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Microsoft product key counterfeiter gets convicted under DMCA

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 18 May 2009 2:18 User comments (17)

Microsoft product key counterfeiter gets convicted under DMCA Accused Microsoft product key counterfeiter Adonis Gladney has been convicted this week of violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and is now the first person to ever be convicted under the DMCA for violations relating to the circumvention of security protections on software.
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Missakian, Gladney sold tens of thousands of the counterfeited keys, which are used to activate legitimate software products such as Microsoft Office.

"The defendant couldn't have executed his scheme without counterfeit access keys," Missakian noted. "(The keys) allowed purchasers to load software on multiple computers."

Missakian admitted that even the US Marine Corp. had been duped into buying the phony keys, among thousands of other clients.

With his conviction, it looks like Gladney will likely face 3-7 years in prison, depending on "the amount of monetary damage he caused."

CNet adds that Gladney, a Los Angeles native "would advertise software licenses in large volume on his Web sites, abovegroundsolutions.com or agsolutionsspc.com. Customers paid their money and received licenses, which prosecutors say Gladney claimed legally covered between 25 and 750 users. Gladney would then ship them a CD loaded with software that authorities say was not designated as a retail product for sale to the general public, such as software that typically comes bundled in PCs."

"By repeatedly using and distributing the same key codes on multiple products,"
added an FBI cyber crimes' spokesperson, "Gladney is circumventing one of Microsoft's primary security features for legitimate product activation in violation of (trafficking in unauthorized access devices)."

The FBI also added that the now 24 year old had begun the illegal business when he was 19 and earned over $3 million USD during its run. When he was arrested, two custom-built Lamborghinis were seized from his house along with money and computers.

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17 user comments

118.5.2009 8:54

That dude rules! Too bad he got busted. Take that Microsoft. Ha ha!

218.5.2009 9:15

FU Microsoft, leave people alone and let them have their life. Just because they out smart you doesn't meant that you have to ruin their life.

318.5.2009 9:45

he was selling them

he should go to jail

418.5.2009 9:53

A sad day for Pirates...

518.5.2009 9:54

Originally posted by Hopium:
he was selling them

he should go to jail

As much as the thought of using Windows makes me throw up a little in my mouth, I agree.

I've broken the law before and went to jail. What he should of done was invest instead of having TWO lambos and as soon as he had made enough money to live off of for life quit and set himself an allowance based on the dividends of his investment.

618.5.2009 16:42

key word SOLD.

718.5.2009 16:48

I was once guilty but after Vista came out and some other charges were leveled locally I changed my ways. I now inlcude a legal copy of Vista with every pc build. I never download music illegally. I buld alot of pc's and the money I was saving really wasn't worth it, my customers are much happier with having the back up software, a lessong learned, now actually profit more as a stand up guy. OMG did I just say that.....However I remain amused at how Microsoft, the MPAA, Sony etc. think all thier schemes to prevent pirated distribution of various media have any effect. I see BluRay rips on Torrent sites, Software & Games all the time. Maybe they should consider better pricing strategies that would erase the need to pirate anything. I still don't buy games online as the price is either the same or higher than me going to a big box store or second hand reseller, if MS offered a discounted bundle price for Office & Windows I would upgrade everytime a new version was out. Especially if that bundle was priced at it's true Value.

818.5.2009 16:54

Originally posted by elliott:
I was once guilty but after Vista came out and some other charges were leveled locally I changed my ways. I now inlcude a legal copy of Vista with every pc build. I never download music illegally. I buld alot of pc's and the money I was saving really wasn't worth it, my customers are much happier with having the back up software, a lessong learned, now actually profit more as a stand up guy. OMG did I just say that.....However I remain amused at how Microsoft, the MPAA, Sony etc. think all thier schemes to prevent pirated distribution of various media have any effect. I see BluRay rips on Torrent sites, Software & Games all the time. Maybe they should consider better pricing strategies that would erase the need to pirate anything. I still don't buy games online as the price is either the same or higher than me going to a big box store or second hand reseller, if MS offered a discounted bundle price for Office & Windows I would upgrade everytime a new version was out. Especially if that bundle was priced at it's true Value.
They can;t do that without losing millions they may never get, the trouble is they have a lock on an antiquated market/industry and they will do anythign they can to keep it alive and active, this means they would rather spend money on buying laws rather than daring to change.

918.5.2009 17:08

Amen Zippy

1018.5.2009 17:24

Originally posted by elliott:
Amen Zippy
I don't have much of a problem with them protect revenue streams via ensuring that only licensed stuff is sold but when it gets into the realm of non profit/not for profit it bugs me to no end.

1118.5.2009 17:28

In the UK. If MPs get off with all the dosh and claim lots more, then what is wrong with us helping ourselves to some media?
Let's watch and see if the law acts on MPs. Then we can make our own mind up is there a law for them and another for the rest of us.
WHO ARE THE SCOUNGERS NOW??? AND TREY DON'i WORK ONLY CHANT YEH! YEH! IN THE HOUSE

1218.5.2009 22:22
llongtheD
Inactive

This guy wasn't just ripping off microsoft, he was ripping off the consumer by selling them fake keys. I myself bought what was advertised as a genuine hologramed copy of xp pro off of price grabber, and after a year of using it, it was disabled due to a counterfeit key. So I'm out a hundred bucks, lesson learned.
This guy wasn't just some underground pirate, he was stealing from consumers, and now he has a chance to do some soul searching.
Anyone ignorant enough to just take his side because he was costing microsoft money needs to re-evaluate. Its not like the guy was stealing from the rich and giving to the poor, he was just stealing from both.
I do agree however that these software companies need to take a look at their price models. They definitely could cut out alot of piracy by offering these products at reasonable prices.

1319.5.2009 4:20

Quote:
With his conviction, it looks like Gladney will likely face 3-7 years in prison, depending on "the amount of monetary damage he caused."

I haven't made anything close to $3 million in the last 7 years, maybe I should do something like this. :-(

1419.5.2009 7:17

I would have called it quits after my first lambo

1520.5.2009 21:00

Well its not good that he got caught but it just goes to show you that nothing is not uncodeable.

Quote:
Missakian admitted that even the US Marine Corp. had been duped into buying the phony keys, among thousands of other clients.
I love this...just goes to show you....

:)

1621.5.2009 8:22

After you format your drive and re-install Wtndow so many times. You get a message to get another Product Key from Microsoft. this gets Windows up and runing again, What it also goes, is give an extra key to a Pirate. If one collect these, they are in busines. So in fact Microsoft is helping pirates by having this system. Just like they arewhen they tell you to stick the key on the PC case. A scapyard is a good place to get them from. Microsoft think hard before you introduce a system in future.

1721.5.2009 20:32

Originally posted by llongtheD:
This guy wasn't just ripping off microsoft, he was ripping off the consumer by selling them fake keys. I myself bought what was advertised as a genuine hologramed copy of xp pro off of price grabber, and after a year of using it, it was disabled due to a counterfeit key. So I'm out a hundred bucks, lesson learned.
This guy wasn't just some underground pirate, he was stealing from consumers, and now he has a chance to do some soul searching.
Anyone ignorant enough to just take his side because he was costing microsoft money needs to re-evaluate. Its not like the guy was stealing from the rich and giving to the poor, he was just stealing from both.
I do agree however that these software companies need to take a look at their price models. They definitely could cut out alot of piracy by offering these products at reasonable prices.
FYI when it comes to M$ product the entire CD itself has a Hologram. Something practically impossible to duplicate by the home brewer.

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