Chinese National Sentenced to 144 Months in Copyright Case


Chinese national Xiang Li was sentenced to 144 months in federal prison Wednesday, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Li had operated a website which distributed more than $100 million worth of pirated software. It was one of the most significant copyright infringement cases ever uncovered.

Between April 2008 and June 2011, Li engaged in over 700 transactions through which he distributed over $100 million pirated software to over 400 customers located in at least 28 states and over 60 foreign countries. These software products were owned by approximately 200 different American software manufacturers, ranging from large corporations to small businesses. Li also sold 20 gigabytes of confidential and proprietary data obtained from the internal computer network of at least one cleared defense contractor. […]

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Li's customers included those in embargoed countries in the Middle East, employees of foreign governments and federal government employees and contractors holding security clearances in the United States. More than one-third of the unlawful purchases were made by individuals within the United States, including small business owners, government contractors, students, inventors and engineers.

Li will be deported to China after serving his sentence.