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Chinese Man Pleads Guilty To $100M Piracy Operation

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the go-big-or-go-home dept.

Piracy 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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174 comments

Chinese? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42528437)

Those pesky Chinese... Lord knows they INVENTED "piracy"...

Second Post...

Censorship & Piracy (3, Interesting)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about a year ago | (#42528573)

The other day I was chatting with someone from an Islamic country and the guy told me that he **WAS FORCED TO DOWNLOAD PIRATED MOVIES** because of the censorship that was being practiced in his country.

He posted a list of movies that he said he had to pirate because they were ***ILLEGAL*** in his country.

The local cinemas were prohibited from showing those movies, and he couldn't buy any legal version of those movies on legal DVDs either.

Among the names of the movies that he posted, I only remember two of them, and they were:

The Prince of Egypt http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120794/ [imdb.com]

and

Babe http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0112431/ [imdb.com]

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

Re:Censorship & Piracy (-1, Troll)

TemperedAlchemist (2045966) | about a year ago | (#42528589)

He should probably stop living in an Islamic country.

Re:Censorship & Piracy (3)

Cryacin (657549) | about a year ago | (#42528793)

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

He should probably stop living in an Islamic country.

Of course, he snaps his fingers, and winds up skipping down the road hand in hand with his new friends in the United States of America, who's doors are always open.

Re:Censorship & Piracy (4, Insightful)

telchine (719345) | about a year ago | (#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.

Re:Censorship & Piracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42529919)

How would US customs feel about his arrival in the US?

Since when is the US the ONLY non-Islamic country on the planet?

and winds up skipping down the road hand in hand with his new friends in the United States of America, who's doors are always open

I have a very good friend who was born in Iran. She is a fully legal citizen of the USA now, and in fact happily married with three children. She lives in an rural State in the US which is well known for being a bastion of Conservative thought and all around bigotry. She is well-respected in the area, has plenty of friends, and you won't meet a person who has a bad thing to say about her.

The visions of the US you see portrayed in popular media and by Trolls in comment sections on websites is not universal, and in most parts of the country has almost no resemblance to reality. I've traveled to several Islamic countries, and to be blunt I've never felt the kind of hostility or Western Hatred from the actual people "on the streets" which I see portrayed in the news or see from assholes like you.

Re:Censorship & Piracy (1)

TheLink (130905) | about a year ago | (#42528963)

He should probably stop living in an Islamic country.

If you really believe that, you should invite him to stay at your place (I'm assuming you're not living in an Islamic country).

Re:Censorship & Piracy (4, Insightful)

adolf (21054) | about a year ago | (#42528797)

WAS FORCED TO DOWNLOAD PIRATED MOVIES

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.

Re:Censorship & Piracy (3, Insightful)

Warhawke (1312723) | about a year ago | (#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!

Re:Censorship & Piracy (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about a year ago | (#42529079)

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.

If you realized that, then why does the rest of your post make it seem as if you didn't?

this guy plainly and simply violated the law and ethics of his culture

Do you think that's a bad thing?

Re:Censorship & Piracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42529155)

Far far too many seem to confuse figurative with literal. When something is said without either term, it is safe to assume figurative immediately context unaware. When literal is used, it is safe to figuratively assume they mean figurative and not literal. They just wanted the sentence to have more weight than it really needs or has.

It it ripe grounds to classify responses with these two categories. This comment block demonstrates that people like taking implicitly figurative context as literal and complain about how absurd something is when read literally.

If a content can not be obtained through acceptably normal means in a location, than using unacceptable means to acquire it shouldn't and can not have any negative recourse.

Re:Censorship & Piracy (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#42529171)

Oddly, NZ recognizes this as unjust. In short, if something is not available in NZ, but is available elsewhere, it isn't illegal to import/download, or so I've been told, though that was before the Hobbit legislation.

Re:Censorship & Piracy (1)

bfandreas (603438) | about a year ago | (#42530081)

Or when it comes to games you'll find that some DRM(Games for Windows Live) isn't available in some countries.

I'm sorry, but if you can't be arsed to sell your stuff and it gets pirated then you can't claim lost sales. At all.
Same goes for DVDs, Books, Comics and other stuff. You didn't find a regional publisher for those? You think that the hassle to actually sell your goods outweighs revenue? Boohoo. Cry me a river. But do so silently.

