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Indiana man gets 27 months in prison for selling counterfeit software on eBay

Software worth $700,000 was sold for $4,000 in more than 30 auctions

By Heather Havenstein
March 29, 2007 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - An Indiana man was sentenced yesterday to 27 months in prison for selling more than $700,000 worth of counterfeit software on eBay, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Courtney Smith of Anderson, Ind., was sentenced by the Southern District Court of Indiana for violating criminal copyright infringement laws by selling the counterfeit software over the Internet. Smith admitted in court that he bought counterfeit Rockwell Automation Inc. software through eBay, duplicated it and resold the software to other eBay users. Rockwell specializes in factory management software.

Between March and May 2004, Smith sold counterfeit copies of the software in 32 or more separate eBay auctions for more than $4,000, according to the district court. The retail value of the software was $700,000.

"Mr. Smith exploited eBay to sell hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of counterfeit software at drastically reduced prices, thereby illegally profiting on the back of the copyright holder," Alice Fisher, assistant attorney general at the Justice Department, said in a statement.

The case stems from a DOJ effort to combat online auction piracy. In December 2004, FBI agents executed a search warrant at Smith's home, where they seized several computers, CDs and other devices used to manufacture and counterfeit software, the DOJ said.

Smith has forfeited the computers and other equipment used in the crime and will pay Rockwell restitution of $5,200. The judge also ordered Smith to pay a $2,000 fine and serve two years supervised release after being released from prison.

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