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Operation Fastlink Cracks Down on Warez 1052

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the this-can-only-get-messier dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Beginning yesterday morning, law enforcement from 10 countries and the United States conducted over 120 searches worldwide to dismantle some of the most well-known and prolific online piracy organizations. Among the groups targeted by Operation Fastlink are well-known organizations such as Fairlight, Kalisto, Echelon, Class and Project X, all of which specialized in pirating computer games, and music release groups such as APC. The enforcement action announced today is expected to dismantle many of these international warez syndicates and significantly impact the illicit operations of others."
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Operation Fastlink Cracks Down on Warez

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  • by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Thursday April 22, 2004 @03:25PM (#8942177) Homepage Journal

    The only "impact" will be "we have to start using VPNs, boys!"

    I love how Ashcroft and his Copyright Enforcement Militia makes these pirates sound like the Mafia by using terms like "syndicate. Think about it: almost all "nfo" files have pleas for FTP sites for 0-day distribution. If these "sydicates" have to beg for machines and bandwidth in an "nfo" file, how omnipotent can they really be?

    The feds are just taking care of their corporate masters, that's all.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 22, 2004 @03:31PM (#8942277)
      we have to start using VPNs, boys!

      Christ most of those warez servers are slow enough as is...
    • by numbski (515011) * <{numbski} {at} {hksilver.net}> on Thursday April 22, 2004 @03:31PM (#8942278) Homepage Journal
      No kidding. IPSec, here we come!

      Exactly what's the limit on a FreeS/WAN box acting as an IPSec VPN concentrator? Anything? Other than system resources?

      128bit encryption end to end. I'm suprised this isn't being done already. Granted, no HTTP Leeching or anonymous ftp (perhaps pre-shared keys?) until you're on the private network...
      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 22, 2004 @03:35PM (#8942337)

        My OpenBSD boxes scream with a cheap (~$89 IIRC) Soekris cryptographic accelerator. The CPU barely gets used while the HiFn chip on the card does all the bullwork.

        Near line speed crypto. Ahhhh..
      • by B'Trey (111263) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @03:49PM (#8942578)
        128bit encryption end to end. I'm suprised this isn't being done already.

        Uh, what makes you think it isn't?

        • by Psarchasm (6377) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @09:38PM (#8945801) Homepage Journal
          Really, do you think sniffing traffic and breaking into "warez" machines played an integral role in these busts? I doubt it.

          The real problem (or the real solution depending on your point of view) is that warez groups are nothing without an audience. They are also nothing without new crackers, suppliers, distribution sites, hangers-on...

          Its a problem with a social solution primarily and a technological solution secondarily. As what good is a VPN network of warez creation and distribution if you can still have one weak link, one infiltration, one "Donnie Brasco" to blow your whole house of cards down.

          Encryption and authentication and access control are terrific for protecting your assets, only when you have a strong legal system to take over when there is a breach of authority/conduct.

          And while I certainly would not put people who pirate software in the same criminal class as those who manufacture and distribute drugs, run prostitution rings, or fraudulently manage mutual funds... what they are doing is against the law in most of the world -- and they are organized.
      • by zoloto (586738) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @04:40PM (#8943326)
        128bit encryption end to end. I'm suprised this isn't being done already.

        Oh it is, don't worry guys. Most of the greatest warez groups aren't publicly known, when in fact they have "fronts" that get fed all the software with expendable people. So in terms i could be considered a mafia of sorts. Thoes let inside are asked to join. :)

        Think about it. How else could some of this shiz get out so fast, then dozens of 'groups' and sites are taken down the following month? the software is out now, and those expendable (ie: stuck in mommy's basement) are gone. Job done.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 22, 2004 @04:48PM (#8943445)

        Exactly what's the limit on a FreeS/WAN box acting as an IPSec VPN concentrator?


        What do you mean? An African or European box?

        (Sorry, could't resist responding to the cadence of your question!)

    • by Hanna's Goblin Toys (635700) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @03:37PM (#8942386) Homepage Journal
      For pointing out that there's a huge overseas mp3 server illegally serving 12.8 gigs of mp3's in Iraq [dmusic.com] that Ashcroft should take down immediately - probably run by Evil Doers!

