Symantec sues software pirates

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Symantec has filed legal complaints against seven people who belong to a group of software distributors, alleging that the group engaged in selling counterfeit Symantec software.

The security vendor estimates that the operating has netted at least US$15m from selling its software and is demanding damages in excess of the profits.

Symantec started its investigation of the group that is referred as the ANYI/SILI piracy ring in February 2004. The investigation resulted in the seizure of more than 100,000 counterfeit disks for products including Norton Antivirus, Norton Internet Security and pcAnywhere.

The lawsuit names ANYI, SILI, GT Micro, ASP Solutions, Mark Ma, Mike Lee, John Zhang and other affiliates as defendants.

Joseph Fitzgerald vice president for intellectual property at Symantec said that in addition to the piracy aspect, the group's actions also put the security of its customers at risk.

"Counterfeit software can also damage a user’s operating system due to faulty code or cause a user’s system to be wracked with security vulnerabilities," Fitzgerald said.

"Symantec is committed to doing everything we can to protect our customers and the safety of their information, and that includes taking legal action."
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