A 22-year old hacker from Minnesota was slapped with a lawsuit today by Microsoft because he was dumb enough to provide a crack that lets the Office 97 trial version from Kinkos keep working past the expiration date. The crack is so well-known on the Web and USENET Newsgroups that Microsoft skipped their usual first step of notifying the person, and jumped straight into lawsuit mode.

"This particular crack was so widely distributed and so serious an infringement on Microsoft's copyright on Office 97 that we thought it was appropriate for litigation," said Jim Lowe, chief lawyer for Microsoft's case.

The individual, Christopher Fazendin, gets Internet access through Winternet, an ISP in Minnesota and I was able to hunt down his Web address if you're interested, though no mention of the crack remains. Fazendin took down the information when he was served early today by Microsoft lawyers.

"I get the impression I'm sort of being made an example of," he said. "It's so easy to find this \[information\]. All you have to do is run a search. I'm really surprised they went after me.