      You have to wonder if the civilian contractors they're using to hunt these people down have community mp3 servers at work. If so, what do they listen to? Wagner?
      • by SteakandcheeseUm (191173) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @04:06PM (#8942821) Homepage
        Its probably that "Axis of Evil - (turbo remix) 4.mp3"
        Everyone has heard of that one.
      • by The Tyro (247333) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @05:32PM (#8943964)
        Interesting that they only had 12.8 gigs... they must be new

        Even in the years between the first gulf war and the second, many soldiers in the field had enormous communal stashes of MP3s.

        Saudi Arabia, for example, was notorious for confiscating anything/everything coming through customs that looked remotely suspicious, or violated islamic law in any way. This included fitness magazines (showing skin between the neck and ankles == BAD), CDs or DVDs with racy covers, any/all pornography, bibles or non-muslim religious tracts... you name it. This customs search even covered US troops rotating into country to participate in Operation Southern Watch (enforcing the Iraqi no-fly zones and defending the KSA's hide).

        And yet... the people they had inspecting bags at the customs tables had clearly never seen an external hard drive, and they never searched laptops... so digital music/movies made it in no problem, and were immediately shared among the deployed soldiers and airmen. Yes, it's illegal, but it was great for morale... and somehow I can't see the MPAA/RIAA getting upset. After all, It's not like you can just run out and buy all their music/movies in the middle of a fundamentalist islamic nation (and soldiers might even buy better copies when they returned home, particularly if it was something they liked and/or had never heard before).

        Besides, gathering evidence would be impossible... Saudi Arabia doesn't even issue tourist visas to non-muslims. How do you possibly track all the little LANs soldiers set up? How do you get the military to let you monitor their base network (hint: NOT going to happen). It would also be absolute political suicide to go after soldiers. Can you imagine the magnitude of the public relations backlash if the RIAA/MPAA prosecuted? Squeezing fines out of a bunch of homesick grunts just trying to survive and have a taste of home makes Ebeneezer Scrooge look like a philanthropist.

        That'd be be like prosecuting grandmothers and children (Oh... hmm. Nevermind)

    • by McBeer (714119) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @03:40PM (#8942436) Homepage
      While I do partake in less then legal software at times and benefit from such groups as those being cracked down upon, even I must admit that the government isn't overstepping its bounds or bowing to thier "corporate masters." Whether they are a "syndicate" or not, these online groups are violating the law and have no right to do so. Software and recording companies do put a lot of work into thier product and do have the right to charge whatever they want for them. If you do not like it, I see that you have the following options:

      1)Don't buy it. If nobody buys a product at a given price, the company will lower it or go out of business.
      2)Create your own competing product at a price you deam resonable.
      3)Vote to remove the legal protections that you bash the government for enforcing as is thier duty.
      • by einnor (242611) <ziroby@ziroby.com> on Thursday April 22, 2004 @04:22PM (#8943059) Homepage
        3)Vote to remove the legal protections that you bash the government for enforcing as is thier duty.

        Great. When is the next vote for changing copyright law? Oh wait, a law like that would have to be proposed by congress and voted on by them. But the RIAA, music industry, etc. control congress. Then we need to start a grass roots movement to change copyright law. First we have to figure out what we want, then we have to gather the grass roots support (i.e., normal citizens).

        Well, to figure out what we want, we should discuss it in some online forum. And to get grass roots support we could start with discussing it in some online forum. Hmmm... I guess that means we should post/discuss/proselytize on Slashdot.

        OK, so what are doing wrong here?
    • Its called social engineering.

      Some of you techno-toads need to get your head out of the web and realize that technology isnt the solution to EVERYTHING.. Not only does john law have the capability of breaking a lot of VPN's, but he doesnt really need to.

      these guys storm offices and houses, they pull you from your keyboard before you can lock it out, they have "agents" work the chat networks and so on, becoming "friends" and insiders of these "syndicates".

      Its very difficult to carry on this type of illegal activity through a structured or organized manner against the deep deep deep resources of both the sowftare industry and the goverment. The only way to battle them is for hugely distributed and un-localized distribution....

      basicly P2P... now P2P with strong encryption and trace-blocking, along with various other privacy protections distributed across enough users is a much more difficult thing to kill. These pirate groups are asking for trouble by making themselves targets.

