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Illegal software peddlers convicted

Staff Writer
Two Indian men, Mkhael Malhotra (21) and Rajeev Kumar (31), and their company, Micro IT were yesterday convicted of criminal copyright infringement in a case involving the uploading of pirated Microsoft Office 2003 and Windows XP programmes without the consent or authority of the Microsoft Corporation.

Malhotra, also the director of Micro IT Company, and Kumar, entered a guilty plea to one count each of selling infringing copies contrary to Section 31 (1) of the Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act, Cap 68:02 of the Laws of Botswana.

The Village Chief Magistrate, Lot Moroka, convicted the individuals and ordered that the accused persons be fingerprinted to check their previous convictions. The accused were ordered to forfeit copies of the infringed goods, which were used as exhibits in court.

The two committed the offence on February 29

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last year. The three accused persons allegedly sold a Celeron personal computer loaded with pirated copies of Microsoft Office and Windows XP programmes to one Berenju without authority from the Microsoft Corporation.

Micro IT, operated by the convicted men, sold and supplied unauthorised copies of Microsoft Office and Windows XP.

The case has been postponed to February 2, to allow the police to fingerprint the convicted persons.

Thabo Malambane from the Directorate of Public Prosecution represents the state while attorney, Akheel Jinabbai, appears for the accused.



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