Four men have been jailed in China for creating and distributing a version of Windows XP which had the authentication and certification systems disabled.
Hong Lei, the creator of a web site known as Tomato Garden, which distributed the code, was sentenced to three and a half years in prison and fined $146,000 (£88,000). An accomplice received the same sentence, while two other men received two-year sentences.
Lately, however, China 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," California congressman Howard Berman, who has been visiting Beijing, said in a statement issued by his office.
"Hundreds of [Chinese] web sites provide downloads and links to pirated movies, recordings and games."
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