Old Fashioned 'Pirates' Steal 6,000 Copies Of The New Call Of Duty Game

from the time-to-institute-some-PRM,-perhaps? dept

In this day and age of digital goods, where the waters are constantly muddied by the use of phrases like "stealing" or "content theft" in place of "copying" or "infringement," it's refreshing to see a youthful group of go-getters shaming their basement-dwelling peers by leaving the house and, you know, actually stealing something.

Via Computer and Video Games comes the somewhat surprising news of actual theft(!).
French site TFI News reports that the truck suffered a collision with a car on saturday morning in Créteil, south Paris, before two masked individuals emerged.

The criminals reportedly used tear gas to neutralise the truck drivers before hopping in and making off with the video game shipment said to be worth 400,000 Euros.

Separate reports say the truck contained a delivery of Activision's much-anticipated shooter, Modern Warfare 3 - an estimated 6000 copies of it.
Additional details from the source article (via Google Translate) indicate that a second truck was hit later in the day, bringing the total loss to nearly 800,000 euros.
This time the bad guys, three hooded people, used a weapon to commandeer the vehicle after having blocked the road. They quickly escape the wheel of the delivery van containing the same game.
While stealing physical product would seem to be completely redundant in this age of "epidemic level" piracy, there's something to be said about putting in a dishonest day's work. Of course, these stolen goods will likely be useless, considering Activision will likely have already pinned down the serial numbers affected by the time Jean Q. Publique has purchased his copy via LeBay or whatever. While pirating in the physical realm allows you to wear kickass hoods and toss around tear gas, the pirated digital equivalent will contain none of the damning evidence (invalid serial numbers, tear gas residue) and all of the fun of the original. I mean, this is a Call of Duty game and you're going to want to get online, right? Nobody buys/steals CoD for the single player.

On the other hand, maybe there's another lesson to be learned from this. Perhaps the "new" piracy will start to resemble the "old" piracy again. After all, the content industries would much rather have you stealing their physical product than downloading the hell out of it, as is evidenced by CreativeAccountingAmerica's nifty new coffee mug, which blatantly invites passersby to make off with this beautifully photoshopped item, rather than their non-rivalrous goods. (Hood and tear gas optional.)


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2011 @ 5:10am

    They'll have to rush to make this a level in the next Call of Duty, due out in March, 2012.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2011 @ 5:19am

    And I bet HADOPI will never catch them. Pirates!

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2011 @ 5:29am

    AAARGGGHH MATEYS!!!!!!!!!!!!

     

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  4.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Nov 10th, 2011 @ 5:39am

    It would be entertaining to learn that Activision has no way to know what serials were boosted, because they eliminated that position to save money. Our DRM will protect us well enough.

     

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  5.  
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    ZidaneT, Nov 10th, 2011 @ 5:45am

    At long last!

    On the bright side, now we have some solid numbers on just how piracy is harming the industry! ;)

     

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  6.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Nov 10th, 2011 @ 5:52am

    Re: At long last!

    Waiting for them to blame it on Google for giving them streetview of the path so they knew the best spot to hit them.

     

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  7.  
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    Steve R. (profile), Nov 10th, 2011 @ 5:53am

    But why be honest? Target BAD,

    There is little reason to be "honest". If you actually buy the software there seems to be no method to return the product for a refund. Given that,why should the consumer be honest when a company takes your money and refuses to give it back. With that Target - BAD.

    The TOS and EULA deprive you of any rights and to my knowledge none of the software offers a return policy. So if you reject the terms of service, the product does not work on your computer, or you are otherwise displeased it you just spent big $$$ for useless cheap plastic.

    Honesty needs to work both ways, not just to the benefit of the seller. Good old "Buyer Beware". With that, why should the consumer be "honest".

     

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  8.  
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    Butcherer79 (profile), Nov 10th, 2011 @ 5:53am

    Though amusing to read, I can't help the feeling that this article somewhat glorifies violence and theft, I see the comparison that is made between real and online piracy and the importance of that point, but perhaps this could have been made whilst not bigging up a "dishonest day's work".

