Peterson Receives One of Nation's Toughest Sentences for Illegally Selling
Software Developed by Autodesk and Others
SAN RAFAEL, Calif., Sept. 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Autodesk, Inc.
(Nasdaq: ADSK) announced today that Nathan Peterson, a 26-year-old California
resident and owner and operator of iBackups, Inc., was sentenced on September
8, 2006, to seven years and three months in federal prison, and required to
pay $5.4 million in restitution after pleading guilty to two counts of
criminal copyright infringement for illegally copying and selling pirated
software worth from approximately $7 million to $20 million. Peterson
profited from selling pirated software, including applications developed
legitimately by Autodesk, Adobe, Macromedia and Symantec. Peterson must also
forfeit any assets related to the infringement offenses as well as any assets
traceable to proceeds from the offenses. The sentencing occurred in the U.S.
District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20050415/SFF034LOGO )
"Peterson has said that most of the software was sold to individual
consumers, although he did sell to some companies and to at least one school
district," said Sandy Boulton, director of License Compliance at Autodesk. "We
commend the FBI and Department of Justice for their efforts and hope that
consumers will purchase products direct from the developers or from their
local authorized resellers to eliminate the risks of engaging in illegal
Background on the Case
In 2003, the Software Information Industry Association (SIIA) first
alerted the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to suspected software piracy
in this case. iBackups was selling pirated copies of software over the
Internet claiming that they were "backup copies" to be used by software owners
in the event of system crashes. The FBI and the Department of Justice (DOJ)
permanently shut down the website Peterson was hosting to sell the
unauthorized software. On December 13, 2005, Peterson reached his plea
agreement with Judge T.S. Ellis in Virginia and was released on his own
Unauthorized reproduction or distribution of copyrighted material is
investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by the Department of Justice.
Individuals who willfully infringe copyright by distributing or reproducing
infringing material risk criminal prosecution under 18 U.S.C. - 2319.
First-time offenders convicted of a felony violation of copyright laws face up
to five years in federal prison, plus the payment of restitution, forfeiture,
The Business Software Alliance (BSA), the organization representing some
of the world's leading software developers including Autodesk, provided
assistance to the investigation. The BSA recently launched a new website
(www.bsacybersafety.com/fraud) designed to raise awareness about online fraud
while encouraging individuals to submit their own stories of how they were
"duped" into purchasing pirated software online.
Autodesk's License Compliance Program
As part of its License Compliance Program, Autodesk educates customers and
the general public about software piracy and its damaging effects on the
economy and product innovation-while seeking legal recourse against copyright
infringers. Customers are offered toolkits and information to help them
implement sound software management policies. To find out where legal trade
ends and software piracy begins or to anonymously report suspected software
theft, visit www.autodesk.com/piracy or call Autodesk's License Compliance
Hotline at 1-800-NO COPIES. To find a local authorized Autodesk reseller,
Autodesk, Inc. is a Fortune 1000 company, wholly focused on ensuring that
great ideas are turned into reality. With seven million users, Autodesk is the
world's leading 2D and 3D software company for the manufacturing,
infrastructure, building, media and entertainment, and wireless data services
fields. Autodesk's solutions help customers create, manage and share their
data and digital assets more effectively. As a result, customers turn ideas
into competitive advantage, become more productive, streamline project
efficiency and maximize profits.
Founded in 1982, Autodesk is headquartered in San Rafael, California. For
additional information about Autodesk, please visit www.autodesk.com.
NOTE: Autodesk is a registered trademark of Autodesk, Inc., in the USA
and/or other countries. All other brand names, product names, or trademarks
belong to their respective holders.
Contact: Amal Nichols, 925-736-2433
SOURCE Autodesk, Inc.
AP Archive: http://photoarchive.ap.org
PRN Photo Desk, email@example.com
Web site: http://www.autodesk.com
9625 09/22/2006 08:00 EDT http://www.prnewswire.com