Game Pirate Gets Jail Time, $415K Fine; GP Has Exclusive Content

August 19, 2008 -

The United States Attorney's Office has announed that a Florida man who dealt in pirated video games has been sentenced to 15 months in prison and fined $415,000.

According to a press release, Kifah Maswadi, 24, of Oakland, Florida had pleaded guilty in June to selling Power Player handheld units which were pre-loaded with more than 75 titles, mostly owned by Nintendo and Nintendo licensees. According to the feds, Maswadi earned more than $390,000 peddling the handhelds.

From the press release:

In addition to the 15 month prison term and restitution order, Maswadi was ordered to serve three years of supervised release and to perform 50 hours of community service, which includes educating the public on the perils of criminal copyright infringement.

That's what the press release says. But GamePolitics has probed court records and has many more details on the case:

According to Maswadi's indictment, he charged $23.99 for wired versions and $47.99 for wireless units. Both types connect to televisions.

The case began in 2006 when an FBI agent, acting undercover, placed an order with Maswadi for 100 Power Play units at an agreed-upon wholesale price of $10 each. The agent told Maswadi that he planned to sell them at a mall in Manassas, Virginia during the holiday shopping season. The agent eventually purchased 80 more units from Maswadi. In April, 2007, agents raided Maswadi's facilities in Florida. According to the indictment, he admitted to both selling the units and knowing that they infringed on game copyrights.

Court documents indicate that Nintendo reps found 18 unspecified first-party titles on the Power Play units as well as 58 unspecified titles owned by Nintendo licensees. More than 8,500 units were sold by Maswadi. The ESA, which represents game publishers, estimated that the retail value of the Power Play units at $50 each (although the indictment states that Maswadi sold them for $23.99 or $47.99). While admitting his guilt, Maswadi disputed the government's valuation of the loss caused to game publishers. His sentence was below the typical minimum range for the crimes charged.

A Wikipedia entry on the Power Player describes the system and lists a number of the games included (which appear to be old NES titles). The WikiScanner utility indicates that the ESA edited the "legal issues" section of the Wikipedia entry in April, 2007.


Comments

Re: Game Pirate Gets Jail Time, $415K Fine; GP Has Exclusive

Gallagher can araç kiralama say all he wants, but I strongly rent a car believe it's due to his crappy leadership and E3 being a joke. ESA's Board of Directors need to find a way to get out rent a car of this horrid contract with this Bush cronie before there's no one left on the Board.

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

YES.

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.

Re: Game Pirate Gets Jail Time, $415K Fine; GP Has Exclusive

Nintendo is indeed selling SOME of these on the Virtual Console but not even close to all of them. While i agree in part to his piracy he was filling a market that Nintendo failed to recognize. Maybe someone doesnt want to buy a Wii. maybe they just want a console with 50 - 100 NES games on them?? maybe just maybe?

but no Nintendo wants everyone to buy the Wii. thats their excuse but thats not what copyright is supposed to protect. i am real sure that the makers of 10 yard fight were losing sleep because they were missing out on their $0.00025 worth because they didnt get royalties from this player. *smirk*

my question is, should Super Mario Bros. be banned from public domain forever? isnt 23 years enough time for Nintendo to have made their profits?

If you have followed the Steamboat Willie case regarding Mickey Mouse you can rest in your bed well at night knowing that the MOUSE will still be under copyright law, away from public domain after your great grandchildren are in nursing homes. That is beyond ridiculous dont you think??

Re: Game Pirate Gets Jail Time, $415K Fine; GP Has Exclusive

Frankly with the amount he made he should lose some if not all of his property, downloading/shearing is truly a victimless crime, but selling that data without a license takes money from the playing filed, I say after 10K in illicit sales you get treated as a drug seller, under 10K normal fines and such above fines+jail time + having your property confiscated.

I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/
(in need of a bad overhaul)


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: Game Pirate Gets Jail Time, $415K Fine; GP Has Exclusive

Oh my god.

I own one of those.

Re: Game Pirate Gets Jail Time, $415K Fine; GP Has Exclusive

This is the kind of a pirate the gaming industry SHOULD be going after. Always go after the source, not the consumers.

-- http://pixelantes.blogspot.com/

Re: Game Pirate Gets Jail Time, $415K Fine; GP Has Exclusive

i saw some crappy kiosk selling these in my local mall and made a complaint to the mall , but they refused to do anything about it.

about time this ass got caught.

Here are we -- and yonder yawns the universe.

Here are we -- and yonder yawns the universe.

Re: Game Pirate Gets Jail Time, $415K Fine; GP Has Exclusive

you could've called the police if it really irked ya :)

they'd HAVE to investigate it then, and the mall would be fined for having permitted the kiosk to be placed in their facility.

Re: Game Pirate Gets Jail Time, $415K Fine; GP Has Exclusive

...waits for Zippy...

