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19 Charged in Alleged Software Piracy Plot

samzenpus posted more than 8 years ago | from the they-don't-look-like-pirates dept.

The Internet 311

Brainsur writes " A federal grand jury has indicted 19 people on charges they used the Internet to pirate more than $6.5 million worth of copyrighted computer software, games and movies.The indictment outlines an alleged plot by defendants from nine states, Australia and Barbados to illegally distribute newly released titles, including movies like "The Incredibles" and "The Aviator," and games like "Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005."

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1 charged (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14622130)

in First post plot!

Its just a .... (5, Insightful)

scenestar (828656) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622131)

A warez group.

Not some super secret terrorist organisation out to destroy america's economy.


RLiegh (247921) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622147)

we don't make that distinction.


PunkOfLinux (870955) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622152)

because those copies of Battlefield two are OBVIOUSLY teaching the terrorists how to ... terrorize... more effectively


RLiegh (247921) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622203)

By depriving American Corporations of their extra profits, you're monkey-wrenching the economy so Bin Lauden doesn't have to!


TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622393)

to expand on your statement, it has been suggested/shown that some terrorist organizations recieve funds as a result of the sale of pirated goods.

The argument goes that the release groups are providing material for the people selling pirated goods on the street.

It's much harder to get rid of the street corner dvd guy, compared to killing a release group.

IMHO, in the long term, neither problem has a solution. One group does it for free fun, the other for money. You could wipe out the physical pirates by lowering prices to the point that they can't continue to operate, but that'll never happen.


Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14622484)

"it has been suggested/shown that some terrorist organizations recieve funds as a result of the sale of pirated goods."

by who, exactly, the BSa? the bush administration? bill o'riley?


MttJocy (873799) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622534)

I personally don't know where they get their idea that terrorists make their income from piracy, I might be more inclined to believe such a comment made about drugs myself than piracy, I would have thought the former was an alot more lucretive faster than piracy personally.

I guess that comment is just another scare tactic, I suppose they think that claiming links to terrorism may stop people buying pirate software.


thelexx (237096) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622665)

Should have read:

In Capitalist America, the economy destroys you!

Re:Its just a .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14622172)

Aye Matey! We're a super secret terrorist organisation out to destroy america's economy!!

Re:Its just a .... (5, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622304)

One could easily argue that the unfettered multi-lettered organizations of various nationalities that are going after these (ahem) "pirates" are guilty of a degree of terrorism themselves. Of course, they would use words such as "justice" or "deterrence", but that's really a matter of perspective. Oh sure, we aren't talking explosives or mass-murder here ... but we are talking about private organizations conscripting law-enforcement agencies into putting the fear of God (or Allah, or whatever deity you choose) into groups of people whose crime really doesn't warrant the attention it is receiving. My own take is that it is not the responsibility of the taxpayer to support their businesses, or to protect their oh-so-valuable "intellectual property". If the media companies want to spend their money taking people to court for their alleged improprieties that's one thing ... but misusing police resources this way is just unacceptable. Personally, I'd rather see my tax dollars going to deal with somewhat more serious issues. Certainly there are more than enough of those to go around.

Re:Its just a .... (4, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622422)

The main charge is criminal conspiracy.

It doesn't matter if you criminally conspire to evade taxes, to murder someone or to infringe on copyrights.

Conspiring to break laws is a crime and the police should deal with them as criminals.

Re:Its just a .... (2, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622502)

Perhaps ... but let's face facts, this wouldn't be happening if certain powerful interests hadn't spent some money on certain obliging lawmakers. And I'm sure that, if one looks around, one can find conspiricies far more deserving of law enforcement attention. That is really my problem with this: that mass quantities of government resources can be spent to serve corporate interests. Cops have better things to do.

Re:Its just a .... (3, Insightful)

monkeydo (173558) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622358)

What's your point? They (allegedly) broke the law didn't they? They knew what they were doing was illegal, and they did it anyway. They should be prosecuted. This isn't civil disobedience, since that is done publicly. This group apparantly took elaborate measures to conceal their activities.

Re:Its just a .... (2, Insightful)

strider44 (650833) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622573)

So if you and some friends jaywalk across the road then lie about it if a police asks you if you jaywalked, not only have you broken the law but you also took measures to conceal your activities! You should go to gaol for a few years for such a horrific crime! You knew that jaywalking is illegal!

I've got news for you mate, just because it's law doesn't mean it's *right*, and just because a kid broke the law doesn't mean you should ruin his life for it.

Re:Its just a .... (2, Insightful)

monkeydo (173558) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622610)

No, just because something is against the law, does not mean that it is "wrong", but it does mean that it is illegal. Many people get tickets for jaywalking, the fact that they don't confess notwithstanding.

I still have no idea what the OP's point is, and now I have no idea what your point is, or how they relate to one another.

Re:Its just a .... (1)

rob_squared (821479) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622367)

They're just trying to blur the distinction between the two, once you do that, its easy to blur it furthur.

Seriousy, its mostly about getting in the news and saying, "see what happens when you pirate?!?!" Its an attempt to stop the unstoppable. That's why every now and then you'll see a huge drug bust on the news. It doesn't actually stop drug trafficing, it makes it look like the people in government doing the legwork are being productive/useful.

Re:Its just a .... (1)

bigpicture (939772) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622486)

Come on now, I try not to be jaded or cynical, but whose interests do you think the government represents, the voting citizens or big business? The people whom they have to steal the money from, or the ones who offer them graft? The interests of the people or self interests?

In the most recent demonstration of that, who was polishing up the rough spots from their wikipedia bios?

Re:Its just a .... (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622735)

But this warez group is infringing on copyrights, so it is breaking the law. What is your point?

6.5 million? (4, Interesting)

SirTalon42 (751509) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622134)

What is that 6.5 million based on? Is that the retail price of the product normally? Or is it that $250,000 per infringement copyright thing?

Re:6.5 million? (1)

MachDelta (704883) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622177)

Considering they've been around since '93, it'd be a little dissapointing if it 250k per. That'd mean they'd pirated um... about two things a year. Im thinkin they're talkin retail prices, or something close to.

Re:6.5 million? (1)

afaik_ianal (918433) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622182)

I'm pretty sure that would be retail price of the material they allegedly pirated.

At $250k a pop, they would only need to pirate 26 things to hit that mark otherwise. Given they are "from nine states, Australia and Barbados", that seems a pretty small figure.

That's the amount... (5, Funny)

IAAP (937607) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622205)

that these pirates can hold in their ships. What they don't say is if that's per ship or per fleet. I don't know. If you don't stop them, they'll get bigger and faster ships, and who knows how much software they can pirate then!

Re:That's the amount... (2, Funny)

tutori (821667) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622759)

Is anyone else concerned with the effect this could have on global warming? []

Re:6.5 million? (1)

MissionAccomplished (951344) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622208)

I have yet to come up with their determination of 6.5 million, but if we followed the maximum per violation fine of $250,000, there would only be 26 offenses; hardly worth pursuing in the real world. I would guess that the 6.5 million figure was based on lost revenue based on the actual retail value of each title found to have been distributed. But then again, who can believe these lost 'revenue' figures that are often stated?

Re:6.5 million? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14622289)

from another article on the subject:

As many as 60 members of the group, many of whom work in the computer field and live across the United States, tapped into their tightly controlled computer servers loaded with stolen merchandise that would fill 23,000 compact discs and was valued at $6.5 million, prosecutors said. Initially, the stolen software was sent to servers set up overseas.

See Reuters Article (1)

dch24 (904899) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622312)

US accuses cyber-piracy group of 'massive' theft [] tells a little more:

As many as 60 members of the group, many of whom work in the computer field and live across the United States, tapped into their tightly controlled computer servers loaded with stolen merchandise that would fill 23,000 compact discs and was valued at $6.5 million, prosecutors said. Initially, the stolen software was sent to servers set up overseas.

23,000 CD's! Nooooooo! That's 14 x 1 TB [] drives.

So of the 60 members, how many had all 14 TB at home? After all, that's enough illegal mp3's to keep me happy in prison until 2034, loooong after five years plus three years maximum sentence.

