Caught selling illegal copies of employer's architectural software via eBay

BSA awaits pirate sentencing

A court appearance by a pirate who was caught selling illegal copies of his own firm’s software via eBay has been welcomed by the Business Software Alliance.

The story, which was originally carried in local paper the Derby Evening Telegraph, reports that the pirate pleaded guilty to selling illegal copies of AceCad, the architectural software that helped develop many modern landmarks, including London’s Gherkin building and Wembley’s sliding roof.

According to the report, he was found selling software via auction site, eBay for as little as £12, by a colleague who was browsing the site looking for a present for his girlfriend.

A raid of his home by Trading Standards officials found over 200 copies of the software. He is now facing a sentence of up to ten years in custody. Sentencing will happen on February 1st.

Speaking about the case, vice-chair of the BSA, Najeeb Kahn said: "Software piracy doesn’t just affect multi-national and well known brands – this latest case underlines the negative impact it can have on smaller specialist UK companies.

“Auctions have developed into a marketplace where sellers feel they are anonymous and out of the reach of law. This case proves them wrong. The BSA urges Trading Standards to take a tough stance against online sellers who deceive end users and fuel the demand for copied software.

"Revenues lost to piracy – which are currently running at $1.67bn per year – are vital to the success and survival of many local developers such as AceCad.

"The Business Software Alliance works alongside businesses of all sizes to ensure that they are aware of the consequences of software piracy, but enforcement is a crucial deterrent. We fully support the actions of AceCad and the Trading Standards Authority in taking this to the courts."

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