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California Accuses Foreign Firms of Software Piracy, Delaware Woman Sentenced for Copyright Infringement and Anti-Piracy Group Takes a Swipe at Mega - Week in Review 1/28/2013

January 28, 2013

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Welcome back to V.i. Labs’ weekly update on software piracy and copyright infringement. Last week California accused apparel firms in China and India of software piracy, a Delaware woman was sentenced for copyright infringement and an anti-piracy group took a swipe at Mega. Read on and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Google+ and our RSS feed to get the latest news.

California Unfair Competition Law Piracy

California Accuses Chinese and Indian Apparel Makers of Using Pirated Software

California State Attorney General Kamala Harris filed a complaint in Los Angles court alleging that Pratibha Syntex Ltd of India and Ningbo Beyond Home Textile Co Ltd of China violated California’s unfair competition law through their use of unlicensed, or pirated, software.

According to Harris, the use of pirated software affords Pratibha and Ningbo Beyond Home Textile a “significant cost advantage in the low-margin business of apparel manufacturing” and that these “unlawful actions are eroding California’s garment industry and placing California companies who legally pay for computer software at a disadvantage.”

According to the filing documents, together Pratibha and Ningbo Beyond have shipped over 732,000 pounds of apparel products into California since 2010.

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Delaware Woman Sentenced in Software Piracy Case

Jamie Lynn Snyder, a 35 year old single mother of two, was sentenced on charges of software piracy and embezzlement last week in Delaware.

Snyder has had previous run-ins with the law, with a history of fraud related crimes beginning in 2004. She pleaded guilty to charges of copyright infringement in 2011 when prosecutors discovered she had been running a website selling pirated Microsoft, Adobe and Apple software. Snyder reportedly made close to $1 million dollars operating her website over the course of two years.

After she pleaded guilty Snyder took a job as a bookkeeper with a Delaware contractor where she proceeded to embezzle over $40,000. Her defense claimed she was trying to free herself from abusive relationships and did what she thought was necessary to protect her children.

The Judge did not buy Snyder’s defense, citing her record of fraud and deception. She was sentenced to 4 years and ten months in prison for both cases.

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Anti-Piracy Campaign Launched Against Mega Gaining Traction

Just one day after Kim Dotcom launched Mega, anti-piracy groups sprang into action targeting the new file sharing service. The anti-piracy group StopFileLockers.com has already made significant progress in its quest to take down illegal file sharing websites commonly referred to as cyberlockers.

StopFileLockers.com's strategy is to take down cyberlockers by cutting off their finances. So far it has removed the ability to use Paypal from four out of ten of Mega’s resellers. Robert King, head of the anti-piracy group says those sites are now in the process of being taken down.

This strategy of attacking payment services has worked for StopFileLockers in the past. It recently forced PayPal to end its relationship with Hotfile, a competing cyberlocker service, cutting off a significant source of revenue.

While StopFileLocker's approach is interesting, we believe attacks on piracy distribution channels is akin to playing a game of whack-a-mole; knock one down and another pops up. If you're truly looking to solve your software piracy problem, we encourage you to check out CodeArmor Intelligence, our award winning software piracy solution.

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Questions, comments? Is there a story or topic you'd like to see covered in depth? Please leave a comment below or visit us at our Software Piracy Initiatives Forum and discuss the topics with experts in the field!

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Victor DeMarines

Post written by Victor DeMarines

Vice President, Products & Strategy at Revulytics

Victor DeMarines brings extensive security product management and marketing experience to Revulytics, where he is responsible for product strategy and direction. He is a frequent speaker and author on topics including piracy, reverse engineering and the protection of intellectual property.