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Category — Piracy Cases

Major Video Game Piracy Raid in Mexico City

Categories: Piracy CasesPolice Actions

Five Hundred Mexican police officers raided four Mexican video game piracy operations in the Tepito area of Mexico City (the center of the local black market) netting some 28,000 pirated game copies, 290 DVD/CD burners and 900,000 game covers.

Sources: Bit-tech.net | Joystiq | Next Generation | Game Politics | Portalit | IGN | ESA Press Release

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Gamasutra Article: Why Piracy Might Help

Categories: Piracy Cases

Here’s a countervailing opinion on end-user game copying/piracy. It’s not a new argument. Essentially it goes, but for piracy as a kid, I wouldn’t be a loyal purchaser of your products today.

Source: Gamasutra

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The RCMP Seize 1000 Counterfeit “Magic Mega Game Plug and Play” Systems in Ottawa Area

Categories: Piracy CasesPolice Actions

As part of an investigation that started last August, the RCMP have seized about one-thousand counterfeit “Magic Mega Game Plug and Play” video game systems from three Ottawa-area malls. The consoles were sold for about $60 and features over 150 copyright-infringing Nintendo games among others. No charges have been laid – yet.

Sources: CFRA Radio | Ottawa Sun

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FBI Shuts Down L2Extreme.com’s Unauthorized Lineage II Servers

Categories: CopyrightsHackingPiracy CasesPolice Actions

The FBI has shut down an illegal game operation that allegedly provided subscribers with fraudulent service to, and code for, Lineage II. Apparently L2Extreme.com (now seized by the FYI) had some 50,000 active users. NCSoft says it lost millions in revenue from this. The operators of L2Extreme.com face a fine of $250,000 and up to five years in jail. NCSoft has said it has no plans to pursue the users.

This case is different from the Blizzard v. BNetD case because in the BNetD circumstance, they had reverse engineered the Blizzard server software and, presumably, wrote emulating software in a “clean room” without access to the original Blizzard server software – thus no direct copyright infringement. In the L2Extreme case, it is alleged that the L2Extreme.com server software was pirated (ie: copied) NCSoft server software.

Sources: NextGen.biz | Daily Tech | Gamasutra | ars technica | GameSpot | P2PNet | GameSpy | GameDaily.biz| NCSoft Press Release | GameIndustry.biz

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French Mod-chip Maker Divineo Ordered to Pay $9 Million in Fines for Violating DMCA

Categories: DecisionsDMCA-TPM CasesModding CasesPiracy Cases

On September 11, 2006, U.S. District Court Judge Claudia Wilken assessed more than $9 million in penalties against France-based mod-chip maker Divineo for trafficking in mod chips and the associated HDLoader software. HDLoader allows users to copy their games from CD/DVD disks to their hard drive. Despite legitimate use by legions of honest gamers, this mod-chip/software bundle works by circumventing copy protection measures contained on the game CD/DVD and thereby contravenes the controversial DMCA.

Dale’s Comment: Mod-chips and software like HDLoader is hated by game developers/publishers because they are commonly used to distribute pirated video games on PS2 consoles. For honest gamers, they are a terrific way to install all purchased games on a hard drive so that they can be quickly and conveniently served up like records in a jukebox. Without it gamers must manually flip game disks each time they want to change the current game.

Sources: Gamasutra | Digital Trends | GameDaily.biz | Businesswire | ars technica | Next Generation | Engadget | ESA Press Release

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20 Duplicating Machines Seized in U.K.

Categories: Piracy CasesPolice Actions


A man was arrested and police Seized twenty duplicating machines and 5,000 master discs were seized from the man’s premises in Lowestoft, Suffolk UK.

Sources: Gamasutra

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Another Game Piracy Asset Seizure: $474,000

Categories: Criminal ConvictionsPiracy Cases

After serving a 12 month jail sentence for PS2 and XBox game related piracy and counterfeiting offenses, 46 year old Merseyside England woman Susan Roach has had $474,000 in assets seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Sources: Gamasutra  |  Northwest Enquirer  |  1Up.com  |  Computer Active

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Two U.K. Men Jailed for Game Piracy

Categories: Criminal ConvictionsPiracy Cases

Two men were jailed, one for 18 months another for 3 years. They were found with illegally-copied PC and Xbox video games worth an estimated £58,000.
 
