eBay has decided that they will no longer tolerate people selling counterfeit software on their site. They have begun a crackdown on the practice, and have been kicking people off the UK auction site. Some 21,000 auctions of Microsoft software have been targeted, with people selling dodgy versions of Windows XP and Office being those most under the spotlight.

And the campaign had a dramatic effect: August saw eBay removing more than 11,000 articles for sale; by October this had dropped to around 5,000.

The initiative involves both companies through eBay's Verified Rights Owners programme (VeRO). Michala Alexander, Microsoft's head of antipiracy in the UK, told us that the company has a team positioned at Microsoft UK, constantly monitoring activities, running searches and checking what's going on.

So, if you’ve been selling something you shouldn’t have been software-wise on eBay, I’d cut it out right now if I was you!