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Fed Raids Software Pirates in 27 Cities

chrisd posted more than 13 years ago | from the no-mention-of-peg-legs-and-eye-patches dept.

News 1172

akiaki007 was among many who wrote in to say: "Check out this article on the New York Times (free reg, blah blah) site. The Feds have raided 27 cities in 21 states. Raid sites include MIT, UCLA, Purdue, Duke, UofO. Their main target was the group DrinkOrDie. 'This is a new frontier for crime,' Kenneth W. Dam, deputy secretary of the Treasury, said at a news briefing. 'The costs are enormous to both industry and consumers.' I better hide my burned Linux CD's. They might think it's some weird hacking tool."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Not here (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2690304)

Thank Goddess they didn't hit here, I'd be dead :)

Duck. (0, Offtopic)

Axe (11122) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690305)

Cold war was won by Russia - dictatorship is coming.

We are all doomed.

P.S. That was a joke. But it is disturbing indeed...

What some people won't do (0, Flamebait)

genkael (102983) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690307)

It's amazing what the government will do to protect M$.

Re:What some people won't do (3, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690355)

what the government will do to protect ALL fucking programmers. Just b/c some of the software being pirated was MS does not mean that's what they were protecting. Some people...

Hey, I am not saying that I have no copied programs in the past, hell probably just about 100% of people have. What I am saying is that it isn't right. Fucking programmers work their asses off writing code for people to use. They make their living off of this crap and people are stealing it.

I am not defending MS, in fact I only run Win98 on a laptop so that my GF can use a computer to do work while she is over here... I own that copy (it came w/the laptop). I don't use Windows products b/c I don't like their methods or their stability.

I am defending those people that are having their hardwork and money stolen and distributed...
Just b/c a good majority of the people here do not like MS doesn't mean that we should get pissed off when people are caught stealing programs. You should be pissed off that a good majority of people that read this site are in the same boat. Writing code that is bettering some part of the industry and that people are out there stealing the hardwork.

Get over yourselves. Piracy is illegal and tough if you get caught.

Thats not the point. (1, Troll)

HanzoSan (251665) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690393)

Piracy has absolutely NO effect on programmers salaries.

The only effect it has, is on Bill Gates Salary. You must be a programmer. What? You think they will pay you more if piracy didnt exsist? Hell no, You'll make the exact same amount of money that you make now. The people who will get paid more are, Steve, Bill, and upper level management. NOT YOU!!!!!

This issue has absolutely no effect on you at all since you dont get paid on a per sale of software basis anyway, you get paid to produce the code.

If you ever heard of open source philosophy, programming is a service, the code is not a product, but information. Information is to be shared. Service is to be sold.

Sell your service to Microsoft. If Microsoft wants to try to get rich off of the information your service produces and somenoe pirates from Microsoft, Microsoft gets paid a few less million, so what.

I dont see this effecting the information producers, just the people who try to sell water in the desert it effects.

Re:Thats not the point. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2690432)

"you get paid to produce the code" And where does that money get generated from? SALES. No money is made from illegally copied software. Stop talking out of your ass.

Re:Thats not the point. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2690437)

Some of us are programmers and owners (usually small companies). Some of us are programmers at companies where upper management is skilled technically. And some of us have profit sharing. If you think that piracy doesn't affect programmers, you are a moron, a bad programmer, and/or working for a shitty company.

I love how Slashdotters feel that the GPL is sacred and holy, yet have absolutely no fucking problem with stealing closed source software, pirating music, or violating DVD licenses. But I think that the hypocrisy of Malda and the /. luser crew is fairly well-known.

-- The_Messenger

Re:Thats not the point. (2, Interesting)

SquierStrat (42516) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690439)

That's not completely true.

If we don't continually buy more software...the programmers eventually lose their jobs. Their salaries aren't affected sure, but, hey if they don't have a job, what does it matter?

Re:Thats not the point. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2690470)

mod the parent to this one up, because the
grandparent is drunk. *boggle* :P

Re:Thats not the point. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2690459)

Piracy has absolutely NO effect on programmers salaries.

Nope, sorry, piracy has no DIRECT effect on programmers unless those programmers sell their product directly to the consumer instead of relying on a corporation or another department to handle sales. Indirectly, piracy does hurt, because if the employer loses money, he/she will have less/no money to pay the programmers.

Re:What some people won't do (1)

Ryan Amos (16972) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690415)

I wholeheartedly agree. What many people forget is that while Microsoft may be a cold, heartless, evil corporation (tm), the people who work there generally are very smart people with lots of clue. If profits suffer, MS is going to fire these people before they lower prices. Lots of work goes into these programs, and while the prices may be a bit steep, just remember that the software you're buying is helping put food on a fellow geek's dinner table.

Re:What some people won't do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2690447)

My god. This sounds so close to Bill Gates whiny complaining of people "stealing" from his Altair BASIC it's uncanny.

