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China Increasing Piracy Penalties, Says Microsoft

[Techtaffy Newsdesk]

The Chinese government has dealt a strong blow against intellectual property crime, penalizing counterfeiter Shang Yajun for copyright infringement and the sale of illegally manufactured registered trademarks, says Microsoft. The 1st Intermediate People’s Court of Beijing upheld the Haidian District Court’s decision that sentenced Shang to seven years and six months imprisonment, representing the longest-ever criminal sentence in China for selling and distributing counterfeit software products.

In its July 2011 raid of storage facilities belonging to Shang, the Haidian District Public Security Bureau in Beijing confiscated more than 360,000 partially finished certificates of authenticity (COAs). Although product names and product identification had not been added yet, it is estimated that when finished and packed, their worth would be approximately $79 million.

Also during this raid, law enforcement discovered counterfeit products and finished COAs valued at approximately $1.6 million. This included 4,400 Channel OEM and OEM products for Dell, HP and Lenovo, including Simplified Chinese and English-language versions of Windows XP Professional, Windows 7 (Home, Professional and Ultimate), as well as Windows Server 2008 Standard, Windows Server 2003 Standard and Windows Server 2003 Enterprise. In addition to packaging equipment and materials, approximately 200 finished Windows XP Professional Simplified Chinese COAs and 200 finished Windows Server Standard COAs were seized.

“This case has set a precedent and an exemplary role for similar cases, demonstrating the fact that judicial authorities in China have been increasing the penalties for piracy,” said Huang Jingping, executive director of Criminal Law Research Center of Renmin University of China and vice president of China Criminal Law Society.

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