     

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  9.  
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    abc gum, Nov 10th, 2011 @ 5:56am

    Parley?

     

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  10.  
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    Ima Fish (profile), Nov 10th, 2011 @ 6:09am

    I'd bet anything that their collective restitution will be less than Jammie Thomas' restitution.

     

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  11.  
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    Fushta (profile), Nov 10th, 2011 @ 6:17am

    Re:

    I think we are mostly adults here, who recognize sarcasm when we see it. Nobody is glorifying anything. If Mike's joking nature feel on deaf ears for you this time, rest assured, he'll keep trying in future "tongue-in-cheek" posts.

     

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  12.  
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    Fushta (profile), Nov 10th, 2011 @ 6:17am

    Re: Re:

    *err, fell*

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2011 @ 6:32am

    this will not help gamers on the 'Games don't make us violent!' front...

     

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  14.  
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    iamtheky (profile), Nov 10th, 2011 @ 6:33am

    Re: Re:

    by Tim Cushing:

    is all you need to recognize that the article will be short on substance on long on hyperbole.

    Mike's are generally buried in the last paragraph as a kick in the balls after laying out the facts. Tim likes to word every paragraph as if it his last, and yet it never is :(

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2011 @ 6:33am

    Re:

    I'll assume this is sarcasm; you can't really be that fragile.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2011 @ 6:33am

    If you buy games, are you supporting terrorists?

     

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  17.  
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    Lord Binky, Nov 10th, 2011 @ 6:39am

    Punishment fits a crime (not necessarily the one commited)

    I do find it entertaining that if they had downloaded 6,000 copies of MW3 the punishment would be far worse than just hijacking a delivery van with 6,000 copies. It seems an eternal problem whenever video games are involved, which is : physics suck.

     

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  18.  
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    Richard (profile), Nov 10th, 2011 @ 6:47am

    Pirates

    Would have been better if this had happened at sea - lorries just don't have the same romance.

     

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  19.  
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    Wes, Nov 10th, 2011 @ 6:49am

    Even you, Tim

    "While pirating in the physical realm allows you to wear kickass hoods and toss around tear gas, the pirated digital equivalent will contain none of the damning evidence (invalid serial numbers, tear gas residue) and all of the fun of the original."

    As you pointed out, the waters are muddied by the replacement of "copying" and "infringement" with terms implying theft. So much that even you, Tim, can't help but describe an infringing, cracked copy as "pirated".

     

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  20.  
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    FuzzyDuck, Nov 10th, 2011 @ 6:50am

    Re:

    Life must really suck without a sense of humor.

    Or maybe it doesn't if you don't know any better.

     

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  21.  
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    NullOp, Nov 10th, 2011 @ 6:51am

    Pirates?

    On shore these guys are just thieves. Sounds like an inside job to me. But, whether it's downloading or old-fashioned stealing it's still a crime by any standard.

    Two points for going old-school, however!

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2011 @ 6:55am

    Re: Pirates?

    Yes, This is a crime. Just as digital piracy is a crime. Its just a different crime.

     

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  23.  
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    Jay (profile), Nov 10th, 2011 @ 7:00am

    Re: Re: Pirates?

    Digital piracy has always been a service issue. Too bad you're paid to think otherwise.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2011 @ 7:04am

    "In this day and age of digital goods, where the waters are constantly muddied by the use of phrases like "stealing" or "content theft" in place of "copying" or "infringement,".."

    But the results are the same, obtaining something to which you are not entitled. Merriam Webster defines stealing as "to take or appropriate without right or leave and with intent to keep or make use of wrongfully". Perhaps the laws regarding theft should be changed to reflect this definition. Then maybe TechDirt would stop arguing over VOCABULARY and look at the real issue which is that a product or service is being used without compensation to the rights holder.

     

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  25.  
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    Kevin L (profile), Nov 10th, 2011 @ 7:05am

    Infringement is cheaper

    Considering they made off not just with physical product and license keys, but caused damage and will cost the municipality money for investigation, I'd say good old digital infringement is far cheaper than actual crime. If DRM got to a point where it were unbreakable, you'd get more cases like this, where people really get hurt - maybe even killed.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2011 @ 7:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Pirates?

