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Four arrested in software piracy case

Four suspected software pirates were arrested by the FBI in Los Angeles on Thursday in connection with the seizure of counterfeit Microsoft software valued at $10.5 million.12 Dec 2000

The arrests cap a 14 month FBI investigation into a group who were obtaining pirated software overseas and shipping it into the US to be sold at discounted prices.

Genuine versions of Microsoft software carry an edge to edge hologram as a security feature, which the pirates attempted to imitate. The counterfeit CDs had stickers with holograms imitating the legitimate holograms placed on them. Microsoft’s senior manager of world wide piracy enforcement, Richard LaManga said: “If you can peel it off with your finger, you know it’s not a genuine article”.

The group are alleged to have been selling software such as Microsoft’s Office 2000 for $75. The retail price of the genuine software is $599.