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ESA Sent Takedown Notices For 45 Million Infringements In Fiscal 2009 81

Posted by Soulskill
from the can't-say-they-aren't-trying dept.
eldavojohn writes "The Entertainment Software Association has released this year's fiscal report (PDF), putting out their numbers to level the finger at new targets. Following up on last year's published report, this one has a whole bunch of new numbers to ponder. The top five P2P game piracy countries this year are: Italy, Spain, France, Germany, and Poland. The ESA's anti-piracy program notes, 'Chief among this year's actions were five separate law enforcement raids against game pirates in California, resulting in the seizure of several thousand games and dozens of modded consoles, and the arrests of five individuals.' But don't worry, they've expanded to other countries. 'The ESA sent takedown notices to ISPs covering more than 45 million instances of infringement of member company games in more than 100 countries worldwide.' They also strive to show they are actually doing things, like endorsing 43 bills aimed at regulating content or controlling access to video games — with not a single one of them making it into law. They did put some into effect at the state level; mostly making it a crime to sell mature games to minors. You can also find their activities localized to you, as this report has sections arranged by state and country. Conspicuously absent this year are any global numbers of what piracy cost the entertainment industry, so unfortunately Ars Technica will have to find someone else to audit, although Venture Beat has a good breakdown."
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ESA Sent Takedown Notices For 45 Million Infringements In Fiscal 2009

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  • Go go (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dyinobal (1427207) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @12:28PM (#29243883)

    ' They also strive to show they are actually doing things, like endorsing 43 bills aimed at regulating content or controlling access to video games -- with not a single one of them making it into law. They did put some into effect at the state level; mostly making it a crime to sell mature games to minors.

    Go go nanny state!

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by ijakings (982830)
      Surely you mean Go Go Gadget Nanny state!
    • by Kagura (843695)
      There's one thing NASA has over the ESA. ;)
      • by Z00L00K (682162)

        I also read ESA as the European Space Agency.

        Be careful with those acronyms please!

        • by laejoh (648921)

          There are only 17,576 tla's [wikipedia.org] so collisions will occur.

        • by tenco (773732)
          Maybe ESA can send ESA a letter...
        • by Fred_A (10934)

          I also read ESA as the European Space Agency.

          I was fairly puzzled as well, figuring it must be getting awfully crowded up there :

          "take down those 45 million space probes at once !"

          I'm relieved it's just another bunch of clueless media cretins.
          Wait, no I'm not, it means there's yet another such stupid agency I've never heard of. How many such things are there ?

  • by selven (1556643) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @12:35PM (#29243959)
    And here I was thinking that kind of thing is reserved for cyberpunk dystopias.
  • Fact checking? (Score:5, Informative)

    by VGPowerlord (621254) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @12:43PM (#29244033) Homepage

    They also strive to show they are actually doing things, like endorsing 43 bills aimed at regulating content or controlling access to video games -- with not a single one of them making it into law. They did put some into effect at the state level; mostly making it a crime to sell mature games to minors.

    You have that backwards. The ESA is against these laws because it would limit their sales numbers. They're the ones suing to have these laws repealed [joystiq.com].

  • Woo! (Score:5, Funny)

    by LBt1st (709520) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @12:46PM (#29244051)

    'Chief among this year's actions were five separate law enforcement raids against game pirates in California, resulting in the seizure of several thousand games and dozens of modded consoles, and the arrests of five individuals.'

    I feel so much safer now knowing the streets are clean of those terrible video games.

    • by westlake (615356)

      I feel so much safer now knowing the streets are clean of those terrible video games.

      In the American system, violent crimes are almost always prosecuted at the state and local level.

      The federal government usually takes the lead in the prosecution of economic crimes with an interstate or international dimension.

      GTA IV grossed $500 million in sales in its first week of release.

      The geek can't hype the game industry as a high tech employer - a $10 billion dollar economic powerhouse - and expect the feds to i

  • by KarrdeSW (996917) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @12:47PM (#29244061)
    1.427 notices per second assuming they work constantly...
    Course they probably don't work weekends or holidays: more like 2.075 notices per second with taking time off. Oh... wait! They only work 9 to 5, right? Assume an hour for lunch... that takes it to 7.143 notices per second!

    I don't really know how long an individual notice is in words, or how many are sent through email. We can probably assume that for any given delivery it gets printed out at least once... so that makes about 5400 trees worth of copy paper.

    Once again, assuming it only takes one page, and assuming they are using a relatively efficient printer... this works out to what? $1,800,000 worth of ink just to print all this out once?

    I guess it really didn't say 45 million notices, just infringements. So I guess I'm also assuming from all this that one infringement = one notice. I'm sure that I'm also being conservative that one notice also only takes one page.
    • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @12:52PM (#29244123)
      Its pretty reasonable, lets say you have a ROM site that has every NES game on it, that there is over 600 games. Knowing that most ROM sites have more than one console and pretty much all the games for at least a single console, its not that unreasonable to claim 45 million "infringements".
      • by KarrdeSW (996917)

        Its pretty reasonable, lets say you have a ROM site that has every NES game on it, that there is over 600 games.