Also, regional publishing rights. These need to go. Electronic goods distribution has been international since the Internet. If it takes you 20 years to react to a fact of life, then maybe -just maybe- your business modell doesn't deserve to survive. Just maybe.

If piracy is indeed a service problem(Steam/GoG/Humble bundle sales seem to indicate so), then it is made worse by regional publishing rights.
Did you know that you could lose your whole Steam/Amazon library just for moving into a different publishing region?

Re:Censorship & Piracy (1)

Sabriel (134364) | about a year ago | (#42529423)

Your choice is not like that guy's choice. Leaving aside that laws are not ethics are not cultural values (congruent to a degree that is strongly dependent on your location, but not the same), his choice is quite different.

Your choice is whether to accept or reject a contract between you and the movie vendor. Party A: You. Party B: Vendor. Enforcer: Government.

His choice is whether to accept or reject a unilateral prohibition against the movie itself. Party A: Him. Party B: Government. Enforcer: Government.

Re:Censorship & Piracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42528853)

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

Please explain to me why he absolutely had to watch The Prince of Egypt and Babe, as having "no choice" implies that this was of the utmost important regardless of the consequences.

Entertainment is not a universal human right nor should it be as it would devalue other human rights such as the right to life and freedom of expression (and no, watching movies of your choice is not covered by freedom of expression).

This reflects on one of the predominant attitudes in the anti-copyright movement: the idea that everyone should be able to access content under whatever conditions they feel like. An argument can be made for such access in some special cases where limiting access would be detrimental to society, but not for the sake of entertainment alone. Why should someone else not receive anything for their work just because you or anyone else feels like benefiting from it without paying for it. If you have no way to pay for it, then change that instead.

Let me also say that I think copyright legislation has expanded far beyond what is reasonable but copyright itself does provide clear incentive to produce content. Just because it costs nothing to copy and distribute content doesn't mean it costs nothing to make it and in that sense obtaining it without paying should be considered wrong. How much you should pay and how much the producers should be able to acquire in total is a matter of debate.

The real reason to oppose current copyright enforcement is that the tools required can monitor and sensor all data and will be misused in the future. When the enforcement model switches from blacklists to whitelists we are all going to be in trouble, largely due to a bunch of selfish parasites who started an arms race just to watch shitty clichéd Hollywood movies for free.

Re:Censorship & Piracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42529065)

Please explain to me why he absolutely had to watch The Prince of Egypt and Babe, as having "no choice" implies that this was of the utmost important regardless of the consequences.

As in, if he wanted to watch them, he had to download them. I don't see why he'd feel bad, though. What a wimp.

Re:Censorship & Piracy (1)

mumblestheclown (569987) | about a year ago | (#42528861)

"Cool story, bro."

Seriously. This is the latest twist on the slashdot mentality of "make any argument, no matter how dubious, as long as it rationalizes piracy and thine comment shall be marked up."

You know, because truly, his and your freedom demands his downloading the tale of a courageous pig that learns to be a sheepdog with the help of farmer hoggett.

Re:Censorship & Piracy (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#42529059)

I've never felt too bad for not seeing those movies.

I remember one thing about two hollywood photography movie guys(the guys in charge of cameras, lighting and that) was that when they were in their soviet state film school, they were allowed to see western movies. but without audio.

there really is compelling reasons for some guys to see movies, even shitty movies, in order to learn.

Re:Censorship & Piracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42529147)

Why do we have 4-digit id slashdotters posting flamebait?

Re:Censorship & Piracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42529897)

The other day I was chatting with someone from an Islamic country and the guy told me that he **WAS FORCED TO DOWNLOAD PIRATED MOVIES** because of the censorship that was being practiced in his country.

Then he was either lying, or using hyperbole. You can only say you are "forced" to do something if you are doing so under duress. In most situations, most people consider actions taken under duress to be morally acceptable, at least when it does not involve directly violating someone else's human rights. The common example of when duress is not considered a morally acceptable excuse is called the Nuremberg defense.

He posted a list of movies that he said he had to pirate because they were ***ILLEGAL*** in his country.

