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(CD) Pirates Take to the Ocean 385

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the you-can't-make-this-stuff-up dept.
rammstein_rulz writes "www.cdfreaks.com reports that asian CD pirates now produce thousands of pirated VCD's on anchored ships in international waters to avoid getting caught. Malaysian marine police have been asked to be on the lookout for pirate ships"
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(CD) Pirates Take to the Ocean

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  • by GeekyMike (575177) on Sunday October 06, 2002 @08:53AM (#4396544)
    ARRR... hoist the jolly roger and walk the plank
  • International Waters (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kila_m (548924) on Sunday October 06, 2002 @08:54AM (#4396548) Homepage
    If they are in international waters.. what are the legal implications ? Whos Jurisdiction etc .. would they come under ?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 06, 2002 @08:56AM (#4396561)
      The RIAA's. Just wait for them to start issuing letters of marquee.
    • Legality ? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Taco Cowboy (5327)


      Even when they're NOT in international waters, the so-called "legality" is just as blurred.

      What's "piracy" anyway ?

      If RIAA wants to charge people an arm and a leg for trying out songs, and themselves (the RIAA) are known to NOT PAYING THE ROYALTIES to the artists, who's the REAL "pirate" ?

      What the so-called "CD-pirates" are doing is just this - they are doing one thing that got the MPAA, RIAA, BSA and whatever hopping mad, as mad as what the DCMA is doing to many of us.

      I am NOT saying what the "CD-pirates" are doing is right, but just that, the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

      Period.

      • by reallocate (142797) on Sunday October 06, 2002 @09:43AM (#4396694)
        This is an example of an unreasoned, apocalyptic extremism that plays into the hands of the forces the poster so adamantly attacks.

        Playing word games with "piracy" is pointless. Producing unauthorized duplicates of commercial products is known as counterfeiting. Most countries have laws prohibiting the creation and distribution of counterfeit goods. It's as illegal to market a counterfeit CD of the current flavor-of-the-week pop band as it is to sell fake Rolex watches.

        By glibly saying "the enemy of my enemy is my friend", all you've done is made more enemies: You have aligned yourself with counterfeiters, a tactic unlikely to draw support from the mainstream public.

        The enemies of your new friend are now your enemies.
        • You have aligned yourself with counterfeiters, a tactic unlikely to draw support from the mainstream public.

          Perhaps this is just my raging cynicism kicking in, but the past couple of years have given me the impression that the RIAA et. al. ALREADY view us all as a bunch of theives. Yes, the parent your comment replies to is a bit extreme, but with the hyperbole Hilary Valenti spouts on a daily basis it is justified in my mind.
          • Well, yes, that's right. The RIAA does think you're all a bunch of thieves.

            Hyperbole is not justified. Hyperbole just strengthens the impression that people are simply trying to justify theft, rather than addressing the legitimate copyright and property issues that have surfaced via all this P2P noise.

            This is a political and legal debate. It will be decided by votes in Congress and rulings from the Supreme Court.

            Most of the U.S. public doesn't buy music often enough to care. Why should they care if it is legal for you to copy a track of music by some bar band that got a record deal? Talk to them about the price of food, electricty and health care and they might start paying attention.

            Pick your fight. If you think copyright law needs to change, go for it. If you think CD prices are too high, stop buying CD's.
        • by Dr. Spork (142693) on Sunday October 06, 2002 @01:31PM (#4397537)
          When you go to college (if you do), an ethics professor will teach you that not everything that is moral is legal, and not everything that is legal is moral. Maybe it will take a real ethics class for you to realize that the mere observation that an activity is illegal according to some standard is no argument at all that there is anything wrong with it.

          I suppose if you lived in the 60's you'd say "I don't care about your principles and arguments--the law is clear: Niggers go in the back of the bus!"

          • Thanks for resorting to the typical Know-Nothing Slashdot tactic of resorting to gratuitous insult and ad hominem attacks.

            None of this has anything to do with legality or morality. It's only about tactics. It's just about cheap, throw-away music.

            If you think "sharing" music will get you what you want, fine, go ahead. I think it will cause you to lose and simply get more draconian copyright restrictions placed on all of us, including people like me who don't really care a twit about whether some college student can afford to buy CD. That's the point I'm making. Morality and legality have nothing to do with it.

            BTW, your equation of the civil rights struggle in the 60's to the music business is a gross and demeaning insult to the people who lived in that struggle.

