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Workers face imprisonment for spreading porn
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Four employees of a Beijing Website company have been accused of publishing pornographic photos to attract mobile phone Internet users to their site and face up to life in prison, a Beijing-based newspaper reported today.

The four defendants, including two directors of Beijing Qingdian Wanwei Technology Company's WAP service department, was charged by prosecutors for uploading 28 pornographic photos onto the company's server. The firm received 253,335 clicks from mobile phone users from January 2007 to May 2007, Legal Daily said.

They had illegally spread obscene pictures online for profit and the consequence is "especially serious" as more than 250,000 people have seen the pictures, the Beijing Xicheng District People's Court was told, the report said.

The punishment for spreading online obscene pictures is measured by the number of clicks, according to Chinese Criminal Law. If more than 250,000 people click the pictures, the consequence is categorized as "especially serious" and the jail term is fixed at 10 years to life.

The law also states that those found guilty of an especially serious case should be fined or have their property confiscated, the Criminal Law said.

In Xicheng District Court, the four defendants insisted that they were acting under the company's order and received no more money due to the higher traffic, the report said.

The prosecutor said the defendants could have earned indirect profits if the company made more money.

Moreover, the Criminal Law never mentioned spreading obscene pictures is illegal only if for personal profits, the report cited the public prosecutor as saying.

The lawyers of four defendants required the court to re-evaluate the Website's number of clicks. The court didn't reach a verdict, the report added.

(Shanghai Daily March 3, 2008)

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