Re:See Reuters Article (1)

monkeydo (173558) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622379)

So of the 60 members, how many had all 14 TB at home?

It doesn't matter. As co-conspirators, they are liable for the acts of all members of the conspiracy. If I say, let's start collecting warez, we set up a bare server, and then you stock it full of pirated software, I'm just as guilty as you, even if I never touch it again.

Re:See Reuters Article (2, Informative)

Pixelmixer (907566) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622748)

I think 14 TB each calculation might be a bit off...

they said 23,000 CD's, which are 700 Mb each... 23,000 * 700 = 16,100,000 Mb

Divided among all 60 people... 16,100,000 / 60 = 268,333.33

all being converted into Mb/Gb or whatever it ends up being around 262 gigabytes each person.... Personally, I know more than 10 people that have 200 Gb hard drives that arent even in the computer field.

one IT person could grab a couple 200 GB hard drives or a 400GB Hard drive and easily rack up 260+ GB in music/whatever...

One thing i find interesting is... did all 60 people download different music? if so... thats a crap load of music... I'm betting that at least 40% of all the music downloaded were duplicates of the same songs

my point altogether is, its not hard for people to get less than 300 GB each.. now, im sure those people didnt ALL have that much, some probably had alot more, but averaged out, its entirely possible.

Re:See Reuters Article (1)

Pixelmixer (907566) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622763)

---expanding.... even if the number of people wasnt 60, but was 19 as the /. article says, it would still be less than 827 GB each... again, still not completely impossible. of course they would have to be pretty dedicated downloaders ;p

Re:6.5 million? (3, Informative)

lostboy2 (194153) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622460)

What is that 6.5 million based on? Is that the retail price of the product normally?

I'm guessing that it's the "value" of the merchandise, as reported by the companies who made it.

As I understand it, companies over-inflate their products' value so it looks like they're giving you a great discount. That's why the Ronco Six Star Plus Cutlery Set [] has an $850 value but is yours for only $39.95 (plus Shipping and Handling), and why all that crap they had on Wheel of Fortune [] cost so much.

STATE OF THE UNION FP! (-1, Offtopic)

GET THE FACTS! (850779) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622136)

Mr. Speaker, Vice President Cheney, members of Congress, members of the Supreme Court and diplomatic corps, distinguished guests and fellow citizens:

Today our nation lost a beloved, graceful, courageous woman who called America to its founding ideals and carried on a noble dream. Tonight we are comforted by the hope of a glad reunion with the husband who was taken from her so long ago, and we are grateful for the good life of Coretta Scott King.

Each time I am invited to this rostrum, I am humbled by the privilege, and mindful of the history we have seen together. We have gathered under this Capitol dome in moments of national mourning and national achievement. We have served America through one of the most consequential periods of our history -- and it has been my honor to serve with you.

In a system of two parties, two chambers, and two elected branches, there will always be differences and debate. But even tough debates can be conducted in a civil tone, and our differences cannot be allowed to harden into anger. To confront the great issues before us, we must act in a spirit of good will and respect for one another -- and I will do my part. Tonight the state of our union is strong -- and together we will make it stronger.

In this decisive year, you and I will make choices that determine both the future and the character of our country. We will choose to act confidently in pursuing the enemies of freedom -- or retreat from our duties in the hope of an easier life. We will choose to build our prosperity by leading the world economy -- or shut ourselves off from trade and opportunity. In a complex and challenging time, the road of isolationism and protectionism may seem broad and inviting -- yet it ends in danger and decline. The only way to protect our people ... the only way to secure the peace ... the only way to control our destiny is by our leadership -- so the United States of America will continue to lead.

Abroad, our nation is committed to an historic, long-term goal -- we seek the end of tyranny in our world. Some dismiss that goal as misguided idealism. In reality, the future security of America depends on it. On September 11th, 2001, we found that problems originating in a failed and oppressive state seven thousand miles away could bring murder and destruction to our country. Dictatorships shelter terrorists, feed resentment and radicalism, and seek weapons of mass destruction. Democracies replace resentment with hope, respect the rights of their citizens and their neighbors, and join the fight against terror. Every step toward freedom in the world makes our country safer, and so we will act boldly in freedom's cause.

Far from being a hopeless dream, the advance of freedom is the great story of our time. In 1945, there were about two dozen lonely democracies on earth. Today, there are 122. And we are writing a new chapter in the story of self-government -- with women lining up to vote in Afghanistan ... and millions of Iraqis marking their liberty with purple ink ... and men and women from Lebanon to Egypt debating the rights of individuals and the necessity of freedom. At the start of 2006, more than half the people of our world live in democratic nations. And we do not forget the other half -- in places like Syria, Burma, Zimbabwe, North Korea, and Iran -- because the demands of justice, and the peace of this world, require their freedom as well.

No one can deny the success of freedom, but some men rage and fight against it. And one of the main sources of reaction and opposition is radical Islam -- the perversion by a few of a noble faith into an ideology of terror and death.

Terrorists like bin Laden are serious about mass murder -- and all of us must take their declared intentions seriously. They seek to impose a heartless system of totalitarian control throughout the Middle East, and arm themselves with weapons of mass murder. Their aim is to seize power in Iraq, and use it as a safe haven to launch attacks against America and the world. Lacking the military strength to challenge us directly, the terrorists have chosen the weapon of fear. When they murder children at a school in Beslan ... or blow up commuters in London ... or behead a bound captive ... the terrorists hope these horrors will break our will, allowing the violent to inherit the earth. But they have miscalculated: We love our freedom, and we will fight to keep it.

In a time of testing, we cannot find security by abandoning our commitments and retreating within our borders. If we were to leave these vicious attackers alone, they would not leave us alone. They would simply move the battlefield to our own shores. There is no peace in retreat. And there is no honor in retreat. By allowing radical Islam to work its will -- by leaving an assaulted world to fend for itself -- we would signal to all that we no longer believe in our own ideals, or even in our own courage. But our enemies and our friends can be certain: The United States will not retreat from the world, and we will never surrender to evil.

America rejects the false comfort of isolationism. We are the nation that saved liberty in Europe, and liberated death camps, and helped raise up democracies, and faced down an evil empire. Once again, we accept the call of history to deliver the oppressed, and move this world toward peace.

We remain on the offensive against terror networks. We have killed or captured many of their leaders -- and for the others, their day will come.

We remain on the offensive in Afghanistan -- where a fine president and national assembly are fighting terror while building the institutions of a new democracy.

And we are on the offensive in Iraq, with a clear plan for victory. First, we are helping Iraqis build an inclusive government, so that old resentments will be eased, and the insurgency marginalized. Second, we are continuing reconstruction efforts, and helping the Iraqi government to fight corruption and build a modern economy, so all Iraqis can experience the benefits of freedom. Third, we are striking terrorist targets while we train Iraqi forces that are increasingly capable of defeating the enemy. Iraqis are showing their courage every day, and we are proud to be their allies in the cause of freedom.

Our work in Iraq is difficult, because our enemy is brutal. But that brutality has not stopped the dramatic progress of a new democracy. In less than three years, that nation has gone from dictatorship, to liberation, to sovereignty, to a constitution, to national elections. At the same time, our coalition has been relentless in shutting off terrorist infiltration, clearing out insurgent strongholds, and turning over territory to Iraqi security forces. I am confident in our plan for victory ... I am confident in the will of the Iraqi people ... I am confident in the skill and spirit of our military. Fellow citizens, we are in this fight to win, and we are winning.

The road of victory is the road that will take our troops home. As we make progress on the ground, and Iraqi forces increasingly take the lead, we should be able to further decrease our troop levels -- but those decisions will be made by our military commanders, not by politicians in Washington, D.C.

Our coalition has learned from experience in Iraq. We have adjusted our military tactics and changed our approach to reconstruction. Along the way, we have benefited from responsible criticism and counsel offered by members of Congress of both parties. In the coming year, I will continue to reach out and seek your good advice.

