SIIA Shuts Down Software Pirates, Landing Six‐Figure Settlements
WASHINGTON, D.C – The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), the principal trade association for the software and digital content industries, announced in a press release that it has settled two copyright infringement lawsuits after defendants selling OEM and academic software, respectively, each agreed to pay six figure sums.
These new settlements followed the Ninth Circuit’s ruling in the closely watched case of Vernor v. Autodesk, in which the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the longstanding rule that software distributed by the publisher under license – such as typical OEM, academic, or region‐specific software – is not subject to the first sale doctrine.
Thus, third party “resellers” have no right to “sell” such software absent an agreement with the copyright owner.
On behalf of SIIA member Adobe Systems Inc., SIIA investigated and filed lawsuits against Matt Lockwood of Denver, CO, and David Polanco of Danville, CA, for selling various Adobe software without authorization and outside the terms of the products’ applicable licenses. Lockwood and Polanco sold the software via the websites discountmountainsoftware.com and ztechsoftware.com, respectively.
“The defendants in these cases ignored common sense and copyright laws by peddling software they didn’t have rights to sell,” said Scott Bain, Chief Litigation Counsel and Director of Internet Anti‐Piracy for SIIA. “As the Vernor decision confirmed, and Lockwood and Polanco have learned, there are no shades of grey when it comes to software piracy. It’s just as illegal to sell so‐called ‘grey market’ software without the copyright owner’s authorization as it is to sell counterfeit software.”
“These results show that the Internet does not give infringers a pass for their violation of Adobe’s valuable rights,” said Andy Coombs, an attorney who represented SIIA in these cases. “We hope these settlements will discourage others from thinking they can ‘get rich quick’ by attempting to resell OEM or academic software.”
During the last three years, SIIA has filed more than 100 lawsuits in the US against illegal eBay sellers as well as sellers on other websites dealing in counterfeit, OEM, academic, region‐specific and other illegal software and publications. Defendants have paid millions of dollars in damages, and, in some cases, criminal charges were pursued and defendants sentenced to jail time.
Source: Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Information Technology News Agency