ESA Happy to See Game Pirates Going to Jail

August 28, 2008 -

Game publishers lobbying group the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) today issued a press release high-fiving jail terms handed down to a pair of software pirates.

As GamePolitics reported recently, Kifah Maswadi of Florida received a 15-month sentence for peddling nearly $400,000 worth of Power Player handhelds. Each contained ROMs of dozens of old NES games.

The ESA is also pleased to see Kevin Fuchs of West Amherst, New York headng off to the Big House for 8 months of jail time followed by another 8 months of house arrest. Based on court records reviewed by GamePolitics, Fuchs wasn't in it for the money, but rather was part of the game warez scene in a big way.

We'll have more exclusive details on Fuchs' case in Friday's GP coverage.

ESA boss Michael Gallagher commented on the sentences handed down to Maswadi and Fuchs:

We commend the U.S. Department of Justice Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section, the U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the Western District of North Carolina and the Eastern District of Virginia and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for their work in bringing these criminals to justice. These decisions illustrate, once again, that game piracy will not be tolerated and the extent at which these criminals will be prosecuted.  The ESA and its members will continue to support law enforcement’s efforts to protect the intellectual property of our industry.

 


Comments

Re: ESA Happy to See Game Pirates Going to Jail

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

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: ESA Happy to See Game Pirates Going to Jail

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?

Re: ESA Happy to See Game Pirates Going to Jail

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?

Re: ESA Happy to See Game Pirates Going to Jail

shut the hell up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Re: ESA Happy to See Game Pirates Going to Jail

Uh-oh....Does this mean I should stop downloading music? Is that illegal? Like from Limewire?

Re: ESA Happy to See Game Pirates Going to Jail

How does anyone lose money from roms of old NES games? Copyright should last 5 years, not 70 or how long it is.

Re: ESA Happy to See Game Pirates Going to Jail

Always good to see pirates dealt with.

Though, I'd just like to say, you know precisely how desperate the ESA are for good press when they start leaping around at 5 pirates being jailed, only a couple of million to go....

Maybe if they stopped dealing with the fires and dealt with the source....

Re: ESA Happy to See Game Pirates Going to Jail

God, just imagine what's going to happen to him in prison with a name like "Kevin Fuchs".

Re: ESA Happy to See Game Pirates Going to Jail

There is a difference between pirating games and pirating games and then using it to make money.  I've seen those power player packages in my local civic center and I've also seen people selling DVDs full of ROMS as well.  I personally don't see anything wrong with ROMs, Emulators until they actually begin making profit from it.  They didn't make the games, they didn't make the consoles so why should they make any money?  For putting ROMS onto DVDs or controllers with the designs you've ripped from older famous consoles?  Give me a break.  I'm honestly glad Kifah Maswadi is going to jail.

As far as the other guy, I'll have to wait on that.  I just know how shady it was dealing with individuals that actually SELL roms.  I mean they actually admitted to pretty much just downloadng roms and throwing them on a disk 'so you don't have to download them yourself.'  Kind of confusing business model if you ask me.  I mean technically they are stealing others work and selling it even though you could download it yourself for no charge.  I suppose it is more of a service than a product.  I hope Kifah has a terrible experience behind bars.

Re: ESA Happy to See Game Pirates Going to Jail

As long as they are not attacking people who are not making profit off of this stuff.  I definitely see how that is and should be illegal on every level, but doing it where it is just share and no profit i expect only a slap on the wrist illegal.

Re: ESA Happy to See Game Pirates Going to Jail

I'm more concerned about the guy that's getting 16 months, so it's split between jail and house arrest but there are criminals out there guilty of crimes that are A LOT more serious that don't even get the eight months in prison.

Re: ESA Happy to See Game Pirates Going to Jail

Part of the problem is ludicrously long copyright terms for computer software.

Given the useful shelf-life of these products, and the fact that almost all money on them is made within the first year or two, copyrights should expire after ten years at the most. Because they don't, a great deal of excellent older software is simply being lost forever.

Remember, the whole point of copyright is to promote creativity by giving creators the ability to profit from their work - but then to put that material ultimately in the public domain where other creators can build from it. With 10 year terms, they could still make all that profit, but they'd be able to build on what others have done years before as well. Note: trademarks could still survive for longer, even if you reduced copyright terms on software.

Much of the problem with the copyright law is things like the copyright term extension legislation that Congress gave Disney after it bought them off. That sort of thing is rife in the US. And, ultimately, creativity suffers as a result.

Re: ESA Happy to See Game Pirates Going to Jail

I was also wondering about Fan Fiction and also Fan Art. Like I have made many stories based on Videogame characters on the internet and never even made a single amount of proffit because they were only just fan based material only found on the net. I always say that these characters in my story are owned by Nintendo and ect, but I just sure hope that the Industry does not start to crack down hard on their fans. Get tough on pirates, but not on dedicated fans.

Re: ESA Happy to See Game Pirates Going to Jail

That's becoming less true with Virtual Console, XBLA, PSN, and digital distribution

Re: ESA Happy to See Game Pirates Going to Jail

The Power Play guy I can understand. Not only did he profit off otehr people's IP, he also released a crappy product. That should net him life in prison, or a week with John Bruce.

