×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

18 Months In Prison For Making iPad 2 Cases

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the force-multiplier dept.

China 285

decora writes "Loretta Chao of the The Wall Street Journal reports on three people in China who were sentenced to between 12 and 18 months in prison for a plot to make iPad 2 protective cases before the tablet's official release. The plan allegedly involved R&D man Lin Kecheng of Hon Hai Precision Industry Company (FoxConn) selling image data to Hou Pengna, who then passed it to Xiao Chengsong, a manager at MacTop. The charges? One 'violated the privacy policy of the company,' two got information through 'illegal means' causing 'huge losses,' and they all 'infringed trade secrets.' The decision was handed down by the Shenzen Baoan People's Court on June 16."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

285 comments

Bribe Fine (4, Insightful)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 2 years ago | (#36509676)

!8 months prison for failure to pay the appropriate bribe.

Re:Bribe Fine (2)

vivian (156520) | more than 2 years ago | (#36509860)

That's what happens when you cross business interests in a fascist state.

Re:Bribe Fine (1)

TheInternetGuy (2006682) | more than 2 years ago | (#36509944)

I thought they were Communists, just a moment ago?

Re:Bribe Fine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36510132)

China was communist in the 60s. No longer. They've long since sold their souls to the bourgeoisie. There is nothing about China today that works to protect workers rights. China is now on the opposite end of the spectrum.

Re:Bribe Fine (4, Insightful)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 2 years ago | (#36510192)

You mean, communism was EVER about "protecting workers rights"? Uhm sorry but this myth has been dispelled in November 1917.

If you, unlike me, were lucky enough to not live in a communist country and didn't have half of the family murdered for, say, having a title "senior worker"[1], please read Animal Farm or 1984, these are pretty accurate descriptions.

[1]. An uncle of my grandfather, an uneducated factory worker, was promoted to "senior worker" which was for people with no formal training but with work experience who proven they have a clue how to do their job. That was enough to be labelled "an agent of the bourgeoisie" and be taken away by the DHS^H^H^H UB never to be seen again.

Re:Bribe Fine (2, Insightful)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 2 years ago | (#36510196)

You mean, communism was EVER about "protecting workers rights"? Uhm sorry but this myth has been dispelled in November 1917.

You should probably take a look at what communism is, as in, the proper definition of communism, not the attempts at practical implementations of derivatives (leninism, stalinism, maoism et al).

If you, unlike me, were lucky enough to not live in a communist country and didn't have half of the family murdered for, say, having a title "senior worker"[1], please read Animal Farm or 1984, these are pretty accurate descriptions.

That doesn't really sound like communism to me. Besides, Animal Farm was not a critique of the ideology, it was a critique of the aforementioned implementations and their totalitarianism, Orwell himself was a socialist.

a little understanding? (1)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#36510510)

that man just told you his family members got killed, not the best time to nitpick.

Re:a little understanding? (2, Insightful)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 2 years ago | (#36510534)

It's not nitpicking, he was using his claimed personal experience with a corrupt and flawed regime that in turn claimed to be based on an ideology to back up his claim that the ideology at hand represents those things which the regime represented even though it is common knowledge that the ideology does not represent these things.

Re:a little understanding? (2, Insightful)

thej1nx (763573) | more than 2 years ago | (#36510658)

Name one instance where the said ideology has ever been managed to be implemented, without the totalitarianism/fascism.

Looks like a duck, walks like a duck, talks like a duck = has to be a duck.

People are essentially people. You cannot get them to voluntarily give up what they perceive as "theirs", without resorting to force/totalitarianism eventually, which in turn eventually, degrades to an authoritarian/fascist state. It has never worked even once in history.

Re:a little understanding? (2, Insightful)

zwei2stein (782480) | more than 2 years ago | (#36510660)

And this "ideology" was proven again and again to lead to corrupt and flawed regimes.

Because it is just another tool to fool masses and get to the top. It was never supposed to be more than propaganda piece that plays on human greed and envy.

Re:a little understanding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36510670)

fantasy trumps reality...

go back to your video games please

Re:a little understanding? (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 2 years ago | (#36510788)

The problem I have is that people attack capitalism on the basis of the way it turns out in the real world, but defend communism based on its "ideal". You can either compare the ideal of capitalism to the ideal of communism, or you can compare the way they each work out when people attempt to implement them.

