UK Game File-Sharers Hit with Fines

Four UK citizens were slapped with fines after the publisher of a PC pinball game charged that they uploaded the product to file-sharing networks.

MCVUK reports that the four were each required to pay £2750 (roughly US$5,500) to Topware Interactive, publisher of Dream Pinball 3D. The company’s attorney said that additional cases would be lodged against file-sharers this week:

Copyright owners spend millions of pounds developing copyright works for sale to the public for their enjoyment and yet many think it is acceptable to obtain te work illegally and for free by procuring a copy on a peer-to-peer network.


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  1. j0k3r says:

    Thanks good job;

    Btw, I think Atari and Midway will drop out too, but mostly travesti because  these guys have done nothing travesti or little and need to start saving costs. and dizi izle


    Now I don’t have to get off my ass for the important shit anymore!

    Whats next, ordering pizza from Xbox live?

    Wait… I think that sounds like a good idea.

    But I think voting should MAKE you get off your ass, and see outside or a second while you go vote. I mean, your picking the president of the United States of America for God’s Sake… least you can do is drive down there and punch out a card.

  2. oto kirlama says:

    I’m all for freedom of ttnet vitamin speech and allowing rent a car game makers to put whatever they want in games, but there’s one thing about this app that has me scratching my head.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but from araç kiralama the previous article araba kiralama on this I gathered that players can use Google maps in-game to find the other (real-life?) dealers in their area.  If this is the case, has travesti anyone considered what’s stopping someone from using this app to actually move drugs between hands for reals?

    But majority araba kiralama of their outrage araç kiralama stems from what it could DO TO children, not the content itself.  Talk to one of these people and you’ll find they don’t think any books kiralık araba should be banned from children.  Mention American Psycho and they talk about kiralık araç the redeeming value of using imagination to construct a story.  Reading, no matter what the content, is largely viewed as a consequenceless activity for people of any age.  The reason why I mention American Psycho is because of the content itself.  Gaming never has and likely never will have any scenes where someone has sex with a severed head.  Not gonna happen.  Yet despite this, they’ll fight tooth and nail to protect their children from two boys kissing in Bully but whatever they read is harmless… yeah.

    The entire arguement is kiralık oto based upon a social normality inflicted by luddites who can’t figure out the controls for Halo so it’s frightening and terrifying and obviously the cause of youth violence on the rise even though, in reality, it’s in decline (which is actually a HUGE suprise given minibüs kiralama the economies status).  In  a perfect world, we would have parents that actually parent.  The idea of sales restrictions on media on oto kiralama any form to accomidate parental unwillingness to get involved with their child’s life is the real problem to me.  Here I am, 32 years old, and being held up at a self-scan rent a car needing to show ID before I can buy a $10 M rated game all because Soccer Momthra can’t be bothered to look at the crap Billy Genericallystupidson does in his free time.  It’s too hard for her, so I have to suffer?

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  4. Anonymous says:

    They deserve a fair and just punishment for their crime.


    What makes you think the British Courts do not work fair and just?

  5. Jason says:

    Technically. If you were never going to buy the game and then you download a pirate copy, then there is no "missed sale"

    And the thing is, you have all broke copyright law if you have the radio or your MP3 player on at work, or in a shop. Should we make an example out of you?

    Paying customers and Pirates are two distinctly different demographics, statiscally there is only a very small percentage of "Woud-be customers who found a pirate copy first." or "Pirate who gave up trying to bypass security measures and brought the game." 

    Treating customers as pirates and the reverse is bad business practice. To be honest, I dont want Pirates to be my customers, because they are bad customers, they are the demographic that bitch on your forums about technical differences between GFX cards and FrameRate caps, etc.  Pirates are not a lost sale, they were never a sale to begin with.


    The problem I find with this news report is that it sounds like another case of "We cannot control piracy, so we are going to try and scare people by using these 4 individuals as examples." Which is completely unfair. They deserve a fair and just punishment for their crime.

  6. ZippyDSMlee says:

    After they took away my right to return a crappy product I go by “I saw it I like it I buy it” mentality, I buy used unless I truly love a product, the problem is the media industry is not being hurt by what amounts to a CEOs pay over years of time, you cannot blame business failing because of bad business practices or the inability to ride the waves fads to hook backers onto a project, sorry until the industry acts less like a mafia and more like a business with some forethought about its consumers I’ll do my part to not “buy in”, the sad thing is the money I spend on used games and internet and TV trickles out to them so in a way I am support the system rather if I want to or not…money is funny like that you give it to one entity that profit spreads around, you can call it the trickle round effect you see it a lot in stores like EB where they sale new products with used ones.

