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Microsoft software pirates sentenced to jail

Posted at 01 January 2009 23:13 CET by Randomus

Microsoft won a battle in the overall war against piracy in China, after the ringleaders of a large-scale Chinese counterfeiting ring were handed jail sentences after being busted in 2007.

"Microsoft greatly appreciates the work of China’s PSB and the FBI in taking strong enforcement action against this global software counterfeiting syndicate," Microsoft Worldwide Anti-Piracy and Anti-Counterfeiting general counsel David Finn said in a statement.

The ring was believed to be the largest software counterfeiting ring operating in China — selling more than $2 billion of pirated material — with prison terms ranging from a year-and-a-half up to six-and-a-half years.  Microsoft first began monitoring the group in 2001, and watched for four years before the FBI and Chinese authorities began working together in 2005 to bring the group down.

Over 19 products, including Windows XP, Vista and Office 2007, were manufactured in China, sold over the Internet, and shipped to the United States, Europe, and other locations. Rather than focus on the Chinese market, where pirated products are sold for extremely low prices, the group sold products to "high-value" markets — Microsoft found the pirated software in 36 different countries. 

China is known as a hotbed for pirated materials, with representatives from the software, music, movie and video game industries pleading with the Chinese government to take a stand against piracy.  The country has increased penalties for alleged pirates, but the epidemic is still growing, analysts admit.

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There are 8 comments

MyCE Member
Posted on: 02 Jan 09 02:52
    Shipping toxic waste like Vista to the USA makes them terrorists. They should be executed.

    What are "high-value" markets to pirates? Places where there is no broadband or where people don't know how to use BitTorrent?
    MyCE Resident
    Posted on: 02 Jan 09 02:56
      RTV71: I believe "high-value" countries describes nations like the United States and many European nations that have high GDPs, where people are willing to purchase the pirated software rather than spend time trying to figure out how to pirate it.
      MyCE Member
      Posted on: 02 Jan 09 18:46
        I thought China didn't honor patents? I thought they could reengineer products to sell on the open market?
        No longer with us
        Posted on: 03 Jan 09 02:17
          The sentences were excessive because America wants vengeance for all the children/pets that have died from "Made In China" products containing contaminated milk, contaminated toys, contaminated pet food, contaminated pharmaceuticals, contaminated drywall...
          No longer with us
          Posted on: 03 Jan 09 14:42
            They should get rehabilitation. Not for 'pirating', but for dealing in mickey$haft products. Poor taste.
            MyCE Resident
            Posted on: 03 Jan 09 17:45
              So, I guess it is against the law to steal their products, but it is not against the law for microsoft to steal others ideas then run them out of business. I really think Microsofts days are numbered. Google or developers around the net are going to surprise them with a free OS soon... Android. I have already seen an article with a netbook running on Android with wireless, sound, browsing etc all working.

              They will get beat at their own game by Google, who will create (provide) a system for accessing the net (Chrome) and word processing etc, and give it away. Sound familiar? IE all over again- but this time MS is the Netscape. All Google needs is for folks to access the net and they are making money. The more people they can get online...the more they will make...

              Unplug your PC sometime from the Internet and see how long you spend "computing". It's all about the Internet now.
              MyCE Resident
              Posted on: 03 Jan 09 21:35
                Crabby: There is a growing number of people who believe Google is the next "evil empire", so having Google suddenly take over Microsoft's products is rather unlikely any time in the immediate future, IMO.

                Besides that, Microsoft has been expanding into other products for years now just so they'll be prepared if they lose dominance in the OS market.

                Steve Ballmer may like to act like one crazy guy, but he's quite intelligent and knows what he's doing.
                MyCE Junior Member
                Posted on: 08 Jan 09 20:45
                  $400 for an operating system full of bugs is theft in my book. It's Microslop who should be in jail in the first place!

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