No. They are movies which he had to "pirate" if he chose to view the material. So right off the bat he had the choice to not view it at all.

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

So did he PAY a non-authorized source for them? Or did he download them for free? That's another choice he had right there.
And he had yet another choice- he could have PAID an authorized source for the movies. Yes, he would still be violating the laws of his country. But he wouldn't be committing piracy or copyright infringement by doing so.

Example- I wanted to play a video game in the US which was not legally released in the US market. So I broke the law and illegally imported a copy. But I did not pirate it or violate copyright by doing so. There was another game I wanted to play, also unreleased in the US. But I didn't care enough to bother trying to import a legitimate copy, so I simply chose not to play it. Then there was a third game, same situation. In this case, I simply downloaded a cracked copy.
None of those situations was piracy, one was copyright infringement, one was no crime at all, and one was illegal import. But in NO case did I ever PAY some asshole who was selling someone else's materials.

Re:Censorship & Piracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42529929)

The other day I was chatting with someone from an Islamic country and the guy told me that he **WAS FORCED TO DOWNLOAD PIRATED MOVIES** because of the censorship that was being practiced in his country.

He posted a list of movies that he said he had to pirate because they were ***ILLEGAL*** in his country.

The local cinemas were prohibited from showing those movies, and he couldn't buy any legal version of those movies on legal DVDs either.

Among the names of the movies that he posted, I only remember two of them, and they were:

The Prince of Egypt http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120794/ [imdb.com]

and

Babe http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0112431/ [imdb.com]

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

Had no choice! What a load of non-sense.

I don't buy illegal drugs from an illegal source because I have no choice!
I just don't do drugs!

If this person really thinks that the censorship in his/her country is that bad, move! Or at least wonder if all this hassle is really worth it for 'Babe'!!!

We need to stop this (-1, Flamebait)

the_Bionic_lemming (446569) | about a year ago | (#42528445)

The United States Homeland Security should not be involved in arresting people in Saipan.

The fact that it has happened is egregious.

WTF is going on with the Obama Whitehouse?

Re:We need to stop this (-1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year ago | (#42528459)

The United States Homeland Security should not be involved in arresting people in Saipan.

How do you feel about the interdiction of cocaine / methamphetamine submarines in international waters? Are you "OK" with several tons of laboratory quality meth landing in your city?

Re:We need to stop this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42528515)

Would it surprise you if I said that there are a number of people here who despise the drug war and other such nonsense?

Re:We need to stop this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42528541)

It will drive prices down, so I'm all for it. Adderall and the like are sold at drug stores, but it's often inconvenient to get a script.

Re:We need to stop this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42528639)

Clearly you do not have personal experience knowing someone who's life was destroyed by Meth, which is not Adderall.

Re:We need to stop this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42528673)

If you have had that experience, then you're not impartial to begin with. What is it that you want? Safety?

Re:We need to stop this (1)

hawkinspeter (831501) | about a year ago | (#42529683)

I think you meant to write "Clearly you do not have personal experience knowing someone who chose to destroy their life with Meth, which is not Adderall".

Re:We need to stop this (2)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | about a year ago | (#42529981)

Unless he was forced to take the Meth, then it was his own choice to take it. So he destroyed his own life.
I don't see why drugs are singled out to be prohibited, when there are so many other vices that destroy lives. Alcohol, tobacco, gambling, legal drugs,...... Either ban all of them or let Darwin take care of the addicts.

Re:We need to stop this (0)

0111 1110 (518466) | about a year ago | (#42528565)

What do those chemical substances have to do with the American STASI arresting people in foreign countries? Would you be comfortable with some police from a middle eastern country arresting you in the US for breaking some law they have over there? Does the word "Homeland" have any meaning for you at all?

Re:We need to stop this (1)

Acapulco (1289274) | about a year ago | (#42528751)

I would not be comfortable with any police force (or military for that matter) from *any* country arresting anyone in *any other* country. I think extradition treaties are there for a reason, but even then extradtion orders are supposedly carried out by the local LEO on behalf of the requesting LEO.
 
And *even* then, there should be a close oversight on this, to prevent things like the Dotcom scandal. Anything else seems like a slipper slope.. obviously I'm not comfortable as this is already happening (and has been for who knows how long). Slippery slope indeed..