      • by thedillybar (677116) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @03:47PM (#8942530)
        Some of you techno-toads need to get your head out of the web and realize that technology isnt the solution to EVERYTHING.. Not only does john law have the capability of breaking a lot of VPN's, but he doesnt really need to.

        john law needs a supercomputer and a lot of time to break even 128-bit encryption. It's not worth his time to do this. He can't just push the button that says "I'm a cop" and start eavesdropping.

        these guys storm offices and houses, they pull you from your keyboard before you can lock it out, they have "agents" work the chat networks and so on, becoming "friends" and insiders of these "syndicates".

        Sure...but how are they going to get a warrant to walk into your house if all your connections are encrypted? Reasonable suspicion won't get you a warrant these days, you need probable cause. Probable cause that you're not going to get from an encrypted connection.

        Again, I speak for those of us in the US. I'm sure it's much different elsewhere.

        • by Maestro4k (707634) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @05:16PM (#8943796) Journal
            • these guys storm offices and houses, they pull you from your keyboard before you can lock it out, they have "agents" work the chat networks and so on, becoming "friends" and insiders of these "syndicates".

            Sure...but how are they going to get a warrant to walk into your house if all your connections are encrypted? Reasonable suspicion won't get you a warrant these days, you need probable cause. Probable cause that you're not going to get from an encrypted connection.

          Not to mention they can't do this because if they did the evidence on the hard drive would be tainted. I've dealt with computer forensics and the first and most important rule is you NEVER modify the original hard drive. You so bit-copies to another drive and do your work on it. That way if you screw something up you can start over plus you document your steps as you go, thuse allowing anyone to reproduce your results from another copy of the drive.

          Sure they can pull you from your keyboard before you lock it out, but they'll never get to admit the evidence if they do anything beyond shutting it down. If the accused pirate has half a brain all this encryption will require master keys to start so forensics will be unable to open any encrypted files or establish encrypted VPN sessions. You can even get encryption software that will automatically encrypt your virtual memory with a random key on startup. It throws that key away on shutdown so even the software can't unencrypt the virtual memory. This pretty much ruins any slack-space finds from virtual memory. Combine that with delete with wiping features and virtual encrypted drives and you can get your computer to a state where forensics won't find anything you don't want found.

    • by 0racle (667029) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @03:42PM (#8942465)
      syndicates: n
      An association of people or firms authorized to undertake a duty or transact specific business.
      An association of people or firms formed to engage in an enterprise or promote a common interest.
      A loose affiliation of gangsters in control of organized criminal activities.
      An agency that sells articles, features, or photographs for publication in a number of newspapers or periodicals simultaneously.
      A company consisting of a number of separate newspapers; a newspaper chain.
      The office, position, or jurisdiction of a syndic or body of syndics.

      So yes the term is used correctly. As far as the rest of your post, are you somehow implying that these groups have done no wrong? Copyright is a matter of Law so I fail to see how having law enforcement deal with it is "The feds are just taking care of their corporate masters."

      These people were breaking the law, they knew it, and they got what was coming to them. Don't make it sound like they are some sort of folk hero 'sticking it to the man' when they're nothing but petty little criminals.
      • by ashkar (319969) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @03:54PM (#8942668)
        Regardless of the semantics, syndicate is a word with a connotation of organized crime in the order of the Mafia or Yakuza. It holds a heavily biased meaning to the average person, and it's use does indicate disdain for group it describes. Every word in every press release is carefully chosen to cast a good or bad light on the given subject. You would be extraordinarily naive to think otherwise.
    • You're a moron (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bonch (38532) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @04:09PM (#8942866)
      You:

      A.) Participate in piracy, so this pisses you off.
      B.) Have a beef against Ashcroft, so it just ruffles your panties to see him cracking down on illegal software piracy.

      There is absolutely, 100% nothing wrong with the government cracking down on this. Slashdot wants to pretend it's some sort of miniscule, "gray area" problem, but it's millions of users all trading warez and making it harder to sell software.

