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Press Release FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - February 8, 2001
Contact: Peter Beruk, VP SIIA Anti-Piracy (202) 452-1600 ext. 314

SIIA Settles Suit Against Pirate Selling Software Via Internet Auctions

(Washington, DC) The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) announced today a settlement that stemmed from a civil suit filed on behalf of Adobe Systems, Inc., Alias|Wavefront, a division of Silicon Graphics Limited, and Macromedia. The settlement with Julian Kish of Chicago, IL, came just two weeks after a suit alleging violations of the Copyright Act was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The settlement includes a confidential payment for the unlawful distribution of software, a letter of public apology from Mr. Kish and an order not to infringe copyright in the future. If settlement was not reached, the defendant could have been liable for up to US$150,000 per violation.

The settlement announced today came on the heels of an SIIA sting operation designed to search for, and to enter into transactions with sellers offering illegal copies of software on popular auction sites such as eBay and Yahoo Auctions. Pirates have been data-mining email addresses of bidders on auction sites and sending spam that includes offers of pirated software. SIIA's efforts on behalf of the plaintiffs was designed to both stop those who were selling software this way and educate bidders on how to recognize such illegal offers by way of a recently released white paper, accessible at http://www.siia.net/sharedcontent/piracy/news/auction2001.pdf.

"We are pleased that we were able to amicably settle this matter with Mr. Kish," said Peter Beruk, SIIA vice president for Anti-Piracy Programs. "This type of piracy is a significant problem for the software industry, and shows the increasing savvy of software pirates. When sellers have the ability to offer unauthorized copies of software to unwitting customers, for little or no cost, we must move actively and decisively to stop this scourge that is impacting the high technology industry. We have discussed the data mining issue with the major auction providers and each of them have indicated their willingness to cooperatively work out a solution."

The defendant, Julian Kish stated, "I would like to say that I am very sorry for what I have done. I am sorry to have taken from the very industry in which I am associated. I started doing this for all the wrong reasons and I am pleased that settlement outside of expensive and lengthy litigation was possible. I urge others to think long and hard about any unlawful activities they are performing. The penalties for these acts are very high as I have found out. In the future I will always abide by the copyright laws and the agreements that accompany all software, and I urge everyone else to do the same."

SIIA expects to announce further details of its continuing sting operation soon.

The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) is the principal trade association of the software code and information content industries. SIIA represents more than 1,000 leading high-tech companies that develop and market software and electronic content for business, education, consumers and the Internet. For further information, visit http://www.siia.net. Hundreds of these companies look to SIIA Anti-Piracy to protect their intellectual property rights around the world. Visit the SIIA Anti-Piracy homepage at http://www.siia.net/piracy.htm. Cases of software piracy should be reported via the Anti-Piracy Hotline (800) 388-7478.