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19 Charged in Alleged Software Piracy Plot 311

Posted by samzenpus
from the they-don't-look-like-pirates dept.
Brainsur writes " A federal grand jury has indicted 19 people on charges they used the Internet to pirate more than $6.5 million worth of copyrighted computer software, games and movies.The indictment outlines an alleged plot by defendants from nine states, Australia and Barbados to illegally distribute newly released titles, including movies like "The Incredibles" and "The Aviator," and games like "Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005."
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19 Charged in Alleged Software Piracy Plot

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  • Its just a .... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by scenestar (828656) on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @09:18PM (#14622131) Homepage Journal
    A warez group.

    Not some super secret terrorist organisation out to destroy america's economy.
    • by RLiegh (247921) * on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @09:21PM (#14622147) Homepage Journal
      we don't make that distinction.
      • because those copies of Battlefield two are OBVIOUSLY teaching the terrorists how to ... terrorize... more effectively
      • to expand on your statement, it has been suggested/shown that some terrorist organizations recieve funds as a result of the sale of pirated goods.

        The argument goes that the release groups are providing material for the people selling pirated goods on the street.

        It's much harder to get rid of the street corner dvd guy, compared to killing a release group.

        IMHO, in the long term, neither problem has a solution. One group does it for free fun, the other for money. You could wipe out the physical pirates by lowe
        • by MttJocy (873799) on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @10:23PM (#14622534)
          I personally don't know where they get their idea that terrorists make their income from piracy, I might be more inclined to believe such a comment made about drugs myself than piracy, I would have thought the former was an alot more lucretive faster than piracy personally.

          I guess that comment is just another scare tactic, I suppose they think that claiming links to terrorism may stop people buying pirate software.
          • Terrorists might recieve money from software piracy. Low overhead, quick production, easy smuggling and good return on investment. Terrorists probably recieve money from drugs.

            Terrorists DO recieve money from oil.

            LK
        • Think about what you typed there. Drugs are extremely profitable but pirating software/movies is potentially even more so. The physical discs themselves cost pennies in bulk and the equipment to duplicate them (to the "quality" demanded by people who buy pirated stuff) is relatively cheap as well. Add in ancillary factors like the fact that people are less likely to turn a software pirate in to the police than a drug dealer (the former seeming pretty harmless while the latter is, at a minimum, impairing
        • by 1u3hr (530656)
          it has been suggested/shown that some terrorist organizations recieve funds as a result of the sale of pirated goods.

          It's been proved that billions of dollars from oil is the major funding for ME terrorist groups. Most warez is freely distributed online. That which is sold is mostly for hardly more than the cost of media (as that's the bottom line in cost to the pirates, competition quickly brings the price down to close to that). I'm sure you can do the "Kevin Bacon six degrees of separation" from my buy

      • Should have read:

        In Capitalist America, the economy destroys you!
    • Re:Its just a .... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ScrewMaster (602015) on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @09:46PM (#14622304)
      One could easily argue that the unfettered multi-lettered organizations of various nationalities that are going after these (ahem) "pirates" are guilty of a degree of terrorism themselves. Of course, they would use words such as "justice" or "deterrence", but that's really a matter of perspective. Oh sure, we aren't talking explosives or mass-murder here ... but we are talking about private organizations conscripting law-enforcement agencies into putting the fear of God (or Allah, or whatever deity you choose) into groups of people whose crime really doesn't warrant the attention it is receiving. My own take is that it is not the responsibility of the taxpayer to support their businesses, or to protect their oh-so-valuable "intellectual property". If the media companies want to spend their money taking people to court for their alleged improprieties that's one thing ... but misusing police resources this way is just unacceptable. Personally, I'd rather see my tax dollars going to deal with somewhat more serious issues. Certainly there are more than enough of those to go around.
      • Re:Its just a .... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by TubeSteak (669689) on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @10:03PM (#14622422) Journal
        The main charge is criminal conspiracy.

