Sunday, July 29, 2007

$5.7 Trillion Cost of Twelve Worst Consumer Mistakes Is Exposed

What are the twelve most disastrous mistakes American consumers make?

One consumer advocate has researched and ranked them. Their total estimated cost amounts to a staggering $5.7 trillion per year. Astonishingly, that averages out to a yearly dollar drain of $19,000 for every man, woman and child.

The shocking facts are exposed in "The 12 Biggest Consumer Goofs," a new Special Report from the Consumer Freedom Alliance. It ranks the most damaging mistakes being made by American consumers, based on the best available estimates from a variety of consumer organizations and governmental agencies.

"These mistakes account for a little over one half of America's $11 trillion GNP, making these mistakes a virtual must-know for all Americans" commented CFA president David Snell. "Consumers can tremendously benefit in many areas, from crime prevention to career advancement."

According to this report, money management mistakes account for approximately one trillion dollars of the total. Disastrous personal decisions including medical and safety mistakes cost consumers $2.2 trillion yearly. Crime is the biggest problem, including fraud and the failure of consumers to protect themselves adequately: Its yearly cost is a whopping $2.5 trillion. "Inevitably this type of study requires some approximations, but the overall conclusions are not in any serious doubt" said Snell.

Report details

Anyone can read the list of consumer mistakes at The descriptions of these "dirty dozen" mistakes include links to the those help sites judged best by the CFA, along with enlightening quotations from famous historical figures. Readers can visit to read quotes from five famous historical personalities and vote for the most inspirational

Other writers have suggested lists of the worst mistakes, but this is first time that such a list has been substantiated by careful and quantitative research. Anyone can visit to view the supporting evidence.

"The 12 Biggest Consumer Goofs" is released to the public domain and can be freely used or excerpted. The CFA encourages reporters, webmasters, bloggers and other members of the media to download free web content based on that report.

If Your Wallet is Swiped, Don't Sit Around

AP9 PrivacyMatters, a leading security and privacy membership program from Adaptive Marketing LLC, knows it's no fun getting ripped off. Still, if it happens, consumers need to have a plan of action in place. Fighting back effectively against any theft calls for speed and efficiency.

It seems that no one knows the actual origins of "Pull yourself up by your bootstraps," but it's definitely sound advice when it comes to having a wallet or purse stolen. Irish author James Joyce used it in his 1922 Ulysses, and in the modern lexicon it has come to mean an improvement of one's situation through personal effort. Sure, it's inconvenient to have to deal with the theft of critical and personal items, but no one else will do the legwork. That's on you, notes AP9 Privacy Matters.

So taking that first proactive step is key. And once those proverbial bootstraps have been pulled up, AP9 PrivacyMatters has some definite ideas on how to recover from theft effectively and with fewer headaches:

"Calling all cars." If theft happens, first and foremost, don't panic or get enraged. After all, what will that do? Instead, act fast and file a police report for the stolen item. And be sure to get a copy of the police report, in case the bank, credit card companies or insurance companies need proof of the crime.

Call up and cancel. Cancel all credit and charge cards, and get new account numbers. AP9 PrivacyMatters warns that victims will spend a lot of time on the phone dealing with customer service people right after a theft. So keep those phone skills sharp.

Stay in the fight. Again, no one likes to deal with being ripped off, but don't wallow in it. Instead, fight back, act fast, and make some more phone calls. Once those stolen account numbers have been canceled through the individual credit companies, call up the major credit reporting agencies and ask them to flag accounts with a "fraud alert." In case the cards have already been abused, ask those at the reporting agencies to add a "victim's statement" to build in some more protection.

Check in with the bank. Call the bank ASAP, and tell them what's happened. Have them cancel checking and savings account numbers and arrange for new ones. Also arrange for stop payments on any blank checks that might have been stolen from a purse or billfold. Cover all the bases. Thieves don't miss much.