Mr. Gates was wrong then, as you are now. It's *not* stealing, it's NOT PIRACY, it's INFRIGEMENT. The two are worlds apart and *that* is was *you* need to get over.

Posted anonymously because the moderators here hate the truth.

Thank you.

More important problems... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2690309)

I wish that the Feds would raid Slashdot for the blatant ass piracy [geocities.com] committed by its sick, sad "editors!"

-- The_Messenger

Re:More important problems... (-1, Flamebait)

LinuxisforLosers (541721) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690441)

You got that right!
Slashdot/Slashdot users need(s) to be raided! Now watch as my message does not show up because the moderators think that differing opinions have no merit! It's magic!

Re:More important problems... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2690448)

heh, a geocities site ain't hard to /. is it

Re:More important problems... (2)

aka-ed (459608) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690463)

Even more, I wish the editors would NOTE PROPER SOURCES!!!!

This ain't no Times story; it came from Reuters, here it is no registration required. [reuters.com]

I was afraid of this (1)

Walter Wart (181556) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690311)

We saw this in Britain. We see it in the US. *sigh*

1st LISP sucks post.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2690312)


Re:1st LISP sucks post.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2690443)

how many times do I have to tell you, use prolog then!

Hello....... (-1, Offtopic)

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but it's OK if you do.

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Re:Hello....... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2690347)

fuck, well someone got it to +3 before the others with no sense of humor slammed it.

Good thing (1, Offtopic)

autocracy (192714) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690322)

Open source is great, and I love free software. But man, if you spend years working on something and sink it around a company, you want to get its value worth back. And I'll be the first to agree, Microsoft overcharges. And disabling software parts intentionaly is a load of crap. But this isn't the issue. The issue is being able to recieve something back for giving someone else the benefit of your risks taken and hard labor.

Programmers arnet billionares (1, Interesting)

HanzoSan (251665) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690369)

Programmers wont be bilionares even if their software makes billions. This isnt about programmers and hard work, its about CEO bill gates not having enough money for his new mansion

Some of them are... (1)

mbessey (304651) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690384)

Let's see:
1. Bill Gates
2. Paul Allen
hmm...anybody else? Is Microsoft the only company to make billionaires out of programmers?

Re:Good thing (3, Insightful)

reaper20 (23396) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690370)

Ok, what does software piracy have to do with OSS?

When people find out I don't pay for my software, they assume I am a pirate. OSS != free loader.

It's about free speech, its always been about free speech. I love free beer too, but I won't steal it.

Re:Good thing (4, Insightful)

zmooc (33175) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690442)

if you spend years working on something and sink it around a company

...and usually sell it to companies as well; they buy stuff when they need it. And hardly ever use illegal software (at least here in .nl that's my impression). Home-users on the contrary usually buy software when they buy a new computer (Windows, Office etc.) or when they finally have enough money (youth that buys games). Therefore I think the majority of the software that is pirated would not have been sold anyway and therefore the losses are no way near as large as projected; home-users use the software if they can get it illegaly but wouldn't buy it if they couldn't get it illegaly. And the type of home-user that really needs software is usually also the type that buys it. Except maybe for those that pirate Windows and Office, but I couldn't care less about Microsoft products and I think they're about the only exception to this.

At least, that's my impression...but who am I to speak about this when I only use free software?:P

Re:REDIRECT: Good thing (3, Insightful)

autocracy (192714) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690446)

Before I get flamed by the rest of the ignorant world that thinks I'm a trolling asshole:

It's not about CEOs getting millions of dollars a month because they happen to be at the top of the ladder. It's about the programmers themselves getting money for doing what they do during the day. For them it's a job, and your paying for what they create is how they get their food every damned day. This comment was in anticipation of the BS to come. And I've got the moderation on me to prove it.

Hmmm... (5, Funny)

EvlPenguin (168738) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690325)

There's this Thinkgeek add on the top of my page now that reads something like: "CDs, great for ... pirated software (don't worry, we won't tell)." I always knew they were up to no good.

Re:Hmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2690461)

yeah, and there's also an all your base are belong to us one.. I despair of thinkgeek, I really do.

Expensive schools.. (4, Funny)

Suppafly (179830) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690328)

Luckily they are only cracking down on people at expensive schools.. Should be quite a while before they get to state schools in the cornfields of illinois..

Just how far we've fallen... (0, Troll)

Bob_Robertson (454888) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690330)

Why isn't this investigation being run by the software producers who are being ripped off? As if the Fed.Gov has some kind of monopoly on investigation?

Oh well, that's my only gripe in this one. I don't like many "big software companies" business practices, but that doesn't mean I'm going to try to make money by stealing their stuff.

The GPL'd, BSD'd and other widely available software is easier to get and better anyway.

Who would want to pirate WinXP anyway?

I hope they release the patch to correct the WinXP licensing code, however, so that legitimate users can upgrade their machines without falling into the "You're using a different machine, I won't run" bug.


Re:Just how far we've fallen... (3, Interesting)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690351)

> Why isn't this investigation being run by the software producers who are being ripped off? As if the Fed.Gov has some kind of monopoly on investigation?