    • by swb (14022)
      If they are in international waters.. what are the legal implications ? Whos Jurisdiction etc .. would they come under ?

      There are no legal implications, only political considerations.

      They come under the jurisdiction of anyone with enough firepower and will to enforce their own sense of jurisdiction.

    • In 50 years the head lines will be like "Evil linux users now going into space to avoid getting caught using non-DRM computers! Galactic police have been asked to keep on the look out for these dangerous hackers"
      • "Evil linux users now going into space to avoid getting caught using non-DRM computers! Galactic police have been asked to keep on the look out for these dangerous hackers"

        Close, but its more like "Microsoft security have been asked to keep on the look out..."
  • Well duh! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Pizaz (594643) on Sunday October 06, 2002 @08:54AM (#4396551)
    Where else did you expect to find pirates?
  • crazy (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 06, 2002 @08:55AM (#4396554)
    and here I am making jokes like "Arrrr! Avast ye, software pirates!"
  • Arrggghh! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 06, 2002 @08:55AM (#4396555)
    Ye best not be a stowaway aboard me pirate ship yest you be walking the PLANK!
  • by Ravenn (580407) on Sunday October 06, 2002 @08:56AM (#4396559) Homepage
    I wondered how long something like this would take.

    There's always a way around a law. This is just forcing a resurgance of older methods.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 06, 2002 @08:57AM (#4396564)
    England certainly still has the death penalty for this (along with treason and one other I cannot remember).. does this mean we are going to start seeing people hang again? ;)
  • by mangu (126918) on Sunday October 06, 2002 @09:02AM (#4396576)
    Why bother with small scale copying at all? Instead of trying to impose non-working copy-protection on consumer hardware, the media industry should focus on large scale copying.


    If I was trying to make money in IP violations, this is how I would do it:

    1) Forge documents from media companies, ordering large batches of CDs and DVDs from established manufacturers.

    2) Sell those records to wholesalers, which might or might not be aware of the scam.

    3) Profit

  • Why use a boat.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Perdo (151843) on Sunday October 06, 2002 @09:04AM (#4396582) Homepage Journal
    When you can do the same thing at your desk?

    Someone tell those guys not to take the term "Pirate" litterally.

    "Suck Emma, suck. 'Blow' is just a figure of speech!"
  • by tsa (15680)
    I always learnt that on a ship the laws of the country the ship sails under apply. If that's true what's the problem?
  • by Travoltus (110240) on Sunday October 06, 2002 @09:09AM (#4396602) Journal
    ...was that the page with the news article featured links right to where you could purchase the CD ROMs and RW's, plus the software to burn the CDs.
    Which basically means anyone can just follow the provided links to buy all the sh-t (except the boat) that will enable them to jump right into the offshore piracy business!
  • sounds pretty gimmicky to me, these people barely ever get caught, now they are just bringing attention to themselves by practicing their craft in a well....watercraft. sounds pretty brazen to me, like they almost want to get caught. it is as if they are so bored that they just need to do something new.
  • by travdaddy (527149) <{travo} {at} {linuxmail.org}> on Sunday October 06, 2002 @09:11AM (#4396609)
    Wonder if they might get attacked by REAL pirates. If they do, I think it would go something like this Simpsons episode:

    Bart: [through a bullhorn] Hey, Coast Guard! Try to stop us now, you lousy Americans.
    Coast Guard: [through a loudspeaker] We can't hear you! Come three hundred feet closer!
    Bart: Nice try. You're not going to nail us.
    LATER:
    Homer: Help! Pirates!
    Coast Guard: Navy SEALs are on the way.
    Homer: Oh, bless you.
    Coast Guard: How about a tactical nuclear strike?
    Homer: Oh, that would be just ... [realizes] oh, you're just yanking my chain, aren't you?
    Coast Guard: Perhaps this foghorn will answer your question. [foghorn makes the "mwah-mwaaaah" sound]
  • Just Slows it down (Score:2, Interesting)

    by HerrGlock (141750)
    Chances are that they have to mail the disks from somewhere other than their ships. This is where the local laws will come into effect. They will have to find a place that bulk copied copyrighted material is not illegal to mail it from. Then, they will be breaking the laws of where they are mailing it TO.

    All in all, this only slows down the process of stomping on them, does not stop it.

