An Auckland student has incurred the wrath of computer giant Microsoft after selling unlicensed versions of its products through online auctioneers Trade Me.

Shaahil Ali of Papatoetoe was ordered by the Manukau District Court to pay the US-based multinational $22,176 after he admitted copying its programs, then selling them on.

He was also ordered to pay Microsoft $2130 in costs, and will have to hand over all his computers and any digital storage devices if asked to by the company.

Ali sold 21 counterfeit Microsoft Office 07 licences between last August and October, netting $6400 from the sales.

Microsoft national technology officer Mark Rees said yesterday the firm was "doing everything in its power to stamp out piracy".

"Pirated software hurts everyone from software developers to retail store owners, and ultimately software users.

"Purchasing from known and trusted sources and avoiding 'too good to be true' deals are the best ways to avoid wasting valuable time and money on counterfeit or infringing software."

Mr Rees said Microsoft was focusing on three main areas to reduce the amount of counterfeit software: educating customers about pirated software, focusing on engineering to better protect intellectual property and computer code, and investment in enforcement and prosecution of copyright breaches.

Trade Me trust and safety manager Chris Budge said the site was not aware until a member raised concern that Ali was trading in counterfeit products.

He said the site strongly relied on the online community to inform it of illegal activity on the site.

Ali could not be reached for comment yesterday.