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Old 13th February 2004, 19:53   #1
LawnGnome2005
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US videogame pirate sentenced to over 4 years imprisonment

"A court in California has handed down a hefty jail sentence to a man who is described as one of the leaders of infamous game piracy group Razor1911, which was one of the best-known online providers of cracked game software.

Sean Michael Breen, 38, pleaded guilty to charges of copyright infringement and mail fraud, and was given a 50 month sentence along with three years of supervised release.

His sentence is reported to be toughest yet handed down to any member of the "warez" scene, which was targeted by the US Customs Service in a 14-month undercover investigation which has so far yielded 40 arrests worldwide.

As well as being involved in the game piracy and distribution network, Breen was also convicted of defrauding network equipment provider Cisco Systems of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of hardware, and ordered to pay restitution of almost $700,000.

The Razor1911 group, which has been in operation since the early nineties, is one of several large organised teams of crackers and distributors on the Internet who compete to be the first to release working pirate copies of major game titles.

Although these groups do not work for profit - but rather for recognition and "kudos" within the pirate and cracker communities - their actions are hugely damaging to software companies, who often see important titles being made available in pirate form on the Internet days or weeks ahead of their retail release dates."

source: gamesindustry.biz

I wish that they could stop more of the piracy on the net. Would be nice but there's no way they can stop more than a few people here and there. The thing is most of the people that are in to pirating software know its wrong but they do it anyway... bleh..

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Old 14th February 2004, 00:18   #2
Bilbo Baggins
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It will never stop, but the sureest way to curtail some of the piracy is to cut prices.
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Old 14th February 2004, 21:10   #3
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Well, it's kinda hard to cut prices sometimes when the company is actually losing money on each console they sell. Trust me, I'd love lower prices too, but it's not going to happen when people are continuously ripping the game companies off like this.

People say that there is piracy because of the high prices. I think it's the other way around.
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Old 15th February 2004, 01:25   #4
Bilbo Baggins
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Not true, the high prices have been around a lot longer than the scale of the piracy we have today has been.
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Old 15th February 2004, 02:33   #5
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Ok, I'll just put it this way; The prices wouldn't be as high as they are if people wouldn't pirate games like they do. You're right, the high cost of games has been around longer than the piracy of said games, but the piracy isn't helping things any.
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Old 17th February 2004, 09:15   #6
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or is it helping things plenty? N64 games when they first came out were rediculously expensive. A cartridge like that is much harder to pirate than a PS1 CD

Someone is going to debunk my point by saying that a N64 Cartridge cost 20 some dollars where a PS1 CD cost 20 some cents. I'll save you the time.

Given this 20 some dollar vs 20 cent issue Nintendo 64 games cost 50 dollars and a New PS1 game cost what 40 dollars? The system that is harder to pirate has higher prices. So saying piracy drives prices higher is faulty. I think its market share and cost overhead that drives prices higher.

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Old 18th February 2004, 00:22   #7
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How is pirating video games helping to lower the cost of new games? I know that manufacturing processes and the types of media that the games are stored on have a large influence on their price, but to say that pirating games helps to lower the price is ludicrous. Just because the N64 cartridges are harder to pirate has nothing to do with the fact that they cost a lot to manufacture. The fact that they're harder to pirate comes naturally with the design of the cartridge media... it in no way relates the cost to the difficulty of piracy.
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Old 18th February 2004, 02:06   #8
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where are your facts to analyize? i just here you spewing opinions without being able to back it up with factual evidence and diabolical analysis.

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Old 18th February 2004, 08:39   #9
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Piracy dosn't drive the costs up, thats down to market share and manufacturing costs as whiteflip says.

Piracy has always been part of the games industry, hell I've been ripping games off for over 20 years, I still have a loft full of old c-90 cassettes that have about 30 games or so each on them that used to get traded around the playground at school.

So, manufacturing costs, yes, back in the day games used to cost me £5.99, you got a regular tape, a regular cassette box and a bit of an inlay, then suddenly once company changed the rules, they started putting their games in flashy double sized boxes, big glossy colour booklets, hell they even used to give away a free tape head cleaner in the box as well, the price shot up to £9.99 a game, unheard of back in 1983, but that trend continued and game packaged got bigger bolder and more expensive, of course it didn't help that games got more and more complex and had more and more people working on them, so the more people you have to pay, the higher the price you have to pass on to your customer, that company by the way who lept from £5.99 to £9.99 was Ultimate Play the Game who later morphed into Rare, you've all heard of them yeah?


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Old 18th February 2004, 09:57   #10
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Point 2... Companies will charge what they want if they know they have a captive audience. Now not everyone is a pirate and if you accept that say 20% of the games that are out there for your system are pirate copies, then that at least means you have fairly healthy sales figures of 80%, so it makes sense for you as a business to charge a decent wack for them.

It's a well known fact that the big hardware manufactures make no profit on hardware sales, certainly sony has said as much in the past and MS are practically giving the xbox away relative to how much the make on it, so obviously they want to recoup money via software.