The warez guy, I am glad that he got such a small sentence. It is wrong to deal in that stuff, but you have to admit, warez is a major grey area. There are a lot of games and other software that someone out there owns the copyright on, that are no longer in circulation. Many of it is because the people controlling the copyright are not bothered with releasing it. Others, the people who control the copyright don't know they own it so don't do anything with it. A lot of these warez people just want to keep these games and software from falling into obscurity.

There really is no excuse these days to not release any games you know you have copyright to. The VC is the perfect way to release old IPs. Companies for other game consoles not represented in the VC could release an official emulator and resell their games for it.

BUt laziness is the way of current game business.

E. Zachary Knight
http://www.editorialgames.com
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/okceca
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1325674091

Re: ESA Happy to See Game Pirates Going to Jail

Good for the ESA to proudly send the pirates to jail.  Now watch them piss themselves and run away when video games get attacked by the media again.

Re: ESA Happy to See Game Pirates Going to Jail

 agreed.   file a civil suit and use the money to buy some balls 

Re: ESA Happy to See Game Pirates Going to Jail

It is all well and good for the Videogame Industry to get cracking down hard on people who make money off their IP's like those Pirates, but what about all the News and Media stations getting money from sensationalising videogames like FOXNews and the Daily Mail?

These people are doing more harm to the Videogame Industry's reputation than the Pirates since the News Media make allot of money out of lying to the public about Videogames containing rape and that.

The smear of Mass Effect is just one example

I know that this also has Freedom of Speech issues but also, souldn't the mainsteam media also take responsibility for serious allegations against the Videogame Industry when they are proven incorrect too?

Just a thought though.

Re: ESA Happy to See Game Pirates Going to Jail

The video game industry actually has some pretty good grounds for libel/slander based suit. I would love for them to go after these media outlets.

E. Zachary Knight
http://www.editorialgames.com
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/okceca
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1325674091

Re: ESA Happy to See Game Pirates Going to Jail

Yeah, I was thinking of that but did not know what their law suit would stand as.

I was thinking not for things like violence and gore or scoring points for shooting and that, but I was thinking for more serious allegations like Expliccit Sex scenes and Rape in games where there is certainly nothing there in a M rated game, much less a T rated game too.

If politicians and newspapers and news media and family groups and (you know who) started saying things like there was at least 3 times this year from various government members in the US, UK and Australia. (I am looking at you Barnaby Joice and Keith Vaz) if people are going to say anything like that about videogames or a certain videogame that is on the market without them even playing it,

well I guess the Game Developers and Publishers and the Big 3 need to really get their lawyers onto the case and try to crack down on sensationalism while they are trying to build a strong confidence in the comunity and also awareness of the Videogame Classification ratings.

So yeah, these are the things I feel personally that the ECA need to really start get cracking down and talk with the Videogame Publishers that in the next year and also years down the track the sensationalism is going to get worse as our industry is getting bigger and bigger, there will always be people like the Jack Thompsons and the like trying to bash us when they never really ever understand videogames in the first place,

the scary thing is that they know how to make the ordinary miss-informed person all worked up over sensationalism.

Re: ESA Happy to See Game Pirates Going to Jail

 

I can understand them going after this guy for profiting off old ROMs.  The ESA should not care about people playing old roms as long as they are not profiting from selling "powerplay" systems or roms. 

Re: ESA Happy to See Game Pirates Going to Jail

Ok, I have no problem with this, on the condition that they're jailing pirates who are making a profit off their trade, andn ot the person hwo simply owns a mod chip so they can playi mported games.

Re: ESA Happy to See Game Pirates Going to Jail

Fucking cowards putting their customers in prison. File sharing is a natural evolution of media, and to try and regulate who can and who cannot view certain media is crimal, and those who enforce that ideal should be the ones placed in prisons.

 

Fucking disgusting. I do not believe in piracy for personal profit, but downloading a song, movie or game should not be a crime, the same as me lending one of my games to a friend should not be a crime.

 

 

Quality media will sell shitloads, and will be pirated shitloads. Shit media will be bought by few, and pirated by few. If a company is creating quality content, they shouldn't have anything to worry about.

Re: ESA Happy to See Game Pirates Going to Jail

By their very definition, pirates are not customers.  In this case the guy was selling something he had stolen for great profit.  In this case (unlike the modchip fiasco) I utterly agree with the ESA.

Re: ESA Happy to See Game Pirates Going to Jail

Their customers?  What are you talking about?  The one guy sold pirated software and hardware for profit.  His whole business was selling unauthorized, illegal game systems, and the other guy was big into the warez scene, meaning he pirated stuff and probably distro'd it.  That's illegal, no matter how you slice it.  Don't try to dress it up or justify it.  These people weren't customers, they were infringers.

Agreed

In a society where the medium is readily available and accessible to people at an affordable cost, pirating video games is wrong.  Although from a legal standpoint, I don't really see how they can get prison time since it wasn't theft of any actual item in monetary sense, but possible money. I don't agree with their actions, but wonder how that would work out from a legal stand point.

I am one of the few that actually believes that piracy should remain in existance in impoverished nations, as it is the only way most people can actually play video games with a hefty price tag. The people in the Philippines shouldn't be denied the ability to play video games simply because they price them out of their league due to economic differences. A $60 game is more than a month's salary to many of the populace over there.

 
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