Re:We need to stop this (3, Informative)

krotkruton (967718) | about a year ago | (#42528771)

Saipan isn't a foreign country, it's a US territory in the same category as Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Re:We need to stop this (4, Interesting)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#42529299)

Is Saipan in a foreign country? I thought it was part of a US territory.

Personally, I'd outlaw governmental lying. Claiming to be a 14 year old girl to invite men to your sting? Say "I'm not a cop" when asked what you do when meeting a suspect undercover? Invite a foreign national to a US territory to arrest them for what isn't even a crime ( If I'm in Mexico and kill an American, I broke Mexican law, not US law, so deciding they are undesirable people, then inviting them to the US to arrest them for breaking US law when they never set foot there before is insane). If anything, the people that approved his visa should all be fired and arrested. They knowingly issued a visa on false grounds. I haven't seen any exception in US immigration law for covert op visas issued on false pretenses.

Re:We need to stop this (1)

bfandreas (603438) | about a year ago | (#42530091)

That already awefully sounds like entrapment.
Prosecuting a crime that wouldn't have been committed if it hadn't been encouraged by a LEO is sort of not ok.

Re:We need to stop this (0)

Trepidity (597) | about a year ago | (#42528671)

This guy made less than $100k selling pirated software, so we're not really talking about some kind of big-shot international criminal syndicate. I don't think I would want the U.S. busting small-time drug dealers in random third countries either.

Re:We need to stop this (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42528471)

Saipan is the largest island of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), an unincorporated territory of the United States.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saipan [wikipedia.org]

Re:We need to stop this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42528741)

Why is this modded -1 & not +5 informative? Homeboy walked on to US Federal government land. I'm far more concerned about the enforcement of property laws on Chinese Nationals strutting on to US soil than I object to copyright enforcement & mission creep in this case.

They lured a dumbass to their jurisdiction. It's not like they diverted a plane flight.

Re:We need to stop this (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42528477)

Saipan is a US territory you idiot.

Check your facts before jumping at every opportunity to bash Obama.

Re:We need to stop this (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42528597)

Just like New Zealand.

Re:We need to stop this (1)

ApplePy (2703131) | about a year ago | (#42529127)

If I recall correctly, it was Bushy the Younger who signed the papers for the DHS, no?

We, the public, were sold an agency that was supposed to protect us from terists and terism, whatever those are. Somethin' 'bout dang ol' furreners burnin' the flag n shit.

I'm not sure what terism is, but I don't think it has anything to do with the price of pirated software in China.

So, are you okay with this sort of mission creep, as long as it's your black man crush in the White House? It's bizarre, the bad behavior people will overlook on the part of their government, as long as their favorite party's puppet is the one on stage.

About Saipan (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year ago | (#42528491)

By the way... Saipan is the largest island of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, an unincorporated territory of the United States.

So it is well within the scope of the Homeland Security Thugs...

Re:We need to stop this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42528525)

The United States Homeland Security should not be involved in arresting people in Saipan.

Why not?

The fact that it has happened is egregious.

Your ignorance is egregious. And atrocious.

WTF is going on with the Obama Whitehouse?

They're enforcing the law, unlike the Bush Whitehouse?

PROBABLY RED HAT IS THE US COMPANY !! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42528497)

No doubt !! Its software is SUPER valuable !!

A hundred million? (4, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | about a year ago | (#42528501)

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.

-jcr

Re:A hundred million? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42528753)

I used to take this stance, then I had a prototype design (electronic) sneaked off to china and copied and reproduced

now, fuck china hard, they did none of the work and got all the profit fuck them in their short asses

Re:A hundred million? (1, Funny)

mumblestheclown (569987) | about a year ago | (#42528869)

but this is slashdot - information wants to be FREE*

* unless it's a GPL violation, in which case they flay you alive.

Re:A hundred million? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42529507)

A GPL violation is making it not free, so your sarcastic comment is bogus.

Re:A hundred million? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42529533)

but this is slashdot - information wants to be FREE*

But it does, no matter how much you wish it didn't. And no, you don't get to redeclare the meaning of this metaphor (that duplicating information is easy).