Sources: BBC  |  Myth Games

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British Game Pirates Ordered to Repay $1.114M

Categories: Criminal ConvictionsPiracy Cases

An ex-couple, Andrew King (53) and Angela Susan Jones (42), were ordered by a Liverpool court to pay $4378K and $835K respectively within six months or serve 21 months/six years in jail. If they fail to pay by the deadline and serve the jail sentence, they will still have to pay the outstanding balance.
 
Sources: Gamasutra  |  Myth Games  |  Hexus  |  PC Pro

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XBox 360 Piracy Spreading in China After Firmware Hacked

Categories: HackingModding CasesPiracy Cases

Hackers have managed to flash images of the XBox 360′s firmware onto DVD-ROMs. 360 game piracy appears to be on the rise in China.

Source: Gamasutra

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Canadian RCMP Raids Game Piracy Shops

Categories: Piracy CasesPolice Actions

According to the ESA, the Mounties seized thousands of pirated games in Markham, Ontario’s Pacific Mall. One person was arrested. Stores in the same mall had previously been raided in April of 2005, but piracy continued there regardless.

Sources: Gamasutra | GameSpot | GameDaily.biz | Gamers.com

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Movie Industry May Drop HDCP/ICT Until 2010/2012?

Categories: DRMPiracy Cases

In what would certainly be good news for purchasers of the low-end PS3 (which will not have HDMI outputs), the leading German newspaper Der Spiegel claims to have information on an unofficial agreement struck between the movie studios, Sony, Microsoft and others which will see HDCP, and the Image Constraint Token (ICT), being consigned to the scrap heap for at least four years. This move would mean that all movie content produced until 2010 at the earliest, and possibly as far as 2012, will not carry the ICT – a security feature which restricts/down-rez’s high-definition playback only to equipment with HDMI ports and HDCP encryption.
 
Sources: ars technica  |  GameIndustry.biz  |  Daily Tech  |  Next Generation  |  IGN  |  Gamasutra  |  Xbit  |  Joystiq  |  Engadget  |  Der Spiegel (Google’s English Translation)
 
Dale’s Comment: This is a remarkable development if true. I have been participating in online forums for years where this has been a major subject of contention for early HDTV adopters. With the constant delays of HD-DVD and Blu-ray and the many competing HD standards appearing on the horizon, this may spell the demise of HD down-rezzing and the ICT. Recently, Professor Ed Felton suggested that HDCP is Eminently Crackable. All this said, since main-stream press has not yet picked this up, I question its veracity. But, its fun speculation in the meantime.Update: October 15 2006: Save for one or two titles, the first couple hundred Blu-Ray and HD-DVD releases have been released without HDCP/ICT activated.

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Malaysia Seizes 1.5m Pirated Game, Film Discs

Categories: Piracy CasesPolice Actions

Authorities in Malaysia have revealed that they have seized 1.5 million pirated game and film DVDs and CDs worth an estimated 51.3 million ringgit ($14m) in raids so far this year. Almost half of these were meant for export, showing that video game piracy of physical discs is still a major issue in many regions.
 
Source: Gamasutra  |  GamePolitics.com

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Ubisoft Drops Starforce Piracy Protection

Categories: DRMPiracy CasesPrivacy Cases

Amidst growing complaints of potentially harmful security breaches and the recent filing of a class action lawsuit, French publisher Ubisoft has officially ceased its use of Starforce copy protection.
 
Sources: GameIndustry.biz  |  ars technica  |  MoneyControl.com  |  PALGN  |  afterdawn.com  |  Legit Reviews  |  neo seeker

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Another UK Game Piracy Raid

Categories: Piracy CasesPolice Actions

Twenty-nine individuals were arrested in the North of England. Merseyside and Lancashire police raided seventeen separate addresses in the Sefton and Skelmersdale areas of Liverpool, with a total of five major duplicating operations apparently being uncovered.

Sources: Gamasutra  |  Next Generation  |  BBC  

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The Problem with PC Game Piracy Protection (Next Generation Feature)

Categories: DRMFeatured ArticlesPiracy Cases

PC Gamer looks at anti-piracy solutions and how their potency has created problems for legitimate game buyers.

