back to article US software pirate fined $210K for auction sales

A US man has been fined $210,000 for selling illegal copies of software through internet auction sites. Matthew Miller of Newark, Delaware, was hit with $195K in damages and $15K in legal fees by US District Judge Susan Illston in the case brought in the US District Court for the Northern District of California. Miller sold …


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  1. pape


    Time to start selling pirated software, fines are so cheaper than sharing music!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Throw him in prison

    Even if the perp can pay they should throw him in prison for 20 years. That's where he belongs anyway.

  3. Ian 11

    This is pretty funny

    Why is it funny?

    Because this guy, who was actually really causing harm to industry by depriving them of real, quantifiable sales by actually trying to profit from the crime got find 10% of people who caused no measurable damage in sharing 23 MP3s.

    So the moral of the story is, if you're going to commit piracy, make sure you profit from it and deprive industry of real actual sales, because apparently downloading the latest Britney Spears MP3 is more damaging than that and so gets a higher punishment.

  4. Mighty Gaz


    so, let me get this straight. you can take software worth $12k, and sell it, and get fined $210k, but if you take 24 songs, worth around a doller each on itunes, and give them away, well that bumps up the fine to $1.92m??

    am i the only one who is delighted they dont live in america??

  5. EvilRusk

    Don't forget to ebay it...


    Share some music on the internet = $2,000,000 fine.

    SELL software illegally = $200,000 fine.

    The message - if you are going to infringe on copyright make sure you do it for profit and not for free!

  6. Slartybardfast

    Fines and suff

    If he was selling music or making it available via the torrents the his fine would have been in the millions. WTF is going on with the US court system.

  7. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Haggled down to $45?

    I had to LOL that you know, they're just going to pinch him anyway.. why haggle the $52 down to $45? Well, anyway...

  8. Cheshire Cat

    Serves him right, but...

    This sort of person, who is making money from stealing the market, has no sympathy from me at all. He's the one who should be locked up with a huge fine - yet they just give him a relatively small penalty.

    The odd thing is that people who merely make available for free a couple of MP3s which can be bought for a fraction of this get given million-dollar fines and jail time. This is disproportionate and loses support for the real fight against the people making the illegal money - the real criminals.

  9. Winkypop Silver badge

    Dodgy software

    "Since Miller was offering dodgy software copies at car boot prices, it seems likely he might struggle to pay the six-figure fine imposed by the court."

    Well, if he was selling M$ tat, then it was certainly dodgy, whether genuine or copied.

  10. Goat Jam

    He should consider himself lucky

    that he wasn't done for d'loading a CD of Britney Spears latest effort.

    He'd be up for millions then.

  11. Mostor Astrakan


    This is the kind of person that grannies and teenagers get compared to by the BSA. Nice to see that they occasionally hit a valid target.

    Mind you, any company over, say, 100 employees is walking into a hornet's nest when they buy software from the likes of Microsoft and Oracle. The licensing agreements look like they were drawn up by the Goatish One. Especially in these virtualised days, there is almost no way *not* to infringe. You can "infringe" by installing an extra CPU in a system, even if that CPU is not used for the application in question.

    That's the biggest reason why you should use freeware. Not the price, but the risk and the hassle you get from signing a contract with the sellers. Last job, my Windows colleagues had to employ someone full-time to keep track of licensing for a company of 100 office workers. All my Unix software was GPL, so no such problem.

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