Uh, they do, dude. That's the difference between the cops and the BSA, namely you can tell the BSA goons to go fuck themselves.

Meantime, as you correctly point out, piracy is no longer needed to make your computer useful anyways.

(And for those of you wearing tinfoil hats, they're not coming after Joe Slashdotter for being the end-user of downloaded warez and mp3z, they're going after the d00dz who acquire the 0-day warez in the first place.)

Re:Just how far we've fallen... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2690418)

I've never been investigated by the Boy Scouts of America.

Re:Just how far we've fallen... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2690403)

More like, why the fuck are our tax dollars being spent to help Micro$loth raid and litigate against warez groups. If M$ wants to collect, they should pay the cost of this shit themselves--it ain't fair to those of us in the public who use OSS and don't give two shits about Microsoft's problems or their ability to impose their licenses on the idiots clueless enough to use their shitty software.

Re:Just how far we've fallen... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2690452)

And like why the fuck should my tax dollars go towards protecting you from being murdered? If someone murders your family you should have to pay for the investigation yourself. It isn't fair to people that don't like your family.

Grow up. The government's main purpose is to protect people's rights, including the right to property (which includes intellectual property). This is one of the few cases of the government legitimately enforcing the law.

You would think... (2, Insightful)

CokeBear (16811) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690331)

You would think after September 11th that they would have more important things to worry about. I've never heard of anyone dying (or even getting hurt) because of software piracy.

Re:You would think... (3, Funny)

baudbarf (451398) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690460)

I dunno about that, man, one time my warez CD burn buffer underran; so in frustration I broke the CD in half and cut my hand in the process...

Re:You would think... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2690468)

Yeah, and I've never heard of anyone dying (or even getting hurt) because of money laundering, pick pocketing, or credit card fraud. In case you haven't noticed, bodily harm isn't the criteria for making something a crime.

So by your logic the government should stop enforcing laws that don't pertain to terrorism??

Right (2, Funny)

Spackler (223562) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690333)

Like I would have paid for XP?

Re:Right (-1)

Anonymous Pancake (458864) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690454)

better hide your pirated copy.

The fbi is heading to your house right now (even if you don't live in the states) and they will destroy all your computers and execute your family within the next hour.

UofO (1)

Kymermosst (33885) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690334)

I didn't see/hear about it at all on local news or in the Eugene Register-Guard.... hmmm....

Re:UofO (1)

NKRyptiK (536269) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690464)

your right I didn't see anything on it either

The other perspective (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2690338)

Blah blah sharing blah blah Open Source blah blah screwing the customers blah blah blah

It's one thing to let your friend install Office on his computer, but this is ridiculous.

From DOJ (1)

oll (78871) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690340)

The news from DOJ [usdoj.gov] itself. DrinkOrDie is according to Yahoo [yahoo.com] famous for "claiming it released a copy of Microsoft Windows 95 two weeks before Microsoft began selling it."

Win95 (3, Insightful)

Bob_Robertson (454888) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690380)

Perfectly working copies of Win95 existed many months before Win95 was officially released. The most intellegent move MS ever made, enlisting thousands of independent voluntary beta testers. The testers (I worked in such a company at the time) were sent updated CD's to "try, and file bug reports against." We just had to promise to destroy the disk upon official release.

So, someone alters the banner that says "Beta Build 451", makes lots of copies, and says in triumph "Look At Me! I Have Win95 Early!"

Lots of thieves get caught because their egos get too big, they get sloppy thinking they can't be caught.


Re:From DOJ (0)

Tails (20769) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690455)

Actually, if memory serves me, SCUM released Win95 before DoD... It was acually labeled as the most recent Win95 beta build at the time, but shortly after its release that particilar beta version went gold without any additional modifications after its release. DoD then put out a release that was idential to the earlier SCUM release but it was labeled Win95 instead of beta.

More information is available at... (5, Funny)

David Ziegler (5030) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690341)

MSNBC [msnbc.com] and Wired [wired.com] . Seems that no one was arrested (in the US, at least - 5 people were in England). One customs agent said each computer has an average of 1-2 terabytes of software (Wired article). Wow.

Re:More information is available at... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2690450)

That customs agent probably doesn't know a terabyte from a dog bite.

Oh? So then they finished the terrorist problem? (5, Interesting)

JoeShmoe (90109) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690344)

In other words, this effort that went into this coordinated 27-city raid (which took probably tens of thousands of manhours to prepare and execture) could not have been spent elsewhere?

Because I thought we were still at war with terrorism. I thought we were still living with the constant threat of terrorism. Every one of these FBI agents chasing down CD images is one less agent knocking on doors, interviewing potential suspects.

I swear, if there are any attacks or terrorist incidents tomorrow, or the next week, or hell, any time the first question I'll be writing my congressman will be "Where was the FBI?"

I almost hope something does happen. What's it going to take for the FBI to learn their FIRST AND PRIMARY responsability is to safeguard the lives of American citizens...NOT the PROFITS of American corporations.

