Wednesday 24 September 2008

Anonymous Activision Pirate Admits Guilt, Condemns ‘Scare Tactics’

The governments of the United States, Canada, European Union, Japan and other countries are negotiating an anti-piracy agreement that could have a massive impact on digital media consumers.

And they're doing it in secret.

Last time on “I Wouldn’t Be Caught Dead Downloading This,” GameCyte posited that there were far better ways to spend $100,000 than on pirating Call of Duty 3. But speaking on condition of anonymity, one of the defendants in Activision’s new RIAA-style lawsuits has informed GameCyte that though he himself was guilty of copyright infringement, neither the sub-par CoD3 — nor the reported $100,000 — were involved.

Asked the extent of his guilt, our source was unwilling to provide concrete details. “There was some [wrongdoing],” he admitted. But over the course of a brief telephone conversation, he remained adamant that the punishment did not suit the crime. Audibly shaken, our contact explained how he was scared into a costly settlement by attorneys who determined how much to sue based not on the actual material infringed, but on his purchase history, the equity on his home, and the number of cars in his driveway.

If he were to get an attorney, he was informed, he would have to pay even more.

When asked why he chose the sub-par Call of Duty 3 in particular to infringe, our contact told us that the title was not involved, and was something Activision had scrounged up all on their own. “They told us they had strong evidence,” he said, “but they never showed it or proved they had it.”

Though the defendant believes that Activision shouldn’t be ruining lives over a matter of copied merchandise, he told us that his in particular was “not totally” ruined, in part because the $100,000 figures touted in the lawsuit were inflated for shock value. Though he said the monetary loss was still substantial, he told GameCyte that having his name “slandered all over the internet” also plays a large part in his current predicament.

Asked why Activision might be keeping these lawsuits in the dark, he theorized that if word of these scare tactics became public, people might stop buying Activision games.

In 2004, the RIAA was taken to court for pressuring filesharing individuals into costly settlements, and although the case was dismissed in 2005, the ill will the organization has generated lasts to this day.

In a report commemorating the five-year anniversary of RIAA litigation, claims the only RIAA lawsuit to ever go to trial is now on the verge of being overturned.