A court in Shenzhen justified its decision to jail 11 software pirates by stating they had committed a serious crime, state media reported. "The three primary offenders in this case violated copyright in a very serious way," the Futian court said in a statement to the Xinhua news agency. The 11 were convicted of organized piracy worth US$44.3 million, with pirated software sold in China and internationally. Wang Wenhua, the leader of the piracy ring, was jailed for six-and-a-half years, with a fine of US$220,000, while the others were given sentences ranging from 18 months to five years. Two of the convicted have appealed the ruling. Microsoft welcomed the verdict in an official statement.