World’s biggest piracy ring convicted in Shenzhen

On 31st December 2008 the Futian District People’s Court of Shenzhen City, Guangdong Province sentenced 11 infringers to jail for manufacturing and dealing in pirated computer software. The longest sentence imposed was six-and-a-half years' imprisonment. These penalties are the highest ever imposed by the Chinese courts for piracy.

The pirates copied 19 of Microsoft’s most popular software programs, including Windows XP and Office 2007. The software was manufactured in Guangdong Province and distributed to 36 countries in 11 languages. The 11 main infringers were from the same piracy ring, which was believed to be the largest in the world. Prior to their arrest in July 2007, the ring had operated for a number of years and had pirated computer software worth a total of US$2 billion.

The arrest of the main infringers was the result of a joint effort by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Chinese Ministry of Public Security. The operation marks a milestone in cooperation between enforcement authorities in two different countries.

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