      Why the hell do you think PC sales are so low, and so game companies are turning to consoles? Don't give me the "games were better in the olden days" spin, because we've got everything from Far Cry to Invisible War to SimCity 4 to Rollercoaster Tycoon 2 to...you get the picture.

      "Copyright Enforcement Militia"...this is such propaganda bullshit that I can't believe--no wait, I CAN believe it got modded up. A post bitching about the emotive use of the word "syndicate" yet emotively using "militia." Nice!

      Let's all pirate the fuck out of Doom 3, shall we? I'm sure John Carmack won't mind. Will he?
    • by mkro (644055) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @05:01PM (#8943626)
      The only "impact" will be "we have to start using VPNs, boys!"
      "They" already use SILC for internal communcations and TLS FXP for file transfers. Doesn't help when one of their oh-so-nice newly recruited 100mbit site is operated by the FBI, does it? Even if the people doing the transfers are behind a forest of bouncers and shell accounts, a "compromised" site logs all the IPs FXP transfers are done to and from. Afair, that was exactly what they did before Operation Buccaneer, bringing down "Drink or Die" ao.
  • by havaloc (50551) * on Thursday April 22, 2004 @03:25PM (#8942181) Homepage
    One will pop up for every one they push down.
  • How is this YRO? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GraZZ (9716) * <[jack] [at] [jackmaninov.ca]> on Thursday April 22, 2004 @03:25PM (#8942187) Homepage Journal
    We don't have the right to distributed pirated works online. How does this story fit in this category?
  • by abb3w (696381) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @03:26PM (#8942201) Journal
    About raiding an Arizona school? [slashdot.org]
  • Oh no! (Score:5, Funny)

    by kneecarrot (646291) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @03:27PM (#8942220)
    You mean I can no longer spend 5 days downloading a poorly cracked game that I can't play online? That's a real shame.
  • by revoemag (589206) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @03:29PM (#8942246)
    its nice that you make the government out to be the bad guys here, but I'm a game developer and I'd really like to stay in business thank you. With piracy so rampant, game developers NEVER see royalties and its harder and harder to scrape togeother enough cash to make a good game nowadays. Its up to you. Buy games and support the govenment in actions like this and have a healthy game biz, or pirate away and watch all the best developers go under.
    • by jedidiah (1196) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @03:41PM (#8942441) Homepage
      If you are too lame to sell product, no FBI dragnet is going to keep your studio on life support. Since others can sell millions, you really shouldn't be trying to deflect blame for your own shortcomings.

      My credits include games that have sold 50K and games that have sold 5M+. Piracy didn't cause the 50K flop, lameness did. Piracy didn't prevent the 5M+ blockbuster.

      Quick using swappers as a crutch for your own shortcomings.
      • by sir_cello (634395) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @04:02PM (#8942787)
        >> My credits include games that have sold 50K and games that have sold 5M+. Piracy didn't cause the 50K flop, lameness did. Piracy didn't prevent the 5M+ blockbuster.
        >> Quick using swappers as a crutch for your own shortcomings.

        That's just a really bad attitude, arrogant in fact. Not everyone can make million dollar games, yet everyone deserves fair slice of the cake for what they have created, even if it is small.

        An independent developer may make just a small amount of money, but that may be just enough to try and produce the next game - which may well be a blockbuster. You seem to suggest that if you can't make the big league, then tough.

        If the guy produced a lame product, or used lame marketing: then at least he knows that he failed because of what he did, not because someone avoided paying, but enjoyed the pleasure of playing .

      • Oh, yeah? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by bonch (38532) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @06:00PM (#8944251)
        What happens when everybody suddenly has Internet2 and can download your game in 30 seconds after installing a quick app (eMule 2.3 or something)?

        You think you're still going to be selling 5M+ then?

        Everybody around here purposely ignores the inevitable conclusion of a file-sharing network designed to trade massive files, but with no enforcement of what is traded--nobody making money on anything that can be copied.

        I'm a musician. Sorry, but I don't want my stuff going around in a damn .RAR file for people to just leech from my hard work. Music sales are going down, PC sales are going down (hence the flocking to consoles), and eventually movie sales will be going down though the only thing really keeping them alive is the fact that you can't have a home viewing system as good as big theater's.

