The S&F law blog

Shanghai software pirates arrested
June 22, 2009, 1:53 pm
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shanghai1Sentences for nine gang members involved in an international software counterfeiting scheme were upheld by the Shanghai High People’s Court.

The nine, who sold millions of dollars in pirated software, had previously received sentences of two to nine years by the Shanghai No 1 Intermediate People’s Court.

From 2003 to 2007, the gang, led by Shanghai native Ma Jingyi, sold 677,000 copies of pirated computer software to US companies and individuals for $10.48 million. The gang’s profit was more than 80 million yuan.

The illegally copied and distributed software was mostly an anti-virus program from Symantec.

Ma’s gang, which oversaw the production of 442,000 copies of the pirated program, was convicted of infringing copyright.

Gang members were arrested in July 2007 following a joint investigation launched in 2005 by China’s public security ministry and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.

In 2003 Ma set up companies in Shanghai, selling software, most of it pirated, to US buyers. To avoid being detected, Ma kept most of his business on the Internet.

He hired workers in Shanghai to advertise his cheap software online and to look for customers and others in the US to process payments and deliver products. His primary customers were firms selling computer hardware and software.

Ma sold the pirated version for $15. The authorized version costs about $39. Last month, Symantec filed a lawsuit against Ma’s three companies, demanding compensation of 10 million yuan.

Following investigations, officers conducted raids in both Shenzhen and Shanghai in July 2007, while at the same time US police in Los Angeles conducted 24 searches at illegal distributors.
Source: China Daily


Google Offers Free Music Downloads in China
April 9, 2009, 3:45 am
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Google recently unveiled a free music download service in China

US search engine Google Inc recentyly launched a legal music search service in China that allows users to download licensed songs for free. The service is part of a strategy to better compete with the Baidu Inc search engine.

The new service, offers free downloads of approximately 1.1 million songs from both foreign and Chinese artists.

Google’s new service has drawn support from most of the major music labels including Sony Music, Warner Music, EMI and Universal Music. These labels will share revenue generated by online advertisements posted on the download page. The service will be limited to users in China.

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) said last year that more than 99 percent of all music files distributed in China are pirated, and the country’s total legitimate music market accounts for less than 1 percent of global recorded music sales. This situation has made music industry labels more amenable to allowing free downloads of their music in order to gain an amount of revenue and make music pirates obsolete.

“We don’t fear that our cooperation with Google will impact our traditional music sales because our business has already been impacted (by online music piracy in China),” said Caroline Chow, vice-president of EMI Music in Southeast Asia.

Google’s market share in China rose to 27.8 percent last year from 23.4 percent in 2007, domestic research firm Analysys International said.

Source: China Daily