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PlayStation (Games)

GTA: San Andreas Leaked 705

Posted by michael
from the abbie-hoffman dept.
Anonymous Coward cuts-and-pastes: "Less than a week after a pirated version of Halo 2 began appearing on the Web, another of the year's most sought after games has been stolen. Ironically, it also happens to be a game titled after a larcenous act itself. That's right. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has become the latest victim of piracy, with illegal copies of the game, its manual, and its cover appearing on various Web sites." Update: 10/21 13:54 GMT by Z : Rockstar adds some details to what we know about the crime in a press release covered by CVG.
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GTA: San Andreas Leaked

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  • by garcia (6573) * on Thursday October 21, 2004 @08:48AM (#10585116) Homepage
    "Downloading, possession and distribution of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, including making the game available on the internet, is theft." Then came this warning from the company: "We take the theft of our intellectual property very seriously and we are and will continue to diligently and aggressively pursue this matter."

    I take the virtual theft of guns, money, sex with hookers, cars, and other people's lives very seriously and I will continue to diligently and aggressively pursue this matter once I get my hands on the game.

    Yet another news article that continues the bombardment of the uninformed public trying to change the definition of words to fit their needs.
    • by (SM) Spacemonkey (812689) on Thursday October 21, 2004 @08:55AM (#10585185)
      The logic of "Think of the Children Types":

      GTA teaches our kids to steal, so our kids steal GTA, which teaches our kids to steal, so our kids steal GTA, which teaches our kids to steal... etc

      Quite obviously, this vicious cycle is Rockstar's fault.
    • Yet another news article that continues the bombardment of the uninformed public trying to change the definition of words to fit their needs.

      Are you missing a prepositional phrase between public and trying?

      s/public trying/public, by irritating marketing departments trying

      However, there is no version control system for language, other than ignoring these little boys who cry 'wolf'.
      Similar flatus occurs when the legal system is used for advertising puproses. See: Paris Hilton...then again, don't.

    • by sorrowfloats (748011) on Thursday October 21, 2004 @08:59AM (#10585236)
      Then came this warning from the company: "We take the theft of our intellectual property very seriously and we are and will continue to diligently and aggressively pursue this matter."

      Anyone wanna let Microsoft know that someone has substantively ripped off the text of their Halo 2-leak threat? "Microsoft takes the integrity of its intellectual property extremely seriously, and we are aggressively pursuing the source of this illegal act." http://www.gamespot.com/news/2004/10/14/news_61105 39.html/ [gamespot.com]
    • by JaredOfEuropa (526365) on Thursday October 21, 2004 @09:07AM (#10585319) Journal
      Yet another news article that continues the bombardment of the uninformed public trying to change the definition of words to fit their needs.
      And on the other side of the fence, we have the copyright violators (hmm, "pirates" is a lot less unwieldy), who continue the bombardment of the uninformed public trying to convince them that copying software is OK, because "it's not like we're actually stealing something".
      • "who continue the bombardment of the uninformed public trying to convince them that copying software is OK, because "it's not like we're actually stealing something"."

        I missed that press release. Who are those people, or is this just unsophisticated smoke?

    • by clifyt (11768) <sonikmatter&gmail,com> on Thursday October 21, 2004 @09:13AM (#10585380) Homepage
      "Yet another news article that continues the bombardment of the uninformed public trying to change the definition of words to fit their needs"

      You *DO* know the english language is almost designed to incorporate new word uses over time, or are you not a linguist and just want to continually bombarding folks with the idea that you know more than most?

      Hell, most languages do this. The Hebrew language goes back into its history to find unused or underused words to represent modern tech simply to avoid using language from outside of its realm and to keep the language pure. Many others do the same.

      Do you really think the general public wants a new word for copyright infringing when most will look at it as Hey Why Don't They Just Say Theft Or Piracy, Because Thats What It Is. Other than the morons that take 1984 to heart and want to shape public perception by forcing the use of word choice to promote their lifestyles:

      http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/words-to-avoid.htm l

      And you wonder why folks think RMS is a stinky hippy that wants to force everyone to his idea of society. He claims that he gives choice, all the while trying to shape the slash sheeple into his way of thinking by altering language and hopefully altering though because of it.

