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Software & Information Industry Association
Hall Of Shame Member
Added August 1, 2008

the principle trade association for the
software and digital content industry
not having principles themselves


Last updated : January 24, 2010

One can only assume that a company would select a representative agent based upon them being in agreement concerning such mundane things as corporate philosophy, image, agressiveness, and the correct manner in which to abuse and attack perfectly legitimate re-sellers of their merchandise (e.g., using the correct whips and chains, lying to the re-seller, delaying tactics, etc.).

Enter The Software & Information Industry Association, ("SIIA"), the latest trademark & copyright cyber-cop to join these pages. In our opinion, the most pathetic and sleaziest to date and that is no mean feat. You will note that they make all sorts of claims as to what you cannot do, which we refute, and they don't offer ANY federal cases or decisions to support their position, while we do present evidence supporting our position.

First, corporate information about SIIA (pronounced "sleeze"). The SIIA Main Office is located at 1090 Vermont Ave NW, on the Sixth Floor, Washington DC 20005-4095. Their telephone number is 202-289-7442. The President of this lowly association is some bottom-feeder named Ken Wasch. He's on our low-life list because as an officer of this corporation he takes the blame for their unethical and illegal conduct. SIIA is a perfect example of why we need punative civil liability laws for trademark and copyright abuse by the rights' holders and their representatives, be they cyber-cops or lawyers.

SIIA has an Anti-Piracy office and lots of "industry-oriented" information about piracy. Just two tidbits out of many about their "information". Attention bottom-feeder Ken Wasch: piracy does not include the lawful re-selling of unused and un-opened software. We cannot find a single court case anywhere supporting your position on this. Attention bottom-feeder Ramona Percelle, Manager, Internet Anti-Piracy at SIIA, companies cannot "license" away rights granted to consumers under federal law and we have located court cases that support this.

Their Piracy Page is so loaded with lies we suggest you make sure your shots are up to date before you read it. The only people we know of that tell as many lies are politicians and corporate lawyers.


So, how did SIAA earn the honor of being enshrined in the hallowed pages? We're glad you asked. They troll eBay auctions looking for re-sellers of software and the tell eBay to terminate those auctions, whether they are legitimate or not. Take an auction for QuarkXPress Quark XPress 7 Mac Universal New Retail Box, terminated December 20, 2007. This is new software, in the original box. So, what's infringing about it? This is the email they sent in reply to an email requesting a reason:

Hi William,
Thank you for your email regarding your auction listing. We work on behalf of Quark to monitor eBay for Quark products due to the enormous counterfeit problem. Please contact Quark directly to receive authorization. You can contact Christina Gallegos @ CeGallegos@QUARK.com. If they provide you with authorization, please send a copy of the communication to me and I will provide you with further instructions.
Thank you,
Ramona
P.S. If you join the SIIA's Certified Software Reseller program, you can avoid having to verify your auctions in the future.

So, they have terminated the aution without a good faith belief that the items were counterfeit? This is a typical tactic of sleeze-ball companies and associations like this who are not really monitoring eBay for problems but trolling to rid the secondary market of re-sellers.We consider this to be unethical, improper, illegal, and criminal. But then, bottom-feeders don't have ethics, do they? The Software & Information Industry Association is nothing more than a front for the illegal tactics of their members.

Consider this blurb on their website:

Report Piracy
Use our online report forms to report cases of retail, corporate and Internet software piracy, or call the Anti-Piracy Hotline: +1 (800) 388-7478

Just what is "retail" piracy? We think it's the "unauthorized" re-selling of software products. Who determines if the sale is "authorized"? Look at the email reply we quoted above. The software manufacturer.

Turns out the seller did get a response from Christina Gallegos at Quark, January 2008. She said:

"Anyway, not sure why this would have been removed from eBay if it was brand new, commercial copy, sealed in our retail box. Can you provide the serial number to me which will allow me to look it up in the system and verify that it is a legit, non-educational copy of QuarkXPress? Once I have verified, I can work with Ramona to get it listed again."

Notice how she's onto the giving permission to sell it? Just let her "verify" it. Bull hockey. They had no right to terminate the auction unless they were sure it was counterfeit. So, the seller filed a counter notice and Quark let it expire without a challenge. So, he re-listed the software in April 2008. Guess what? Quark had the Business Software Alliance (BSA) terminate the auction this time. It gets better. The seller complained to eBay, who, after an exchange of emails, admitted the auction shouldn't have been terminated and recinded the takedown. So, the seller listed the software again.

See where this is going? The Business Software Alliance (BSA) terminated the auction again. And, eBay suspended the seller for repeated violations.

The SIIA sucks and so do their members. They're scum just like the BSA.

Court Cases

  • Bobbs-Merrill Co v. Straus (1908) US Supreme Court- No license required to use copyrighted material. License "claimed" by copyright holder cannot extend holder's rights beyond statute defined by Congress.
  • Advent Sys. Ltd. v. Unisys Corp (1991) held that the sale of software is the sale of a good within the meaning of Uniform Commercial Code.
  • Downriver Internists v. Harris Corp (1991) held that the sale of software is the sale of a good within the meaning of Uniform Commercial Code.
  • Step-Saver Data Systems, Inc. v. Wise Technology (1991) the court concluded that subsequent changes to the Copyright Act had rendered the need to characterize the transaction as a license to use software "largely anachronistic.".
  • Applied Info. Mgmt., Inc, v. Icart (1997) held that the sale of software is the sale of a good.
  • Novell, Inc. v. CPU Distrib., Inc. (2000) The first-sale doctrine applies to software.
  • Softman v. Adobe (2001) The first-sale doctrine applies to software and can not be waived or taken away through an EULA.
  • Krause v. Titleserve (2002 2nd Cir Appl) Titleserve owned the software; Krause was confusing ownership of a copyright with ownership of a copy of the copyrighted material.
  • Timothy Vernor v. Autodesk (2008 9th Cir W. Wash) Order by District Judge stating that Autodesk's software was SOLD NOT LICENSED and that the Plaintiff, Timothy Vernor was entitled to use the First Sale Doctrine as a defense to alleged copyright infringement.
  • Timothy Vernor v. Autodesk (2008 9th Cir W. Wash) A second Order by District Judge stating that Autodesk's software was SOLD NOT LICENSED and that the Plaintiff, Timothy Vernor was entitled to use the First Sale Doctrine as a defense to alleged copyright infringement. Autodesk could not believe the first order so they asked him again. Autodesk is appealing the decision.

Articles


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