        This is a good point.
        So then you just have to wonder how slimy the lawyers are and whether or not they want to drown these people in paper. I suppose we could fit 600 games on a few pages, but why bother when we have document templates and laser printers :)

  • Don't they realize by restricting access to games they lose new talent? In general most kids have an idea what they want to do when they are around 15, they might not know which exact field, but at least a general idea (law, medical, computers, etc.) and by restricting kids access to "mature" games that are very often considered some of the better games they play crappy games and might not be interested in learning do develop video games.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by KDR_11k (778916)

      Perhaps game devs should tone down the violence then. It's getting absurd how much violence is going into games lately. It's no longer enough to show a blood splat and have the enemy fall over, no, you have to show all the organs being ripped out in every detail.

      Anyway, there are plenty of videogames that are both good and not M rated. Nintendo is known for making great games that you can give to a child without having to freak out.

      • by Dutch Gun (899105) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @02:35PM (#29245129)

        First you say this:

        Perhaps game devs should tone down the violence then. It's getting absurd how much violence is going into games lately. It's no longer enough to show a blood splat and have the enemy fall over, no, you have to show all the organs being ripped out in every detail.

        then this...

        Anyway, there are plenty of videogames that are both good and not M rated. Nintendo is known for making great games that you can give to a child without having to freak out.

        If there are plenty of videogames that are both good and not M rated, then what's the problem?

        I've worked in the game industry for well over a decade now. I have yet to work on a game that wasn't Teen-rated or lower, and I've made no special effort to do so. The simple fact of the matter is this: like you said, there are a HUGE NUMBER of great Teen-rated or lower games out there. And yet a small number of M-rated games get so much of the attention. Why are you blaming developers for that?

        • by westlake (615356)

          The simple fact of the matter is this: like you said, there are a HUGE NUMBER of great Teen-rated or lower games out there. And yet a small number of M-rated games get so much of the attention. Why are you blaming developers for that?

          There are a small core of developers - Rockstar comes first to mind - that push the M rating to extremes - beyond the limits of public tolerance - generating a backlash that sweeps across the entire industry.

          It has become almost impossible to introduce genuinely adult themes i

      • Nintendo -used- to be known for that. But seriously, since the GameCube, Nintendo finally figured out how to make everything they touch gold again so we get crap games with no replay value and that are little more than tech demos (Wii Sports anyone?) or repeat the same formula over, and over and over again to the extreme (how many Mario Party games are we up to now? 9 in 10 years?). While they do make some stellar games (Super Smash Bros. Brawl) their better games are often their more violent games.
        • by KDR_11k (778916)

          Last I checked Wii Sports was EXTREMELY popular and it wouldn't be a stretch to say the majority of Wii sales happened because of it. What are Nintendo's more violent games? Prime 3 Corruption, Disaster and Battalion Wars? They're all pretty minor titles and if you add them up you don't even get half of Galaxy's sales.

    • by Hatta (162192) *

      I doubt that whether a game is "mature" or not in any way correlates to quality. Yeah you have your Metal Gear Solids and GTA3s that are violent and excellent. But you also have games like Manhunt that are violent for the sake of violence, without any really redeeming gameplay value. And you also have E rated games like Ocarina of Time, Pikmin, Ikaruga, etc. I'm not sure how the last three could be improved upon by including mature themes in any way.

      • I don't think that I've ever played a truly excellent FPS that wasn't rated M or at the very least T. About the only two exceptions would be Portal which is more of a puzzle game, and Chex Quest but that was a mod of Doom II which was rated M. Had Zelda not done a few things to avoid getting a T rating, I have little doubt that it would be rated T (green "blood" rather than red blood, etc). The two most looked at games recently are FPS games and sandbox games. Both of which usually have M ratings.
        • by Dutch Gun (899105)

          FPS games are a pretty narrow genre, albeit a popular one. By definition, it involves the player running around with a gun and shooting things. That tends to get at least a T, and if it involves shooting people, probably an M.

          That's sort of like saying: "All the fighting games I've looked at seem to involve a high degree of physical violence." Technically true, but it doesn't really mean anything when cherry-picking one specific genre which is, by definition, probably more violent.

          • In general though popular games tend to have larger budgets and more impressive games. Every generation has its "popular" game, at first it was Pong, then it was Space Invaders games, then it was platformers, then it was fighting games/RPGs, etc.
    • by Dan541 (1032000)

      When I face a restriction, such as drm i just download instead.

  • They haven't figured out that the RIAA/MPAA model doesn't work yet.

    • Oh come on! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Frosty Piss (770223) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @01:02PM (#29244225)
      Well, you know, don't pirate games, it will not be an issue.

      Look, this issue is fundamentally different than the RIAA/MPAA issue. Here we are not talking about making backups, or having reasonable control over something you bought and paid for. We're talking about pirated goods, like fake Gucci hand bags and what not. Selling fakes is wrong, unlike the RIAA/MPAA concept of "stealing", this hits closer to the real definition.
      • reasonable control over something you bought and paid for

        Like modding a console you own?