- JoeShmoe


Re:Oh? So then they finished the terrorist problem (1, Flamebait)

autocracy (192714) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690375)

Get over it. Incidents like that are things we weren't prepared for, and realistically couldn't have been. Terrorism is a buzzword in America now. We've had one horrible incident and the world comes crashing down for us. And you can damn well bet that most of the stuff pushed through Congress was somebody's already planned agenda that just happened to be aided by the events of 9/11. Besides, they ARE after terrorists now. To make warez, you have to hack them. Hackers are now terrorists, remember?

Re:Oh? So then they finished the terrorist problem (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2690388)

You're right. All police activity that doesn't help fight terrorism should cease immediately and all freed resources should be redirected towards the War on Terrorism. We should only focus on one thing at a time.

Look, just because you don't like a law doesn't mean you won't face the consequences if you break it. That's what civil disobedience is all about, taking absurd responsibility for an unjust law. What these idiots were doing was breaking the law hoping to never face the consequences.

Re:Oh? So then they finished the terrorist problem (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2690401)

Because I thought we were still at war with terrorism.

We are. Violating the DMCA is now an act of terrorism.

Re:Oh? So then they finished the terrorist problem (0, Troll)

NeuroKoan (12458) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690421)

Execpt for the fact that a majority of the Government is in place to protect the profits of American corporations. Don't forget, the real reason we are bombing the hell out of Afganistan is to get another foothold in the region that is so rich with oil. Sure, toppling the Taliban and capturing bin Laden will be icing on the cake, but the oil interests of American Corporations are the real goal.

How long before the next DoD release? (1)

Suicyco (88284) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690346)

I wonder how long it will take... Probably sometime today.. heh

ok.... (5, Insightful)

pcgamez (40751) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690348)

I like how they say "billions in software." I wonder how much companies would really get from any of those people. Most people who pirate software can't aford it in the first place. I mean, who can afford to spend 500 on office and another 500 on Adobe programs just for a semi-intermediate user.

NY Times are newbies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2690349)

The target of the raids was the "Warez" group, a loosely affiliated network of software-piracy gangs that duplicate and reproduce copyrighted software over the Internet.

The "Warez" group eh? Where can I get my membership card?

Go after the real criminals (1)

rarancib (153938) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690350)

Really, I can go earn some more money. What I can't do is go get some new rights and freedoms after market forces take them away from me.

But then again, people keep telling me that I have to get a life.

Any more information? (1)

Matt - Duke '05 (321176) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690353)

I actually read the article [go.com] on ABCNews.com [abcnews.com] not the article on the NY Times, but the ABC article seemed to be devoid of any useful information. I attend Duke, one of the schools that was issued a search warrant, but I haven't been able to find any relevant information on campus. Anyone know anything else? Who exactly got raided? What they did? Etc?

Responses here not surprising, unfortunately (3, Flamebait)

Brad Wilson (462844) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690354)

I'm not surprised by the responses we're seeing here. I just think it illustrates the unfortunate situation that a valuable concept like public domain or open source software has to be overly infested with thieves who believe that stealing software or pirating movies in the theaters "doesn't hurt anybody".

Say that when it's your own livelihood that's being stolen.

THE Warez Group? (3, Insightful)

tester13 (186772) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690357)

Members of Warez includes corporate executives, computer-network administrators and students at major universities, government workers and employees of technology and computer firms, the Customs Service said today.
When I hear reporting like this I really start to wonder if all the whole newspaper is this inaccurate. I'm sure almost everyone here has at one point used something that could be considered warez. Are we all part of this group? Where is my share of the profits? etc.

CmdrTaco where are you? (0, Offtopic)

smoondog (85133) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690359)

Hello... hello? Slashdot? Could this be the last slashdot story ever?


My Favorite Quote (5, Insightful)

SnatMandu (15204) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690364)

Philip Bond, the Commerce Department's under secretary for technological policy, said cyber-pirates steal an estimated $12 billion worth of technology and goods a year, according to the Business Software Alliance. American leadership in computers and software is "very much at stake" because of piracy, he said.

Right... Because people pirate software, American companies are going to loose out to foreign companies, since software produced overseas is much harder to pirate. Oh yeah, and all those countries have more clout that the US government does when it comes to getting foreign governments to cooperate with enforcements efforts. Yep, American Leadership in Software Development is definatley at stake. Uh-huh. Yep.

Re:My Favorite Quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2690426)

Yes, but to a less-informed reader (a tech-illiterate), they'd believe it. An only with their support can the government continue to crack down on those terrorists.

light and Sketchy on the details. (1)

BiggestPOS (139071) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690373)

This article is typical Muleshit. Call me when they Bust Razor or Fairlight... "Oh shit, my download just died"

Warez. (5, Interesting)

mindstrm (20013) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690376)

Firstly.. my take on warez.....
here's the thing.