      If we get away from thinking its theft, we can concentrate on calling it copyright infringement, which then sounds more like us v. THE MAN and thus the attitude starts to change.

      I'm going to get modded to -5 for this but fuck it. You've personally derided my posts in the past for using words like theft and piracy and I'm sick of the fucking hippy element around here that can't learn to live and let live. I don't tell anyone else how they should live their lives, nor how to think, all I ask is that folks respect my personal properties which include any and all intellectual properties. I think this is all most content creators ask as well...

      Oh wait, we can't use the word creator anymore either...
      • by Oddly_Drac (625066) on Thursday October 21, 2004 @09:29AM (#10585594)
        "I'm sick of the fucking hippy element around here that can't learn to live and let live."

        That's the fundamental basis of the 'fucking hippy element'. You may have meant something else.

        "way of thinking by altering language"

        He's just being fashionable. I think the rot started with 'By the people, for the people'. It later continued with the redefinition of 'defense' into 'bomb 'em first'.

        "Oh wait, we can't use the word creator anymore either..."

        Only as long as you don't apply it to a homocentric anthromorphic diety, or other such fictional construct. It's terribly crass and likely to get people backing away from you.

        "You *DO* know the english language is almost designed"

        You call it design, we call it evolution.

        • by clifyt (11768) <sonikmatter&gmail,com> on Thursday October 21, 2004 @09:50AM (#10585930) Homepage
          "That's the fundamental basis of the 'fucking hippy element'. You may have meant something else."

          You know, I'd attended a dozen dead shows in my life. My mom had the hippy ideas, and a lot of my friends were hippies growing up.

          This is no more the ideal of hippydom than George Bush is bombing Iraq to free people from the tyranny of Saddam.

          Hippies want to rule the world. They want to force us to believe how they believe. They want nothing more than to annihilate thought different than their own. I've *NEVER* met a hippy that was representative of the ideal that wasn't 100% identical to those around him. You find this in the Republican Party these days too. People want to be led and someone is obviously doing the leading...and more than that, they want uniformity. Uniformity frees one from having to think outside the lines, man. Sure, their coloring books might not have lines, but the minute someone suggests putting them in, they are demonized.

          Their society is no different than the one we live in today, and more than that, its just as damaging from a progressive standpoint.

          As for evolution -- its not evolution if folks *HAVE* to shape its existence. Its one thing for ideas and constructs to show up and be accepted, its another to go out of your way to enforce the usage of it...
      • Actually, if I had mod points right now, I would give you a + 2000 insightful.

        I used to think that just about everything that Stallman (RMS if you're a weenie) writes is a big packet of crap. The article you linked to was some of the most eye-opening proof of my theory yet.

        I like the way that most of the article tells his soldiers in the war on economic independence to avoid pigeon-holing their software. Yet proprietary software should be called 'handcuffware'.

        I just hope that some of the people in pow
      • by skarmor (538124) on Thursday October 21, 2004 @09:42AM (#10585815)
        You *DO* know the english language is almost designed to incorporate new word uses over time, or are you not a linguist and just want to continually bombarding folks with the idea that you know more than most?

        Do you really think the general public wants a new word for copyright infringing when most will look at it as Hey Why Don't They Just Say Theft Or Piracy, Because Thats What It Is. Other than the morons that take 1984 to heart and want to shape public perception by forcing the use of word choice to promote their lifestyles

        I know this wasn't directed at me but I'm gonna jump in here anyway. English, like most other languages, is evolving over time as new words are introduced and others fall into disuse. Generally this is not a problem as new words are required to describe new things/concepts and older words may describe things/concepts that are no longer useful or relevant.

        I agree that sometimes new meanings are attached to words that already used to mean something else. This is perfectly acceptable for most words where meaning can be derived from context. But, when we are talking about legal language, or words used in a legal context, we have to restrict ourselves to very specific definitions. "Piracy" is used to describe a specific violation (or group of violations)of the law while "theft" describes another. They are not interchangeable in the legal context. The same is true for "copyright infringement". This is a specific violation of law that is separate from both theft and piracy.