Yet there is a difference between responsible criticism that aims for success, and defeatism that refuses to acknowledge anything but failure. Hindsight alone is not wisdom. And second-guessing is not a strategy.

With so much in the balance, those of us in public office have a duty to speak with candor. A sudden withdrawal of our forces from Iraq would abandon our Iraqi allies to death and prison ... put men like bin Laden and Zarqawi in charge of a strategic country ... and show that a pledge from America means little. Members of Congress: however we feel about the decisions and debates of the past, our nation has only one option: We must keep our word, defeat our enemies, and stand behind the American military in its vital mission.

Our men and women in uniform are making sacrifices -- and showing a sense of duty stronger than all fear. They know what it is like to fight house-to-house in a maze of streets ... to wear heavy gear in the desert heat ... to see a comrade killed by a roadside bomb. And those who know the costs also know the stakes. Marine Staff Sergeant Dan Clay was killed last month fighting the enemy in Falluja. He left behind a letter to his family, but his words could just as well be addressed to every American. Here is what Dan wrote: "I know what honor is. It has been an honor to protect and serve all of you. I faced death with the secure knowledge that you would not have to.... Never falter! Don't hesitate to honor and support those of us who have the honor of protecting that which is worth protecting."

Staff Sergeant Dan Clay's wife, Lisa, and his mom and dad, Sara Jo and Bud, are with us this evening. Our nation is grateful to the fallen, who live in the memory of our country. We are grateful to all who volunteer to wear our nation's uniform -- and as we honor our brave troops, let us never forget the sacrifices of America's military families.

Our offensive against terror involves more than military action. Ultimately, the only way to defeat the terrorists is to defeat their dark vision of hatred and fear by offering the hopeful alternative of political freedom and peaceful change. So the United States of America supports democratic reform across the broader Middle East. Elections are vital -- but they are only the beginning. Raising up a democracy requires the rule of law, protection of minorities, and strong, accountable institutions that last longer than a single vote. The great people of Egypt have voted in a multiparty presidential election -- and now their government should open paths of peaceful opposition that will reduce the appeal of radicalism. The Palestinian people have voted in elections -- now the leaders of Hamas must recognize Israel, disarm, reject terrorism, and work for lasting peace. Saudi Arabia has taken the first steps of reform -- now it can offer its people a better future by pressing forward with those efforts. Democracies in the Middle East will not look like our own, because they will reflect the traditions of their own citizens. Yet liberty is the future of every nation in the Middle East, because liberty is the right and hope of all humanity.

The same is true of Iran, a nation now held hostage by a small clerical elite that is isolating and repressing its people. The regime in that country sponsors terrorists in the Palestinian territories and in Lebanon -- and that must come to an end. The Iranian government is defying the world with its nuclear ambitions -- and the nations of the world must not permit the Iranian regime to gain nuclear weapons. America will continue to rally the world to confront these threats. And tonight, let me speak directly to the citizens of Iran: America respects you, and we respect your country. We respect your right to choose your own future and win your own freedom. And our nation hopes one day to be the closest of friends with a free and democratic Iran.

To overcome dangers in our world, we must also take the offensive by encouraging economic progress, fighting disease, and spreading hope in hopeless lands. Isolationism would not only tie our hands in fighting enemies, it would keep us from helping our friends in desperate need. We show compassion abroad because Americans believe in the God-given dignity and worth of a villager with HIV/AIDS, or an infant with malaria, or a refugee fleeing genocide, or a young girl sold into slavery. We also show compassion abroad because regions overwhelmed by poverty, corruption, and despair are sources of terrorism, organized crime, human trafficking and the drug trade.

In recent years, you and I have taken unprecedented action to fight AIDS and malaria, expand the education of girls, and reward developing nations that are moving forward with economic and political reform. For people everywhere, the United States is a partner for a better life. Shortchanging these efforts would increase the suffering and chaos of our world, undercut our long-term security, and dull the conscience of our country. I urge members of Congress to serve the interests of America by showing the compassion of America.

Our country must also remain on the offensive against terrorism here at home. The enemy has not lost the desire or capability to attack us. Fortunately, this nation has superb professionals in law enforcement, intelligence, the military, and homeland security. These men and women are dedicating their lives to protecting us all, and they deserve our support and our thanks. They also deserve the same tools they already use to fight drug trafficking and organized crime -- so I ask you to reauthorize the Patriot Act.

It is said that prior to the attacks of September 11th, our government failed to connect the dots of the conspiracy. We now know that two of the hijackers in the United States placed telephone calls to al Qaeda operatives overseas. But we did not know about their plans until it was too late. So to prevent another attack -- based on authority given to me by the Constitution and by statute -- I have authorized a terrorist surveillance program to aggressively pursue the international communications of suspected al Qaeda operatives and affiliates to and from America. Previous presidents have used the same constitutional authority I have -- and federal courts have approved the use of that authority. Appropriate members of Congress have been kept informed. This terrorist surveillance program has helped prevent terrorist attacks. It remains essential to the security of America. If there are people inside our country who are talking with al Qaeda, we want to know about it -- because we will not sit back and wait to be hit again.

In all these areas -- from the disruption of terror networks, to victory in Iraq, to the spread of freedom and hope in troubled regions -- we need the support of friends and allies. To draw that support, we must always be clear in our principles and willing to act. The only alternative to American leadership is a dramatically more dangerous and anxious world. Yet we also choose to lead because it is a privilege to serve the values that gave us birth. American leaders -- from Roosevelt to Truman to Kennedy to Reagan -- rejected isolation and retreat, because they knew that America is always more secure when freedom is on the march. Our own generation is in a long war against a determined enemy -- a war that will be fought by presidents of both parties, who will need steady bipartisan support from the Congress. And tonight I ask for yours. Together, let us protect our country, support the men and women who defend us, and lead this world toward freedom.

Here at home, America also has a great opportunity: We will build the prosperity of our country by strengthening our economic leadership in the world.

Our economy is healthy and vigorous and growing faster than other major industrialized nations. In the last two-and-a-half years, America has created 4.6 million new jobs -- more than Japan and the European Union combined. Even in the face of higher energy prices and natural disasters, the American people have turned in an economic performance that is the envy of the world.

The American economy is pre-eminent -- but we cannot afford to be complacent. In a dynamic world economy, we are seeing new competitors like China and India. This creates uncertainty, which makes it easier to feed people's fears. And so we are seeing some old temptations return. Protectionists want to escape competition, pretending that we can keep our high standard of living while walling off our economy. Others say that the government needs to take a larger role in directing the economy, centralizing more power in Washington and increasing taxes. We hear claims that immigrants are somehow bad for the economy -- even though this economy could not function without them. All these are forms of economic retreat, and they lead in the same direction -- toward a stagnant and second-rate economy.

Tonight I will set out a better path -- an agenda for a nation that competes with confidence -- an agenda that will raise standards of living and generate new jobs. Americans should not fear our economic future, because we intend to shape it.

Keeping America competitive begins with keeping our economy growing. And our economy grows when Americans have more of their own money to spend, save, and invest. In the last five years, the tax relief you passed has left $880 billion in the hands of American workers, investors, small businesses, and families -- and they have used it to help produce more than four years of uninterrupted economic growth. Yet the tax relief is set to expire in the next few years. If we do nothing, American families will face a massive tax increase they do not expect and will not welcome.

Because America needs more than a temporary expansion, we need more than temporary tax relief. I urge the Congress to act responsibly, and make the tax cuts permanent.

Keeping America competitive requires us to be good stewards of tax dollars. Every year of my presidency, we have reduced the growth of nonsecurity discretionary spending -- and last year you passed bills that cut this spending. This year my budget will cut it again, and reduce or eliminate more than 140 programs that are performing poorly or not fulfilling essential priorities. By passing these reforms, we will save the American taxpayer another $14 billion next year -- and stay on track to cut the deficit in half by 2009. I am pleased that members of Congress are working on earmark reform -- because the federal budget has too many special interest projects. And we can tackle this problem together, if you pass the line-item veto.

