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“Tomato Garden”: Custom pirated Windows XP gets Chinese pirates jail sentences

Chinese authorities cracked down on a group of four software pirates for offering a custom-built copy of Windows XP, which was downloaded in excess of 10 million times. The group had reverse engineered Windows XP and cut off all the anti-piracy measures introduced by Microsoft into the operating system. The custom-built XP copies were renamed Tomato Garden. The four people who were identified as part of the Windows XP piracy ring received jail sentences and financial penalties of more than $1.6 million. The most to suffer from Tomato Garden will be Hong Lei. The now former chief developer and distributor of Tomato Garden Windows XP will serve a maximum of three and a half years in jail. In addition, Lei was fined no less than 1 million yuan (approximately $146,327). The sentence was imposed by the Huqiu District People’s Court in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province. Microsoft applauded the action of the Chinese court and underlined that it fully supports governmental agencies that fight piracy. At the same time, the Redmond company pledged its continual cooperation with the Chinese government as well as Chinese industry partners in order to enforce intellectual property rights, according to Shanghai Daily.

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