Software Pirate Joins Autodesk's Anti-Theft Battle

On Line Design Agrees to Unique Settlement of Copyright Infringement Case

SAN RAFAEL, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 22, 1997--Autodesk today announced an unusual settlement in a piracy case against On Line Design, a Santa Clara, California-based technical training center and consulting firm.

Instead of paying a huge penalty for illegally duplicating Autodesk software, the firm agreed to purchase licenses for the programs it had copied, to educate its employees and students about piracy laws, and to join Autodesk in its fight against software piracy.

"It's a win-win situation," said Sandra Boulton, director of Autodesk's industry-leading anti-theft unit. "On Line Design saves its business, and Autodesk gets an ally to help us face our most difficult problem."

Michael Schiesz, co-owner and vice president of On Line Design, said his firm was facing a "staggering" settlement with Autodesk as a result of mismanagement of its software resource. "This is a family business that I have worked years to build. Because I wasn't paying attention, I almost threw it all away," he said. "I didn't relish the idea of starting over again at 54 years old."

Autodesk's investigation showed On Line Design had installed illegal copies of Autodesk software, including AutoCAD and 3D Studio.

In addition to establishing software guidelines for its employees and reviewing the guidelines in regular staff meetings, On Line Design has posted information about piracy throughout its classrooms and has agreed to include advice about proper software use in its training curriculum. Schiesz has also agreed to share his experiences publicly to help others avoid the pitfalls of piracy.

"I have advice for other companies -- and I know there are thousands -- who may be illegally copying software: You can get caught," Schiesz said. "Autodesk gave me the opportunity to keep my business and help others keep theirs. And the best counsel I can offer other business owners is to pay attention, inform yourself about what's going in your company, and put software guidelines into effect. Don't look the other way just because it's easy."

On Line Design, established in 1979, is a Santa Clara-based CAD training facility specializing in AutoCAD, Mechanical Desktop and 3D Studio software training. In addition, the company offers design, drafting and 3D digitizing and modeling services, and provides placement services for temporary and permanent technical personnel.

Autodesk is the world's leading supplier of PC design software and PC multimedia tools. The company's 2D and 3D products, geographic information systems, and data management tools are used in many industries for mapping, architectural design, mechanical design, film and video production, video/game development and Web content development.

Its Kinetix division is the leader in PC-based 3D modeling and animation software, providing a full range of products for digital media and design professionals. The fourth largest PC software company in the world, Autodesk has three million customers in over 140 countries. Autodesk products are sold through Autodesk Systems Centers, Dealers and Distributors worldwide.

For more information on Autodesk, please call 415/507-5000, type GO ADESK on CompuServe, or visit is World Wide Web site at . Kinetix can be reached by calling 800/879-4233 or through its World Wide Web site at . Autodesk shares are traded on the Nasdaq National Market under the symbol ADSK. -0-

Note to Editors: Autodesk, the Autodesk logo, AutoCAD, and 3D Studio are registered trademarks and Mechanical Desktop is a trademark of Autodesk, Inc.