The video game industry has long complained that China is a nation where copyrights don’t mean much.
But in what would appear to be a new low, the Chinese government’s official website for the upcoming Beijing Summer Olympics seems to feature online games lifted from Western creators.
As reported by Ars Technica, the IP theft was outed when developer Cadin Batrack scanned the Online Games section of the Chinese site and noticed what appeared to be an altered version of one of his designs:
According to Batrack, the Olympics’ game, Fuwa Fight the Winter Clouds, looks like someone downloaded and decompiled the SWF file from his site, swapped out some of the graphics, and then published it as their own game. Since this information was unveiled, Fuwa Fight the Winter Clouds has been removed, but it appears as if a couple of other games might also be copies.
Ironically, as Ars Technica reports:
The Beijing Olympic Committee have a stern warning on its site to deter anyone from stealing any of the IP posted therein (with fines up to $7,000 or five times the “illegal income” generated by the theft), but the site was developed by Sohu. Sohu is currently being sued for allegedly promoting online piracy (by providing links to illegal file-sharing web sites)…