We must also confront the larger challenge of mandatory spending, or entitlements. This year, the first of about 78 million baby boomers turn 60, including two of my dad's favorite people -- me and President Bill Clinton. This milestone is more than a personal crisis -- it is a national challenge. The retirement of the baby-boom generation will put unprecedented strains on the federal government. By 2030, spending for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid alone will be almost 60 percent of the entire federal budget. And that will present future Congresses with impossible choices -- staggering tax increases, immense deficits, or deep cuts in every category of spending.

Congress did not act last year on my proposal to save Social Security, yet the rising cost of entitlements is a problem that is not going away -- and with every year we fail to act, the situation gets worse. So tonight, I ask you to join me in creating a commission to examine the full impact of baby boom retirements on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. This commission should include members of Congress of both parties, and offer bipartisan answers. We need to put aside partisan politics, work together, and get this problem solved.

Keeping America competitive requires us to open more markets for all that Americans make and grow. One out of every five factory jobs in America is related to global trade, and we want people everywhere to buy American. With open markets and a level playing field, no one can out-produce or out-compete the American worker.

Keeping America competitive requires an immigration system that upholds our laws, reflects our values, and serves the interests of our economy. Our nation needs orderly and secure borders. To meet this goal, we must have stronger immigration enforcement and border protection. And we must have a rational, humane guest worker program that rejects amnesty ... allows temporary jobs for people who seek them legally ... and reduces smuggling and crime at the border.

Keeping America competitive requires affordable health care. Our government has a responsibility to help provide health care for the poor and the elderly, and we are meeting that responsibility. For all Americans, we must confront the rising cost of care ... strengthen the doctor-patient relationship ... and help people afford the insurance coverage they need. We will make wider use of electronic records and other health information technology, to help control costs and reduce dangerous medical errors. We will strengthen health savings accounts -- by making sure individuals and small business employees can buy insurance with the same advantages that people working for big businesses now get. We will do more to make this coverage portable, so workers can switch jobs without having to worry about losing their health insurance. And because lawsuits are driving many good doctors out of practice -- leaving women in nearly 1,500 American counties without a single OB-GYN -- I ask the Congress to pass medical liability reform this year.

Keeping America competitive requires affordable energy. Here we have a serious problem: America is addicted to oil, which is often imported from unstable parts of the world.

The best way to break this addiction is through technology. Since 2001, we have spent nearly $10 billion to develop cleaner, cheaper, more reliable alternative energy sources -- and we are on the threshold of incredible advances. So tonight, I announce the Advanced Energy Initiative -- a 22 percent increase in clean-energy research at the Department of Energy, to push for breakthroughs in two vital areas. To change how we power our homes and offices, we will invest more in zero-emission coal-fired plants; revolutionary solar and wind technologies; and clean, safe nuclear energy.

We must also change how we power our automobiles. We will increase our research in better batteries for hybrid and electric cars, and in pollution-free cars that run on hydrogen. We will also fund additional research in cutting-edge methods of producing ethanol, not just from corn but from wood chips, stalks, or switch grass. Our goal is to make this new kind of ethanol practical and competitive within six years. Breakthroughs on this and other new technologies will help us reach another great goal: to replace more than 75 percent of our oil imports from the Middle East by 2025. By applying the talent and technology of America, this country can dramatically improve our environment ... move beyond a petroleum-based economy ... and make our dependence on Middle Eastern oil a thing of the past.

And to keep America competitive, one commitment is necessary above all: We must continue to lead the world in human talent and creativity. Our greatest advantage in the world has always been our educated, hard-working, ambitious people -- and we are going to keep that edge. Tonight I announce the American Competitiveness Initiative, to encourage innovation throughout our economy, and to give our nation's children a firm grounding in math and science.

First: I propose to double the federal commitment to the most critical basic research programs in the physical sciences over the next 10 years. This funding will support the work of America's most creative minds as they explore promising areas such as nanotechnology, supercomputing, and alternative energy sources.

Second: I propose to make permanent the research and development tax credit, to encourage bolder private-sector investment in technology. With more research in both the public and private sectors, we will improve our quality of life -- and ensure that America will lead the world in opportunity and innovation for decades to come.

Third: We need to encourage children to take more math and science, and make sure those courses are rigorous enough to compete with other nations. We have made a good start in the early grades with the No Child Left Behind Act, which is raising standards and lifting test scores across our country. Tonight I propose to train 70,000 high school teachers, to lead advanced-placement courses in math and science ... bring 30,000 math and science professionals to teach in classrooms ... and give early help to students who struggle with math, so they have a better chance at good, high-wage jobs. If we ensure that America's children succeed in life, they will ensure that America succeeds in the world.

Preparing our nation to compete in the world is a goal that all of us can share. I urge you to support the American Competitiveness Initiative ... and together we will show the world what the American people can achieve.

America is a great force for freedom and prosperity. Yet our greatness is not measured in power or luxuries, but by who we are and how we treat one another. So we strive to be a compassionate, decent, hopeful society.

In recent years, America has become a more hopeful nation. Violent crime rates have fallen to their lowest levels since the 1970s. Welfare cases have dropped by more than half over the past decade. Drug use among youth is down 19 percent since 2001. There are fewer abortions in America than at any point in the last three decades, and the number of children born to teenage mothers has been falling for a dozen years in a row.

These gains are evidence of a quiet transformation -- a revolution of conscience, in which a rising generation is finding that a life of personal responsibility is a life of fulfillment. Government has played a role. Wise policies such as welfare reform, drug education, and support for abstinence and adoption have made a difference in the character of our country. And everyone here tonight, Democrat and Republican, has a right to be proud of this record.

Yet many Americans, especially parents, still have deep concerns about the direction of our culture, and the health of our most basic institutions. They are concerned about unethical conduct by public officials, and discouraged by activist courts that try to redefine marriage. And they worry about children in our society who need direction and love ... and about fellow citizens still displaced by natural disaster ... and about suffering caused by treatable disease.

As we look at these challenges, we must never give in to the belief that America is in decline, or that our culture is doomed to unravel. The American people know better than that. We have proven the pessimists wrong before -- and we will do it again.

A hopeful society depends on courts that deliver equal justice under law. The Supreme Court now has two superb new members, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Sam Alito. I thank the Senate for confirming both of them. And I will continue to nominate men and women who understand that judges must be servants of the law, and not legislate from the bench. Today marks the official retirement of a very special American. For 24 years of faithful service to our Nation, the United States is grateful to Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

A hopeful society has institutions of science and medicine that do not cut ethical corners, and that recognize the matchless value of every life. Tonight I ask you to pass legislation to prohibit the most egregious abuses of medical research -- human cloning in all its forms ... creating or implanting embryos for experiments ... creating human-animal hybrids ... and buying, selling, or patenting human embryos. Human life is a gift from our creator -- and that gift should never be discarded, devalued, or put up for sale.

A hopeful society expects elected officials to uphold the public trust. Honorable people in both parties are working on reforms to strengthen the ethical standards of Washington -- and I support your efforts. Each of us has made a pledge to be worthy of public responsibility -- and that is a pledge we must never forget, never dismiss, and never betray.

As we renew the promise of our institutions, let us also show the character of America in our compassion and care for one another.

A hopeful society gives special attention to children who lack direction and love. Through the Helping America's Youth Initiative, we are encouraging caring adults to get involved in the life of a child -- and this good work is led by our first lady, Laura Bush. This year we will add resources to encourage young people to stay in school -- so more of America's youth can raise their sights and achieve their dreams.

A hopeful society comes to the aid of fellow citizens in times of suffering and emergency -- and stays at it until they are back on their feet. So far the federal government has committed $85 billion to the people of the Gulf Coast and New Orleans. We are removing debris, repairing highways, and building stronger levees. We are providing business loans and housing assistance. Yet as we meet these immediate needs, we must also address deeper challenges that existed before the storm arrived. In New Orleans and in other places, many of our fellow citizens have felt excluded from the promise of our country. The answer is not only temporary relief, but schools that teach every child ... and job skills that bring upward mobility ... and more opportunities to own a home and start a business. As we recover from a disaster, let us also work for the day when all Americans are protected by justice, equal in hope, and rich in opportunity.

