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Operation FastLink Yields Three Arrests 555

Posted by timothy
from the book-'em-danno dept.
Doomrat writes "As promised (see previous story), Operation FastLink has led to the arrests of 3 key members of the Fairlight group. NHTCU officers and local police executed search warrants and arrested three men at separate locations in Sheffield, Manchester and Belfast. Over 200 computers have been seized, along with 100 CD copiers. Raids were carried out in the UK, the U.S., Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, the Netherlands, Singapore and Sweden."
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Operation FastLink Yields Three Arrests

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  • by Dimensio (311070) <`moc.uolgi' `ta' `ratskrad'> on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:03PM (#8960937)
    ...my pirated copy of Spiderman 2.
  • Not a good effort. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:03PM (#8960938)
    They will never stop piracy 3 people at a time.
    • by LostCluster (625375) * on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:10PM (#8961000)
      They will never stop piracy 3 people at a time.

      They didn't just catch three people in this operation, but they took down several servers, some of which the operators might not have realized were even being used for warez distribution.

      In the perpetual cat-and-mouse game, the cat has just scored a few points.
      • hehe, as if.. we're not talking small amounts of data here exactly... its something you'd notice..
        • by LostCluster (625375) * on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:36PM (#8961182)
          hehe, as if.. we're not talking small amounts of data here exactly... its something you'd notice..

          Only if you're smart enough to be looking at bandwidth stats. You'd be amazed at how many small businesses and even local branches of government have nobody bothering to monitor that.
        • by Slack3r78 (596506) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @06:29PM (#8961846) Homepage
          It depends. At the school I go to, there was a kid busted for running a warez server which had apparently been up for some time. From what I understand, the reason he was caught was because the school upgraded their connection - while in the past it was common for the bandwidth to be maxed out at all hours of the day, suddenly the extra bandwidth allowed them to notice suspicious spikes in activity that shouldn't have been there.

          True, there are other things that an admin can watch for, but many schools simply don't have the budget to pay someone to constantly monitor all traffic in and out.
      • by Zan Zu from Eridu (165657) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @08:58PM (#8962521) Journal
        They didn't just catch three people in this operation, but they took down several servers, some of which the operators might not have realized were even being used for warez distribution.

        That's bullshit. I know some people who've been raided here in the Netherlands, and I can tell you that almost all of those confiscated servers were in student dorms and connected to university networks; most of them on 100mbit lines, some on 10mbit lines.

        It's the fat lines those groups are after, you would need thousands of cable/dsl lines to "race" an ISO (these groups are in competition to get the cracked versions out as fast as possible). And they're not hacking those boxes, they're paying for them with status as a "courier" or with real money. I know students who've been offered 100 euro a month or more to put a 10TB server in their room.

    • by Jerry (6400) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:37PM (#8961186)
      But stopping three people who are putting out hundreds/thousands of bootleg CDs is easier than trying to get 1000 who create just one or two bootleg CDs.

      Besides, now the perps will know that they could be nailed at any time because the Law is watching for them.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:05PM (#8960952)
    Looks like we'll have to invade.
    • by GrassMunk (677765)
      About time! Im tired of being allowed to download music legally.

      On another note, when you attack make sure you hit the CRTC headquarters. To canadians that would be like the berlin wall coming down. OK, over the top i know but PLEASE bomb that building first.
  • Price of games (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mldkfa (689415) <mark@takeyourmar k . net> on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:05PM (#8960953) Homepage
    As long as it costs $40 for a game or $100 for software there will always be people pirating.
    • Re:Price of games (Score:5, Insightful)

      by LostCluster (625375) * on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:08PM (#8960977)
      As long as it costs $40 for a game or $100 for software there will always be people pirating.

      People will even pirate data worth 99 cents... so long as there's a price tag, there's people who try to get around it.
      • Re:Price of games (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Aneurysm9 (723000) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:45PM (#8961238)
        Data is only worth what people are willing to pay for it. If people don't want to pay, it's worthless.
      • Re:Price of games (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anders (395) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @05:49PM (#8961624)

        >> As long as it costs $40 for a game or $100 for software there will always be people pirating.

        > People will even pirate data worth 99 cents...

        Furthermore, people will pirate if it is priced at $0.00, see for example some GPL violations.

