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Chinese police, Microsoft and the U.S. FBI helped bust a major Chinese piracy ring

A multi-year investigation by Chinese police investigators and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation led to the dismantling of a piracy ring responsible for pirating and distributing up to $2 billion of software.  The two-year investigation led to the demise of two criminal organizations - located in Shanghai and Shenzhen - and included up to 25 arrests according to officials from both nations.  Police found pirated software valued at $500 million after conducting the raid in Shenzhen.

Using information provided by the FBI Los Angeles bureau and Microsoft, the China Public Security Bureau (PSB) was finally able to target sources responsible for pirating large amounts of software from companies such as Microsoft and Symantec.

During the investigation, authorities were able to track more than 50,000 copies of software which was considered "sophisticated-quality."  As many as 290,000 counterfeit software CDs were also confiscated during the raids in Shanghai and Shenzhen.

"This case represents a milestone in the fight against software piracy - governments, law enforcement agencies and private companies working together with customers and software resellers to break up a massive international counterfeiting ring," said Brad Smith, Microsoft general counsel and senior vice president.  "This case should serve as a wake-up call to counterfeiters," he added.

The FBI reported that it believes the majority of the software (70 percent) was distributed to users in the United States, while the remaining pirated goods went to countries like Canada, the U.K., Australia and Japan.

The China PSB continues to be engaged in a long but tiresome battle against piracy, as China remains the leading source of pirated goods in the world.  The Business Software Alliance reported that 82 percent of software used in China is likely pirated.

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Piracy and Links to the Underground
By johnadams on 7/25/2007 12:42:16 PM , Rating: 4
Some of the locals here in Malaysia described that they had always refrained from buying pirated software / movies due to its link to the underground triad rings. The act of buying pirated software equates to funding other illegal activities as well such as drugs, prostitution, human trafficking and other organized crimes and the Malaysian government had been putting in the effort to educate the public of this link.

The campaign had more success of reaching to the publics' view of morality than the emphasis on copyright laws and ethics. Besides, who cares about copyright laws when the general populace of third world countries are forced to fork out a big portion of their income to buy original software. Vista Home which costs USD 259 may be reasonable for Americans, but to pay almost a thousand ringgit (at exchange rate of 3.5 to a dollar ) just doesn't make sense especially considering that the average household income ranges between RM 1001 - RM 2000 (USD 285 - USD 571) .

RE: Piracy and Links to the Underground
By BladeVenom on 7/25/2007 1:07:36 PM , Rating: 1
Then they should switch to Linux; it's free.

By kiasu81 on 7/26/2007 1:13:45 AM , Rating: 2
my friend, when the majority of people here using windows, we are left with no choice.

By kiasu81 on 7/26/2007 1:16:59 AM , Rating: 2
actually you can get an original vista home premium for less than 400 ringgit in malaysia. try ask around lowyat and you can get even lower than 350!

By Das Capitolin on 7/25/2007 10:23:01 AM , Rating: 4
Considering that Shenzhen is a 10-million+ population experiment in capitolism, and that just about everything that can contribute to capitolism (legal or otherwise) is allowed, it really surprises me that China bothered with this at all.

On the reverse side of this position is the fact that it took Microsoft, the FBI, and Chinese police many years to act on the information. Too bad this is the absolute "best case" scenario.

a long way to go
By lufoxe on 7/25/2007 9:49:14 AM , Rating: 2
I can see china is trying to stop piracy. (can be taken with or without sarcasm) But unfortunately it's just throwing a stone into Mt. Everest.

RE: a long way to go
By majorpain on 7/25/2007 10:13:04 AM , Rating: 2
Here in Brazil, u can see hundreds os people selling software, movies, music dvds, etc, in small tables in almost all main streets. Cops see it, cops ignore it... long way indeed...

RE: a long way to go
By ChipDude on 7/25/07, Rating: -1
This is actually quite effective
By Communism on 7/25/2007 11:01:34 AM , Rating: 3
I just went back to China to visit my relatives this summer and during that time was trying to get pirated copies of lots of crap and I found it was much harder now than before.

4 years ago i could find people selling anything in "pc town" as it is called in my home town of Wuhan, Hubei.
Now it seems the police check every week or so with random checks and there are not many that dare to sell, and the ones that do do it extremely discreetly.

On a side note, building a PC in china is easier than ever, :D, and its funny that people get ripped off buying a new computer there all the time like they do here from a name brand(lenovo) at outrageous prices.

I also could find mp3/mp4 players at extremely cheap prices there, (i bought a 10 gb vga res 7 inch mp4 player for 75 USD and a 2 gb ipod nano clone with mp4 xvid/divx playback for 30 USD) showing that the Ipod stupidity movement has perfectly succeeded at making people increadibly stupid when buying mp3/mp4 players as i see them in excess of 300 USD many times in the US xD

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