Call the haul. Once you've dealt with all the finances, get on the phone with everybody else -- utility companies and the phone company. Tell them that someone may well try to get new service, masquerading as you.

The worst thing theft victims can do is sit around feeling sorry for themselves. It's better instead to pull up those bootstraps and fight back -- quickly, efficiently and thoroughly. And take heed of these theft-recovery tips from AP9 PrivacyMatters.


Thursday, July 26, 2007

How To Avoid Copyright Infringement

Copyright infringement is not an easy thing to explain. While it may seem as simple as not using someone else's work, it's not that easy. Thanks to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and many other organizations, we have the ability to use others' works -- as long as we use it under Fair Use laws. So what does Fair Use have to do with copyright infringement, and how can you utilize it?

Fair Use laws allow us to use a copyrighted work without having to pay someone royalties. This includes using a copyrighted work for educational or instructional uses, criticism of the work, commentaries on the work, news reporting about the work, teaching on the work (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship uses, and research. This is talked about fully in Section 107 of the Copyright Code (commonly called Fair Use) and is available for you to read at your local library.

Copyright Infringement in day-to-day life

Sometimes, if you’re writing a paper for work or school, or if you are creating a Power Point presentation, you need to use someone’s work that is already in copyright. So how do you use it without committing copyright infringement? All you have to do is ask -- the worst they can say is no, right? But, if they do say no, there are several items in the public domain which may help you to finish your project without having to commit copyright infringement.

What is the public domain, and how does it relate to copyright infringement?

Material that is not copyrighted is considered in the public domain. You cannot commit copyright infringement on works in the public domain. These works include things that the copyright has expired on, or is not copyrightable -- such as government publications, jokes, titles, and ideas. Some creators (writers, musicians, artists, and more) deliberately put their work in the public domain, without ever obtaining copyright, by providing an affiliation with Creative Commons. Creative Commons allows people who create materials to forfeit some, or all, of their copyright rights and place their work either partially or fully in the public domain.

So, how do I ensure I’m not committing copyright infringement?

First of all, if you’re going to use someone else’s material, you may want to check the public domain to see if something is suitable for use, instead of trying to use someone else’s copyright. However, if you can’t find something suitable (and you can’t create something yourself), the next best thing (and your only legal course of action) is to find a piece that is in copyright, and contacting the copyright holder.

When you contact the copyright holder, make sure you tell them what you want to use their piece for -- whether it’s for your blog, podcast, or report -- and ask if you can use it. You may have to pay royalties, or an attribution in your piece, or a combination of both. The creator may also place many limitations on when and how you can use their material. Follow all these instructions they give you, and you’ll be free and clear to use their work as you want.

Once you have permission to use a copyrighted work, you need to make sure you stay within the agreed-upon boundaries. If you veer outside their agreed terms, you may open yourself up for a copyright infringement lawsuit, which can be nasty, costly, and time consuming. If you’re in doubt, before contacting the copyright holder, contact a copyright lawyer to ensure you’re following the law -- and protect yourself!

QUESTION: If you hear a great new band, and then download a song from MySpace, is that legal or not?

ANSWER: The events of copyright infringement are not only limited by Kazaa, Morpheus, or some other file sharing peer to peer (P2P) service. If you download a song -- no matter if you’re on a website or a MySpace page -- and it isn’t coming from the artist themselves, you may want to think about downloading it. Chances are, if it’s not coming from them, you can’t have it -- unless it is under a Creative Commons License. Creative Commons gives the exact ways in which you can use the license -- and many times those are completely free and legal to download, so make sure you check if it’s under a CC License.

QUESTION: If I’m writing a paper, or article, and I want to quote another website, can I?

ANSWER: First of all, did you know the minute you write or create something, you hold the copyright to it? ESPECIALLY if you’re writing it online -- it’s very easy to track things on the Internet. So, if you’re writing a blog, all the things you’ve written (no matter good or bad) are recorded, thanks to, which lets you review last versions of your web pages.