Re:a little understanding? (1)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 2 years ago | (#36510798)

I mentioned this particular example, but it is but one of many. Systemic oppression of workers under communism is less talked of in the West, so let's take a look at the other side of "worker-peasant" for something that is better publicised. Murdering by starvation one fourth of peasants in the state of Ukraine is such a stellar example of a benevolent party fighting for the good of common people against those evil capitalists...

For non-soviet examples, look at the Cultural Revolution, the rule of Red Khmers or what is still going on in North Korea.

Re:a little understanding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36510748)

that man just told you his family members got killed, not the best time to nitpick.

Just imagine if this were a valid way to argue. It'd be a huge loophole for all sorts of lies.

All Muslims are terrorists! Don't nitpick, my cousin died on September 11 in the terrorist attack.

Hitler ate babies! Don't nitpick, my grandfather was at Auschwitz.

Vaccines cause autism. Don't nitpick, my child died from complications due to autism.

Re:a little understanding? (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 2 years ago | (#36510868)

Sad as that case may be, realistically you can't drop a debate every time somebody trots out something like that. We'd never get anywhere.

Re:Bribe Fine (1)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 2 years ago | (#36510634)

You mean, communism was EVER about "protecting workers rights"? Uhm sorry but this myth has been dispelled in November 1917.
You should probably take a look at what communism is, as in, the proper definition of communism, not the attempts at practical implementations of derivatives (leninism, stalinism, maoism et al).

There were around 100 or so implementations of communism. If every single of them was "not the TRUE communism", perhaps there's something wrong with the ideology?

Re:Bribe Fine (1)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 2 years ago | (#36510172)

They're something else now. I don't think there's a word for it, unless it's "Borg."

I'm a lot more afraid of what they are now than I was when they were Communists. What they're doing now just might work.

Re:Bribe Fine (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36510344)

They never were communists in any other way than the name.

Re:Bribe Fine (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#36510544)

No one has ever successfully implemented a communist society with more than about 50 members. It's a nice idea, but it doesn't scale, except possibly in a post-scarcity society.

Re:Bribe Fine (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 2 years ago | (#36510762)

The distance between communist and fascist is very narrow, both are variants on progressive ideology. China crossed over from communist to fascist in the late 70s/early 80s (although it is still officially Communist).

Re:Bribe Fine (1, Insightful)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#36509904)

I wonder if the prison has a "glorious people's correctional work for the purpose of moral education"[1] program? He might end up making the real thing.

[1] Not slave labour at all. No no no. Entirely different thing.

Re:Bribe Fine (2)

Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) | more than 2 years ago | (#36510512)

That is absolutely the case. The "wheels of justice" in China only turn that quickly if you've run afoul of a well connected (government cadre) earner. Given the size of Foxconn and the amount of money involved, it's got to be someone (or a number of people) VERY high up in the CCP food chain....hence the harsh and fast sentence.

Anyone making this out as some attempt at enforcing IP laws is kidding themselves.

Re:Bribe Fine (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#36510646)

The "wheels of justice" in China only turn that quickly if you've run afoul of a well connected (government cadre) earner.

Here in the US, the only turn that quickly if your skin happens to be an unfortunate shade.

Right here in Illinois in fact, if you happen to be that unfortunate shade and are caught with non-Pharma-approved drugs, you are 500 percent more likely to do jail time then your more pale counterpart.

Re:Bribe Fine (2)

Cockatrice_hunter (1777856) | more than 2 years ago | (#36510540)

The guy committed an actual crime. In fact, I'm sure he'd be punished in the states had he done a similar thing here. Or were you saying that he could have gotten away if he'd paid a fine?

Re:Bribe Fine (2)

rjstanford (69735) | more than 2 years ago | (#36510732)

18 months in prison for corporate espionage. In the US, the penalty [wikipedia.org] can run up to $500,000 and 15 years imprisonment for individuals, $10,000,000 for corporations. Why do you think this has something to do with China being bad? Or with commerce being corrupt? The idea behind these penalties was, believe it or not, to reduce corrupt business deals.

Good (1, Insightful)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#36509686)

It's good to see China taking IP seriously for a change.

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36509720)

Where it doesn't matter and uses useless minor irrelevant cases like this one as a poor example they do good things.

