Sunday, August 31, 2008, New Student Research Web 2.0 Controversy

Most everyone agrees that the Internet has been the biggest boom to research and information sharing since the invention of the printing press. But a new website is being accused of pushing students to plagiarize, although it is no different from the sites mentioned above.

A recent editorial by a news contributor on, Josh Chandler writes " is the unethical money scheme for students".

You be the judge, is this statement justified? The leadership of describes the website in the statement as follows: Students spend countless hours researching and writing, it has always been done for education and a degree. Now that effort is being turned in to spending money.

The launch of a new Student community website allows students to publish their papers, while maintaining full ownership of their work.

Until now, students wrote a paper or essay, turned it in for grading, it sat on their computer hard drive until that hard drive crashed. Students would say "Well, it stinks, but I got the grade, and I graduated". Now students can archive their work, share it with other students, and earn some serious gas money.

The writing that High School and College students do can now act as an annuity that pays them for life. "The work students do is more than busy work, it's valuable research that can be used by students and teachers alike year after year" says Co-Founder of, Richard Wohl. "Our student community allows students to archive their work, not only is the service free, but they get paid a share of the advertising revenue generated by their work".

Modeled after some very successful self-publishing websites, is specifically geared to College and High School Students. "Covering hundreds of subjects and growing daily, our indexed and searchable database is written to make the most of search engine technology, as more students participate in, the amount of information will give our website an incredible amount of unpublished, unique content." One technology advantage over other similar sites, allows users to upload directly from a Word Documents, no retyping needed. Although an advances text editor is available to edit or add to existing documents. also allows students to add unlimited pictures and video to their research. The site still in beta testing is open to all High School and College students in the United States. protects students from being plagiarized by quickly indexing their work, this allows the tools currently in use by Universities around the country to insure content turned in is unique.

Currently PayPerz is working with cost-per-action advertisers in order to protect it's partners from click fraud. and it's student publishers only get paid when a click leads to an action. This helps PayPerz to ensure it keeps its advertisers happy, it discourages community members from clicking for the sake of clicking. The real value of the site is in the un-indexed research and information it will provide.

Once out of Beta, will be paying it's top student publisher a $5000 cash prize, now that's some serious college spending money.

For Additional information visit:

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Florida Man Sentenced to Prison and Ordered to Pay $415,900 in Restitution for Selling Pirated Video Game Systems

Kifah Maswadi, 24, of Oakland, Fla., was sentenced today to 15 months in prison for selling pirated video game systems, Acting Assistant Attorney General Matthew Friedrich and U.S. Attorney Chuck Rosenberg of the Eastern District of Virginia announced. In addition to the prison sentence, Maswadi was ordered to pay $415,900 in restitution for criminal copyright infringement by U.S. District Judge T. S. Ellis III in the Eastern District of Virginia.

Maswadi previously pleaded guilty on June 3, 2008, to a one-count indictment for criminal copyright infringement, after being indicted on Jan. 24, 2008. Maswadi admitted to selling "Power Player" handheld game consoles that were pre-loaded with at least 76 pirated copies of copyright protected video games, most of which were owned by Nintendo and Nintendo's licensees. Maswadi also admitted that from 2006 through 2007, he sold the game consoles and pirated games to customers in the Eastern District of Virginia and elsewhere through several Web sites he operated. Records showed that Maswadi's sales of the pirated game units exceeded $390,000.

In addition to the 15 month prison term and restitution order, Maswadi was ordered to serve three years of supervised release and to perform 50 hours of community service, which includes educating the public on the perils of criminal copyright infringement.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay V. Prabhu and Trial Attorney Tyler G. Newby of the Criminal Division's Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section. The case was investigated by Special Agent Greg Ryman of the FBI's Washington Field Office. Assistance in the investigation was provided by the Entertainment Software Association.

Friday, August 29, 2008

What Is Music Copyright Law?

With the popularity of the Internet, many people are violating music copyright law and do not even know it. Music copyright law can be very tricky. There are multiple music copyrights that you must keep in mind – lyrics, composition and the recording of the music by an artist. Using someone’s music may involve you acquiring many different licenses such as mechanical, synchronization, performance and publishing licenses.

