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15 Months Jail For Computer Games Pirate! - 8/22/2004 9:31:50 AM   

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CHING Seen Ming didn’t have a job but he earned S$5,000 (RM11,091) a month – as much as a middle-management executive. But he wasn’t so much middle management as middleman. He was a crucial link in an international piracy syndicate, helping it to mass produce pirated versions of video games.

Ching, 40, was jailed for 15 months yesterday, after pleading guilty to copyright infringement. A district court heard how the syndicate, called Fairlight, operated. Ching was recruited by his brother, Seng Keng, who is in Malaysia, four years ago.

Syndicate members would upload the latest computer software and video console games for Sony’s PlayStation and Microsoft’s Xbox to the Internet, bypassing their copyright protection measures, to make them available for their customers to download.

The syndicate would charge S$170 (RM377) for each download of a particular program. Ching’s role was to download computer programs. Members like Ching and his brother could then copy them onto CDs and DVDs to be mass produced.
His brother was responsible for churning out pirated copies and distributing them in Malaysia and Middle Eastern countries.

Ching was responsible for liaising with Middle Eastern clients who wanted to buy the pirated games. They would send the payment to his bank account and he would remit the money to his brother.

Source : The Straits Times/Asia News Network
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