Michigan Woman Sentenced to Two Years in Prison for Selling Counterfeit Software Online - BSA
Source : AG-IP News
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WASHINGTON - The Business Software Alliance (BSA) applauded the sentencing of the owner and operator of multiple rogue websites found to be illegally selling software that was stolen from BSA member companies Adobe, Autodesk, Microsoft, and Symantec with a retail value of approximately $2 million, a press release by the Alliance stated.
US District Court Judge David M. Lawson in Detroit sentenced Jacinda Jones of Ypsilanti, Michigan to two years in prison. In addition, Jones was ordered to pay $441,035 in restitution and serve three years of supervised release following her prison term. The defendant previously admitted to making more than $400,000 between July 2008 and January 2010 through the unlawful sale of the pirated software. Jones pleaded guilty in April and was convicted of Willful Infringement of Copyright.
Jones’ websites included cheapsoftwaredownloads.net, cheapdl.com, and jjsdiscountelectronics.com. During the investigation, the defendant admitted that the site cheapdl.com sold over 7,000 copies of pirated software from BSA member companies. Undercover purchases made by BSA revealed that software purchased via Jones’ websites came infected with malware—exposing buyers to potential viruses and other threats.
BSA began to receive tips from the general public in late 2008 via its www.NoPiracy.org and 1.888.NoPiracy hotline alerting the group of the illegal activity taking place on Jones’ websites. BSA assisted federal officials of the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) throughout the investigation.
“We appreciate the vigorous copyright enforcement efforts in pursuing and prosecuting individuals who commit software piracy,” said Jodie Kelley, BSA vice-president of anti-piracy and general counsel. “With such extensive pirated software sales, this sentencing was a great success for the law enforcement community, consumers and rights holders. This should serve as a warning to other software pirates: Breaking the law has consequences.”
Online piracy theft of the type that Jones was engaged in contributed to a $59 billion problem globally, including $9.5 billion in 2010 in the US alone, according to the Eighth Annual BSA and IDC Global Piracy Study.
Through its Faces of Internet Piracy website and resources available on its BSAcybersafety.com, BSA has worked to educate consumers on the inherent technical, financial, and legal dangers involved in utilizing unlicensed software. Consumers wishing to report instances of software piracy can do so confidentially at www.NoPiracy.org.
The Business Software Alliance is the leading global advocate for the software industry.