Music copyright law has separate copyrights for the vocal or instrumental recordings of a composition or performance and the copyright of the written lyrics and music. Standard music copyrighting practices usually entail that the writer of the song retains the rights to the right to the music composition which the studio that did the recording of the music holds the rights of the recording. Music copyright law can get very complicated. It can involve negotiations with the writers, producers, agents, heirs and more.

Many artists and studios are upset with the decline in music sales. They are attributing this decline to people who are violating copyright laws by downloading music on the Internet. Music files are under the same copyright law as music recordings and the owners of these copyrights are entitled to royalties or compensation for the music that people are illegally downloading on the Internet.

The simple fact is you are stealing if you make copies of copyrighted music recordings without authorization. If people were sued for the music they had downloaded illegally, it could result in thousands of dollars. Music copyright law states that it is illegal to duplicate and distribute creative work. If you send someone an email with a song that you have illegally downloaded on the Internet, you could be in for some serious trouble. To put it bluntly and plainly, if you download (or upload) music that is copyrighted without permission, you are breaking the law.

Many people violate music copyright law and do not even understand how their actions are criminal. If you purchase a music CD you can make a copy of it for yourself on your MP3. However, if you then use that recording and put it on your website or blog and make it available for everyone to download, you are performing an illegal act. Even if you join a site and pay a fee to download music, you are in violation of music copyright law.

This may sound like something that would never come back to haunt you. After all, if you were caught, it would be a first time offense, right? Well, you should know that there have been first time offenders who have been fined up to $250,000 and up to five years in jail for violating music copyright law. It is so much easier to go out and pay 20 bucks for a CD.

Whether you are uploading music or downloading music, educate yourself on music copyright law. No one wants to ruin their financial future and face jail time. Enjoy music, just do it the right way!

About The Author
Richard Cunningham is a freelance journalist who covers copyright law for Download his free e-book, "Copyright Basics" at

Thursday, August 28, 2008 Auctions Continues to Build Trust in its Marketplace, Inc. announced it has been dismissed from a recently filed lawsuit alleging patent infringement. The suit, brought by Transauction LLC against and four other internet auction companies, alleged infringement based on's use of a third party's auction bonding services on the auction site (

These bonding services provided a means for auction sellers to bond for their performance in auctions conducted on's site. The plaintiff dismissed the suit when's bonding service provider resolved concerns with the plaintiff.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Tips for Students to Protect Their Personal Data and Identity Online

More than 18 million college students will head back to school this fall and nearly every one of them owns a personal computer. Unfortunately, many of these students will learn a number of hard lessons: Data loss and hackers, like midterms, are inescapable. Human error, software corruption, malware infections or theft, will be just a few of the reasons that many students will lose valuable data in the coming semester and underscore the need to protect both computers and content.

College students spend an average of 18 hours a week online completing activities for school, work, and recreation, according to a 2007 study by EDUCAUSE. According to a survey from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 64 percent of online teens have spent time creating content on the Internet including photos, video, stories, artwork, songs or music. Spending so much time in the digital world makes students vulnerable to the growing number of online security threats that not only steal passwords but can also destroy valuable files such as personal financial information or school assignments.

According to technology industry research, an estimated five percent of "trusted" web sites have some sort of threat associated with them like adware and malicious spyware. Even well known sites such as Wikipedia, Google and Facebook have been known to inadvertently host malicious content. Webroot research has shown that up to 46 percent of PC users have permanently lost data; 20 percent in the last year alone. In spite of this, a recent study from the Consumer Electronics Association found that nearly one in three PC users still don't see the need to back up their files, while nearly a quarter won't back them up because it's ‘too time consuming'.

To help students returning to school this year, Webroot has created an easy list of tips to follow that can dramatically improve online security.

Online Security Tips for Students

Regularly Back Up Data
Everyone knows this and has heard it numerous times. But the "hassle-factor" of remembering to do it, getting and organizing all the CDs, or buying and configuring a hard-drive makes it complex and difficult. Fortunately there are new, very convenient, simple ways to do what everyone knows they should be doing. Using an online data backup solution, students can protect their important school work, digital photos, music and any other files from damage or loss – automatically - and access it anywhere. Some online backup solutions can store data on appliances or CDs as well. Students can also easily share links to files rather than send large e-mail attachments. Doing all of this while automatically running in the background make backup both convenient and easy.