        (Testing the maximum nesting depth of the "+5 Insightful for naming any price" phenomenon)

        • Re:Price of games (Score:4, Insightful)

          by The Vulture (248871) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @06:15PM (#8961763) Homepage
          Minor nit.

          Even though the GPL'd code is free ("as in beer"), the reason it's "pirated" is to save a company their own R&D costs, or licensing fees (or something else), which are not free.

          So, that GPL'd code could be priced at/worth thousands of dollars (to that company).

          -- Joe
        • Apples and oranges (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Kjella (173770)
          >> As long as it costs $40 for a game or $100 for software there will always be people pirating.

          > People will even pirate data worth 99 cents...

          Furthermore, people will pirate if it is priced at $0.00, see for example some GPL violations.


          The first two refer to the cost of acquiring a copy as opposed to pirating one. It's impossible to break the GPL by acquiring copies.Your example refers to pirating the copyright, but there is no offer in the GPL to acquire the copyright at any cost.

          Imagine yo
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Isn't that sad? No matter the cost, people will always steal. Look at GPL'd source code: people steal it when it's _free_!

      Moral of the story: people will always steal things. Their justification is almost always pure comedic gold.
    • he has a decent point.
      the fact things are overpriced will lead to pirating, because the pirates will either be able to offer it for free, or for a lower cost.
      pirates are competition for the companies they pirate from, illegal, yes, but competition nonetheless.

      and companies also would like something like this done to legal competitors as well, kinda sad. but still, the parent has a good point.
      • Re:MOD UP. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Moridineas (213502) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:56PM (#8961304) Journal

        he has a decent point.



        No he doesn't, you just need some basic economics and legal knowledge (common sense wouldn't hurt too, but let's not ask too much).

        the fact things are overpriced will lead to pirating, because the pirates will either be able to offer it for free, or for a lower cost.



        There is no correlation between pricing and piracy, and I challenge you to find any evidence to the contrary. And thanks for your insight that thieves can offer things they steal for cheaper than a companies that invests a large amount of money into a game--brilliant!

        pirates are competition for the companies they pirate from, illegal, yes, but competition nonetheless.



        Wow, another amazing insight. Being stolen from is not competition, that's a complete perversion of economics.

        and companies also would like something like this done to legal competitors as well, kinda sad. but still, the parent has a good point.



        Is this anything other than typical anti-corporate babbling?

        • What? Do you have any idea how economics works? Look, you calculate the relative expected cost and expected value of stuff when you make economic decisions. Piracy's cost is not $0, of course, but some larger value due to the risk of being caught and the inconvenience of downloading. Furthermore, you don't get the added value of support, printed manuals (well not these days), etc.

          So piracy really is competition to the real product. Let's say I decide that pirating Photoshop has a "cost" of $200 due to
    • How about, if you don't like the pricetag, don't buy it? Companies price them at what the market will bear. If they can't make a profit, they change price or try to make the products fit the price better.

      Because it's too expensive is never a good reason to pirate, not that I'm accusing you. Just in general.
  • I wish... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bo0ork (698470) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:07PM (#8960972)
    ...they put all that effort into hunting criminals that actually hurt people (as opposed to wallets).
    • Re:I wish... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Homology (639438) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:13PM (#8961027)
      ...they put all that effort into hunting criminals that actually hurt people (as opposed to wallets).

      Try tell that to the Enron employees that lost their pensions. I'm quite sure they would like to see white collar criminals spend some time in jail.

    • by LostCluster (625375) *
      ...they put all that effort into hunting criminals that actually hurt people (as opposed to wallets).

      The "real terrorists" need to be getting their money somehow. Wherever there's an illegal way to make money quickly, you can be pretty sure supporters of the terrorists will use it to make money to fund their destructive operations.
    • Re:I wish... (Score:5, Informative)

      by JaredOfEuropa (526365) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:17PM (#8961052) Journal
      I wish... they put all that effort into hunting criminals that actually hurt people (as opposed to wallets).
      Rest assured that they are: the police of various countries often work together to track down terrorists and murderers. You should also realise that a lawful society depends on all laws being enforced. Things would turn into a right mess if the police would stop going after petty crime, traffic violations and fraud cases, until they had solved all murder cases.
      • Re:I wish... (Score:2, Interesting)

        by LostCluster (625375) *
        Things would turn into a right mess if the police would stop going after petty crime, traffic violations and fraud cases, until they had solved all murder cases.

