National Leader in Software and Content Anti-Piracy Efforts Announces Success Stories in Settlements, Suits, Rewards and Punishments for the Past Year – Including Imprisonment of Online Pirate Jeremiah Mondello
The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), the principal trade association for the software and digital content industries, released its 2008 Anti-Piracy Year in Review. The report chronicles SIIA’s anti-piracy efforts, educational programs, success stories, and also profiles some interesting “criminal behavior” highlights from 2008.
According to Keith Kupferschmid, Senior Vice President for SIIA Intellectual Property Policy and Enforcement, “2008 was one of the most successful years to date for our organization’s anti-piracy litigation and education efforts. Our dual approach enabled us to crack down on the illegal sale of pirated software and digital content while helping consumers to distinguish between legitimate and illegal software and content.”
Notable achievements during this past year include:
- Internet Anti-Piracy Enforcement Efforts Strengthened: In 2008, SIIA brought a record number of lawsuits against fraudulent sellers of member company software on auction sites such as eBay, Amazon.com and iOffer. In addition to these suits, SIIA shut down auction and classified ad sites offering products worth a combined total of approximately $25 million dollars. Most significantly, the SIIA Anti- Piracy program reached a new milestone with the sentencing of Jeremiah Mondello, an eBay seller who used stolen bank account information to create more than 40 fictitious eBay and PayPal identities to sell pirated software. SIIA was responsible for providing the Department of Justice (DOJ) with information that led to Mondello’s guilty plea and imprisonment.
- Anti-Piracy Efforts Go Global: SIIA increased the reach of its Anti-Piracy enforcement efforts by hiring additional in-house investigators who are fluent in French, Chinese, Russian, German and several other languages and monitoring for infringements on a global scale as it expanded its enforcement to eBay international sites, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, as well as hood.de, allegro.pl, marktplaats.nl, and kapaza.be.
- Corporate Software Anti-Piracy Program: SIIA’s Corporate Software Anti-Piracy Program expressly combats software piracy in the workplace through key education and legal initiatives. In 2008, SIIA received 251 reports of alleged piracy – nearly one per business day, and approximately the same number as the 247 reports received in 2007. Of the 251 reports, 56 (or 22%) were judged sufficiently reliable to pursue, illustrating SIIA’s conservative approach to ensuring cases are definitive and legitimate. During the past year, 56 companies settled copyright infringement claims with SIIA, including: Doan Pyramid, an electrical contractor and developer in Cleveland, Ohio, which settled for $250,000; Tric Tool, a firm that designs and builds automation systems, which settled their claims for $76,000; and numerous other unnamed companies that also settled claims for six figures-plus, including a well known women’s clothing firm that settled its claim for $425,000.
- New Educational Videos Released: As part of its new Ask Before You Act campaign, SIIA created a new educational website called www.askbeforeyouact.com and released new educational videos and a toolkit to assist corporate software and content compliance managers in helping their employees understand the importance of copyright issues.
- Compliance Matters Blog Initiated: The SIIA Anti-Piracy staff started a blog on the new Ask Before You Act website covering new and often complex copyright, licensing and compliance issues relating to the use of software and content. Guest bloggers include Tamera Bennett from Bennett Law Office, P.C., and Robert Clarida from Cowan, Liebowitz & Latman, P.C.
- Copyright Legislation Enacted: President Bush signed into law S. 3325, “the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property (PRO IP) Act of 2008,” a bill strongly supported by SIIA that provides law enforcement agencies and prosecutors with increased funding and resources to pursue cases of criminal copyright infringement.
The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) is the principal trade association for the software and digital content industries. SIIA provides global services in government relations, business development, corporate education and intellectual property protection to more than 500 leading software and information companies. For further information, visit: www.siia.net.