Legislative Memo

Darren Suarez
Director of Government Affairs
T 518.465.7511


A.3915 (Jeffries) /S.5089 (Alesi)



Illegal Use of Stolen or Misappropriated Software



May 6, 2011


The Business Council opposes this legislation which would create a new cause of action for anyone who develops or manufactures a product or supplies a service using stolen or misappropriated software.

This policy would hurt the business operations of major technology companies. Broad rights of action could be brought against violators whether they knowingly or unknowingly acquired or used software illegally. Many members of the supply chain have unwittingly become victims of counterfeit software from developing markets that lack the same kinds of controls over information distribution.

There would be no requirement that the manufacturer benefited financially or competitively before they could be found liable.  A lawsuit could be filed even if the information technology acquired was not directly associated with the business purpose.

The penalties for violation would be severe, including the enjoining of the sale of misappropriated software products and fines as much as $3,000 per product sold. The bill provides no safeguards against abuse and frivolous lawsuits. Any business competitor could bring an action at anytime. These remedies could have crippling affects on all aspects of business from distribution, sales, and marketing while draining resources away from business investments and hiring.

We believe that this bill is overly burdensome on business operations and jobs and unnecessary and the violations this bill seeks to address are already actionable under existing copyright laws.

For theses reasons the Business Council respectfully requests that A.3915/S.5089 be held.