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Gamers Hit By Fines From Lawyers

Discussion in 'News' started by wagnerk, Aug 20, 2008.

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  1. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator


    Gamers Hit By Fines From Lawyers

    Thousands of gamers who have shared files illegally online are about to get a nasty surprise through the post - a fine for hundreds of pounds.

    The makers behind popular games such as The Lord Of The Rings and the Colin McRae rally series are set to serve 25,000 people with the legal notices.

    The families targeted must then pay £300 to settle out of court or face the possibility of a trial.

    They are accused of sharing games by top makers Atari, Codemasters, Topware Interactive, Reality Pump and Techland, illegally.

    Read the whole story here.

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    WIP: MSc in Tech Management


    1. Mathematix
      Heard about this. About time! we lose too much revenue to pirates. :x
    2. Qs
      Yeah me too. Google news beat Ken to a story :( :p

      Agreed. People should buy games they wish to own, not just download them.
    3. Crito
      I'll think twice before buying a game from any of those companies. I don't like supporting corporate thugs. That's why I no longer buy music CDs too. There's plenty of music out there in open formats like OGG where if you chose to pay the money goes straight to the artists instead of lawyers. If the whole illegal music oligopoly goes belly up as a result, so much the better.
    4. Mathematix
      Well, the music industry doesn't want to back us up! Nice... :x
    5. BosonMichael

      What?!? That's absurd. By that same logic, do you stop shopping at a store because they prosecute shoplifters? Please. :rolleyes:
    6. Crito
      You assume people are guilty unless they can prove themselves innocent. I assume corporations are run by crooks, unless you can prove otherwise. Yes, that's the wrong way of thinking. Unfortunately no one will admit that until their nose is rubbed in their own [email protected]#$ and they get a big whiff of the hypocrisy.

      EDIT: And I feel I also have to point out that governments exist to serve their people, not illegal multinational oligopolies.

      NOTE: I don't have to prove they're illegal oligopolies any more that the author of that article had to prove the people he slandered had done anything illegal. Merely calling them illegal oligopolies should suffice. Just like calling people terrorists, pirates and hackers suffices to sway your opinion. :rolleyes:
    7. Crito
      Oops, I said "government" when what I really meant was "fascist police state". I'm sure all the "terrorists" in the world will understand my logic.
    8. BosonMichael
      I never said that. Nor did the game companies. However, the guilt or innocence of the users is for the courts to decide; thus, why the game companies are pressing charges. If the users are innocent, they can take their chances on the justice system.

      Corporations sell product. You can choose to buy it or not buy it, but not steal it. How does that make them crooks?

      Assuming they are crooks, just because a thief steals doesn't give you the right to steal from a thief. If you want justice, pursue justice, not retribution or vengeance.
    9. TruthOrDare
      The problem with all this are the letters they send out.

      If I were to send 25,000 letters out saying that they viewed/downloaded (game/music/video etc) several months or even years ago that I made, and unless you pay £300, I will sue you for damages, then what do you think the result will be?

      There is nothing stopping companies just sending out letters to any random people as most will either pay up (just in case they or a family member did it), or will stick their head in the sand and hope it goes away. Very few people will even think about challenging them, let alone actually challenge them.

      It is nothing short of extortion.

      I'm not condoning illegally downloading material, however these sort of tactics are wrong.
    10. BosonMichael
      Hopefully, a lot of nervous people, and a lot less piracy in the future.

      That's absurd. I wouldn't pay a company £300 for something I didn't do.

      If they didn't do it, they have nothing to fear. If a family member DID do it, then they deserve the penalty they're given.

      You don't have to pay; let them take you to court. I can accuse you of anything right now and take you to court about it... but without proof, how far will I get? In truth, the justice system would likely throw out the case and impose penalties upon me for a frivolous lawsuit. Thus, without some sort of proof, I doubt the game companies would be making these threats, because doing so carelessly CAN get them into a heap of legal trouble.

      What tactic would you have them do? Not prosecute, and perhaps, shake their fist at the pirates? At least the companies are allowing them the chance to pay up. The alternative is for them to simply file the lawsuits against the users without giving them the opportunity to pay a fine. How is that better?
    11. Arroryn
      There are plenty of open source games too. Go ahead and get those. See how long they keep you entertained.

      There is no corporate thuggery involved in attempting to protect assets by proactively targeting people that have stolen from a firm.

      It's the same vein as Microsoft or CompTIA decertifying someone that has been exposed as a braindumper - they have stolen the property of the company by using exam answers - they lose their cert as a result. It's mentioned so often that, if braindumpers were pursued more vigorously and decertifying was more utilised as punishment, it could work so much more towards discouraging braindumping.

      So if someone illegally downloads a game - steals the property of the company - why should they not be punished? Why should an example not be set, to discourage illegal file sharing in the future? A £300 fine is quite light for theft really, depending on how much the 'target' has downloaded over the years. Plus you won't have to cough up any of the legal fees avoiding court. And like BM has already said - if you have nothing to fear, then just go to Court and stand your ground. You won't be liable for legal fees if you win, I have no doubt.

      The only curioso for me personally, is *how* have these 25,000 people been earmarked?

      There may be disputes arising where, for example, a game was 'accidentally' downloaded by a child left unattended at a machine (as were some of the claims when action was taken against those downloading music illegally). In these cases, should the parent accept negligence and pay the fine (as the ability to download the game got to the PC *somehow*), or is the plead that it is the fault of those making the files available for sharing - the creators of P2P sharing software for example - and refuse to pay the fine?
    12. BosonMichael
      Answer this: if a child is left unattended who finds a can of spray paint on a neighbor's porch, and they go tagging all the cars and houses in the neighborhood, should the parent (and child) be held responsible, or should the blame be placed with the person who left the spray paint out? I opine it's the former.

      In my opinion, if a parent allows a child free access to anything, including a computer, then they must accept the responsibility for their children's actions. After all, I am responsible for anything Hayden and Brandon do until they are of legal age to accept their own responsibility.

      Next time, perhaps those parents will watch their kids better, hm? You know, if that's truly what happened...

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