Its funny they don't apply the same rule to weapons manufacturors, heavy industry manufacturors etc, the "big boys"... would be akin to shooting itself on the head. Better off to point it at poor and those between poor and middle class trying to make a living and make a big media fuss on them scum for making plastic paded cases. Those really put a dent to the economy monopolies right?

Not quite. (5, Insightful)

Narcogen (666692) | more than 2 years ago | (#36509790)

This is not China taking IP seriously as a matter of principle.

This is China taking the needs of Foxconn seriously, and in this case, Foxconn's need is to demonstrate to its clients that it can be trusted with their sensitive commercial materials, such as the specifications of as-yet-unreleased products.

Re:Not quite. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36509952)

But this is the same thing, really.

Re:Not quite. (1)

georgesdev (1987622) | more than 2 years ago | (#36509976)

I second Anonymous Coward and msobkow, this is China taking IP seriously.
Whatever their motivation is.

Re:Not quite. (3, Funny)

second_coming (2014346) | more than 2 years ago | (#36510054)

The motivation being, if they don't crack down on it then big business will pull out of China and go somewhere more 'trustworthy'. The likelihood is lots of foreign business will pull out of China over the next few years anyway due to the huge increase in production (ie. wage) costs.

Re:Not quite. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36510124)

You are a selfish, materialistic idiot sat in your comfortable little world where clearly you need something more important to occupy your time a little if all you have to care about in your life is your corporate allegiance.

You are PATHETIC!

Re:Not quite. (1)

wildstoo (835450) | more than 2 years ago | (#36510470)

Hey Mr. AC, it just so happens that Corporate Allegiance is the fastest growing religion in America.

You know what happens to people who threaten religious freedoms, don't you?

Re:Not quite. (4, Interesting)

martyros (588782) | more than 2 years ago | (#36510364)

This is China taking the needs of Foxconn seriously

From the summary, I don't see anything particularly wrong with this decision. One company gained an unfair advantage over its competition by engaging in illegal industrial espionage. If the problem is selective prosecution, then surely the solution is to complain about others who are not prosecuted for espionage, rather than to complain about those who are prosecuted?

nothing new (1)

asscheese (805683) | more than 2 years ago | (#36509696)

This goes on all the time Im sorry they have to be locked away but I think as a whole were far to consumed with consuming and it makes nothing safe. I just find a lot of chinas business practices to be money over EVERYTHING and somehow the world has to get a hold on it, and themself

Re:nothing new (2)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 2 years ago | (#36509770)

The US has been a consumerist society for decades and decades. People have been saying it will ruin us all for just as long.

One thing you learn from reading old science fiction is that "modern" problems are anything but modern.

Re:nothing new (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36509818)

People have been saying it will ruin us

'It' already has. Our representatives kowtow to the Chinese on command lest they decide we should experience some 'austerity.'

Re:nothing new (2)

X.25 (255792) | more than 2 years ago | (#36509838)

The US has been a consumerist society for decades and decades. People have been saying it will ruin us all for just as long.

Well, it did ruin you.

Hopefully, you see/realize that.

Re:nothing new (4, Insightful)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 2 years ago | (#36509842)

It has ruined you. If you're posting on /. as an educated geek with a good job and a comfortable life then you are one of the few winners of the system. Most of the West is miserable with no voice loud enough to be heard.

The media in every regime give the impression that almost everyone is content with that regime, from the US through the USSR all the way to DPRK. Spend time providing help to or even stopping to have a conversation with the homeless, the chronically sick, the nonviolent prisoner. Then move on to the non-smart - it sounds mean, but half the population are intellectually below average and likely have extremely limited opportunity for it. You'll find that people are struggling and miserable. Not yet at the stage of mass consciousness and disloyalty, but that's yet to come.

I'd summarise our problem in three words: reliance on corporation. We suck at supporting ourselves for our own sake, whether that means individually or at a community / region / national level. Since the '50s local community has deteriorated, and since the '80s we've lost a sense of national community. We're now stuck in this utterly false mindset that the only way to get anything done is to throw money at some magnificent private company to do badly what we've lost the power to do ourselves. Need to talk to someone? Your voice and a knock on the door is no longer good enough. Nor a letter. Nor building your own radio set. Nor even an open access Internet. No, that all requires too much thinking. Now you're tempted to get a shiny ready-made throwaway toy built at a cost which could only be achieved by choosing abused labour in an oppressive country.

