by Mike Masnick
Wed, Nov 26th 2008 3:15pm
Almost exactly a year ago, we wrote about the case of a developer in China who had created an add-on for the super popular QQ instant messaging software used in China. The add-on, called Coral QQ, made the software work better, by getting rid of some of the annoying features of QQ and adding some additional features as well. For making the software better, the guy got charged with copyright infringement. This didn't make much sense. The guy wasn't copying anything. You still needed the original program in order to use Coral QQ. Coral QQ was just an add on that worked on top of regular QQ. Yet, now a court has sentenced the guy to three years in jail, all for making a software product better. It's difficult to see how this encourages anyone to ever make products better. If anything, it guarantees that bad products get less competition.
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