back to article Man gets 3 years in clink for eBaying Adobe prods

A 46-year-old Virginia man has been sentenced to over three years in prison for selling pirated Adobe software on eBay, the US Justice Department has said. Gregory William Fair of Falls Church, Virginia was sentenced on Thursday to 41 months in prison by a judge in US District Court in Washington DC. He was also ordered to pay …


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  1. tony trolle
    Thumb Down

    jail the counselor also

    It is wildly speculative to assume that each and every buyer of Mr. Fair's $100.00 out of date product would have spent a similar amount with Adobe, somehow," wrote Fair's counsel, Thomas Heslep in a filing dated September 2009.

  2. Grease Monkey Silver badge

    A title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

    "The attorney also proposed Adobe actually benefited for Fair's sales of outdated software because a user could then update the product and spend money that Adobe otherwise would not have received"

    So the fact that fair made 1.4 million bucks from dishonest dealings is OK as far as his lawyer is concerned? Oh, hang on, of course it is. He's a lawyer, he makes much more than that by being dishonest every year.

  3. kissingthecarpet

    Clear Difference

    Some of the points made by the defence highlight the big difference between "shrink-wrapped" commodity software, sold like a music CD ( but for a lot more money) and bespoke or highly customised software sold with support contracts etc..

    Blurring this division aids those who would try to justify software patents and the excessive damages awarded to the likes of Adobe. I see they've borrowed the "music" industry's idea that every pirated copy equals a real cash loss to Adobe - nice!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    USPIS? What?

    Investigated by the post office? Haha. I've never heard of this department before. Interesting.

  5. Derek Hellam

    Interesting points here

    I must admit that I find it infuriating that software vendors will not sell older copies of product. In my case it is Photoshop CS. I learnt how to use it on a legit work copy and it does all that I needed. I wasn't interested in the new features of later versions or the inflated prices. So I'm learning how to use Gimp (Free open source). Which means at the end of the day, Adobe don't get a sale do they? Stupid greedy people.

    Ebay is and always has been awash with copies of software. I suppose when something is desirable and expensive, the market will fill that need regardless of legitimacy. If on the other hand Adobe sold old software at knockdown prices, who would buy knock off stuff? But I suppose that people would also not pay through the nose for the latest "useful" features of the latest product. It looks like Adobe distort their market to suit themselves. Lets give the customer new stuff that we think they want at a price that suits us? You argue that if people had old cheap software they might legitimately upgrade to the newer ones? or not as the upgrade is expensive too.

    The guys gets three years in the slammer for Fraud/Piracy or whatever you Americans call it. Apart from Madoff who got 150 years, have many of the other Bankers in the US responsible for the "Crunch" have had prison sentences or did they just get wheelbarrows full of cash? One law for some, another for others? Mind you hang onto the wheelbarrows, they'll soon be worth more than the cash!

    Anyone know of any other good equivalents to Photoshop for the Mac. The Gimp is OK, but I'm interested to know of others too.

  6. Tom 106

    Gaol Time

    I wonder if anyone from Adobe will receive Gaol time for allegedly using the Eolas Patents without explicit permission?

  7. Mathew White

    Fair Dues

    I think that its no secret that post people learned photoshop from a pirate copy, however selling pirate software is, in my opinion, unforgivable.

    For this same reason I don't intent to publish any software anywhere remotely near china due to their IP laws.

    PS: I wonder if his cars are as retro as the software he was peddling, PageMaker 6.5.. tee hee.

  8. stizzleswick

    The buyers should be to blame.

    I mean, why spend even $100 on outdated proprietary software when you can get up-to-date versions of the GIMP, Scribus, Inkscape etc. for absolutely free?

  9. Matthew Ellen


    Every $100 spent with Fair was $100 that Adobe didn't get. They can't say the buyer would have paid the full price because there is no evidence to suggest that, but Fair is profiting off Adobe's work, with little outlay to himself. Seems like Adobe is due the money.

  10. Adam 38
    Thumb Down


    The first rule of pirate software is, you do not sell pirate software.

  11. Adam Wheeler

    I'm supprised....

    .... PayPal didn't limit his account after the first $1 he recevied.

    Because,let's face it, they happily do it to everyone else !

  12. Doug Glass

    If You're Going to be Dumb ...

    ... you'd better be tough

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Not a positive return on investment

    So now the taxpayers have to foot 41 months of incarceration costs to sooth Adobe's hurt feelings over selling out of date software - kinda like what outlet stores do with clothes. Good job USPIS! Meanwhile, bank and credit fraud reach new heights but the Government does nothing about it. I wish Congress wasn't owned by big business.

  14. MrPatrick

    @Adam 38

    "The first rule of pirate software is, you do not sell pirate software."

    Should surely be:

    The first rule of pirate software is, you do not BUY pirate software.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hello Adobe...

    Note to Adobe Marketing: you have cast iron proof of a few things:

    > There's a $1.4 million market out there for your products - likely more if sold legit

    > "Outdated software" is more of a concept for you than end users - most of who have not had any need for new versions for years

    > You need to do something smart with the purchasers. Yes, miost of them probabaly knew what they were getting, but why not send a free, legit, copy of the pirate software, with a discount coupon for the current version?

  16. PsychicMonkey

    What about Ebay?

    They must of made a lot of cash from his sales, didn;t they think to investigate where he was gettin gthat many "old" copies of software from?

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