MPAA sues online auctioneers

Another salvo was fired in the ongoing battle over pirated movies and software Thursday as the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Business Software Alliance (BSA) announced civil lawsuits against individuals selling pirated movies and software through online auction sites.

In a statement released by the MPAA, the group said that the civil cases involve more than 50 movie titles including "8 Mile," starring the rap singer Eminem, as well as other popular titles such as "Die Another Day", "Red Dragon," and "Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets."

The defendants were not named in the statement, but "several online auction sellers of pirated goods" were being targeted in "major markets from New York to Los Angeles," according to the MPAA.

The BSA brought separate suits against individuals auctioning pirated software online by companies such as Adobe Systems and Macromedia.

Investigators working for the BSA purchased the software from online auctions vendors and determined that they were pirated copies, according to the MPAA.

Both groups warned of the danger to consumers from pirated software, saying that such products are frequently of inferior quality.

A list of "safety tips" for shopping online were also provided with suggestions such as watching for shoddy labeling, poor quality and titles that are "Too new to be 'True'."

The suits are an effort to "stamp out piracy" and send a message that "selling pirated software online is asking for a lawsuit," the MPAA said.

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Paul Roberts

IDG News Service
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