German software pirate, and his father, get jail time

The noose appears to be tightening around one of Europe's largest software counterfeiting rings as a German court sentenced a second member of the network to prison on Monday, and handed a sentence to his father for helping run front operations.

After an 18-week trial, a criminal court in Stuttgart, Germany, sentenced the convicted software pirate to three years in prison without parole for copyright infringement and selling counterfeit Microsoft software. The court also convicted the defendant's father for his participation in the counterfeiting scheme, issuing him a 16-month jail term and 100 hours of community service.

The defendant, Dieter Rimmele, appears to be in his 30s while his father, Hubert Rimmele is 58 years old, according to sources close to the case. Dieter Rimmele had previously been arrested in 1999 for software manipulation and was sentenced to a year in jail. The three-year sentence he received on Monday comes on top of the 10 months he has already served in jail since being arrested late last year.

In this latest conviction, Rimmele's father and mother were investigated for helping him manage front operations to conceal his illegal activities, but the mother was not convicted because of health reasons, sources said.

The sentencing of the father-son team comes three months after another convicted software pirate and leader of the same counterfeiting ring, Ralph Blasek, was given five-and-a-half years in prison for selling counterfeit Microsoft goods.

All three convictions resulted from a massive operation by German police into the counterfeiting ring, according to sources close to the case. The defendants tampered with genuine Microsoft educational software, which educational institutions purchase at a discounted rate, and then sold it as full-versions for a much higher price.

The piracy ring is considered one of Europe's largest, responsible for counterfeiting over US$100 million worth of software over just the past few years, sources said. Additionally, the group supposedly produced counterfeit software at a CD manufacturing plant in Germany, which primarily produces music CDs.

Two more alleged members of the same counterfeiting ring are currently on trial, sources said.

A Microsoft representatives said Tuesday that the company was pleased with the crackdown, and that it would continue working with local police enforcement agencies to quash illegal software sales.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Scarlet Pruitt

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?