A court in southern China has convicted 11 people of violating national copyright laws and participating in a sophisticated counterfeiting ring that for years manufactured and distributed pirated Microsoft software throughout the world.
The men were sentenced by a court in the city of Shenzhen to between one and one-half and six and one-half years in prison, according to court papers released late Wednesday.
Microsoft applauded the sentences in a statement, saying they were the stiffest ever handed down in this type of copyright infringement case in China.
Microsoft has called the group part of “the biggest software counterfeiting organization we have ever seen, by far” and estimated its global sales at more than $2 billion.
The case is considered by some legal specialists to be a landmark because it involved a joint anti-piracy effort by the FBI and the Chinese Ministry of Public Security. Law enforcement officials said it was also notable because the group operated like a multinational corporation, producing and distributing high-quality counterfeit software that was created and packaged almost identically to the real products, despite Microsoft’s anti-piracy measures.
Nice to see. All the liberal folk on the vegetarian Left will stand back – realizing they will now have to switch over from “China will never do a thing to stop piracy” to “how do we help those poor hackers in Chinese jails”.
Fact is – as China develops indigenous talent in all the arenas of science and technology, they have to modernize their attitudes towards intellectual property. If all is well – and there is no guarantee – there’s a good chance they’ll run right past the foolishness perpetuated by the U.S. Patent Office, the FCC, the RIAA and MPAA and the rest of the corrupt alphabet governing IP in the United States.