Risks 10 Years in Prison and $500,000 Fine for Illegally Selling Autodesk and
SAN RAFAEL, Calif., June 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Autodesk, Inc.
(Nasdaq: ADSK) announced today that Danny Ferrer, 37, of Lakeland, Fla., pled
guilty on June 16, 2006 in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., to one
count of conspiracy and one count of criminal copyright infringement for
selling pirated software through the mail. His sentencing is scheduled for
August 25, 2006 and Ferrer could receive a maximum sentence of 10 years in
prison and a $500,000 fine. Ferrer agreed to forfeit numerous aircraft, boats
and cars, which he had purchased with the profits from his illegal activities.
He has also agreed to cooperate with the Department of Justice and testify
against his co-conspirators; at least three others will be charged.
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The software, including those copyrighted by Autodesk, Adobe Systems Inc.,
and Macromedia Inc., was sold at prices significantly below the suggested
retail price. Ferrer and his co-conspirators advertised the illegal software
on the BuysUSA Website, selling more than $2.47 million worth of copyrighted
software, which resulted in losses to the legitimate software developers of
nearly $20 million.
"We appreciate the Justice Department's continued commitment to the
enforcement of intellectual property laws, which protects software vendors and
consumers alike," said Sandy Boulton, director of License Compliance at
Autodesk. "Buying software online is extremely risky for consumers and we hope
they will purchase products direct from the developers or from their local
After receiving complaints from copyright holders about Ferrer's Website,
an undercover Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent made a number of
software purchases from the site. The Business Software Alliance (BSA), the
organization representing some of the world's leading software developers
including Autodesk, provided significant assistance to the investigation.
Ferrer's operation began in late 2002 and continued until the FBI shut it down
on Oct. 19, 2005. 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.
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 software and services 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: Nicole Pack of Autodesk, +1-415-507-6282, or
SOURCE Autodesk, Inc.
/Web site: http://www.bsacybersafety.com
/Web site: http://www.autodesk.com