Use a Firewall and Regularly Updated Antispyware and Antivirus Programs
Run updated versions of best-of-breed antispyware and antivirus solutions and scan the entire system at least once a week. To help students identify existing threats their computers may already harbor, Webroot offers a free computer scan to check for spyware, viruses and other threatening forms of malware. Students can visit to run a complete, deep scan of their system.

Multiple Computers
While nearly all college students have their own computers, many still use on-campus computer labs that have multiple users accessing each machine. When using one of these computers students need to be careful what information they enter into these machines because it may be infected with malware that can steal passwords or other personal data. It is also extremely important to be careful when using a roommate's computer, and even more critical to allow personal computer access only to known and trusted classmates who are unlikely to inadvertently download malware.

Do Not Open Executable Programs
Cyber criminals often try to entice users to download executable programs (files ending in .exe) with special offers or cheat codes for games, etc. By downloading these programs, users open their computer to different types of spyware and viruses that can capture personal data such as passwords and/or account numbers.

Protect Account Information
Sharing valuable account information, like passwords, increases the risk of identity theft. Students who are asked to do so as a means to move ahead in an online game, share online music or access a social network account should be aware of this risk.

Create and Change Unique Passwords
Creating a unique password and/or user name for each online account using a minimum of eight characters mixed between numbers and letters

Protect your Personal Data
Never share personal information online with strangers. According to research from the Carnegie Mellon Institute, hackers can identify 87 percent all people in North America by knowing just their gender, zip code and birth date. Use a "bleaching software" application to erase all trace of Web usage including cookies, user IDs and passwords.


Saturday, August 23, 2008

Copyright Service Makes It Easy to Protect Your Photos, Music, Text and Software

Creators of original works have long asked "How can one prove & protect the copyright on text, pictures, music, artwork and more?"

A web based service from helps both companies and individuals do just that.

In all of Europe, Australia and the US, copyright exists the moment something original is made, the problem arises when the original authors work is infringed and the author has to prove that copyright originated with him.

That problem has been solved by the team behind ProveMyCopyright offers independent, third-party verification of claims of copyright.

Creators of original copyrightable material such as text, photographs, music, software code, manuscripts etc. upload material to their account and digitally fingerprints and timestamps it. A digital certificate verifying the claim of copyright can then be used as independent evidence if copyright ownership is challenged. This established principle of copyright is used in over 160 countries.

Unique benefits include:

A 1Gb account that allows uploading of drafts so allowing instant protection.

An account lifetime which registers copyright for a minimum of 11 years.

Secure remote hosting of files in case of damage to a local computer.

Instant notification of copyright registration.

Free retrieval of material.

The service is currently available in 5 currencies, GBP, USD, EUR, AUD and SEK.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Protecting Your Intellectual Property

If you are a small business owner with an idea, an invention or a new product, you need to decide whether or not to create a proactive intellectual property strategy.

What is Intellectual Property? It is any creation of the mind and includes literary and artistic work, inventions as well as symbols, names and images. It also includes any designs you use in conducting your business.

There are two categories of Intellectual Property. The first, Industrial Property, includes industrial designs (and geographic source designations), inventions (patents) and trademarks.

The types of Trademarks are: Trademark, Service Mark, Collective Mark, Collective Membership Mark, and Certification Mark.

The second category is Copyright which includes literary and artistic works. Copyright protects the authors of novels, poetry, films and plays and composers of musical works. However, copyright also protects artists of paintings or drawings, photographers, even sculptors or architects who have designed specific buildings. Protection of Copyright is also extended to performing artists regarding their performances and producers of television and radio programs.

When Should You Think About Protecting Your IP Rights?

Intellectual Property has become big business -- and protecting yours can add considerable value to your company somewhere down the road.

You should think about applying for the appropriate protections if...

