Jail for 'Robin Hoods' who cost Microsoft millions

Four Britons were jailed on Friday for being part of a global gang described as "Robin Hoods" who stole expensive software from rich companies and gave it away for free over the Internet. The group, described by prosecutors as "sad individuals" who spent their lives in front of computers, were said to have cost firms such as Microsoft Corp. millions of dollars in profit and enraged its chairman, Bill Gates.

Prosecutors told London's Old Bailey criminal court that the four men, motivated by a hatred of software companies, were the key players in an international ring called DrinkorDie.com, said to be one of the world's most sophisticated Web piracy groups. The gang allowed Internet surfers to download new software for free, often before it came on the market, including the Windows 95 operating system two weeks before it was released.

News source: Reuters

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