Bottom line is, if you have a captive audience, then charge what you like, within reason, taking a step back to the previous paragraph you could argue that Ultimate also enjoyed this luxury when they bumped their price up to £9.99, they produced at the time the best games out there and everyone wanted them.

Would prices drop if piracy stopped?, I doubt it, as I say it's been going on since the dawn of computers and the industry is still here, getting bigger every year, so it's hardly brought it to it's knee's as some people make out in the press, the real prize will go to the person who invents a media that you can't rip off, but what will that look like? carts are easy to rip off, if you can get access to chips and PCB manufacturing plant, then you are in business, CD/DVD? nah, people copy them left right and centre. Nintendo came close with the Cube disc, who else apart from Nintendo has a plant that makes 3 inch special format discs? but even that's been cracked now and there are ways you can play dumped Cube games on your Cube, it's probably the trickiest and most convoluted method of them all and it's not for the amateur but it can be done (I've never done it and more than likely never will, far to much like hard work). So the person who makes the unbreakable media will be the winner, any idea who that will be?....
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Old 18th February 2004, 16:07   #11
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Making the type of game disc you use proprietary [I'm thinking using a different kind of laser], thereby making it impossible to read with any equipment other than the console itself, seems a good idea. Compatible with DVDs and using the same size disc as a DVD, but only playing games on the 'other' laser. Just an idea...


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Old 19th February 2004, 02:59   #12
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Quote:
whiteflip said...
where are your facts to analyize? i just here you spewing opinions without being able to back it up with factual evidence and diabolical analysis.
Know what? You're right. I don't have any facts to back me up. So I'm not going to debate it any more.


Quote:
Piracy dosn't drive the costs up, thats down to market share and manufacturing costs as whiteflip says.
Like I said two posts ago...


Quote:
...the high cost of games has been around longer than the piracy of said games, but the piracy isn't helping things any.
It might not directly drive the prices up, but it's certainly not helping things any.
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Old 19th February 2004, 06:04   #13
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Nintendo is forever perusing a copy-proof format*1. Besides they get to charge developers for their proprietary disks or cartages ,cha ching. I am glad nintendo never became a console monopoly, with their tendencies for gouging and pricey components. Competition forces competitive prices, for which I am glad the console market is so saturated (if only the OS market was the same*2). Its interesting to note that game prices has stayed fairly constant over the last 15 years, despite the ever raising costs of development, I can remember buying Street Fighter II for $60 for my SNES way back in 91'. Taking into account the difference of $60 now vs. 14 years ago, the price of technology has deprecated considerably. The significance that pirating has on the price of games is probably marginal, for as Jones said companies must keep the prices reasonable to deter the desire to pirate, so if any thing piracy keeps prices in check.

*1:Nintendo's Charge into the Pirate Mecca
http://nintendo.gamerfeed.com/gf/news/4705/

*2: Microsoft faces competition:
http://www.technewsworld.com/perl/story/32805.html

Alright, I am off to pillage and plunder some 1’s and 0’s, mawhahaha.

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Old 19th February 2004, 09:29   #14
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'twas all in fun
I'm moding my xbox so I can rip all my xbox games onto my box. I don't plan on buying a bigger hard drive since most games don't take up a lot of space.

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Old 20th February 2004, 04:18   #15
LawnGnome2005
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whiteflip... you'll need to put a bigger harddrive in your xbox if you want to backup more than 3 or 4 games. A lot of the games are more than 2gigs and the biggest xbox hard drive is 10gigs i believe.

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Old 22nd February 2004, 10:58   #16
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my games? maybe? probably. if i knew how big each game was i could buy a hard drive that fits my needs acordingly.

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Old 22nd February 2004, 20:37   #17
LawnGnome2005
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Check out this .txt It has file sizes for some games. Not any new games on there because it hasn't been updated in a while. Should give you an idea though.
Attached Files
File Type: txt games.txt (11.6 KB, 194 views)

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Old 22nd February 2004, 23:30   #18
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Holy shit xbox games are huge! I guess they don't believe in compression. Why are there such large discrepencies with PAL and NTSC versions of some games?
( for example:
Mech Assault 3.43 GB PAL No
Mech Assault 789 MB NTSC No
)
Thanks for this info. I will now need to save up for a larger hard drive. 80GB should suit me nicely.

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Old 22nd February 2004, 23:36   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by whiteflip
Holy shit xbox games are huge! I guess they don't believe in compression. Why are there such large discrepencies with PAL and NTSC versions of some games?
( for example:
Mech Assault 3.43 GB PAL No
Mech Assault 789 MB NTSC No
)
My guess would be the PAL games, mainly for the european market may have a variety of language audio tracks on them for the many differnet european languages, while the NTSC ones are aimed at the US market where your target audience usualy speaks just English.

Same reason why US and European DVD's often vary in content, because you don't put 10 different language tracks on a disc you can have extra content, where a Euro disc might split the content onto a second disc or something.
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Old 23rd February 2004, 13:36   #20
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Razor1911... i've played a whole bunch of their releases in my day.
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