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UK DrinkOrDie members jailed

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 06 May 2005 8:01 User comments (7)

UK DrinkOrDie members jailed Three members of former Internet release group DrinkOrDie have been jailed for terms between 18 months and two and a half years in the UK. They were accused of breaking copy protection on commercial software and then distributing it around the world where it became available to potentially millions of people. While their actions apparently caused massive financial damage to the software industry, they did not make any money at all themselves from it.
You could view them as Robin Hoods of a digital world but prosecutor Bruce Houlder isnt convinced. "It is the first prosecution for software piracy on this scale conducted in this country. They may see themselves as latter-day Robin Hoods, stealing from the rich to give to the poor, but in reality it is a cover for fraud." he said. Judge Paul Focke told the defendants it was "impossible to quantify" the loss to others caused by their scam.

"The loss of software to owners through piracy is staggering. Also, the effect on related businesses and the lives of employees can be rendered catastrophic." the Judge added. Alex Bell, 32, was jailed for two and a half years and Steven Dowd, 42, was jailed for two years. Accomplice Mark Vent, 31, was jailed for 18 months. A former school IT teacher Andrew Eardley, 35, escaped jail as he was given an 8 month sentence suspended for two years.

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7 user comments

16.5.2005 12:32

"....stealing from the rich to give to the poor, but in reality it is a cover for fraud" LOL. I'm not arguing for, or against these guys, but i bet thats what the Sheriff of Nottingham would have said too.

26.5.2005 14:42

LMAO - those are Canadian murderer sentences.

37.5.2005 23:41

As if they even caused half the damage to software companies as they are accused of. I know many people who don't have the money to buy software in the first place. (Mostly stuedents) Furthermore, I know it works like this for games and music, I'm not sure about apps, but it's the publishers that rip the developers/artists off, BAD.

412.5.2005 16:48

This is just another instance of the fat cats getting fatter. Its strange that these software companies complain about piracy. but dont mind outsourcing their work to third world countries. Thus denying the oringinal workers who made them rich a job. typical greedy SOB`s

512.5.2005 21:14

I guess greed is big motivator for many people. However, members of release groups don't seem to it for gain. Maybe it's a hobby? Maybe they are motivated by a sense of justice? Anyone know their ideology?

622.5.2005 7:08

most of the groups i think do it just cus they can, and being able to release something before other groups & just to get past encryptions etc (i think it's always been like that, from back in the days when all the different type of console games were being copied & released everywhere. But the media and the anti-piracy groups come out with crap like supposedly they're doing it to fund drugs, terrorism etc. Not saying it's right, but everything on the supposed GOOD side of the law, is about GREED. Period. We've seen it since the days of cassettes, LP's, CD's, console & PC games, and now it's DVDs

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724.5.2005 0:59

Kinda makes me paranoid that authorities can screw over anyone, using some bullshit excuse

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 24 May 2005 @ 1:00

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