2 years 6 months for piracy !

Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by Scharlo, Feb 4, 2011.

  1. Scharlo

    Original Member

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    I just received the notice form US Department of Justice that Qiang Bi, who was selling pirated copies of our (and many of yours) games on Ebay got sentenced to 2 years and 6 months followed by 2 years of supervised release.
    We were one of the defendants in the case and it is nice to see that justice sometimes works.
     
  2. Nexic

    Indie Author

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    Wow, awesome! That's excellent news.
     
  3. indy

    indy New Member

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    Nice but too harsh IMO, the crime doesn't fit the punishment. At most he should have gotten a fine or community service or something but 2 1/2 years? wow.
     
  4. Olofson

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    I don't think it's that harsh, really. We're not talking about the usual "hobbyist level piracy", but rather making substantial amounts of cash by stealing software and selling it, competing with the rightful owners. Apparently over 35,000 copies (which means the fine is just slightly more than what he made on the sales) - and then there's the mail fraud and aggravated identity theft.
     
  5. cliffski

    Moderator Original Member

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    look up the word 'deterrent'.

    If anything this was far too lenient. He clearly didn't gvie a damn about screwing up the livelihoods of dozens of developers, so screw him.
    I'm assuming your finished games that pay your bills and provide food for your family were not pirated by him? (just a guess)
     
  6. Adrian Lopez

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    Deterrent or not, I think the bit about restitution is far more important than the bit about jail time. It's also important that the guilty party not end up "breaking even" after the whole affair, which is why he's also being required to give up "$367,669 dollars representing the proceeds of the crime, along with his house, his car, his computer and other electronic equipment" and provide "416 hours of community service".

    The fact that the guy was selling these games makes a big difference, I think. One illegal copy does not always equal one lost sale, but I'll bet it does so more often when money is involved than when it is not. I'm still not cheering, though.
     
  7. cyodine

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    The sentence isn't even remotely harsh imo. I think many burglars that stole a fraction of that amount have spent far longer in prison. Over 1/3 a million is a lot. Hell, I think many drug dealers and arms smugglers earn less money and have far greater risk.
     
  8. SteveZ

    Indie Author

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    Fun fact: That translates roughly to 45 minutes of jailtime per pirated unit sold!
     
  9. vjvj

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    Yes, and since he was selling pirated games for $10 a pop, he's essentially repaying his debt to society at a rate of ~$13 per hour. I'd call that an effective and fair deterrent.
     
  10. CasualInsider

    CasualInsider New Member

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    Got the same letter.
     
  11. cyodine

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    Bah, he shouldn't get 'paid' for sleep time.
     
  12. Grey Alien

    Indie Author

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    Well we make money by selling games whilst we are asleep :)
     
  13. RiVEN

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    There's pirating and then there's just blatantly sponging off other's efforts. He got served fairly imo. Maybe he was inspired by iTunes though!
     
  14. dantheman363

    dantheman363 New Member

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    His sentence sounds fair to me too.
     
  15. princec

    Indie Author

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    My concern is that 2.5 years in prison costs the taxpayer eg. ME a hell of a lot of money and I am almost certain does nothing whatsoever by means of deterrence. He should instead have been ordered to pay back his damage (and then some) to society somehow. Like for example renumerating the developers he ripped off with his salary for the next x years until he's paid off 10x the amount he ripped them off by.

    Cas :)
     

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