Thursday, October 12, 2006

Web Closing Around Mr. Shui

The web is closing around the StoneBase pirate.
Stonebase's author is a Mr. A Shui from Beijing:


I wonder what else he stole from other colleagues. Some of my stuff is encrypted (like the giant human hand cursor), but anything he could extract out of the (pirated..) executable, he did.

Anyway, with this I can continue the hunt, there must be a lot of Shui's in Beijing but at least this narrows it down. I just need his address in order to serve him with a supoena by a Chinese lawyer. The good thing is that it probably is not going to cost me too much to hire one of Beijings most vociferous and successful lawyers who have experience with this kind of thing.

People seem to think that getting pirated in China is somehow "unavoidable", but that's nonsense. The Chinese government is eager to show the West that they take such crime seriously, and consequently the Chinese Police come down hard on perpotrators.

This is what happened with another Go software thief: ("Fair Use": I purchased this article for 8$ but since Google started scanning and making freely available all major US newspaper articles of the past decades, this article has entered the public domain)

SONNI EFRON. The Los Angeles Times. (Record edition). Los Angeles, Calif.: Aug 19, 1999. pg. 1

"They burst onto the international go scene about 2 1/2 years ago with a program called "Silver Igo" developed by a North Korean state-run trading enterprise called Silver Star. Competitors were amazed that North Korea could afford to channel top computer experts into game programming at a time when the cash-strapped Stalinist state was begging for food aid.

"They are probably thinking about other businesses," explained Naritatsu Yamamoto of Silver Star Japan, which represents the North Korean go and shogi programs. "They want to demonstrate their technical skills in order to get other work."

Silver Igo beat 40 other programs from around the world to win the FOST cup, run by an artificial-intelligence group, in Tokyo in August 1998.

But soon after, the Chinese author of one of the most successful go programs, Chen Zhixing, accused the Silver Igo program of having plagiarized his "Handtalk." Chen, 69, a retired chemistry professor from Guangzhou, China, has posted the accusations, along with details of the allegedly cribbed computer code, on his Web page at and demanded the return of the FOST cup title.

Masahiro Okasaki, who was the chief judge for the tournament, said Silver Igo was not a direct copy of Handtalk, although like many programs, it imitated the ideas of the powerful Chinese program.

The legalities of software plagiarism remain vague in Japan, and the North Koreans were allowed to keep their title. But in a bit of intrigue around the same time, the Silver Star head was executed in North Korea, reportedly for political reasons having nothing to do with the go program, according to Okasaki.

The go world remains abuzz with rumors about the incident and questions about whether the Silver Star executive might have been executed because the plagiarism charges had embarrassed the North Korean leadership. Okasaki emphatically denies that version of events.

Japanese media did report the execution of a trading company executive in September 1998 but did not name the official or even the date when he was reportedly shot. Chen, in a telephone interview, said he has had no response to his allegations. And hermitic North Korea's "bamboo curtain" has made the rumors virtually impossible to confirm or deny.

Meanwhile, Silver Star has been shut down, and the 22 or 23 people working in the games section have been moved to North Korea's largest computer enterprise, called KCC, according to Silver Star Japan's Yamamoto."