A mobile phone engineer has been fined for sharing software illegally over a P2P network.
The court order against Derek Butterworth, from Epping, followed a 10-month investigation by the Federation Against Software Theft (Fast), codenamed Operation Tracker.
Butterworth must pay costs and damages amounting to £3,400 for sharing a software program worth £35.
Fast said that Butterworth was contacted on two occasions and warned that illegal content had been found available for sharing on his PC.
The letters invited him to settle, pay a licence fee and a contribution to costs, and to sign an undertaking that he would not commit the offence again.
When Fast received no response from Butterworth it decided to take the matter further.
Julian Heathcote Hobbins, the organisation's senior legal counsel, said: " Fast secured a summary judgement in November 2006 as the respondent appeared to have ignored the writ.
"At a court hearing on 26 February 2007 Butterworth alleged that he had not received the original letters, and was ordered by the court to pay damages and Fast's costs amounting to £3,400.
"The cost of the software in the high street would have been £35 so the penalty was almost 100 times more than the cost of doing the right thing and buying the software in the first place."
John Lovelock, director-general at Fast, added: "This case is yet another example of the kind of theft of intellectual property which takes place throughout the UK everyday.
"We want to make to make it clear that we will continue to monitor and search for our members' products being illegally shared, and we will not waive our rights to go after those who have ignored us.
"Misuse of software is something to which individuals cannot plead ignorance. Theft is theft and will be treated accordingly."
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