        The definition of these terms aren't kept separate because there is some plot by the "man" to restrict your freedom of expression. They are kept separate in order to prevent chaos within the legal system and to maintain some sort of societal order.

        If this was not the case we might see this situation:

        Person 1: I want to charge that guy for "theft", and by theft I mean the guy walked on my lawn.

        Cop: That would be trespassing.

        Person 1: Not in my world buddy
  • Ms. Pacman (Score:3, Interesting)

    by 2.7182 (819680) on Thursday October 21, 2004 @08:49AM (#10585131)
    Interesting. I recall that one of the first "Leaked" games was a version of Ms. Pacman for the commodore 64. I think I was in HS, so that would be about 1984.
    • Re:Ms. Pacman (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Feminist-Mom (816033)
      Yes, it came out in pirated form before it hit the stands, if that is what you mean. But it didn't make much difference since back then pirated software moved so slowly, since people used to have to physically get together and bring their disk drives. I remember having little parties like this with my Apple II !! Those were the days....
      • Re:Ms. Pacman (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 21, 2004 @08:57AM (#10585211)
        But sometimes it moved like the wind.

        I used to love cracking BBC Micro games. I remember when FRAK! was released, it had some rather good (for the time) copy protection. It took me hours to crack, but eventually lady luck smiled on me and it was cracked.

        I gave a copy to a friend of mine on the Monday.

        On the Friday I went to see some old chums from Uni. about 150 miles away. Guess what? They had my cracked version!

        And during the course of the year, every single copy of this game I cam across was my cracked version.

        I later went on to develop and sell some of my own copy protection and had great fun hearing people bitch and moan about how they couldn;t crack it. Blew their mind when I told them I was the author.

        Fun days.
    • by chegosaurus (98703) on Thursday October 21, 2004 @09:16AM (#10585432) Homepage
      It's just Pacman with a bow.
  • by rguiu (472301) on Thursday October 21, 2004 @08:50AM (#10585138) Journal
    This is a another example, as the bbc explain in the article:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3745484.stm

    But what Garcia Maruez did finally is he modified the final chapter of the book so the book in the street does not have the same ending than the published book. Quick reaction and probably a very good publicity campaign for boths, the pirate version and the published version
    • I know he's a Nobel prize winner and all . . . but I just can't respect an author that would change a finished work in response to the market. Seems pretty lame and un-Nobel-Prize-like to me.
      • Well, he can do with his works as he likes, it's supposed to be a free country after all, isn't it ?

        Also to say he changed it to market response would mean that everyone reading the already published book said "Ohhh ! It has a sad ending ! But we want a happy end !" and he put in a happy end after that so more people bought the book. You are just pissed of that he somewhat outsmarted the oh-so-heroic "pirates" that are for some stupid reason the great heroes over here.
  • by ylikone (589264) on Thursday October 21, 2004 @08:51AM (#10585141) Homepage
    Please post bittorrent links.... thanks!
  • *sigh*.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by joper90 (669321) * on Thursday October 21, 2004 @08:51AM (#10585142)
    Another dupe.. and a day late also..

    But on another note why is this making news.. Every single xbox,pc,gc,ps2 etc etc game is cracked/released, and normally before retail dates.

    Just because they big name games does it actually matter.. This has been going on since the days of the zx81 (and prob before).
  • Whew (Score:4, Funny)

    by StevenHenderson (806391) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {nosrednehevets}> on Thursday October 21, 2004 @08:51AM (#10585143)
    This will help with the supply shortage on the release date!
  • What? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Heem (448667) on Thursday October 21, 2004 @08:52AM (#10585152) Homepage Journal
    WHOA WHOA! You mean to tell me there is pirated software on the internet!?!? Next you'll be telling me I can download Music and Pornography.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 21, 2004 @08:55AM (#10585183)
    This happens with every single game that comes out. Why all of a sudden is this huge news? Back in the days of doom and quake games were pirated days and weeks before their release. Granted, lately it's been sometimes the day of or a day after the game has been released to retail that a game gets pirated, but this isn't news people. It's been happening for 10+ years. One thing that has changed, is how easy it is for people not involved in the "scene" to get these releases. Before you used to have to know the right people, nowadays all you need to do is load up the latest p2p app and anyone can find it.
    • this could signal an incoming wave of repressive measures against pirated software websites...

      although I don't know how that would deal with Usenet-based piracy...
    • It's been happening for 10+ years. One thing that has changed, is how easy it is for people not involved in the "scene" to get these releases.

