In an unusual situation for a company so vocal about protecting intellectual property rights, Microsoft is being sued for allegedly distributing material copyrighted by a Philippine college -- despite the fact that the material in question seems to have only been given to fellow educational professionals. Southeastern College in Pasay City is suing Microsoft and Microsoft Philippines for 100 million Filipino pesos ($2.4 million) for handing out at least 700 CDs in 2005 and 2006 containing the 379-page "SEC Microsoft Office XP Manual," which had been copyrighted by SEC director Conrad Mañalac in 2005 (although work on it reportedly began in 1999). Apparently 10,000 copies of this same manual had previously been licensed from the school by the company in 2004, and retitled for use in a program to train high school teachers. For its part, Microsoft Philippines denies having "improperly distributed additional copies of the curriculum," although it's a little unclear what the company's actual position is, with the following statement -- emailed to the Inquirer.net -- seeming to indicate that the primary concern right now is protecting the mothership: "They brought this matter to our attention a year ago and we worked hard to resolve it, but without success. For all intents and purposes, this is a purely local matter which does not involve Microsoft Corporation." Um, okay, whatever you say. We'll be interested to see if / how Redmond responds to this one...
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