The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) today filed suit (pdf) in California against eight people for "knowingly selling illegal copies" of Adobe software on eBay.
eBay has a woeful record in keeping dodgy dealers at bay, so ambushing suspect merchants is a sensible tactic for the software industry. The SIIA says these suits are part of an aggressive new campaign against auction site piracy - it also sued nine eBay sellers in February, on behalf of Adobe and Symantec.
Scott Bain, litigation counsel of SIIA, declares his employer will "continue to combat auction site piracy by monitoring and suing sellers of illegal software without warning - regardless of where or how the seller acquired the illegal copies. These sellers are finding out that the penalties far outweigh the quick profits they hoped to gain by selling illegal software."
So, shoot first, ask questions later.
Bain also harrumphs: "Unsuspecting consumers and legitimate software sellers pay a steep price when software pirates are allowed to operate freely on auction sites."
Harm to legit dealers? Check. But to unsuspecting consumers? We suspect that most suspect that their cheapo software is suspect. If they are lucky, their purchase has been diverted from the manufacturer's stockpile reserved for academic customers. If they are less lucky, it is a perfect knock-off, down to the hologram on the box. And if they are really unlucky, they get a counterfeit that doesn't work properly and may contain a virus or two on the installation CD for good measure.
You pays your money and you takes your chances, at least until the software industry frightens thieves enough to stop using eBay as their den... ®