        This attitude of "piracy is okay" sickens me. Just because you claim to have sold a lot of games still doesn't give piraters the right to pretend the copyright of a product magically transferred over to them.

        But, it's not surprising that mentality pervades this place considering that recent Slashdot poll showing that the majority of Slashdotters are either college students or unemployed......
    • by DaHat (247651) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @03:46PM (#8942529) Homepage
      With piracy so rampant, game developers NEVER see royalties

      I call bullshit!

      I would accept, "With piracy becoming more and more rampant, in future, game developers may not see royalties for their work," but what you said is complete and utter hogwash.

      It's not unlike the RIAA blaming most of their problems on piracy. Yes, piracy does affect many companies bottom lines, but blaming it for your not getting paid a few bucks extra is just moronic. Tell me... are you saying what your publisher is telling you? ie "Sorry, there will be no Christmas this year because too many people pirated the game and we can't afford to pay you."

      If you believe that or anything similar then you do not understand the economics of 'piracy' very well.

      I cannot speak for anyone else, but I admit it, the number of music CD's and computer games I have purchased over the last few years is negligible. Not because of piracy, not because of P2P or 'borrowing copies'... but because I have not been able to afford much of what is out there, and of what there is, very very little of it I have felt was worth my hard earned dollar.

      I'm sorry for not supporting your delusional world by buying your product. I just can't afford to these days.
  • by FreeLinux (555387) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @03:29PM (#8942249)
    I've never heard of any of these "well known" groups.
  • Great news! (Score:4, Funny)

    by 7Ghent (115876) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @03:29PM (#8942250) Homepage
    I guess this must mean that we've already solved all those pesky problems with rape, murder, assault and those other violent crimes, not to mention terrorism and the ongoing drug war, so now we can move onto things like busting 1337 W4R3Z D00DZ.
  • by Glowing Fish (155236) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @03:30PM (#8942257) Homepage
    Wow, whether it is people selling pipes that might be used to smoke marijuana, or kiddiez running "FTP my w4r3z!!!!" sites, Ashcroft won't back down from a hard fight.

    Ashcroft doesn't dance, smoke or drink. I think he has too much time on his hands.
  • ugh (Score:5, Funny)

    by The Other White Boy (626206) <theotherwhiteboy@@@gmail...com> on Thursday April 22, 2004 @03:31PM (#8942275)
    i can't believe they could use the phrase 'international warez syndicates' with a straight face.
  • Wack-A-Mole (Score:5, Insightful)

    by N8F8 (4562) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @03:31PM (#8942279)
    As soon as you bop one in the head, two more pop up.
  • MY GOD (Score:5, Funny)

    by Sevn (12012) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @03:31PM (#8942281) Homepage Journal
    It could take HOURS for new groups to deal with the hole created by the loss of these groups. The humanity.
    • The other side... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Mongoose Disciple (722373) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @03:49PM (#8942584)
      You know, a lot of people here seem to be saying what you said, and to a degree, that's true.

      However, if the government keeps sending these groups to federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison, that's going to stop or at least trickle off at some point. We're not exactly talking about the Mafia here. If a continual crackdown occurs to the point where if you put pirated software out for distribution you have a high likelyhood of being passed around a cell block to earn cigarettes for someone much bigger than you are, it's going to seem like a much less attractive activity to most sane people.

      Right now that's probably not happening, but if there was a real threat of law enforcement getting involved... shit, most geeks are afraid of girls. You don't think they're going to be even more afraid of lonely, burly men?

  • by DR SoB (749180) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @03:32PM (#8942288) Journal
    Well, since The Humble Guys are still alive and well, and were big even back when I was wee lad, I don't see any big impacts. The chiense stores in china town, still sell cheap re-printed DVD's, and I can still buy bootlegged smokes down at the local diner, I don't see how this is going to effect anything.

