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Software Pirate to pay $205,000 USD

Software Pirate to pay $205,000 USD

"Burn, baby, burn." - The wallet's on fire now that te pirate settled for $205,000.

"Crime doesn't pay" is a motto often used in reference to illegal activities, and one that should be well-heeded. In fact, there's liable to be another preacher of that mantra soon - a pirate who sold warez on eBay has settled out of court to pay $205,000 USD for his activities. The pirate, who for now shall remain nameless, was selling burned versions of Symantec software on the auction site, apparently reaping quite a healthy return from them.

The Software & Information Industry Association, or SIIA, filed suit against the individual recently on behalf of Symantec, which is a member of the organisation. For those of you who aren't familiar with the SIIA, think of them as the software version of the RIAA - just without the lawsuits targeting grandparents, dead peoples' heirs, and people without computers.

With no legal leg to stand on, the bootlegger quickly settled for the hefty sum, which is actually in addition to the undisclosed profits from his operation. He/she/it has also agreed to help bring down others in the business, which has granted anonymity for the time being. It also probably grants the ability to keep a job, which certainly helps with $205,000 worth of debt. One hopes that his profits weren't made from Norton Antivirus - having to pay $205,000 for that is a crime in and of itself.

The bootlegger was actually discovered as part of a routine sweep of eBay by the SIIA's auction arm. It's estimated that some 90% of software sold on auction sites is counterfeit, so the SIIA now makes it one of the regular watch-zones for pirate activity. Since most larger organisations need some sort of financial backing, bootlegged copies over eBay and similar sites seem like a small, safe cash flow. However, the reality is that the SIIA keeps pretty close tabs on what's happening with those auctions.

Due to the lack of direct information regarding the quantity or type of software sold, it's hard to establish whether this $205,000 is punitive or just the retail cost of the software that the pirate so kindly distributed for them. Either way, it's a pretty bitter pill to swallow and could make other pirates think twice about trying to profit from their activities.

Do you have a thought on the bust? Tell us about it in our forums...or we'll send the SIIA after you.

12 Comments

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Neogumbercules 23rd May 2007, 08:39 Quote
Serves him right. I'm not gonna stand on the moral high ground here and claim I have never downloaded anything, but I will say that I was never stupid enough to try and sell stolen materials on ebay.
Tulatin 23rd May 2007, 08:59 Quote
That's pretty good, considering that half the time, buy a console with discs as a media on there, and get a spindle of burned games free, lol.
Kurayamino 23rd May 2007, 09:44 Quote
But who would want to by NA in the first place? Well obviously someone but wow!
Bauul 23rd May 2007, 09:47 Quote
Whilst I too am not entirely guilt free of downloading things, I would agree with punishing people who do it on mass, and make a profit out of it. For them to whack such a big fine, and for him to just accept it without argument (as the article would have us believe), I'm inclined to think $205,000 is probably quite an accurate and reasonable fine. Maybe in this case $505,000 would have actually been excessive, for all we know he made hundreds of thousands of dollars profit from this.
bilbothebaggins 23rd May 2007, 09:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by article
One hopes that his profits weren't made from Norton Antivirus - having to pay $205,000 for that is a crime in and of itself.
Haha! I'll add that distributing NAV would certainly qualify as some kind of terrorism ... :D

Anyways .... serves him right. Selling stuff you don't own ... pff ...
(oc, owning stuff you don't own is another matter entirely )

cheers.
Veles 23rd May 2007, 12:58 Quote
People buy pirated software? Surely thats completely against the point?
Shepps 23rd May 2007, 13:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veles
People buy pirated software? Surely thats completely against the point?

They might be buying it thinking it's legit i suppose. People buy pirated dvd's etc from car boots all the time though..
mikeuk2004 23rd May 2007, 13:18 Quote
I dont buy or sell pirated stuff but I have downloaded it but I dont distribute it to anyone either.. Pretty much everyone has downloaded something that they have not bought. But im really against anyone selling or buying pirated stuff.

I dont think the fine is big enough.
DXR_13KE 23rd May 2007, 16:04 Quote
well done, guys like this make me sick, making a profit from the work from other people is just wrong.
completemadness 23rd May 2007, 16:06 Quote
pirating software is one thing

making a profit on pirated software is another thing

pirating software is very shaky ground, but fortunately unless you become a large blip, your likely to get away with it
Start selling software and making a profit, your gonna become a target in no time at all
mattthegamer463 24th May 2007, 00:38 Quote
I'm sure the guy deserved it, and its really not smart to sell pirated software. Everyone else is lucky that they have this warning.

I clicked on this article thinking it was about thepiratebay, because I saw the word pirate and the word "pay" is very similar to "bay", and I saw lots of zeroes, so I had to see what was going on.
specofdust 24th May 2007, 01:23 Quote
Good stuff. I'm not going to be drawn into any morality of piracy arguement, but certainly any that exist stand on the idea of no-one making money from stuff, not on different people making money from stuff.

This person got what they had coming.
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