        It doesn't matter if you criminally conspire to evade taxes, to murder someone or to infringe on copyrights.

        Conspiring to break laws is a crime and the police should deal with them as criminals.
        • Re:Its just a .... (Score:3, Insightful)

          by ScrewMaster (602015)
          Perhaps ... but let's face facts, this wouldn't be happening if certain powerful interests hadn't spent some money on certain obliging lawmakers. And I'm sure that, if one looks around, one can find conspiricies far more deserving of law enforcement attention. That is really my problem with this: that mass quantities of government resources can be spent to serve corporate interests. Cops have better things to do.
        • "Conspiring to break laws is a crime and the police should deal with them as criminals."

          Right, and a keg party is a conspiracy to commit felony DUI.
        • Re:Its just a .... (Score:3, Insightful)

          by EzInKy (115248)

          The main charge is criminal conspiracy.

          It doesn't matter if you criminally conspire to evade taxes, to murder someone or to infringe on copyrights.

          Conspiring to break laws is a crime and the police should deal with them as criminals.


          Hmmm...so if you invite some friends to share a little grass you should get five years? Man, this country has been down this road a number of times and the people don't take kindly to the government throwing their kids in jail for stupid shit. Look, these aren't drug runners try
    • Re:Its just a .... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by monkeydo (173558) on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @09:55PM (#14622358) Homepage
      What's your point? They (allegedly) broke the law didn't they? They knew what they were doing was illegal, and they did it anyway. They should be prosecuted. This isn't civil disobedience, since that is done publicly. This group apparantly took elaborate measures to conceal their activities.
      • Re:Its just a .... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by strider44 (650833)
        So if you and some friends jaywalk across the road then lie about it if a police asks you if you jaywalked, not only have you broken the law but you also took measures to conceal your activities! You should go to gaol for a few years for such a horrific crime! You knew that jaywalking is illegal!

        I've got news for you mate, just because it's law doesn't mean it's *right*, and just because a kid broke the law doesn't mean you should ruin his life for it.
        • Re:Its just a .... (Score:3, Insightful)

          by monkeydo (173558)
          No, just because something is against the law, does not mean that it is "wrong", but it does mean that it is illegal. Many people get tickets for jaywalking, the fact that they don't confess notwithstanding.

          I still have no idea what the OP's point is, and now I have no idea what your point is, or how they relate to one another.
          • Re:Its just a .... (Score:5, Interesting)

            by ePhil_One (634771) on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @11:21PM (#14622872) Journal
            I still have no idea what the OP's point is, and now I have no idea what your point is, or how they relate to one another.

            The OP's point was they were criminals who knew what they were doing was wrong and had serious concequences if they were caught, but chose to continue doing it. He actually supports artists who use the Creative Commons license and the local music scene.

            The chap you responded to believes that because he believes copyright law is wrong, that those violating it on a grand scale are actually commiting "civil disobedience" and should be celebrated as heros and let free. Notably, he is a leech on the P2P networks, downloading from others but blocking incoming connections from fear of enforcement; a P2P leaf node

            Personally I think the article was posted to let the community know it will take longer before the latest movies are available for download on their latest P2P network. Any other questions?

            • The chap you responded to believes that because he believes copyright law is wrong, that those violating it on a grand scale are actually commiting "civil disobedience" and should be celebrated as heros and let free. Notably, he is a leech on the P2P networks, downloading from others but blocking incoming connections from fear of enforcement; a P2P leaf node

              Do I? Am I?

              All I was trying to say (ahem I admit albeitly badly) was that I thought that even though yes they knew it was illegal I'm sure they w
        • I've got news for you mate, just because it's law doesn't mean it's *right*, and just because a kid broke the law doesn't mean you should ruin his life for it.

          Taken literally, that would mean that kids shouldn't be punished for rape or murder either; after all, they're against the law.

          Now, I don't think you meant it that way, but unless "You did the crime, now do the time." applies to everybody, nobody's going to pay any attention to the law.

