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Lenovo, Acer, Sony Targetted in Green Dam Suit

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 17 comments

Santa Barbara-based Solid Oak is said to be targeting Lenovo, Sony and Acer in its legal proceedings against China's Green Dam software.

Soon after China announced its Green Dam plans (that is, to ship every computer after July 1 with the mandatory filtering software), an American company came forward and claimed that parts of its filtering software CyberSitting, which is aimed at parental use, are being used in the Green Dam software. At the time Solid Oak said it was unsure of how it was going to proceed but the company did mention that seeking a court injunction to stop manufacturers shipping the software was a definite possibility.

Reports now claim that initially, the company's court case will be targeting Sony, Acer and Lenovo because while the project has been delayed, the aforementioned manufacturers have started shipping computers with the software anyway.

Last week China announced a delay in the roll out of Green Dam, stating that manufacturers would not be ready for the July 1 deadline and needed more time. Later in the week, China said that yes, it would go ahead with Green Dam and that no, the Solid Oak issue was not the reason for the delay. "What will happen is that some PC manufacturers will have it included with their PC packages sooner than the others," an MIIT (Ministry of Industry and Information Technology) official said. "But there is no definite deadline at the moment."

A Solid Oak spokeswoman told IDG that the company might also take action against other PC makers that have started shipping the software.

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  • 5 Hide
    doc70 , July 7, 2009 3:49 PM
    well, maybe they'll learn that singing along a communist song just for the love of sales doesn't mean they're immune from any legal consequences... after all, they can't say they didn't know about the copyright issue, all the Internet was full of news about it. Hope they will have to pay big royalties for putting that software on their systems.
  • 1 Hide
    Greg_77 , July 7, 2009 4:43 PM
    I thought Lenovo didn't accept the Green Dam software? I thought it was Toshiba? I could be wrong, after all, Lenovo is a Chinese company.
  • Display all 17 comments.
  • 6 Hide
    curnel_D , July 7, 2009 4:48 PM
    captaincharismahere come the patent hors

    You're an idiot. At least try and be a little bit educated about what you're talking about.

    A research team at a close university found code directly ripped from Solid Oak (And I literally mean directly, since it was also noticed that the internal code newsletter commented sections from Solid Oak were also left in) and notified the company about it. China doesnt even take notice, so the only way for them to take back their stolen property is to battle the PC manufacturers that decide to use the software despite a clear knowledge that the software was built using stolen IP.
  • 6 Hide
    Regected , July 7, 2009 5:54 PM
    Arguing on the internet is like competing in the Special Olympics. Even if you win you are still retarded.


    This is not a case of patent trolling. This is an active and marketed product being blatantly copied by a foreign power. A company has little to no chance standing up to a government, but they can stop other companies from furthering the infringement.
  • 1 Hide
    koss64 , July 7, 2009 7:18 PM
    Regected has a point.Solid Oak cant hope to sue the Chineese government and win.They could be doing this to try recoup thier losses or and this is a big OR they want to give the chineese governtment something to think about.But thats not likely as they have proven to be unmoving in most things,kind of like someone going the wrong way but despite all evidence that it is thwe wrong way they arent changing course one degree.
  • 2 Hide
    cregan89 , July 7, 2009 8:30 PM
    This sucks for the manufacturers. It's illegal in China to sell a computer without the software. But the software itself is illegal. Your damned if you do, damned if you don't!
  • 2 Hide
    curnel_D , July 7, 2009 9:45 PM
    cregan89This sucks for the manufacturers. It's illegal in China to sell a computer without the software. But the software itself is illegal. Your damned if you do, damned if you don't!

    That's the cost of doing buisness in China. If manufacturers really wanted to stand up and do something about it, they could just give China a flat NO.
  • 2 Hide
    jerreece , July 7, 2009 11:19 PM
    I guess China will have to start making their own computers. :)  Hopefully this legal suit will cause the major manufacturers to stop installing the software, and ultimately won't be able to ship PCs there.

    The Chinese government will just have to deal with living in the dark ages. This is what happens with governments that are fundamentally corrupt in the first place. No real surprise that the Chinese government has knowingly stolen intellectual property.
  • 0 Hide
    Pei-chen , July 8, 2009 12:29 AM
    Money talks.
  • 0 Hide
    Wayoffbase , July 8, 2009 1:07 AM
    Good luck to Solid Oak. The PC manufacturers should have done their homework, ship PCs to china with linux installed, green dam isn't compatible with linux :)  They could still make sales without any ethical or legal worries.
  • 0 Hide
    okibrian , July 8, 2009 2:14 AM
    jerreeceI guess China will have to start making their own computers...


    They already do. Seems like every computer part I have says "Made in China." Maybe American companies can put Americans back to work and start builting things in country again.
  • -3 Hide
    cabose369 , July 8, 2009 4:44 AM
    why would they sue the companies??? Why not just sue China's government for being so damn stupid and Commie....
  • 0 Hide
    curnel_D , July 8, 2009 4:46 AM
    cabose369why would they sue the companies??? Why not just sue China's government for being so damn stupid and Commie....

    Well, hell, if that was against the Chinese law, and they gave a damn about what you had to say, you could sue them too!
  • 0 Hide
    eccentric909 , July 8, 2009 1:57 PM
    okibrianThey already do. Seems like every computer part I have says "Made in China." Maybe American companies can put Americans back to work and start builting things in country again.


    That would be nice, but most americans won't work for the wage that the companies can offer in China. Of course, a lot of those companies are not american to being with. Lenovo is chinese based to begin with, although with some american roots being as they swallowed up IBM's PC business. Though, neither Sony nor Acer are american either.

    So technically we're not talking about american companies, even if they were, americans aren't going to work for minimum wage building PCs.. nor will these companies end up paying that much or what the job is worth here, either.
  • 0 Hide
    okibrian , July 9, 2009 4:16 AM
    Eccentric909That would be nice, but most americans won't work for the wage that the companies can offer in China. Of course, a lot of those companies are not american to being with. Lenovo is chinese based to begin with, although with some american roots being as they swallowed up IBM's PC business. Though, neither Sony nor Acer are american either.So technically we're not talking about american companies, even if they were, americans aren't going to work for minimum wage building PCs.. nor will these companies end up paying that much or what the job is worth here, either.

    Yes, but we do have HP, Dell, IBM and a few others. Also, we have many US based companies that own the parts inside of them (but made in China). You do not have to pay Americans $0.23 an hour like in a third world country. Pay what the job is worth. The only reason we do keep jobs in the US is to get max profit and to have a price war with other vendors. Why not give the jobs to Americans, pay what the job is worth, still make a great profit and tax the hell out of products coming into the states to even the price? Don't you think that is done in other countries? How much tax do you think is charged to a new US car sold in Japan? Maybe that could be the reason why you see so little US cars in Japan (and I live in Japan, so I know what I'm talking about). They love the look of the US cars here, but you have to pay the price. KEEP JOBS IN AMERICAN AND AMERICANS WILL HAVE THE MONEY TO INVEST IN AMERICA! It's all a cycle.