    It still counts as a crime, just not as bad as actual stealing.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2011 @ 7:15am

    Re:

    You do know that legal definitions are not the same as the ones a layman would use, right?

    Or that infringement is a civil matter, not criminal, right?

    And that it is this way because that's how the laws are written, right?

    And that its really not a problem of vocabulary, but of your understanding of these facts, right?

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2011 @ 7:22am

    Unlike computer games, the console versions (PS3 and XBOX360) do not contain any serial numbers so there would be nothing to distinguish them from copies sold at any other location. This is a really sizable haul for the thieves even if they sold the games at just half price.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2011 @ 7:29am

    Sounds like a publicity stunt.

     

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  30.  
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    Luffy the Pirate King, Nov 10th, 2011 @ 7:36am

    Yaarrrr! This story arrrrmuses me.

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2011 @ 7:41am

    Will they be free?

    Are they going to give them away for free after all this hard work? I just wanna know how close to "file sharing" this will end up being - or if they actually intend to directly make money from the sales of non-counterfeit goods.

     

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  32.  
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    PrometheeFeu (profile), Nov 10th, 2011 @ 7:49am

    I waiting for the thieves to give a press conference explaining that tear gas costs money and that if people don't stop pirating games, the thieves will loose their jobs.

     

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  33.  
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    crade (profile), Nov 10th, 2011 @ 7:49am

    I'm still staring at that mug.. It's like putting your add against gay marriage in a gay magazine.

     

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  34.  
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    Butcherer79 (profile), Nov 10th, 2011 @ 7:50am

    Re: Re:

    First line of my comment above:
    "Though amusing to read"

    Tim's joking nature, not Mike's, did not fall on deaf ears and I look forward to reading more, both serious and tongue in cheek posts.
    It was just an observation, not an attack. I have posted here several times and I don't think I skimmed so low as to be trolling, this was just my view, to be taken or not by others.

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2011 @ 7:51am

    Re:

    I bet the games end up back in the retail distribution channel somehow and consumers end up being the ones that lose out in the long run because Activision "disables" completely valid copies of their games which some consumers bought innocently.

    In the end, I bet some mom-and-pop retailer ends up taking the fall for buying completely legitimate-looking games on the cheap from a supplier that they can't track down after the fact.

    Original thieves will probably get away with it.

     

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  36.  
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    Butcherer79 (profile), Nov 10th, 2011 @ 7:51am

    Re: Re:

    From above, applies here too:
    "Butcherer79 (profile), Nov 10th, 2011 @ 7:50am

    First line of my comment above:
    "Though amusing to read"

    Tim's joking nature, not Mike's, did not fall on deaf ears and I look forward to reading more, both serious and tongue in cheek posts.
    It was just an observation, not an attack. I have posted here several times and I don't think I skimmed so low as to be trolling, this was just my view, to be taken or not by others."

     

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  37.  
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    Butcherer79 (profile), Nov 10th, 2011 @ 7:56am

    Re: Re:

    At no point did I imply that I was, in fact I pointed out that the comparison between real and digital piracy is important. I was not damaged by reading this article, I did not feel down after reading this article, if I am interested in the articles here on TD I try to show it through a post or two.
    This was an observation, not a complaint and certainly not an attack on the author.

     

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  38.  
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    PrometheeFeu (profile), Nov 10th, 2011 @ 7:56am

    Does the truck door count as DRM for the purposes of the DMCA?

     

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  39.  
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    Lord Binky, Nov 10th, 2011 @ 8:08am

    Re:

    No no no no.. If people don't stop pirating goods digitally, then tear gas makers will lose their jobs. Just the thought makes me cry.

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2011 @ 8:12am

    Re:

    If the results are the same just prove it, it is easy to do so right?

    Because I want to see you explain why radio isn't destroying the music bussiness but somehow sharing is.

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2011 @ 8:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Pirates?

    Who is the idiot that made Jesus a criminal?