    We'll see.
    DanH
    • by chamenos (541447)
      Chances are that they have to mail the disks from somewhere other than their ships. This is where the local laws will come into effect. They will have to find a place that bulk copied copyrighted material is not illegal to mail it from. Then, they will be breaking the laws of where they are mailing it TO.

      i see you are unfamiliar with how pirated software is distributed in south east asia. the software pirates don't fuction like a mail order company or something similar; they don't mail out the pirated software CDs. they load them into big cardboard boxes and smuggle them by hiding the discs on lorries or vans which go to other neighbouring countries like singapore or thailand. from there, this discs are sold at wholesale prices to the local "distributors", who set up roadside stalls and peddle these discs for quite a handsome profit.

      basically they're breaking the law all the way. first they're making pirated CDs, transporting them illegally and then selling them illegally as well. they're not gonna break the law by illegally copying software and then suddenly decide to play nice and distribute it via legal methods. this is the same reason why druglords smuggle in drugs rather than set up websites so people can use their credit cards to get them shipped via UPS.

      All in all, this only slows down the process of stomping on them, does not stop it.

      i doubt you know how things work over in malaysia better than the software pirates so don't make such a presumption.

      the software pirates don't set up factories which they register as "software pirating factories". rather, they use factories manufacturing other goods as a cover for their operations. the authorities are able to clamp down on them after they get tipped off, and the software pirates get busted cos they can't pack up and leave fast enough without leaving any evidence behind.

      due to this, moving their operations aboard offshore ships makes the centre of operations mobile, and therefore hard to track and clamp down on by the authorities.
  • I mean, how would you feel if some band of blood-thirsty criminals commandeered your ship, killed most of the men, raped all the women, and then told you,

    "Arr! Give us your video CDs, or you'll be walkin the plank!"

    The thought certainly sends shivers down my timbers!
  • by Hi_2k (567317) on Sunday October 06, 2002 @09:24AM (#4396640) Journal
    Now that we have software pirates outside of malaysia (not that it matters wether their out or inside malaysia, its too easy to get pirated material there anyway), we need to call in the one person who can defeat them. GUYBRUSH THREEPWOOD!!! make sure he has Card feeding him insults.
  • Piracy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Nick Harkin (589728) <slashdot@@@cast-computers...co...uk> on Sunday October 06, 2002 @09:36AM (#4396678)
    Its a shame software 'pirates' are referred to as such.

    real piracy, is as most people know, a horrible crime, which involves finding a ship, stuck a long way from anywhere, and attacking it, usually killing or imprisioning the helpless crew.
    It will result in huge losses of life and stock.

    Nothing like the 'piracy' most people associate nowadays, such as music and software.
    Its a shame they associated such as white collar crime, with such as dark and horrible one. :(
  • Hilarious (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ffatTony (63354) on Sunday October 06, 2002 @09:39AM (#4396684)

    Police in Penang last week launched "Operation Green Ribbon" to nab peddlers of illegal CDs and VCDs and Mazlan said they had already arrested four retailers and seized over 1,000 pirated copies.

    I went to Penang just recently and there were literally multi-floor malls selling professional copies of Oracle for $20, dvds for $2-5 (based upon quality), Adobe products, MS products, etc. It was so vast it was staggering. One guy took a duffel bag overflowing with dvds/software back with us.

    Basically what I'm getting at is if they've only found 1000 pirated copies, then they are either totally inept or not trying very hard.

    • by merky1 (83978)
      They only nabbed those four because they were late on there "insurance" payments...
    • Re:Hilarious (Score:5, Interesting)

      by gotr00t (563828) on Sunday October 06, 2002 @10:23AM (#4396802) Journal
      Yes, I agree that the law enforcement around the far east are doing a horrid job. Apparently, last time I went to China, there were literally entire floors of a mall covered with retailers of pirated CD's. Most of them were selling the exact same thing, hinting at a similar souce. Some of the packages were printed well, and had a good design to them, and most of the CDs were of poor quality, but were pressed, and not burned. There were also CD's that came in packages that looked like it came out of an inkjet printer, and the CD itself was a CD-R.

      Apparently, these operations can never really be stopped because while I was there, I literally saw police go and buy some copies of some VCD's (not seized, bought). These people just don't realize that their personal gain in purchasing and selling cheap software may be good for them in the short run, but disasterous to their nation in the long run.