Sharing is normal human behavior, copying is easy and artificial scarcity has been one of the biggest losses of value in human history.

* unless it's a GPL violation, in which case they flay you alive.

Hypocrite. The GPL specifically allows copying and is a tool designed to work in a world with broken law, just like democracies use guns to defend themselves.

Re:A hundred million? (1)

ta_gueule (2795275) | about a year ago | (#42529339)

Right, but you wouldn't have satellites, mobile phones and a lot of other stuff without spying. I know it feels bad to be on the receiving end of spying but really, until we live in a world where everybody freely exchange their information for the betterment of humanity, this is really necessary.

Re:A hundred million? (0)

westlake (615356) | about a year ago | (#42529073)

If the dude pocketed a hundred million bucks, then it's a hundred million dollar piracy operation.

When someone breaks into your house or shop do you want to recover the full value of the property he stole or the price he received for his stolen goods --- mere pennies on the dollar at best? If he gives your stuff away, what then?

Re:A hundred million? (1)

1u3hr (530656) | about a year ago | (#42529301)

When someone breaks into your house or shop do you want to recover the full value of the property he stole or the price he received for his stolen goods --- mere pennies on the dollar at best? If he gives your stuff away, what then?

Total non sequitur. No one broke into anywhere or took anything from anyone.

Re:A hundred million? (1)

ta_gueule (2795275) | about a year ago | (#42529319)

And so what? What are you trying to say? This guy didn't break into your house, did he? Or are you trying to say that stealing is the same as infringing copyrights? If so, then let me educate you. "Pirating" is not theft, it's copyright infringment. Totally different concepts.

100 million my arse (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#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.

Re:100 million my arse (1)

shitzu (931108) | about a year ago | (#42528913)

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

Re:100 million my arse (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42529179)

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

They were. They paid him for the product.

Re:100 million my arse (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#42529323)

Everyone in China. You can pay 2 years salary for CS6, or get the same thing from a guy on the corner (often in an official Adobe box) for one or two day's salary.

Re:100 million my arse (1)

1u3hr (530656) | about a year ago | (#42529357)

Everyone in China. You can pay 2 years salary for CS6, or get the same thing from a guy on the corner (often in an official Adobe box) for one or two day's salary.

Or, if you don't want the box, just one DVD in a plastic bag for about $1.

Re:100 million my arse (1)

1u3hr (530656) | about a year ago | (#42529333)

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

The FBI did. Same way they pretend to be 12 year old girls in chatrooms and invite guys to meet them.

In this case it was pretty specialised stuff, not cracked copies of Photoshop.

Re:100 million my arse (1)

mumblestheclown (569987) | about a year ago | (#42529145)

sigh. how many times will you people keep repeating the same BS argument?

of COURSE something was taken.

what was taken was:

- the opportunity to legitimately sell the software.
- the perceived market value of the original was diminished.

even if you were to argue that nobody who pirated would have bought it, the second point is very important. how would you feel if everybody was jumping the turnstiles but you were the only one paying for the subway? you'd feel like a fool and so your willingness to pay is decreased. same thing here.

stop repeating tired and well debunked nonsense.

Re:100 million my arse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42529217)

how would you feel if everybody was jumping the turnstiles but you were the only one paying for the subway? you'd feel like a fool and so your willingness to pay is decreased. same thing here.

So you know exactly what everyone would feel? Pretty intuitive of you... if not absurdly presumptive.

Just because you believe something doesn't mean it applies to everyone. That's called projection.

Re:100 million my arse (1)

1u3hr (530656) | about a year ago | (#42529389)

of COURSE something was taken.

"Taking" an imaginary profit from an imaginary sale is not "stealing".

how would you feel if everybody was jumping the turnstiles but you were the only one paying for the subway? you'd feel like a fool and so your willingness to pay is decreased. same thing here.

In the subway, one you get past the gate, you get the same service. If you use warez, you have no support, no tax deductions, and are at constant risk of auditing. Anyone who wants bootleg copies of MS Office or Adobe CS6 can get the torrent in an hour. Yet Microsoft and Adobe make billions from selling the same software. So, clearly no one is discouraged from buying it. In fact both MS and Adobe encourage piracy of their software in poorer countries to lock out cheaper or free alternatives, planning to move in later when there's a profit to be made.

