WTF ... IS WTF!?
We are a collective of people who believe in freedom of speech, the rights of individuals, and free pancakes! We share our lives, struggles, frustrations, successes, joys, and prescribe to our own special brand of humor and insanity. If you are looking for a great place to hang out, make new friends, find new nemeses, and just be yourself, WTF.com is your new home.

Offbeat Scene Busts

CopyLifted

Funnier than a 5th grader
4,790
78
0
#1
I know this is old news, but I didn't see anything on here about this. Myself, I am sadden by the actions of the FBI on how they did this. Although I know piracy is illegal, my heart goes out to the ones caught.

Anyway here it is: http://www.usdoj.gov/opa/pr/2005/June/05_crm_353.htm

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, Acting Assistant Attorney General John C. Richter of the Criminal Division and FBI Cyber Division Assistant Director Louis M. Reigel today announced another far-reaching and aggressive international enforcement action against criminal organizations involved in the illegal online distribution of copyrighted material.

Beginning yesterday morning, the FBI and law enforcement from 10 other countries conducted over 90 searches worldwide as part of “Operation Site Down,” designed to disrupt and dismantle many of the leading criminal organizations that illegally distribute and trade in copyrighted software, movies, music, and games on the Internet.

“By dismantling these networks, the Department is striking at the top of the copyright piracy supply chain - a distribution chain that provides the vast majority of the illegal digital content now available online,” said Attorney General Gonzales. “And by penetrating this illegal world of high-technology and intellectual property theft, we have shown that law enforcement can and will find - and we will prosecute - those who try to use the Internet to create piracy networks beyond the reach of law enforcement.”

Operation Site Down is the culmination of three separate undercover investigations conducted by the FBI. In the past 24 hours, more than 70 searches were executed in the United States, and more than 20 overseas. Four individuals were arrested in the United States, and searches and/or arrests occurred in the following 10 countries: Canada, Israel, France, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Germany, Portugal and Australia. At least eight major online distribution sites were dismantled, preventing tens of millions of further losses to the content industry. More than 120 leading members of the organized online piracy underground were identified by the investigation to date, and as the investigations continue, additional targets will be identified and pursued.

“The theft of this property strikes at the heart of America’s economy,” said FBI Assistant Director Louis M. Reigel. “It deprives many Americans and others around the globe of their right to be paid for their labor and enjoy the value of their hard work.”

In addition to attacking piracy globally, Operation Site Down struck at all facets of the illegal software, game, movie, and music trade online, which is commonly referred to as the "warez scene." The investigations focused on individuals and organizations that were the “first-providers” of copyrighted works to the warez underground - the so-called “release” groups that operated as the original sources for a majority of the pirated works distributed and downloaded via the Internet. Once a warez release group prepares a stolen work for distribution, the material is distributed in minutes to secure, top-level warez servers throughout the world. From there, within a matter of hours, the pirated works are distributed globally, filtering down to peer-to-peer and other public file sharing networks accessible to anyone with Internet access.

The release groups targeted by Site Down specialize in the distribution of all types of pirated works including utility and application software, movies, music, and games. Among the warez groups hit yesterday are: RiSCISO, Myth, TDA, LND, Goodfellaz, Hoodlum, Vengeance, Centropy, Wasted Time, Paranoid, Corrupt, Gamerz, AdmitONE, Hellbound, KGS, BBX, KHG, NOX, NFR, CDZ, TUN, and BHP. These groups alone are allegedly responsible for stealing, cracking and distributing hundreds of well-known titles, such as Autodesk’s Autocad 2006, Adobe’s Photoshop, and the movies “Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith” and “Mr. and Mrs. Smith.” Operation Site Down is expected to dismantle many of these international warez syndicates and significantly disrupt the illicit operations of others.

Conservative estimates of the value of pirated works seized in yesterday’s action exceed $50 million, which is only a fraction of the losses attributable to the online distribution hubs also seized in this operation. Top-level release groups like those targeted in the operation are primary suppliers to the for-profit criminal distribution networks that cost the copyright industry billions of dollars each year. Illegal warez copies of titles such as Autocad 2006 and “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” are easily and cheaply converted to optical discs and distributed throughout the world from factories in Asia and elsewhere. Spammers regularly advertise cheap software that can be downloaded from websites or shipped from overseas, usually bearing the signature mark of the warez group that released it.

Operation Site Down comprises three separate FBI undercover investigations run by the FBI field divisions in Charlotte, North Carolina; Chicago, Illinois; and San Francisco, California. The U.S. Attorney’s Offices in San Francisco, Charlotte and Chicago assisted in the investigations and a majority of the domestic targets will be prosecuted in those districts. The Justice Department’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section also assisted in the investigations and led the coordination of foreign enforcement actions in 10 countries.