First.. these groups get busted. Okay. Well.. they *are* knowingly spreading massive amounts of copyrighted material, which IS illegal... sure.. we all do it.. but they can't say 'Oh gee, I didn't know'.

Second.. it IS rediculous to claim 'billions' in losses because of them. I've seen my fair share of warez groups.. they hoard software so they can be bigger & better than the next guy. Almost nothing actually gets USED by anyone, even those downloading it.

And of all the pirated software I've seen used by most people.. only a fraction actually comes from the warez scene.. lots are just directly burned CDs.

Warez kiddies hoard software like other kids hoard baseball cards, or pokemon, or whatever the new craze is. It's about who can hoard more.. it's not even about theft.

Re:Warez. (5, Insightful)

Calle Ballz (238584) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690428)

Software companies have very good lawyers who work out the numbers. When they say that 11 billion was lost due to software piracy, they estimate those numbers by only figuring "how much would we have made if every kid in America had their very own MS Windows Lease?". They use these make believe 'losses' as a tax fraud.. come on? wouldn't you love an $11 billion tax write-off?

What is really sad is most of the software that is pirated is never worth the time it took to download it.

Re:Warez. (1)

LWolenczak (10527) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690466)

Its not just kiddies though, i've met many adults who hoard warez. One guy who had a state goverment job said that he had nothing better to do at work, than to collect a terabyte of warez.

Also, we all must remember that figures in most news articals are pulled out of somebody's ass.

The thing is, when reading that artical, I was reminded of Agent Vince Gill (i think thats the name...) in the movie Hackers.

Reflection (1)

adamy (78406) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690377)

My immediate response was that this was US (and other) Law enforcement going too far. However, I realized that even if the law is wrong, it is still the law. If people break it in a public way (bragging about wares) some one is going to complain the they law enforcement authorities will have to take action.

I can't say I am against software liscencing. I theory, I'd love to do all open source software, and believe that I will be able to get to that place in the near future. In the interim, I work for a company that barely breaks even, and is only pable to pay programmers based on software licensing fees. We know people pirate our software (we get support calls from them and just turn them down) but don't go overboard chasing them down.Hell, we don't go after them at all.

Game makers, I would have to think, are the most at risk. As competitive as that industry is, the difference between people who would have bought the games but didn't 'cause they could get them for free, may actually be the difference between making money on the game or not.

Anybody have any numbers on this? Is this realy a victemless crime, or does it make a real difference

Note the campus raid component. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2690382)

The numbers these groups throw around are bogus, and that needs to be repeated.

Note that these raids occured on a number of campuses.

Microsoft and law enforcement love to talk about the millions and billions lost to piracy.

When they bust down some students door and find things like Maya, 3DSMax, and Windows Datacenter Server they go, whoops, we're out $250,000.

But there is a fatel flaw in this argument. These are NOT lost sales. Students simply do not have the money to go out and buy a ton of high priced server software, though they may enjoy playing with it.

And the low priced stuff a campus almost always as a Campus Select Open agreement for.

The guy in China paying $5 for 200 programs worth $2 million? Same thing.

This needs to be repeated. These numbers are often bogus. Things like drugs have real street value, so that's more acceptable when they value drug busts, and they actually track street prices carefully. Microsoft numbers hype is a distortion of the system.

This reminds me of the $1 billion Microsoft offered to settle their private court cases. $800 million of it in their software. I doubt the marginal cost of supplying that software was $800 million (estimates are it would be around 20 or so) and they get a dream come true, take out apple their last competitor and drive their software into the education system to hook the next round of users.

Such a sad day... (1, Interesting)

8Complex (10701) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690383)

DoD had some of the best people working with them and some of the cleanest releases, as I remember from back in the day.

Good luck to the group, try to keep it going for the little people out there.

Before anyone flames for the supporting of piracy, ask yourself this... if I could download a trial of a program and decide that I need it, would I buy it? My answer is yes, however there is so much crap and badly-designed software out there that it's damn near impossible to find something good. I for one support the software that I find as useful if I can afford it (note: will not pay $600 for Photoshop when GiMP is right there with it).

Part of Life (5, Interesting)

Renraku (518261) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690386)

Get over it, Feds. Software piracy is a part of life. When you try to sell something that has no material component other than a CD which can pretty much be replicated at will, for outrageous prices and with EULA's so tight they make our balls ache, there's going to be piracy. Blame companies like Microsoft for setting their own prices. $300 for a piece of buggy, crashy software that we HAVE to buy to play many games, or use many popular aps is insane. Live on, pirates.

wow... (1)

TheRain (67313) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690390)

that's all I can say. there is something very wrong with this. the fact that it's being dealt with so harshly and so suddenly. it seems to be a trend in america recently.

Interesting... (5, Informative)

maniac11 (88495) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690394)

Here are some stats [bsa.org] from the Business Software Alliance [bsa.org] .

What I find interesting here is that while the total dollar losses are the highest in North America, the 'Piracy Rate' is the lowest. That means that the large majority of software users in the U.S. and Canada are properly licensed, law-abiding citizens.