        A big problem with our justice system when it confronts these kinds of terrorists is that there was nothing left to prosecute on the 19 people most directly responsible on September 11th, 2001.

        We need to be enforcing trivial violations because if we deported everyone who overstays their visa's expiration date, we would have deported enough hijack
    • Re:I wish... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by HolyCoitus (658601)
      And, those are select few wallets. Only the wallets that go the deepest will be heard. So, in reality, if you are hurt financially and it's not by one of those big wallets in a way that is malicious, you won't have a single damn thing done about it. Look at identity theft and how huge of a hole that is. Recent Slashdot article about a 19 year old kid being accused of being a middle easterner because of his SSN. Nothing will be done about it. If I stole Bill Gate's SSN as a terrorist, I guarantee someo
  • by bedurndurn (255521) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:08PM (#8960987)
    So they conducted raids in 11 countries and nabbed three key people? Must be one hell of a bad day to be a lackey. :)
    • There may just be three people involved in the backbone of this network, yet they could still have been sucessful enough hackers to have rooted machines located in 11 countries which they were using as their backbone. (Nobody would be dumb enough to host warez on a server they were paying for...)
    • by morcheeba (260908) * on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:30PM (#8961140) Journal
      The people arrested were actualy laying on the interesctions of various country borders in order to make their arrest harder. A very clever tactic.

      One guy was on the Franco-Sweedish-Hungarian-Israeli border, another one was on the German-Belgium-Danish-Netherlands border, and the purpored ring leader (aka "Long Larry") was sprawled out along the US-UK-Singapore border.
      • I know I'm stoned right now, but damn, what the heck is parent talking about? "Franco-Sweedish-Hungarian-Israeli border"? What the fu*k is that? And "US-UK-Singapore border."???

        Brother, whatever you are smoking right now, hook me up!!!!
  • by kevx45 (654613) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:08PM (#8960988) Homepage Journal
    Remember the Animaniacs Country Song?

    Raids were carried out in the UK, the U.S., Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, the Netherlands, Singapore and Sweden.

    Add intelligence/investigative services of each country, we have a new song!

    Ughhh... I need sleep.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Average time in prison for rape: 3 years
    Average time for copying games without selling: 4 years

    Does anyone else see something wrong here?

    melissa
    • by josh3736 (745265) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:16PM (#8961047) Homepage
      Does anyone else see something wrong here?
      Yep. More and more in this country, punishment for what in all actuality are petty crimes is greater than that of serious crimes such as rape, theft (the real kind of theft where you actually take property from someone else), and murder/manslaughter. It is made even worse when new laws are passed that make it illegal to do what was already illegal anyways. Case in point: DMCA. It was already illegal to copy the new Britany Spears CD and sell it on street corners, but now it is *more* illegal becuase you bypassed that copy protection just to do it.

      Since everyone in this country is becoming a criminal, my advice to all of you is don't drop the soap.

    • by bryanp (160522) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:20PM (#8961073)
      Average time in prison for rape: 3 years
      Average time for copying games without selling: 4 years Does anyone else see something wrong here?


      If it's true, yes. Where did you get the statistic?

    • Rape victims don't donate to political campaigns.
    • Yes, I see something wrong (if this is true), but it's not with the punishment for copying software. People often use these type of statistics to say that the punshment for copyright violation is too harsh, but what they really show is the punishment for rape is too low, which really has nothing to do with the conversation.
  • strange (Score:5, Interesting)

    by awing0 (545366) <adam@bad t e c h.org> on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:09PM (#8960994) Homepage Journal
    ...and a foreign permanent resident who is said to have been purchasing cracked software from Fairlight since 2001.

    As far as I know, these releasing groups do not charge for their releases, they make them available free over FTP/IRC/USENET.
    • Re:strange (Score:5, Informative)

      by kryptkpr (180196) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:15PM (#8961046) Homepage
      A friend that's close to the scene tells me that for the past while FLT had been selling leech accounts on their private dumps. He quoted $800 usd for leech on a 7tb server with a 1gbit connection.

      I guess they sold to the wrong person, and they got busted..
      • Yeah, I've got a "friend" close to the scene too, but I never thought it was cash, it was usually bandwidth or desirable hardware that got you preferred access. (Guess it's just as well as cash anyway.)
        • Re:strange (Score:5, Interesting)

          by LostCluster (625375) * on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:45PM (#8961236)
          They likely took cash from those who wanted to buy their way into the club.