Operation Site Down is the latest in a series of actions taken by the Department of Justice to crack down on illegal online piracy. In the past four years, beginning with Operation Buccaneer in 2001 through Operation Fastlink in 2004, the Department has prosecuted a number of international investigations into these top piracy organizations.

In March 2004, as part of the Administration’s Strategy Targeting Organized Piracy (STOP!) Initiative, the Department established the Task Force on Intellectual Property to address the increasing problem of intellectual property theft. The Task Force examined how the Department protects intellectual property through criminal, civil and antitrust enforcement, legislative proposals, international coordination, and prevention. A report issued by the Task Force in October 2004 recommended comprehensive improvements in the Department’s overall efforts, many of which have already been implemented. One of those recommendations was to continue the Department’s strategy of dismantling and prosecuting multi-district and international criminal organizations that commit intellectual property crimes. Operation Site Down represents the Department’s continued effort to pursue this strategy.
 
2,489
332
327
#3
what the hell. they totally missed the big piraters. china, pakistan, india...just to name a few.
 

Jung

???
Premium
13,993
1,401
487
#4
dull_bullet said:
what the hell. they totally missed the big piraters. china, pakistan, india...just to name a few.
They can't do anything about those; those countries don't acknowledge US IP laws.

I don't really feel bad for these guys. There's a huge difference in downloading a few movies and releasing thousands. They knew what they were doing, accepted the risk and got caught. That's life.
 

RageAgainst

Chaotic Neutral
7,540
506
257
#6
On a somewhat similar yet completely different note, did you know Pirates still existed? I mean, real pirates in boats. The thing is, now they have motor boats and full automatic rifles. There are supposedly a couple of them in the Indian and Pacific Ocean.
 

dustinzgirl

Banned - What an Asshat!
26,094
178
0
#7
junglizm said:
I don't really feel bad for these guys. There's a huge difference in downloading a few movies and releasing thousands. They knew what they were doing, accepted the risk and got caught. That's life.

If it were not for the releasers, there would be no downloaders. The only way I can see this making sense is if they were doing it for profit. They were not. It is a ridiculous affront to the justice system when an internet pirate gets ten years and a child rapist gets two or seven.

The FBI makes me want to puke. Our government makes me want to puke.

Corprate makes me want to blow shit up.
 

Jung

???
Premium
13,993
1,401
487
#8
dustinzgirl said:
If it were not for the releasers, there would be no downloaders.
That's not true; people rip, crack and share their own files all the time. "Scene releaser" aren't the only people pirating this stuff, they just do it on a much larger scale. Programs like Kazaa(which most unknowledgable people use to trade files) are mostly based upon people sharing their own files. The average downloader doesn't have the knowledge of, or access to, the places that these scene guys release their warez to.
The only way I can see this making sense is if they were doing it for profit. They were not.
It really doesn't matter. They were breaking the law and infringing on copyright and IP laws. They chose to do something that they new to be very dangerous right now, now they're being made example of. Like I said before, that's life.
It is a ridiculous affront to the justice system when an internet pirate gets ten years and a child rapist gets two or seven.
I thought the nation wide minimum for any sort of rape was 15 or 20 years? I know it is in Louisiana at least. Nevermind the bad example, I do agree that 10 years was excessive. Still, these were grown men who knew what they were doing. I don't feel sorry for them in the least.
The FBI makes me want to puke. Our government makes me want to puke.
I will agree with you there, but only in principle. Not all of the FBI's actions are bad, and we do need such an agency. I feel good knowing that the FBI tracks down serial killers, serial rapist and terrorist. God knows most local law enforcement agencies aren't trained or staffed to tackle those types of issues. However, I don't think piracy should be a federal issue. I think things would be better solved via civil suits and restitution.
Corprate makes me want to blow shit up.
You say that, but without corporations you wouldn't wear the clothes you wear, eat the food you eat, drive the car you drive or even have the job that pays for those things.


I do have something to add about this though.
Conservative estimates of the value of pirated works seized in yesterday’s action exceed $50 million, which is only a fraction of the losses attributable to the online distribution hubs also seized in this operation.
That figure is staggering, and obviously fudged. IP has little to no retail value, and setting retail value on IP is ridiculous. Even Microsoft has realized this lately, and state that the IP value of a pirated copy of Windows was a mere $1. Furthermore, while piracy does hurt these companies to an extent, it's definitely not stealing in the literal sense. Nothing has been irreplacebly taken, and the companies aren't left with an empty pocket when Johnny pirates the new copy of Photoshop CS that has a retail price tag of well over a grand. These companies need to realize that software, movies and music aren't guaranteed sales, and Johnny would've never paid a grand just to draw some pictures on his home PC. So now if Johnny gets caught, is what he took really worth that grand? No, he didn't "steal" anything but IP. He didn't cause Adobe to lose a $1000 sale, because he had no intention of buying it in the first place, likely because he couldn't afford it.

