The Business Software Alliance (BSA) has warned customers not to buy software from online shops if the price looks too good to be true - as it announced it has taken legal action against a man from Liverpool suspected of selling pirated software over the internet.
John Rothwell of Anfield allegedly sold the BSA pirated copies of design and office productivity software with a total retail value of over £2,000 for only £29.
The retail value of all the software purchased by BSA in this investigation was approximately £27,500, yet cost the organisation less than £640.
Conducted over several months, the investigation led the BSA to file six separate lawsuits against nine individuals after complaints that the website iOffer.com was becoming a target for software pirates.
Under the name ‘magician9237’ Rothwell allegedly sold copies of Adobe Creative Suite CS3 Master Collection, Avid Pinnacle Studio Ultimate 12, CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X 4 and Microsoft Office 2007.
Neil MacBride, vice president and general counsel of the BSA, said: “This investigation began as part of our overall effort to focus on certain websites as a front in the war against stolen software.
“Consumers who buy software from online auction sites and certain shopping sites face a significant risk of dealing with software pirates and exposing themselves to identity theft and other serious problems.”
The BSA tested the suspected pirated software, purchased from Rothwell, finding one disk that contained the presence of the Hacktool virus, which collects personal data then sends it to a remote computer over the Internet.
“These lawsuits are another reminder that the theft of intellectual property is a crime with potentially serious consequences,” added MacBride.
“The risks to consumers include allowing criminals open access to sensitive personal and financial information, and infecting one's computer with tools used in cyber crime.”
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