      • Re:Hilarious (Score:2, Insightful)

        by ponxx (193567)
        > but disasterous to their nation in the long run

        I'm not saying i agree with their methods, but how exactly is it going to be disastrous for China in the long run? No-one would buy this software there at full price as it's simply not affordable. With the pirated versions people gain knowledge and skills that can get them jobs everywhere in the world! And it advances Chinas computer industry, so until the US lays a boycot on them for lack of copy-right prevention it'll do nothing but good for the country, seeing it doesn't loose any profit itself
        • No-one would buy this software there at full price as it's simply not affordable. With the pirated versions people gain knowledge and skills that can get them jobs everywhere in the world!

          Exactly how did these people that can't afford software manage to find hardware to run it on? Did they steal it?
          • The hardware isn't cheap. In fact, it's more expensive here in Malaysia where I live than in the US. 1 USD is approximately 3.8 ringgit (Malaysian money). Now if a person has blown 3000 Malaysian ringgit in hardware (about 2 months salary for an average person here), he finds out he needs to spend about 1000 ringgit more for an operating system and an office suite. Then the ultra-cheap pirated versions are really tempting indeed, since one can get any kind of software for only about 7 ringgit apiece.

      • Pot, kettle, black. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by TheLink (130905) on Sunday October 06, 2002 @11:24AM (#4396962) Journal
        What do you mean by "These people just don't realize that their personal gain in purchasing and selling cheap software may be good for them in the short run, but disasterous to their nation in the long run"

        It's not that stupid.

        Maybe you don't realize it but this sort of thing worked for the USA, it worked for Switzerland and I'm sure it worked for many other countries.

        http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/2002379.stm

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,6 65 861,00.html

        Open your eyes dude. The only reason it'll be bad in the long run is if the USA takes hypocritical, harsh and unfair action to stop others from doing precisely what it did for its own benefit in the past. Trade barriers etc etc.

        Try to see it from this point of view just for a moment.
    • Re:Hilarious (Score:5, Informative)

      by Xpilot (117961) on Sunday October 06, 2002 @11:20AM (#4396956) Homepage
      I live in Penang, and sometimes raids are advertised in the papers. You'll see headlines such as "Raid Next Week", and all the shops close on that day. Neat huh?

      There are surprise raids sometimes, but pirates somehow find out about it before hand, and all the shops close on that day. Some surprise.

      There really isn't any way to elimainate piracy in Asian countries when the price of licensed software is so high. In the States, $100 for a word processor may be affordable, but when it gets converted to Malaysian currency, it becomes 380 Malaysian ringgit. Considering the per capita income of most Malaysians to be around 1000 to 1500 Malaysian ringgit, it's considered pricy (and the fact that people can easily buy the pirated version for 7 ringgit doesn't help the situation either).

      To reduce piracy in these parts, software companies should price their software at prices that are affordable from a local point of view.

      • Doesn't that mean Malaysian piracy efforts (selling Word for 7 ringgit) undermine Malaysian software development growth?

        Who in Malay would want to write and develop any software when you could steal it down the street for 7 ringgit?

        Isn't that reason enough for Malay to try to curb software piracy, in order to strengthen it's own IT industry? It's akin to the US trying to put tariffs on Japanese cars in order to make US cars more competitive. In this case, it would be Malay govt placing a 200% tax on non-native software, so that instead of 7 ringgit, it now costs 21 ringgit, with the extra income being funneled into software infrastructure and schools, or something.

        • Who in Malay would want to write and develop any software when you could steal it down the street for 7 ringgit?


          The name of the country is Malaysia. Malay is the language and also the major ethnic race here.

          The answer to your question is : almost nobody. Retail software is practically non-existant. The only job programmers get here is developing custom or in-house software. It's a sad state of affairs, but that's the reality of the situation here.
    • Re:Hilarious (Score:2, Informative)

      by amorangi (187312)
      I've lived in Hong Kong and Philippines and am staggered by the scale of the malls in each place. In Hong Kong they'd raid a mall every 3 months and nab a couple of 12 or 13 year olds (un-prosecutable), and report it on the main TV news that they'd done a crack-down. It always made me laugh. In fact it's HARD to get unpirated software. The inflight magazine on Bangkok Airlines actually gives advice in buying pirated software and DVDs (DVDs are often of inferior quality).
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Hilary Rosen declared today that the RIAA would be offering letters of marque to aid in the hunting down and destruction of the Content Pirates of the South Pacific.

