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Software bootlegger jailed for three years

They call me Mr M.

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A software bootlegger has been jailed for three years in Germany. We don't know his name - the BSA simply calls him "Mr M.,", its coyness attributable to legal reasons we infer, as investigations are continuing into other members of Mr M.'s gang.

Mr M., 42, was sentenced to three years jail without parole, after pleading guilty to offences under the German Copyright Act.

According to German police, Mr M. knocked out somewhere between 20,000-30,000 CD compilations, containing illegal copies of business software, music, films and games. He sold the bootleg through a network of dodgy dealers in Germany, Italy, Greece and
Switzerland.

And it sounds like he ran a tight ship, burning CDs to order and sending them by post to his customers.

Mr M. has been charged before with copyright infringements. This time around, he's been in jail for five months awaiting trial and sentence. His girlfriend got off more lightly, escaping with a fine of €2,700 for helping Mr M. in his business.

Now for the BSA quote, from Beth Scott, veep of EMEA.

"This sentencing follows closely on the recent UK case involving Bilal Khan and whilst very different in nature and scope, it does demonstrate that the judiciary is beginning to treat these cases with the seriousness they deserve. Whilst Khan operated
alone, M is only one part of a criminal network. The challenge now is to track the full extent of this operation and close it down." ®

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