Biggest ever haul of bogus software uncovered

Great Dane piracy ring brought to book

The largest haul of counterfeit software ever to be found in Europe has been uncovered by the Business Software Alliance (BSA) in Denmark. More than 125,000 illegal CD-ROMs -- worth an estimated $237 million -- had been distributed throughout Europe before Danish police closed down the operation. Several people, all Danes, have been questioned by the Danish National Computer Crime Unit under suspicion of masterminding the sale and distribution of illegal software. The CD-ROMs were manufactured somewhere in the European Union and advertised on the Internet under the labels Best of Internet, Silverado and Vegas. Companies such as Adobe, Corel and Microsoft were just some of those targeted by the software pirates. "This is an alarming example of an organised software piracy enterprise, where software has been produced, sold and distributed in a structured manner," said Kevin Lara of the BSA. "Anyone who bought a CD-ROM that contained a large number of business software products at a low price is effectively in possession of stolen goods," he said. A representative of the BSA said that they would be working with police to trace people in the UK who had bought the counterfeit goods. ®

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