Further, these stats say that piracy has gone down not up.

( Here's a current study [bsa.org] with information by US region. )

reasons to be honest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2690397)

The reason I buy my software, I don't want people stealing my work [they have before]. Coders, as a necessary evil, need to make a living.....K?

MIT is a haven for piracy (2, Offtopic)

bconway (63464) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690400)

I have a good deal of experience with MIT and their network, and for some reason the administration there thinks that any and all network activites should be allowed and are for some reason granted under free speech (as evidenced by, among other things, fuck-the-skull-of-jesus.mit.edu [mit.edu] ), including piracy of software, music, and movies. I'm really not sure what's going through their heads or why they consistently look the other way (join MIT, pay to pirate all you want and we'll protect you!), but I've SERIOUSLY seen less piracy in a number of Asian cities selling "questionable" goods on recorded media. What a disgrace.

huh? (1)

mother_superius (227373) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690402)

I thought Drink or Die was a Russian group.

Or is this something like Dmitri Sklyarov?

Any company that actualy died due to piracy? (2, Interesting)

Ryu2 (89645) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690404)

So, where are all the sob stories? Where are the stats of companies going out of business due to piracy?

This is not trolling, I'm honestly interested in seeing any evidence to back up these oft-repeated assertions.

A good thing? (5, Insightful)

jmd! (111669) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690405)

Wiping out warez can only be a good thing for Linux and Free/Open Software. If people actually have to pay $600*workstations for MSOffice, they won't. I only wish XP's activation wasn't so easy to circumvent.

A complete set of PC hardware goes for $250-$300 now... Windows XP + Office XP is $900. So you can have a new workstation for $300 running Linux, or, now that you can't pirate Microsoft's crap, the exact same machine, for $1200.

America's focus on colleges.. (1)

DigitalEntropy (146564) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690407)

I wonder why they're focusing on educational institutions for illegal software users? If the sheer number of such users are more readily collected in such places, it makes me wonder about the environment. It's true that certain elements only survive under certain conditions. Is necessity a factor? Is the outrageous price for tuition and books driving the minds of our youth to justify downloading a cracked version of Microsft Word to finish a 400-page college paper due yesterday?
<side thought>
Oh wait, nobody worth their weight in RAM uses Word, what was I thinking? Open Office [openoffice.org] is so much better.
</side thought>
Anyhow, continuing with my rant: it seems to me that there is a consPIRACY going on.

What the feds really wanted to say (2, Funny)

pjp6259 (142654) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690408)

Although he had to say:

This is not a sport, this is a crime," Mr. Bond said, adding that punishment could be "serious hard time" in prison.

What he really wanted to say was:

They're not going to some white collar resort prison. No, no, no! They're going to federal POUND ME IN THE ASS prison!"

gotta love it (1)

H1r0Pr0tag0n1st (449433) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690409)

I was in NY recently and saw no less than 20 guys standing on the street selling movies that were still in the theater. Or what about the guy at Fry's buying 50 DVD burners with cash, gee that's not suspicious. But use a hack put the same copy of XP on two computers at home.... now you'll be serving some real time!

This will be a TREND (4, Insightful)

Courageous (228506) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690411)

I've said before on Slashdot and in other venues that the Intellectual Property system in the United States is cracking. With the advent of distributed internet Piracy of the type Napster made popular, it is completely inevitable that the system mutate to account for the fact that the primary source of IP theft is no longer commercial bandits, but rather the users themselves.

What this ultimately means is more of what you've seen. You'll see Federal agents descending on ordinary users, people who are just "innocently" making copies of software and music and sharing it with their friends. This activity has been illegal forever, but for the most part readily overlooked by the glaring eye of justice, largely because justice had bigger fish to fry.

But that's changing. The distributed and widely connected nature of the internet is enabling ordinary users to become first class pirates, with the push of a button distributing many thousands of illegal copies to any and all takers. This is turning those users into IP public enemy number one.

There is simply no alternative. The law is going to CRUSH the violators, with a variety of test cases being used to set harsh examples.

From past reactions here on Slashdot, I know that the Slashdot community is not ready to hear this message. Please don't forget, I'm only a messenger. The outcome I'm seeing is easily forseeable. Consider it yourselves: will the government sit idly by and allow the intellectual property system in the U.S. to go titsup.com? Hell, no. It's not going to happen.

That being the case, what's going to happen:

Examples will be made.


Well, it's not ALL bad... (1)

GeorgieBoy (6120) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690414)

I better hide my burned Linux CD's. They might think it's some weird hacking tool."

For one, that snyde remark is off the deep end. Meant in fun, but too obviously you have a right to use the OS - however, Warez folks have gotten away with stealing software for a very long time, and stealing commericial software isn't a right or privilage, so I'm would hope to expect less negative response to this, like it's some civil liberty being taken away. I think the goal is to make people think twice about copying commercial software and then *distributing* it on the net. There will always be pirates, but the hope is to educate those that might take illegal commericial software re-distribution less seriously

Personally I use mostly free software on Linux and BSD, but the few commericial apps I actually find a need for (VMware, Music tools for Windows, Mac) I don't mind paying for. On a last note, I believe the argument that the price of software (such as Photoshop, etc) would go down if there was less privacy doesn't really hold water - it would just potentially make software companies richer.