          By keeping the backbone network where the compromised versions were first being released closed to the public, and only letting a trusted few have access to it, it makes it harder for the law to figure out what is going on. When the cracks eventually get released to the public, they might be able to trace it back to the person who posted the first published copy, who would only be able to lead back to a "friend-of-a-friend" chain that's hard for the cops to figure out.

          One program cracked cases often head over to the cold case bin, while the people who are cracking programs for a living are insulated several layers away from the investigation. For once the cops finally got close enough to find the hub it seems, but they likely were getting away with it for a pretty long time before being found.
    • Re:strange (Score:2, Redundant)

      by JaredOfEuropa (526365)
      As far as I know, these releasing groups do not charge for their releases
      That doesn't make it any better, morally or legally.
  • Prediction (Score:5, Funny)

    by williamstephens007 (774041) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:11PM (#8961009)
    I bet that most were users of the Linux operating systems and "anti" Microsoft people. Typical criminal profile.
  • CD copiers (Score:5, Funny)

    by king_penguin_05 (582695) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:11PM (#8961012)
    I think we all know, however, that what they have seized is the equivalant of several thousand cd copiers.

  • by CaptIronfist (457257) <vokiel@hotmail. c o m> on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:14PM (#8961038) Journal
    Consider the costs of pulling an international operation like this compared to the amount of funds gaming companies will be able to recover if and only if the warez market really slows down. Do you still think it was a good and/or a necessary effort? I don't. I think the operation is a total failure if only 3 people get arrested, and a couple of comps and burners get seized.

    I see some tax dollars getting wasted on ridiculous crusades.
  • by Roman Levin (774216) <anat_lev@NoSpaM.shaar-hagolan.co.il> on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:14PM (#8961040) Homepage
    It's only a matter of time until someone does a "War on Piracy" version of Traffic [imdb.com]. Tobey Maguire as a head of a piracy cartel?
    • by fuctape (618618)
      Hopefully they'd include the scene on the plane where the czar opens the floor for new ideas and no one can come up with anything.

      It's not a losing battle, it's a lost battle. Data havens will only make things worse.

  • by dotslashdot (694478) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:17PM (#8961054)
    Ashcroft announces War on IP Terrorism--Bush invades Antartica to in a preemptive strike to stop the infiltration of underwater penguin operatives bent on creating a network of secure operations.
  • Pirating (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jacobhoupt (728382) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:18PM (#8961057)
    I refuse to believe that pirating will ever be "eradicated" or even slowed down. As long as there are 'haves' and 'have-nots' there will always be people who will hack their way up in the world. If Chippendale or J & G Stickley were alive today, they'd point out the fashion in which they are imitated or flat copied in furniture design. Everything has someone copying it, right down to designer shoes and haircuts.

    I believe the spirit of piracy, be it software or music or the high-seas, is a definite part of the human nature which cannot be removed. When someone is cooller or has something you want, you always find a way to get it. Lawn fertilizer, high-end cars, stylish clothing...you find a way if you are human and put those things on the top of your list of important bullshit.

    Drake would copy DVDs if he were here today...and wasn't he knighted or some bullshit?
  • Freenet and MUTE? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:19PM (#8961064)

    I am surprised that they didn't use Freenet [sourceforge.net] or MUTE [sourceforge.net] to organize their files. Freenet also has an open source anonymous email client called Freemail [freenet.org.nz] you can download, its still alpha though.

    Also if you want to encrypt your hard drive try open source Truecrypt [truecrypt.tk], its the successor to Scramdisk.

  • Both good and bad. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dark Lord Seth (584963) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:24PM (#8961094) Journal

    As much as I hate to admit it, software "piracy" is bad and no matter what excuses peiople come up with. There are many improvements to be made with the current system but that's not the main issue at the moment. Still though, copying and cracking software is wrong. I'm not justifying it for myself either, I know it's wrong.

    Then again, the bad part is that the happened on request of the US customs. ( Over here in the Netherlands at least.. ) The idea that 'my'* goverment bends over to the US will without any investigation on it's own and just raids places the US goverment tells them to, scares me. What if I suddenly become a PITA to the US goverment? Will my place be raided too?

