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May 10, 2013

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Man jailed for pirating Internet game 'Mir 2'

A MAN who pirated the popular online game "Mir 2" on a private server and earned nearly 2.7 million yuan (US$439,560) was sentenced to three years in prison with four years of probation, a Shanghai court ruled yesterday.

The convict, surnamed Liu, 30, was also fined 1.35 million yuan for copyright infringement, Pudong New Area People's Court ruled.

Liu said he paid 2,000 yuan to buy a game server, game programs of "Mir 2" and other technologies after seeing an advertisement posted by a Guangdong Province-based company in June 2011. He changed the game name and operated the game server remotely from his home in Shandong Province, prosecutors said.

"My game has the same story, interface and tasks as 'Mir 2.' The only difference is that mine had some special maps that 'Mir 2' didn't have," Liu told the court.

The two games had programs that were 90 percent identical, the court heard.

Liu told the court his game was free but players had the option to pay for faster upgrades. Liu also earned money by posting advertisements. Between June 2011 and last July 2012, his illegal income totaled 2.69 million yuan, prosecutors said.

In July 2012, SNDA, a networking company and the operator of "Mir 2," reported to the police, claiming Liu's game infringed its copyright and had stolen its players.

Liu was caught on July 26. He also agreed to pay SNDA 800,000 yuan for copyright infringement, the court heard.


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