      • Re:Its just a .... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by kfg (145172)
        This isn't civil disobedience, since that is done publicly.

        You just made that up, or, no, I take it back, you weren't that creative. You're just repeating what you've "heard." Civil disobedience as a form of public protest is done publicly, but civil disobedience is a matter of conscience, not public display.

        Thoreau said, "Break the law."

        He didn't say "Break the law, but make sure you get caught."

        Damn near every pot smoker hiding in the basement is being civilly disobedient simply because they know in their
        • ....the government would act to make mere possession of something.....

          If everybody who is now in locked up because they WERE in posession of contraband would suddenly be set free, our prisons would become rather empty. This would be true even more so, if those who committed a crime in the effort to obtain some contraband were released also. What percentage of thefts are committed by those wanting the money to obtain some "controlled substance" which absent of being "controlled" would be dirt cheap?

          Vast numb
          • Re:Its just a .... (Score:2, Interesting)

            by kfg (145172)
            And now you have just unlocked the secret to understanding Federal domestic policy:

            Make everyone either an inmate or a guard, for the economy.

            KFG
      • This isn't civil disobedience, since that is done publicly. This group apparantly took elaborate measures to conceal their activities.

        What, do you think everyone just sat around in the speakeasy asking the cops come and raid the place? Mass disobedience, whether "civil" or not is what it takes to get unpopular laws changed.

    • They're just trying to blur the distinction between the two, once you do that, its easy to blur it furthur.

      Seriousy, its mostly about getting in the news and saying, "see what happens when you pirate?!?!" Its an attempt to stop the unstoppable. That's why every now and then you'll see a huge drug bust on the news. It doesn't actually stop drug trafficing, it makes it look like the people in government doing the legwork are being productive/useful.
    • But this warez group is infringing on copyrights, so it is breaking the law. What is your point?
  • 6.5 million? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SirTalon42 (751509) on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @09:18PM (#14622134)
    What is that 6.5 million based on? Is that the retail price of the product normally? Or is it that $250,000 per infringement copyright thing?
    • Considering they've been around since '93, it'd be a little dissapointing if it 250k per. That'd mean they'd pirated um... about two things a year. Im thinkin they're talkin retail prices, or something close to.
      • Even at retail prices, this is really week.

        6500000 dollars
        let's say 50 bucks MSRP
        130000 units
        13 years
        10000 units per year
        60 members
        166 units per member per year
        365 days per year
        0.45 units per member per day

        Those guys didn't have much of a bandwidth bill for a l33t warez group.
    • I'm pretty sure that would be retail price of the material they allegedly pirated.

      At $250k a pop, they would only need to pirate 26 things to hit that mark otherwise. Given they are "from nine states, Australia and Barbados", that seems a pretty small figure.
    • by IAAP (937607) on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @09:29PM (#14622205)
      that these pirates can hold in their ships. What they don't say is if that's per ship or per fleet. I don't know. If you don't stop them, they'll get bigger and faster ships, and who knows how much software they can pirate then!
    • Re:6.5 million? (Score:4, Informative)

      by lostboy2 (194153) on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @10:10PM (#14622460)
      What is that 6.5 million based on? Is that the retail price of the product normally?

      I'm guessing that it's the "value" of the merchandise, as reported by the companies who made it.

      As I understand it, companies over-inflate their products' value so it looks like they're giving you a great discount. That's why the Ronco Six Star Plus Cutlery Set [asseenontv.com] has an $850 value but is yours for only $39.95 (plus Shipping and Handling), and why all that crap they had on Wheel of Fortune [wheeloffortune.com] cost so much.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @09:20PM (#14622141)
    ...my favorite trumpin'-up charge.
    • Oh...it gets better:
      Each defendant was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit copyright infringement, which carries a five-year maximum prison sentence. Fifteen also were charged with copyright infringement, which carries a three-year maximum.
      Somehow, agreeing with another person to commit a crime is thought to be a more serious offense than actually committing said crime. WTF?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @09:20PM (#14622144)
    Excellent! Now that RISCISO is out of the way, WAREZCO can sweep in and fill the void unopposed. I keep reading the history of Al Capone, its so easy, I didn't even have to line these guys up and mascacre them in a fake police sting!

