Despite the bad name it gives to the e-commerce industry as a whole, passing off pirated wares as legitimate is far from new on the Web, and it continues to proliferate despite efforts by law enforcement agencies, software groups and e-commerce hubs like eBay to crack down on the practice. At least some headway is being made against the threat, though — ECommerce-Guide.com delves into one recent foiled pirating ring and looks at how its shady sales took place.
A software pirate responsible for ripping off nearly 8,000 online customers and a handful of leading software vendors was sentenced Monday to 21 months in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy, mail fraud and criminal copyright infringement charges.
Matthew Thomas Purse, 32, of Gilbert, Ariz. also received three years probation from a federal judge in Phoenix, and was hit with $12,000 in fines and restitution for his role in the elaborate software piracy scam.
Purse, along with Christopher Loring Walters, 29, of Newport Beach, Calif., created multiple eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY) merchant accounts between September 2004 and February 2006 from which they sold counterfeit copies of software developed by Apple, Corel, McAfee, Symantec and other vendors.
Walters remains a fugitive, according to a statement released by the Software & Information Industry Association, a trade association for the software and digital content industry that assisted the U.S. Department of Justice in the investigation.