Thursday, July 15, 2004

Wouldn't wanna be you

Hew Raymond Griffiths, a "warez" pirate, may be the first Aussie to be extradited to the US to face copyright infringement charges.

US authorities allege he was the ringleader of an Internet group, "DrinkOrDie," which illegally copied and distributed more than US$50mil (RM190mil) worth of pirated software, movies, games and music before investigators shut down the group in 2001. ...

DrinkOrDie was part of the so-called "warez" scene in which participants known as suppliers obtain access to copyrighted software, videogames, movies and music files, often before the titles are available to the public.

Other participants known as "crackers" use their technical skills to "crack" the copyright protection, while others known as "couriers" distribute the pirated software to various fileservers on the Internet.

The group, founded in Moscow in 1993, gained worldwide notoriety when it released a pirated version of the Windows 95 operating system two weeks before it was released by Microsoft.

Hew faces a 500 grand fine and 10 years in prison, I bet he'll get every day of those 10 years too. Ouch.

Here's an article entitled "Wanted: for long-distance geekiness." The article notes that the 41 year old Hew lives with his parents. Apparently being the ringleader of huge international warez crews isn't a particularly profitable enterprise.
Here's a Wikipedia entry about DrinkOrDie.

Here's a Slashdot interview with a member of DoD.

Article cited from here. Other articles in The Register,, ZD Net.


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