*you're even considering going global at some point

*if you will be manufacturing your products in another country

*if your business name, tagline, logo or other work is a key component of your business, your brand or your operational strategy

*if your product is something that is easily pirated and could be manufactured in countries that are known for pirating

Many business owners think they should wait until their business is established and they know that it's going to succeed before deciding to go ahead with IP protection. However, according to the top IP attorneys, that's a mistake that can be more costly in the long run. It's easier and cheaper to protect your rights in the beginning than it is to be involved in a lengthy and expensive court case, trying to reclaim what is yours, or defend against an infringement claim.

Another reason many business owners wait is because international IP laws are often unclear, and the laws themselves change often. And there are differences in trademark systems in the U.S. and other countries. In the U.S., the system is based on use, not registration, but many other countries have registration-based systems.

However, thanks to the Madrid Protocol, the process of protecting trademarks has been streamlined and can save you up to 65% of the filing costs.

Before the Madrid Protocol, you were required to file separate applications for each country. Now, you can file for many with one application.

Another problem faced by entrepreneurs is that there is a time limit -- 12 months in fact, to file for international IP rights after applying for a trademark or patent in the U.S.

If you want to protect your Intellectual Property, and increase the long-term value of your business, consult a reputable IP attorney now. Don't wait until it's too late.

(C) Research Copyright

Rodney Dangerfield's Widow and Daughter Settle Copyright Dispute

Rodney Dangerfield's widow Joan Dangerfield, and his daughter Melanie Roy-Friedman, have settled a copyright dispute regarding the legendary comedian's one-hour Las Vegas act.

Patricia Glaser, Mrs. Dangerfield's attorney, said, "All copyrights to Rodney Dangerfield's act are held by Joan Dangerfield who owns all of her late husband's intellectual property."

Roy-Friedman stated, "Joan is very committed to furthering my father's legacy. He said that he loved her deeply and thought that she was the nicest person in the world."

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Controversial DVD Copy Software Website Reborn

What ever happened 321 Studios' DVDXCopy? DVD X Copy was the DVD copy software that started it all and was eventually banned for sale by the Hollywood studios. This infamous product line, created by 321 Studios, was the first mainstream DVD burning software program that enabled novice computer users to copy any DVD movie. If you run a Google search on "DVD X Copy" or "321 Studios", you will find dozens of news articles that chronicled the rise and fall of 321 Studios.

Many of these articles are still posted at the website. Prior to the creation of this product line, DVD copying was a relatively difficult process and outside of the reach of the average consumer. This difficulty was related to the fact that most commercial DVD movies include Content Scrambling System (CSS), a copy-protection technology designed to prevent movies from being copied. DVD X Copy included the "ripping" technology required to decrypt the CSS copy protection mechanism on commercial DVD movie discs. Additionally, the company was able to create a DVD copying software program that handled the complex processes of copying, transcoding, compressing and burning digital video content onto a blank DVDR disc in one easy point-and-click program. These products were highly popular and sold in all major global retail channels and online via the company's website and "in terms of retail sales, DVD X Copy Platinum remains the best dvd copy software of all time."

The company was established in 1999 in St. Charles, Mo. and almost since its inception, 321 Studios was hampered by controversy. Although these DVD burning products were highly popular with consumers, the major Hollywood studios claimed that DVDXCopy violated copyright rights. Anticipating a lawsuit, the company filed a pre-emptive complaint in April of 2002 against eight Hollywood studios. 321 Studios contended that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA", a law that prohibits the circumvention of CSS copy protection technology) violated consumer's Fair Use rights as described in Copyright Act of 1976 under the doctrine of "Fair Use". Specifically, the Fair Use provision gives individuals limited rights to copy certain types of copyrighted material.

In May of 2003, seven of the Hollywood studios counter-sued 321 Studios, claiming that these DVD copy programs violated the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. In the end (on February 23, 2004) Judge Susan Illston of the Northern District Federal Court for California ruled that these DVD software products violated the DMCA and ordered an injunction that stopped the sale of DVD X Copy products in the United States. The company proceeded to remove all products from the US retail stores and from the company's official website. The ruling caused the company to shut down with the 321 Studios finally ceasing all operations in August of 2004.

