Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Crack Down on Pirated Software Auctions

PC Magazine reports: The SIIA has its eyes on eBay.

That was the message behind a statement released Wednesday by the Software & Information Industry Association, which said it had filed seven suits in a district court in northern California against eight defendants. Each was accused of trying to auction pirated software from Adobe, particularly copies of its Adobe CS3 suite.
Washington, D.C. – February 13, 2008 – The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) announced today it has filed the largest round of lawsuits since launching its auction site anti-piracy program two years ago. SIIA filed nine separate suits in the US District Court for the Northern District of California, on behalf of members Adobe Systems Incorporated and Symantec Corporation. The lawsuits are part of SIIA’s comprehensive program to battle rampant auctioning of pirated software.

Two suits were also filed against eBay sellers two weeks ago, naming two more defendants; one was accused of selling pirated Adobe Photoshop CS3 software, while the other involved the alleged selling of Symantec pcAnywhere 11.0 Host and Remote, pcAnywhere 10.5 Host and Remote and Norton Utilities 8.0 for Macintosh.

“SIIA has declared war against those who continue to sell pirated software on auction sites such as eBay,” says Keith Kupferschmid, SVP of SIIA’s Anti-Piracy Division. “Our goal is to give illegal software sellers a rude awakening, so that unsuspecting software buyers and legitimate sellers are protected. For too long, auction sellers have been able to sell pirated software while risking only the removal of their auction. SIIA has upped the ante by bringing those who pirate software to justice in court.”

Of the industry's top names, however, there is one notable exception; a list of the program's participants includes Apple, Adobe, Intuit, McAfee, and Symantec, but doesn't include Microsoft, which has its own methods of dealing with piracy, including working with the FBI.

A representative for Microsoft's Genuine Advantage program said that users who report that they own a pirated piece of Microsoft software, such as Windows, can notify the company at Microsoft's anti-piracy site. If the software meets the company's criteria, the user may be receive a free copy of authentic Microsoft software in exchange. Users that do not meet the criteria may be referred back to the Genuine Advantage department for a discounted copy of the software, the representative said.

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