The operator of a website that offered copies of software has pleaded guilty to one count of criminal copyright infringement, the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) said.\u00a0Ronnie A. Knott, 36, of Salt Lake City, pleaded guilty Thursday before Judge T.S. Ellis III in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. He is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 23, and he faces a maximum of five years in prison and a US$250,000 fine.Knott operated a Web business called Smart PC and CDBackups that provided subscribers access to infringing copies of software from companies including Adobe Systems, Apple Computer, Microsoft and Symantec, the DoJ said. Knott operated the business from about early 2005 until the U.S. FBI shut it down in May 2006.Knott said he received about $20,000 in subscription fees.The investigation, conducted by the FBI\u2019s Washington Field Office, involved an undercover agent who became a subscriber to Knott\u2019s service and was able to download more than $30,000 worth of pirated software. Further investigation found that Knott had illegally reproduced copyrighted software with a retail value of nearly $2.5 million.-Grant Gross, IDG News Service (Washington Bureau)Related Links:\n\nBSA: More Police Action Needed in Singapore\n\nA Piracy Supply Chain (CSO)Check out our CIO News Alerts and Tech Informer pages for more updated news coverage.