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BSA takes out another pirate

Alex Scroxton

The Business Software Alliance (BSA) has run up its colors once again in pursuit of a Liverpool man suspected of selling illegal software online.

The BSA manned its guns after an intensive investigation into John Rothwell, who allegedly sold its investigators multiple pirated copies of design software with a total retail value upwards of £2,000 for around £29.

It said copies of Adobe, Avid, CorelDRAW and Microsoft Office 2007 were among the items its sleuths picked up at bargain basement prices after cottoning on to the activities of Rothwell's handle at iOffer.com

The website bills itself as a 'trading community' providing an 'alternative to frenetic and hyper-competitive web marketplaces'.

The purchases were without exception unlicensed copies placed on unlabelled re-writeable CDs that also contained a key generator, a programme that fabricates a manufacturer's serial number for the purposes of registration. Additionally, one disc was found to contain the malicious 'Hacktool' virus.

The BSA had long suspected iOffer of being a safe haven for software pirates, according to BSA vice president and general counsel Neil MacBride, who said: "This investigation began as a part of our overall effort to focus on certain websites as a front in the war against stolen software."

He continued: "Consumers who buy software from online auction sites and certain shopping sites face a significant risk of dealing with software pirates."

MacBride added that marks could subsequently find themselves the victims of identity fraud or worse. He reiterated the BSA's previous advice to software buyers that if something looked too good to be true it almost always was.

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