    Long live darknets! A thousand more spring up...
  • Hmm (Score:5, Funny)

    by Soporific (595477) on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @09:20PM (#14622145)
    I guess that means the other 50 cracking groups are all quaking in their boots now doesn't it?

    ~S
  • by _Hellfire_ (170113) on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @09:26PM (#14622179) Homepage
    "AFP/File Photo: Computer connected to the internet."

    Just in case, ya know... You didn't know what a computer connected to the internet looked like.
    • And if you look closely, it's displaying the "Action Cancelled" screen in IE.

      Apparently it is connected to the internet, but not going anywhere.
    • Maybe they're implying that just about anyone who connects to the internet pirates stuff? And so, if you're going to charge one guy... you might as well charge them all?
  • by rnpg1014 (942171) on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @09:27PM (#14622183) Homepage
    I have no idea how they managed to pirate $6.5 million in software. Assuming the average price of a movie is $7, they would have needed to pirate over 900,000 movies. And to think that they can only be given up to 5 years of prison. They should have to pay for all that stolen software, which is quite a figure even when divided by 19.

    It's people like these who make it more and more difficult just to use software because of the security features they add. I can't tell you how many times iTunes has spontaniously wiped all the files on it.
    • by Aranth Brainfire (905606) on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @09:36PM (#14622247)
      "It's people like these who make it more and more difficult just to use software because of the security features they add."

      No, it's people like the ones that make decisions in the companies that produce the software stupidly thinking they can make something that nobody will break, and sacrificing usability of the end-product for the concept.

      Consider how many times it's kept a product from being pirated. Then consider how many times the companies have been majorly burned by it backfiring on them.

      Smart decisions, huh?
      • The point is not to have it completely unbreakable, it's to obfuscate things so copying is a pain in the arse.

        The grandparent was right though, if these twats weren't pirating so much do you really think anti-piracy measures would be necessary? Businesses generally don't do things for the hell of it.
  • by XXIstCenturyBoy (617054) on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @09:27PM (#14622186)
    Their "Computer connected to the internet" picture is one of IE saying there is no connection.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @09:30PM (#14622211)
    Parent article misses the major problem here - the US DOJ is going to spend boatloads of cash extraditing two of the kids in this case, one from Australia and one from Barbados. Warez is justification for extradition? The DOJ even admits in its press release that profit was not an issue here. This makes it wide-scale file sharing, and a waste of John Q. Public's tax dollars. Good job FBI/DOJ/assorted alphabet organizations wasting funds and following orders from bribed politicians... oh sorry, those were "campaign contributions" from the movie and software industries...

    As a shareware developer, I could care less about kids cracking my software, but I'm getting damn sick of the charade going on as the BSA cries (to its own benefit only) about the evils of piracy.
    • Barbados (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Pet Doctor (549054)
      When I visited a friend in Barbados in 1997 there was a "blockbuster" in a mall. It looked normal from the outside but if you looked closely at the sign it was hand painted. We rented several videos they were all high quality copies and in the middle of the video subtitles popped up and said if you would like to buy a copy of the video call 1800xxxxxxx.

      also we did not worry about drinking and driving because they rummer was there was no law against it as the police had no breathalyzer equipment.

