WF Man Pleaded Guilty To Copyright Infringement

A Wichita Falls man has pleaded guilty in federal court to copyright infringement.

Officials say 28-year-old James Clayton Baxter pleaded guilty before a U.S. Magistrate Judge to one count copyright infringement. Baxter is currently in federal custody, facing a maximum statutory sentence of five years behind bars, plus a $250,000 fine. Officials add he could also be ordered to pay restitution.

The sentencing portion of the trial is scheduled for October 25, 2011.

Authorities report in a file documented from June 2006 to April 2007, Baxter infringed the copyrighted works of Adobe Systems Inc. by reproducing copies of their software for his financial gain. The investigation into Baxter's activity began in May 2007 after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement got wind by investigators working for Adobe that they had purchased infringing software from a website that sold copies of software titles via download from the web. Investigators add this was traced back to Baxter's residence in the Falls.

The FBI also received a separated lead in 2007 from the WFPD concerning Baxter's involvement in selling pirated software. The WFPD reports a previous dealing with Baxter selling infringing software in 2004 for credit card abuse, warning him he could not sell the pirated material on his websites. In October 2007, the WFPD reports they seized computers and external storage media from Baxter's house via search warrant.

The investigation report shows Baxter admitted to knowing the "backup" copies of Adobe software were illegal reproductions, and that he willingly infringed on their work for his personal financial gain.

Stay tuned to Newschannel 6 for more on the sentencing phase of this trial.