    Come to think of it, isn't Razor 1911, and a few other "big players" still in the game? I guess they are "un-touchables"... Piracy might be seriously diminished one day, but it won't happen until the NWO anyways..
  • Quake III (Score:5, Funny)

    by MrRuslan (767128) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @03:35PM (#8942339)
    CD key for WAREZ monkeys
    http://www.narvakitchens.com/quake3cdkey.jpg
  • This is big. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 22, 2004 @03:36PM (#8942360)
    Whatever you say, this is "big"
    Seriously "big"
    Every single major "elite" warez site in the netherlands is gone.
    FairLighT are gone, for those of you who don't know FairLighT ( FLT ) they're one of the two main game releasing warez groups. People within the scene are scared, this is a bad day for warez.
    Also, this is the US Governments doing, up untill today the .nl boys though they were safe from the law, but looks like the US has done a bit of leaning..
  • by Bob9113 (14996) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @03:46PM (#8942520) Homepage
    I've gotta agree with all the people pointing out that this should not be in YRO, and I'm glad to see that this community has a decent percentage of people who agree this is the right response from the FBI. For the rest of you, what's it going to take to make you people happy?

    Step 1: They tried busting people like Ed Felten for talking about piracy tools. This was genuinely evil, and we bitched, saying "they should only go after the pirates, not people talking about tools that might be used for piracy."

    Step 2: They started busting the pirates themselves. They handled it in a fairly Snidely Whiplash sort of way, but it is definitely within the bounds of the spirit of the law. And you all bitched, saying, "these are just home users, the real problem is the piracy rings."

    Step 3: The crack a bunch of piracy rings. This is totally in line with the spirit and proper use of copyright. If some company were doing something similar with GPL software, we'd go after them and we would win. Please try to retain what remains of your credibility - don't bitch when organized, premeditative law breakers get their comeuppance.
    • by Saeger (456549) <farrellj&gmail,com> on Thursday April 22, 2004 @04:35PM (#8943257) Homepage
      Step 4: They give up, copyright is drastically reformed, and a new economic model emerges based around funding the fundamentally scarce act of creation itself (rather than attempting to enforce the artificial scarcity that almost nobody respects (especially once media was separated from scarce medium)).
      "Software piracy laws are so practically unenforceable and breaking them has become so socially acceptable that only a thin minority appears compelled...to obey them.... Whenever there is such profound divergence between the law and social practice, it is not society that adapts."
      -- John Perry Barlow (the eff.org dude) [rand.org]

      --

  • I, for one (Score:4, Funny)

    by dj245 (732906) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @03:48PM (#8942554) Homepage
    I, for one, welcome our new speedy P2P overlords. With the new speed and horde abilities of Operation Fastlink, files will download faster than ever. Sign up now so my download will go faster!

    Wait a minute, Operation Fastlink isn't a P2P program?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 22, 2004 @03:50PM (#8942591)
    > 10 countries and the United States
    I thought the United States counted as a country too.
  • by .@. (21735) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @03:54PM (#8942669) Homepage
    You see, for years now the software, music, and movie industry have implicitly asserted that each copy of an item pirated was a lost sale.

    With this major bust, the supply of new pirated software titles should drop precipitously.

    Once and for all, we can watch the sales figures and determine whether or not there's any relation between piracy and sales.

    ...and once it's clear that the dearth of available pirated software has no positive impact whatsoever on software sales, we can tell these groups to get well and truly stuffed.
  • by ShawnDoc (572959) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @04:04PM (#8942798) Homepage
    Well, Suprnova.org is still up, so they couldn't have been that sucessful in dismantling the distribution of pirated material.
  • by tweedlebait (560901) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @04:07PM (#8942837)


    10 year old geek (probably YOU):

    Mom, can I have $120,000 so I can
    learn autocad and 3d studio and
    visual basic and oracle and....?

    Mom: No that's too expensive dear

    How long before we can afford it?

    Mom: after we win the lottery maybe.

  • by javelinco (652113) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @04:11PM (#8942878) Journal
    Okay, I'm seeing a lot of people railing (once again) against the government for enforcing the law. If this operation was targeted at the people downloading the pirated software and music, I'd be joining in - that's a huge waste.

    But the government action is against those that are producing the cracked software and providing the music for download. These aren't your typical kids playing at sharing music. These are people who know exactly what they are doing, and, while they have a myriad of reasons for doing so (some even mildly admirable), they ARE breaking the law.