A hopeful society acts boldly to fight diseases like HIV/AIDS, which can be prevented, and treated, and defeated. More than a million Americans live with HIV, and half of all AIDS cases occur among African-Americans. I ask Congress to reform and reauthorize the Ryan White Act ... and provide new funding to states, so we end the waiting lists for AIDS medicine in America. We will also lead a nationwide effort, working closely with African-American churches and faith-based groups, to deliver rapid HIV tests to millions, end the stigma of AIDS, and come closer to the day when there are no new infections in America.

Fellow citizens, we have been called to leadership in a period of consequence. We have entered a great ideological conflict we did nothing to invite. We see great changes in science and commerce that will influence all our lives. And sometimes it can seem that history is turning in a wide arc, toward an unknown shore.

Yet the destination of history is determined by human action, and every great movement of history comes to a point of choosing. Lincoln could have accepted peace at the cost of disunity and continued slavery. Martin Luther King could have stopped at Birmingham or at Selma, and achieved only half a victory over segregation. The United States could have accepted the permanent division of Europe, and been complicit in the oppression of others. Today, having come far in our own historical journey, we must decide: Will we turn back, or finish well?

Before history is written down in books, it is written in courage. Like Americans before us, we will show that courage and we will finish well. We will lead freedom's advance. We will compete and excel in the global economy. We will renew the defining moral commitments of this land. And so we move forward -- optimistic about our country, faithful to its cause, and confident of victories to come.

Thank you, God bless you, and may God bless America.

Good (1, Flamebait)

Shut the fuck up! (572058) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622140)

I hope they throw the book at them.

Re:Good (2, Insightful)

atomclock (950729) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622277)

While I'm as big a fan as anybody of bootleg software, I still couldn't understand why the comment "I hope they throw the book at them." was modded down as FLAMEBAIT? I've noticed that the moderators seem to have an agenda and typically mod counter opinions down... Not very sportsman like is it? Ok... go ahead, mod me down too .....

Re:Good (4, Insightful)

Yartrebo (690383) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622525)

It is rightfully modded down because it's not bringing any new ideas to the table and is just making a rather inciting comment. In other words, trying to start a flamewar.

Bring a good, detailed argument about why non-profit copyright violators should be punished to the fullest extent of the law and then we can have a more reasonable debate.

Re:Good (1)

Dragoonmac (929292) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622338)

I'm perfectly cool with that...
I mean, if you think about it, these guys have been violating countless international laws since '93...
I hope they get the book thrown at them as well.

Ahh, sweet conspiracy... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14622141) favorite trumpin'-up charge.

Re:Ahh, sweet conspiracy... (1)

Ersatz Chickenweed (868568) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622369)

That's good stuff. Short, sweet, and it made me giggle... if only I hadn't wasted my mod points.

WAREZCO at your serViZ (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14622144)

Excellent! Now that RISCISO is out of the way, WAREZCO can sweep in and fill the void unopposed. I keep reading the history of Al Capone, its so easy, I didn't even have to line these guys up and mascacre them in a fake police sting!

Long live darknets! A thousand more spring up...

Hmm (4, Funny)

Soporific (595477) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622145)

I guess that means the other 50 cracking groups are all quaking in their boots now doesn't it?


Image from TFA (5, Funny)

_Hellfire_ (170113) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622179)

"AFP/File Photo: Computer connected to the internet."

Just in case, ya know... You didn't know what a computer connected to the internet looked like.

A painful Image from TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14622257)

"Just in case, ya know... You didn't know what a computer connected to the internet looked like."

A Window's computer with "Help Me!" displayed on it's monitor

Re:Image from TFA (1)

richdun (672214) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622342)

And if you look closely, it's displaying the "Action Cancelled" screen in IE.

Apparently it is connected to the internet, but not going anywhere.

Re:Image from TFA (1)

interiot (50685) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622362)

Maybe they're implying that just about anyone who connects to the internet pirates stuff? And so, if you're going to charge one guy... you might as well charge them all?

Re:Image from TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14622434)

Maybe someday you'll go blind and have to use a screen reader someday. You might appreciate a decent description.

Stupid jerk!11 Rarrrr!eleventy!

That's a lot of money... (5, Insightful)

rnpg1014 (942171) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622183)

I have no idea how they managed to pirate $6.5 million in software. Assuming the average price of a movie is $7, they would have needed to pirate over 900,000 movies. And to think that they can only be given up to 5 years of prison. They should have to pay for all that stolen software, which is quite a figure even when divided by 19.

It's people like these who make it more and more difficult just to use software because of the security features they add. I can't tell you how many times iTunes has spontaniously wiped all the files on it.

Re:That's a lot of money... (3, Insightful)

Aranth Brainfire (905606) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622247)

"It's people like these who make it more and more difficult just to use software because of the security features they add."

No, it's people like the ones that make decisions in the companies that produce the software stupidly thinking they can make something that nobody will break, and sacrificing usability of the end-product for the concept.

Consider how many times it's kept a product from being pirated. Then consider how many times the companies have been majorly burned by it backfiring on them.

Smart decisions, huh?

Re:That's a lot of money... (1)

rnpg1014 (942171) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622308)

Very true. My friend was a victim of the difficulties installing the Battle For Middle Earth 2 Beta test which he paid for. You're right though, but companies didn't start doing this for fun.

Re:That's a lot of money... (1)

lifeisgreat (947143) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622764)

I think that the future of software security measures is network-connectivity. Think, windowsupdate, product activation.. deliberately leaving functionality out of a product and fulfilling it remotely with authorization. People can pirate the software, but they won't get the full (or perhaps any) functionality unless they have a valid key to communicate with the maker. I could imagine a version of MS Word that doesn't have any file export functionality - attempts to save make the program send raw data to Microsoft, who then sends a DOC file back.

Sure it'll be a pain, but most people won't care. I've never had a conversation with a Joe Sixpack friend that mentioned any kind of discontent regarding software security measures - they just assume it's the way it has to be.

Re:That's a lot of money... (1)

jmnormand (941909) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622276)

throwin copies of photoshop and office and this number can add up quick. heck just 5000 pirated copies of office and photoshop, thats not even considering adobe packages that can cost over $2000 each. get into cad and other true professional levely software and 6.5 million is a medium sized office worth of software. Also keep in mind these are number made up by the goverment and the media, ie exagerated well beyond true market value.

Re:That's a lot of money... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14622294)

I hope you realize that it's the federal government counting system at work here.

In the case against PWA, the government was forced to reduce its make-believe losses figure in the end, because they pulled it out of thin air.

Warez groups archive lots and actually use very little of what they "pirate." They also tend to purchase more legitimate software than most of the people you find on P2P networks. But in order to make fancy cases stick, the prosecutors inflate numbers, counting every file downloaded as a "loss", even if it was merely transferred into an archive and never installed or used.

Nice stock photo there (5, Funny)

XXIstCenturyBoy (617054) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622186)

Their "Computer connected to the internet" picture is one of IE saying there is no connection.

Re:Nice stock photo there (1)

deathy_epl+ccs (896747) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622505)

So the photographer had a sense of humour... let's hope nobody catches on. ;-)

Re:Nice stock photo there (1)

Geoffreyerffoeg (729040) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622567)

Nah, it actually says "Action canceled." For those unsullied users who have never touched IE in their life, this means that the user pressed Stop at some point, and doesn't mean that it's not actually connected.

Warez Is Now An Extraditable Offence (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14622211)

Parent article misses the major problem here - the US DOJ is going to spend boatloads of cash extraditing two of the kids in this case, one from Australia and one from Barbados. Warez is justification for extradition? The DOJ even admits in its press release that profit was not an issue here. This makes it wide-scale file sharing, and a waste of John Q. Public's tax dollars. Good job FBI/DOJ/assorted alphabet organizations wasting funds and following orders from bribed politicians... oh sorry, those were "campaign contributions" from the movie and software industries...

