Police have arrested two men that are being held on suspicion of selling fake computer software discs online from some of the household names in the industry.
The two men were picked up in Skegness by detectives from the City of London Police specialist IP unit (PIPCU) along with Lincolnshire Police yesterday and were found to have all of the tools of the trade for selling illegal software.
Their home was searched and revealed a number of dodgy discs, with Microsoft and Adobe some of the targets of their criminal actions, as well as some paperwork and computer equipment.
The head of PIPCU Danny Medlycott said that the operation demonstrated clearly that it was determined to combat IP crime and would take action against counterfeiters.
“It is important that consumers are aware of the risks of buying counterfeit items. Not only is purchasing fake software violating the intellectual rights of software authors, but consumers are also putting their computers and laptops at risk from security threats, such as viruses and malware," he said.
The revelations about PIPCU's latest hammer strike against the counterfeit software world was greeted positively by the Federation Against Software Theft (FAST), which has been supporting the units enforcement activities.
"It is vital that the genuine software reseller can compete on a level playing field. This in turn fosters the growth of the software development industry by instilling confidence that illicit activities will be taken seriously and investigated which is particularly important when the internet is used by software businesses to disseminate products and services to almost anyone who is online," said Julian Heathcote Hobbins, general counsel at FAST.
"The future prosperity of computing is paramount especially considering the rise of cloud computing and the need to keep that such environments cyber-crime free," he added.
PIPCU has been running since September last year as part of more concerted efforts by the Police and government, which is funding the unit via the Intellectual Property Office, part of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.