    • The lost tax revenue alone makes up for the cost of prosecuting.
    • The DOJ even admits in its press release that profit was not an issue here. This makes it wide-scale file sharing

      The reality is, you have be a major player in the warez game to attract the DOJ's attention: Deciding Whether to Prosecute an Intellectual Property Case [cybercrime.gov] (Revised 2003)

      The NET Act (No Electronic Theft) eliminated the profit motive as an element of the offense in 1997. Criminal Intellectual Property Laws [cybercrime.gov]

      As a shareware developer, I could care less about kids cracking my software

      The world loo

  • by Via_Patrino (702161) on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @09:32PM (#14622228)
    From the article:
    "Online thieves who steal merchandise that companies work hard to produce"

    I though he was saying:
    Online thieves who steal products that companies work hard to merchandise

  • by a_nonamiss (743253) on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @09:35PM (#14622242)
    Way to go Feds! 19 down, 19,999,981 to go. You guys rock!
    • What do you mean? Australia does have a population of twenty million, but only one of the accused is an Aussie.

      We're also convicts, not pirates, Arrrr!

      I suppose it's amusing that in the media here the Australian Wheat Board's corrupt dealing with Saddam are in the spotlight, yet the seppos are after some warez-weenie. Good thing the kid didn't speak out against intelligent design or something or they would have sent a team of deniable assets to take him out.

    • " Way to go Feds! 19 down, 19,999,981 to go. You guys rock!"

      sounds like the war on drugs....

      • sounds like the war on drugs....

        Not really. They aren't making nearly that much headway on that war. Maybe that's why they're starting a new one. Fresh start and all that. It'll be another 20-30 years or so before people really start questioning that one.

  • Bait? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @09:36PM (#14622249)
    I thought of doing that, selling warez cds and dvds on ebays (even tho its prohibited and they watch for that, people still do it anyway). Guess what. There is no market.

    Take a look at used software for sale on ebay. Thousands of used titles with no takers. The bottom has fallen out of software business long ago. Next to go was the music business, and then the movie business. Its not even worthwhile to duplicate them and list them.

    There is such a flood of media and digital data, that its very hard to sell such a thing anymore. Ask any music artist or band trying to sell their cd. There just are no takers. Its gone long ago.

    To think that PGA Golf and The Aviator are items in hot demand is laughable... me thinks we are being baited.
  • WTF? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by snookums (48954) on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @09:37PM (#14622259)
    From TFA:
    Each defendant was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit copyright infringement, which carries a five-year maximum prison sentence. Fifteen also were charged with copyright infringement, which carries a three-year maximum.

    Anyone care to explain why conspiracy attracts a harsher sentence than the actual crime? I mean, leaving aside the whole moral quagmire surrounding the criminalization of copyright infringement, how can thinking and talking about doing something carry a harsher penalty than actually doing it. Does this type of duality apply in traditional crimes like assault, murder and larceny?


    • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Informative)

      by TubeSteak (669689) on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @09:48PM (#14622316) Journal
      Conspiracy is usually treated harshly because we tend to assume that one person can only do so much damage. Gather other people into your crime allows you and your conspirators to side -step all the laws & procedures that are in place to prevent abuses by one person.

      Conspiracy also implies premeditation, which automatically makes any crime worse.
      • Plus, conspiracy isn't merely, "thinking and talking about doing something" as the GP implied.
      • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @10:51PM (#14622708)
        Back in 2000 I participated with one of the groups that was indicted the following year in "Operation Bandwidth". The rundown they gave us was that if we didn't plea out as a group under conspiracy, they would go after us as individuals with an actual copyright infringement charge instead of conspiracy(they stated they had all the evidence they would need from the computers confiscated from the raids they performed to put each one of us away). On a side note, this is currently still an active case and I have yet to be sentenced in this case due to the fact that the U.S. prosecutor wants us all to be present at the same time for each of our own sentences and there are still people waiting to goto trial.
    • When I read "conspiracy" it usually means there were elaborate attempts made to conceal or otherwise ensure the continued success of the associated "crime". Mind you, it seems to generally get applied by the law when the associated crime penalties are not (in their opinion) harsh another, so you tack on a conspiracy charge to make the punishment worse hence a better deterrent (well maybe).
  • by Spiffness (941077) on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @09:38PM (#14622271) Homepage
    We can all sit back and relax once again.