As a shareware developer, I could care less about kids cracking my software, but I'm getting damn sick of the charade going on as the BSA cries (to its own benefit only) about the evils of piracy.

Barbados (2, Interesting)

Pet Doctor (549054) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622397)

When I visited a friend in Barbados in 1997 there was a "blockbuster" in a mall. It looked normal from the outside but if you looked closely at the sign it was hand painted. We rented several videos they were all high quality copies and in the middle of the video subtitles popped up and said if you would like to buy a copy of the video call 1800xxxxxxx.

also we did not worry about drinking and driving because they rummer was there was no law against it as the police had no breathalyzer equipment.

Re:Warez Is Now An Extraditable Offence (-1, Troll)

stubear (130454) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622624)

"As a shareware developer, I could care less about kids cracking my software, but I'm getting damn sick of the charade going on as the BSA cries (to its own benefit only) about the evils of piracy."

And I'm getting sick and tired of every slashbot telling me how we're headed for one great utopia once the RIAA dn MPAA get out of the way; file sharing is going to bring world peace, solve world hunger, and begin a new age of enlightenment the likes of which have never been seen. Yeah, right. Let me know when you have figured out how this is all going to work. Until then SHUT THE FUCK UP!!!

undercover (1, Interesting)

zetasmack (741760) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622226)

weird, usually the infiltrate a bunch of sites and bust all the groups using them. i wonder how they managed to bust just one group? do you think they have "undercover agents" pose as suppliers and then bust the groups from within? i've always wondered how they go about doing this.

From the Article (3, Funny)

Via_Patrino (702161) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622228)

From the article:
"Online thieves who steal merchandise that companies work hard to produce"

I though he was saying:
Online thieves who steal products that companies work hard to merchandise

Great start! (4, Funny)

a_nonamiss (743253) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622242)

Way to go Feds! 19 down, 19,999,981 to go. You guys rock!

Re:Great start! (1)

svvampy (576225) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622415)

What do you mean? Australia does have a population of twenty million, but only one of the accused is an Aussie.

We're also convicts, not pirates, Arrrr!

I suppose it's amusing that in the media here the Australian Wheat Board's corrupt dealing with Saddam are in the spotlight, yet the seppos are after some warez-weenie. Good thing the kid didn't speak out against intelligent design or something or they would have sent a team of deniable assets to take him out.

Re:Great start! (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622542)

" Way to go Feds! 19 down, 19,999,981 to go. You guys rock!"

sounds like the war on drugs....

Bait? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14622249)

I thought of doing that, selling warez cds and dvds on ebays (even tho its prohibited and they watch for that, people still do it anyway). Guess what. There is no market.

Take a look at used software for sale on ebay. Thousands of used titles with no takers. The bottom has fallen out of software business long ago. Next to go was the music business, and then the movie business. Its not even worthwhile to duplicate them and list them.

There is such a flood of media and digital data, that its very hard to sell such a thing anymore. Ask any music artist or band trying to sell their cd. There just are no takers. Its gone long ago.

To think that PGA Golf and The Aviator are items in hot demand is laughable... me thinks we are being baited.

WTF? (5, Interesting)

snookums (48954) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622259)

From TFA:
Each defendant was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit copyright infringement, which carries a five-year maximum prison sentence. Fifteen also were charged with copyright infringement, which carries a three-year maximum.

Anyone care to explain why conspiracy attracts a harsher sentence than the actual crime? I mean, leaving aside the whole moral quagmire surrounding the criminalization of copyright infringement, how can thinking and talking about doing something carry a harsher penalty than actually doing it. Does this type of duality apply in traditional crimes like assault, murder and larceny?

Re:WTF? (5, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622316)

Conspiracy is usually treated harshly because we tend to assume that one person can only do so much damage. Gather other people into your crime allows you and your conspirators to side -step all the laws & procedures that are in place to prevent abuses by one person.

Conspiracy also implies premeditation, which automatically makes any crime worse.

Re:WTF? (1)

monkeydo (173558) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622410)

Plus, conspiracy isn't merely, "thinking and talking about doing something" as the GP implied.

Re:WTF? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14622708)

Back in 2000 I participated with one of the groups that was indicted the following year in "Operation Bandwidth". The rundown they gave us was that if we didn't plea out as a group under conspiracy, they would go after us as individuals with an actual copyright infringement charge instead of conspiracy(they stated they had all the evidence they would need from the computers confiscated from the raids they performed to put each one of us away). On a side note, this is currently still an active case and I have yet to be sentenced in this case due to the fact that the U.S. prosecutor wants us all to be present at the same time for each of our own sentences and there are still people waiting to goto trial.

Re:WTF? (1)

jmnormand (941909) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622323)

strikes me as odd as well. however conspiricy charges are on the books mostly to combat organized crime and gangs. i would suspect however that conspiricy is generaly harder to prove as opposed to the infringment which can be a fairly easy case in instances such as this.

Re:WTF? (1)

tymbow (725036) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622506)

When I read "conspiracy" it usually means there were elaborate attempts made to conceal or otherwise ensure the continued success of the associated "crime". Mind you, it seems to generally get applied by the law when the associated crime penalties are not (in their opinion) harsh another, so you tack on a conspiracy charge to make the punishment worse hence a better deterrent (well maybe).

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14622513)

Conspiracy seems to be an odd US thing which allows harsh sentences of minor misdemeanors.

Frank Zappas autobiography cites a case of where the supposed crime he was arrested with could have got him a fine, but the prosecutor set the case to be a conspiracy, so that Zappa could get sent to jail.

Seems extremely dodgy legality.

Now that these nutty cyber terrorists are gone... (5, Insightful)

Spiffness (941077) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622271)

We can all sit back and relax once again.

The frustrating/disappointing thing about all these lawsuits and 'victories' over piracy is that with every win, groups like the MPAA/RIAA only feel more firmly that their new business model (CRUSH, SUE, EXTORT, EXTERMINATE!) is a successful and long term one. Each time a major 'piracy bust' hits the news it only further propagates the myth that Piracy is what's driving declines in Movies, Music, Software and Games. When the real culprit (though, obviously Piracy does play some part) is Quality, Price, and the Media (DRM disks, copy once CDs, Theaters, Star-Force, ect).

But then again, I'm preaching to the choir here...

Re:Now that these nutty cyber terrorists are gone. (1)

cwilli01 (950229) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622570)

Stop buying their movies and/or cds and they will feel the pain. It will start with reduced revenues, and ultimately result in their disintermediation as the music creators see there's more money to be made going solo.

This is a misleading headline (4, Insightful)

dshaw858 (828072) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622275)

I think that this headline, and even the beginning of the article, truly works as a scare tactic for the MPAA. No, I'm not thinking of a conspiracy, but think about how this situation worked in reality-

The defendants, many of whom worked in high-tech jobs, were members of "RISCISO," a "warez" community founded in 1993, according to the indictment. Warez groups are underground associations that use the Internet to illegally distribute copyrighted software.

Okay, right. A warez group got busted. Great. But the headline reads 19 Charged in Alleged Software Piracy Plot. Piracy plot? And the worst part, by far, is the opening of the article- A federal grand jury has indicted 19 people on charges they used the Internet to pirate more than $6.5 million worth of copyrighted computer software, games and movies. To the untrained eye, this seems just like every day Bob who downloaded a film or two...

I think it's a scare tactic. I don't like it. But then again, maybe I'm paranoid and stuff...

- dshaw

Untrained eye? (1)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622340)

And the worst part, by far, is the opening of the article- "A federal grand jury has indicted 19 people on charges they used the Internet to pirate more than $6.5 million worth of copyrighted computer software, games and movies." To the untrained eye, this seems just like every day Bob who downloaded a film or two...
It'd take more than an 'untrained eye' to conclude "$6.5 million worth of copyrighted computer software, games and movies" was "a film or two".

It would take a moron. Or an MPAA lawyer....

Re:Untrained eye? (1)

laughingcoyote (762272) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622632)

Or a Congressman. Don't forget they set the value at $250,000.

