Chinese Court Sentences Microsoft Pirates

11 jailed for counterfeit software ring with 'unprecedented' scope
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 31, 2008 9:59 AM CST
Chinese Court Sentences Microsoft Pirates
Windows XP was one of the lines of Microsoft software illegally distributed by Chinese counterfeiters. In the US, the fakes fetched relatively high prices.   (AP Photo/Microsoft, file)

A Chinese court has convicted 11 people of violating copyright laws and sentenced them to as much as 6 1/2  years of prison for working with a counterfeiting ring that sold fake Microsoft products around the world. Microsoft hailed the crackdown on the pirates, whose organization may have made $2 billion, the New York Times reports.

The highly convincing phony software, which included Windows XP and Office, was created in several languages and distributed to 36 countries in an operation a Microsoft attorney calls "absolutely unprecedented." It's unclear whether the defendants were the ringleaders of the sophisticated operation; in another trial in Shanghai, nine other suspects face similar charges.
(More Microsoft stories.)

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