04 Apr Rockwell software thieves plead guilty
Milwaukee, Wis. – What’s the penalty for software piracy? Six men who made millions of dollars worth of illegal copies of Rockwell Automation software will soon find out as they await sentencing after pleading guilty in the case.
The men were prosecuted for illegally copying the software and selling it on the Internet auction site eBay at large discounts, according to an article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The article said six men have agreed to plead guilty in Milwaukee, while one more awaits sentencing in Michigan. Two other men who were linked to the crime, one in Michigan and one in Indiana, were sentenced in March to six months in prison and 27 months, respectively.
Defendants were accused of buying Rockwell software, copying it on their home computers, and selling it in more than 600 separate auctions on eBay. The pirated software was sold for 10 percent or less of its retail price, and customers ranged from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies.
According to the Business Software Alliance, software piracy accounted for $34 billion in business losses worldwide in 2005. With a 21 percent piracy rate, the United States had the lowest software theft rate of all the nations studied, but it also suffered the greatest financial loss with $6.9 billion in pirated software.
The BSA study indicated that 35 percent of the packaged software installed on personal computers worldwide in 2005 was illegal.
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