Sometimes, we can use someone else’s work in our own, and think we’re small and anonymous. That no one will notice by the time you get it down -- you’re just “borrowing” it. Before you begin quoting anyone’s website -- from CNN to your local neighborhood hardware store -- you need to ask the person who holds the copyright if you can. Usually, they’ll let you if you attribute to them. Depending who you talk to, you’ll either have to pay royalties or license rights to republish. If you don’t ask before you quote, you’re beginning the events of copyright infringement and you are opening yourself up for a lawsuit.

For more information on copyright infringement, visit my website on Copyright Law and download my free e-book, "Copyright Basics."

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Identity Safeguards Launches Identity Theft Blog

Identity Safeguards, the leader in identity theft prevention and recovery services, has launched a new blog. Titled, Identity Theft Prevention and Recovery, and located at, the blog will discuss issues, legislation, best practices and market movements associated with the explosion of identity theft in the country.

"Consumers have been inundated by news coverage, advertisements, and various identity theft protection methods and offers. Some information is legitimately helpful, but a large majority of the information is misleading and misinformed," said Identity Safeguards president Rick Kam. "As a result, many people are unaware of the steps they need to follow if their identity is stolen or the signs they should look for to prevent identity theft. They simply do not know what to believe."

Used as a new platform to provide education and symposium to consumers and industry participants, including the latest news, technologies and identity theft protection, detection and correction tips, the blog will rely on Kam, other noted identity theft industry experts from Identity Safeguards, and members of this community.

According to a recent report from the Better Business Bureau and Javelin Research, on average over 9 million people become victims of identity theft annually. And there is a 1 in 25 chance of an individual becoming a victim of identity theft-one identity is compromised every 4 seconds.

"Identity thieves are becoming savvier and consumers must become savvier with them," said Doug Pollack, chief marketing officer at Identity Safeguards. "As a thought leader, Identity Safeguards intends for this blog to explore issues and trends in identity theft that are of interest to consumers and corporations alike."

Rick Kam is an expert on identity theft protection and has worked with large national and international associations, businesses, financial institutions and state & federal law enforcement organizations on implementation of identity theft protection services. He has been invited to speak on identity theft protection before the FBI Identity Theft Task Force, Federal Trade Commission and Better Business Bureau.

Uncle Sam Issues Patent to Female Inventor of Sassybax Shapewear

The score: Thomas Edison 1093, Sassybax founder 1. Edison holds the record for earning the most U.S. patents, but the male-dominated field of inventors has been slowly accommodating innovative women since 1809.

Today about 20 percent of inventors are female, a far cry from when Mary Dixon Keis received the first patent issued to a woman nearly 200 years ago. Keis' patented process for weaving straw with silk or thread single-handedly helped to boost the nation's hat industry in the early 1800s. Today, another female inventor's new weaving process is also giving America a boost -- this time, in the derriere.

Amanda Kennedy, founder of Sassybax shapewear, gained the status of inventor-entrepreneur this month when she received a U.S. patent for the unique knit structure she developed to incorporate into her company's leggings and bottom shapers. Woven with shaping cups to lift, round and separate the buttocks, her Sassybax Leggings and Long Leg Panty add more than a figurative boost to a woman's wardrobe. Like her novel bra line that smoothes a woman's back, these new bottom shapers flatter undercover and fall into the "Why didn't I think of that?" category of inventions.

"A flattened fanny doesn't look toned or sexy, no matter how smooth it is," explained Kennedy about the purpose behind her novel shapers. "Often women need to combat more than pantyline troubles; they need to fight gravity." Sassybax's design incorporates eight distinct knitting techniques woven on customized Santoni machines that are used in the apparel industry to manufacture seamless garments.

