The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) announced Thursday it has reached a settlement in a software piracy case filed on behalf of Adobe, Alias|Wavefront and Macromedia against a Chicago man accused of selling copied software on the Internet.
The settlement calls for Julian Kish of Chicago to pay an undisclosed sum to all three companies, write a letter of public apology and to not to sell copyrighted software in the future. The settlement comes just two weeks after a suit alleging violations of the Copyright Act was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. If a settlement had not reached, the defendant could have been liable for up to US$150,000 per violation.
The settlement came on the heels of an SIIA sting operation designed to search for, and to buy from sellers, illegal copies of software on popular auction sites like eBay and Yahoo. The alleged pirates had been data mining e-mail addresses of bidders on auction sites and sending “spam” including offers to sell pirated software.
“We are pleased that we were able to amicably settle this matter with Mr. Kish,” said Peter Beruk, SIIA vice president for Anti-Piracy Programs. “This type of piracy is a significant problem for the software industry, and shows the increasing savvy of software pirates.”
In a written statement, Kish apologized for selling the copyrighted software products.
“I am sorry to have taken from the very industry in which I am associated,” Kish wrote. “I started doing this for all the wrong reasons and I am pleased that settlement outside of expensive and lengthy litigation was possible. I urge others to think long and hard about any unlawful activities they are performing.”
SIIA is the principal trade association of the software code and information content industry, representing more than 1,000 leading companies that develop and enable software and electronic content.