Online vendor admits to selling counterfeit software

The Federation Against Software Theft (The Federation) has participated in the takedown of an illegal software ring run from a roofer’s home in Cornwall.

The perpetrators were caught when a Federation member posed as a buyer and bought an illegal copy of their own software from Philip Rogers of Redruth.

Rogers, and his accomplice, had been investigated for a number of failed and improper sales hosted on the online auction website eBAY. The Federation member, Primal Pictures, discovered Rogers selling its software and arranged a purchase to investigate. Not only did their test discover that the disc sold to them was a fake, but Primal Pictures found other buyers who had also been sold fakes.

John Lovelock, Chief Executive of The Federation said: “Primal asked The Federation to aid them protecting themselves from this theft of their intellectual property - property that they had spent time and effort designing, creating, publishing and distributing at considerable cost to themselves. We entered into correspondence with Rogers, informing him of our discoveries and letting him know that all our member wanted was for him to destroy the illegal stock of copied software he had manufactured, acknowledge that he had breached copyright, and enter into discussions regarding compensation.”

His admission of unlawful activity and signing of an undertaking not to do it again would be given weight in any subsequent legal proceedings which may arise. Rogers initially claimed that The Federation could not prove that he had sold the fake disc in question; however as the software creator that owned the copyright had actually bought it from him, evidence against Rogers was easily obtained.

Peter Allan, CEO of Primal Pictures said “As the unique worldwide provider of interactive anatomy software for the medical profession, we have very strict copyright protection on our products. Our software is the product of years of dedicated hard work by anatomists and computer graphic experts and it is used to train medical and surgical students all over the world. To have someone steal it and profit from the hard work of such talented people is unacceptable and potentially financially damaging. We went to The Federation to help us settle this without going to court, and we’re happy that the rogue seller has ceased his illegal activities so that we can stay in business.”

Lovelock added: “We’re glad to be able to help protect the smaller software vendors from criminals who have no conscience when it comes to stealing their hard work and putting them out of business. These creative firms are collectively the new ‘staple industries’ of the UK. They employ hundreds of thousands of people. If they get ripped off it’s ordinary people that they put out of work, and we are not going to stand for it.”