    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    (in need of a bad overhaul)


  7. Anonymous says:

    these are punitive damages. If you steal a $10 Cd, you think you get a $10 fine? Get real.

    These thieving bastards got off light.

  8. Anonymous says:

    people stealing games treat the games makers like shit. so some of us retaliate. I’ve distribuetd dozens of fake cracks of games that format peoples hard drives. Tough shit. If you dont wanna risk it, stop fucking stealing.

  9. Black Dragon says:

    People keep SAYING that a pirated game doesn’t equal a lost sale, but the ambiguity works both ways: while I know a few pirates who say they wouldn’t have bought a game if it was available, frankly I don’t believe them. Surely the availability of free software changes one’s outlook on a game’s value, and naturally they’re disinclined to pay. If it weren’t available in the first place, who knows? One thing that’s certain is that the developers are selling less games than they would if the pirated copies were not available; as for how many, pick a number out of the air, ten or ten thousand. It doesn’t really matter.

    The term "leech" to describe these people is perfectly accurate. No matter what the damage to the company that put the time and money into producing the games, these people are freely and illegally using software that I and every other decent human being pays to use. This isn’t bread to feed our malnourished family, here. We’re talking VIDEO GAMES. Entertainment. A product whose sole purpose of creation is to enrich the producers. People have no right to it unless they pay money for it.

    I have absolutely no sympathy for people who get fined out of house and home for this; software companies have a right to go after people who violate their property, whether it’s lifted from a Best Buy or snatched off the net. For all the whining I hear about corporations hitting people with huge fines for "little crimes," are people really going to stop buying their product because the company is acting like a bunch of "thugs"? I’ve certainly never heard of such a boycott gaining steam. The more likely, and extremely unfortunate, side-effect is that some particularly self-righteous idiots will decide to download the game when they might have paid for it before.

    The worse part of all this is probably the ultimately ineffective attempts to stop piracy that have been developed. Thanks to the CD key system, I have several CDs that are effectively pretty coasters. I would feel slightly better about the situation if such protections had any real effect against game piracy, but alas, the slippery bastards can’t be stopped. If they can be sued, though, all the better.

  10. SticKboy says:

    You download a pirated copy?  You’ve contributed to one sale that the company has missed out on.

    You upload a pirated copy?  You’ve contributed to countless sales that the company has missed out on.

    This is precisely why UPLOADING pirated software is looked upon far worse than DOWNLOADING it.


    — teh moominz —

  11. Patrick ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    A pirated copy of a game, a song, or a movie etc does not equate to a lost sale, this fallacy has been debunked numerous times.  We can only speculate in a given instance of piracy if the person would have actually paid or even how much more likely they were to pay had the pirate copy not been available. 

    If we accept this type of logic then the first sale doctrine is a money pit because it allows people to resell stuff they’ve purchased, and the original producer and seller aren’t entitled to a cut. A used CD is a direct substitute for anew one; so every time someone buys a used CD instead of a new one, it would be depriving the copyright holder of income.  It’s rare to hear how much the resale of used goods are costing companies. Counting pirated goods as lost sales, but not the resale of used goods is inconsistent.

    "But what companies CAN try to do is crack down on the AVAILABILITY of pirated software."

    Good luck with that, they’ve been trying for nearly a decade, longer if want to count days of "Don’t copy that floppy".  We’ve seen what happens when you kill a filesharing network or a tracker site, people just go else where and host there stuff in counties with lax copyright.  The other method, DRM, does more to annoy legit consumers than stop or even slow down pirates. 





  12. Freyar says:

    Still, I thought there was a huge argument about the whole ‘making available’ argument. Wasn’t the RIAA losing that fight since no real crime is commited until after the software/music/media/whatever is copied?


    Then again, if the four are stupid/lazy enough to not show up, then I don’t know.. they deserve to lose their case. However, they ought to only be charged for how many people are expected to have downloaded it and legal fees. I love how arbritrary numbers are just pulled out of people’s asses for these things. Reminds me of Sam and Max.

    "How much for the Chemical-Based Voice Modulator, Bosco?"
    "Mmm… about 35 shillings."
    "Uh, I think I left my shillings in my other fur. How much is that in real money?"
    "$10,000,000 American dollars, but it works! Trust me, Trust me!"

