Software rivals roll out crackdown on online piracy

Computer software makers launched a crackdown on illegal Internet sales of their products by suing suspected pirates who had set up shop on the popular online auction site eBay, an Associated Press report said.
The report said rivals Symantec and McAfee teamed up to kick off the crusade by targeting five different eBay sellers in three lawsuits filed in a
Los Angeles
federal court.
"If online marketplaces are going to pursue the free-market ideals that they aspire to, they must make sure the products they sell are authentic," said Joe Fitzgerald, Symantec's VP of intellectual property.
The two leading makers of antivirus software decided to sue after uncovering evidence that the individuals named in the complaints had completed more than 15,000 sales involving pirated software between October 2005 and December 2005, said Keith Kupferschmid, an executive with the Software & Information Industry Association, according to the report.
The report said the trade group was coordinating the software industry's efforts to patrol eBay and other Internet auction sites for pirates.

Kupferschmid said the group intended to buy copies of pirated software in the auctions and then sue "egregious" copyright violators without forewarning. The industry expected to file the suits on a monthly basis, the report said.