In short, we're lazy and we suck. We so far following the progress of every other civilisation [google.com] (read the original, check out how well he'd predicted the next half-decade through analysis of other civilisations, and identify where the West is now) into destruction.

Re:nothing new (5, Interesting)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#36509940)

We're now stuck in this utterly false mindset that the only way to get anything done is to throw money at some magnificent private company to do badly what we've lost the power to do ourselves. Need to talk to someone? Your voice and a knock on the door is no longer good enough. Nor a letter. Nor building your own radio set. Nor even an open access Internet. No, that all requires too much thinking. Now you're tempted to get a shiny ready-made throwaway toy built at a cost which could only be achieved by choosing abused labour in an oppressive country.

Oh please. Even letters were always dependent on some organization to deliver them. Ditto for the "open Internet". And the majority of people never built their own radio set.
People didn't change, technology did.

And that abused labour has seen their wages raise in the double digits per year. If it wasn't for their manufacturing, they'd still live in an oppressive country, but living in even worse conditions.

Re:nothing new (2)

caramuru (600877) | more than 2 years ago | (#36510076)

Half the population is below the median, Hazel. It is below the average if and only if intelligence is normally distributed. So, while you condescend the lower half of the population, get your statistics right.

Re:nothing new (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36510156)

Half the population is below the median, Hazel. It is below the average if and only if intelligence is normally distributed.

No. It is "if and only if" the intelligence is distributed symmetrically.

Re:nothing new (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#36510316)

Every single bell-curve for IQ I've seen has been almost perfectly symmetrical, maybe with a few 1/10ths of a percent difference in each half of the percentiles about the median. It's almost as though the IQ test was designed to give a value of 100 most often, and the rest of the population is arbitrarily given more or less points based upon the current most frequent count of correct answers. It's uncanny.

Forgive me if my use of certain language is inaccurate; It's been a while since I studied stats.

Re:nothing new (1)

dogmatixpsych (786818) | more than 2 years ago | (#36510706)

IQ tests were designed with normal distributions and if results did not fit a normal distribution, they were conformed to one. They did this so we can use good old parametric stats with IQ test scores. So yes, IQ tests (at least the most widely-used one in the U.S.) were designed to have average at 100 with standard deviations of +-15.

Every once in a while new versions are created with new normative samples because the test changes but new generations of people tend to have higher IQs than the previous one (the Flynn Effect) and so the tests are re-normed to force the mean back to 100.

iclone (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36509758)

I think it was !pad2 cases, not ipad2 cases.

To be expected (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36509762)

I notice some of you saying "good," or "serves them right" and the like.

I guess this just goes to show how stupid and misplaced our sense of justice and propriety are in world where social consciousness primarily revolves around whatever soulless corporate brand you identify with.

Re:To be expected (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36510088)

If you are afflicted with the disease of only brand loyalty, even then I don't think you would care about someone somewhere making some third-party unlicensed accessories for your brand because you can just buy the official products and ignore cheap knock-offs.

The people saying "good" here do not merely have brand loyalty, they are members of a religious cult with the same drives as Islamic extremists who blow up aircraft and buildings. They may not themselves ever commit acts of terrorism, but they see anything outside of their cult as dangerous - especially when their one true corporate cult may be suffering a miniscule dent in their profits because someone is making unlicensed accessories.

Apple fanbois are part of what they consider to be a holy jihad against everyone else, their's is the one true way and all outsiders are infidels.

I'm already at an age where I've lived more days than I have in front of me and whilst I am lucky enough to have good health and happiness, I realise that each day there are more and more people in this world who are selfish materialists who care only about money and have no regard for their fellow man - as such, it makes eventually passing on from this life less scary because I really wouldn't want to live in the world these people are creating.

When dictators like Qaddafi commit genocide on his own people, those idiots won't bat an eyelid - but the moment their religion is attacked, that's a different matter.

The Shenzen Baoan Peoples Court (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36509788)

What you are about to witness is real. The participants are not actors.

They are the actual people who have already either filed suit or been served a summons to appear in a Chinese Military court. Both parties in the suit have agreed to dismiss their court cases and have their disputes settled here, in our forum: The Shenzen Baoan People's Court!

Re:The Shenzen Baoan Peoples Court (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36509824)

Jùdà ynjng Jùdà ynjng Jùdà ynjng

Re:The Shenzen Baoan Peoples Court (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36510794)

I'm sure that was funnier in your head.