Similar to the way the legal "death" of music downloading website Napster spawned the creation of dozens of new file sharing sites, the death of DVD X Copy has spawned the creation of dozens of new DVD backup and DVD burning software programs. There are several mainstream software products that claim to copy copy-protected movies but most do not include a CSS ripper. The 321 Studios ruling forced DVD copy software publishers to remove CSS rippers from their programs. Now consumers need to take the additional step of making a one-time download and installation of one of the many public-domain third party rippers available on the Internet. In terms of pure one-click DVD copying software products, literally dozens of programs have emerged as potential alternatives to DVD X Copy. Some of these software programs include DVD next Copy, 1 Click DVD Copy, DVD Cloner, DVDFab Platinum, ICopyDVDs2, CloneDVD and many more. Of these products, only two have emerged as true successors to DVDXCopy: DVD next Copy and 1Click DVD Copy.

One thing is for certain: DVD X Copy is gone forever. Once the world's most popular Internet destination for buying the blockbuster DVD X Copy product line, the website has now been reborn as the leading reviewer of new DVD copy software programs. One note of caution to consumers: per the website, there are no authentic copies of 321 Studios DVDXCopy software products available in the market. Because of DVDXCopy's popularity and continued brand recognition (even 5 years after the company closed), some consumers are still being tricked into buying old and/or crack versions of these DVD software products. Per 321 Studios, these programs are cracks, are not supported and will not work with Microsoft Vista no matter what claims or guarantees are provided by the sellers. If you are looking for an alternative to DVD X Copy Platinum, all of the industry's top rated DVD copy software programs are listed, ranked and compared side-by-side here: best DVD burning software.


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Lucasfilm Ltd. Wins Copyright Infringement Case in British High Court

A High Court judge here today found that British firm Shepperton Design Studios and its principal, Andrew Ainsworth, violated the U.S. copyrights of Lucasfilm Ltd. by making and selling pirated Star Wars Stormtrooper helmets and other costume replicas.

Today's ruling by Mr Justice Mann in the High Court of Justice, Chancery Division, affirmed that Lucasfilm is the sole owner of all rights to the iconic costume designs.

The court held that Ainsworth infringed Lucasfilm's rights when he reproduced the Stormtrooper helmet replicas and sold them under a false claim that he had created the designs, which were used in 1977's Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope. Ainsworth was a plastics manufacturer who was hired in 1976 to reproduce designs created by a team of Lucasfilm artists, including costume designer John Mollo, who won an Academy Award for his work on the film.

The court found that the factual claims made by Ainsworth and his company were neither accurate nor reliable, and rejected his counterclaims seeking a share of the profits from the films.

Lucasfilm brought the case to the British High Court following a 2006 judgment by a California court awarding Lucasfilm $20 million in damages resulting from Ainsworth's activities. The British court held that it could apply U.S. law to the matter and ruled in Lucasfilm's favor on the merits of the infringement case.

The court also held that Ainsworth infringed Lucasfilm's rights under UK copyright laws, but that a UK-specific law that limits the enforcement of copyrights in industrial designs applied to the facts in the case. Lucasfilm is considering whether to appeal the legal finding under the UK industrial design law.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Video Service to Accompany Copyright-Free Content

ARAnet, Inc., an innovator in delivering copyright-free feature articles to newspapers and Web publishers, is expanding the breadth of its content with the launch of a video distribution service.

ARAnet clients can now distribute informational videos to complement their online articles. Videos will appear in tandem with their companion articles on select ARA partner sites. The video distribution service will be free to clients in conjunction with any standard article campaign until Oct. 31, 2008, Severson says. Videos will be how-to in nature, offering informative, educational experience for viewers, who will perceive the videos as an organic extension of the article.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Identity Theft 101: Removing the Target from College Students

According to various studies, including the FTC complaint study, the 18-29-year-old age bracket continues to account for almost 30% of all identity theft complaints. Nowadays, it's not enough to send your college freshman to school with a laptop, cell phone, books and clean clothes. A cross-cut shredder and a locking box large enough to hold a laptop, loaded with current computer security software, are equally important. These protective measures, while seemingly insignificant, are critical steps in protecting your teen's belongings and personal identifying information.