Re:100 million my arse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42530035)

"Taking" an imaginary profit

This guy was selling the product for money, the profit was very much real.

Strict in dealing (1)

loftconversions11 (2029722) | about a year ago | (#42528581)

Does he solely do that piracy software or there are also other people with him when he did that black internet market? They (U.S. Department homeland security)should be more stern more in dealing this kind of black market.

How much tax did the US company pay? (3, Insightful)

russsell (185151) | about a year ago | (#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.

Re:How much tax did the US company pay? (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year ago | (#42528759)

how much US tax did the person pay while selling property of US companies?

two wrongs dont make a right

Was it oracle and the range-check function? (0)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | about a year ago | (#42528659)

Was it oracle and the range-check function?

;>)
.
Slashdot covered this earlier in the year [slashdot.org] with a judge saying that a high-schooler could write the range-check code from scratch with no difficulty. Yet Oracle was suing for millions for nine lines of code that checks and validates the input matching the expected range of values.
.
If these court cases can hide what exactly the person is charged with doing wrong and illegally, then how can we even know if there is a potential miscarriage of justice?

Re:Was it oracle and the range-check function? (1)

Acapulco (1289274) | about a year ago | (#42528767)

...then how can we even know if there is a potential miscarriage of justice?

I don't think we can or ever will... even if I hope we do.

STOP. CALLING. IT. PIRACY! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42528681)

It has *nothing* to do with stealing shit on the high seas!

It doesn't even have anything to do with *stealing*! It is *information*! The original *copy* is still in the hands of the fuckers who made it!

All he did, was rip off people, by profiting from the artificial scarcity that was originally there for the makers to *rip off people*, and that is nowadays *only* used for the *distributors* to rip off people and rip off the maker *too*!
So what he did was *exactly* like what the distributors do. Apart from a tiny fixed amount of money that went to the makers for their *service*.

He's just deemed a "criminal", because the organized crime that usually does the crimes, also controls the government. That's the only difference.

Re:STOP. CALLING. IT. PIRACY! (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year ago | (#42528789)

so making profit for clicking a link is totally OK at the expense at the people who put hard work behind it?

I understand that there is markup, and its usually way too high making the product artificially scarce, thats a different problem, but if everything were free in the world we would still be wiping our asses with leaves and bathing once a quarter. There would be no incentive to do anything, and man is lazy as shit, need proof? See article where some lazy fuck clicked a link.

Re:STOP. CALLING. IT. PIRACY! (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about a year ago | (#42529093)

at the expense at the people who put hard work behind it?

At the expense of them? As far as I know, this guy's actions had no direct effect on the people who made the original product.

but if everything were free in the world

Who claims that everything in the world should be free?

Re:STOP. CALLING. IT. PIRACY! (1)

mumblestheclown (569987) | about a year ago | (#42528881)

1. the word piracy has several meanings. get a dictionary.
2. you added the word "stealing." However, it is stealing. It's stealing the opportunity to sell to certain people and, more importantly, ruining the *perceived value" of the goods which cannot be returned.

your arguments have been weighed and found to be immature.

Re:STOP. CALLING. IT. PIRACY! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42529501)

Words can take on different meanings, or senses. Most of them do! You use context to determine which sense is being used. Now you know!

Do not sell "pirated" software (0)

EzInKy (115248) | about a year ago | (#42528711)

That is the moral of the story. If you get something for nothing then share it for nothing. Profiting from anothers work may be a crime, but freely sharing what you have with others is not, and is certainly in sync with the most followed world religions.

Re:Do not sell "pirated" software (1)

Acapulco (1289274) | about a year ago | (#42528785)

If you get something for nothing then share it for nothing. Profiting from anothers work may be a crime, but freely sharing what you have with others is not, and is certainly in sync with the most followed world religions.

I believe there is enought evidence that this is not the case, as the RIAA/MPAA have been so thoughtful in constatnlty reminding us.

Re:Do not sell "pirated" software (2)

Warhawke (1312723) | about a year ago | (#42528885)

Not to derail, since I completely agree, but it's worth pointing out that typical "free-sharing piracy" is not "sharing what you have."

