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SCI/TECH: Jail for 'Robin Hoods' who cost Microsoft millions

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posted on May, 8 2005 @ 01:09 AM
Four men, who, besides being corporate executives, university administrators and IT managers, ran a web-site called that posted expensive software to be downloaded for free, were sentence to prison on Friday. The activities of these self-styled "Robin Hoods" has cost industry millions of dollars and many people their jobs. Prosecutors said the total costs are "incalculable." The prison terms ranged from eighteen months to two and a half years.
Four Britons were jailed on Friday for being part of a global gang described as "Robin Hoods" who stole expensive software from rich companies and gave it away for free over the Internet.

The group, described by prosecutors as "sad individuals" who spent their lives in front of computers, were said to have cost firms such as Microsoft Corp. millions of dollars in profit and enraged its chairman, Bill Gates.

Prosecutors told London's Old Bailey criminal court that the four men, motivated by a hatred of software companies, were the key players in an international ring called, said to be one of the world's most sophisticated Web piracy groups.

The gang allowed Internet surfers to download new software for free, often before it came on the market, including the Windows 95 operating system two weeks before it was released.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Although these individuals see themselves as do-gooders and celebrities, really they are nothing more than sleazy thieves. Now, not only are their careers interrupted, but they will also carry a criminal record for the rest of their days. One would hope, that such legal action would serve to deter those who think that pirating software is a victimless crime.

Related News Links:

Related Discussion Threads:
SCI/TECH: Symantec Wins Piracy Judgment
NEWS: MPAA Under Investigation for Illegal NYPD Payoffs
Global Crackdown on Piracy

[edit on 05/5/8 by GradyPhilpott]

posted on May, 8 2005 @ 03:07 AM
Good story, nice links

Gotta wonder about this type of thing. The source stories were biased, but they are Paskistani so maybe that means something. I didn't know piracy was that big a business there.

posted on May, 8 2005 @ 10:34 AM
This story has weird flaws... DoD (DrinkOrDie) was busted in 2001 and most of its members received a very large amount of jail time. Among those belonging to the pirate group were an MIT system administrator, a software engineer for Symantec, and a programmer for CheckPoint Systems.

DoD, the group that released Windows 95, hasn't been active on the scene in a very long time. had nothing to do with releasing warez. The warez were mostly released by the group on (first) BBSes and (then) Usenet posts.

They didn't spread their own warez, they used "courier groups" (like RiSC, RTS, etc.) to upload them to boards around the nation before the Internet was popular. After that, the couriers spread warez among temporary ftp sites. Again, did not have any warez on it or anything like that.

The only news here is that a few of its members could afford good lawyers and were able to drag out their cases for several years. Otherwise, this entire group was arrested and sentenced in 2001-2002. Check out the WikiPedia entry on DrinkOrDie for historical details of their bust.

I've got to vote no on this old news.


posted on May, 8 2005 @ 01:59 PM
Wow Zip, some 'rest of the story.'

News (to me) is something interesting that I didn't know. This is news to me much like the Zimmerman telegram story was when I first read of it some 60 years after the event.

For me, news does not have to be immediately current to be relevant.

I voted yes.

posted on May, 8 2005 @ 02:02 PM
Interesting to note that there is no mention of the millons Bill Gates stole when he either ripped off other companies ideas or used his market share power to prevent other companies from actualy getting to the market. IMHO Bill ought to be doing time as well. The USA sued and won and the EU is still hauling his sorry butt through court. Gates recently had the gaul to try and blakmail Belgum into using his OSexclusively. He told them that if they chose to go with another OS or to even support other OS including any Open Source code, then he would pull out all his opperations and thus JOBS from their country. He is an arogant bully and it is no wonder people pirate his software. Figures he would name his company after his dick. Micro .. and .. soft LOL

posted on May, 8 2005 @ 02:03 PM
C'mon man, this is ATSNN, let's keep it clean.

posted on May, 8 2005 @ 02:11 PM
Now I've seen it all. Where do people who work for Bill Gates get off calling ANYONE "sad individuals who spent their lives in front of computers"? Next thing you know Jessica Simpson is gonna call somebody else a ditz.

I'm not exactly on these guys' side, but as a general rule I don't cry when somebody stiffs Microsoft. When they fix windows so that I can delete their attrociously insecure browser and use firefox exclusively, then I'll listen when they accuse somebody else of not playing fair.

posted on May, 8 2005 @ 02:12 PM
I have to agree with most of what Terapin has said. Except for the last line. He made his billions as a thief. I find it interesting that company founded on software theivery can have anyone prosecuted for taking their stuff (software founded on stolen ideas).

posted on May, 8 2005 @ 02:29 PM
Exactly Vagabond!
One of the main complaints I hear about Microsoft is that noone can delete their crappy browser. And you have to use it if you go through the first rounds of updating. All you can do though is get it away from everywhere you would look and keep it buried in the Windows folder.

posted on May, 9 2005 @ 09:09 AM
In any case, warez groups like DoD are composed of a wide spectrum of fascinating individuals from all over the globe. While some of them may be "sad individuals" or whatever, many of them are "life of the party" coolguys.

I don't see software pirates as "thieving scum" OR "Robin Hoods." Somewhere in the middle, they are just groups of folks that copy software and provide it to people who would under no circumstances actually shell out the cash for it. They do it for free because they enjoy the competition with other groups for speed and quality.

As for the off-topic browser and Microsoft discussion, I would like to tell you all about Avant Browser Plugin. It's an addon for Internet Explorer that brings it into the 21st century with tabbed browsing, popup blocking, etc., so you can view all those IE-only pages but still have the benefits of a modern browser. It's free software. Check it out.


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