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The Courts Government Microsoft News

Taiwan Group Responsible For 90% of MSFT Piracy 229

Stony Stevenson writes "Microsoft claims that a small group led by a recently jailed Taiwanese man was the source of almost all high-quality pirated copies of its software up until his arrest in 2004. The claim suggests that Microsoft practically wiped out commercial piracy of its products with the arrest of Huang Jer-sheng, the owner of Taiwan-based software distributor Maximus Technology. Microsoft announced today that Huang and his associates. who were all recently sentenced to jail time, had been responsible for the 'production and distribution of more than 90 percent of the high-quality counterfeit Microsoft software products either seized by law enforcement or test-purchased around the world.'"
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Taiwan Group Responsible For 90% of MSFT Piracy

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @03:39AM (#22303936)
    The more interesting story would be, how did they catch him?
  • by Thanshin ( 1188877 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @04:05AM (#22304086)
    Every time I read news about "piracy", the "pirates" are "stealing" 90% of the money!

    Now I wonder:

    A - Is it 90% of the 10% left from the previous "pirate" operation?
    So, after three or four captures, it becomes clear they are actually selling legally less than 1/100 of a single copy.

    B - Are the "pirates" stealing copies from other "pirates" and repitating them?
    So, 10% of the copies would be legally sold and 90% would reach the final clients after being "pirated" about twenty times.
  • by Gordonjcp ( 186804 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @04:23AM (#22304186) Homepage
    Some of the fakes are very convincing with packaging and so on. If you go out to a bigger local store you'll see a mix of very good fakes with legit software.

    Just as a matter of interest, do they pirate things like Linux distros? I can see that people might sell convincing fakes of Redhat boxed distros, but I don't know if they'd sell. Perhaps if someone was getting what they thought was a support contract that turned out to be bogus?
  • by daveb ( 4522 ) <davebremerNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @04:50AM (#22304328) Homepage
    this is invalid.

    piracy takes money out of the hands of those who deserve it. imagine if your employer, tax office, or ex-wives, were to consider your paycheck casual and freely remove it from you and do whatever it or they pleased, including shoving it where the sun dont shine. i think you would do something, no? or are you a pussy and shrug your puny shoulders, yes? then we are in agreement.
    your argument is invalid

    In the cases you give I am deprived of the product which is "pirated". Copying does not deprive the source of the product. You are making a very very strange comparison between copying and theft.

    Let me put it this way ... if someone can take my paycheck, and leave me with exactly every cent in that paycheck, then they are welcome to it and I invite everyone to do the same.

    not that I've ever encountered pirated software mind you

  • by Cougem ( 734635 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @04:57AM (#22304374)
    How is this insightful? Just asking a question which damns WGA doesn't mean you're worth modding up.

    This is 90% of professional piracy, therefore:
    1) There are other vendors (see the other 10%), who really probably can expand to fill the spaces - ESPECIALLY since if these guys were apprehended so long ago there is a fine vista market ready for targetting. If you've already managed to circumvent the protection then you're only going to be limited by distribution and manufacture, which is hardly that big a hurdle
    2) 90% of HIGH QUALITY piracy, NOT 90% of torrent downloaders and casual pirates. WGA, supposedly, protects against this, which is also a huge problem

    Just getting pissy with copy protection is hardly worthy of mod points.
  • by GomezAdams ( 679726 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @05:02AM (#22304406)
    It won't be long given the pricing structure of Microsoft products that someone will step in to fill the orders for cheap knock offs. High quality or otherwise. I've been in the high tech shopping district in Taiwan and the prices for these pirated items are (usually) far below the price of legitimate copies.

    Also been in Mexico City where street vendors sell about any software title on the planet - some slick copies, some shoddy.

    And I doubt the 90% figure. Looks and smells like some marketing drone pulled it out of his @ss.
  • by Asic Eng ( 193332 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @05:56AM (#22304636)
    It's a little surprising that a single group is so dominant in this area, actually, I wouldn't have expected it.

    Well Taiwan accounts e.g. for over 80% of the world's laptop production (at least that's what they claim here [taiwanembassy.org] - table in German only, but should be easy to read). So it would make sense that a lot of the industrial copying of software would be there, too.

  • by patio11 ( 857072 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @07:27AM (#22305004)
    Criminal like hell. Nothing compared to copy some software where both parties know it.

    This appears to be the Slashdot consensus morality:

    Make a perfectly functional copy, upload it to Pirate Bay, charge for advertising: No problem.
    Make a perfectly functional copy, sell it on a CD-R, charge $1 for it: Very little problem.
    Make a perfectly functional copy, sell it on a CD which looks real, charge $100 for it: Criminal like hell.

    It would appear, on the basis of available evidence, that the Slashdot consensus doesn't give two bits about IP rights as applied to software, but thinks they are really, really important when applied to the distinctive branding on cardboard boxes. I suppose Microsoft should have invested more in Pretty Box Rights Management? It would probably make them more popular around here.
  • Re:High quality? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Kamokazi ( 1080091 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @09:38AM (#22305668)
    Hey, I just got back from China a week ago, and let me tell you, the copy of "Windows Vista Professional" I got for $2.50 was top notch. I mean it actually came with a DVD cover, and probably only fifty or so trojans eager to steal my personal information. (In all seriousness, I did actually buy one as a souvenier...and it was named Vista Professional, which of course isn't actually a real version of Vista, but funny nonetheless. I can't read the Mandarin on it, but on the back it mentions CRACK and readme.tx in red lettering along with some Chinese symbols. It came in a flat celophane package with a cardboard DVD cover that could fit on a DVD case....cost 18 RMB (I had to talk them down from 20, hehe.))
  • Re:High quality? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by couchslug ( 175151 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @10:01AM (#22305906)
    Compared to either, a live Linux CD wins.

    I can rescue, troubleshoot, surf with, and easily install from a variety of live Linux CDs.

    The tools are there to build something similar:

    http://www.911cd.net/forums/ [911cd.net]

    using Windows PE exist, but MSFT doesn't bother. Too bad, really. It would make user lives easier.
  • Re:high-quality (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Beardo the Bearded ( 321478 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @01:33PM (#22308802)
    Funnily enough, that's sometimes true.

    One of my professors bought a copy of MATLAB to use for solving some filtering equations. (He taught the DSP courses) He installed the program on his laptop, but whenever he wasn't using his internet access, he couldn't use MATLAB correctly. I'm not sure why.

    He finally just installed a pirated version and it worked flawlessly.

    Technically, he wasn't pirating the software either, since he paid for a full licence. They weren't cheap, either. It runs about $25k for a full version of MATLAB.

"Turn on, tune up, rock out." -- Billy Gibbons