      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I wouldn't be so sure about that.

        I got a copyright infringement notice for downloading a no-cd patch.

      • by Mashiki (184564)

        What modding your own hardware should be illegal? K! So where's the refund store when you wear out your console?

      • Define piracy (Score:1, Flamebait)

        by tepples (727027)

        Well, you know, don't pirate games, it will not be an issue.

        Define "pirate". Is KFoulEggs a "pirated" copy of Puyo Pop? Is Gnometris a "pirated" copy of Tetris?

      • The fundamental difference between "piracy" and "infringement" is being subverted these days by the entrenched media conglomerates. A fake Gucci bag or a bootleg copy of a theatrical release sold for $5 on the street corner is considered criminal infringement (and has been for many decades). Making a copy of "1001 Duck farts" for a friend, or posting a torrent to a website where 500 people can get the duck farts over the tubes is not criminal, but civil. In terms of the law, it's a tort. Now, enter the
  • Raids (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pgn674 (995941) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @01:08PM (#29244307) Homepage
    On page 20 in a big text box:

    Chief among this year's actions were five separate law enforcement raids against game pirates in California, resulting in the seizure of several thousand games and dozens of modded consoles, and the arrests of five individuals.

    It sounds like you could get the same thing from raiding any dorm hall on my university campus. This is a sound bite, good for news media to repeat, and to me it makes what could be a completely legal community sound like a gang of high profile game-pirate-for-profit lords.

  • Top Five? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Bob Esponja (1416343) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @01:19PM (#29244407)
    I live in Spain and the 80% of my torrents peers are from EEUU. Uhmm! RIAA/MPAA and partners are pushing governement to convert in criminal actions the right to share contents. Now in Spain, for now, is legal to share, because we pay a tax for the 'private copy right': The right to made private copies and share-it.
  • by CdXiminez (807199) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @01:24PM (#29244441)

    Don't tell me there is another thing called ESA that is spoiling our Space Agency's good name...

  • Well, better that the Entertainment Software Association does this than the European Space Agency. :P

  • Chief among this year's actions were five separate law enforcement raids against game pirates in California, resulting in the seizure of several thousand games and dozens of modded consoles, and the arrests of five individuals.

    Did the PR flack reading the press release sound like John Cleese at all?

  • page 16 (or 14) there are the top 10 isp supporting p2p piracy: Telecom italia is named twice at 11.6% and 1.6%... how come they are twice ? Iunet is named but the provider is named wind/infostrada . later in the page they named what they DID in December 2009 ... clearly a typo but.. does anyone re read it before publishing it ?
    • by aronzak (1203098)
      Hmm, this certainly doesn't inspire confidence in their methodology. Right there on page 14, after the diagram with two Telecom Italia's, it reads "In early December 2009, IP Policy staff circulated to Piracy Working Group members a draft plan for engagement on ISP Responsibility issues. "
  • by seebs (15766) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @02:42PM (#29245211) Homepage

    We got one of those once. We host a mirror of the IF Archive (text adventures), including three games named Days of Doom 1, Days of Doom 2, and Days of Doom 3.

    Here's the local copy:

    -rw-rw-r-- 1 seebs users 116471 Oct 17 1999 Doom3.zip

    They sent us a threatening letter because they believed this was the retail version of Doom 3.

    I assume the rest are comparable.

    • -rw-rw-r-- 1 seebs users 116471 Oct 17 1999 Doom3.zip

      They sent us a threatening letter because they believed this was the retail version of Doom 3.

      Clearly it's Doom 3 with some super-duper compression scheme that makes a CD-ROM or whatever compress down to under 200K. I think the NSA needs to be notified as well...

    • We host a mirror of the IF Archive (text adventures), including three games named Days of Doom 1, Days of Doom 2, and Days of Doom 3. [...] 116471 Oct 17 1999 Doom3.zip

      October 1999? Both Doom and Doom II were out by then; wouldn't Id Software have had a legit trademark claim by then?

  • I've received several of these from my university. Each one has been forwarded back to the ESA, suggesting that they try sending them to people with the relevant nationality. I wonder if these are included in the report?
  • by brianc (11901) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @05:07PM (#29246527) Homepage

    the European Space Agency did what!?!?

  • They bought it, it's theirs. Sure they were pirating games and that's illegal, but there is nothing wrong with modding the hardware. I'll bet they learned a bit about electronics in the process. I'm sure they were aware that they voided their warranty.

    There is nothing wrong with modifying hardware you own!

  • This may seem like trolling but I mean it as a legitimate question. If I repeatedly call the police to report that stuff has been stolen from the seat of my car, and they keep finding that I park my car on busy streets with the windows open, eventually they are going to stop responding to my calls. If the digital content industry insists on trafficking in materials that are extremely simple to copy and redistribute, why should the public pay good money to have the justice system process their endless compla

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