      The other thing is that it's now cool to play video games.

      That and the fact that it's also big business.
    • This happens with every single game that comes out. Why all of a sudden is this huge news?

      Probably because marketing people have figured out that only big games are news when they're pirated, so now they try and make sure everyone knows when their game is pirated, because then people will think "oh, it must be big if it was pirated before it's even on the shelves! There must be a lot of demand, it must be an awesome game!"

      Honestly, it wouldn't surprise me if the software companies made it quite easy f

      • Honestly, it wouldn't surprise me if the software companies made it quite easy for a pristine copy to make its way into the hands of someone who will post it all over the place, simply for the press and to get word of mouth going by having people play it and ramp up the hype about it.

        I'm not saying this is the case with GTA:SA, but this is something that's been discussed for years:

        Alternately, prepare a version that almost works, but shows defects that cause unplayability, oh, about a third of the way t

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 21, 2004 @08:55AM (#10585187)
    A game about robbing and stealing and wrackage and mayhem leaks out for everyone to steal. It is beautiful.
    • Actually... (Score:3, Informative)

      by LighthouseJ (453757)
      If the game was about trying to reform the main character away from robbing and stealing, then it would be irony. Since there is no relative constrast between the game plot and downloading leaked copies, this cannot be irony.
  • What problem? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Quill (238781) <martin@NOsPAm.simaltech.com> on Thursday October 21, 2004 @08:55AM (#10585189) Homepage
    However, it is already clear [...] piracy is becoming an increasingly common and serious problem for both gamers and the games industry.

    I have never condemmned piracy, but "a problem for gamers" - what kind of tripe is this?

    Actually, I see their point. The game publishers try to combat piracy with more draconian copy protection. This *is* a problem for gamers. The gamers who legitimately paid for their game. Not for those who download a cracked version.

    • Re:What problem? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by harrkev (623093)
      You are correct, but there is more to the picture.

      Game development is a *business*. That means that they are in this *to make money*. They have employees, rent, etc.

      So, if piracy costs them sales, then they have to raise the price to compensate. Or perhaps they decide NOT to make that cool new experimental game which might be a big hit or it might flop. "Let's just stick to making another FPS. Not too original, but it will sell like hotcakes."

      So, if there were no piracy, you might find slightly less
      • One thing to consider, however, is how many of those pirated copies represent lost sales.

        Exactly. I was being cynical in my remark, but I had considered the lost sales argument. Ultimately, however, I believe that a statistically insignicant number of sales will be "lost" due to this.

        If your guess of 1/4 was correct, this would be devastating to the industry, and I don't think it to be a likely number for the PC industry let alone for the PS2 where - correct me if I'm wrong - you'd need special hardwar
      • Re:What problem? (Score:2, Insightful)

        by stanmann (602645)
        And if there were slightly less expensive games and a larger variety, there would be more buyers, piracy or not. Every person who downloads before he buys, contributes to the higher quality games being produced and reduces.... I'm not arguing for or against piracy, just attempting to introduce logic. FWIW, Doom3 has its roots FIRMLY in the try before you buy arena.
        • Not quite true.

          I don't know about you, but I am on a limited income. I make good money, but between supporting a wife and two kids, paying off student loans, mortgates, etc., I do not find a lot of money left over for buying games.

