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eBay software pirates stump up $100,000

Auction monitoring pays off

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Two eBay traders agreed this week to pay a total of $100,000 in damages after they were caught selling illegal copies of Norton security software.

The Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA), working on behalf of its member companies, settled the case against Kevin Liu and GT Tian who also agreed to stop selling illegal software and provided the SIIA with records identifying their customers and suppliers.

The suit, brought in the name of Symantec Corporation in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, was among the first filed under SIIA's Auction Litigation Programme, which aims to monitor popular online auction sites, identify pirates, and prosecute them. The SIIA said it was launched in part because current anti-piracy strategies, such as taking down auctions through eBay's Verified Rights Owner (VeRO) programme, have not adequately remedied the problem.

Liu and Tian completed well over 8,000 auctions on eBay over the past two years, according to the SIIA. They sold software having a retail price of more than $750,000, for approximately $123,000.

In an SIIA statement, defendant Kevin Liu said: "If I had known that SIIA was checking eBay for software piracy, and if I had known the software was pirated and that I'd have to pay such a high fine, I would have never sold the pirated software to begin with."

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