Sassybax's new shapers are the latest example of fashion innovations that combine complex technology with creative flair to form big business. Intimate apparel alone is a $9.6 billion industry and growing, especially since shapewear gained renewed acceptance in women's everyday wardrobes.

Kennedy admits that her creations are the result of moments of vanity and decades of a healthy interest in fashion. Her solution-driven designs appear to have also struck a chord with other women well beyond their 20s and with major retailers that carry her line. Some of her notable following includes style experts like Bobbi Brown, Lloyd Boston and Stacy London, and celebrity icons Tyra Banks, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Keira Knightley.

A year after she launched the Sassybax back-smoothing bra line in 2004, Kennedy appeared in a feature spread in Entrepreneur magazine's "Be Your Own Boss" issue. Since then, her products have appeared in Time, InStyle and O, The Oprah Magazine and on NBC's "Today" show. However, the fact that her first U.S. patent is proving to be a commercial success gives Kennedy the greatest thrill to date. "You never know when that 'ah-ha' moment is going to strike, but the key is to recognize it and try to make something tangible out of it."


Sunday, July 15, 2007

Cybercrime Drives Growth and Increased Competition in the Global Anti-Malware Market

The global anti-malware market is driven by cybercriminal threats. Growth opportunities have led to intensified competition in both consumer and enterprise segments. Specialization, diversification and innovative channel marketing can help established vendors grow.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (, World Anti-Malware Products Markets, finds that the world market for antivirus solutions reached $4,685 million in 2006, up 17.1 per cent from $4,000.7 million in the previous year and expects this market to grow at a 10.9 per cent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2006 to 2013, reaching $9,689.7 million by 2013.

The commercialisation of cybercrime is spurring malware-writing activity and leading to more threats of this nature. In the consumer space, this translates into identity theft and stolen passwords. On the other hand, loss of intellectual property and customer data coupled with extortion with the threat of taking down Web sites or revealing sensitive information are on the rise in the enterprise space.

"Cybercrime is now amongst the most important revenue sectors for global organized crime", says Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst Katie Gotzen. Because of this, the potential risks associated with malware have risen dramatically.

"Malware attacks are today in the hands of professional criminals, whose goal is to create revenue. This explains why attacks today are targeted. In the consumer space, this translates to identity theft and stolen passwords. In the enterprise space, loss of intellectual property and customer data, as well as extortion with the threat of taking down websites or revealing sensitive information, are on the rise." End-users' awareness of the increased threat level is driving the anti-malware market.

The increased number and severity of malware attacks have created significant growth opportunities in the anti-malware industry. This has led to intensified competition in both the consumer and enterprise segments.

"In the consumer market, Microsoft's entry has driven prices down and has led the traditional heavyweights to rethink their strategies," says Gotzen. "In the enterprise space, non-security players are developing a presence in the market."

"Best-of-breed specialisation, diversification or carving out a niche are valid strategies in today's enterprise anti-malware market," states Gotzen. "In the consumer market, ISPs are emerging as the new channel battleground for vendors."

If you are interested in a virtual brochure, which provides manufacturers, end users and other industry participants with an overview of the World Anti-Malware Products Markets, send an e-mail to Joanna Lewandowska - Corporate Communications at with your full name, company name, title, telephone number, e-mail address, city, state and country.

Federal Court Denies Motion to Stay Webcasting Royalty Decision

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit yesterday denied all motions to stay any aspect of the ruling by the Copyright Royalty Judges (CRJs) on the new rates webcasters are required to pay recording artists and record labels. SoundExchange is pleased that, for the second time, the original decision by the CRJs is left to stand on its merits, and this time by a completely independent judicial body. While the general appeal will still proceed in due course, yesterday's ruling means that recording artists and content owners can move forward confident that they will receive fair pay for their hard work in producing music for all to enjoy.

