back to article Chinese man pleads guilty to $100m piracy scam

A Chinese businessman has pleaded guilty to copyright infringement on an epic scale after helping to crack and sell pirated high-end software worth in excess of $US100m over a three year period. Xiang Li of Chengdu in China’s south-western Sichuan province, disputed the value of the software he sold but pleaded guilty to …


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  1. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. LarsG

    They appear to be amateurs at it, such little profit for so much work.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Yeah but the same

      could hardly be said for NASA.....

      What if one of these dodgy packages had ended up controlling some piece of space technology...

      Not like they can send a bod from Curries round to fix it!!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Satellite Tool Kit 9.2.1?

    Who would buy it? What does it do?

    1. Anonymous Coward


      1. Oodles of Noodles

        Re: Sigh...

        That made I giggle that did. Brilliant.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sigh...@ corns

        I was being facetious....

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sigh...@cornz 1

        Maybe you could explain it in laymans terms please?

  4. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Rhetorical question?

    My guess is that the AC above didn't much care what the $240,000 package did.

    That being said, for the sheer hell of it I followed the link, let it show me Google, chose Wikipaedia's entry and frankly, after reading it was none the wiser anyway.

    There may be a simpler explanation out there, but I doubt it.

    And the real brain hurting question is why anyone would want to buy that sort of giant mega-expensive package for peanuts? If he needed and could use he ought to have access to it,

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe it was worth cracking software back in the 90's, but is it really worth it today especially with the rise of Linux and free software.

    1. The FunkeyGibbon
      Thumb Down

      Linux isn't the answer to everything....

      I know this will be seen as heresy around here but there really is actually some things that are best done by commercial software. I'm pretty sure that even NASA doesn't have the resources to write every line of code needed to keep a satellite in orbit so buying a commercial program to cut development time and costs is logical.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Linux isn't the answer to everything....

        Youre absolutely right. Visual ASP.NET is much easier to use than J2EE frameworks. Thats why small organizations use ASP.NET as they cant afford the manpower required for J2EE web applications. Larger organizations have departments full of computer science graduates churning out the code.

        The point I was making is that Linux can do certain tasks such as word processing and running Browser based business applications. Some CAD packages are also available for Linux.

        The Chinese duo advertised over 2,000 separate software products for sale. My point was is it worth Pirating word processing and spreadsheet software.

        How they managed to get hold of a specialized product - Satellite Tool Kit 9.2.1 is just astonishing.

  6. Winkypop Silver badge

    People BUY software from warez sites?

    People who need high-end tools too?


  7. Captain Underpants


    Let's say I'm a procurement bod for Underpants Aeronautical Engineering PLC. I know that we're dealing with a ~$100M project, which requires some complex software. I know that the market rate for this software is ~$100K-$500K.

    Unless I am *very very stupid indeed* I am not going to then purchase a TOTALLY LEGIT, GUV, SWEAR TO GOD version from for a cost of 1-2% of market rate. The vanishingly small probability of it actually being legitimate is not worth the substantial risk to the project and the company's professional reputation.

    The targets for these kinds of operations are those people who can be described in Venn diagram terms at the intersection of the following sets:

    1) Vaguely interested, for personal or professional reasons, in the software

    2) Unwilling or unable to purchase legitimate copies at market rate

    3) Unwilling or unable to use time- or function-limited trial copies for their purposes

    4) Unaware of how to obtain cracked copies of the software at no cost

    All of which means that while the individuals concerned should clearly be prosecuted for their actions, the actual economic damage caused by their actions is unlikely to amount to $100M. In real terms, it is not obvious to me that the absence of their operation would have netted $100M or even $10M for the rightsholders. There again, as far as I'm concerned, for-profit copyright infringement like this deserves the Enormous Stompy Boot of Legal Doom so screw 'em.

    1. P Saunders

      It's possible that

      Mr Wedderburn was paid a bonus to "save" NASA money on its software/hardware acquisitions.

  8. Silverburn

    100m? only 1 Oracle enterprise licence pirated then?

  9. Mike Brown

    wait wait. £60k profits from £100m sales. When there overheads and costs muct have been miniscule (as they wernt paying for the products) there is somthing wrong here.

    1. Esskay

      If he was smart about it...

      Then there would have been $99.94 million in rent paid to Xiang Li Real Estate Co. based out of the Caymans.

    2. phil 27

      The disconnect is that is the OEM selling price, not their sticker price which would be considerably lower. Hence their disputation of the amounts in the court documents.

  10. Paul 75

    Cosburn Wedderburn

    Is his middle name Afterburn?

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