The global software industry is elated about a landmark victory against software piracy after a district court sent four men to prison and handed them heavy fines for distributing counterfeit versions of Microsoft’s Windows ZP and other computer programs over the internet.

Sun Xiansheng and Hong Lei, the founders and main executives of Tomato Garden, a website that generated advertising revenues by offering pirated software for free, were sentenced to 3½ years in prison and a fine of Yuan 1m ($146,000) each.

Experts in intellectual property rights said increasing numbers of counterfeiters had been prosecuted for criminal offences in the past couple of years. But they said the verdict handed out against Tomato Garden marked a landmark, both in the size of business shut down and the harshness of the sentencing.  Source:  Financial Times

BIIA Newsletter October – 2009 Issue