Software groups hail China piracy verdict

The global software industry was on Friday celebrating what it said was a landmark victory against Chinese piracy after a district court sent four men to prison and handed them hefty fines for distributing counterfeit versions of Microsoft’s Windows XP and other computer programs over the internet.Huqin District People’s Court in Suzhou sentenced Sun Xiansheng and Hong Lei, the founders and main executives of Tomato Garden, a website that generated advertising revenues by offering pirated software for free, to 3½ years in prison and a fine of Rmb1m ($146,000) each. Others involved got smaller fines and jail sentences. see:China Court Issues Rare Piracy Penalty to Windows Copycats
A Chinese court sentenced four people to prison and levied roughly $1.6 million in fines against them for various counts of software copyright infringement, in what an industry group cheered as a major victory in a market where piracy is rampant.Hong Lei and Sun Xianzhong, founders of Chengdu Gongruan Network Technology Co., and two others within the company were sentenced Thursday to 2 to 3½ years in prison and collectively fined 11 million yuan ($1.6 million) by a district court in the eastern Chinese city of Suzhou. The state-controlled Xinhua news agency called it China’s biggest software copyright infringement case.

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