Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Video game pirate headed to slammer

Filed under
Misc

A Maryland man has been sentenced to four months behind bars for helping to organize a software and hardware piracy scheme out of a chain of video game stores.

Hitesh Patel, one of a group of employees and managers from the three-store Pandora's Cube chain in Maryland, pled guilty and was sentenced to four months in prison, said Rick Hirsch, senior vice president for intellectual property enforcement at the Entertainment Software Association. According to the ESA, Patel was charged with conspiracy to commit felony copyright infringement and for violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Hirsch said that Patel and several colleagues, including Pandora's Cube owner Biren Amin, had been selling modified Xboxes that let players use pirated console games. Hirsch said Pandora's Cube was also selling modified Xboxes preloaded with pirated games.

Amin, who was also convicted and faces his own sentencing in the coming weeks, would not comment about his case or Patel's.

But a clerk for the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland confirmed that Patel had been sentenced on July 19, though the judge in the case, Peter Messitte, had yet to formally put through the sentencing papers.

Hirsch said the ESA, a Washington, D.C.-based group that lobbies for the video game industry, complained about the piracy to the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. That agency, along with the U.S. Department of Justice's Computer Crimes and Intellectual Property Section, or CCIPS, then conducted a months-long investigation for raiding Pandora's Cube stores in December, Hirsch said.

A CCIPS employee contacted on Wednesday declined to comment on the case.

Hirsch said he wasn't surprised that Patel had pleaded guilty.

"They pretty much were caught red-handed," he said. "I don't think there was any dispute of the facts of what they were doing."

Hirsch said that the Pandora's Cube defendants were hardly the only ones in the United States selling Xboxes modified to allow the storage or playing of pirated games.

"I think there are a number of similar operations around the country, most of them doing it on a more covert basis than Pandora's Cube," he said. "But I think this creates a message for people engaged in these operations who think they are not really vulnerable to having anybody do anything about this."

By Daniel Terdiman
CNET News.com

More in Tux Machines

Linux Growth Demands Bigger Talent Poo

Today at LinuxCon and CloudOpen we're making an announcement that signifies the natural next step in helping to build a qualified talent pool of Linux professionals worldwide:The Linux Foundation Certification Program. We sought to create a new Linux certification program that is innovative, highly valued among Linux pro’s and employers and advances the state-of the-art of certification exams. We think it's a different approach to testing and can help advance Linux by bringing more Linux talent into the market. The exams are available anytime, anywhere; performance based with testing in the command line; and distribution flexible. Let me tell you a bit more about why we believe this is so important. Linux today powers most of the technology infrastructure that runs our daily lives. It is the fastest growing platform in nearly every sector of technology from embedded systems, mobile devices and consumer electronics to the cloud, enterprise server, high performance computing and more. Read more

Linux Foundation to offer new certification for IT workers

With an eye toward deepening the global Linux talent pool, the Linux Foundation today announced that it will offer two new certifications for engineers and administrators. The Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator, or LFCS, and the Linux Foundation Certified Engineer, or LFCE certificates will be granted to applicants who pass an automated online exam. The cost will be $300, although the foundation will hand out 1,000 free passes to attendees at LinuxCon, where the announcement was made. Read more More: Linux Foundation Debuts Linux Certification Effort

Parsix GNU/Linux 7.0 Test 1 Is an Interesting Debian and GNOME 3.12 Combination

Parsix GNU/Linux 7.0 Test 1, a live and installation DVD based on Debian, aiming to provide a ready-to-use, easy-to-install desktop and laptop-optimized operating system, has been released and is now ready for testing. Read more

Linux Founder Linus Torvalds 'Still Wants the Desktop'

The Linux faithful gathered today at LinuxCon to hear core Linux developers, especially Linus Torvalds—and the audience wasn't disappointed. In a keynote panel session, Torvalds spoke of his hopes and the challenges for Linux in 2014. Linux kernel developer Greg Kroah-Hartman moderated the discussion and commented that Linux already runs everywhere. He asked Torvalds where he thinks Linux should go next. Read more