Although you might think you have a tangible copy of a song or movie sitting on your hard drive, what you really have (assuming you obtained it legally) is a license to use that song according to 1) the EULA, if there is one, and 2) the copyright law of your respective country. What you don't have is a license or freedom to upload and share the file with the rest of the world. That right remains with the copyright holder.

The sword cuts both ways. We should restrict the piss out of copyright inflation and reverse it significantly, but seriously, if we've been arguing that "copyright is not property," and therefore "infringement is not theft," let's actually stick to that argument rather than pretend all of the sudden that copyrighted works are now suddenly chattel and therefore shareable.

Re:Do not sell "pirated" software (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#42529359)

Nobody has been (as far as I know) sued for sharing music they "owned" The only ones that hit the courts are the people re-sharing something they had no rights to have in the first place. And they sue uploaders in "downloading" lawsuits. The PR is lying to us. It takes a lawyer to understand who's really suing who and for what. The point being they want to make people think that downloading a movie or sharing a movie you "own" will land you in jail or bankruptcy. And our tax dollars are paying for the actions against us.

Real reason he got arrested? (2)

aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) | about a year ago | (#42528743)

"Li trolled black market Internet forums"

Maybe the forum members got disgusted by his posts, and so reported him to the Feds. Seriously, I didn't know till I checked my edictionary that "troll" had the pre-Internet non-mythical meaning of "circulate, move around".

Re:Real reason he got arrested? (2)

Maow (620678) | about a year ago | (#42529361)

"Li trolled black market Internet forums"

Maybe the forum members got disgusted by his posts, and so reported him to the Feds. Seriously, I didn't know till I checked my edictionary that "troll" had the pre-Internet non-mythical meaning of "circulate, move around".

I think that "trolling" in this instance, and when people are looking to incite comments in Internet forums, comes from this definition (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trolling_%28fishing%29 [wikipedia.org]):

Trolling is a method of fishing where one or more fishing lines, baited with lures or bait fish, are drawn through the water.

Sounds like a reasonable analogy for what the guy was (probably) doing. Posting comments about cheap software to see if anyone would (bite|buy).

Homeland Security (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42528821)

Why isn't anyone asking the question....why did the department of homeland security arrest this guy in Saipan?

Arms wide open (4, Insightful)

TheDarkener (198348) | about a year ago | (#42528847)

'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...

Re:Arms wide open (2)

Ikonoclasm (1139897) | about a year ago | (#42528915)

They arrested a bootlegger. Pirates sail the high sees looking for booty to plunder. Infringing on copyrights involves downloading or sharing copyrighted work with others. Bootlegging involves copyright infringement in order to make copies for sale for profit. Piracy is a criminal offense as it often involves rape and murder. Copyright infringement is a civil offense that the MAFIAA somehow managed to convince the US government to treat like a criminal offense, even though it's definitely not. Bootlegging is a criminal offense as it involves copyright infringement for profit, which is the key distinction from simply downloading a movie to watch or a kid downloading PS because he could never hope to afford a license for himself.

Not quite right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42529043)

Commercial scale piracy is a criminal offense, well unless the RIAA do it, in which case it's a contract matter (i.e. those off book copies of records they were selling, or the compilation disk where they never notified or paid the copyright holder, stuff like that is civil). Well lets just say it's a criminal offense, if your a person person and not a corporation person.

In this case, the person was Chinese, the software was expensive, retailing at $2000-$3000 a pop. so it made sense to meet at a beach resort, on a holiday island, half way between China and the US. With the Homeland Security agents spending 2 weeks to scope out the location first.

Their tans let them blend in for surveillance purposes. All totally necessary and in no sense an overkill.

Re:Arms wide open (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#42529377)

But how is selling a bootleg in China, copied in China, printed in China, and paid for in Chinese money by two people who have never left China a US crime under US jurisdiction?

Re:Arms wide open (1)

westlake (615356) | about a year ago | (#42529137)

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

The DHS includes almost all law enforcement agencies in the federal government --- including para-military organizations like the Coast Guard. The software pirate who breaks federal laws is a legitimate object of pursuit. He will be charged and he will be convicted. It happens all the time.

