HP.


no doubt , most windows vista and windows 7 OS's come with a portion of the HDD already partitioned to have a recovery sector. BUT if your HDD is damaged or crashes you most likely will not be able to boot into the recovery partition as it is just allocated space from the HDD itself. Make a recovery disc or buy a bootleg, either way lets stay on context to the OP topic, which in my opinion the company making recovery discs should not be punished, they are doing what almost every business around does anyways, make things easier for the public to access.



posted on Jan, 4 2012 @ 05:37 PM
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Interesting,I bought the Toshiba laptop I'm typing this on from Comet in 2010,but was never offered this.All they did try and relentlessly push me towards was an extended warranty,because apparantly they earn a decent amount of commission from selling these,I think it was another £150 for an extra 3 years cover.My experiences with modern electronics tells me that most are now reliable enough not to need the extended warranty,so I didn't waste my money this time.
As already mentioned,all new PCs and laptops (as far as I'm aware) come with the OS stored on the spare side of the partition of the HDD (normally the D drive),and it is then installed to the C drive before it can be used.It also prompts you to make your own backup on DVDs as well as keeping the one on the HDD JUST IN CASE.This isn't a secret so not sure how they got away with it for so long?



posted on Jan, 4 2012 @ 05:44 PM
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The problem is not with Microsoft, it is the PC vendor that should be supplying that set of backup disks. Microsoft can no longer provide a generic bootable CD/DVD that can boot and install the mariad of motherboard, bios and SATA disk drivers that are found on hardware today. This is why the systems are pre-built, as the vendor has the capability of injecting their specific drivers into the installation. Since floppy drives are no longer sold with most systems, users have no way of providing the drivers if the installation notices that they are not present and asks for them. During the low level boot process, the only devices seen are IDE, Some SATA, USB and floppy disks, however Windows will not accept the drivers from any other device except A: or B:

The only other option a customer has is to build a new bootable CD by creating an ISO and putting the drivers into the new kit, way beyond most users, and requires the use of another computer.

The VENDOR should build the customized CD from the system AFTER it is built in the factory, and supply it to the user, because just as was brought out before, nobody builds these disks when the system is first used, and then they have a nightmare trying to get their system back up when the hard drive inevitably fails, which happens more times than it should anyway.



posted on Jan, 4 2012 @ 07:49 PM
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Originally posted by ZeroUnlmtd
BUT if your HDD is damaged or crashes you most likely will not be able to boot into the recovery partition as it is just allocated space from the HDD itself.
That's what I said, the first thing I saw was the system telling me to make a recovery disk by using their software.

The only thing anyone needs is a blank DVD.


Make a recovery disc or buy a bootleg, either way lets stay on context to the OP topic, which in my opinion the company making recovery discs should not be punished, they are doing what almost every business around does anyways, make things easier for the public to access.
I think it should be punished.

As far as I understand it, there are three possibilities:
1 - The computer doesn't have an operating system installed and the person buys a DVD to install it. The buyer is only one responsible for any recovery disk.
2 - The computer has an operating system pre-installed by the builder, and the builder is the one responsible for the licences, so they are the only ones allowed to make copies of the recovery partition/disk
3 - The computer was built by Comet, so they must provide, for free, a recovery partition or disk.

That's why I don't see how that was legal.



posted on Jan, 4 2012 @ 08:12 PM
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reply to post by ZeroUnlmtd
 



Most new computers tell you when you first get it to burn your own copy of the recovery CD just for this reason.



posted on Jan, 4 2012 @ 09:16 PM
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Originally posted by fixer1967
reply to post by ZeroUnlmtd
 



Most new computers tell you when you first get it to burn your own copy of the recovery CD just for this reason.


we've established that fact, read ^ and look




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