Man Gets Prison Time for Selling Pirated Software

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A man from Anderson, Indiana, has been sentenced to 27 months in prison for selling more than US$700,000 worth of counterfeit computer software on eBay.com, the U.S. Department of Justice announced.

Courtney Smith, 36, was sentenced Wednesday by Judge Sarah Barker, of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.

Smith acknowledged that he had purchased counterfeit copies of Rockwell Automation Inc. factory-management software through eBay, then duplicated it and resold it to other eBay users, the DOJ said. Between March 6 and May 26, 2004, Smith received $4,149.97 for selling the counterfeited software in 32 auctions, the DOJ said.

Smith used eBay to sell the software at "drastically reduced prices, thereby illegally profiting on the back of the copyright holder," Assistant Attorney General Alice Fisher of the DOJ's criminal division, said in a statement.

The case came out of a DOJ initiative to combat online auction piracy. U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation agents searched Smith's residence on Dec. 15, 2004, seizing several computers, CDs and devices used to create counterfeit software, the DOJ said. Smith told investigators he made his own Rockwell Automation Software labels to affix to the software, the DOJ said.

Smith has forfeited the computers and other equipment he used and will make restitution to Rockwell Automation in the amount of $5,200.45, the DOJ said. Barker also ordered Smith to pay a $2,000 fine.

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