The Software & Information Industry Association filed nine separate lawsuits on behalf of members Adobe Systems and Symantec, claiming in U.S. District Court that the defendants knowingly sold illegal copies of software on eBay.
SIIA announced the largest round of lawsuits since launching its auction site anti-piracy program two years ago. The lawsuits, filed in the Northern District of California, are part of a broader effort to stop people from selling pirated software on auction sites.
"SIIA has declared war against those who continue to sell pirated software on auction sites such as eBay," Keith Kupferschmid, SVP of SIIA's Anti-Piracy Division, said in a statement announcing the suits. "Our goal is to give illegal software sellers a rude awakening, so that unsuspecting software buyers and legitimate sellers are protected. For too long, auction sellers have been able to sell pirated software while risking only the removal of their auction. SIIA has upped the ante by bringing those who pirate software to justice in court."
Defendants in seven lawsuits filed Wednesday include: Edward Sarkisov, of Van Nuys, Calif.; John Baptiste, of Hurst, Texas; Brandon Roberts, of Canyon Lake, Texas; Don Farr of Redmond, Wash.; Beverly Johnson and John Baker of Chicago, Ill.; Brandon Perkins of Corpus Christi, Texas; and John Baker of Palatine, Ill. The SIIA filed separate suits against Corey C. Ressler and Joshua McClymonds over the last few weeks.
The SIIA's Auction Litigation Program monitors online auction sites, identifies sales of illegally copied software and sues the sellers on behalf of its members.
"Online auctioning of pirated software hurts both business and consumers," Scott Bain, an SIIA lawyer, said. "When consumers buy cheap, illegal software, they get no support and often find they've spent good money on bad software. In addition to taking legal action against software pirates, SIIA is giving consumers tools to help them fight back."
SIIA also has a "Don't Get Mad, Get Even" campaign that allows buyers to report illegal sales, provide proof, and receive money to buy legal copies.