The 'enemy' mindset.. (3, Insightful)

jabber (13196) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690416)

Considering that 'They' see things thus [adequacy.org] , how can anyone be surprised?

Give me a break (5, Insightful)

Snodgrass (446409) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690417)

An article is posted with the word 'Fed' in it and the Slashdot crowd is screaming the imminent doom and destruction of life as we know it.

They broke the law. People who break the law are punished. We're not talking about people's rights being violated, we're talking about groups who know that what they do is illegal and are getting caught.

If real life existed the way the /. crowd thinks it should be, we'd live in total anarchy.

Ummm Enviromental? (4, Funny)

hooded1 (89250) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690419)

From the DoJ site:
"Bandwidth, through the joint efforts of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), the Environmental Protection Agency Office of Inspector General (EPA-OIG), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), supervised by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Nevada, created a 'warez' site, controlled and monitored by the undercover operation, as a means of attracting predicated targets involved with the distribution of pirated software. "

I can see the FBI and the DoJ being involved in this operation, but why the hell was the enviromental protection agency have to do with this? The piracy of corprate software has nothing to do plants or air pollution.

I'm sure the EPA was actually secretly dissolved by the Bush administration and was replaced by a DoJ brute squad using the same name.

your kidding me! (3, Insightful)

pcgamez (40751) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690420)

So the US will spend millions on this investigation, and what to show for it? A few thousand in fines, and a few million more to jail a bunch of people for a few years. Wow, we have gotten so far ahead!

haha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2690423)

looks like razor finally figured out a way to eliminate the competition

Pirate Mentality (4, Funny)

Arandir (19206) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690424)

I have a friend who is big time into piracy. Every time we get together he wants to give me some new game he ripped. Then he emails me 5Meg cracks to the rips. Constantly. He whines if I won't take them.

So I offered to burn him a copy of Slackware. "Why would I want it?" he said, "It's already free. Duh!"

A typo? (1)

Shook (75517) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690430)

In the Wired article [wired.com] , Bob Kruger of the BSA [bsa.org] said that DrinkOrDie is "a notorious elite Internet pirate organization."

I always thought it was spelled "37337."

Re:A typo? (1)

tuxlove (316502) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690456)

I always thought it was spelled "37337."

Shouldn't that be "31337"?

Perhaps the real question that should be raised is (2)

Vicegrip (82853) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690438)

how much is Microsoft's monopoly costing the economy?

How many billion dollar software businesses do you know out there that market their main products solely for the Microsoft platform.

Answer: I can't think of one that Microsoft hasn't bought, buried, or screwed with some manner of breakware.

I'd pay for front row seats the day our protectors in the FBI raid Microsoft HQ because their "activites are costing the economy billions of dollars".

Stories like this make me mad not because I think piracy is harmless, but because its pretty clear to me that FBI and DOJ have their priorities dead wrong.

"insert angry epithetes and swearing here" yes yes.. I know this has been said but I want to vent.

Inept reporting (1)

xenocide2 (231786) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690444)

The target of the raids was the "Warez" group, a loosely affiliated network of software-piracy gangs that duplicate and reproduce copyrighted software over the Internet. Of special interest today was a Warez unit known as "DrinkOrDie," probably the oldest and best known in the Warez network, officials said, adding that DrinkOrDie members take special pride in having cracked and pirated the Windows 95 operating system three days before its release to the public.
So is this a gang or a company? "Warez unit," is that sort of like the electronics department at an illegal Montgomery Wards? I find it interesting though that the people the went after are notorious for doing something five years ago, now that everyone's forgotten. Almost like a 1984 thought police state; holding evidence in hand and waiting to arrest you until convienient. I wonder how far up the chain these guys really were to get busted like this. Ever see Menace or Razor911 in the news?

Its reports like this that make it so clear that there IS an undergroud, but its the most wide open, here-we-are-lookit-us underground I've ever known. Perhaps this is part of the digital divide those politicians are talking about... Only instead of haves and have-nots, its knows and know-nots.

Having said that, of course its illegal in this country, which makes it a Very Dumb thing to do within this country. "Is it right or not?"is the question though. It seems clear cut until you think about just how far supply and demand are bent through artificial scarcity. Myself, I can't tell you whether this is theft or improving the human condition. That is a personal answer.

Federal piracy and entrapment (4, Troll)

baudbarf (451398) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690445)

"Bandwidth, through the joint efforts of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), the Environmental Protection Agency Office of Inspector General (EPA-OIG), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), supervised by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Nevada, created a 'warez' site, controlled and monitored by the undercover operation, as a means of attracting predicated targets involved with the distribution of pirated software. The undercover 'warez' site has been accessed to transfer over 100,000 files, including over 12,000 separate software programs, movies and games."
So not only did they use entrapment; but they were themselves accessory to over 12,000 incidents of software piracy!!!

