World's largest software counterfeiters jailed in China

The ringleaders of what Microsoft have described as "the world's largest software counterfeiting syndicate" have been jailed by the Futian People's Court in Shenzhen, China.

Sentences of up to six and a half years were handed to the 11 software pirates, some of the longest sentences ever given in China for a crime of this nature. It is estimated that $2 billion worth of fake Microsoft software was produced and distributed by the gang across 36 countries. This included counterfeit versions of 19 Microsoft products in at least 11 languages.

The pirates were arrested in July 2007 after being tracked down by China's Public Security Bureau and the FBI, with help from Microsoft and its customers and partners. By using the company's Genuine Advantage tool, tens of thousands of users were able to identify their software as fake and action by Microsoft resellers also helped to further the investigation.

Christophe Zimmermann, the coordinator of the fight against counterfeiting and piracy at the World Customs Organization, said "The action today by the court in China sends a very clear message to counterfeiters that governments around the world are serious about stopping this form of criminality and are willing to step forward to protect their citizens from the harm caused by counterfeit goods."

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13 Comments

...And for those 11 software pirates jailed, 11 more were just brought in. I've never paid for pirated software or legit Microsoft software for that matter.

torrents ftw!

I'm sure the 11 have already stepped in and the burning shops are up and running...they have to keep that money flowing. I wouldn't doubt that alot of the money flows though Governent hands.

timster said,
actually, i said i don't PAY for pirated software. downloading a torrent doesn't cost anything

Oh. That makes it alright then

Pirating won't stop... Getting stuff from torrent is ok as long as you don't resell it or try to make money from it. I doubt they will ever get after individual and remain focus on bigger fish

2bn worth lol that means they made a fraction of it. I'm sure they've inflated the figures too, make it look like they've caught someone big, when infact they've caught some low level criminals.

Harsesis said,
2bn worth lol that means they made a fraction of it. I'm sure they've inflated the figures too, make it look like they've caught someone big, when infact they've caught some low level criminals.


That's the retail value, not the street value. Selling a $100 operating system illegally, means $100 to the 2 billion dollar loss and only $10 into the hands of the pirates who sold it for that much.

Good! I can't stand pirates. It's not fair for the people that do pay for software legally, and for the creators of the software who deserve the money they charge for it. If you can't pay for it, find another solution.

I especially find it despicable if you resell torrented software as the genuine thing.

Yes .. I think it's the selling of counterfeits that was the basis for the prosecutions here .. especially if the profits are used for criminal purposes!
Of course it's a fine line between selling wholesale counterfeits and 'sharing amongst friends' ..

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