Software pirate’s ‘checkmate’ is a 5.5-year sentence

Apparently Ralph Blasek didn’t do a good job at plotting his next few moves. The professional chess player, and presumed leader of Europe’s largest known software counterfeiting network, was sentenced Thursday by a German judge with five and half years in prison without probation.

“This is checkmate to you Blasek. The court wants to see your king fall,” the judge said, according to sources close to the case who were in the courtroom during sentencing.

The defendant was convicted of fraud for selling illegal software to customers but the case centered on the tampering of Microsoft Corp.’s education software. According to Microsoft, Blasek obtained legitimate Microsoft software sold to schools and educational facilities at a discounted rate and then resold it as full versions to non-educational customers for well over the discounted price.

He manipulated the software and its packaging to create counterfeit versions and sell the licenses, a Microsoft representative said.

Microsoft suffered

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