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California police arrested a man on Tuesday who allegedly sold illegally copied Microsoft Corp. and Adobe Systems Inc. software on the Internet for seven years, netting him an estimated US$750,000.

Gad Zamir, 64, of Menifee, California, was arrested after an eight-month investigation, said the Computer and Technology Crime High-Tech Response Team of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

Zamir allegedly copied and then sold the programs on online auctions sites, the team said. The pirated software included Microsoft Corp.’s SQL Server 2000 Enterprise — a US$25,000 program at the time of its release — which he allegedly sold on the auction sites for US$7,750 and Adobe’s Creative Suite 2, which sold below market price at US$280, police said.

Police said they found 15 computers, US$13,000 in cash and software valued at US$283,000 in Zamir’s home, calling it a “mid-level” piracy operation.

Microsoft praised the arrest, calling it an “important victory in what is an ongoing, global fight.”

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