-- teh moominz --

-- teh moominz --

Re: Game Pirate Gets Jail Time, $415K Fine; GP Has Exclusive

If Nintendo actually produced an official version of these, I'd probably buy one.  50 or so NES/SNES games on a classic controller that plugs into your TV would be great, especially to take on holiday with you.

Re: Game Pirate Gets Jail Time, $415K Fine; GP Has Exclusive

I saw a similar product at the mall about a year back, so I scooped up the controller and had a look at the game list.  Whoever dumped the ROMs forgot to take out some of the Japanese imports, particularly an animated strip poker game.  I was hoping to get the salesdude in extra bonus trouble but he came around the far side of his mid-mall kiosk, and I had to book it to get into the less-unsavoury territory of Contra.

---
The Mammon Industry

---
Fangamer

Re: Game Pirate Gets Jail Time, $415K Fine; GP Has Exclusive

I loved the old games, and i GLADLY pay for the ones i really liked when they come out to the Wii VC.

 

but as for these pirated bits, they used to sell'em on TV, and you can still find them peddled in some old toy shops and almost any county fair or flea market.

like i've said elsewhere about these pirated things, its like a local drug dealer, any kid with $5 can find the guy no prob, but the overpayed officials in the government just can't seem to see the guy standing right there under their noses.

 

perfect example was the Erie County Fair in NY State i went to 2 weeks ago.

theres military branches ALL OVER the thing for their recruiting stations, and the State troopers, yet theres a guy sitting in the "mall" tent selling these things with displays setup all around him, yet no one even looked twice at the infringement that those things were causing.

if i were only the ass i wish i were.

Re: Game Pirate Gets Jail Time, $415K Fine; GP Has Exclusive

theres military branches ALL OVER the thing for their recruiting stations, and the State troopers, yet theres a guy sitting in the "mall" tent selling these things with displays setup all around him, yet no one even looked twice at the infringement that those things were causing.

That's probably because it isn't their job. The military isn't in charge of enforcing civil laws. The State troopers, it's probably a matter of due process and what organization has jurisdiction.

-Gray17

-Gray17

Re: Game Pirate Gets Jail Time, $415K Fine; GP Has Exclusive

true, but you'd think SOMEONE out of those groups *cough*statetroopers*cough* would've known something and reported/investigated it.

granted military personell don't have that durastiction, but they have moreso a basic knowledge of what piracy looks like in many cases as per part of training when going overseas to other countries on the "what to watch out for" brief that we always got just prior to deployment/station in a new country.

those game sets and "101 games" carts were contraband if cought with'em trying to get back to the ship... yet amazingly enough i managed to smuggle an all black Desert Eagle mock light gun for the PS2 back on board (but it did trigger an alarm when they saw it in the x-ray thingy and they held me and 3 others for question... lol but in the end i talked'em into giving it back :p )

Re: Game Pirate Gets Jail Time, $415K Fine; GP Has Exclusive

Because that day, all the State Troopers gave a damn about was recruiting new members.  That's how it was through-out the whole fair! State Troopers were only there to recruit, not be on the look out for contraband and pirated consoles/games.

Notice how they were only around the Trooper building? Troopers don't care about little villages and towns. They care about big cities and the whole state.

Re: Game Pirate Gets Jail Time, $415K Fine; GP Has Exclusive

Wait, let me correct myself - if State Troopers even give a damn about that much!  I think they only care about the interstate roads, and that's only when quotas need to be met.  Whoops, MY BAD.  (I'm f**king angry, deal with it.)


Re: Game Pirate Gets Jail Time, $415K Fine; GP Has Exclusive

The thing is that a lot of these games are now being sold on the Wii Channel. So someone selling Nintendo software on equipment that looks like a Nintendo... yeah, this is what the laws were made for. And these things were fairly popular. I've seen them at two local malls, and during the lunch rush there is usually someone playing them.

Also, there are a lot of comments way off the base, from people who think that old games shouldn't be charged for (even though they are still being sold) to someone else who thinks it's fine for one company to sell another company's IP for less illegaly, simply because not everyone can afford the first companies price? Look, this is the literal definition of software piracy. I wish they would go after these people more then the file sharers that they try and cram into the definition of piracy. I don't condone the filesharers, but at least they aren't trying to make money off of someone elses stuff.

Re: Game Pirate Gets Jail Time, $415K Fine; GP Has Exclusive

I'm ashamed to say this, but I bought one of these a few years back. Worst 50 bucks I ever spent.