          Sooo, if a larger variety of less expensive games suddenly came out, I would not be able to sudddenly double the amount of money that I spend. People on a limited income find it difficult to spend more. People with lots of disposable income will probably buy Doom 3 if it is $
  • by AntonyBartlett (644248) on Thursday October 21, 2004 @08:56AM (#10585202)
    A thieving opportunist has stolen a van of my latest publication hot off the press! But that SPANKED-up idiot has left the rear doors open and now my, artistically violent, tastefully desctructive video game is being dropped all over the Internet. Persue that trail of illegal copies diligently and aggressively collecting evidence as you go. When you've followed the trail to that thieving SPANK-head, waste him.
  • by jeffasselin (566598) <cormacolinde@gmail . c om> on Thursday October 21, 2004 @08:59AM (#10585231) Journal
    "Nothing to see here, move along", as they say...

    There's nothing new here. The warez scene has been doing -1 and 0-day releases forever. I've seen -7 releases before. They're getting a bit better, and I suspect some of the biggest networks are probably paying people to do the leaks, which helps things.

    This is news only because the game has been widely publicized. This happens all the time.
  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Thursday October 21, 2004 @09:00AM (#10585238) Homepage

    Look, I know a guy who's working on it, a really decent man. He has a wife, a child, and another on the way. If you copy this instead of buying it, you're contributing to putting him out of a job just when he needs one the most.

    This isn't a theoretical issue. Rockstar aren't some faceless cartel. Please. Do the right thing this time.

    • "Rockstar aren't some faceless cartel."

      No, faceless cartels tend to refer to themselves with simple geographic codes, whereas Rockstar...oh, wait...

      "you're contributing to putting him out of a job just when he needs one the most."

      Rockstar is doing great from the GTA series. You may have noticed them acquiring various studios.

      While I sympathise with your sentiment, please understand that it's sentiment.

    • by wibald (725150) on Thursday October 21, 2004 @12:17PM (#10588136)
      That's right. Don't copy it. Buy a pirated copy from a street vender. After all, he has a family to support, too.
  • However, it is already clear that with four of the year's top games--GTA: San Andreas, Halo 2, Doom 3, and Half-Life 2---being posted online before their official releases, piracy is becoming an increasingly common and serious problem for both gamers and the games industry.

    I agree that it's a problem with piracy. It definately looks like it's becoming an increasingly problem. But it's not. Just because these four games happen to be on every geek's wishlist they get noticed. Look at how many games are pi
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Alright, whose fault is this???

    nyuk nyuk...i kill me...
  • Great marketing (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    This question is for people who believe that music file trading increases CD sales. Ever consider that maybe releasing your software online, then crying that it has been pirated, is a fantastic and free marketing ploy? The vast majority of game players actually by their games. So when they see news like this posted on Slashdot and other sites, it's simply free advertising, and a powerful message that this game must be damn hot, so I just gotta rush out and buy it as soon as it hits the stores.
  • by BRock97 (17460) on Thursday October 21, 2004 @09:10AM (#10585350) Homepage
    Prepare for a "If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around" question...

    So, hypothetically, if Half-Life 2 were to be pirated, I download the game, and I already have it paid for via Steam, is it illegal?
    • If you get it before the launch, then I'd say yes but since you have paid for it but simply didn't wait until the launch date, it won't kick up too much dust.

      I think they'd be concerned more about their money than punishing a couple hundred paying customers for not waiting a few days till the game is officially released.
    • Great question there. I'm going to say that the legal side of the question is iffy-- it might be illegal yet since you didn't get it through legal distrobution methods (read: the ROM image situation; if you didn't dump it yourself, the copy is illegal).

      Morally, however, I'd say it's much less grey. It's absolutely fine, in my opinion-- you did pay for it BEFORE you downloaded it, after all. They've got their money either way, so no harm was actually commited.
  • by ForestGrump (644805) on Thursday October 21, 2004 @09:15AM (#10585414) Homepage Journal
    ok, so its not the latest and greatest
    but Rockstar has made the orig GTA free for dl [rockstargames.com]

    Grump
  • Stolen? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by foolip (588195) on Thursday October 21, 2004 @09:18AM (#10585458) Homepage
    What does the article actually say has happened? Has a copy of the game actually been stolen, or has a copy been made and put online? Since its impossible to steal immaterial things it should mean the latter, but with all the deliberate confusion of theft and copyright infringement that goes on its impossible to say.
  • Non news... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MavEtJu (241979) <slashdot@mave[ ].org ['tju' in gap]> on Thursday October 21, 2004 @09:27AM (#10585570) Homepage
    Wake me up when a game hasn't been leaked, stolen, copied or otherwise made available to the public before it has been released.
  • Grand Theft Auto made me do it.
  • . . . appearing on various Web sites.

