Copyright Infringement Lands Florida Man in Prison
The Florida Litigation Center reports that Stephen Michael Smith, 34, of Middleburg, Florida was recently sentenced to 18 months imprisonment by the Honorable Henry Lee Adams, Jr., United States District Judge in the Jacksonville Division of the Middle District of Florida, for distribution of pirated software over the internet, in violation of federal criminal copyright infringement laws.
Smith previously entered a guilty plea to a single count information on December 7, 2004, which charged him with infringement of a copyright. In addition to the prison term, Smith was ordered to forfeit all computer equipment used in commission of the offense, and during his two years of supervised release, is to have no access to computers connected to the internet, absent his probation officer’s permission.
Smith operated the internet website Awww.FullBackups.com and offered copyright protected software programs for sale without the copyright holders authorization. Smith admitted to FBI agents that he solicited, advertised, and sold hundreds of copies of copyright protected business, utility, and application software, during an 18 month period. Smith used a personal computer located at his home and obtained pirated software from internet Awarez@ websites and used a CD burner and other software tools to make duplicates, which he then sold for approximately $10 to $40 for each copy.