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Game Pirate Sentenced After ESA, CATCH Collaboration

The ESA has announced that it will receive a $10,000 restitution payment from Frederick Brown of Vista, CA, who was arrested for game piracy by the Computer and Technology Crime High-Tech Response Team (CATCH) earlier this year based on an ESA tip; Brown

Leigh Alexander, Contributor

September 19, 2007

1 Min Read

In an official statement, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) applauded the sentence imposed on a California game pirate who was arrested on an ESA tip. The ESA said they tipped investigators from the Computer and Technology Crime High-Tech Response Team (CATCH) in 2007, who then arrested Brown for trafficking in pirated game software. When investigators searched Brown's premises, they found "hundreds" of illegal game discs. Brown pleaded guilty to two felony counts of trafficking in counterfeit products on August 1, 2007. The Honorable Timothy R. Walsh of the San Diego Superior Court handed Frederick Brown of Vista, CA a one-year sentence, with the first 90 days thereof to be served in prison and the balance to be served in work furlough, followed by five years of probation, for his involvement in game piracy activities. Judge Walsh, in addition to the jail sentence, imposed a $100,000 fine and a restitution payment to ESA of more than $10,000. Once released from prison, Mr. Brown will also be subject to computer use restrictions. “We commend the work of the San Diego CATCH team and the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office,” said Ric Hirsch, senior vice president for intellectual property enforcement at the ESA, the trade group representing U.S. computer and video game publishers. “Sentences that include jail time send a clear message that violating intellectual property rights is a serious crime with significant consequences and violators will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

About the Author(s)

Leigh Alexander


Leigh Alexander is Editor At Large for Gamasutra and the site's former News Director. Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Variety, Slate, Paste, Kill Screen, GamePro and numerous other publications. She also blogs regularly about gaming and internet culture at her Sexy Videogameland site. [NOTE: Edited 10/02/2014, this feature-linked bio was outdated.]

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