    —- There is a limit for both politicians against video games, and video games against politicians.

  13. Patrick ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Well according to a Torrent Freak article they won by default, because the four individuals charged with sharing the game didn’t show to court.  They also note how the Davenport Lyons etc tend to back off when people actual defend themselves.



  14. lumi says:

    "The corporations however can change their own behavior to emphasize the benefits of being a paying customer."

    That’s an incredibly naive approach to take.  You were right with one of your earlier states: "people are assholes and they always will be".  Those who are dedicated to piracy, especially those dedicated for the sake of piracy, are not going to be deterred from it by anything short of severe legal action (and I’d say in a good number of cases even that won’t stop them).

    But what companies CAN try to do is crack down on the AVAILABILITY of pirated software.  The real "target demographic" is the people who download pirated software out of convenience.  Why bother paying if it’s right there for the taking?  But if some guy wants to play a game, and there are lots of hoops to jump through to get a cracked version (or if he doesn’t even know if one is even out there, or how to find it), he’s a lot more likely to cough up the fifty bucks and buy the commercial product.  This is precisely why UPLOADING pirated software is looked upon far worse than DOWNLOADING it.

    You download a pirated copy?  You’ve contributed to one sale that the company has missed out on.

    You upload a pirated copy?  You’ve contributed to countless sales that the company has missed out on.

  15. TheEggplant ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    People sure like to throw the words theft and leech around a lot.

    "Ohhh you are a filthy criminal. EVIL! EVIL! EVIL!" Here’s a newsflash, people are assholes and they always will be. How this fact is dealt with is the real issue. What goes around comes around is very true in these cases. If companies are going to act like bullies and thugs against both pirates and paying customers then they aren’t going to stay in business for long.

    Neither you nor the corporations are going to change the behavior of jerk-offs.

    The corporations however can change their own behavior to emphasize the benefits of being a paying customer. The idea that big companies are trying to screw the consumers is not something pulled from thin air. If you have legally bought software then you need to stand up and say "HEY! Ignore the D-Bags and focus on me. I’m the one who will keep you in business."


  16. bpm195 says:

    Quite the delayed response but;

    Yes I have. My girlfriend’s laptop doesn’t have a working CD drive, so whenever she needs to get a CD she has onto her machine the fastest way is to download it. On afew occassions she had obscure things she couldn’t find seeded online, so I copied the iso to my machine and seeded it so she could download it. It’s not the most efficient way but it’s convienient. Moreover there have been occasions where I had non-working discs, which i then downloaded from torrents.

    There are legitimate uses for uploading software, and publishers are constantly stepping on the rights of legitimate users to "protect" their copyrights.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I’m not entirely sure, because it has always sounded like something the pirates made up to make themselves feel better about what they’re doing, but here in Canada there’s always been a rumour going around that downloading isn’t illegal, but uploading is.  Maybe it’s the same in the UK?

    Then again, that false rumour that you could have ROMs for 24hrs was around for half a decade.  It’s hard to tell them apart.

  18. Anonymous says:

    why should they give a toss about people stealing their games? those arent ‘fans’ they are just thieving bastards who are now getting what they deserve

  19. Lex-Man ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I think your find that Copyright infringement is a civil crime and you can only be fined not sentenced to jail time for it.  Unlike theft which is dealt with by the criminal courts where you can go to jail.

  20. Krono says:

    If it was just a matter of semantics, there wouldn’t be different punishments for the two. The guy selling bootleg cds on a street corner doesn’t get charged with theft. He gets charged with copyright infringement and whatever other charges go with illegal production. Conversely the guy that shoplifts a cd gets charged with petty theft. They don’t get charged with copyright infringement and fined ten thousand times the price of the CD.

    You can bitch all you want about them both being crimes, but that doesn’t make them the same crime. Afterall, copyrights and patents expire. Ownership doesn’t.

    Furthermore it isn’t a matter of choosing a word to describe it. It’s a matter of accurately describing it. There’s a vast gulf of a difference between illegal manufacture and distribution, and theft (be it petty or grand). Do both results in lost money? Yes they can, but so can property destruction and burglary. My point is you have to call it what it is if you want justice to be done. Calling it what you feel like it is just muddles the issue. 


  21. Ridiculous semantics.  You’re taking and using something you’re supposed to be paying for and not paying for it.  That’s a crime and those who do it are scum, no matter what word you choose to describe it with.

  22. Krono says:

    But software piracy isn’t thef, it’s copyright infringement!  That’s like totally different man!

