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Saturday, September 09, 2006
Software pirate gets 87 months in prison

A 26-year-old California man who pleaded guilty last December to criminal copyright infringement charges was sentenced today to 87 months in federal prison for his role in illegally copying and selling pirated software

Nathan Peterson, of Antelope Acres, Calif., was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va. and ordered to pay $5.4 million in restitution, according to the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), a software and digital content trade group based in Washington.

Peterson, former owner of the Web-based business, iBackups, illegally copied and sold software by mail and over the Internet, according to the government statement. Officials called his operation "one of the largest for-profit software piracy Web sites to operate in the United States."

Peterson pleaded guilty in December to the charges of selling illegal software valued at more than $20 million. He earned $5.4 million from the illegal sales, equal to the amount of restitution he must pay.

Peterson's sentence is the longest ever given for software piracy in the U.S., according to the SIIA, with the average sentence over the past six years being 22 months.

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