Freeze! This Is A Software Raid

These days, even unwitting pirates are subject to big fines

Robert L. Goldsmith couldn't have been more shocked. One day last June, U.S. marshals appeared at the door of CeraMem Corp. in Waltham, Mass., and announced that the $1 million environmental-research firm was under suspicion of pirating software. Armed with a court order, investigators from the Washington trade group Business Software Alliance kicked employees off their computers. Then, with U.S. marshals at their sides, they rummaged through the machines in search of stolen goods, using a program that compiles information on installed software. "The BSA marched in here with storm troopers," CeraMem President Goldsmith indignantly says of the group, whose sole mission is enforcing copyright law for major business-software producers.

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