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Game Makers Sink Web Pirates

Thirteen of the largest computer and video game producers have filed suit against six game pirates who have been selling bootleg titles over the Net. The suit claims that James Cabot of Brook Park, Ohio; C. Graves of Raleigh, North Carolina; Tim Knoblich of Daytona Beach, Florida; Travis Lallman of Burley, Idaho; Derek Rufo of Vancouver, British Columbia; and Carol Scott of Columbia, South Carolina allegedly copied games, advertised them on six separate Web sites and sold them via mail. The companies suing are Activision Inc., Capcom Entertainment Inc., Edios Interactive Inc., Electronic Arts Inc., Havas Interactive Inc./Sierra On-Line Inc., Hasbro Interactive Inc., LucasArts Entertainment Inc., Interplay Entertainment Corp., Midway Amusement Games, Nintendo of America Inc., Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. and the 3DO Co. The lawsuit claims that hundreds of games were burned on CDs and labeled with magic markers, making no attempt to look legitimate. The Interactive Digital Software Association (IDSA) will be representing the case for the software companies. The game producers are asking for US$150,000 per copyrighted work found to be illegally sold. The IDSA estimates that the gaming industry loses nearly $3.5 billion a year from pirating. Ric Hirsch, senior VP intellectual property enforcement for the IDSA, said to the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, "Within the gaming industry, this a very large litigation effort. We have an active program for monitoring Internet activity, and these six people came up on our radar screen."

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