Re:This is a misleading headline (1)

monkeydo (173558) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622426)

And the worst part, by far, is the opening of the article- A federal grand jury has indicted 19 people on charges they used the Internet to pirate more than $6.5 million worth of copyrighted computer software, games and movies. To the untrained eye, this seems just like every day Bob who downloaded a film or two...

Yes, the everyday Bob who download a film or two wort $6.5 million. Believe it or not (an you won't 'cause this is /.) most people you'll run into haven't pirated any movies.

Re:This is a misleading headline (1)

Chandon Seldon (43083) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622753)

Most people have committed copyright infringement.

Ever copy a copyrighted work for a friend? Ever install software off someone else's CD (even a video game)? Ever sing "Happy Birthday" in public?

These are all pretty common, and not considered to be terribly heinous offenses. The fact that the penalties for these offenses ranges from fines of thousands of dollars to multi-year prison terms isn't terribly reasonable.

A question of audience (1)

Statecraftsman (718862) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622278)

They're only prosecuting this group because they aren't trafficking enough of the kinds of things this District Attorney likes to watch. If they had their ascii-art all over a season or two of Law & Order, they could have saved themselves a lot of legal trouble.

Good that they caught them, but... (1)

nobodynoone (940116) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622286)

I think it's great that they are trying to stop blatant theft, but this sort of story is more symbolic and a trophy for the DOJ than actually significant. No matter how many people they are able to thwart, it is going to be a drop in the bucket as far as worldwide warez volume goes. The government simply dosen't have the resources to find and prosecute every single offender of software theft.

Re:Good that they caught them, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14622527)

"I think it's great that they are trying to stop blatant theft"

"Theft", "stealing", "piracy" are all little word tricks the RIAA and MPAA use to play violins in the background and manipulate you while you read. Images of pirates, and people breaking into your home and stealing your beloved plasma TV they are for. When you download a Brittany Spears song illegally...they still have the song in quesion and you haven't gutted their entrails with your sword.

      Perhaps indeed it should be illegal but the term is "copyright infringement". Don't be a guppy like the rest of them and fall for the propaganda speak.

free software (3, Insightful)

wesw02 (846056) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622350)

Stuff like this makes me happy I use open-source that is free of cost :).

Re:free software (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14622511)

No, a$$hole. Free software is not free. Even if it was written in the cold depths of absolute zero space there is a cost associated with it. I guess you're one of those too stupid to realise that.

Nodnol 871 Selim.

Re:free software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14622578)

Thanks. We're the fabulous reverse brothers. We'll be here all week.

Extraditing for warez (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14622466)

Authorities said they had begun extraditing two of the defendants who lived in Australia and Barbados.

Anyone else find it ridiculeous?

Yuo Failb It (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14622482)

Questions, then an[d sold i8 the

It's something (2, Insightful)

RyoShin (610051) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622490)

While the slashdot crowd may boo and bitch about cracking down on people downloading or uploading a copy of something, it is a real problem.

Certainly, it should be pretty low on the priority list as far as the FBI or any government agency is concerned, but that doesn't mean it should be ignored when hard evidence can be brought against large-scale criminals, as these 19 supposedly are.

The problem with warez is that it's easy. While cracking DRM and copyright may not be simple, once that's done, it's easy for anyone and everyone to download it. It isn't even limited by speed- a fairly patient person could download, say, a Doom 4 ISO if they wanted.

Because of this ease, and the much lower risk of being caught (hence its prevalence), it is biting into income of companies. The numbers that they throw out may or may not be exact, but you can just shrug them away and say it hurts noone.

However, the penalties placed against some of these people are a bit odd. A slap on the wrist and a $100 fine doesn't really cut it for large distributors, but some of the jailtime and fines that I've read about seem unrealistic. After all, they are copying something, not taking it, so they aren't depriving the original owner of anything (assuming that the original owner didn't intend for the download.) Downloading a CD should bring far less of a penalty than stealing a physical CD from a store.

Why should it be a low priority? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14622686)

Just like crime in New York... the cops started making huge differences when they started going after petty criminals: grafitti artists, shop lifters, purse snatchers, etc. You don't clean up society by waiting until criminals do something 'extreme'. I'm fine with cops/fbi enforcing laws. Why shouldn't they?

Re:It's something (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14622741)

The numbers that they throw out may or may not be exact, but you can just shrug them away and say it hurts noone.

Actually, that's pretty much exactly what we do on /.

Downloads might chip your sales a bit, but the net effect is lost in the noise.

*AA love to scapegoat P2P because they can't bare the thought that the hype cycle leads to shitty product, among other sacred cows (there are many).

wow (0, Troll)

Horny Smurf (590916) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622498)

"Ok, Erik, you do her first. Remember the plan," she heard the
still- unnamed leader speak. Kathleen felt the bag being removed from
over her body, and she was pulled around on the car seat until her
legs extended far out into the middle of the car and her back was
against the backrest of the huge seat. She struggled, but could not
loosen the handcuffs or move the blindfold. Suddenly she felt the
nightshirt ripped from her body. She screamed through the gag, but the
man only chuckled. He looked down at her nearly prone, naked form.

Long, slender legs led to a pair of wide, but not too wide,

Her femininity was covered by a fine patch of curly brown
hair. A trim waist and tummy led to what was perhaps Kathleen's
proudest asset. Her large breasts seemed almost out of place on her
otherwise petite frame. She had been embarrassed when they first
started sprouting while she was just in sixth grade. Through junior
and senior high, they continued to grow, until now she went through
life with a 37D bra size. They were perfectly conical, with large
pronounced areoles and thick, prominent nipples. They heaved with fear
now, the nipples erecting in the cool air, not through any sexual
excitement that Kathleen felt. Her slim neck and long brown hair framed
an attractive, though not extremely beautiful face. Around the gag her
lips compressed.

The man named Erik quickly dropped his slacks. Kathleen felt
him reach between her legs and probe her vagina, feeling the dry
fingers invade her most private areas. He wormed two fingers around
and around, trying to stir her up. She squirmed at his touch, trying
to move away, but found it impossible as one other man held her
tightly by the shoulders. The next thing she felt was a large, erect
cock poking at the entrance to her vagina.

She tried to clamp her leg together, but could not. She felt a
pair of hands grab each ankle and slip some sort of smooth, cool rope
around them and tie them apart to opposite ends of the car's interior
width. The cock at her slit pushed itself it slowly, and Kathleen was
aghast to find herself becoming stimulated at this situation. Slowly,
then faster, the cock began to pick up speed, thrusting in and out,
not roughly, but with greater force than she had ever encouraged with
her husband. HER HUSBAND!! Suddenly Kathleen froze.

What would CmdrTaco be able to do about this? He was 10,000
miles away.

How could he help? She groaned inwardly. She endured several
more minutes of the thick male member invading her channel. Then,
though the haze, she heard the leader speak once again.

"OK, enough already. Finish it off!" he said gruffly. Abruptly
Kathleen felt the pounding stop and the penis was withdrawn. She was

Seconds ticked by. She though she could hear a light slapping
noise a few inches away, and was completely at a loss. Then it


Kathleen was horrified to feel the wet splashing on her face
and cheeks. She could taste the wet saltiness on her upper lip. "HE
CAME ON MY FACE!" she thought, shuddering at it. The white streams of
Erik's ejaculate slowly dripped from her, dropping slowly and wetly
onto the upper slopes of her breasts.

Kathleen had never, ever, allowed any man to do that. On
occasion, she would perform oral sex for CmdrTaco, and at his
insistence, allow him to ejaculate in her mouth, but always had a
tissue ready to spit the semen into. She thought it distasteful and
disgusting. And now, a complete stranger had raped her and ejaculated
all over her face. She could feel herself blush and redden at the
thought. She felt, rather than saw, the flashes of light and noise
that indicated a camera going off. "OH GOD, They've taken my picture!"
she thought, horrified.

She had no time for grief, though, as another hard penis was
attacking her, and again Kathleen felt the tremors of excitement start
to build.

