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China sends website owner to jail

Seller of pirate DVDs given 14-month sentence

The Chinese operator of a website selling thousands of pirated Hollywood DVDs has been sentenced to 14 months in prison and fined by a Beijing court.

The Motion Picture Assn. said the verdict represented a “milestone” in its efforts to get local enforcement offices to prosecute offenders.

Huang Yangsheng ran an illegal website that sold approximately 6,000 bootlegged DVDs, including Hollywood movies, to overseas clients from 2006 to 2008. He netted more than 100,000 yuan ($14,650) before being arrested last December after an extensive criminal investigation started by an MPA complaint of copyright infringement to the government.

“The court sentence is a significant victory for copyright holders. The imprisonment of these criminals sends a strong deterring message to online infringers in China,” said Mike Ellis, MPA’s Asia Pacific prexy and managing director.

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