How gives a shite (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36509802)

Who gives a shite, they are just ordinary people living by the laws of their country. If they don't like the laws they live by they should change them.

Re:How gives a shite (1, Insightful)

tqk (413719) | more than 2 years ago | (#36509946)

Who gives a shite, they are just ordinary people living by the laws of their country. If they don't like the laws they live by they should change them.

Do you ACs get paid to post crap like this? This's The People's Republic of China we're talking about, not just any other "their country."

A small number of Chinese entrepreneurs are being crushed for the economic crime of noticing, seizing upon, and capitalising on an opportunity. Nobody was harmed in the process, but they're being crushed anyway, either for stepping out of line or for not paying the correct bribe.

Hearing that this stuff still happens crushes my soul. You should be ashamed for not feeling the same (never heard the term "empathy"?).

Spent any time in the Bamboo Archipelago lately? Their lives will not be much fun in the next few years, and for what? So some Chinee bigshot can tell Steve that his secrets are safe. Yay. If I were Steve, I'd be slapping Foxconn exec heads for creating yet another unnecessary employee relations debacle.

The Right to Sew (1)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 2 years ago | (#36509998)

Following up on The Right to Read [slashdot.org], posted in relation to a story yesterday, maybe we also need someone to write a parable about the right to sew.

OK, so somebody "stole" the length/width/heigth (sic) of the iPad.

But the right to sew is imperiled by the fashion copyright bill [techdirt.com].

Re:How gives a shite (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 2 years ago | (#36510030)

Do you ACs get paid to post crap like this? This's The People's Republic of China we're talking about, not just any other "their country."

This is not the People's Republic of China we are talking about, this is the CEO of a not very large company bribing Foxconn employees, and a Foxconn employee working in Research & Development allowing himself to be bribed to give confidential information to outsiders. You'd go to court and probably to jail in any western country for the same crime.

So some Chinee bigshot can tell Steve that his secrets are safe.

Most idiotic thing I've seen posted here. Do you think Apple has no right to ask suppliers to not give details of future products away? And do you think suppliers then don't have a duty to tell their employees? And do you think that employees who are told that part of their job is to not talk about their customers' future products then have the right to sell exactly that information to the highest bidder?

Re:How gives a shite (1)

tqk (413719) | more than 2 years ago | (#36510128)

... This's The People's Republic of China we're talking about ...

This is not the People's Republic of China we are talking about, this is the CEO of a not very large company bribing Foxconn employees ...

BS. The PRC has *total* and *complete* control in China. If you think the PRC doesn't control the strings in China, you're the one who's avoiding reality.

... give confidential information to outsiders. You'd go to court and probably to jail in any western country for the same crime.

For the dimensions of an iPod?!? Why the fsck would that be $SECRET?!?

Re:How gives a shite (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#36510562)

For the dimensions of an iPod?!? Why the fsck would that be $SECRET?!?

Because a lot of the competition in the tablet market at the moment revolves around thickness. Your product being 1mm thinner than the competition is seen as a real differentiator. Knowing how thick Apple's next iPad (not iPod, read the title, even if you don't RTFA) can give you a commercial advantage, because you can then create a marginally thinner one, and you can start the development aiming for this before Apple's version is released. Also, if you know the dimensions then you can make a pretty good guess at the power dissipation (heat) and the size of the battery, which gives you a lot of useful information, if you're one of Apple's competitors.

There's a reason that companies try to keep information about unreleased products private: they lose a lot of the first-mover advantage if the competition can release something better two weeks later.

Wait... (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 2 years ago | (#36509836)

How is this bad for Apple? Isn't having cases available a good thing?

Re:Wait... (2)

RivenAleem (1590553) | more than 2 years ago | (#36509902)

I can see the headlines now:

"We only leaked the OS Source Code so that people could make better apps" while trying to justify how there's precedent existing for the making of cases.

Apple did not comment, so we don't know who brought the charges, it would seem that Foxconn found out that employees were leaking confidential information, for which they surely signed non-disclosure agreements, for the purpose of lining a friends pockets with money, by being the first company on the market with covers available.

I don't think that this so much affects Apple directly in any way, more so it's a straight forward case of stealing information to give your friends an unfair advantage. Likely Apple had it's own contract with a specific manufacturer to give them the specs of the unit to make cases for them. If they _don't_ prosecute these people then their contractor feels that their exclusive deal with Apple, which they may have bidded for, is not so exclusive anymore.

