I hadn’t even heard of this until I read about it on Mark Russinovich’s SysInternals blog, but apparently Winternals Software is suing Geek Squad and Best Buy for admitted and ongoing illegal use of the Administrator’s Pak from Winternals.
From the story, my understanding is that Best Buy and Geek Squad have been illegally using the Administrator’s Pak software for providing system recovery services to Best Buy customers.Ã‚Â After doing this illegally for a while, Best Buy approached Winternals Software about licensing the software.Ã‚Â After a few months of negotiations and free training at Best Buys’ corporate headquarters, Best Buy made the decision to not license the software.Ã‚Â Oddly, though, Best Buy and Geek Squad continued (and presumably continue) to use the software.Ã‚Â So, a lawsuit has now be filed.
As outlined in our Complaint and Motion for Temporary Restraining Order (which can be found, along with all other legal documents filed in the case, at http://www.winternals.com/legal/), Best Buy and Geek Squad initially contacted us and said that a license was needed to come into compliance. Rather than focus on the degree to which Best Buy and Geek Squad had previously engaged in the unauthorized copying and use of our products, we entered negotiations for a software license and to establish a long-term business relationship. To educate their employees on the software and facilitate these negotiations, we even held a training session at our expense on the Administrator’s Pak at their facilities in Minneapolis and offered an eminently reasonable software license for all Geek Squad employees. While surprised that they ultimately decided against a license, we were willing to go our separate way with the hope that they would someday change their mind.
However, after receiving information that Geek Squad employees continued to use ERD Commander frequently in repairing customers’ computers we decided to investigate the situation on our own.
[tags]Best Buy, Winternals Software, Administrator’s Pak, Software Piracy[/tags]