Re:Federal piracy and entrapment (2)

Courageous (228506) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690465)

Creating an opportunity does not constitute "entrapment". For "entrapment" to occur, one has to actually talk the victim into it.


Great, now when... (4, Insightful)

bani (467531) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690451)

... will the feds start prosecuting REAL crimes?

They're spending all their time going after easy petty thieves which requires almost zero investigative work and zero effort. Then they beat their chests and toot their horns like it's some major accomplishment.

My guess is that the feds will spend 10x as much time, effort, and money prosecuting these teens than they would ever spend prosecuting murderers, rapists, or armed robbers.

And I predict they will get stiffer sentences than violent criminals too...

Wouldnt this time, money, effort, and manpower be better put to use chasing terrorists? Sheesh.

Re:Great, now when... (1)

JediLuke (57867) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690462)

then they will probably get thrown in with some of these violent felons and be 'changed' into different people.

Misleading statements? (1)

illusion_2K (187951) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690453)

Philip Bond, the Commerce Department's under secretary for technological policy, said cyber-pirates steal an estimated $12 billion worth of technology and goods a year, according to the Business Software Alliance. American leadership in computers and software is "very much at stake" because of piracy, he said.

Is it just me, or does anyone else find statements like this incredibly misleading? Ever since I first got into computers (circa '93), warez has been pretty much a constant. Of course the BSA has also been making these kinds of unqualified statements for that long so it's not like anything has really changed.

It was also interesting to read how the NYT describes 'Warez' as a group of people ("Members of Warez..."). Don't they have any better writers in their technology section that they could have assigned this one to?

Piracy is good. (1)

HanzoSan (251665) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690458)

This is not flame bait, I seriously believe that Piracy is good and I support Piracy.

Now before you call the FBI on me, No i am not a pirate, I use linux.

I support OPEN source.

I support the right of free sharing of information.

Services should be sold, information should be free.

Transgaming sells its SERVICE. Redhat sells its SERIVCE. This is how it SHOULD be.

When you write software, you are providing a service, as a programmer and provider of a service, yes you should be paid for that service.

However when i buy your 1s and 0s and load it onto my computer, I expect and in my opinion have the RIGHT to OWN those 1s and 0s running through MY CPU!

The information is OWNED by me, once you produce it, and owned by everyone else. This is what Open source is all about.

People who complain that piracy hurts programmers are blind to the fact that even without piracy they'd be making the same amount of money, the only diffrence is bill and the company would be millions of dollars richer.

Your code does not directly pay your salary, they dont pay you for every copy of software sold, if they did the makers of MS windows would be as rich as bill gates.

You will always make 100k a year or below, you will never get rich like bill gates. So why the hell make bill gates richer off of your services than he already is?

Oh wait, you have shares in the company and want them to be successful, ok you may have shares, but why not let your company go out of business and put your shares into redhat or some company which is Open source?

This issue is going to be debated, i know it, so let me prepare myself to be listed as troll, flamebait, etc etc.

They need to come back to Reality (5, Insightful)

antis0c (133550) | more than 13 years ago | (#2690469)

My first rant, they constantly talk about how millions, even billions of dollars have been lost to Microsoft, Adobe, Macromedia, and more due to software piracy. Those numbers reflect if each and every person that stole a copy of that software or even used the copy of that software for 5 minutes and deleted it, would have actually purchased that software. They're working with phantom numbers and voodoo economics. I doubt even 1% of those people would have purchased that software. Software, like digital music, and anything else digital is data. It doesn't cost Microsoft money if I were to take their CD and copy it to another CD and give it to a friend. They haven't actually lost any money, especially if that friend weren't actually going to buy the product in the first place. I understand protecting intellectual property, and I am in no way saying what these people are doing is right, but what I'm saying is that you can't say the industry has lost billions of dollars to software pirates when half of the pirates and their users would have never purchased the software in the first place. Am I not allowed to purchase a lawnmower, mow my lawn, and allow my neighbor to use my lawn mower to mow his lawn?.. Hell all the people on my street use my lawn mower, in fact I could even charge for it, would anyone blink an eye at that? Would John Deere have the FBI do its dirty work and hunt me down for the sales it lost on all the people in my neighborhood?

Second rant, On par with most of the Slashdot posts, why the hell is the FBI worrying about this in the first place? Lets see last I remember we are all suppose to still be on a "high alert" state for possible terrorist attacks. Somehow though, the FBI has the time, manpower, and money to go hunt these so-called criminals. Yet still, we have absolutely NO LEADS ON WHO WAS DISTRIBUTING ANTHRAX? Seriously, whats the count, 5 or 6 people have died from anthrax in the mail thus far, and the FBI doesn't have a single clue? It's been almost 3 months! Someone needs to straighten out their priorities.
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