    The frustrating/disappointing thing about all these lawsuits and 'victories' over piracy is that with every win, groups like the MPAA/RIAA only feel more firmly that their new business model (CRUSH, SUE, EXTORT, EXTERMINATE!) is a successful and long term one. Each time a major 'piracy bust' hits the news it only further propagates the myth that Piracy is what's driving declines in Movies, Music, Software and Games. When the real culprit (though, obviously Piracy does play some part) is Quality, Price, and the Media (DRM disks, copy once CDs, Theaters, Star-Force, ect).

    But then again, I'm preaching to the choir here...

  • by dshaw858 (828072) on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @09:40PM (#14622275) Homepage Journal
    I think that this headline, and even the beginning of the article, truly works as a scare tactic for the MPAA. No, I'm not thinking of a conspiracy, but think about how this situation worked in reality-

    The defendants, many of whom worked in high-tech jobs, were members of "RISCISO," a "warez" community founded in 1993, according to the indictment. Warez groups are underground associations that use the Internet to illegally distribute copyrighted software.

    Okay, right. A warez group got busted. Great. But the headline reads 19 Charged in Alleged Software Piracy Plot. Piracy plot? And the worst part, by far, is the opening of the article- A federal grand jury has indicted 19 people on charges they used the Internet to pirate more than $6.5 million worth of copyrighted computer software, games and movies. To the untrained eye, this seems just like every day Bob who downloaded a film or two...

    I think it's a scare tactic. I don't like it. But then again, maybe I'm paranoid and stuff...

    - dshaw
    • And the worst part, by far, is the opening of the article- "A federal grand jury has indicted 19 people on charges they used the Internet to pirate more than $6.5 million worth of copyrighted computer software, games and movies." To the untrained eye, this seems just like every day Bob who downloaded a film or two...

      It'd take more than an 'untrained eye' to conclude "$6.5 million worth of copyrighted computer software, games and movies" was "a film or two".

      It would take a moron. Or an MPAA lawyer....

    • And the worst part, by far, is the opening of the article- A federal grand jury has indicted 19 people on charges they used the Internet to pirate more than $6.5 million worth of copyrighted computer software, games and movies. To the untrained eye, this seems just like every day Bob who downloaded a film or two...

      Yes, the everyday Bob who download a film or two wort $6.5 million. Believe it or not (an you won't 'cause this is /.) most people you'll run into haven't pirated any movies.
      • Most people have committed copyright infringement.

        Ever copy a copyrighted work for a friend? Ever install software off someone else's CD (even a video game)? Ever sing "Happy Birthday" in public?

        These are all pretty common, and not considered to be terribly heinous offenses. The fact that the penalties for these offenses ranges from fines of thousands of dollars to multi-year prison terms isn't terribly reasonable.

  • free software (Score:3, Insightful)

    by wesw02 (846056) on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @09:53PM (#14622350)
    Stuff like this makes me happy I use open-source that is free of cost :).
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Authorities said they had begun extraditing two of the defendants who lived in Australia and Barbados.


    Anyone else find it ridiculeous?
  • It's something (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RyoShin (610051) <tukaro@NosPAM.gmail.com> on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @10:16PM (#14622490) Homepage Journal
    While the slashdot crowd may boo and bitch about cracking down on people downloading or uploading a copy of something, it is a real problem.

    Certainly, it should be pretty low on the priority list as far as the FBI or any government agency is concerned, but that doesn't mean it should be ignored when hard evidence can be brought against large-scale criminals, as these 19 supposedly are.

    The problem with warez is that it's easy. While cracking DRM and copyright may not be simple, once that's done, it's easy for anyone and everyone to download it. It isn't even limited by speed- a fairly patient person could download, say, a Doom 4 ISO if they wanted.

    Because of this ease, and the much lower risk of being caught (hence its prevalence), it is biting into income of companies. The numbers that they throw out may or may not be exact, but you can just shrug them away and say it hurts noone.

