The first question we received from our new website based tech support chat arrived from a reader in India.

What is software counterfeiting?

In my reply I referred them to the Microsoft How To Tell website and then explained it as being similar to making fake money. The goal of a counterfeiter of anything is to pass on a fake version of something as the real thing.

WikiPedia has the following definition for counterfeiting:

A counterfeit is an imitation, usually one that is made with the intent of fraudulently passing it off as genuine. Counterfeit products are often produced with the intent to take advantage of the established worth of the imitated product. The word counterfeit frequently describes both the forgeries of currency and documents, as well as the imitations of clothing, software, pharmaceuticals, jeans, watches, electronics, and company logos and brands. In the case of goods it results in patent infringement or trademark infringement.

The Microsoft How To Tell website also has many examples of some of the counterfeit software that has been confiscated. Some are quite good- others leave a lot to be desired. You can check out the counterfeit stuff here.

So my thanks to Rashi for the first question for the live chat tech support. Hopefully, he did not ask because he feels he might be the victim of counterfeiting!