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Activision Targeting Individual Pirates

By - Source: Tom's Hardware | B 30 comments

If it wasn’t enough that the RIAA and MPAA started hunting down individuals for piracy – we now have Activision following suit acting with aggressive action on a case-by-case basis.

According to public reports, Activision has sued a New York resident for allegedly copying Call of Duty 3 for the Xbox 360 console and other, unnamed games. Activision is seeking between $30,000 to $150,000 in damages “for each infringement of each copyrighted videogame.

GamePolitics managed to dig up six other instances of piracy-related Activision lawsuits. Settlements in those cases ranged from $1,000 to $100,000. They also noted that five out of the six defendants lacked any type of representation.

Why haven’t more people been talking about these cases? Apparently, clauses in the settlements are forbidding the defendants from making any public statements that are inconsistent with any term of the Stipulation to Judgment and Permanent Injunction. Enough to make almost anyone remain quiet about the matter.

Unless James R. Strickland of New York is mass pirating video games – hitting him up for $30,000 to $150,000 clearly shows that Activision is at this point making examples out of people – much like RIAA and MPAA did. Notice how the RIAA and MPAA ordeal has significantly tapered off? It is a no-brainer that piracy does indeed cost these companies a lot of money – but when they jump on individual consumers for large sums of money, then slow step back into the woodwork it is obvious they are just using the legal system to recover lost money. It is definitely an unfortunate situation for both sides of the story – a lose-lose situation for the win.

In the end, it is no real big surprise to see the gaming industry big-wigs doing this sort of thing. Over the past year or so several large industry players such as Epic Games, id Software, Crytek and Infinity Ward have all expressed great concerns about game piracy on the PC. Some sounded off more than others, such as Crytek. Can we blame them? No.

Strangely though, all the aforementioned lawsuits seems to be about console game piracy.

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  • 3 Hide
    raithedavion , September 22, 2008 10:04 PM
    I buy almost all of my PC games. The only ones I don't buy are the games that are no longer available. As an owner of a legal license for certain games like Command and Conquer: The First Decade, I would expect that I would have no legal recourse for downloading a copy of the DVD, and using my purchased key. Disks get scratched. I like having a digial copy of my games. It is either that, or go with a digital system like Steam, where no matter how many times I reformat my PC or I lose and break a disk, I can always get my game back.
  • 2 Hide
    one-shot , September 22, 2008 10:26 PM
    Steam is great. I just bought the HL2 Episode Pack. The other games I've bought are always available when ever I want to download them when I reformat my OS. +1 to Steam and the guy above me^^^
  • 1 Hide
    megamanx00 , September 22, 2008 10:51 PM
    Yeah I didn't originally like steam but I guess it's better than the alternative. I don't really know if that's going to put any dents in piracy, but I guess game companies just wanna do something.
  • 3 Hide
    Cloned , September 22, 2008 11:07 PM
    Its sounds like they are targeting the people that post multiple games for download. I would much rather have them go after pirates than put restrictive DRM on games that I buy. Don't punish the innocent for the crimes of the guilty.
  • 0 Hide
    bf2gameplaya , September 22, 2008 11:48 PM
    The real issue is your ISP acting as an agent of law-enforcement, for a non-criminal activity.

    Copyright infringement is complex and civil, not criminal.

    You would have a fit if your ISP ratted you out for adultery, or tax evasion...but for copyright infringement? Pathetic. No wonder that industry is in full on fail mode.
  • 0 Hide
    mdillenbeck , September 23, 2008 12:18 AM
    Why would Activision want to silence those that they successfully prosecuted? After all, if their aim is to deter people shouldn't they want the public to know what is going to happen to them if they break the law? Maybe they prefer to make their money through litigation than selling their product.
  • -1 Hide
    bittoe , September 23, 2008 12:53 AM
    MDillenbeckWhy would Activision want to silence those that they successfully prosecuted? After all, if their aim is to deter people shouldn't they want the public to know what is going to happen to them if they break the law? Maybe they prefer to make their money through litigation than selling their product.


    Perhaps what they are doing is suing and winning then allowing the offending party to forgo payment in return for silence. This way they get the word out w/o actually screwing their client-base
  • -1 Hide
    noobe1981 , September 23, 2008 1:26 AM
    It simple you don't go around telling people you're sueing.. For the simple reason its a grey area for a lot of people. And not many people like to see the big guys push around the small guys. Even if they got some justifaction for doing so. But 1000+ anyways is a load of crap. It should be the cost of the game unless they can prove their selling it. But they got lobbyist and naturally pirates don't. Go figure.
  • 0 Hide
    captaincharisma , September 23, 2008 2:06 AM
    i was introduced to steam too when i bought half life 2 and find it good sense one of my disks got scratched and couldn`t install anymore so i just download it now. and i got an extra bonus too. when I entered my cd key for my old copy of half-life GOTY edition i was able to download all the old half life games like blue shift and counterskrike
  • -4 Hide
    cruiseoveride , September 23, 2008 2:59 AM
    Game companies don't want my money, so why should I buy games?