Re:Wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36509912)

Pretty sure that stealing (fine, copying information) from apple isn't good for apple. Certainly not for a device surrounded by secrecy, pre-release.

Re:Wait... (1)

Zorque (894011) | more than 2 years ago | (#36509956)

They don't get to charge exorbitant license fees on unlicensed products, of course. Such a tragedy!

Re:Wait... (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#36510578)

Yes, it's probably a good thing, but were they the only people who got access to the trade secrets? Once they'd got the dimensions, did they also let Samsung know, for example? If so, then that would have been very useful information to the team designing their next tablet: they would know the dimensions that they had to beat and, since they knew roughly what the specs were already from what chips they were selling Apple, they'd know exactly what hardware their chief competitor was about to ship.

Industrial espionage (4, Interesting)

Alioth (221270) | more than 2 years ago | (#36509840)

When I lived in the United States, one of our contractors was arrested and sent to prison for industrial espionage (I think the charges were probably mail fraud and the like). He was trying to sell our source code to a competitor, the competitor called the feds, and the feds set up a sting operation while the competitor "played along" as if it were going to pay him for our source code.

They arrested two of our people (both contractors), one was quickly let off though because it turned out he had been duped by his "friend" into lending him a mailbox for a supposedly innocent purpose (the mailbox was to be where the payment would be delivered). I don't remember what was handed down to the guilty person in the end other than it involved some jail time.

apple should intervene. (0)

markass530 (870112) | more than 2 years ago | (#36509898)

Dunno if they could, but am I the only one who thinks this is a over the top punishment?

Re:apple should intervene. (2)

jklovanc (1603149) | more than 2 years ago | (#36510158)

Eighteen months for stealing thousands of dollars worth of information so someone can make tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars in profit is not overkill in my book at all. Apple is probably selling the specs for the case to manufacturers of covers. This one decided to steal the information rather than buy it.

What would you have suggested as a sentence?

Re:apple should intervene. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36510448)

Rainbows and unicorn hugs of course.

Re:apple should intervene. (2)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 2 years ago | (#36510516)

It's theft of something very valuable. Just like when you decide to steal cash, or someone's car, etc, that's also worth thousands of dollars. Prison is the right thing to do with people who think it's cool to put a bunch of money in their own pocket by violating someone else's privacy and carefully held secrets under the circumstances like those involved in this story.

What's with the trolling, slashdot? (5, Insightful)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 2 years ago | (#36509910)

These guys engaged in industrial espionage, pure and simple.

Why make it out like they are victims?

They didn't get time in prison for making iPad 2 cases, but instead for stealing the secrets necessary to make them before the iPad 2 even came out.

Re:What's with the trolling, slashdot? (1)

syockit (1480393) | more than 2 years ago | (#36509942)

Why make it out like they are victims?

Which part made it look like they are victims?

Re:What's with the trolling, slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36510022)

Gee oh I dont know maybe all the 'quotes' in there?

Let me demonstrate.

A man and a lady went to the bathroom.

A man and a 'lady' went to the bathroom.

See how the quotes changed the meaning and implied something...

Re:What's with the trolling, slashdot? (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 2 years ago | (#36510224)

The AC above is a fanboi.

The AC above is a 'fanboi'.

Nope, can't see a difference.

Re:What's with the trolling, slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36510496)

Just reminded me of a joke that illustrates the importance of capitalization though... "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"

quotes are to specifically cite the law (1)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#36510552)

the wall street journal used quotes, i used quotes. they are quoting the chinese court ruling.

thats what you do when you are quoting someone else. you use quote marks.

Re:What's with the trolling, slashdot? (1, Insightful)

syousef (465911) | more than 2 years ago | (#36509996)

These guys engaged in industrial espionage, pure and simple.

Yes, and they should have been punished but years in prison? You realize these weren't military components for a nuclear missile right?

Re:What's with the trolling, slashdot? (-1, Troll)

dbIII (701233) | more than 2 years ago | (#36510038)

It's "might makes right" in action - that stuff the cogyright groups in the USA and the Libertarians are pushing hard for instead of that pesky idea of the rule of law.
It's about who you piss off and not how important the thing you did to piss them off is.

