Software group weighs piracy lawsuit against eBay

Software and Information Industry Association may turn to litigation after eBay ignores piracy efforts.

An SIIA lawsuit would likely focus on copyright infringement instead of trademark infringement, unlike the Tiffany case, and there's a more established track record of secondary copyright infringement lawsuits, Kupferschmid said. Trade groups representing the U.S. music and movie industries successfully sued peer-to-peer services Grokster and Morpheus in a case that ended up with the U.S. Supreme Court in 2005, and the music industry was successful in its attempt to shut down the original Napster music-sharing service.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) of 1998 and other copyright law sets out strong standards for secondary copyright infringement, Kupferschmid said. U.S. copyright law allows lawsuits for vicarious infringement, when the defendant has the ability to stop infringing activity and has a direct financial interest in the infringement.

The SIIA has asked eBay to end all one-day and buy-it-now auctions of software, and the group has asked to buy a banner ad on eBay aimed at educating consumers about software piracy. EBay has so far rejected both of those ideas, but it has recently told SIIA it is reconsidering some of the trade group's suggestions, Kupferschmid said.

Ending buy-it-now and one-day auctions would allow SIIA to better track software sales on eBay, he said. SIIA has several staff members and a proprietary software program that attempt to flag infringing software on eBay.

Ending short-term auctions on software "would go a long way toward addressing most of our concerns," Kupferschmid said. "Until they actually do what we're requesting them to do, I still consider it a rejections."

This year, the SIIA has filed 32 lawsuits against eBay sellers accused of marketing counterfeit software. This week, an Oregon man was sentenced to four years in prison for identity theft and for selling counterfeit software on eBay, after the SIIA complained about him.

EBay applauded the prison sentence for the Oregon seller. "We don't want counterfeiters to be on the site any more than our buyers and sellers do," Sharpe said.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Grant Gross

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Crucial Ballistix Elite 32GB Kit (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 UDIMM

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Plox Star Wars Death Star Levitating Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?