    Downloading warez from a
    • website
    ? What a quaint, antiquated idea!
    (That's so 1995.

    I'm sure a few communities still do it that way, but I think systems like IRC are the norm; harder to shut them down.
  • Good (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Sentry21 (8183) on Thursday October 21, 2004 @10:30AM (#10586489) Journal
    I don't approve of piracy in and of itself - people put a lot of time and hard work into this software, and the long hours they put in are no picnic, make no mistake. If their work has produced a result that is enjoyable, I think people should pay for it. A friend of mine has Neverwinter Nights and the two expansions, but I spent $50 on the Platinum instead of $0.50 on a blank DVD, because it's worth it.

    That all being said, I am glad in a way that games are getting pirated, though it's not having the effect I'd like. My roommate downloaded Doom 3 before it was released, as (according to suprnova) did several hundred thousand other people. As a direct result, we wasted at least 20 minutes playing the game (waste is right) before we decided that it was hopeless - the graphics were phenominal - not realistic, but phenominal anyway. The physics was well-done as well, and the environment felt real.

    The game, however, was terrible.

    If I had bought the game for anything more than $5, I would have kicked myself, and even if I had paid $5, I could have gotten a pork roast for that and had a good dinner instead. It was a complete waste of time, and as much as we tried to justify playing it, eventually we got sick and gave up.

    Doom 3 lost a lot of sales to piracy, not because people weren't forced to buy it, but because people realized they didn't WANT to buy it. If I download GTA:SA and I like it, I'll get it. If I don't, I'll delete it (well, I'll burn it off then lose the DVD, which is the same thing).

    Thanks to the proliferation of broadband and bittorrent, piracy has become the way we test our content first. ISOs are the new game demos, Telesyncs are the new trailers, and media, for a good portion of those so-inclined in North America, purchases have moved into the honor system - every 'ware is shareware now, and people are starting to realize that it's easier to download and try it out than to haggle with the clerk at EB when they find out the much-hyped 'game of the century' is both uninspired and pointless.

    So yes, I'm glad this is released - not necessarily before the game is out, but I don't honestly think that matters, except for the 'first-day sales' figures, and those are largely unaffected anyway.

    --Dan
  • by Rorschach1 (174480) on Thursday October 21, 2004 @11:12AM (#10587195) Homepage
    I've spent the last two days solid in French language immersion on my XBox.
  • by DeTHZiT (631864) on Thursday October 21, 2004 @12:15PM (#10588104) Homepage
    I remember a few years ago you would have NEVER heard of a pirated game make the news. And really, for all those in the know, games were routinely released in warez form weeks, sometimes months, before the actual release.

    I think this is all a bunch of scare tactics by the media. Game companies know these sort of activities only have a marginal effect on their bottom lines. It's always been a constant. Hell, sometimes it's like free marketing.

    Besides, most of the people who are into trading these leaked games are kids who can't afford to buy them anyways.

    Don't get me wrong, it's not a good thing that games get pirated, but it's been happening since software was invented. Don't beleive the media hype, because sooner or later there's going to be a story about "The pandemic of software piracy".
  • by Uninvited Guest (237316) on Thursday October 21, 2004 @04:18PM (#10591612)
    Under US copyright law, it's not illegal for you to download this game. It is illegal for you to upload or transfer it to someone else. That's when you're infringing on copyrights. Yes, the publisher will lose money. Yes, their lawyers will be hopping mad. As long as you don't transfer the game to someone else, there's no crime committed. So, don't do it.

    (Now, let's see if I can break my personal best for up and down mod points in the same post.)

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