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SIIA Settles Symantec Copyright Infringement Suit

The Software & Information Industry Association says that eBay's fraud-prevention protocols aren't enough.

The Software & Information Industry Association announced Tuesday that it has settled copyright infringement claims brought on behalf of Symantec.

The lawsuit, in the Central District of California, was among the first SIIA filed under its Auction Litigation Program. The program monitors online auction sites, watches for illegal software distribution through the Internet, and prosecutes sellers on behalf of SIIA members, who number more than 800.

Grace Chan of San Jose agreed to pay $205,000 for selling unauthorized software on eBay and adhere to confidential terms.

SIIA claimed in the suit, Symantec et al. v. Chan et al., that the seller infringed on copyrights and trademarks in Norton PartitionMagic, Norton AntiVirus, pcAnywhere, Norton SystemWorks, and other software by reselling original software, unbundled, counterfeit, and other unauthorized software.

In a statement released Tuesday, SIIA said the case shows how easy it is to get around eBay's fraud-prevention protocols.

"Infringers often are able to use multiple user identities, and multiple 'storefronts' to continue their activities for long periods of time," Scott Bain, SIIA's litigation counsel, said in the news release. "Through our Auction Litigation Program, we are working to identify and pursue these individuals and their sources distributing all varieties of pirated software -- whether counterfeit copies or illegal OEM, educational, and unbundled products."

SIIA warned consumers to use caution when buying software through online auctions, especially if the price seems too good to be true, and took a few jabs at eBay and other sites for failing to stop the practice themselves.

"The sale of pirated software through online auctions is a growing problem that hurts buyers, sellers and the auction sites themselves," Keith Kupferschmid, senior VP of SIIA's Software Anti-Piracy Division, said in a prepared statement. "Consumers are getting duped, legitimate businesses are losing money and the credibility of eBay and other sites is under attack. With existing auction site tools doing little to curb the problem, SIIA has stepped up its efforts to aggressively pursue software pirates."

A representative for eBay did not immediately return calls for comment.

SIAA said it plans to step up its anti-piracy activities. It offers up to $1 million to those who report piracy that is proven and settled.

Symantec has also filed several similar lawsuits.