    However, the penalties placed against some of these people are a bit odd. A slap on the wrist and a $100 fine doesn't really cut it for large distributors, but some of the jailtime and fines that I've read about seem unrealistic. After all, they are copying something, not taking it, so they aren't depriving the original owner of anything (assuming that the original owner didn't intend for the download.) Downloading a CD should bring far less of a penalty than stealing a physical CD from a store.
  • by zappepcs (820751) on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @10:26PM (#14622558) Journal
    Its just a thought, and I'll probably be modded down as flamebait or worse, but after all the money that the US government has spent on anti-terrorism, and trying to find Bin Laden, perhaps this is just a result of the Republican Party telling groups they have some control over (no wanting to start that as an argument) that they better show some kind of progress for all the money spent...

    All the money spent by the US government lately has achieved exactly what? There just have been no successes in all this, and I think that they (you know who 'they' are) are looking for successes as the election nears. I know that the *AA will be proud of how their 'campaign contributions' were spent... I am just wondering what the American public will think of how the dollars were spent... hunting down grandmas and wiretapping anyone and everyone...

    Makes me think there just might be a conspiracy in here somewhere?????
  • by Ragnarrokk (906696) on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @10:33PM (#14622606)
    Why the US DoJ doesn't hurry up and name itself "Ministry of Profit" already. The pretence is tiresome.

    ``Ragnarok
  • by Kanasta (70274) on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @10:34PM (#14622616)
    add upto 6.5mil?
    I didn't know there was that much current software in existence.
  • by ThoreauHD (213527) on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @10:35PM (#14622620)
    You cannot know anything unless you pay for it first- and without a money back guarantee. You cannot listen to music, see theater, or learn unless you pay- and without a money back guarantee. If I buy a lemon, and it's core is rotten and infested- I can return it. If I buy a music CD and the music is complete crap complete with DRM so that I can't actually play it- not only do I not get my money back but I don't even own the said piece of crap. It's a rental.

    Is this how humanity evolved? Is this how we will be able to retain knowledge in the future? What the fuck are libraries but mass piracy collectives?

    Here is the truth of it, and it will piss off pretty much everyone in this non-manufacturing based economy.

    You either know something or you do not. It is either secret or it is not. And in the end, all things are known.

    You cannot own knowledge. It was never yours to begin with. The language I am speaking now was giving to me by thousands of years of other English speakers. It is not mine to own. The word "fkucherry" that I just made up does not belong to me. It is a contruct of what I've learned from others. It is knowledge.

    When this understanding is realized, say after a catastrophic event, then Linux will no longer need the GPL along with all other proprietary software/entertainment data. And the data that will be able to survive at that point will be open data, as Linux is today. It will save our asses- mark my words. Windows and all those shit programs that those people copied won't be worth a drop of piss. Nobody will be able to modify it. It will be useless.

    And so here is what I think of arresting very smart people in high end technical positions. Maybe they know something that you don't? Maybe they aren't paid by people that get their money from PAC funded politicians. Maybe they are archiving data educating more people than your broken government ever could. Maybe we should all think about what this means.

    I have to tell you that the moment Intellect and Knowledge became legal property is the moment that you have no "lawful" rights to your own thoughts. That does not serve anyone and never has.
  • by panxerox (575545) * on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @10:53PM (#14622722)
    Actually I thought it was the money that we pay for oil that the arab governments then use to pay the terrorists off so they don't go after them.
  • Old News? (Score:2, Informative)

    by sobe01 (951363)
    This article may be a recycle, the group mentioned "RiSCiSO" has been listed in previous cases. I would hope these guys wouldnt continue their practices, and even if they did that they would find a different name to use. Also, the DOJ has always posted press releases about their busts the same day as they happen on http://www.cybercrime.gov/ipcases.htm [cybercrime.gov]
  • Economics (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Stop charging so much for software and you would see that $6.5 million drop down.
    • "Stop charging so much for software and you would see that $6.5 million drop down."

