Thursday, April 29, 2010

Justice Department Targets Online Piracy


Father and Son Plead Guilty to Selling Counterfeit Software Worth $1 Million

This case on copyright infringement is very recent and sentencing has been scheduled for June 18th 2010. In this case, four men have been convicted for operating web sites that are engaged with the sale of pirated software. Father and son, Robert and Todd Cook pleaded guilty to criminal copyright infringement and conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement. According to documents from July 2006 to May 2008 the Cooks operated several websites that sold large amounts of counterfeit software with a combined retail value of $1 million. They admitted that they were selling unauthorized software without permission from the copyright owners. Both defendants face up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000 and three years of supervised release.

This case is part of the U.S Department of Justice’s extended initiative to combat online auction piracy. Including the men that have already plead guilty in this case, the department has gained 46 convictions in similar cases.

This case highlights the importance of copyrighting one’s property and how it is common place to steal or ‘borrow’ another person’s property. It is a major issue and reading this case showed me the importance of finding these people involved with piracy and charging them criminally for their theft, especially online.

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