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Warez leader gets 18 months

By ---agissi--- · 8 replies
Jun 8, 2003
  1. JUNE 09, 2003

    AN ALLEGED leader of an online software piracy group known as Razor1911 has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for conspiracy to violate copyright laws.

    The US Justice Department said in a statement that Shane Pitman, 31, North Carolina, was sentenced by US federal Judge James Cacheris in Alexandria, Virginia.
    Pitman, known by his screen nickname "Pitbull," was a leader of the underground internet piracy community or "warez scene" and was accused of piracy of computer and console game software.

    "The group prided itself on cracking and illegally distributing the most popular software games, usually before their public release date, including such games as Quake, Red Alert, Terminal Velocity, and Warcraft II and III," the Justice Department said.

    "Shane Pitman's conviction and sentence should send a strong message to organised internet gangs like Razor1911 that stealing and illegally distributing game software online is not a game," said US Attorney Paul McNulty.

    "If other software pirates still entertain the false belief that the internet offers anonymity for this type of copyright infringement, they do so at their own peril."

    Pitman was among more than 40 individuals targeted worldwide by Operation Buccaneer, a 14-month undercover investigation by a variety of law enforcement agencies. Other groups targeted were known as DrinkOrDie, RiSC, RiSCISO, Request To Send (RTS), ShadowRealm (SRM), We Love Warez (WLW), and POPZ.

    The statement said Pitman is the 22nd person convicted to date on felony copyright infringement charges as a result of Operation Buccaneer.


    Damn thats gotta suck! :blackeye:
  2. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,512   +65

    I'm shocked... I figured this would be punished by death or something equivolcal. :)

    The government is especially hard on piracy and computer crims in general.
  3. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 4,909   +8

    Like I've said before, Judges and Juries DO NOT UNDERSTAND COMPUTER CRIMES, and if you actually make it to a trial at all, you will be treated like a terrorist and sentenced accordingly.

    What can one do about this - DON'T DO THE CRIME AND YOU WON'T HAVE TO DO THE TIME!!!
  4. aoj145

    aoj145 TS Rookie Posts: 81

    Yeah, it's really not worth the risk anymore. I think we were so used to 'hackers' and 'warez' getting away with copyright infringement for so long and reaping the benefits from their work. Now there seems to be a trend of making examples of individuals that are found to break the rules.

    It's going to get to the point where no one is going to be safe downloading copyrighted materials without paying for them from anyone.

    Look at DirectTV where it used to be only the guys selling thousands of smartcards got busted. DirectTV now sends summons and actually sues private citizens who happened to buy smartcard readers with the 'intent' to pirate DirectTV's signal.

    Hmmmm, $39.99/mo. for DirectTV or a $4,500 court settlement.

    I won't be suprised over the next few years if you see more and more people that are found downloading songs and files over P2P clients like BitTorrent and Kazaa getting traced and being treated in a similar faction.

    I can easily see Doom III costing $49.99 at EB or else $4,500 in court fees.

    I think Phantasm summed it up very well - Don't do the crime and you won't have to do the time.

    Save up, buck up and pay for software. Free is great, but so is not getting a cell mate who thinks your butt looks nice in your prison jumpsuit. :)
  5. DigitAlex

    DigitAlex TechSpot Paladin Posts: 512

    Yes, but they also have to adjust some software prizes accordingly to the quality of that software. And the same for media, BTW.
  6. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 4,909   +8

    These are no longer the "good old days" where you heard about American hackers breaking into the Pentagon computer system and selling the secrets to the Russians, etc, or where we had films like War Games.

    Nowadays, we've got the RIAA suing students for distributing mp3s and people who have hacked their cable modems gettting busted by the FBI!

    Today, we have judges and Juries who just enough about computer to be frightened by computer crime, but not enough to know that its not the same league as some other serious crimes.

    You break into a site, and deface it. Or steal credit card numbers by eavesdropping some https communications - if you can. And then you will get caught. And then you will go to jail. And you will not collect £200 on your way there.

    People convicted of computer crimes get stupid sentences. Just look at what happenend to Kevin Mitnick.

    Its not worth it, and even if any of you lamerz could really crack (which I doubt) then please don't bother. You will not be posting to Techspot any more from a jail cell.
  7. XtR-X

    XtR-X TS Rookie Posts: 829

    Damn. I think I might as well change how I get software now a days. Man I guess they do treat you like a terrorist. On the other hand, if I didn't live in the US, I'd do it 24/7.
  8. BadEC13

    BadEC13 TS Rookie

    yes good points there but also the government cannot trace every single person which who has stolen or is stealing copyrighted material off the internet, nor does it has the money to support the amount of people they would have to hire and technology they would have to use to track and trace everyone that steals these things.
  9. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,645

    Nor would that be a worthwhile endeavor. Which is optimal: catching a terrorist thats plotting to kill 5,000 Americans or some 17 year old downloading games and music off KaZaA? C'mon, get realistic here...if the government could do it they should, but they don't have the resources or the manpower.
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