    When interviewed, Rosen stated, "We will not stand for this! The Crown will pay a thousand marks to any who bring in the heads of these scourges of the entertainment industry!"

    Several daring captains of the IT industry have joined forces with the RIAA, becoming privateers. However, not all recording artists agree with the actions of the RIAA.

    "I was there for the announcement. This one guy, he came up to me and said, "Arr, don't be worrying matey, I'll be sinkin' those music pirates! And then he pulled a flintlock on me and stole my watch!", said Lars Ulrich.

    The pirates in question could not be reached for comment.
  • Be on the lookout for the ArrrrrIAA.

    Budum *crash*
  • by shimmin (469139) on Sunday October 06, 2002 @11:10AM (#4396927) Journal
    If the ships used are registered in some nation's maritime registry, then that nation's laws still apply onboard, so why not just do it ashore in that nation? If the ships used AREN'T registered, then they have no legal protection against the coast guards or navies of _any_ nation that cares to harass them.

    It made a lot more sense back in the 1950's and 60's when Norweigian oil platforms in the North Sea installed some truly overpowered AM rigs and broadcasted music the BBC wouldn't play into the UK. (Paid for by the record companies who wanted the advertising.) Then, they were doing something that was legal in Norway, but not in the UK, and benefitted from being close to the UK, so a Norweigian maritime installation made perfect sense.

    Here, the pirates are doing something that doesn't benefit from being done at sea, so why bother?

  • by elemental23 (322479) on Sunday October 06, 2002 @11:11AM (#4396932) Homepage Journal

    Q: What do pirates use to copy movies?

    A: CD-Arrrr

    *ahem*

  • by Dr. Spork (142693) on Sunday October 06, 2002 @01:39PM (#4397574)
    So what do these guys do with those huge chests of burned cds? Bury them and make a map?
  • by DiveX (322721) <slashdotcontact@oasisofficepark.com> on Sunday October 06, 2002 @01:42PM (#4397590) Homepage
    How long is it going to be now for RIAA to ask for legislative permission to use torpedoes and their own naval forces to take care of the 'pirate problem'? After all, if they can hack into your systems with full legal protection to go after the small fry traders, then shouldn't they have just as much power to go after the bigger violators? How long until we have a real RIAA Capt Nemo in a sub with anti-society crew members on a quest against the pirates of the world?

  • If they have pirate ships, we can have privateers, and sink them.

    • by Treeluvinhippy (545814) <treeluvinhippy@s ... et minus painter> on Sunday October 06, 2002 @02:16PM (#4397749)
      umm, privateers where pirates who held letters of marque. A letter of marque ment, when country A was at war with country B you can committ acts of piracy agaisnt country B and have a safe harbor to return (country A).

      Hehe, maybe Sony would be interested in allowing me to pirate cd's produced by Virgin records for example, as long as I don't touch anything produced by Sony. In exchange they will provide me with lawyers to legaly protect my ass. Well fat chance of that happening
  • by Q3vi1 (611292) <sean AT radicalmonkey DOT net> on Sunday October 06, 2002 @02:19PM (#4397760)
    Ah, back to the good ol' days of pirating. Well, good new days? Who knows, all I know is that it'll be interesting to see walk the plank for poor quality, or stealing the captian's mead.
  • by Catbeller (118204) on Sunday October 06, 2002 @04:03PM (#4398243) Homepage
    Holy L. Ron! The pirates have taken a page from the Pope of Fugitives. Elron, founder of Scien*gy, spent, what, ten years at sea in a converted freighter (correct me here), for the sole purpose of not getting arrested on numerous warrants.

    I think I can see, like legal sheet lightning on the horizon, the copyright industry gearing up to remove the protection of international waters.

    Which is doubly amusing, since the Church of Scien*ology was one of the first instigators of digital copyright law change. Back in '91, I recall, they first tore after anon.penet.fi for relaying their "copyrighted" Xenu tracts. And in '95, when they were confiscating PC's for having "illegal" copies. And certainly when they helped out with the DMCA legislation.

    I just think it's funny, in a sad way. Round the circle we go. Now the copyright kings in RIAA et al. will set out after international water neutrality, seeking to to remove the protections that once saved the founder of one of the most litigious copyright abusing organizations.

    If the protection of the high seas is removed, as I posit, then there will be no place left to get away from the U.S.'s interpretation of intellectual property. No Switzerlands of the mind.

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