Source: Next Generation
Related Stories: Joystiq | ars technica

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UK Game Pirate Sentenced To 15 Months In Prison

Categories: Criminal ConvictionsPiracy Cases

During a 2003 raid, more than 13,000 items were seized including pirate videotapes, CDs and DVDs. The pair had been selling pirate copies of games and film both online and from their store. They were charged with conspiracy to produce counterfeit product, with Forhad sentenced to serve 15 months and Ajad nine months.

Sources: Gamasutra  |  GameIndustry.biz
 

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ELSPA Aids British GameCube Pirate’s Sentencing

Categories: Criminal ConvictionsPiracy CasesPolice Actions

A retailer was ordered to pay 3,310 pounds ($5,768 USD) in fines and serve 240 hours of community service for manufacturing and selling counterfeit games for all console systems after being apprehended by a joint operation of the ELSPA, Staffordshire Trading Standards, and the local police.

Source: Gamasutra

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19 Indicted in U.S. and U.K. as part of on-going Anti-Piracy Operation

Categories: Criminal ProsecutionsDMCA-TPM CasesPiracy Cases

The alleged pirates were said to have either removed the copy protection from, duplicated, or otherwise bootlegged over $6.5 million worth of software (including game-related content) and movies.

Source: Gamasutra  |  Next Generation  |  GameDaily  |  GameIndustry.biz

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Ice Cream Pirate Sentenced in Scotland

Categories: Criminal ConvictionsPiracy Cases

William Agnew, aged 50, of Hamilton in central Scotland, was sentenced to 200 hours of community service after admitting to trademark offences. 4,000 pirated DVDs, CDs and games on PlayStation, Xbox and PC platforms were seized during the raid on Agnew’s business premises. Agnew was known to sell the goods from his ice cream van.

Source: Gamasutra  |  Engadget

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Sony Wins $6 Million Award Against U.S. PlayStation Modder

Categories: DecisionsDMCA-TPM CasesModding CasesPiracy Cases

Text of Sony v. Filipiak Decision
On Dec 27, 2005, In this decision, Sony was awarded more than $6 million in statutory damages against an individual that sold Playstation mod chips in contravention of the anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA. The statutory minimum and maximums are $200 and $2,500 per violation. Sony was awarded $800 per “wilful” circumvention/infringement for initial violations and the highest possible, $2,500, for violations that occurred after the defendant had signed a consent judgment agreeing to stop such violations – he didn’t! In this case a computer forensics expert was able to determine that the defendant had erased thousands of incriminating transaction files/records just prior to handing his hard drive over to Sony’s counsel as agreed in a consent judgment.

Sources: Findlaw | InternetCases.com | Davis & Co

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Three Indicted In Xbox Piracy/Modding Case

Categories: Criminal ProsecutionsDMCA-TPM CasesModding CasesPiracy Cases

Two Hollywood video game store owners and a third man who were charged in December for allegedly pirating video games and installing them on modified Microsoft Corp. Xbox consoles were indicted on Thursday, according to the United States Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles. The indictment also charged the three with two felony violations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act,

Sources: Gamasutra  |  Next Generation  |  Information Week

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Original XBox Modders Charged with DMCA Violations

Categories: Criminal ProsecutionsDMCA-TPM CasesHackingModding CasesPiracy Cases

Authorities charge three Los Angeles-area men with hacking Xbox game consoles to allow pirated games to run on them.

Sources: Red Herring | Information Week | Reuters UK | 1Up | Techtree | NextGen.biz | Joystiq | Gamasutra | Law Fuel | Xbox 360 Fanboy

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Texas Video Game Pirate Sentenced

Categories: Criminal ConvictionsPiracy Cases

Texan, Ponce de Leon, is sentenced to three years, ten months in prison and ordered to pay a $1.154 million fine for criminal video game piracy over the Internet.

Sources: U.S. Immigration & Customs | Gamasutra | Gamespot | Next Generation

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Maryland Video Game Pirate Sentenced

Categories: Criminal ConvictionsDMCA-TPM CasesPiracy Cases

Biren Amin, owner of Pandora’s Cube, is: (i) sentenced to five months in prison, (ii) sentenced to three years of supervised release, including 5 months of house arrest, (iii) fined $$247,237.05; and (iv) ordered to complete 80 hours of community service, for copyright infringement and DMCA violations.

Sources: Xbox Solution | Next Generation | CNet | ESA Press Release

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