Congress, with the near unanimous support of the webcasting industry, established the CRJs in 2004. Three independent judges -- with expertise in copyright, economics and law -- met for 18 months, heard exhaustive testimony from all sides and set fair rates of compensation for those who make the music and those who use it. "The court's decision is a reminder of the extremely thorough and thoughtful process by which the new royalty rates were set," said Michael Huppe, General Counsel of SoundExchange. "While the overall appeal will still proceed, yesterday's ruling is yet another indication by an independent judicial body that the original decision is sound," added Huppe.

While this decision fully validates the rates set by the CRJs, SoundExchange is mindful of the need to nurture the growth of the Internet radio industry. That is why SoundExchange has offered to extend 1998-era below market rates to small commercial webcasters, and to keep rates at 2003 levels for thousands of non-commercial webcasters. This would mean that the vast majority of Internet services would have no rate increase of any kind from 1998-2010. Additionally, SoundExchange is in active negotiations with the Digital Media Association and others with respect to a cap on minimum fees.

For additional information please visit

Friday, July 13, 2007

Blackboard Unveils Plagiarism Prevention Service

Blackboard Inc., a leading provider of educational enterprise software and services, unveiled a new plagiarism prevention service, SafeAssign. This new service helps prevent plagiarism by detecting unoriginal content in student papers and delivering reports within the Blackboard Learning System. SafeAssign empowers faculty and students to protect the originality of work, as well as creates an opportunity to educate students on the importance of proper attribution and citation.
It is currently available at no additional cost to all enterprise licensees of the Blackboard Learning System.

The topic of plagiarism has gained significant attention in recent years with several high profile incidents reported on college campuses and the proliferation of web-based "paper mills." In addition to those who admit cheating, many students are simply unsure of what plagiarism is and if and when they are cheating. Through SafeAssign, Blackboard helps its clients educate students on the importance of academic integrity and attribution.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Copyright Infringement in Plain English

As you’re creating something, you may wonder what copyright infringement actually is. It’s necessary, if you’re creating a work -- albeit written, musical, videos, software or some other form -- that you know the definition of copyright infringement. This issue is very complicated, and not very easily spelled out in plain English.

Copyright infringement is defined by the jurisdiction -- the United States of America has different copyright laws than the United Kingdom, or Australia, or Russia, or even China. Because of this fact, you should first, before anything else, check the laws in your jurisdiction (country, city and province) before using something that isnt in the public domain.

For our definition of copyright infringement, works in the public domain arent copyrightable. Works that arent copyrightable include ideas, works that arent eligible (150 years-old documents, or older -- think Beethoven and Frankenstein), data that isnt categorized in a creative way (this could be a database, such as a phone book or other publicly-accessible data), or items that the owners have specified creative commons copyrights.

As you can see, copyright law is rather complicated. gives us the definition of copyright infringement as: Copyright infringement (or copyright violation) is the unauthorized use of material that is protected by intellectual property rights law particularly the copyright in a manner that violates one of the original copyright owner's exclusive rights, such as the right to reproduce or perform the copyrighted work, or to make derivative works that build upon it. The slang term bootleg (derived from the use of the shank of a boot for the purposes of smuggling) is often used to describe illicitly copied material.

Our definition of copyright infringement includes the works of creative commons. Creative commons is an organization that allows for the copyright author to determine the uses available for people who want to use their works -- for such items as for audio, images, video, text, educational materials, and software. It allows for the copyright owner to allow people to use their works for non-commercial, commercial, no derivatives, share alike, or just by giving attribution. Creative Commons is a license granted by the copyright holder, and can be used in both online (electronic Internet) works and offline works.

There are many places you can go to get a definition of copyright infringement. The most reliable definition of copyright infringement would be from your local copyright lawyer -- they will know exactly what in your jurisdiction is legal or not, and how you can use other peoples works or protect your own.

The real definition of copyright infringement comes from your jurisdictions statutes. In the United States of America, our jurisdictions copyright laws are contained in Title 17 of the United States Code, §501 - §513. You can also find a definition of copyright infringement through such organizations such as the European Union or World Trade Organizations.