Her vagina gave her away, slickly lubing the passage of the
cock as it thrust in and out. Her clitoris began to quiver and quake,
and Kathleen allowed a small orgasm to pass. The man noticed it.

"Hey, Bruno, I think the bitch just came. I think she's
beginning to like it," he grunted. "Now the leader had a name -
Bruno," she thought.

Kathleen wondered if this rapist would end the same way Erik
had. She awaited the sudden emptiness in her pussy, wondering when it
would come. She didn't have long to wait. Again, one second there was
a hard, slick cock moving quickly through her hot channel. And the
next second it was gone. She felt the presence of the man move up her
body this time, and again heard the light slapping noise, but this
time she knew what it was - the man was masturbating to climax.

She waited - five seconds, ten seconds. Her breath caught. 20

Then she heard a grunt. "Oh fuck here it comes," she heard the
voice say.

the cum rained down on her features again, mixing and mingling with
that of the first man.

This discharge was more copious, Kathleen could feel the hot
streams hitting her distinctly. This one seemed to draw great pleasure
from spraying his semen on her. Kathleen thanked God for the mask and
gag, or she was sure her eyes would be covered in it, and her mouth,
awash. Even as it was, she could feel it pooling around her lips where
they encircled the ball gag. The sperm dripped down each cheek and her
chin and slowly dribbled down her forehead.

She knew it was even in her hair and ears. Kathleen groaned

Again, the flash of a camera jolted her back to reality. Now
they had pictures of her with two successive discharges of sperm on
her. The third penis began it's work. This one was larger than the
other two, larger than any Kathleen had ever felt. It pushed it's way
roughly into her being, thrusting and bulling towards her stomach.
Kathleen felt waves of revulsion begin to roil around her as the
reality of her situation struck her.

She had been kidnapped from her home, assaulted repeatedly in
a car, and was being driven God knows where. Her husband wouldn't even
know about it until at least tomorrow night when he called, and even
then the fact that that phone had been cut off may not alarm him at
all. Kathleen shuddered.

This time, the cock did not last long. "Remove the gag," a
voice said.

Hands quickly pulled the device from her mouth. Kathleen drew
in a deep breath, tasting the rapidly cooling semen from her two
rapists. She momentarily forgot that the cock had just withdrawn from
her. Before she could close her mouth in alarm, two great jets of
sperm flew into it, choking her with surprise and alarm. She quickly
clamped her lips down. "Don't swallow," the voice hissed in her ear.
Kathleen had no intention of doing that! Strangely, no more sperm
landed on her. "Open up again." Kathleen didn't move her lips. "Open
up." This time, Kathleen felt a cold round tube pressing into her side,
just below her armpit. "OHGOD A GUN" she quaked. She slowly opened her
lips. A small pool of white liquid grew at the base of her jaw. She
waited. Then, in quick succession, three jets of sperm flew from the
cock held just inches from her mouth, and splattered noisily into her
mouth and lips. Others dripped and dropped onto her face. It seemed
like the man would never finish. Kathleen counted seven complete
streams of semen flying into her mouth and face.

"OK, now hold it like that. One more for the picture album. "

Kathleen felt a strong hand grasp her jaw, holding her mouth
open. The camera whirred and clicked, flashing away in the dim light
of the car. "Now swallow. And learn," Bruno said. Kathleen shook her
head, mumbling, "No, no, don't make me do that," as best she could.
The gun barrel pushed farther into her side.

Kathleen realized that these people meant what they said. She
closed her lips and tilted her face down. She felt the sperm pool at
the front of her mouth.

Then she steeled herself, and swallowed. It didn't all go down
the first time. She had to swallow again. The liquid tasted salty,
slightly bitter, like strong starchy sea water. Kathleen reddened and
blushed again.

"Good. Get used to it. It may be the staple of your diet for a

Who's responsible? (1)

abscissa (136568) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622532)

I am willing to bet that somewhere behind the scenes, it was the MPAA who was behind this, rather than software companies. I suspect that software companies learned long ago that piracy, generally speaking, can help their business and market share in the long run. All the MPAA has learned is that intimidating people works 95% of the time, and that they have not yet figured out how to produce movies that aren't total shit.

Re:Who's responsible? (1)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622631)

very true. Software companies benefit from piracy because users learn how to use their programs in their youth, and grow up to be paying customers and workers who depend on the program of their choice.

Hell most highschools arent educating kids the right way, so we're going to punish them when they take the initiative to learn something they're interested in?

Its just a thought.... (2, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622558)

Its just a thought, and I'll probably be modded down as flamebait or worse, but after all the money that the US government has spent on anti-terrorism, and trying to find Bin Laden, perhaps this is just a result of the Republican Party telling groups they have some control over (no wanting to start that as an argument) that they better show some kind of progress for all the money spent...

All the money spent by the US government lately has achieved exactly what? There just have been no successes in all this, and I think that they (you know who 'they' are) are looking for successes as the election nears. I know that the *AA will be proud of how their 'campaign contributions' were spent... I am just wondering what the American public will think of how the dollars were spent... hunting down grandmas and wiretapping anyone and everyone...

Makes me think there just might be a conspiracy in here somewhere?????

Re:Its just a thought.... (1)

laughingcoyote (762272) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622642)

I imagine there is. Unfortunately, "conspiracy to commit stupidity" is not illegal, so they're off the hook.

Its was just a thoughtless thought.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14622769)

"wiretapping anyone and everyone..."

Why do you believe the media's lies about every issue?

Sometimes I wonder.... (4, Funny)

Ragnarrokk (906696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622606)

Why the US DoJ doesn't hurry up and name itself "Ministry of Profit" already. The pretence is tiresome.


Re:Sometimes I wonder.... (1)

ThoreauHD (213527) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622641)

I concur.

How many items (3, Funny)

Kanasta (70274) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622616)

add upto 6.5mil?
I didn't know there was that much current software in existence.

Thought Police- How many lives have you saved? (5, Insightful)

ThoreauHD (213527) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622620)

You cannot know anything unless you pay for it first- and without a money back guarantee. You cannot listen to music, see theater, or learn unless you pay- and without a money back guarantee. If I buy a lemon, and it's core is rotten and infested- I can return it. If I buy a music CD and the music is complete crap complete with DRM so that I can't actually play it- not only do I not get my money back but I don't even own the said piece of crap. It's a rental.

Is this how humanity evolved? Is this how we will be able to retain knowledge in the future? What the fuck are libraries but mass piracy collectives?

Here is the truth of it, and it will piss off pretty much everyone in this non-manufacturing based economy.

You either know something or you do not. It is either secret or it is not. And in the end, all things are known.

You cannot own knowledge. It was never yours to begin with. The language I am speaking now was giving to me by thousands of years of other English speakers. It is not mine to own. The word "fkucherry" that I just made up does not belong to me. It is a contruct of what I've learned from others. It is knowledge.

When this understanding is realized, say after a catastrophic event, then Linux will no longer need the GPL along with all other proprietary software/entertainment data. And the data that will be able to survive at that point will be open data, as Linux is today. It will save our asses- mark my words. Windows and all those shit programs that those people copied won't be worth a drop of piss. Nobody will be able to modify it. It will be useless.

And so here is what I think of arresting very smart people in high end technical positions. Maybe they know something that you don't? Maybe they aren't paid by people that get their money from PAC funded politicians. Maybe they are archiving data educating more people than your broken government ever could. Maybe we should all think about what this means.

I have to tell you that the moment Intellect and Knowledge became legal property is the moment that you have no "lawful" rights to your own thoughts. That does not serve anyone and never has.

Pirates finance terrorists? (2, Interesting)

panxerox (575545) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622722)

Actually I thought it was the money that we pay for oil that the arab governments then use to pay the terrorists off so they don't go after them.

Old News? (2, Informative)

sobe01 (951363) | more than 8 years ago | (#14622782)

This article may be a recycle, the group mentioned "RiSCiSO" has been listed in previous cases. I would hope these guys wouldnt continue their practices, and even if they did that they would find a different name to use. Also, the DOJ has always posted press releases about their busts the same day as they happen on []
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