Define 'large'. As in, was it even 1% of their net worth?
If I've got a million in the bank, and a court fines me $100, that's not even going to give me a moment of pause, and it's certainly not going to act as punishment, or even a deterrent, and I imagine any 'fines' they paid were similarly minuscule.
And to make clear, it wasn't an 'anti-establishment' rant, so much as a 'Disgusted with the low-court/high-court system we've got' rant, mixed in with a hefty dose of disgust at how utterly insane the entire drug 'war' is and the laws related to it.
“Most people in the gaming industry were convinced that the first version of the game to be pirated would be the GOG version (as it was DRM-free), while in the end it was the retail version, which shipped with DRM,” notes GOG.com’s Managing Director, Guillaume Rambourg.
The DRM not only wasn't effective, being cracked in short order, it apparently acted as incentive to get people to crack and post the game, despite a DRM free copy being available elsewhere. That goes beyond useless straight into counterproductive.
"First of all let me dispel the myth about DRM protecting anything. The truth is it does not work. It’s as simple as that. The technology which is supposed to protect games against illegal copying is cracked within hours of the release of every single game. So, that’s wasted money and development just to implement it. But that’s not the worst part. DRM, in most cases, requires users to enter serial numbers, validate his or her machine, and be connected to the Internet while they authenticate – and possibly even when they play the game they bought. Quite often the DRM slows the game down, as the wrapper around the executable file is constantly checking if the game is being legally used or not. That is a lot the legal users have to put up with, while the illegal users who downloaded the pirated version have a clean–and way more functional!–game. It seems crazy, but that’s how it really works. So if you are asking me how do I see the future of DRM in games, well, I do not see any future for DRM at all."
Probably the best summary and description of DRM and how it affects people I've yet seen. Useless, and punishes only paying customers pretty much nails it.
(Lest we forget – and I never get tired of this fact – the RIAA, in its case against LimeWire, originally estimated the losses caused by file sharers using the service as up to $75 trillion – that is, more money than exists in the world).
Showing yet again why the 'Piracy costs us billions of dollars each day!' claims should never be taken at face value.
Ross Ulbricht, who created and ran a marketplace to sell illegal drugs, is sentenced to two life sentences, along with "max sentences on all other charges", and is held personally responsible for every single sale made.
Large banks, who launder money for drug cartels, aren't prosecuted at all, because the government sees them as 'too big to prosecute', and the potential economic harm too large should they do so.
Other than one of the people involved in leaking the details of it, not a single person in the US involved in the kidnapping, torture, and at times murder of enemy combatants and even civilians has faced any charges at all, without even an investigation into a single one of them.
So, to sum up:
Operate a marketplace where illegal drugs are sold: Two life sentences, held financially personally responsible for each and every sale.
Launder money for drug sellers: No investigation, no charges brought.
Order or perform the kidnapping, torture, and murder of prisoners and/or civilians: No investigation, no charges brought.
As the US 'justice' system, truly an icon of fair treatment for all, no matter their crime, position, or the size of their bank account. /s
So here's the funny thing, if Mike's only 'claim to fame' is that term, what's that say about you that you're apparently suffering from a near terminal case of envy of him, as evidenced by your obsessive posts regarding him and this site?
What have you done that's of note, other than display enough sour grapes to start a whinery using someone else's screen name, either to try and lend some legitimacy to your ranting, or hide your identity behind someone else's in hopes that people won't realize who you are?
Ultimately, it doesn't particularly matter whether the rules are specific or vague, all that matters is enforcement, whether or not breaking them results in any sort of consistent punishment. The most precise rules possible are completely useless after all if violators of them are never held accountable for their actions.
That they tossed out any specifics is of concern to be sure, but ultimately meaningless if they never intended to enforce the rules in the first place, as it seems is the case.
By making what they're doing illegal, while they may not stop(and almost certain won't), you at least make it slightly more difficult for them to attack and undermine the rights of the public, along with making further expansions of their power at the cost of the public more difficult to pull off.
Keep in mind, in the minds of maximalists, libraries are huge dens of thieves for allowing people to read books without having to buy them first, and anyone who listens to music, in any fashion, without paying for each song is stealing it.
"Screw education, we got to get paid" is perfectly in line with the maximalist stance on the matter.
What? Impossible, as so many people and companies(who I'm sure are totally unbiased) are constantly selling, everything must be owned, as such I'm sure it's impossible for the Mona Lisa to be free to modify, someone must own the rights to it!
Yet why is the NY Times -- the so-called "paper of record" -- repeating blindly government propaganda about how important it is to keep the program alive?
Why? Because fear, much like sex, sells. A lot of people have the attention span of gnats, and if you're not dangling something shiny in front of their eyes, they're going to go elsewhere, and the newspapers know it.
Which do you think is going to sell more papers and get more attention, 'Program that meet absolutely zero of it's stated goals and was completely useless about to expire', or 'American spy agencies about to be critically crippled, opening country up to terrorists attacks!'
There's also the whole 'Say what the government wants you to say or no more exclusives for you', but I'm guessing most of the fearmongering is simply profit driven, they know panicky people are easier to manipulate and sell to, so that's what they try and create.
Not at the price of his rights and due process though. I don't care how bad a person is, do it right, do it according to the law, and give them the same treatment someone completely innocent would get right up to the court-house doors, or don't bother.
Great, so a couple more years down the road, they might actually face some real punishment for their actions. I'm sure that will be of great comfort to all the people they've extorted and/or threatened in the past, and all those that they will do so to until the courts and government bothers to do something about them.
The possibility that parasites like this might, at some point down the road, face some actual punishment for their actions is a nice thought, but given it does absolutely nothing to protect or help all the people who get shaken down and threatened until it reaches that point, it's a small comfort at best.
I imagine every plea bargain offered comes with a 'disclaimer' that no matter what happens after that, the plea bargain is still considered valid. Plea bargain guilty to assisting in an armed robbery case where the main suspect is found not guilty? Too bad, you're still on the hook for 'assisting' a crime that wasn't found to have happened.
As more and more examples of people being threatened instead of thanked for trying to be helpful come up, that's exactly what's going to happen, and the companies will have no-one to blame but themselves.
If trying to be 'polite' and privately informing a company of a security or other flaw is going to get you sued or harassed, then people are going to stop doing so. Instaed, those finding such flaws will either ignore them, report them publicly, or exploit them, and none of these are good outcomes from the company's perspective.
In their rush to punish the messenger and protect their 'image', companies are setting themselves up for much worse things down the road.
That takes work though, and requires you to develop and offer a competing service good enough to convince people to switch to it. Much easier to hamstring the competition, then you can offer a crap service that's 'better' simply because it's not being micro-managed to death by idiot bureaucrats.