Source: Definition of Copyright Infringement

Saturday, July 7, 2007

All About Copyright Lawyers

Copyright lawyers deal with many different subjects such as Internet law, intellectual property, patents and trademarks, and of course, your copyright laws. Each lawyer has attended school for some time to get a degree to help you, which means they know more about the law than you do.

Some mistakes website owners make is when they buy articles online; many times a buyer assumes they have full copyright. This isnt always the case, depending on the agreement of ownership. To make sure you dont fall into this trap, you should have a lawyer create a contract before you hand over any money; this way you know for sure if you have full ownership or if the writer does. You have three different categories you may purchase an article: usage, full, and unique. A copyright lawyer will explain exactly what each one means. Usage means the buyer gets to use the article one time, but the writer can use it again or resell it. Full rights will give the buyer all rights; they can even place their name on the article, saying they wrote it.

A copyright lawyer will never tell you that you dont have to register your copyright; in fact they will encourage you to do it. Sure, they get money to do it for you, but you will have documented proof of your copyright ownership. If you dont file it, you cant sue if someone uses your information.

A copyright lawyer is not cheap. Most copyright lawyers will have special discounts on packages, which mean you can get a lot more than what you originally walked in for. Usually your lawyer will even advise you of things you didnt even have knowledge about.

A copyright lawyer can help you better understand the laws of the virtual world, as well as the real world. Every day someone new is getting sued over content on the Internet. It can be as simple as someone stealing an article, quote, song or a picture. A big issue is using another companys name in your tags to get the search engines to rank you higher. Other issues may be with bloggers today. Be careful with what you say about your places of business; not only could you get in trouble for any copyrighting issues but slander is another big issue.

Many people only look for a copyright lawyer when they want to copyright something or sue someone, but they normally don't think about hiring a copyright lawyer when they are being sued. This is definitely the person you want on the job defending you if the time comes. Before you hire a copyright lawyer, if you have any other questions call them up and ask them. Lawyers love to give advice, especially if they think youll be hiring them.

More info.: Copyright Lawyers

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Cyber Criminals Rely On Mind Games To Scam Internet Users

McAfee, Inc. released the results of a groundbreaking study that details the psychological games and other tactics cyber criminals use in social engineering scams propagated through junk email. In the study titled "Mind Games," the primary author, Dr. James Blascovich, Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, offers analyses of multiple common scam emails and provides surprising insights into how cyber criminals use fear, greed and lust to methodically steal personal and proprietary financial information.

The same psychological practices used by cyber criminals were also investigated in a European report, commissioned by McAfee(R) in association with leading forensic psychologist, Professor Clive Hollin, based at University of Leicester in the United Kingdom.

"Scam spam works best by providing recipients with a sense of familiarity and legitimacy, either by creating the illusion that the email is from a friend or colleague, or providing plausible warnings from a respected institution," Dr. Blascovich noted. "Once the victim opens the email, criminals use two basic motivational processes, approach and avoidance, or a combination of the two, to persuade victims to click on dangerous links, provide personal information, or download risky files. By scamming $20 from just half of one percent of the U.S. population, cyber criminals can earn $15 million each day and nearly $5.5 billion in a year, a powerful attraction for skillful scam artists."

An important key to the crooks' success is familiarity. One example is phishing scams which fraudulently acquire sensitive information, such as usernames, passwords, and financial data, by masquerading as a familiar or nationally recognized bank, credit card company or even an online auction site. Recently, McAfee Avert(R) Labs found that the number of phishing Web sites increased by 784 percent in the first half of 2007.

Popular sites are also increasingly victimized. In December of 2006, cyber criminals targeted MySpace and used a worm to convert legitimate links to those that lured consumers to a phishing site designed specifically to obtain personal information.

