Swedish police make illegal software haul

Swedish police have tracked down what appears to be the largest cache of illegal software found on the Internet.

An estimated $1.7 million of unauthorised software, including Word, Pagemaker, Photoshop and Autocad, has been illegally transmitted to Internet users world-wide by students from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.

The Royal Institute of Technology, acting on a tip from the US, contacted the Business Software Alliance for help in finding the suspicious Internet server site at the university. It was traced to the computer science department where two students were arrested.

Police have also retrieved lists of other computers on the Internet that accessed the pirate server during its operation. The BSA will be reviewing these lists for possible legal actions.

“No one is above the law, even Internet users,” says Allen Dixon, European counsel for the Business Software Alliance. “The copyright law in all of the affected countries says you cannot make copies of software without the author's permission. That rule doesn't change when you go onto the information superhighway.”