Let the punishment fit the criminal: BSAA

A convicted dealer of pirated software will pay $31,500 and has committed to 100 hours of community service, the Business Software Association of Australia has reported.

According to BSAA chairman Jim Macnamara, Mr Wojciech Czarnocki ran the Pirated Software Group (PSG) for more than six months before being discovered by the piracy-fighting software industry group.

Macnamara said the BSAA discovered PSG's advertisements in major newspapers, which immediately launched his organisation into pursuit of Czarnocki.

PSG freely offered a 900-page catalogue, containing advertisements for pirated copies of "every software program known to man", Macnamara said. It is not known how much money Czarnocki made through the operation.

Macnamara said Czarnocki surrendered in January, after a nationwide search involving the BSAA and the Federal Police, followed by two 'segments' on A Current Affair regarding his illicit operation.

Since that time, the BSAA conferred with associated companies Adobe, Autodesk and Microsoft in order to arrive at an appropriate punishment for the offender.

The Federal Court made injunctions against Czarnocki requiring him not to deal in products that infringe the rights of Adobe, Autodesk and Microsoft, the BSAA said in a statement.

However, Macnamara said "twentysomething" Czarnocki did not have access to money to pay any fines. "He was a young man who was silly and didn't know what he was doing. I don't think he even owns a car."

The companies finally agreed that Czarnocki should be sentenced to 100 hours of IT-related community service, as well as being sent the BSAA's $31,500 legal bill, Macnamara said. Czarnocki has agreed to pay back the money in instalments.

"They called it the Pirated Software Group and placed ads. How stupid can you be?" Macnamara mused.

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