Paul J. McNulty, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Paul I. Perez, the United States Attorney for the Middle District of Florida, announced today that Stephen Michael Smith, 34 of Middleburg, Florida, was sentenced yesterday to 18 months imprisonment by the Honorable Henry Lee Adams, Jr., United States District Judge in the Jacksonville Division of the Middle District of Florida, for distributing pirated software over the Internet in violation of federal criminal copyright infringement laws. Stephen Michael Smith previously pled guilty to a single count Information on December 7, 2004, charging him with infringement of a copyright. In addition to the term of imprisonment, Smith was ordered to forfeit all computer equipment used in the commission of the offense, and during his two years of supervised release, is to have no access to computers connected to the Internet, absent permission of his probation officer.
Smith operated the internet website Awww.FullBackups.com,@ which offered for sale copyright protected software programs without the authorization of the copyright holders. Smith admitted to FBI agents that during an 18 month period, he solicited, advertised and sold hundreds of copies of copyright protected business, utility and application software while using his personal computer located at his residence. Smith obtained the pirated software from internet Awarez@ websites and used a CD burner and other software tools to make duplicates, which he then sold for approximately $10 to $40 for each copy.
This investigation was conducted by the FBI's Washington Field Office and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Bob Wiechering from the Eastern District of Virginia, Kathleen O'Malley, from the Middle District of Florida and Clement McGovern from the Computer Crimes and Intellectual Property Section of the Department of Justice. The defendant was originally charged in the Eastern District of Virginia by way of a Criminal Complaint filed on October 12 , 2004, and, with the consent of the Middle District of Florida, the case was transferred to the Middle District of Florida for disposition.