A Chinese national has pleaded guilty to charges related to selling illegally copied American software worth more than $100 million. U.S. officials say it is one of the most significant cases of copyright infringement ever uncovered by law enforcement authorities.
U.S. officials say 36-year-old Xiang Li of Chengdu, China, operated a website to distribute pirated software.
According to statements and court documents Li’s website, Crack99, advertised thousands of stolen software titles and sold them at well below market prices to customers in the United States and 60 other countries.
Software is considered “cracked” when its digital license files and access control features have been disabled or bypassed.
John Morton, the director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, spoke about the case Tuesday.
“This is organized crime pure and simple. Hackers are literally stealing sophisticated U.S. software, cracking the codes and selling it on the street through criminal middle men like Mr. Li. American jobs, innovation and sensitive technology are lost in the process. This harms our country in a very, real, real way,” he said.