Software pirate Julian Kish is settling a civil lawsuit filed by the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) on behalf of Adobe Systems, Inc., Alias|Wavefront, a division of Silicon Graphics Limited, and Macromedia. The settlement came on the heels of the Washington, D.C.-based SIIA’s sting operation designed to search for and to enter into transactions with sellers offering illegal copies of software on popular auction sites such as eBay and Yahoo Auctions.
Using information gained from the sting, the SIIA filed a suit alleging violations of the Copyright Act in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
The settlement includes a confidential payment for the unlawful distribution of software, a letter of public apology from Kish and an order not to infringe copyright in the future. If settlement was not reached, the Kish could have been liable for up to $150,000 per violation.
“We are pleased that we were able to amicably settle this matter with Mr. Kish,” said Peter Beruk, SIIA vice president for Anti-Piracy Programs. “This type of piracy is a significant problem for the software industry, and shows the increasing savvy of software pirates. When sellers have the ability to offer unauthorized copies of software to unwitting customers, for little or no cost, we must move actively and decisively to stop this scourge that is impacting the high technology industry. We have discussed the data mining issue with the major auction providers and each of them have indicated their willingness to cooperatively work out a solution.”
SIIA’s efforts on behalf of the plaintiffs was designed to both stop those who are selling pirated software on the Web and to educate bidders on how to recognize such illegal offers by way of a recently released white paper, accessible at http://www.siia.net/sharedcontent/piracy/news/auction2001.pdf.
“I would like to say that I am very sorry for what I have done. I am sorry to have taken from the very industry in which I am associated. I started doing this for all the wrong reasons and I am pleased that settlement outside of expensive and lengthy litigation was possible,” said Kish. “I urge others to think long and hard about any unlawful activities they are performing. The penalties for these acts are very high as I have found out. In the future I will always abide by the copyright laws and the agreements that accompany all software, and I urge everyone else to do the same.”
The SIIA is the principal trade association of the software code and information content industry. It represents more than 1,000 companies that develop and enable software and electronic content for business, education, consumers and the Internet.