Man fined $210K for selling pirated software

By on August 17, 2009, 4:32 PM
The Business Software Alliance (BSA) announced today that a California judged has ordered a man to pay $210,563 after auctioning pirated software. The man, Matthew Miller, allegedly sold copies of software by Adobe Systems, Autodesk and Microsoft on iOffer, an online auction site. Miller supposedly downloaded the software, burned copies onto CDs and sold about 200 of them to customers for $8 to $12.

The BSA accused Miller of offering nearly $11,900 in stolen software to an undercover investigator for $52, and selling it for $45 after haggling with the investigator. The $210,000 ruling includes $195,000 in statutory damages and $15,563 in court and lawyer fees. Miller must also dispose of any remaining illegal software in his possession.

According to BSA senior director of legal affairs, Jenny Blank, the alliance and its member companies rarely take action against individuals and prefer to educate the public about software piracy instead. The BSA warns that consumers should be aware of software offers that appear too good to be true.

User Comments: 8

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Funkmesideways said:

When I think about it, I suppose that articles like this will have to be continually published. I'm not sure whether or not I should be surprised that this type of piracy still happens. The public have to know that it will not be tolerated. How people like this think that they can get away with it in 2009 is beyond me.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

"How people like this think that they can get away with it in 2009 is beyond me."

Unfortunately, this type of theft is so common in places like Eastern Europe, Russia and China it isn't even funny. I read some statistic (no clue how accurate, but wouldn't be surprised) that stated 98% of all software sold in China is pirated/counterfeit.

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Now here we have ourselves a true pirate! And Tom not all countries follow the same laws, but I'm pretty sure you know this already. I don't know about 98% but I have no data and on assumption alone I'd fear high percentage thou too.

raybay said:

We do a lot of work in Mexico along the Arizona and California borders. The USA side is just a guilty as the Mexico side... over 64 percent of the software causing problems on computer we are called in to fix are illegal copies. We just walk off...

On one part of town, all versions of Windows XP, Office 2002 & 2003, and Adobe Acrobat & Phot were the same serial numbers...

Now we have some tools with these arrests and fines...

Dentists in three cities had identical software... even had the "Illegal Software" warnings pop up on the screen... they denied it was illegal, and blamed it on a conspiracy...

In each case the Dentists could easily afford to buy the right stuff.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

"they denied it was illegal, and blamed it on a conspiracy..."

LOL...that's pretty funny. I would have been hard pressed not to burst out laughing at that.

Yeah, I have no idea how accurate that 98% of all sales being counterfeit software claim in China is. I can tell you though - I have been to Hong Kong and Shanghai and there are literally hundreds of software "retailers" that are stocked to the rafters with every make and version of software you can imagine. And every one of those copies is counterfeit.

Darkshadoe Darkshadoe said:

24 songs with a retail value of approx. 30-40 dollars = $1.92 mill fine

$11,900 in software = $210,563.00 fine

Jammie Thomas = downloaded some songs and shared them at no profit

Matthew Miller = Stole software and sold it for an intended profit

Both people are in the wrong I agree, but what ever happened to equal justice under the law?

Why no jail time for either party? Stealing is stealing right? Go into the grocery store and shoplift a loaf of bread and see what happens. Is the store going to sue you for $1.92 million dollars? Hell no. They are going call the police and cart your butt off to jail. Do not pass GO, do not collect $200.

Yet another fine example of big business' control over government.

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Dark you are mistaken to a degree. No actual stealing in the sense of the law occurred. Copyright infringement =! stealing (Dowling vs US). Even thou the PR teams for these industries want you to believe it is stealing, it's legally from my layman understanding not. Now you are right that both individuals you refer to are in the wrong and they are imo but most of these cases are resolved in civil courts not criminal and on occasion for ridiculous fines which I disagree with like Thomas.

Granted I personally believe in situations like above where real piracy is occurring and someone is profiting from fraud is a criminal and jail/fines appropriate. But I don't believe the guy jailbreaking iphones or modding consoles for 10 bucks down the street is which is kind of hypocritical =/. Unfortunately there are tons of possibilities and thinking of all of this is giving me a headache .

darkshadoe said:

Yet another fine example of big business' control over government.

While I agree with you on lobbyists/big business having to much influence. I'm not exactly sure what you mean with those two verdicts in regard to it. Am I missing something?

And I can relate to that Ray, saw it a few times myself when helping friends in smaller businesses. More likely thou that other bad IT's just installed pirated content in my case. Even as a student years ago I remember having an instructor hand out pirated software and keys for multiple applications which we needed. Always baffled me but I believe he did it for convenience sake as he wanted to start immediately, which I'm sure others do it for the same reason.

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Relic said:

Now here we have ourselves a true pirate!

Too bad for him that he couldn't steal some common sense.

He got what he deserved.

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