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ESA Commends FBI, Courts For Sentencing Pirates

The Electronic Software Association has commended the FBI and the criminal courts of North Carolina and Virginia for convicting and sentencing two game pirates on charges including copyright infringement, one of whom will be facing over a year in prison a

Chris Remo

August 29, 2008

2 Min Read

Following the sentencing of two individuals convicted for piracy-related charges, the Electronic Software Association has commended the North Carolina and Virginia courts responsible for the rulings. Kifah Maswadi, who plead guilty to a charge of criminal copyright infringement, was sentenced on August 15 to fifteen months in prison, three years of supervised release, and fifty hours of community service, and must pay $415,900 in restitution -- a reduced sentence as a reward for cooperating with the government. Kevin Fuchs, who plead guilty to conspiring to reproduce and distribute copyrighted works, was sentenced on August 20 to eight months in prison and eight months of home confinement. Both convictions are the result of FBI investigations. For three years, Maswadi sold stand-alone game systems that connect directly to television sets and were pre-loaded with over 70 pirated console games. He reported earned nearly $400,000 through online sales of the devices. Similar devices are also licensed by game publishers and sold legitimately. Fuchs was apparently involved in the "warez" scene, and was responsible for obtaining games to be pirated, then testing cracked or pirated versions before their broad distribution online. The investigation that brought him to trial was part of international FBI-driven undercover initiatives that have brought numerous piracy-related convictions since 2004. In its statement, the ESA described piracy and related crimes as "serious offenses" that "will not be tolerated." Said ESA CEO Michael Gallagher, “We commend the U.S. Department of Justice..., the U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the Western District of North Carolina and the Eastern District of Virginia and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for their work in bringing these criminals to justice. The ESA and its members will continue to support law enforcement’s efforts to protect the intellectual property of our industry.”

About the Author(s)

Chris Remo

Blogger

Chris Remo is Gamasutra's Editor at Large. He was a founding editor of gaming culture site Idle Thumbs, and prior to joining the Gamasutra team he served as Editor in Chief of hardcore-oriented consumer gaming site Shacknews.

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