    This is something very concerning. There are so many laws and regulations that nearly any normal living person is, unwillingly and unknowingly, violating some minor laws and regs. If people really wanted to fuck you up, they could just throw any laws they can find at you until they find SOMETHING you violate. Scarey thing is, what if the US goverment decides to fuck up someone's life abroad in the name of "fighting terrorism"? Will 'my' goverment roll over, bark thrice and give a paw at the US goverment then, as well?

    * ... 'My' goverment as in... "I didn't vote that lying bastard PM of ours into power, thank you." goverment.

    • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:43PM (#8961227) Homepage Journal
      I mostly agree but a minor nit: cracking software is not wrong. I should be free to defeat any copy protection methods so long as I am not distributing software to others. CD checks are really annoying.
    • I call... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by yoshi_mon (172895) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:59PM (#8961320)
      Still though, copying and cracking software is wrong.

      Scenario 1 -- I have a few kids that run loose in my house. (I'm not some SOB who puts them on those leashes, wtf is that all about.) They seem to manage to get into my computer room sometimes and play frisbee with my CD's. If I didn't have a *legal thanks to fair use* copy of my software that I *paid for* I would be SOL.
      Moral: Copying software is *NOT* always wrong.

      Scenario 2 -- I have a killer cool gaming rig that I then go out and buy all sorts of games. I bring home a copy of latest game X and lo and behold the copy protection that the feckless losers at the publishing co installed (Note, I said publishers not developers. Most times the developers realize that protection is a waste of time and it's the damn suits who insist on the protection.) does not seem to work right with my CD-ROM drive. Now I can't play the game that I just *paid for* and when I go to try and do anything about it all the morons at BestBuy can do is sit there with their thumbs in their asses and if I'm lucky give me store credit so I can go maybe use it on some overpriced RIAA crap that will proably install deathware on my PC when I go to play it there anyway. But luckily instead of having to deal with all that I can download a crack and play the game I paid for!
      Moral: Cracking software is *NOT* always wrong.

      Rant mode off.
  • 100 cd copiers? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:24PM (#8961095)
    Was it really 100 cd copiers or was it just 2 52x cdr drives?

    Remember the funny games they play in these kind of reports like the RIAA counting every 40x copier as 4 copiers or something ridiculous like that...

    Or did out of all 120(!) searches find 1 cd burner at each location! Oh wow what pc doesnt have a cd burner standard...

    FLT doesn't distribute anything on CD it just goes up on the top sites and then trickles down to the average "d00d" from there. It's a "non-profit" operation.

    Also the crap at the bottom about increasing Englands GDP and created 40,000 jobs! Get real! It's not creating any wealth in fact its reducing wealth because now people have to waste money on this software that would have been spent on something else. To improve the GDP production has to go up. In a way all this did was decrease over all production because now there will be less copies of this software. (true now the money will get funneled into the corporations that own the IP to these products but it's just swapping the money around not creating any new value)
  • by andr0meda (167375) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:25PM (#8961100) Homepage Journal

    It's somewhat necessary to note that Fairlight is not just a warez group, but also is a famous demoscene participant, having produced leading demos/intros/graphics and music in c64 and pc sections.

    Fairlight is more than just the scum everybody will certainly take them for. The present demoscene has it's early roots in hacker and cracker groups. As a result, Fairlight is probably the longest standing group in the scene, and it is no surprise they are linked to the warez scene.

    Another thing to note is that the current entertainment industry (think games and movies) is filled with loads of people working their ass off, that got to know their tricks of the trade *because* there was/is a warez scene.

    The system is a hypocrit.

  • More arrests (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kasperd (592156) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:34PM (#8961169) Homepage Journal
  • by LordK3nn3th (715352) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:37PM (#8961188)
    I would -never- had bought Neverwinter Nights and its two expansions had it not been for downloading it first.
  • by Romothecus (553103) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:50PM (#8961267)
    "The NHTCU quotes an IDC study that estimates that a 10 per cent reduction in UK piracy would contribute $17.5bn for the UK's GDP, indirectly create 40,000 jobs and generate $4.1bn in tax revenue." I love insanely inflated figures like that. Imagine what a 10% reduction in piracy could do for the US economy! We could probably save social security or institute a national health program by eliminating piracy. ;)
  • by pipingguy (566974) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:52PM (#8961277) Homepage

    Once again, Canada has been ignored. Bastards.
  • the usual fallacy. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bongobongo (608275) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @05:07PM (#8961365)
    same old incorrect assupmtion: people would spend all their money on legitimate software if it weren't for the existence of warez.

