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  • (01. January 2010., 09:27:49)

Author Topic: 15 Months in Prison and $415,900 in Damages for Video Game Piracy  (Read 1824 times)

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A 24-year old man in Oakland, Florida, was convicted to 15 months in prison and is forced to pay $415,900 for pirating and distributing at least 76 video games, most of them belonging to Nintendo. Kifah Maswadi developed an online business and used to sell "Power Player" consoles to which he added a "present" - at least 76 unlicensed copies of some famous video games.

Maswadi was caught and charged on January 24, and he pleaded guilty at the hearing on June 3. A couple of days ago, he was finally given a verdict by the Eastern District of Virginia Department of Justice. For pirating and selling video games, between 2006 and 2007, he has to spend over one year in prison and return an astonishing amount of money. Although the damages were evaluated at $390,000, since the sum cannot be perfectly estimated, the authorities imposed a $25,000 extra charge.

"In addition to the 15 month prison term and restitution order, Maswadi was ordered to serve three years of supervised release and to perform 50 hours of community service, which includes educating the public on the perils of criminal copyright infringement." says a Department of Justice report released after the conviction.

In their pursuit to find and punish Maswadi, the state authorities had help from the Entertainment Software Association, an organization that gives a helping hand to companies that produce and distribute video games and consoles. Some of its members are Atari, Electronic Arts, Microsoft Corporation, Sony Online Entertainment, Ubisoft and Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment. The association runs a worldwide anti-piracy program that helped authorities find and punish many criminals that infringed copyright laws. "ESA's training programs help to elevate the protection of interactive game product as a priority for law enforcement officials, as well as enhance their knowledge of the entertainment software industry and its products. In addition, ESA's intellectual property education and outreach efforts help to foster respect among members of the general public for the IP rights of game software publishers."

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