Adobe, Autodesk and Corel have initiated legal action against giant fashion retailer Forever 21, accusing the company of "widespread", "wilful" and "repeated" piracy of their products.
In a document filed with the District Court in the US, the tech companies allege that Forever 21 – which recently opened two Australian stores – illegally copied software onto computers within its premises, "have not purchased adequate licences", and "circumvented technological measures that effectively control access" to the software.
The vendors did not specify the precise products subject to alleged "wilful, intentional and malicious" misuse by Forever 21. Adobe produces multimedia tools, Autodesk is a manufacturer of 3D and CAD software, while Corel is best known for graphics compression.
An Adobe Australia spokesperson told CRN that the company "does not comment on pending litigation". Forever 21, headquartered in the US, was contacted but had not responded at the time of writing.
Through the court action, the three vendors are seeking an immediate injunction against the alleged piracy, as well as costs and other reparations as the court sees fit.
David Foxen, analyst from IT asset management website ITAM Review, said that there's little justification for a company of the size of Forever 21 to be in trouble for piracy.
"They are a huge organisation, with a well-known brand and huge profit margins. There is simply no excuse for them to be using pirated or illegal copies of software. The fact that Adobe also told them they were infringing copyrights and they still continued to do so is unforgivable," he said.
Forever 21 recently opened its first Australian store in northern Sydney and a second in Brisbane, to add to its network of 550 outlets in the United States. The chain publicises itself as "fast fashion" with new stock arriving daily.