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I've bought software from a vendor for $299. It turned out that the vendor had no right to sell this software - he essentially bought a single license from the original developer, setup a website with the name very close to that of the original developer and started selling that license over and over again.

Obviously when I asked for some bugs to be fixed, he completely cut off contact, thus the software is nearly useless to me. A bit later, I found out about the deception from the original developer, who sells the software for $999.

The original developer wants to go after the impostor in courts (they are both in Ukraine, if either one of them is to be believed). So he offered me a free license of his software, if I provide him with a notarized letter stating that I was defrauded by the impostor. I am in US.

Does it make sense for me to go for it? What are the downsides? Should I go for it?

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Be careful as to what you write in the letter. Saying that you were defrauded without being 100% sure is not right. Better state that you purchased the software from such and such website for a consideration etc. State the facts rather than assigning a meaning this way you are not involved much. –  Dheer Jul 6 '11 at 9:58
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@Dheer if you make that an answer I'll vote for it. –  DJClayworth Jul 6 '11 at 15:24

2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

From my perspective, the only downside is the cost for you to create the letter he wants and have it notarized.

I'd do it, but then I make my living from IP so I hate piracy and would be very gung-ho to help nail the pirate.

If you provide him with copies of anything like payments made etc, be sure to blank out the account numbers. Otherwise I'd write a brief letter stating what you purchased and from where and how you paid, and provide copies of anything that corroborates that with your PII obscured.

As Dheer pointed out in the comments on the question, be very careful what you state. Keep things limited to matters of fact, stick to a description of what happened and when, without opinions. You don't want to open yourself up to lible/slander charges.

Then consider taking whatever information you have from the software author about the first site being fraudulent, and seeing if you can get your money back (if it was a credit card for example)

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Seems safe. US has no extradition treaty with Ukraine, so if anything goes wrong, somehow the case turns against you, you will be tried in your home country and you can get the best legal advice. I am not too sure about Ukrainian laws regarding this. And I am seriously doubtful if Interpol would ever intervene in these type of matters for your extradition.

The only cost for you is getting the letter and posting it across to the developer. And make it clear to the developer that you are in no position to attend the trials, it isn't feasible for you. And beware while sharing any finanial information you may.

And do google both the guys in question, the web may throw some light on the guys. You don't know what you may find.

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I don't think lack of extradition treaty is your best defense. Do you want to bar yourself from ever visiting a country that does have an extradition treaty with Ukraine? –  DJClayworth Jul 6 '11 at 15:25
    
@DJClayworth - Did I ever mention that ? I am thinking on legal terms not being a tourist. –  DumbCoder Jul 6 '11 at 15:54
    
@DJClayworth - ask Roman Planski:-D –  littleadv Jul 6 '11 at 22:32

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