It is also vital to arm them with information about identity theft, scams and other rip-offs they might encounter while living on their own for the first time. The Identity Theft Resource Center offers these tips for college students of all ages. Many of them can be found at the "Teen Space" on the ITRC website: .

-- Keep your Social Security card and number in a locked safe place. Do not carry it with you. Don't share it with anyone without knowing why they need it. Most schools now use a student identification number instead of the SSN. Parents, please note: This may be one factor to consider when choosing a college.

-- Store your laptop in a locking security box when you are not in the room and do not have it with you.

-- Use your home address as the permanent mailing address rather than a temporary address used while in school. This will lessen the complications of multiple addresses. Dorm and apartment mailboxes are not always locked and are easily accessible by people who do not have your best interest in mind.

-- Obtain and use a credit card and NOT a debit card. Credit cards may be pre-paid or have a low limit, if you so choose. Debit cards are targets for identity thieves. Check your monthly statements as they come in and look for unexplained expenses.

-- Never supply a phone, in your name, to someone else, i.e. a friend or roommate. The reason they cannot get a phone is probably because they have bad credit to start in the first place. The chances of being paid back are slim.

-- Never loan a credit or debit card to a friend. Again, the reason they cannot get a card is probably because they have bad credit. Co-signing for any cell phone, utility account, car loan or credit card puts you at major, unwarranted risk.

-- Never loan your driver's license or identification card to anyone. They could use it as an ID card when stopped by the police and you will be listed as the offender.

-- Once you have established credit, check your credit report annually using the program. The reports are free. If you have never established credit, you will be told there is no report. If there is a report, check it out and make sure that none of the information is a result of fraudulent activity.

-- Parents: Talk with your college-bound student about blogging, scams, and tricks con artists use to get Social Security numbers, bank account or credit account numbers and other private information including date and county of birth. Identity thieves could use this information to create a new identity or steal using the information given to them.

"All parents with teens or college-bound young adults need to make sure that their teens understand identity theft," encourages Rex Davis, ITRC Operations Director and a parent of two. "I sent my kids to college to help them with their futures. I would be remiss if I failed to educate them about the fastest growing crime today. A college degree doesn't mean much if an identity thief has put your child's credit score in the garbage and affected their ability to get credit or a job."

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Resume Falsifications On the Rise

Resume falsifications are on the rise, including some outrageous resume lies, according to internal company data from Accu-Screen, Inc.

Accu-Screen, a leader in employment background screening, has kept records for 14 years on resume falsification data and has noticed "spikes" correlating with economic downturns and weak labor markets. Moreover, according to company data, 43% of all resumes and job applications contain falsifications. This statistic challenges the findings of many industry studies which place the falsification rate at one-third or less of resumes and job applications.

"We're seeing that the problem is bigger than has been previously reported," says Kevin Connell, chief executive officer and founder of Accu-Screen. "We're also seeing an increase across the board on the most common incidences of lying on resumes."

Accu-Screen publishes an annual "Outrageous Resume Lies" report and distributes it free of charge for interested employers. Connell was recently interviewed on ABC News Now on this topic and offered examples of the worst of resumes lies. Both the outrageous lies and the banal most often involve these key pieces of information:

- Dates of employment
- Job title (inflated rank)
- Criminal records
- Salary level
- Education (e.g. bogus degrees from diploma "mills")
- Professional license (e.g. MD, RN, CPA, etc.)
- "Ghost" company (self-owned business)

"One and a half million college students have been recently unleashed into the job market, many of them are still looking for jobs," continues Connell. Connell worries that the recent increase in unemployment figures combined with a weakening economy will prove to be leading indicators of even more resume falsifications. Job seekers eager to stand out and gain an undeserved competitive edge should take heed.

"We want to get the word out to employers and job-seekers," says Connell. "Employers need to be especially vigilant during these periods. Job seekers must know that more employers than ever use rigorous background screening procedures to vet the information contained on their resume."