Re: Game Pirate Gets Jail Time, $415K Fine; GP Has Exclusive

I actually have something similar called a "Power Joy" which is basically a shoddy N64 controller with a light gun, a flimsy cartridge slot built into the back of it, and 10 different versions of Duck Hunt among other pirated NES titles. I got it as a Christmas present. (I don't think my mother realized it wasn't exactly legit :P)

Re: Game Pirate Gets Jail Time, $415K Fine; GP Has Exclusive

I actually lucked into one in a weird convienence store... for $20. Though the damn gun broke the day after I bought it. :(

Still nice to have as a collector's item, especially given the black market nature of it.

400 Episodes, TEN YEARS and counting: http://www.orangeloungeradio.com/ | Voice of Geeks Network - http://www.vognetwork.com

Re: Game Pirate Gets Jail Time, $415K Fine; GP Has Exclusive

If they went after these sorts of people more and less of those who just want to use a mod chip to play games from a different region, I would have more sympathy and support for the authorities.

Re: Game Pirate Gets Jail Time, $415K Fine; GP Has Exclusive

Nintendo should see that selling these makes money...they should produce them...

On the whole pirate front, you shouldn't pirate games to make money...even if they are not being sold anymore.


 

Sortableturnip's Law: As an online discussion of video game violence grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Jack Thompson approaches 1

Re: Game Pirate Gets Jail Time, $415K Fine; GP Has Exclusive

Nintendo is already milking that cow through the virtual console, and probably making more money off of it than any physical device would, as VC games have no associated per-unit production cost.

Re: Game Pirate Gets Jail Time, $415K Fine; GP Has Exclusive

 It's tapping into a different market though, they should go ahead and make a console that plays yee olde NES games and such.

Re: Game Pirate Gets Jail Time, $415K Fine; GP Has Exclusive

You can, it's called the FG Twin, and in addition to playing the NES cartages, it can play the SNES cartages as well as interchange with SNES controllers. There is also a version that plays Sega Genesis out there as well. I can say about 70% confidence that they're legal now as well. But they're not easy to find out in regular everyday brick and motar stores, I've noticed them at mostly at conventions or specialty stores here or there that sell retro gaming stuff. These are pretty good too now, since finding a NES that can work properly is starting to become a harder thing these days. The same company, Yobo (or something like that) also made a version that plays only NES cartrages, comes with a light gun so we can still play our beloved Duck Hunt if we feel like it. Nintendo could possibly make a console like that, they but they'll probebly make something that plays like the Atari Flashback (meaning you get the built in games only, no cartages).

I've seen those cheezy Power Player consoles (can these even be called consoles? They're more like a N64 controller with a 100-in-1 chip in them and the cable that connects to the console replaced with TV cables) everywhere in flea markets and some of the tourist traps here. I don't know why someone would want one of them other than to get an opprotunity to relive their older days of gaming, but in a super crappy way. I'd much rather spend my money on the actual consoles or at least a decent clone that can play the cartages. I've also seen similar ones to it that were clear design rip offs of the original Playstation, and other ones with the N64 controller without the side handle things.

Re: Game Pirate Gets Jail Time, $415K Fine; GP Has Exclusive

I saw these things on sale at a mall 2 Xmases ago, so Flynn, these things seemingly really do sell. I found it amazing that someone could sell something so blatantly pirate openly in a mall kiosk. The things were full of spelling errors for the game titles and even some that were just flat out wrong titles.

Re: Game Pirate Gets Jail Time, $415K Fine; GP Has Exclusive

That's a lot of time for crappy video game piracy... He broke the law sure, but Power Players? bleh, who was he planning on selling those to at Christmas?.. "I'm sorry Billy, they're out of Wiis, but here's a crappy controller/console thing". I collect retro games- Power Players make my head hurt...

Too bad though, this kind of press makes all of us look like "hackers" (or whatever damning word FOX feels like using).

Also, w00t first comm... ohhh :(

Black Vatican Comic. Updating 7 days a week! www.blackvatican.com

DrPeril.com

"Any sufficiently advanced [but easily implemented] technology is indistinguishable from magic."
  ~ Arthur C. Clarke

Re: Game Pirate Gets Jail Time, $415K Fine; GP Has Exclusive

Oakland, FL is in the metro Orlando area.  I've seen this junk for sale at local mall kiosks before. 

Re: Game Pirate Gets Jail Time, $415K Fine; GP Has Exclusive

People who can't afford 250$ consoles and $40 to $50 games?

Just because you could afford it doesn't mean everyone can. Some people have to spend all their money on important things like food, and even shelter.

Re: Game Pirate Gets Jail Time, $415K Fine; GP Has Exclusive

Didn't mean to offend, I'm a college kid so I get your point.
At the same time, the "hand held consoles" are usually of lesser quality in terms of duability, and don't offer more games, unless you buy one from Mr. McPiratePants here.
You can get a Nintendo for less than 20$ now, and games are usually 25cents to 1$ *unless it's rare*.
I've got about 25 consoles now, and the NES still gets the most use, those games were a good time, and after books, there is no way I can pickup new 60$ games, let alone a PS3...

