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Two Big Software Piracy Court Cases, Kim Dotcom Faces Another Set Back and the UK examines Google's Anti-Piracy Algorithm Change - Week in Review 11/12/2012

November 12, 2012

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Welcome back to V.i. Labs’ weekly update on software licensing and piracy. Last week two big software piracy cases made their way through the courts, Kim Dotcom lost his new domain and the UK decided to examine Google's anti-piracy algorithm change. Read on and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Google+ and our RSS feed to get the latest news.

As a last minute reminder our Software License Compliance and Anti-Piracy Panel and Reception will be taking place this Wednesday the 14th at the Tech Museum in San Jose. We have an all star panel that includes license compliance experts from Adobe, ANSYS and PricewaterhouseCoopers. What are you waiting for? Sign up today.

Two Men Caught Selling Counterfeit Software Worth Millions

Two separate cases, each involving millions of dollars of counterfeit software, made their way through the courts last week. In the first, a man from Washington was sentenced to three years in prison and fined $1.4 million for selling over $2.5 million worth of fraudulent software. According to court documents, Quynh Trong Nguyen, 37, convinced suppliers he was affiliated with George Mason University in order to buy educationally licensed software, he then modified the educational license and sold it at a much higher price. Nguyen pleaded guilty to copyright infringement in August.

In Michigan, a man was arraigned in federal court on charges that he sold counterfeit Microsoft software valued at over $1.2 million. According to the indictment, Bruce Alan Edward, 48, purchased cheap counterfeit software from China and made more than $140,000 reselling the software on eBay. If convicted Edward could face a maximum of 45 years in prison and $1.5 million in fines.

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Kim Dotcom Launches New Website – Government Quickly Takes It Down

Me.ga, Kim Dotcom’s successor site to Megaupload.com was only up a week before authorities took it down. The Government of Gabon, owner of the top level domain .ga, quickly decided to suspend Dotcom’s new website citing concerns over piracy. An official for the government said, “Gabon cannot serve as a platform or screen for committing acts aimed at violating copyrights, nor be used by unscrupulous people.”piracy website me.ga

Gabon Telecom, the registrar that manages the .ga domain for the Gabonese government, is a subsidiary of Vivendi and, unsurprisingly, Dotcom believes the domain’s suspension is just the latest act of aggression by the United States Government in its crusade against him.

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Google Anti-Piracy Algorithm Change Under UK Review

The UK Department for Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS) has decided to investigate the search changes Google instituted last August in its attempt to thwart piracy. Google’s algorithm change was intended to penalize websites who received DMCA complaints but it doesn’t appear to be working.

The entertainment industry is complaining that piracy websites still dominate search results. This isn’t a hard assertion to test, for example a quick search for Jay-Z download will yield torrent sites on the first page of search results.

In its defense a spokesman for Google said, “We continue to work closely with the industry to protect rights holders and their material. Sites with high numbers of removal notices are now more likely to appear lower in our results, we've made it easier to report pirated material and now take down more than seven million infringing links per month.”

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Comments? Questions? Got a question for Vic, our software piracy expert? Leave a message in the comments box below.

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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.