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Microsoft says bank pirated software

Mar 23,2005
Microsoft Korea has charged that Hana Bank illegally copied its most popular software programs and installed them on thousands of its office computers without paying for them. The Microsoft subsidiary filed a complaint with the police last month.
Hana Bank denied yesterday it had violated any contractual agreements or broken the law and said it will fight the allegations lodged by the Microsoft subsidiary.
Investigators at Seoul Jungbu Police Precinct, who are handling the complaint, summoned the bank’s technology officer, Cho Bong-han, for questioning last Friday. The police are calling in Mr. Cho again and the bank’s president, Kim Seung-yu, this week for more questioning.
The contract between Microsoft and Hana Bank, which expired on Nov. 30 last year, was signed in 2001 and entitled Hana to use Microsoft Windows and Office programs on 4,500 computers. According to Seo Min-suk of Microsoft Korea, all installation and use beyond that number required additional royalties.
Microsoft alleges that Hana Bank placed pirated Microsoft programs on another 7,900 computers.
Hana Bank argues it was never notified it needed to pay more fees, the amount of which has not been released.
“If we knew we had to pay, we certainly would have paid,” said Hur Yoon-seok of Hana Bank. “But Microsoft Korea never informed us. We were renegotiating the terms of our contract, and all outstanding fees were to be a part of the new deal. And for them to file a complaint without notice during renegotiation is preposterous.”
The issue is whether royalties are due.
“If you install more programs than the contract allows, you have to pay,” said Mr. Seo. “How much clearer can it be?”


by Yoo Jee-ho


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