Saturday, December 01, 2007

Chinese Computer Scientist Jailed for Copyright Infringement

William Stepp at Against Monopoly reports that a Chinese computer scientist has been jailed for copyright infringement.

"Chen Shoufu, an innovative Chinese computer scientist, was jailed August 16 in Beijing for violating the copyright of China's leading instant-messenging service, Tencent Holdings Ltd., owner of the popular QQ program. Mr. Chen's program Coral QQ made QQ more user friendly by blocking ads, resolving internet addresses, and identifying the computer from which a message is sent at no charge. (Tencent charges for the ID service.) He had previously paid a 100,000 yuan fine, about $13,600. Here is the article in the Wall Street Journal.

He has become a hero in China, the second largest internet market. One blogger decried Tencent for "bullying Chinese users by monopolizing the market."

This is yet another chilling example in a long list of violations of the liberty of people to use their property in non-invasive and very often innovative ways that ironically could improve the lives of their prosecutors, as well as countless other people. "

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