Crack 99 admin gets 12 years in jail for 100 million of

first_imgHow much jail time can you serve for software piracy? Quite a bit, apparently. A Chinese national has been sent up the river for 12 years for running a website that distributed more than $100 million worth of pirated apps.Xiang Li and his wife ran a website called Crack 99, and from the spring of 2008 to the summer of 2011 sold more than 500 titles to hundreds of buyers around the globe.Crack 99 wasn’t just offering up copies of popular commercial titles like Office or Photoshop, either. Li was distributing some incredibly specialized industrial software, too, which carry price tags in the tens of thousands of dollars. One unnamed product reportedly sells for upwards of $3 million.On Crack 99, Li was selling these apps for anywhere from $20 to just north of $1,000. That’s a huge saving on something like Agilent’s SystemVue 99, a design tool that sells for around $45,000.Undercover U.S. agents traveled to China, where they convinced Li to meet them in Saipan, a territory of the United States about 120 miles northeast of Guam. Li was under the impression that he was delivering goods to a couple of businessmen.The sale? You guessed it, pirated software. That, and a whopping 20 gigs worth of copyright-protected data. Setting foot on Saipan afforded the agents the opportunity to arrest Li, which set the stage for him to become the first Chinese national to be arrested, tried, and convicted for criminal activities perpetrated within China’s borders.Li’s lawyer was less than thrilled with the dozen-year sentence, which was actually a reduction. Prosecutors were seeking 17 years, but presiding Judge Leonard Stark cut the term back.After serving his 12 years — or whatever that translates to after appeals and good behavior — Li will be deported back to China.last_img read more

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