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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!

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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