Microsoft Says Mexican Drug Cartels Selling Fake Software

Microsoft Corp., the world’s largest software maker, showed a fake copy of its Office 2007 software found for sale on the streets of Mexico and “brazenly” stamped with the rectangular “FMM” logo of the Familia drug cartel to demonstrate the link between counterfeiting and organized crime.

“This is the real side, the scary side of counterfeiting and it plagues the world,” David Finn, Microsoft’s associate general counsel for antipiracy, said today at the Global Congress on Combating Counterfeiting and Piracy in Paris.

The value of counterfeit and pirated goods within the Group of 20 countries may rise to $1.77 trillion by 2015 from an estimated $650 million in 2008, costing the economy $125 billion. These calculations, announced today by the International Chamber of Commerce, expand on prior estimates factoring in domestic trade in fakes and pirated goods as well as pirated items distributed online.

Finn said consumers don’t seek out fakes as cheaper alternatives, arguing that fears over identity theft and computer viruses are more important considerations.

“The risk is higher when you don’t use the real thing,” Finn said. Seventy percent of personal computers in China have viruses, “a direct result” of purchases and downloads of pirated and fake products, he said.

“Organized criminals are at the very center of the problem,” said John Newton, head of Interpol’s intellectual- property rights program. Counterfeiting and piracy are “low- risk, high-profit crimes” with the proceeds often reinvested in other criminal pursuits, as with La Familia.

– Article from Bloomberg.



  1. james on

    hey Microsoft,you think that people don’t want to buy black market copies because there cheaper? well your wrong, that IS the reason why people buy black market software because it IS cheaper, people don’t want to buy crappy software at jacked up retail prices, no not at all and if they can get it somewhere else they will because everyone in America except oil companies and big software companies,everyone is struggling just to make ends meet. in case you haven’t noticed America and other countries are in a economical crisis.
    wake up! the world does not revolve around you and your minions.
    good day.

  2. Anonymous on

    Microsoft certainly has no room to talk but it is interesting that such a high percentage of people are getting infected with viruses. This is a trend i have noticed increasing steadily over the last few years. The majority of files i have downloaded in the last year have contained some sort of awful trojan/virus/malware. I always figured it was microsoft or other software companies intentionally infecting their software so that people would not pirate it. I’m glad they finally cleared this up and I can blame organized crime instead of corporate crime.

  3. Anonymous on

    Pretty silly to counterfeit Office 2007, everyone knows you can just download it or 2010 off any torrent or file sharing site. Stupid drug cartels, what are they thinking.

  4. jomona on

    who cares , its ironic that microsft complains about mexican drug cartels when microsoft is known for its cartel tactics that allowed it to get so rich,well the shoe is on the other foot , hurray for the FAMILIA f microsoft .