    If they don't make games for Linux, its like saying "We don't need money from Linux users"

    I'll download my games thank you. And Windows too, just to play the game. That's what I keep my handy dandy 80Gb hard drive for.
  • 2 Hide
    godmode , September 23, 2008 3:00 AM
    i think the future of PC gaming is what Steam is doing. better than the DRM implemented by spore and sure as hell is better than the suing everyone.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , September 23, 2008 3:34 AM
    ^I agree with the guy above^
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , September 23, 2008 3:56 AM
    Why is everyone talking about PC piracy when the lawsuits mentioned are all related to console piracy? Why did the article even bring it up?
  • -1 Hide
    xxsk8er101xx , September 23, 2008 4:10 AM
    can't get blood from a stone.
  • -3 Hide
    xxsk8er101xx , September 23, 2008 4:22 AM
    The future of PC gaming is dead. Its gone. It's all about media PC and MMO's.

    This however this is about someone copying console games and selling them for profit. More than likely anyway.

    Simply don't copy games and sell them and you'll be ok. I promise!



    godmodei think the future of PC gaming is what Steam is doing. better than the DRM implemented by spore and sure as hell is better than the suing everyone.

  • 3 Hide
    v12v12 , September 23, 2008 4:30 AM
    Bah you're missing the whole points of serious concern: DRM is not allowing users their LEGAL RIGHT to make backups of THEIR purchased material. RIAA/MPAA have learned (wisely so) that instead of going after the copies themselves, why not make the MEDIUM used to transfer said product, null. Aka you're not paying for the disc and the coding on it, you’re paying for the LICENSE to use a product! In essence, you and I don't actually "own" anything but a license to use, and what if they stop supporting the product license? You're left out on your asses complaining on forums like THG. If I PAY money for a game, it's MINE to do wtf ever I feel like, as aside from mass distribution etc. MY DISC, kiss off and stay out of my business in MY home/machine.

    Another point of interest: All this server-side control with invasive and bloated ADVERTISING mini-appz like STEAM REQUIRE internet connectivity to get "your" beloved games. What if you're from an @home unfriendly country like Australia, where they PAY for GBs of DL'd data? ISPs in the USA are attempting to implement traffic shaping and quotas for "high bandwith" DLs... All of these industries are tied hand in hand, and once media markets make a major shift to the internet to conduct their business. Steam is bullocks if you ask me. While a good idea, I'd rather not be punished and assumed guilty b/c of a small group of pirates Vs the MAJORITY of law abiding citizens. Oh and you do know that just b/c something is a law doesn't make it right—lets start enslaving people again or rounding up "orientals?" Ring any bells? It was perfectly legal at 1 point in time.

    Lastly... DRM doesn't do a damn thing when a cracker can just include a patched exe/dll etc. to subvert all the checks. DL the patched version and have full functionality, the only hindrance is server-side serial key checks (stolen ones are very common). I have no qualms about copyright owners having legal right to pursue, BUT at what cost to us—the mass market? WE all have to suffer for their incessant greed: “YES WE'RE going after EVERYONE possible@the cost to the law abiding consumer’s hassle and infection of near root-kit like ‘protection’ schemes (UBIsoft and StarForce, anyone?). So if you copy a game you get fined on the scale of major grand larceny Vs if you stole 5 copies of the game from best buy and got a small fine and community service? LMFAO *TSSST* Houston we've got a problem with an BIAS, PRO-Corporate legal system TSSSST* OVER...TSSSST*

    Bah why bother with these kinds of posts, most of you old dogs and young sheep will continue to buy this crap up and slowly erode your rights to common-sense down the PcB polluted river. Enjoy! GOOOO STARFORCE!


    BTW- Console piracy starting with the DreamCast (Disc Juggler + boot.bin for the win!) and Xbox etc, was just as, if not easier than PC. Both markets share the same interests for increasing anti-consumer type legislation and pro-corporate bias.
  • 3 Hide
    DFGum , September 23, 2008 5:05 AM
    Goodluck ever collecting 150,000 dollars from the average pirater.
  • 1 Hide
    Darkk , September 23, 2008 5:13 AM
    DFGumGoodluck ever collecting 150,000 dollars from the average pirater.


    Nahh, they'll just hack the Activision's bank account to pay the fine.

  • 0 Hide
    ThePatriot , September 23, 2008 5:45 AM
    How did they find out?
  • 0 Hide
    Chevelle454 , September 23, 2008 11:07 AM
    This is a joke.A game is 50 bucks. How can you sue for 30000-150000.
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