"Along with the alarming increase in phishing emails, we are also seeing more sophisticated messages that can fool all but the most highly trained surfer," said David Marcus, security research and communications manager, McAfee Avert Labs. "While earlier phishing emails often included typos, awkward language and minor graphical mistakes, newer scams appear to be more legitimate, with slicker graphics and copy that closely mirrors the language used by respected institutions."

In addition to tactics that build on familiarity to create the illusion of legitimacy, phishing scams also target consumers with fear tactics, such as through subject lines like "Urgent Security Notification" and "Your billing account records are out of date." Other lures, such as "Must Complete and Submit" or "You Are Missing Out," are less blatant but similarly trick users into thinking that without a specific action on their part, they're going to lose out.

Dr. Blascovich also reports on a category of scam emails that target consumers who are promotion focused (want to "get ahead") and/or capitalize on consumers' greed. These messages have such subject lines as "You Won" to entice consumers into thinking they may have won a lottery or sweepstakes, "90% discounts" to trick consumers into thinking they are getting great promotional pricing, or "You Are Approved" to target consumers who need a loan or have money woes.

Yet another popular lure involves messages that play on feelings of love and loss. A subject like "Why spend another week lonely?" works by preying on the sensitivities of those feeling vulnerable. And finally, there's the voice- of-authority approach: "Attention! Several Credit Card databases have been LOST" and others like it are designed to make consumers feel a sense of urgency and obligation.

Additional in-depth information on top phishing scams and security threats is available at the McAfee Threat Center at

The "Mind Games," report is available online at

Two Convicted of Selling $6 Million Worth of Counterfeit Software on eBay

Two more defendants pleaded guilty in Milwaukee to charges of criminal copyright infringement as a result of their selling counterfeit software on eBay.

Robert Koster of Jonesboro, Ark., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge J.P. Stadtmueller, and Yutaka Yamamoto of Pico Rivera, Calif., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman, to selling counterfeit Rockwell Automation computer software over the Internet. The software sold by the two defendants had a combined retail value of almost $6 million. Each defendant faces up to five years in prison, a fine of $250,000, and three years of supervised release. The defendants will be sentenced before Judge Stadtmueller in November 2007 along with four additional defendants who previously pleaded guilty in Milwaukee on April 26, 2007.

Rockwell Automation Inc. is a global provider of automation, power, control and information solutions. It produces, among other things, specialized factory management software. The majority of the software applications sold by these defendants on eBay had retail prices ranging from approximately $900 to $11,300. Rockwell Automation owns the registered copyrights to all Rockwell/Allen Bradley software and the copyright on the product's packaging.

Koster admitted that from Sept. 4, 2003, through Sept. 14, 2004, he initiated 105 or more separate online auctions in which he sold copies of Rockwell Automation software on eBay for a personal profit exceeding $23,000. The actual retail value of this software was more than $5 million.

Yamamoto admitted that from Dec. 7, 2003, through Aug. 12, 2004, he initiated 92 or more separate online auctions in which he sold Rockwell Automation software on eBay for a personal profit exceeding $6,000. The actual retail value of this software was approximately $543,000.

Today's pleas bring the total number of felony convictions involving the eBay auction sales of counterfeit Rockwell Automation software to nine. In addition to six pleas in Wisconsin, there have been two convictions in the Eastern District of Michigan and another in the Southern District of Indiana. The combined retail value of the counterfeit software in all nine prosecutions is approximately $30 million.

Online auction sales of counterfeit and pirated goods have increased exponentially in recent years, causing significant losses to the copyright and trademark industries. The Department of Justice's initiative to combat online auction piracy is just one of several steps being undertaken to address these losses and hold responsible those defendants engaged in criminal copyright infringement.

These cases were investigated by the FBI's Milwaukee Field Office. Trial attorney Matthew J. Bassiur of the Criminal Division's Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen A. Ingraham for the Eastern District of Wisconsin prosecuted these cases on behalf of the government.