    this might be true in some cases, but i'm certain that a majority of the time people just don't have the money to buy a certain program, because:

    -they are poor (software companies wouldn't get their money either way)
    -they are trying a program out of curiosity and not need (software companies wouldn't get their money either way)
    -they want the software only for some small aspect of it which is not alone worth anything close to the cost of the full package (software companies wouldn't get their money either way)

    sometimes of course professionals pirate software out of greed. but i would be very surprised if this were anything but a small minority of cases. billions of dollars and thousands of jobs.... don't make me laugh.

    if the software companies want to eliminate the petty piracy i've outlined above they should devise ways to compete. ie, highly inexpensive "lite" versions, or demo versions that actually WORK a bit, or stripping off various modules from a given software package and selling them at very lo w prices.

    just some ideas.
  • by user no. 590291 (590291) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @05:25PM (#8961468)
    . . . when all they'd really have to do to catch every copyright misappropriator would be to release some spyware that calls home if the machine has the NFO extension associated with a text editor :).
  • Fairlight bad (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Old Wolf (56093) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @05:44PM (#8961589)
    Does fairlight do any legal stuff too? Going back a few years now, everybody I know got all their Amiga 500 games off the Fairlight catalogue. I always presumed they were acting on behalf of all the game developers, especially since they posted their stuff in public places and newspapers all the time.
  • by Peaker (72084) <`gnupeaker' `at' `yahoo.com'> on Saturday April 24, 2004 @06:33PM (#8961870) Homepage
    In a time where millions and millions of people are exposed to the process of software making, why do we need to "provide an incentive" to create software? If one of these millions is only willing to create such software if guaranteed a copyright, then someone else would be willing to create it for the fame or love of programming - and probably do a better job.

    Do we really want a society in which it is illegal to share and copy information, where people go to prison for giving software copies to their friends? Where it is illegal to learn from and understand the information we are exposed to, and share it with others?

    Is the dubiously-required incentive worth all this?

    I think it is clearly outragous - and the more arrests like this one, where obviously no life is at stake, nor is there a threat on the continuation of the creation of software will ultimately turn public oppinion against copyright.
    • by GISGEOLOGYGEEK (708023) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @07:20PM (#8962108)
      I hereby declare that since you feel someone out there should make software out of the kindness of their hearts, YOU shall write all the software I need, in your spare time, and have it run reliably, and that it be available to me right now. Oh, and I expect 24/7 technical support.

      Get to work, I need that software, my way of life depends on it! ... gee kinda sucks for you to know you won't be getting paid a penny to do it since you need no incentive.

      but I sure love that you absolutely will have that software ready for me no matter how many months of 24/7 labour it requires of you, just to satisfy my needs. I have no doubt that your love of free programming for my profit, at your expense will ensure that I will get a superior, better made product!

      Now stop reading this and get to work! ... I expect all the capitalist moderators to be laughing hard, modding me up as insightful, and all the communist hive-minded slave wannabe's like the author of the post above me to mod me down as a troll.

  • RIAA Math (Score:3, Funny)

    by red floyd (220712) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @06:54PM (#8961985)
    Was that 100 copiers? Or was it 25 quad-speed copiers?
  • by fullofangst (724732) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @07:31PM (#8962158)
    Personally I'm unhappy some of the Fairlight gang have been busted, they've done some good releases in their time.

    I warez games because sometimes the warez'd full game is available before the demo and I wanna know what its like.

    If I like the game I buy it - after all, I have a job, and the cost of 2 or 3 (or more) games a month hardly registers on my statements.

    I DON'T buy the games when they are shite, however, which is the main reason I continue to warez. Put simply, publishers such as Electronic Arts do not deserve my money. I have numerous problems with games I've purchased from them in the past and these bugs and glitches still aren't fixed at present. The only real reason I would buy something like Battlefield Vietnam, with all its bugs and issues, is if it was just about fun enough to justify playing it with a group of friends. Fuck playing on public servers where 85% of people are assholes.

    Anyway, this operation gets the 'good guys' a bit of publicity, they get to spout off about how piracy benefits organised crime and terrorism, while at the same time nothing is done about a root cause - piss poor quality control and customer support.
  • by tcc (140386) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @08:57PM (#8962518) Homepage Journal
    There's a serious gap between technology, warez, and executives in big compagnies. I'll go on this a bit lower.