     

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  42.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Nov 10th, 2011 @ 8:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Pirates?

    With SOPA, the punishments that come with downloading, and the stigma you're trying to put on anyone who does, it seems that downloading is much, much worse then stealing.

     

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  43.  
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    Ron Rezendes (profile), Nov 10th, 2011 @ 8:18am

    Re:

    And this is why I don't think I'll ever technically pirate anything:

    "to take or appropriate without right or leave and with intent to keep or make use of wrongfully"

    No matter how I obtain it - I'm ALWAYS willing to give it back when I'm done!

    It's really too bad that when I pay for it I can't actually return the software if it doesn't fulfill my needs, something doesn't seem quite right about that. Almost anything else I buy allows a return for refund.

     

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  44.  
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    PrometheeFeu (profile), Nov 10th, 2011 @ 8:25am

    Re: Re:

    If you cry without buying tear gas, you're a thief!

     

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  45.  
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    Jay (profile), Nov 10th, 2011 @ 8:29am

    Re:

    But there's no more attack on games coming. Games are protected speech under the 1st Amendment.

     

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  46.  
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    Steve R. (profile), Nov 10th, 2011 @ 8:32am

    The Definition of Stealing is Becoming More "Liberal"

    Anonymous, content creators are involved in a massive land-grab that consistently aggrandizes their so-called property privilege. This land-grab needs to be stopped.

    Not only that, but scarcity is used, in some situation, as a basis for asserting a property right. Well, if there is infinite scarcity, then the property right should diminish.

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2011 @ 8:34am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Pirates?

    Infringement, not crime. But you know that and is purposely ignoring the fact.

     

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  48.  
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    Steve R. (profile), Nov 10th, 2011 @ 8:34am

    Re: The Definition of Stealing is Becoming More "Liberal"

    Oops. Should be "infinite availability"

     

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  49.  
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    Jay (profile), Nov 10th, 2011 @ 8:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Pirates?

    *sigh*

    Let's try this again. Digital unauthorized downloading of files has always been a service issue. Not a legal one. While those in the movie and music industry continue to try to make it a legal issue, it has always been ineffective in trying to litigate piracy away, which has NEVER worked.

    Cyberlockers such as Google Music or Rapidshare continue to fulfill niches that the MPAA and RIAA will not fulfill. While criminalizing linking is within their grasp, the cheaper outcome maintains that those within the industry build their own platforms of commerce instead of complaining to Congress.

    The litigation route continues to work against those that use it, vilifying their approach and showing the ineffectiveness of illegal search and seizures, faulty evidence collection, and lawsuits based on circumstantial evidence.

    But of course, making tapes was a crime too. Great way to enforce the law... Just think everyone is a criminal.

     

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  50.  
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    Forge, Nov 10th, 2011 @ 8:43am

    Re:

    Sarcasm. On the internet, it sounds like "Whoosh!".

     

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  51.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2011 @ 8:54am

    Re: Re: At long last!

    I'm pretty sure this would constitute a violation of all three strikes. Guess it's time to permanently shut down that road. Pity; it was so very useful for other forms of traffic and commerce.

     

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  52.  
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    FuzzyDuck, Nov 10th, 2011 @ 9:26am

    Re: Re: Re:

    but perhaps this could have been made whilst not bigging up a "dishonest day's work".

    The thing is I found the phrase a "dishonest day's work" particularly funny as I did Tim's "bigging up" of this event.

    But I'll accept your explanation and retract my implied statement that you lack a sense of humor. I'll have to reserve that for a more deserving commentator.

     

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  53.  
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    FuzzyDuck, Nov 10th, 2011 @ 9:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Damn, quote vs blockquote, I never learn! The first sentence is supposed to be a quote.

     

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  54.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Nov 10th, 2011 @ 9:36am

    Wait, I thought stealing meant changing bits of 0s and 1s so that they're in the same order as another pattern of 0s and 1s...

    This must be a different crime, like... loitering.

    Yeah! No matter how you try to spin it, this is loitering, plain and simple!

