Organized Crime Funds Activities Through Software Piracy
(NAPSA)-The link between organized crime, retail and manufacturers is clear.
Organized crime can be linked to everything from fake prescription drugs to
toothbrushes. In fact, it is becoming obvious to software developers that many
of the large-scale commercial pirates are connected to organized crime.
The most brazen software counterfeiters produce CDs, documentation and
packaging that is similar to that of the software publisher. Others simply
copy onto disks and produce basic labels.
Counterfeiting software is often conducted as a lucrative business, either by
petty criminals or increasingly by organized crime. According to the Business
Software Alliance (www.bsa.org), "The most profitable counterfeiting
operations are controlled by criminal syndicates with networks of distributors
throughout the world. For these criminal gangs, which use the counterfeiting
trade to launder money and fund other illegal activities, software
counterfeiting promises large profits with very little risk of enforcement or
For the average American, the closest they want to come to organized crime is
watching an episode of "The Sopranos." While they may be intrigued by the
underworld, they certainly do not want to have any part in endorsing or
supporting its existence. The fact is, that by trying to get "a good deal" on
some new software, people may unknowingly be supporting not only this crime,
but funding others that may impact their communities and people they know.
What is being done?
In the United States, the Department of Justice, the FBI and other government
agencies are doing their part to investigate and bring these criminals to
justice. On a regional level, task forces are being formed. For example, the
Northern California Computer Crimes Task Force (NC3TF), formed in 2000, is
staffed by investigators from local, state and federal law enforcement
agencies who have received specialized training in the investigation of
high-technology crime, including software piracy.
The general rule of thumb is, "If the price looks too good to be true, it
probably is counterfeit software." Without the demand from the public, the
counterfeit software business cannot prosper. Therefore everyone can play a
role in helping to eliminate this menace from our society.
Software pirates beware: The FBI is after you.
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