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Feds claim 'largest ever' CD piracy bust

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Counterfeit software from Symantec and Adobe Systems has been seized in an operation that netted the largest ever crop of illegal CD manufacturing equipment in the US.

Pirated copies of Symantec Norton Antivirus 2005, Internet Security 2005, PC Anywhere and Adobe's Photoshop CS were among more than 325,000 CDs seized following searches at separte locations in California's Silicon Valley and in Texas.

A spokesman for the US Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California spokesman told The Register the pirated software would likely have worked if installed. "They [the pirates] will create nearly identical software. They will sell it on the street and in retail stores," the spokesman said

Five individuals were arrested and indicted under the swoop, for various charges related to copyright infringement and trafficking.

The illegal discs were seized under Operation Remaster, a joint undercover investigation targeting large-scale suppliers of pirated software, music and movies across Northern California, and involving units from the FBI and US Secret Service.

The haul also included a large stash of pirated music of Latin American artists. The spokesperson said the recording industry called the haul the largest CD manufacturing seizure in the US. The spokesman valued the entire bag at $3.2m.

The authorities' claim to have made the largest ever bust has been made before, when the numbers didn't add up. ®

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