U.S. court jails Ukrainian software pirate

Self-confessed software pirate Maksym Vysochanskyy, a Ukrainian national, has been sentenced in a San Jose, California, federal court to 35 months in prison, three years probation, and deportation to his native country of Ukraine.

Vysochanskyy pled guilty in November 2005 to charges of criminal copyright infringement, trafficking in counterfeit goods and illegal monetary transactions - which included selling pirated copies of software from Autodesk, Adobe, Borland and Microsoft on the internet. Having been in custody in Thailand since May 2003, Vysochanskyy was extradited to the U.S. in March 2004.

United States Attorney Kevin V. Ryan stated: "This ground-breaking case demonstrates the resolve of this office and its pioneering CHIP Unit to combat the theft of the nation's intellectual property, whether the threat arises at home or from abroad. It also serves as an example to individuals abroad who seek to profit from the theft of our nation's intellectual property that the Department of Justice will vigorously seek their extradition to the United States to achieve justice."

"We estimate that Vysochanskyy sold approximately $1m worth of Autodesk products over the internet. Consumers should beware of software sold over the internet by individuals as they could be engaging in illegal activities," added Sandy Boulton, director of License Compliance at Autodesk.

"We are grateful to the law enforcement agencies that, together with Autodesk, go to great lengths to bring copyright infringers like Vysochanskyy to justice."

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