Maker of pirated Windows software gets 3.5 years in jail in E China 2009-08-21 18:51:06   Print

    SUZHOU, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- Hong Lei, maker of China's most popular pirated edition of Windows XP, was sentenced to three and a half years in jail Thursday in the eastern Suzhou City, the Suzhou-based news portal reported.

    Hong, author of the Tomato Garden Windows XP, was sentenced by the People's Court of Huqiu District in Suzhou. He was also fined one million yuan (146,400 U.S. dollars).

    To create the pirated Tomato Garden Windows XP, Hong disabled the authentication and certification process,

    In the country's biggest software copyright infringement case, Hong and his partners offered downloads of the Windows XP Tomato Garden Edition to at least 10 million users for free and made profits from advertisements.

    Hong's partner, Sun Xianzhong, received the same sentence. Another two people were sentenced to two years in prison and each was fined 100,000 yuan.

    The Chengdu Gongruan Networking Technology Co., Ltd., which ran the download Web site, had its income of 2.92 million yuan confiscated and was fined 8.77 million yuan.

    Microsoft was grateful to the Chinese government and its law enforcement organs for their efforts in cracking down on the software pirates, said Liu Fengming, vice president of Microsoft Greater China Region.

    The verdict showed China's determination in combating piracy and protecting intellectual property rights, said Liu.

    Hong set up the site in 2004 and created the Tomato Garden version of the Windows XP, which soon became one of China's most popular pirated software system.

    In June last year, the Business Software Alliance, of which Microsoft is a member, complained to China's National Copyright Administration and the Ministry of Public Security about the copyright infringement of Hong's team.

    Hong and his partners were arrested between August and December last year.

    Fan Yong, lawyer of Gongruan Networking Co., Ltd., told Xinhua his client will decide whether to appeal to Suzhou Intermediate People's Court within 10 days.

Editor: Wang Guanqun
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