Pirate to pay US$205,000 fine for illegal eBay sales

Software pirate paying the price for selling illegal copies of Symantec software

A software pirate who sold illegal copies of Symantec software on the online auction site eBay has agreed to pay a US$205,000 fine.

In an announcement Tuesday, the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) trade group, which filed suit in the case on behalf of Symantec -- a SIIA member -- said the defendant has also agreed to assist authorities in identifying the parties who actually made and distributed the illegal software that was sold.

Keith Kupferschmid, senior vice president of intellectual property for the Washington-based SIIA, said the name and location of the defendant is being kept secret under the terms of the settlement.

"We give a certain level of confidentiality in order for us to get additional information," Kupferschmid said. The lawsuit, Symantec et al. v. Chan (a pseudonym) et al., was one of several civil cases brought by the SIIA. Several cases are still pending, as are several criminal cases being brought by the FBI, he said.

The case was originally filed in U.S. District Court in the Central District of California as part of the SIIA's Auction Litigation Program, which was started to monitor online auction sites for illegal software sales and file related lawsuits on behalf of member vendors.

Some 90 percent of the software sold on auction sites such as eBay is counterfeit, according to studies, Kupferschmid said.

The US$205,000 settlement is in excess of the amount the unnamed software pirate made through the sales of the software.

In the lawsuit, the SIIA charged the defendant with infringing on Symantec's copyrights and trademarks in such titles as Norton PartitionMagic, Norton AntiVirus, pcAnywhere and Norton SystemWorks, as well as illegally reselling OEM, unbundled and counterfeit software.

The SIIA says it represents more than 800 members, including software and information companies.

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