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SIIA Launches Auction Litigation Program, Targets Online Auctions Selling Pirated Software !   Logged in as: Guest
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SIIA Launches Auction Litigation Program, Targets Onlin... - 5/17/2006 9:32:57 AM   

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SIIA Files Lawsuits on Behalf of Member Companies as First Step in Program That Will Identify Auctions Selling Pirated Software and Prosecute Offenders

The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), working on behalf of its member companies, filed three lawsuits today in the US District Court, Central District of California, charging that at least three separate defendants knowingly sold pirated software through the popular online auction site eBay. The suits are the first filed under SIIA's new Auction Litigation Program, which aims to monitor popular online auction sites, identify individuals or groups selling pirated software and prosecute those pirates on behalf of the association's member companies.
Today's lawsuits reference three instances of software pirated from Symantec Corporation (Symantec) and McAfee, Inc. (McAfee) sold through eBay auctions between October 2005 and December 2005. Pirated copies of Symantec's Norton SystemWorks 2005 Premier, Norton Ghost 9.0, Norton pcAnywhere 11.5 and Norton PartitionMagic 8.0, and McAfee's Virus Scan 9.0 were sold by at least three different individuals. The exact total of software pirates has not yet been ascertained because it is likely that at least one individual is using multiple aliases.  
"The selling of pirated software, especially through online auction sites, is a growing problem that hurts both business and consumers, and threatens the credibility and viability of online auctions," says Keith Kupferschmid, VP of SIIA's Software Anti-Piracy Division. "The creation of an Auction Litigation Program represents SIIA's continued commitment to stop Internet piracy."

Joseph FitzGerald, Vice President, Intellectual Property of Symantec added, "Symantec is pleased to support SIIA's Auction Litigation Program. Auctioned software should be held to the same standards as all other software sales and Symantec wants to make it clear that it will pursue illegal auctions as vigorously as any other piracy."

Peter Beruk, Director, World-Wide Anti-Piracy Compliance Programs at McAfee agreed, "It is our hope through these actions filed today, and plans for many more, that sellers clearly hear that it is not business as usual. In many cases, these are professional criminals using popular auction sites like eBay to rip off innocent people. At the same time, we hope that Internet auction providers will offer a greater commitment to work with copyright holders to stem the tide of infringing sales of our software in order to protect the buying public from receiving illegitimate goods."

The SIIA Auction Litigation Program was designed to establish a much greater level of deterrence among pirate and/or counterfeit software sellers on auction sites such as eBay, because current strategies, such as taking down auctions through eBay's Verified Rights Owner (VeRO) program have not adequately remedied the problem. SIIA has retained the services of Effective Piracy Enforcement (EPE), Inc. to assist in the identification and investigation of potential targets who are selling pirated software on auction sites. The three suits announced today are just the beginning. As additional targets are identified and approved by SIIA members, SIIA will be filing suits against these targets on a monthly basis. SIIA and its members believe that such a continued vigilant effort on their behalf will do more to stop piracy on auction sites than anything else.

A press conference announcing the lawsuits and SIIA's Auction Litigation Program was held today at 9 am at the Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco, CA.

About SIIA
The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) is the principal trade association for the software and digital content industry. SIIA provides global services in government relations, business development, corporate education and intellectual property protection to more than 800 leading software and information companies. For further information, visit

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