And america ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42528895)

IS STILL 16.3 TRILLION DOLLARS IN DEBT rofl
suckers go on go after people that will never get you money back...funny

Scope of Homeland Security (2)

orzetto (545509) | about a year ago | (#42528901)

Since when Homeland Security has started investigating something as trivial as copyright violation, even on a grand scale? Aren't they supposed to deal with terrorism, natural disasters and more serious threats to life and property? Wouldn't this be the competence of the FBI instead? And what jurisdiction do the US have over this man, as the crimes committed in China?

Re:Scope of Homeland Security (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42529111)

So to answer your questions.
Because Immigration and Customs Enforcement is part of home land security.
There are many parts to homeland security.
Prehaps being a bit flippant but the FBI has more important things to do... ICE... not really. They're the more of kick mexicans out and keep fake goods out department. (ok ok they do a few important things)
US jurisdicition because he was dumb enough to come to america territory after pirating the goods of american companies.... He should have just stayed in china.

Re:Scope of Homeland Security (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#42529391)

Since Customs was one of the initial departments of DHS. Though, why US Customs cares about items that never left or entered the US, I can't tell you.

$100M That's All? (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year ago | (#42528967)

Do you think it would be possible to get him to plead guilty to ALL of the world's piracy? I mean, If I'm ever looking down the barell of the *AA's guns and expect to be found guilty, then I'm going down Like Spock: "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few." Who wouldn't want to become the modern day version of, Jesus?!

Is there someone paying cash for pirated software? (1)

prasadsurve (665770) | about a year ago | (#42529045)

"he advertised them for sale on his websites"
So people paid money to buy pirated software?
That's goes against everything piracy stands for.

Why are we taxpayers, paying for this? (2)

WindBourne (631190) | about a year ago | (#42529089)

Seriously, this is INSANE. First off, MS and the other companies go to great lengths to NOT pay their fair share of taxes. And if a nation attempts to have the companies and wealthy from these pay their fair share, they threaten to go elsewhere.
Then to add injury to insult, Gates had MS Windows cost less than $5 to buy in the store in China, while here, they take in $200-1000. And they actually pay MORE taxes in China than in America. INSANE.

BUT, I look at the likes of Bill Gates and Balmer, who have invested into companies that basically steal IP from America and are now hard at work shipping it out. For example, Bill gates wants to develop his nuke idea in China rather than in America. But, China has ZERO intention of protecting his IP. In fact, they will use it for their own purposes and like Germany's transrapid, buy one and then steal all of the tech.

Seriously, the west needs to quit providing companies like this with help, when they constantly screw over the nation. HP, Dell, IBM, GE, etc should be allowed to take up the theft with China, rather than having us solve their issues.

Re:Why are we taxpayers, paying for this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42529243)

It's a mistake to think the corporations are not already in complete control of the USA.

Re:Why are we taxpayers, paying for this? (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | about a year ago | (#42529511)

The really insane part is that you can not go to China, buy a couple hundred copies (at $5 retail price), carry them to the US, and sell them here (at say $100 a pop). Fully legal copies, original packing, original license key, etc. Somehow they suddenly lose validity it seems. And somehow if it is for own use (e.g. people carrying laptops with a copy of Windows on it) there is no problem. It's just weird.

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Cheap NFL Jerseys from China (0)

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can selling pirated software be justified? (1)

swell (195815) | about a year ago | (#42529967)

A bright, handsome young man joined our Mensa computer group in the early 80s. We were mostly hackers and programmers and we swapped a lot of software. Just curiosity; we'd run a program a few times to see how it worked. We'd disassemble it to figure out how the clever parts were done. And we'd move on to the next batch of software at next months meeting.

The young man seemed to come from nowhere and was instantly very popular. After a while I discovered he was printing labels for his 5" floppy disks and selling the software. He even set up a nice office downtown in our US city for this business. We were close, and he wasn't ashamed to show me his operation. I was stunned at his brash lack of morals.

But he went on to explain that he was from Ireland. The money was not for him, but for the IRA. He was proud to contribute, and it became clear that he was a hard core supporter and a patriot. But all I could think of was that the already dirty money would be going to buy guns & powder and escalate the violence.

He disappeared as mysteriously as he appeared- altogether staying less than 8 months in our city.

Attacking ships must be stopped! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42530255)

Stop piracy now!

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