    Also, if they are doing this to "save an industry that has serious money loss due to piracy", I don't like the comparison, but to put it in their perspective; when you bust a drug dealer, you just open a market for the others, when you bust a drug producer, you just clear the way for another to outsource his production. So this logic is a bit flawed. In my perspective, piracy in itself isn't the bad thing. In fact, a lot of people here probably got hold of a software because it was available cracked, and then they went in a company and made a license bought.

    Going after those people won't change a thing, disrupt, maybe, change? probably not. What should be done seriously and ressources invested way more into is to hunt down and even close down (to name an example I am very familiar with) Multimedia companies producing video games/movies/web sites that run 95% off pirated software (and the 5% legit being the machines shipped with windows on it). Some of those companies are operating in over 8 digits revenues and CAN afford the license buying, even if it wouldn't be all in one shot, they could at least show sign of good faith and shell out on a regular basis on a budget.

    Joe Pimple at home doesn't kill an industry, he learns a software/tool (thinking stuff like maya/xsi/autocad/etc) that he can't afford (well until recently, now most company got an educational discount or free version, i'll get to this). Those 7-8+ digits small and medium companies *ARE* the ones actually STEALING ACTUAL revenues from software manufacturer.

    Yes there's the BSA... but a lot of you probably know a lot of companies that never got checked or heard about a friend working at a place that is running totally not legit. Why the heck does joe pimple gets his life fried while others are actually making way more money and are way more morally wrong than joe? Ressources like this should be helping organization like the BSA, and the BSA should be less picky on companies trying to balance their budget while trying to reach 100% legitimacy. Of course those 95% illegal companies are creating jobs, but again, that logic is wrong since they are "killing an industry" with high-tech jobs... (and most of those multimedia companies have crappy underpaid/overworked conditions where only the owners are getting filthy rich).

    That's my rant. Next is the distribution channels and the fact that we're in 2004. For god's sake, why can't we just buy GTA Vice city for 20$ and leech it off a server instead of paying 40$ for a printed box, media, distribution channel, and retailer profit? Maybe *THAT* would help prevent piracy. I know for sure that I'd be jumping back in the gaming world if it wasn't so freakingly expensive to play a game. Last games I bought that were a good investment were quake 3+ team arena, and mech warrior 3. Next time I'll pay more than 40$ for a game it better grabs my attention and my addiction as bad as quake did, else it's just not worth more than 20$, period. Don't give me that "it costs to create and budget" thing, logic here is I didn't buy it because it's overpriced, I didn't pirate it, I tried a demo if it was available, found I had a bill to pay and didn't want to shell out that 40-60$. so they didn't "lose to piracy" they simply "lost because they can't adapt to what a lot of people have been asking for years and should be available in 2004". They lost a sale. Period. The price difference isn't profit loss, it's all that extra non-needed layers added to reach people that could go direct (you could have both, then you'd get the best of both world). Took too long for apple to come out with iTunes, so I guess we won't see a movie nor a game distribution channel based on this before quite some time and the dinosaurs running things will still hide behind the law to try and fix things, and unfortunately for them and also for us, it will damage more than help. People wi
  • Fairlight Farewell (Score:3, Informative)

    by RotJ (771744) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @10:41PM (#8962927) Journal
    from flt-ff.nfo [nforce.nl]
    It has been a good few years, but it is now time for Fairlight to close its doors for good. Many reasons have made us come to this judgement but we feel it is for the best. The scene is getting to be a dangerous place. Not only do we have to fear from the feds but also the unhonorable ones in the scene who lower themselves to narq the competition. Retiring on top seems to be the best decision for us. We want to thank all those throughout the years who have helped us in one way or another.

    /Team FairLight

    I guess they didn't follow their own advice. It seems Fairlight reactivated 2 months after that message, possibly under new management or because whatever FBI sweep was going on at the time was over.

  • Quotable Quotes (Score:3, Interesting)

    by neoThoth (125081) on Sunday April 25, 2004 @01:18AM (#8963445) Homepage
    "The NHTCU quotes an IDC study that estimates that a 10 per cent reduction in UK piracy would contribute $17.5bn for the UK's GDP, indirectly create 40,000 jobs and generate $4.1bn in tax revenue. "
    I'll bet this figure doesn't even come close to holding true. According to this logic the bust should show an immediate "burst" of revenue next quarter.

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