      Yes, if you charge $0 for software, than your piracy losses are $0, and you have nothing to worry about from piracy.
  • by blanks (108019) on Thursday February 02, 2006 @01:14AM (#14623433) Homepage Journal
    3 kids have been mugged, and one girl raped in the last 3 months within 1 block from the collage my girlfriend goes to and lives by.

    It Make her and myself feel so much safer knowing that the goverment(s) are spending millions of dollars a year to help these companies keep evil software pirates behind bars.
  • by Stickerboy (61554) on Thursday February 02, 2006 @02:22AM (#14623702) Homepage
    DOJ busts ring of people conspiring to infringe on copyrights and sell illegal copies of work

    What are they thinking?!? This is as petty as a crime gets! Don't they have anything better to do?

    DOJ busts spammers for conspiring to find people's email addresses and send email to them

    ROCK ON!!! Hang the motherfuckers! Burn them at the stake! It's too bad we can't bust them all!

    Corporation infringes on copyright, redistributes modified GPL'ed work without source

    Assholes! Somebody take them to court! Sue them for every cent they're worth!

    • by _Sprocket_ (42527)
      It's cute you use a term like "slashbot" when you yourself are so easily confused. But hey - what should one expect from someone who uses such a term anyway?

      The problem seems to be that you are confused from the get-go:

      DOJ busts ring of people conspiring to infringe on copyrights and sell illegal copies of work

      What are they thinking?!? This is as petty as a crime gets! Don't they have anything better to do?

      The problem here is that these guys were NOT selling illegal copies. Go back to the few stories

  • by Fantastic Lad (198284) on Thursday February 02, 2006 @12:28PM (#14626670)
    I've stolen a lot of software, and unless you are a giant dork, so have you.

    I've used tens of thousands of dollars worth of code over the years on a variety of platforms from the Tandy CoCo to my current PC which I simply could not afford to have bought at the time. I don't feel guilty about this in the slightest. Now that I'm grown up, I turned around and now provide a lot of content to the world which has also been borrowed by people who haven't paid. Gee whiz. Life goes on, and the wheels keep spinning and there's still food on my table. How many software makers are starving? I'm serious. --If people are good at what they do, if they produce with passion, then if their work doesn't sell, it has nothing to do with piracy.

    I'd also be curious to know. . . How many of those people who today make movies and software haven't also pirated a few dozen software titles when they were kids at home with their C64s, or Amigas or whatever? I didn't know a single computer-owning kid who wasn't also a software pirate. Not one.

    What comes around, goes around. That's Karma and everybody pays. It's the credit card system of the Universe.

    See, I've also bought a lot of software, and unless you are a giant dork, so have you.

    Now that I am an adult with an income, I particularly enjoy buying software from small companies similar to the ones I ripped off as a kid. Not out of guilt or any sense of repayment; Motivation is much more pleasing when it stems from passion rather than pain. --And I genuinely enjoy making on-line purchases and downloading cool and clever bits of code. I understand the creativity and work required to create something, and how much encouragement and joy comes from seeing a sale made. I think it's wonderful to encourage passion and wit and creativity and bravery in those individuals who are willing to buck the system and listen to their souls. It feels great!

    Look at "Doom". The first version was free! And does everybody remember what the end result was? Did people lose jobs and starve? Goodness, no! --The excitement generated from creating something new and truly clever creates energy, enough energy to feed and employ thousands of people.

    The trick is making sure that you stay connected to the loop. There's nothing wrong with that. Being willing to Give energy freely means nothing if you don't also allow yourself to Take energy freely. The conduit must not be stymied at either end of the flow. "Give and you shall receive," is one of the truly valid, really good sayings in this reality, but it needs one little addendum I think. . , "Give and you shall receive, --but don't be silly about it."

    The "Information Wants to be Free" saying is also a good one. It's so very true, but it works in ways a little more clever and mysterious than the laws of direct commerce allow for.


    -FL

The 11 is for people with the pride of a 10 and the pocketbook of an 8. -- R.B. Greenberg [referring to PDPs?]

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