Re:What's with the trolling, slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36510304)

"...that stuff the cogyright groups in the USA and the Libertarians are pushing hard for...".

Do you even know what a libertarian is? Pickup the largest dictionary you can find and ask someone to hit you on the head with it...

Re:What's with the trolling, slashdot? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36510340)

"...that stuff the cogyright groups in the USA and the Libertarians are pushing hard for...".

Do you even know what a libertarian is?

Yes, a libertarian is a bozo who hasn't grasped that Ayn Rand wrote fiction.

Re:What's with the trolling, slashdot? (2)

dbIII (701233) | more than 2 years ago | (#36510386)

Go ask some of them, especially Koch, about their ideas on law and order. "Might makes right" sums it up in three words. "Small Government" in many cases is just shorthand for no rule of law.

Re:What's with the trolling, slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36510044)

These guys engaged in industrial espionage, pure and simple.

Yes, and they should have been punished but years in prison? You realize these weren't military components for a nuclear missile right?

If it had been military they'd be talking decades not months. 18 months isn't out of line since it could result in millions of dollars lost. They were cheating and got caught. This wasn't a couple of kids with a lemonade stand selling homemade iPad 2 cases it was a business deal and what they did was wrong and illegal. In the US they may have gotten a year and done three months but it's not the US and the sentence isn't out of line or inhumane. Don't cheat or break the law and you won't have to worry.

Re:What's with the trolling, slashdot? (3, Insightful)

SunTzuWarmaster (930093) | more than 2 years ago | (#36510394)

Would you suggest a fine? If the punishment is fining, it simply becomes part of the cost of doing business (each business dos a cost vs. benefit for breaking the law, based on financial incentives and disincentives). In America, this comes with a 24-month sentence, and Australia is up to 15 years, so it isn't entirely out of line with what other parts of the world do.

Re:What's with the trolling, slashdot? (0)

jebaneer34 (2263130) | more than 2 years ago | (#36510064)

Not so. You need to understand that rule of law does not function in China (though it appears as convenient in some cases). People are arrested, tried, and incarcerated primarily out of political convenience. In many cases verdicts are known ahead of time. In short, the justice system as well as all other government-esque structures function as tools of the Chinese communist party, not as independent entities with some forms of checks and balances.

Re:What's with the trolling, slashdot? (0)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 2 years ago | (#36510220)

They committed a "crime" against a huge, faceless corporation, they did not rob, rape, murder or affect any individual human being in any way whatsoever.

Therefore, that makes this a civil matter, not something that should IN ANY WAY involve law enforcement officials or carry any custodial sentences.

Re:What's with the trolling, slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36510370)

They committed a "crime" against a huge, faceless corporation, they did not rob, rape, murder or affect any individual human being in any way whatsoever.

Therefore, that makes this a civil matter, not something that should IN ANY WAY involve law enforcement officials or carry any custodial sentences.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_Espionage_Act_of_1996#Trade_secrets [wikipedia.org]

Re:What's with the trolling, slashdot? (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 2 years ago | (#36510528)

Right, because the people that get together to form and run companies aren't actually people, or anything like that.

Re:What's with the trolling, slashdot? (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 2 years ago | (#36510676)

You are trying to argue semantics and failing dismally.

A corporate employee (or any human being) who is robbed of personal possessions is the victim of a crime and the perpetrator of the crime worthy of a jail sentence.

A corporation is not a living entity and therefore robbery of the corporation is a civil crime.

Does that explain it in simple enough terms for you now?

Re:What's with the trolling, slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36510622)

Why make it out like they are victims?

Because China is bad, and we haven't had our daily dose of propaganda yet.

Only One Guy Got 18 There Were Also Monetary Fines (5, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 2 years ago | (#36510046)

From my submission last week [slashdot.org]:

"Almost two months ago three individuals were charged with selling the designs of Apple's latest tablet to Maita Electronics for 200,000 yuan (about $30,857.60 USD). They have now been sentenced in Shenzhen City: 'Xiao Chengsong, the legal agent of Maita Electronics, to 18 months in prison and fined him 150,000 yuan ($23,000) for buying the design from two Foxconn workers ... Foxconn employee Lin Kecheng, was sentenced to 14 months and fined 100,000 yuan, while another worker identified as Hou Pengna was given a two-year sentence suspended for one year and fined 30,000 yuan. All three were convicted of the crime of violating commercial secrets.'"

