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Software pirate gets record sentence


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#1 Slimy

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 18:12

A U.S. judge on Friday sentenced the owner and operator of iBackups.net to 87 months in prison, the longest sentence ever given for software piracy, according to a software trade group.

Nathan Peterson, of Antelope Acres, California, also forfeited nearly all of his assets to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Alexandria, and he agreed to pay more than US$5.4 million in restitution, the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) said. Peterson pleaded guilty to two counts of criminal copyright infringement in December.

At that time, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) called Backups.net "the largest for-profit software piracy site ever shut down by law enforcement." The Web site illegally sold software that would have been worth $20 million on the retail market, the DOJ said.

Peterson will begin paying off the remaining $5 million in damages 60 days after his release from prison, at a rate of $200 per month.

In criminal piracy cases, the average damages resulting from pirated software are just over $9 million, or less than half of the $20 million caused by iBackups, SIIA said. The $5.4 million Peterson agreed to pay in restitution is eight times the average fine of $659,000, according to a SIIA study tracking U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation cases on software piracy reported since 2000.

Peterson's site used Google.com text ads to find customers, SIIA said. Buyers should be aware of the possibility that software being sold through text ads might not be legal, the trade group said.

Neither the prosecutor nor Peterson's attorney immediately returned calls seeking comment.

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#2 metallithrax

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 18:16

So, it is going to take him 2083 years to pay the money :laugh:

#3 nvme

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 18:22

i got 2250 years, but yeah that's a long time

#4 +Quillz

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 18:28

87 months = 7.25 years

That's a longer sentence than some manslaughter sentences. So I guess it's worse to pirate software than to kill someone.

#5 1WayJonny

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 18:34

two counts got him 87 months ???

as said above worse then murder WTF?

thats and uppercut to the nuts with a spiked glove

#6 Arkaic

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 18:35

87 months = 7.25 years

That's a longer sentence than some manslaughter sentences. So I guess it's worse to pirate software than to kill someone.

Ahhh you love that sense of the justice system to, do you? :pinch:

#7 Vice

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 18:42

I don't understand how they can give him a longer sentence than a murderer. It was a victimless crime afterall, he didn't steal anything in the traditional sense he never took a tangible object from someone who would be without something he just made copies and no one got hurt.

I think they should have shut down his operation made him pay a huge fine and give him several years of community service instead.

#8 Shadrack

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 18:53

Ahhh you love that sense of the justice system to, do you? :pinch:


Considering the justice system is run by the Government it is really not surprising to me. Corporations lose money to pirates and that follows Government losing tax revenue from corporations. A person who is man slaughtered, on the other hand, doesn't really affect the Government unless it starts to become an issue and people start voting against those in office.

This is also a bit of a "backlash" affect that happens often when laws that were not previously enforced are now enforceable. The backlash is due to the huge amount of piracy that has occurred since the ~mid-nintees. It has hit a point where governments world-wide need to address the problem, and the first wave of convictions are for "making an example" and literally scaring people away from committing the crime. Piracy is a real problem, and convictions like this will no doubt lower the amount of offenders.

Eventually the sentences will lower to a more reasonable level. Just like how people busted for marijuana possession aren't in as bad of a position as they were if they were busted with it in the mid-eightees at the height of the war on drugs in america.

#9 Arkaic

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 18:57

I'm not against our government system. In fact (from a standpoint of theory here) I love it. It's the fairest and best system, imo, that we have developed to date. Thats just the theory side.

Here's the proble. Reality. People are not always moral, Especially politicians. :laugh: The system from a theory standpoint works good, and in reality compared to other systems of our time and in history it does work pretty decent, no great shake but pretty decent. It's the corrupt officials of the system that make it suck. :yes:

#10 Umbrello

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 19:04

87 months = 7.25 years

That's a longer sentence than some manslaughter sentences. So I guess it's worse to pirate software than to kill someone.

Hey corporations aren't losing money if you kill someone.

#11 Louie Mantia

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 19:08

Hey corporations aren't losing money if you kill someone.

Yes they are, you killed a (potential) customer. :)

// Louie

#12 Arkaic

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 19:08

Hey corporations aren't losing money if you kill someone.

Well yes. But if you expect corporations to listen you need to speak their talk. AKA Greed.

You don't say this: It's really horrible to murder somebody, it should have heavier penalties then Piracy.

You say this: What if that person killed the next Bill Gates? Think of all the money you would lose. We MUST discourage these citizens from potentially costing us billions.

Then you get a response. :(

#13 gdodson

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 19:10

two counts got him 87 months ???

as said above worse then murder WTF?

thats and uppercut to the nuts with a spiked glove

Manslaughter is not the same as murder. Manslaughter isn't intended (i.e. running someone over with your car while fleeing police) whereas murder has malicious intent.

Anyways, 7.25 years isn't really that long, and they're trying to set examples.

#14 Arkaic

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 19:21

Manslaughter is not the same as murder. Manslaughter isn't intended (i.e. running someone over with your car while fleeing police) whereas murder has malicious intent.

Anyways, 7.25 years isn't really that long, and they're trying to set examples.

Uh Yeah actually 7.25 years is a LONG time. Think about how different of a person you were that long ago. Where were you in life. What has changed in the last 7.25 years?

Yeah that is a long time, even longer in prison. :(

#15 shakey

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 19:34

i would file an appeal. thats is a BS sentence if i have ever seen one. hell, a lady who dumped her childed in the dumpster and left it for dead only got 4 years. This government is crap, and i hope it dies horribly soon. sure he was doing something illegal, but he didnt hurt 1 person at all. there was no physical or mental damage being done to any one. i say give him half a year of jail, followed by all the money had made has to go back to some charity. 7 years is a loooong time. hell, im only 24, so that would be 1/3rd of my life. thats like missing my childhood, or teen years.



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