    So I'm reading this, well, garbage that people are posting about honor among pirates. Well, whatever. I'm sure that's true for some segment of that population. But who gives a damn? Who are these people really benefiting? Is this REALLY a valid way to protest the pricing structures and horrible crap that these companies are producing? And even if it is, these people, again, are aware the the consequences of this type of protest, and I feel no need to get worked up about it.

    I guess my point is - I'm GLAD that my government actually attempts to enforce the law. I wish they did a better job, which includes knowing how and when to enforce the law. At least this time they got it right, for once. 'Course, that's assuming that the press release is even reasonably accurate.
  • That is funy... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by aepervius (535155) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @04:39PM (#8943312)
    You know why I use those cracks ? To crack my own game, that i legally bought for 40+$. Why do I do that ? Because I usually play more than 1 game at a time, and I have only one CD. You know what happen ? Every freaking game is asking to see its own CD in the drive. Result : early break down because you opnen and close so much the CD door. Personally I think those guy were sparing me the money, that game developper/distrubutor make me lose on hardware early retirement. I guess I will have to search for those crack a bit more "deeper" now. But I will certainly not give up on the possibility of not having to play CD-Toaster wioth what i legally bought.
  • by gozu (541069) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @05:22PM (#8943860) Journal
    When it comes to infiltrating and dismantling warez networks, they are amazingly good. So good, in fact, that they can infiltrate any target of their chosing whithin 6-12 months.

    And there is nothing that can be done to stop them. This being slashdot, a lot of talk about secure networks and encryption is going on. All of these measures are next to useless.

    The Warez Scene is not an insulated and self contained entity. It is ,by necessity, one that is open to new media suppliers, site owners, rippers, crackers, couriers, hardware and cash donors, etc.

    It is *TRIVIAL* for the fbi to impersonate one or more of those again and again or even have deep undercovers that remain in the scene for years (spanning several busts).

    The only new thing about this bust is the extensive cooperation of other governments in this operation. I have to admit that I did not imagine the FBI would bother but apparently, the pressure of BIG CORP International is now enough to warrant a cooperation and coordinated operations between countries that is usually reserved to drug and weapon traffickers.

    Sad...
  • It's about time! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Phybersyk0 (513618) <phybersyko.stormdesign@org> on Thursday April 22, 2004 @07:08PM (#8944804)
    Allright.
    Fairlight has been around since C=64 days.
    The earliest Class release I can recall is Quake (it even had it's own installer with chip-tunes built in).

    Is UCF dead too? how about RiSCiSO?

    The crap thing really is going to be that all good the no-cd cracks/patches will be gone.

    I still buy games from the store. And to be honest, I always install the game, then go searching for a patch/cracktool so I can put my originals back in the box, and on the shelf.

    I paid for Windows XP Professional, but got a keygen anyway so i'd still have my original box/key packed away safely. Call me wierd.

    If you lose your Everquest registration key, is EA going to give you a replacement so you can install? hell no, you've got to go buy a new copy, or download a keygen...

    I actively search the $10 and under bins at Best Buy/Brandsmart for games that I wanted to play but just felt they cost to much. Case in Point --> Enter the Matrix.
    I bought ETM the day it came out. (The same day Reloaded came out in the Theatres). It cost me $50. 2 weeks later it was down to $39.99. 2 *MONTHS* later and it's a fucking $20 game!
  • My prediction (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Peaker (72084) <(moc.oohay) (ta) (rekaepung)> on Thursday April 22, 2004 @07:46PM (#8945133) Homepage
    Its nice to see that copyright is starting to get enforced.

    You may be surprised that I find the idea of copyright in the digital age outrageous.
    My prediction though, is that as soon as copyright is actually enforced, society will shun it and abolish it.

    The only reason Copyright is enjoying some public acceptance these days is because people don't believe it applies to them in practice. In fact, most of the copyright-defenders in Slashdot probably copy many of their software/music illegally with all sorts of self-justifying excuses - not seeing that everyone does this, because copyright is simply wrong.

A sheet of paper is an ink-lined plane. -- Willard Espy, "An Almanac of Words at Play"

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