And only one was sentenced to 18 months ... unless the associated press [google.com] article I quoted was wrong.

Well, one is wrong, either AFP or WSJ (1)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#36510566)

AFP is not the associated press, its Agence France Presse.

and the two articles (WSJ vs AFP) are completely different, so one of them is wrong.

You would get a similar results in the US (2)

Edmund Blackadder (559735) | more than 2 years ago | (#36510138)

I am not surprised and if this happened in the US, there could be similar punishments. Industrial espionage is a criminal offense in the US as well, although I am not sure what the punishment terms are.

Re:You would get a similar results in the US (3, Informative)

fnj (64210) | more than 2 years ago | (#36510314)

Would you like your oppression with pickles or with mayonnaise? It's probably a similar corrupt corporatocracy situation in many parts of the world, with actions which should be dealt with in civil court criminalized. In the US, The Economic Espionage Act of 1996 brought us (among other insults) US Code Title 18, Part 1, Section 1832, which criminalizes such acts, stating that anyone who steals, or receives or possesses or uses without authorization, a trade secret, or merely ATTEMPTS same, shall be fined, or imprisoned up to 10 years, or both. The fine is limited to $5 million for an organization, but is WITHOUT ANY STATED LIMIT for an individual.

Section 1831 deals with basically the same offenses "to benefit a foreign power," which means that section 1832, giving the lie to the name of the bill, has nothing to do with true espionage.

This wonderful legislation, like the DMCA, was brought to you by a cooperation between tweedledee Democrats and tweedledum Republicans in Congress and the White House.

Re:You would get a similar results in the US (2)

jklovanc (1603149) | more than 2 years ago | (#36510598)

How is punishment for theft of trade secrets oppression? How is theft of a trade secret any different from theft of manufactured goods? Money went into creating those trade secrets. Trade secrets have a monetary value and are bought and sold every day. Should car theft be handled in civil court? Theft is still theft be it information or goods. Why should attempts be exempt from the law? Even if an attempt failed the intent to commit the act was still there. No one should get off the hook because they are a poor thief; they are still a thief.

Take this scenario. Company A spends money researching to create trade secrets for a new product. Company B steals those secrets and, due to $0 R&D costs, sells the item for less than company A. Company A never recoups the R&D costs and loses money on the project. Do you think that will help bring new products to market? Do you think company B should be convicted of a crime just the same as as they would if they stole product coming off an assembly line? I sure do.

Chapter 90 is Protection of Trade Secrets 1831 is "economic espionage" because it is by or on the behest of a foreign government. There is military espionage, political espionage and economic espionage with the key component being the involvement of a foreign government. 1832 is "theft of trade secrets" by companies and or individuals and is not called espionage. They are separate sections dealing with separate crimes.

The lack of limit of the fine for individuals under 1832 is probably an oversight and would therefore be decided by a judge or jury governed by past fines due to common law. Corporate limits are more so that overzealous juries do not get out of hand. Juries can identify more with a person than they can with a corporation and therefore go easier on people.

Dangerous alqaida terrorists !! (0)

matt007 (80854) | more than 2 years ago | (#36510206)

A case is such a secret superior advanced new technology that people making them need to be put in prison.

Clearly they are a major threat to us all.

I am surprised they didn throw their corpses in the see......

there are no clear good guys in this (1)

conark (871314) | more than 2 years ago | (#36510234)

that's the way i see it. you do have winners and losers though. but then again, i guess that's all that matters these days, no?

Here's An Idea For You (-1, Troll)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 2 years ago | (#36510246)

All you fanbois on here constantly whining on about the anti-Apple sentiment on Slashdot, why not do something positive for your public image and start sending emails to your beloved Apple Corp. explaining that, as a user of their products, you're not prepared to put up with this outrage and expect Apple to step in and maybe start launching some appeals to the Chinese government to get these custodial sentences?

Whoops, sorry, was getting ahead of myself for a moment, please forgive me.

Of course you can't do that because to do it you need backbones.

Backbone not required (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36510396)

I can already hear it

"I sent letters to apple complaining about Foxconn before it was the right thing to do" -sent from my iPod

It's apple people. Just make it look cool, and they'll shove live ammo up their asses.

Charlie Sheen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36510710)

Central penitentiary, or Central "up the Yin-Yang" penitentiary?

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...