Swiss police seized a glut of unlicensed Novell products with a street value of $60,000 during a dawn raid on the home of a 27-year old computer technician with the handle ?The Pirate?.
The seizure followed months of undercover investigation by Novell?s Anti-Piracy Group. The Pirate was offering Novell products as well as software from other vendors to users of the Web. During the enquiry, Novell?s investigators also found files containing bomb-making recipes and instructions for defrauding credit cards.
The Pirate faces a three-year maximum prison sentence and/or a fine of up to 100,000 Swiss francs ($80,000) if convicted.
Martin Smith, Novell?s licensing manager for Europe Middle East and Africa, said: ?This is a landmark case for the software industry. For the first time today, individuals and organisations distributing unlicensed software on the Internet know that they can be caught and prosecuted. This case is the first of a series of Internet-related actions which will be brought by Novell and the Business Software Alliance in Europe in the coming months.?
In a related action on the same day as the seizure, the Swiss police raided the M-E-M-O Bulletin Board System run by a systems operator calling himself ?The Shadow?. It offered unlicensed software via the telephone network as well as a CD and digital audio tape writing service. The bulletin board was believed to have close links with The Pirate.
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