Alleged Software Pirate Disappears From eBay

By Wednesday afternoon, there were no products of any kind offered for sale on eBay by ChicagoComputerBroker, though his 'power seller' account appeared to be active.

Paul McDougall, Editor At Large, InformationWeek

February 7, 2007

1 Min Read

One day after it was reported that he was being sued by Microsoft for allegedly selling counterfeit copies of its software, an eBay merchant that goes by the name of ChicagoComputerBroker was no longer selling products of any kind on the online auction site.

On Tuesday, ChicagoComputerBroker, whose real name according to court records is Donald Collins, of Mount Prospect, Ill., was offering Symantec's Norton antivirus products for sale on eBay, despite getting hit with a lawsuit the previous week in which Microsoft accused him of being a software pirate.

By Wednesday afternoon, however, there were no products of any kind offered for sale on eBay by ChicagoComputerBroker, though his "power seller" account appeared to be active. It wasn't immediately clear if Collins pulled the merchandise voluntarily or if he was shut down by eBay. Collins didn't respond to e-mailed requests for an interview. eBay officials weren't immediately available for comment.

In its lawsuit against Collins filed in U.S. District Court for Northern Illinois, Microsoft claimed its investigators bought copies of PowerPoint, Word, Excel, and other Microsoft products on eBay from ChicagoComputerBroker on several occasions through January. On each occasion, Microsoft "analyzed the software (CD-ROM) and determined it was counterfeit," according to court papers. In some instances, "the product keys accompanying the software were not authorized for use or distribution with that software," Microsoft charged.

Microsoft also accused Anne Collins, a Chicago resident who operates on eBay as irish5025, of participating in the alleged scheme. As of Wednesday, irish5025 had no active listings on eBay. Microsoft is seeking unspecified damages from the two defendants. It wasn't clear if Donald Collins and Anne Collins are related.

About the Author(s)

Paul McDougall

Editor At Large, InformationWeek

Paul McDougall is a former editor for InformationWeek.

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