China jails four for pirating Windows XP

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China jails four for pirating Windows XP

Tomato Garden version of Windows shut down.

Four men have been jailed in China for creating and distributing a version of Windows XP with authentication and certification systems disabled.

Hong Lei, the creator of the web site dubbed Tomato Garden which distributed the code, was sentenced to three and a half years in prison and fined US$146,000, with an accomplice getting the same sentence. Two other men were received two year sentences for their part in the scam.

China has been accused of leading the world in the use of pirated software, although others say the problem is much worse in the industrialised world. Lately however it has been cracking down more firmly on pirates, and recently claimed the world's biggest piracy bust.

"China's efforts to stop intellectual property theft have been weak and ineffective—heavy on tough talk but light on implementation," U.S. Congressman Howard Berman of California, who has been visiting Beijing, said in a statement issued by his office.

"Hundreds of websites provide downloads and links to pirated movies, recordings and games."

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