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Category — Police Actions

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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Texas Student in Hot Water For Making Counterstike Map Based on his High School

Categories: Modding CasesPolice Actions

Police Report (April 26, 2007)
A day after the Virginia Tech massacre, police in Fort Bend Texas investigated an Asian high school senior, Paul Hwang, as a potential “terrorist threat” for making a counter-strike map mod based on his high-school, Clements High. His family’s home was subsequently searched.

No charges were laid but ornamental knives and a hammer were seized from his room. The student was transferred to another school. The parents are appealing the transfer.

Note: It is unclear from conflicting reports whether the student was arrested or not.

Dale’s Comment: This is an example of a talented Counter-Strike modder being in the wrong place at the wrong time. There is nothing unusual about high-schoolers making mods for the popular Counter-Strike video game. In a twist on the common writing adage “write what you know”, this unfortunate student modded what he knew, and got caught up in a storm of contemporary controversy.

As a side note: This teen looks like he may have a career in the video game industry. As can be seen on this Fox News Video Report the mod is very good.
Fox News Video Report

Sources: FortBendNow | Houston Chronicle| GamePolitics.com | Kotaku | Kotaku II | Joystiq | Joystiq II

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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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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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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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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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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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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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Xbox 360 Customer Arrested for Queue Jumping

Categories: Police Actions

A Baltimore man was arrested for “disorderly conduct” jumping the queue while waiting to purchase an Xbox 360.

Source: Xbox 360 Fanboy

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Man Arrested for Virtual Mugging in Lineage II

Categories: CheatingPolice ActionsVirtual Crime CasesVirtual Property Cases

A man has been arrested in Japan on suspicion of carrying out a virtual mugging spree by using software “bots” (a form of cheating) to beat up and rob characters in the online computer game Lineage II. The stolen virtual possessions were then exchanged for real cash.

Sources: New Scientist | Gamespot | The Enquirer | BBC | CNet | GamePolitics | Ferrago

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ELSPA Announces Counterfeit GBA Game Crackdown

Categories: Piracy CasesPolice Actions

The UK’s ELSPA (Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association) has announced that a 40 year old Birmingham woman has been arrested for importing counterfeit Game Boy Advance cartridges and selling them on eBay.

Sources: Gamasutra | GameIndustry.biz


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Bangladesh Government Warns Sony Over SOCOM Mention

Categories: Disgruntled CountriesPolice Actions

According to Bangladeshi news reports, government officials in the country are threatening to serve Sony with a lawsuit, after the company described Bangladesh as a ‘terrorist state’ in the forthcoming game SOCOM 3.

Sources: Gamasutra | EuroGamer | GameIndustry.biz | Ferrago | GameSpot

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Play It Applies for Injunction Against I-Play

Categories: Police ActionsTrademark Cases

The Publisher formerly known as Digital Bridges faces legal battle over name change.

Source: GameIndustry.biz

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Australian Office of Film and Literature Bans NARC

Categories: Game BansPolice Actions

The Australian distributor of Midway’s lurid ’80s arcade game remake NARC has announced that the console game has been refused classification by the Australian Office of Film and Literature Classification.

Sources: gamasutra.com | GameIndustry.biz

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Alleged Game Pirates Nabbed in Nintendo sting

Categories: Piracy CasesPolice Actions

More than 60,000 pirated copies of Nintendo Co. game consoles were seized Wednesday during raids in New York and New Jersey, prosecutors announced.

Sources: MSNBC  |  Always On  |  Gaming Age  |  DreamStation.cc

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Play It Calls in Lawyers over Digital Bridges Rebranding

Categories: Police ActionsTrademark Cases

The Play It group has confirmed that it is seeking legal advice following Digital Bridges‘ decision to rebrand itself under the name ‘I-Play’. I-play is adamant that that it is not infringing Play-It’s Rights.

Sources: GameIndustry.biz | Gamespot | Guardian Unlimited | PGNX Media

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In-Game Virtual Property ‘Theft’ Lead to Fatal Attack

Categories: Criminal ProsecutionsPolice ActionsVirtual Property Cases

Shanghai gamer Qiu Chengwei killed player Zhu Caoyuan when he discovered he had sold a “dragon sabre” he had been loaned, while playing the online game Legends of Mir 3. Before the attack Mr Chengwei told police about the theft who said the weapon was not real property and took no action.

Sources: BBC | MSNBC | ABC News | Guardian Unlimited | Sydney Morning Herald | RPGamer | The Register | Taipei Times

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UK Government Plans Bigger Warnings For Games

Categories: Police ActionsProduct PackagingRetail Sales

The British government has announced that, after consultation with industry representatives, video games are to carry larger age symbols and descriptions of their content in “a bid to help parents understand what their children are playing”.

Source: Gamasutra

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Sony Appeals Immersion Suit, Wins Stay on Injunction

Categories: Controller CasesInjunctionsPatent CasesPolice Actions

Text of Immersion Patent
Following the January decision against Sony in Immersion Corp’s lawsuit, which alleged that Sony had violated its patents on force-feedback mechanisms with the Dual Shock controller, Sony is appealing the decision to the Federal court.

Sources: Gamasutra | CNet

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Sony Plans New Legal Challenge to Mod Chips in Australia

Categories: Modding CasesNew LawsPolice ActionsRegion Coding Cases

Changes to copyright laws in Australia to implement its free trade agreement with the United States have opened the door for a fresh legal challenge to mod chips, according to Sony Computer Entertainment Australia, which has instructed its lawyers to prepare a new case against the devices.

Source: GameIndustry.biz

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Blizzard Bans 1,000 World of Warcraft Accounts Over Gold Farming

Categories: Gold FarmingPlayer BansPolice Actions

Blizzard has taken action against over 1,000 World of Warcraft accounts, instituting permanent bans for violating the game’s terms of service.

Sources: Gamasutra  |  GameIndustry.biz

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New Ontario Video Game Retail Sales Law

Categories: Child Sale RestrictionsGame RatingsNew LawsPolice ActionsRetail SalesViolent Game Laws

On March 7, 2005, the Ontario Film Review Board adopted the ESRB classifications. As a result it is now an offence to sell, rent or publicly exhibit video and computer games classified as “Mature” or “Adults Only” to persons apparently under the age of 18 years. If convicted, individuals may face up to $25,000 in fines or imprisonment for a term of not more than one year or both. Corporations are liable for fines up to $100,000.

Sources: GamePolitics.com | Fradical.com | Ontario Film Review Board Press Release

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Activision, Viacom Settle Star Trek License Lawsuit

Categories: Licensed Game CasesPolice ActionsSettlements

Activision and licensor Viacom jointly announcing that they have reached an agreement regarding the future of the Star Trek video game license. The terms of the settlement were kept confidential but both parties say they intend to work together on future projects.

[Jan 25, 2006 Update: They didn't! They went their separate ways when Bethesda acquired the Star Trek License.]

Sources: Gamasutra | Variety | GameIndustry.biz | PR Newswire | GameSpot | GameDaily | GamingReport | IGN | MSNBC

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Xfire Countersues Yahoo!

Categories: Cease & DesistPolice ActionsUnfair Business Practice Casses

Xfire countersues Yahoo! claiming unfair business practices. Xfire alleges unfair business practices, complains that Yahoo! did not provide them with a cease and desist letter before suing, claims it made good faith attempts to address Yahoo!’s concerns and offered to disclose its software code to Yahoo! or to mediate the dispute with a neutral third party.

Sources: CNet | USA Today | Channel Register | Out-Law.com | XFire’s Press-release re: CounterSuit | Mar 23 GameDaily Biz Follow-up Story

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