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Some Positive Steps Seen in Chinese Software Piracy

Some Positive Steps Seen in Chinese Software Piracy

The protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR) is critically important to creating jobs, promoting innovation, and ensuring that families are purchasing safe products. That is why the GIPC is leading a worldwide effort to champion intellectual property rights, which includes attention to the efforts being made in China to protect IPR.

Last week, a Beijing Court upheld the Haidian District Court’s decision that sentenced counterfeiter Shang Yajun to seven years and six months imprisonment for copyright infringement and the sale of counterfeit products.  According to published reports, this is the longest-ever criminal sentence in China for such crimes. During the raid of Shang Yajun’s storage facilities, law enforcement confiscated more than 360,000 partially-finished certificates of authenticity (COAs) worth approximately $79 million (U.S.) and other completed COAs including OEM products from Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Microsoft Windows products worth another $1.6 million.

The GIPC commends both the Haidan District authorities and the 1st Intermediate People’s Court of Beijing for their commitment to protecting and enforcing IPR in China. The GIPC has worked for a number of years to ensure that legal software is being sold and used on computers throughout China, and this particular case indicates forward progress is being made.

In a recent study by the Business Software Alliance (BSA) almost $9 billion of pirated software was illegally obtained in China in 2011 – the highest in Asia.  In the same report, it was noted that the piracy rate in China was 77%. This represents an improvement, but there is still a long way to go. The GIPC is committed to working with U.S. industry and Chinese law enforcement, courts, and government officials to protect against the installation of illegal computer programs and ensure jobs are created and consumers are protected.