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Piracy Crime Software Your Rights Online

Chinese Man Pleads Guilty To $100M Piracy Operation 174

iComp sends word of a Chinese businessman who pleaded guilty to selling pirated software the retail value of which totaled more than $100 million. The software came from over 200 different companies, and was sold to buyers in 61 different countries over a 3-year period. The man was arrested by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on the island of Saipan in 2011, after undercover agents had been working on the case for 18 months (PDF). "Li trolled black market Internet forums in search of hacked software, and people with the know-how to crack the passwords needed to run the program. Then he advertised them for sale on his websites. Li transferred the pirated programs to customers by sending compressed files via Gmail, or sent them hyperlinks to download servers, officials said. ... Agents lured Li from China to the U.S. territory of Saipan under the premise of discussing a joint illicit business venture. At an island hotel, Li delivered counterfeit packaging and, prosecutors said, "Twenty gigabytes of proprietary data obtained unlawfully from an American software company." Officials did not identify the company in court documents."
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Chinese Man Pleads Guilty To $100M Piracy Operation

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  • A hundred million? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jcr ( 53032 ) <> on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @01:27AM (#42528501) Journal

    If the dude pocketed a hundred million bucks, then it's a hundred million dollar piracy operation. This sounds to me like the standard law enforcement press release inflation gambit.


  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @01:35AM (#42528567)

    More like a 60,000 USD operation, which is what he made off his dealings. Retail value here has no meaning here as nothing was taken from anyone.

  • by russsell ( 185151 ) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @01:41AM (#42528607)

    I hazard a guess that the cost of this operation was less than the amount of tax that the US company paid that year.

  • by adolf ( 21054 ) <> on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @02:22AM (#42528797) Journal


    The person claimed that he felt bad for downloading the pirated version of the movies but he had no choice.

    Forced to download! No choice! (As if someone held a gun to his head and MADE HIM pirate movies.)

    These words. They do not mean what you think they mean.

  • by Warhawke ( 1312723 ) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @02:30AM (#42528843)

    I read this twice trying to understand how a censorious government was forcing this man to download movies. How did he have no choice? Were agents holding a gun to his head telling him to download? Was he working for the government and how to download the movies to determine whether their content should be censored?

    Then I realized what you (or he) meant was that he really, really wanted to see these movies and couldn't obtain them through legal channels.

    I'm usually the one with the tent and sleeper who camped out the night before when it comes to standing in the anti-censorship line, but laws are laws, and Islamic countries have different laws as values than the U.S. and others. This guy was in no way forced to download movies. He just wanted the movies and decided to go to illegal means to get them. Legally, this is no different than downloading a movie because you're out of cash. While there may be a moral issue in the appropriateness of censorship, this guy plainly and simply violated the law and ethics of his culture and then claimed the government "made him do it." I vehemently hate DRM, and it often screws up my ability to view the content in the manner that I want. At no point does it grab me and force me to perform illegal activities by stripping the DRM or pirating content. I may or may not choose to do so of my own volition, and I may feel completely justified in doing so, but I, like this guy, have the choice simply not to consume the product at all!

  • Arms wide open (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheDarkener ( 198348 ) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @02:31AM (#42528847) Homepage

    'The man was arrested by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on the island of Saipan'

    So lemme get this straight - the Department of Homeland Security spent taxpayer money finding and arresting a software pirate...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @03:37AM (#42529179)

    Anyway. Who BUYs pirated software? His clients should be fined for stupidity.

    They were. They paid him for the product.

  • by telchine ( 719345 ) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @05:50AM (#42529861)

    How would US citizens feel about his, and other's like him living in the US?

    As far as I'm concerned, so long as they learn the local language and customs ... anyone who can use an apostrophe correctly is welcome to become a US citizen.

FORTRAN is the language of Powerful Computers. -- Steven Feiner