Texas man gets prison time for software piracy

A Texas man is sentenced to 41 months in prison for selling counterfeit software.

A 24-year-old Texas man has been sentenced to 41 months in prison for selling counterfeit software on about 40 Web sites, the US Department of Justice said.

Timothy Kyle Dunaway of Wichita Falls, Texas, was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas for selling counterfeit software with a retail value of more than US$1 million, the DOJ said. Judge Reed O'Connor also sentenced Dunaway to pay more than $810,000 in restitution and turn over a Ferrari 348 TB and a Rolex watch he purchased with money from counterfeit software sales.

Dunaway pleaded guilty Oct. 30 to one count of criminal copyright infringement.

Between July 2004 and May of last year, Dunaway operated about 40 Web sites that sold a "large volume" of downloadable counterfeit software without authorization from the copyright owners, the DOJ said.

Dunaway operated computer servers in Vienna, Austria, and Malaysia to host his businesses, the DOJ said. Agents of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), working in cooperation with foreign law enforcement agencies, seized Dunaway's computer servers.

Dunaway promoted his piracy scheme by purchasing advertising for his Web through major Internet search engines, the DOJ said. Dunaway processed more than $800,000 dollars through credit card merchant accounts under his control, the agency said.

The case is part of an ongoing initiative at the DOJ to combat the sale of pirated software and counterfeit goods through commercial Web sites and online auction sites.

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Grant Gross

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