Software companies sue Ebay pirates

15 Feb 2008

A group of software companies is suing pirates trading on Ebay, after accusing the site of not doing enough to stop them

Adobe and Symantec are suing nine individuals accused of selling pirated software on Ebay, claiming they're tired of waiting for the online auction site to take action.

The lawsuits, filed in US District Court in the Northern District of California, are the biggest round filed to date by the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), a trade body comprised of leading software companies.

The suits are part of the SIIA's Auction Litigation Program, which monitors popular auction sites, and identifies individuals or groups selling pirated software and sues them on behalf of the association's member companies.

The nine named in the suit are accused of selling illegal copies of Adobe PhotoShop and CS3 software, among other titles.

The SIIA claims it's been forced into taking drastic action itself, due to the reluctance of Ebay to tackle piracy on its site.

"We haven't had very much success in getting [Ebay] to work with us," Keith Kupferschmid, senior vice president of the trade group's antipiracy division told InfoWorld.

According to Kupferschmid, SIIA has asked Ebay to remove "buy it now" and one-day auctions for software, as it believe the majority of pirates are looking to sell the pirated software quickly. He also claims the group asked about buying banner advertising warning about software piracy, but was refused.

"Our goal is to give illegal software sellers a rude awakening so that unsuspecting software buyers and legitimate sellers are protected," says Kupferschmid. "For too long, auction sellers have been able to sell pirated software while risking only the removal of their auction."

Ebay has not returned our requests for comment at the time of writing.

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