Issue Date: Vol. 49, No.9, September 2009, Posted On: 9/30/2009
AMI Entertainment Hails Chinese Crackdown On Game Counterfeiters
by Staff Reporter
Megatouch, AMI Entertainment Network, AMI, Merit Industries, Bob Fay, Robert C. Fay, Guangzhou City, Yan Xiancheng, Chengtai Metal Hardware Factory, Chengtai Electronics Technology Co., videogame, video game, touchscreen entertainment, coin-operated games, arcade games, counterfeit games, illegal games, Chinese counterfeiters, coin-op news, vending machine, Chinese Administration for Industry and Commerce, anti-piracy program, Baker & McKenzie, Fang Ming, North Star
PANYU, China -- A Chinese court has sentenced factory owner Yan Xiancheng to 3-1/2 years in prison for counterfeiting Megatouch games, according to an announcement by Megatouch manufacturer AMI Entertainment Network (Bristol, PA). His company, Chengtai Metal Hardware Factory (also known as Chengtai Electronics Technology Co.), was found to have engaged in counterfeiting games from several manufacturers since 2006.
The company, headquartered in this ancient municipality adjacent to Guangzhou City in southern China, also had set up business-to-business and business-to-consumer websites on which it advertised its counterfeit products. AMI reports that Chengtai's Megatouch copies were exported to a number of countries including Russia, Malaysia, Singapore and several Middle Eastern nations.
The case is the second in which the People's Republic of China has taken legal action against game counterfeiting. This summer, the Chinese Administration for Industry and Commerce imposed stiff penalties on another factory owner, Fang Ming, whose company, North Star, had been found to have infringed Megatouch copyrights. He was ordered to cease production of the counterfeit games and fined heavily (see VT, September).
The conviction of Chengtai's owner followed a proceeding which had begun in the spring of 2008 with raids on the company's manufacturing facility and office, during which copies of games by several major manufacturers including AMI, Sega and Namco were seized (see VT, March or April 2008). At that time, Yan Xiancheng was detained, then released on bail. He violated the terms of this release and later was arrested at the Guangzhou Airport on Dec. 21 of last year. Sentenced on May 15, he appealed the decision, but the Guangzhou Intermediate People's Court upheld the lower court's finding. The decision thus is final.
"This is a major breakthrough for AMI Entertainment Network's anti-piracy program," said Robert C. Fay, the company's director of government relations. "Companies who manufacture copies of Megatouch need to take notice that they can go to prison."
Fay praised the Chinese authorities for their consistent professionalism throughout the process, and commended the law firm of Baker & McKenzie for a "superb job of coordinating the investigation and assisting the Chinese government with the prosecution."