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Software piracy bust yields 27 arrests

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP)  Law enforcement officers led by the FBI arrested 27 people in 
a suspected software piracy ring that is believed to have cost Microsoft $75 million 
in lost sales.

Officials said Thursday's arrests followed a two-year investigation in which 
undercover officers, posing as distributors, purchased several million dollars worth 
of counterfeit software.

Many of the people arrested Thursday live in the San Francisco area. Most are 
Taiwanese who are accused of duplicating software programs in Taiwan before selling 
the pirated products, such as Microsoft Office 2000, in the United States, according 
to court records.

The 27 were arrested on a variety of charges, including money laundering, copyright 
infringement and trafficking in counterfeit goods, according to court filings.

Businesses lose an estimated $12 billion a year to software counterfeiting.


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