    Your sarcasm aside, yes they are totally different. One involves taking a physical copy of something from it’s rightful owner, depriving them of access/use of it. The other is illegally creating a copy of something without the permission of the liscense holder. Stealing a TV is theft, not copyright infringement. That principle doesn’t change when the item is a CD or a DVD, or a game.

    Yes they both represent lost income, but they aren’t the same damn crime.


  23. PHOENIXZERO says:

    Walking into a store and taking it off the shelf prevents someone else from actually buying it. Making an exact duplicate doesn’t prevent anyone from legally purchasing it. Infringing on a copyright isn’t stealing in that sense but it’s still illegal.

  24. bpm195 says:

    I could have swore the legal issues weren’t with uploading things, but were with downloading things you don’t have liscense to. There legitimate reasons to fileshare a game, such as tranfering it to a computer with no disc drive.

  25. Anonymous says:

    you think its a miniscule crime because its not YOUR salary that is being fucked up by these thieves. Get some perspective. games cost money to make, and there is NO justifictaion for stealing them.

    I’m sick of games pirates and their pathetic rationalisations.

  26. chadachada says:

    But charging them $5,500 (i don’t have a pound key on my keyboard) each for uploading it on a network? That’s way over the top. Why do you think everyone hates the RIAA? They target a small amount of people for a large sum of money for a minuscule crime

  27. lumi says:

    Dude, Minesweeper is timeless.

    After the nuclear holocaust, when nothing but Keith Richards and the cockroaches are left alive on Earth, what do you think they’ll be doing all day?

    That’s right.  Playing Minesweeper.

    And pinball.  =)

  28. Decoy ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Wait a second. People still play pinball?! Amazing. I’d be shocked if people still play Mine Sweeper as well.

  29. Anonymous says:

    I was about to say they could have recooperated the entire cost of development from one of these guys alone. They’ll come out over eight thousand pounds ahead now!

  30. But software piracy isn’t thef, it’s copyright infringement!  That’s like totally different man!  That’s an argument I never get tired of hearing people try.  The way I’ve seen pirates on message boards try to justify stealing software is hilarious.  If it wouldn’t be legal for you to walk into a store, take it off the shelf and leave without paying, this is no different at all.  If you like the game, you should pay for it.  If you don’t like the game or don’t know if you’ll like it because there’s no demo for it, tough luck.  Do your research before buying something or don’t take the risk.  I hate DRM and the lack of ability to return software as much as the next person but that’s the way the industry works and if you don’t like it, don’t play.  It’s not an excuse to steal.

  31. Black Dragon says:

    It’s encouraging to see more people speaking out on the side of the market; software piracy is theft, and those that spread around licensed software are just kidding themselves in thinking they’re any different or more noble than common shoplifters. It’d be nice if they didn’t sue anyone or sic the police on their target demographic, but it’d be a lot nicer if they didn’t have to in the first place.

  32. Verbinator ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    What does that have to do with the merits of the situation? "I think their games suck, so it’s OK to steal them?"  That would be like a thief justifying stealing your personal belongings because he heard from someone that you did poorly at work, or failed a test at school, or dressed poorly.

    People who download games without paying the creators are worthless leeches. People who enable it are worse. 

  33. Belgarion89 says:

    Agreed.  Selling suing people to get the last little bit of profit from a game Best Buy puts on the dime rack (yeah, yeah, I know it’s $10) is just plain sleazy.


    So speak I, some random guy.

  34. L42yB says:

    Topware should be happy that people bothered to download one of their games…  they are rubbish.  And prosecuting your (in their case rather small) fan base is never a good idea.  Look for these guys to go bankrupt in the near future.

    — mostly harmless

  35. Anonymous says:

    They got caught stop whining. They knew it was illegal, and they got caught. Boo hoo.

  36. PHOENIXZERO says:

    Millions of pounds or millions and millions if it were the US dollar……. Developing a PINBALL game? Seriously? How hard is it to design and create a PC based pinball game? Did they license a well known physics engine for "realistic" ball movement? Have a ton of licensed layouts or music??

  37. L42yB says:

    I was wondering about this…  does the fact that they got charged with the "upload" mean that "downloading" it is not illegal?

    Also, while I don’t encourage piracy I still think it is a bad idea to try and sue your fans.  It just won’t end well…

    — mostly harmless

  38. Klokwurk ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    You don’t wanna get fined? Don’t illegally upload games for filesharing.

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