Black Vatican Comic. Updating 7 days a week! www.blackvatican.com

DrPeril.com

"Any sufficiently advanced [but easily implemented] technology is indistinguishable from magic."
  ~ Arthur C. Clarke

Re: Game Pirate Gets Jail Time, $415K Fine; GP Has Exclusive

On one hand I'm glad that the pirate got busted, but on the other hand these games were made in the 80's, why are we being charged for them still?

Re: Game Pirate Gets Jail Time, $415K Fine; GP Has Exclusive

I agree with you on that one.  If it was from within the past 10 years, fine, but Jesus...  Who cares, let it go, if they wanted the games legally, they could get them for free online on other ways much easier, or they could pull out their old console if they still have one.

Re: Game Pirate Gets Jail Time, $415K Fine; GP Has Exclusive

Because Virtual Console shows us that people are still willing to pay for those games made in the 80s.

http://www.darkesword.com/

Re: Game Pirate Gets Jail Time, $415K Fine; GP Has Exclusive

"on the other hand these games were made in the 80's, why are we being charged for them still?"

Just because they're old, doesn't mean that the creator's lost the right to charge for them. If that was true, then every book written before 1990 would be free. Likewise for music.

-Gray17

-Gray17
 
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MaskedPixelanteNumber 3: Night Dive was brought to the attention of the public by a massive game recovery, and yet most of their released catalogue consists of games that other people did the hard work of getting re-released.04/17/2014 - 8:46pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 2: If Humongous Entertainment wanted their stuff on Steam, why didn't they talk to their parent company, which does have a number of games published on Steam?04/17/2014 - 8:45pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 1: When Night Dive spent the better part of a year teasing the return of true classics, having their big content dump be edutainment is kind of a kick in the stomach.04/17/2014 - 8:44pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.giantbomb.com/articles/jeff-gerstmann-heads-to-new-york-takes-questions/1100-4900/ He talks about the future games press and the games industry. It is worth your time even though it is a bit long, and stay for the QA. There are some good QA04/17/2014 - 5:28pm
IanCErm so they shouldn't sell edutainment at all? Why?04/17/2014 - 4:42pm
MaskedPixelanteNot that linkable, go onto Steam and there's stuff like Pajama Sam on the front-page, courtesy of Night Dive.04/17/2014 - 4:13pm
Andrew EisenOkay, again, please, please, PLEASE get in a habit of linking to whatever you're talking about.04/17/2014 - 4:05pm
MaskedPixelanteAnother round of Night Dive teasing and promising turns out to be stupid edutainment games. Thanks for wasting all our time, guys. See you never.04/17/2014 - 3:44pm
Matthew WilsonAgain the consequences were not only foreseeable, but very likely. anyone who understood supply demand curvs knew that was going to happen. SF has been a econ/trade hub for the last hundred years.04/17/2014 - 2:45pm
Andrew EisenMixedPixelante - Would you like to expand on that?04/17/2014 - 2:43pm
MaskedPixelanteWell, I am officially done with Night Dive Studios. Unless they can bring something worthwhile back, I'm never buying another game from them.04/17/2014 - 2:29pm
PHX Corphttp://www.msnbc.com/ronan-farrow/watch/video-games-continue-to-break-the-mold-229561923638 Ronan Farrow Daily on Video games breaking the mold04/17/2014 - 2:13pm
NeenekoAh yes, because by building something nice they were just asking for people to come push them out. Consequences are protested all the time when other people are implementing them.04/17/2014 - 2:06pm
Matthew Wilsonok than they should not protest when the consequences of that choice occur.04/17/2014 - 1:06pm
NeenekoIf people want tall buildings, plenty of other cities with them. Part of freedom and markets is communities deciding what they do and do not want built in their collective space.04/17/2014 - 12:55pm
Sora-ChanI realize that they have ways getting around it, but one reason might be due to earthquakes.04/17/2014 - 4:42am
Matthew WilsonSF is a tech/ economic/ trade center it should be mostly tail building. this whole problem is because of the lack of tail buildings. How would having tail apartment buildings destroy SF? having tail buildings has not runed other cities around the US/world04/16/2014 - 10:51pm
Matthew WilsonAgain the issue is you can not build upwards anywhere in SF at the moment, and no you would not. You would bring prices to where they should have been before the market distortion. those prices are not economic or socially healthy.04/16/2014 - 10:46pm
ZippyDSMleeYou still wind up pushing people out of the non high rise aeras but tis least damage you can do all things considered.04/16/2014 - 10:26pm
ZippyDSMleeANd by mindlessly building upward you make it like every place else hurting property prices,ect,ect. You'll have to slowly segment the region into aeras where you will never build upward then alow some aeras to build upward.04/16/2014 - 10:25pm
 

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