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Italian police bust piracy ring

Millions of pounds worth of counterfeit software seized

The Italian police, along with the Business Software Alliance (BSA), say they have busted a software piracy ring suspected of hawking dodgy software, music and films worth up to €60m (over £38m) across Europe.

Italy's Guardia di Finanza and the BSA say they spent a year tracking the pirates, eventually arresting one suspect in September and seizing more than 100,000 counterfeited products. The investigation is still going on and another ten people are being questioned.

Police swooped on nine Italian locations simultaneously in raids during the past month, seizing CDs, DVDs and porn. The authorities claim the goods were sold through a network of internet sites.

The BSA acts on the behalf of the software industry to track down pirates. It clients include Microsoft. The Alliance reckons software piracy in Europe rose three percent in 2001 on the previous year and says that up to 40 percent of all software in use in Western Europe may be pirated.

This story was published first on The Inquirer website.


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