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Green Dam filter software continues causing controversy
By Cui Jia (China Daily)
Updated: 2009-06-19 08:43

The US software developer that claimed Green Dam-Youth Escort software infringed the copyright of their product is attempting to stop more computer manufacturers from using the software.

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California-based Solid Oak sent "cease and desist" letters to other US personal computer manufacturers besides Dell and Hewlett Packard, which had already received letters on Tuesday, Jenna DiPasquale, head of Solid Oak PR and Marketing, told China Daily Thursday.

DiPasquale didn't provide the names of the computer manufacturers. Dell and HP had already received "cease and desist" letters from the company, urging them to stop distributing computers containing the alleged copied software on Tuesday.

DiPasquale said Thursday she had no update yet on the possibility of filing suit in China against the two Chinese developers of Green Dam pornographic filter, Jinhui Computer System Engineering Co and Dazheng Human Language Technology Co.

But Solid Oak has been approached by several law firms in China who have offered their services, according to DiPasquale.

Zhang Chenmin, general manager of Jinhui, could not be reached for comment Thursday but said earlier this week that the software programs might have similarities but the code was not stolen.

"After all, they are all well-known international pornographic websites that all porn-filters are meant to block. We didn't steal their programming code," Zhang said Sunday.

An official of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said the ministry had not received any official documents regarding Green Dam's possible lawsuit, so he declined to make any comments Thursday.

The Green Dam-Youth Escort software has been controversial, as the Chinese government paid 41.7 million yuan ($6 million) and ordered that the software must be included in all computers sold on the mainland from July 1.

"Despite the wide criticisms about the software, the Chinese government has responsibility to protect the youngsters from harmful information from the Internet," the Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said Thursday.

Qin refused to comment on the copyright infringement claims against the software.