BSA stomps Warez.at

Looking for more pirate scalps

The Business Software Alliance shut down 118 UK warez (pirate software) sites between January and September 2001.

It also issued a further 584 with takedown notices.

The BSA is most proud of claiming the scalp of www.warez.at, "a major illegal software site, which crossed at least nine international boundaries". The system warez.at used was one of just setting up new redirects as soon as one of the sites in the network was closed down.

The BSA discovered redirection services to sites in Australia, Austria, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, the UK and the USA.

Mike Newton, programme manager for BSA in the UK, said, "Warez.at was a major illegal hub, and its take-down has significantly impacted the European pirate community. To have received a signed cease and desist declaration from the owner of the site sends a strong message to other pirates that they are not out of the law's reach."

The BSA took down 1,800 warez sites in 2000. It is currently investigating 6,061 leads from the first nine months of 2001 alone.

Warez.at has been closed down, and the previous owner of the site has forfeited the warez.at domain to the BSA. The site now hosts the multi-lingual message: "This Web site has been closed at the request of the Business Software Alliance. Advertising, selling or distributing unlicensed software on the Internet is illegal."

In a similar case BSA's local counsel in Finland recently persuaded the Finnish registration body for domain names, the Telecommunications Administration Centre, to reject an application for the registration of the domain name "warez.fi". The TAC said the registration would be contrary to good practice. ®

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