Meh, I had more to say, but I have to get ready for work...
 

JLXC

WTF's Official Conspiracy Fanatic
Premium
7,550
264
302
#9
dustinzgirl said:
If it were not for the releasers, there would be no downloaders. The only way I can see this making sense is if they were doing it for profit. They were not. It is a ridiculous affront to the justice system when an internet pirate gets ten years and a child rapist gets two or seven.

The FBI makes me want to puke. Our government makes me want to puke.

Corprate makes me want to blow shit up.

Quoted for the fucking Truth in all it's glory!
 

dustinzgirl

Banned - What an Asshat!
26,094
178
0
#10
junglizm said:
That's not true; people rip, crack and share their own files all the time. "Scene releaser" aren't the only people pirating this stuff, they just do it on a much larger scale. Programs like Kazaa(which most unknowledgable people use to trade files) are mostly based upon people sharing their own files. The average downloader doesn't have the knowledge of, or access to, the places that these scene guys release their warez to.
Yes but 99 percent are shitty fucking releases and not worth the dvd space
It really doesn't matter. They were breaking the law and infringing on copyright and IP laws. They chose to do something that they new to be very dangerous right now, now they're being made example of. Like I said before, that's life.
Being made an example of is part of the issue. I know you have some downloaded material and im sure some console mods. Look at what ppl busted with that shit get.

Not all of the FBI's actions are bad, and we do need such an agency. I feel good knowing that the FBI tracks down serial killers, serial rapist and terrorist. God knows most local law enforcement agencies aren't trained or staffed to tackle those types of issues. However, I don't think piracy should be a federal issue. I think things would be better solved via civil suits and restitution.
Yes. True. Piracy is a civil issue. If, for instance, someone stole something I wrote and passed it on as thier own, the FBI certainly would not give a shit because I am not corporate, it would have to be a civil suit.

You say that, but without corporations you wouldn't wear the clothes you wear, eat the food you eat, drive the car you drive or even have the job that pays for those things.
I could make my own clothes, ride a horse and farm, but the present state of the universe does not allow for that, now does it. It is Corporate America, and our laws are increasingly Corporate bound. Yay for us.


I do have something to add about this though.

That figure is staggering, and obviously fudged. IP has little to no retail value, and setting retail value on IP is ridiculous. Even Microsoft has realized this lately, and state that the IP value of a pirated copy of Windows was a mere $1. Furthermore, while piracy does hurt these companies to an extent, it's definitely not stealing in the literal sense. Nothing has been irreplacebly taken, and the companies aren't left with an empty pocket when Johnny pirates the new copy of Photoshop CS that has a retail price tag of well over a grand. These companies need to realize that software, movies and music aren't guaranteed sales, and Johnny would've never paid a grand just to draw some pictures on his home PC. So now if Johnny gets caught, is what he took really worth that grand? No, he didn't "steal" anything but IP. He didn't cause Adobe to lose a $1000 sale, because he had no intention of buying it in the first place, likely because he couldn't afford it.

Meh, I had more to say, but I have to get ready for work...
Yes, They are making it look worse than it is becuase they are greedy bastards.

This is the same as Prohibition in the 20s and Hippies in the 60's. Just a new group of ppl for the US to say is bad and wrong. because they can.
 

Jung

???
Premium
13,993
1,401
487
#11
dustinzgirl said:
Yes but 99 percent are shitty fucking releases and not worth the dvd space
If you're downloading shitty DVDs, then just don't know where to look. ;)
Being made an example of is part of the issue. I know you have some downloaded material and im sure some console mods. Look at what ppl busted with that shit get.
Right, but you're just downloading the files, you're not releasing thousands of applications, games, CDs or movies a week. Nor are you reverse engineering these companies encryption, which is a violation of a few laws in itself. Huge difference.
I could make my own clothes, ride a horse and farm, but the present state of the universe does not allow for that, now does it. It is Corporate America, and our laws are increasingly Corporate bound. Yay for us.
Could, but don't and probably won't. Because depending on corporations is easy and the norm. Hell, anynoe here *could* fly an airplane right now or go on a killing spree. The ability to do something has never been a valid reason to do it though.
 

CopyLifted

Funnier than a 5th grader
4,790
78
0
#12
junglizm said:
If you're downloading shitty DVDs, then just don't know where to look. ;)
We know where to "look", trust me. I think she was just going by your Kazaa refererence. Or any other file sharing software. Most of them are full of shitty rips or fake files anyway.

We all know that if your truely l33t, you don't use fileshare programs to get your shit anyway. ;)