Oops! Game Piracy Crackdown Targets Non-Gamers

GamePolitics readers may recall an August report that several British game publishers were targeting alleged file-sharers with heavy-handed, RIAA-style enforcement tactics (see: UK Game Publishers Get Medieval on File-Sharers).

The BBC now reports that some innocent people have been caught up in the controversial anti-piracy campaign. Citing a story in Which? Computing, the BBC reports that a couple from Scotland, Gill and Ken Murdoch, were accused by Atari of file-sharing Race07. The Murdochs dispute the claim, which was apparently based on an analysis of IP addresses. From the BBC story:

In the case of the Murdochs, a letter was sent giving them the chance to pay £500 compensation or face a court case. Gill Murdoch and her husband, aged 54 and 66 respectively, told Which: "We do not have, and have never had, any computer game or sharing software. We did not even know what ‘peer to peer’ was until we received the letter."

…The case has now been dropped by Atari, although the firm is yet to comment on the reasons why. According to Michael Coyle, an intellectual property solicitor with law firm Lawdit, more and more people are being wrongly identified as file-sharers…

Most commonly problems arise when a pirate steals someone else’s network connection by "piggybacking" on their unsecured wireless network, he said.

The BBC report also mentions that, in an effort to confuse investigators, file-sharing group The Pirate Bay inserts random IP addresses into the list of users who are swapping files.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone


  1. 0
    Zero Beat says:

    Don’t forget, before we dropped the bombs, we sent planes overhead to drop flyers to warn residents that if they weren’t out of the city by the time we strike, they would die.

  2. 0
    Thomas McKenna says:

    Hiroshima and Nagasaki weren’t carpet bombings.  Also, I don’t recall the government ever saying whoops about it, seeing how the stated goal from the beginning of the nuclear bombins was to a) flex our new found nuclear powered weapons, and b) get Japan to agree to an unconditional surrender after showing said power. 

    The targets were also intentionally picked to impose civilian casualties while not maximizing them.  While the number of civilian lives lost in both those bombings combined is still less than the firebombings of Tokyo, Dresden, Berlin, etc, which were done with dozens if not hundreds of bombers and thousands of bombs, the nuclear bombings involved only 2 bombers, and 2 bombs.  The weight behind this move was enough to fully demoralize the Japanese government, and they called for an unconditional surrender.  Had they not surrendered, we would have done a land invasion of Japan, which would have drawn out the war for many more years and racked up an even larger number of casualties for both sides.

    It sucks, but it was the method which would have minimized casualties and brought an end to an already drawn out Pacific War.  This is why no one says "oops" about the atomic bomings, simply because they were used in such a way as to prevent an even greater bloodshed.  However, we do say "oops" about the lingering radiation fallout, as we didn’t really fully understand that part at the time.

  3. 0
    Tony says:

    Hmm.. let’s see.

    Pirate games.  Risk of getting sued.  Reward is you get the game.

    Don’t pirate games.  Risk of getting sued anyway.  No reward.

    Touch choice..


  4. 0
    Loudspeaker says:

    I was just thinking the same thing.  "Whoops" definitely doesn’t cover this debacle.

    "Volume helps to get a point across but sharp teeth are better."

  5. 0
    Spartan says:

    I hope these people file a counter suit for damages. After all what is good for the goose is always good for the gander. Maybe £1000 would cover it plus legal fees.


    "The most difficult pain a man can suffer is to have knowledge of much and power over little" - Herodotus

  6. 0
    Pixelantes Anonymous says:

    "If you carpet bomb a city, you can’t just go "woops" when civilians get vaporized."

    Of course you can. The Palestinians and Israelis do that all the time to each other (less so in recent times, of course). US did so in Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Vietnam (with napalm).


  7. 0
    hellfire7885 says:

    Uh huh.

    If you carpet bomb a city, you can’t just go "woops" when civilians get vaporized.

    Same applies to the Anti piracy people’s carpet bombing tactics.

  8. 0
    Noir-Okami says:

    That’s the problem with many of these laws. They do not care who gets targeted, nor do they pay attention to any programs. This is an example of such a time.

    Another example is theoretical:

    Let’s say we have Bob, a respectable doctor, who happens to look up adult porn sites. Certain sites are set up to use those who look at adult porn for an address to send out child porn.

    So the FBI or something raid his place thinking it was him.


    Yeah, heard that this type of thing has occured while listening to Kim Camando (spelling?).

Leave a Reply