Online Retailer Charged For Selling Pirated Games
Washington, DC – The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) today applauded the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office and the Computer and Technology Crime High-Tech Response Unit (CATCH) for their recent raid and arrest of a major retail video game pirate in the San Diego area. After conducting a search-and-seizure operation on the pirate’s home on June 13, 2007, officials from CATCH arrested Frederick Brown of Vista, CA. Brown is now free after posting $100,000 bail.
“We commend the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office and CATCH for their efforts on this case as another example of their strong commitment to combating intellectual property theft,” said Michael Gallagher, president of ESA, the trade association representing U.S. computer and video game publishers. “The entertainment software industry will provide whatever support is needed for a successful prosecution and will continue to support law enforcement efforts to reduce game piracy in its many forms.”
The ESA and its members became aware of defendant’s activities and referred the matter to the District Attorney’s Office for action earlier this year. According to the San Diego District Attorney’s Office, Brown placed online advertisements for several years on websites such as Craigslist, through which he offered to modify the hard drives of customers’ video game consoles, enabling the consoles to play infringing game software. In addition, Brown was alleged also to be selling pirated games out of his Cedar Road home. During the raid on Brown’s residence, law enforcement officials seized over 1,000 pirated optical discs for various video game consoles and numerous circumvention devices, also known as “modification chips,” which are used in the illegal modification of consoles.
Brown is currently facing 10 counts of felony-level offenses, including grand theft, computer crime and trafficking counterfeit marks.
The ESA is the U.S. association dedicated to serving the business and public affairs needs of the companies publishing interactive games for video game consoles, handheld devices, personal computers, and the Internet. ESA members collectively account for more than 90 percent of the $7.4 billion in entertainment software sales in the U.S. in 2006, and billions more in export sales of entertainment software. For more information about the ESA, please visit www.theESA.com.
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