     

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  55.  
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    Fickelbra (profile), Nov 10th, 2011 @ 9:57am

    Re:

    I'm fairly confident if you're even reading this article, you probably aren't in the stage in your life where you need to be reminded about what is and isn't moral. We know armed robbery of a truck is a no-no.

     

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  56.  
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    Lord binky, Nov 10th, 2011 @ 10:03am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Aligator tears? Are they harmful to the environment or the economy........

     

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  57.  
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    Ima Fish (profile), Nov 10th, 2011 @ 10:03am

    Re:

    Playing games don't make you violent, apparently selling games makes you violent.

     

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  58.  
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    DOlz (profile), Nov 10th, 2011 @ 10:09am

    Re: Re: At long last!

    The thieves must have used Modern Warfare 1&2 to train for the mission. Darn Activision for providing the tools to enable piracy!

     

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  59.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2011 @ 10:49am

    Re:

    That does not encompass copyright infringement because it's copying , albeit unauthorized copying, not "taking" or "appropriating" both of witch wold negatively result in the rightful owner lossing whatever it was that was taken from them.

     

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  60.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2011 @ 10:49am

    Re:

    That does not encompass copyright infringement because it's copying , albeit unauthorized copying, not "taking" or "appropriating" both of witch wold negatively result in the rightful owner losing whatever it was that was taken from them.

     

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  61.  
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    PaulT (profile), Nov 10th, 2011 @ 10:51am

    Re:

    "Merriam Webster defines stealing as..."

    Nice cherry picking of one part of your preferred definition. Luckily for us, the law needs to be more specific.

    Whether you like it or not, infringement and theft are 2 totally separate things with different definitions. Stop trying to muddy the waters and accept this.

    Here's a quick guide to which is which - stealing deprives the owner of the original product and thus incurs costs and/or other direct quantifiable harm. Infringement does not incur any other these costs, only *potentially* depriving of a possible sale. Simple.

    "maybe TechDirt would stop arguing over VOCABULARY"

    Stop pretending that words mean things other than what they're intended to mean when it suits your argument, and maybe they will.

    "the real issue which is that a product or service is being used without compensation to the rights holder."

    Same thing happens when I borrow a friend's book. Should I be subject to legal sanctions when I do that?

     

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  62.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2011 @ 10:52am

    Re: Re:

    sorry for the double post. I try to stop the browser from sending the first one, so that I could edit it and only realized it didn't work went i when to view the second one.

     

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  63.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2011 @ 12:51pm

    Re:

    uh, if caught, I think these guys are goin to prison bro.

    So yeah, I'd say that's significantly worse.

     

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  64.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2011 @ 12:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Pirates?

    Jesus didn't take things without asking the owner, bud.

    Might want to quickly restock your karma for bringing him into this... careful when crossing the street until then.

     

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  65.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2011 @ 12:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Pirates?

    Infringement is a crime.

    You are committing a crime when you rip off music.

    You've just been able to do it without fear of being caught, so that's why you're desensitized to it.

     

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  66.  
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    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Nov 10th, 2011 @ 1:56pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Good news, Constant Detractor!

    I've got a new post up!

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20111110/12201016710/royalty-collection-agency-sabam-demands-34 -piracy-license-belgian-isps.shtml

    Feel free to jump right in and start bashing it!

     

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  67.  
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    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Nov 10th, 2011 @ 1:59pm

    Re:

    I can see your point, and I'm glad that you can see mine. I don't think I was trying to "glorify" the violence as much as point out the absurdity of treating online criminal acts with the same severity as offline criminal acts.

    But, as was ably pointed out by iamtheky: I am fond of the hyperbolic. :)

     

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  68.  
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    Sam, Nov 10th, 2011 @ 6:18pm

    Serial Numbers?

    Why would it matter if they figure out the serial numbers? I can imagine they could kill PC activation codes, but I doubt they could do much for console copies.

     

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  69.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 12:21am

    Re: Re:

    You?! Really?! Why I never!!

    Sorry I'm trying to get known for sarcasm ;)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  70.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 4:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Pirates?

    Most infringement is civil, not criminal. So illegal, but not a crime.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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