Neowin's own gets metion on

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Those of us that read his story when he joined Neowin know this already but still props to him...

That hadn?t occurred to Shane Pittman, a former high-ranking member of Razor 1911, an online game piracy ring.

?It didn?t seem like stealing,? he says. ?Physically, I couldn?t see an attachment to anyone.?

In late 2001, Pittman was on the job, working as an IT administrator in Hickory, N.C., when he got the call from the FBI. They were outside the house he shared with his wife, two kids and a cat ? and they had a warrant.

The resulting raid on Pittman?s house, which was part of a larger federal sting called Operation Buccaneer, netted seven computers and boxes upon boxes of burned CDs. Pittman pled guilty to conspiracy to commit copyright infringement and served 18 months in a federal prison.

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Those of us that read his story when he joined Neowin know this already but still props to him...

Shane did an interview with them for the article. I'll let him fill you in more if he so desires.

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I remember reading about the interview on his blog. The article was a good read.

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Good read! I sent an e-mail to the writer with a few points that I thought were missing in the article, though:

Great article! One aspect that is missing, though, is that the

developers and publishers of these games aren't doing their best to

meet the demands of those who download pirated software.

For console games, it's easy to go to your local Blockbuster and rent

a copy for $5 to see if you like the game before you spend upwards of

$60, after tax, on the retail version. However, no such rental service

exists for games due to the fear of piracy. This is understandable,

However, another option exists: downloadable demos for the games that

feature a small portion of the final product in order to allow

potential buyers to see if the game is worth purchasing. The sad fact

of the matter is that demos for PC games are far too rare these days,

and it's borderline insulting for the publishers of these titles to

expect us to fork over our money for a product that could very well be

terrible. Furthermore, because of the ease with which people can make

"images" (virtual copies of discs that reside on the hard drive and

can simulate the real thing), retailrs will not accept returns of

opened PC game software. So, if you buy a stinker, you're up a creek

without a paddle.

As a result, many gamers have to resort to piracy in order to sample a

game before they waste their money on it. I know of many instances

where someone has downloaded an illegal copy of a game (due to the

lack of a demo), enjoyed it, and then gone out and purchased the

retail version.

But why go out and purchase the retail version when it's just as easy

to play the pirated version? There are a few reasons, not the least of

which is that many gamers are aware of the fact that these games cost

money to make and show their support by purchasing games that warrant

purchase. Another is because it's nice to have the retail box,

packaging, and instructions, items that are nonexistant in a

downloaded, pirated version. Finally, as you mentioned, there is

always the possibility that the pirated version was "ripped" or

"cracked" incorrectly, possiblyl resulting in errors later within the

game, so there is a feeling of security in having a legal version that

can be completed (and updated with patches) without worry.

Another aspect that is missing all too often in articles concerning

game, music, and movie piracy is the inherent inaccuracy of industry

estimates of revenue lost (due to piracy). You briefly touch on this

in your article, but it's very important to note that one downloaded

game does not mean one missed sale, largely due to the reason above:

gamers want to sample a game before (potentially) wasting $50 on a


Finally, a third aspect that I didn't notice is that copy protection

itself leads people to piracy. Various forms of copy protection that

have been used by game publishers have lead to wrecked systems and

games that will not load correctly. This forces gamers who are trying

to be legitimate to go and download a version with the copy protection

removed, simply to play the game that they purchased.

In closing, it's important to note that piracy, like everything else,

is a hugely complex issue with an enormous number of sides to the

story. Contrary to what publishers might lead you to believe, pirates

are not always soulless theirs out to get for free what they'd

normally have to pay for. Many pirates want to do the right thing, but

are unable to because of the actions (or inaction) of publishers.

Still, at the same time, there are always going to be those who do

pirate simply because they don't want to pay for the title. Although

piracy will never truly be vanquished, what game publishers need to

do, first and foremost, is focus on the sale of pirated games, then

open a dialogue with the online gaming community to work together and

see what needs to be done to curb internet piracy.

Thank you for your time.

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Good read! I sent an e-mail to the writer with a few points that I thought were missing in the article, though:

excellent points

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aw, i never realized, lol, nice points hahah XD

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ok ... ppl... nice points on the e-mail

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Diffused Mind

This thread really is lulz.

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