Software pirate cops community service and fine

Software pirate cops community service and fine

Software pirate Wojciech Czarnocki has become the latest catch of the Business Software Association of Australia (BSAA).

Czarnocki, who formerly traded under the business name the Pirated Software Group, has agreed to give 100 hours of his time to a charitable organisation and pay a $31,500 fine. He turned himself in to the authorities at the end of an extensive BSAA-driven man-hunt.

The Pirated Software Group had produced and advertised a 900 page catalogue of illegal computer programs, as well as placing advertisements in the South Australian Trading Post.

A national search was launched by the BSAA including a wanted poster with Czarnocki's photograph offering a $5000 reward. The poster triggered a segment on Channel Nine's A Current Affair, after which Czarnocki turned himself in.

The BSAA was tipped off to Czarnocki's exploits by Autodesk and Bentley Systems, two of the many software companies who suffer from the flow-on effects of software privacy in Australia.

"Software privacy is sometimes seen as a 'victimless crime'," said Mr Macnamara, chairman of the BSAA, "but recent research shows that the problem is costing Australia jobs and possibly its place as a 'smart country' in the information age."

Thousands of Australians indulge in low-cost, illegal software clones daily without considering the consequences. "This settlement is a warning to sellers of unlicensed software who are stealing the property of companies that have invested thousands of man-hours and millions of dollars into creating a quality product," Macnamara said.

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