To view the ABC News Now interview, to download the "Top Seven Resume Lies" report, or to receive the "Outrageous Resume Lies" report, visit Accu-Screen at

Sunday, August 3, 2008

eBay Software Pirate Sentenced to 48 Months in Prison

The increasingly high-stakes fight to stop the sale of pirated software on Internet auction sites reached a new milestone today with the sentencing of Jeremiah Mondello to 48 months in federal prison, three years supervised release following jail time, and 150 hours of community service per year. Further, Mondello's personal computers and 220K in cash were seized as part of the sentencing mandates.

The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), which initiated the action against the notorious eBay pirate, also announced six new lawsuits against sellers of illegal software on auction sites.

With the new cases announced today, SIIA has filed 32 lawsuits in 2008 as part of its ramped-up effort to stop the illegal sale of software online. Through its aggressive Auction Litigation Program, SIIA filed nine lawsuits in February, eight in March, nine in May and six today. Each of the new suits was filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of California on behalf of SIIA member company Adobe Systems Incorporated.

"Mondello is a whiz-kid who used his smarts and savvy to rip off software makers and consumers," noted Keith Kupferschmid, SVP of Intellectual Property Policy & Enforcement for SIIA. "We are fortunate that he has been stopped, but there are hundreds more like him running illegal operations on eBay and other sites. The Mondello case demonstrates that these pirates won't simply get a slap on the wrist when caught -- they very well may end up doing serious time in federal prison."

SIIA was responsible for providing the DOJ with information that led to Mondello, a resident of Oregon, pleading guilty in May to counts of copyright infringement, mail fraud and aggravated identity theft. SIIA began investigating Mondello in 2007 and later turned the case over to the Department of Justice (DOJ). Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Cyber Crime Center. Mondello used stolen bank account information to create more than 40 fictitious eBay and PayPal identities to sell pirated software via the auction site. His fraudulent sales amounted to a five to six figure sales volume.

The most recent lawsuits charged all of the following with knowingly selling software illegally on eBay: Nathanael S. Landsteiner, Fairmont, MN; John Hoyle and Gail La Fortune, Senoia, GA; Gennadiy Barbin, Boise, ID; Tamara Irby, Nathalie, VA; Trisha Carter/Maggie Grace Designs; Denham Springs, LA; and, Andreh Lee, Elmhurst, NY.

To date, the SIIA program has led to judgments and settlements against illegal eBay sellers as well as sellers on other websites dealing in counterfeit, OEM, unbundled, unauthorized education, and other versions of software not authorized for Internet resale. Damages paid by defendants have run as high as several hundred thousand dollars. SIIA also has successfully tracked and pursued the upstream sources of some of these products, and will continue to do so.

The SIIA Auction Litigation Program aims to educate buyers and sellers on auction sites as to the harms caused all parties by illegal software resale. Sellers can be prosecuted and buyers can be faced with viruses, no technical support and no recourse. In addition to the auction piracy lawsuits, SIIA has also sought to protect legitimate sellers and unsuspecting buyers by publishing software buying guides for auction sites, and implementing a certification program for software sellers (Certified Software Resellers) to help steer consumers of auctioned software to sellers who have promised to sell only legal software.


Saturday, August 2, 2008

"Best Practices for Locating Copyright Owners of Photographic and Visual Art" Released

The American Society of Picture Professionals has released guidelines entitled "ASPP's Best Practices for Locating Copyright Owners of Photographic and Visual Art". This guide is intended to be a "living document" and will be continually updated as new registries and technologies become available. This version 2.0 contains many useful links to organizations and other places where one can access information.

The guide can be found at the ASPP website.

Executive Director, Cathy Sachs, expressed the following thoughts: "Especially in light of the Orphan Works pending legislation, it was our hope that these guidelines would be helpful in locating copyright holders, and that they might eventually aid in the construction of the defined "diligent search". This in turn, we hoped, would minimize the flood of "orphans" that might be created by inadequate search procedures. We feel that none of our members would benefit from that."

The American Society of Picture Professional (ASPP) is a community of image experts committed to sharing their experience and knowledge throughout the industry. This non-profit association provides professional networking and educational opportunities for those who create, edit, research, license, manage or publish pictures.