Diablo III item thieves make ‘$0,’ get prosecuted anyhow

    
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You know, it can really be your jong.

A couple of Diablo III miscreants felt the long arm of the law in 2014, according to a Fusion article that calls the proceeding a “first-of-its-kind legal case that has not been previously reported.”

In a nutshell, California resident Patrick Nepomuceno and Maryland resident Michael Stinger stole in-game weapons and armor from a couple dozen Diablo III players, then planned to sell the goods on the game’s auction house.

The two men pled guilty to misdemeanor “unauthorized impairment of a protected computer” and were sentenced to several years’ probation and ordered to pay $5,654.61 to Blizzard to cover its investigation costs. “We made $0,” Stinger said. “We had plenty of high value items that we were going to sell, yes. Perhaps the items were valued at nine grand. But nothing was sold and no currency exchanged hands. I got banned before I could sell anything.” Blizzard created new virtual items identical to the stolen ones and gifted them to affected Diablo III players, effectively creating a victim-less crime.

Source: Fusion via GamePolitics
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AGx
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AGx

wjowski I think the bigger point is that they circumvented systems in place to steal data (and profit from it). In any other situation if they were stealing data, say CC information, they would be prosecuted. Why should this be any different because it’s a video game? Either way you look at it, they stole from someone else to [potentially] profit. They stole potential profits from someone else.

GoJammit
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GoJammit

It’s not imaginary. And you don’t get to choose which crimes get prosecuted just because/if you pay taxes. If that were the case there would be no one in jail for pot.

Lights_andMusic
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Lights_andMusic

jmerriex Lights_andMusic wjowski

Ummm…..In America, entering a guilty plea generally makes one responsible for the court costs, additionally these costs may be (and generally are) reprimanded to the guilty party, particularly in misdemeanor crimes.    Additionally, this article is paraphrasing the legal decision (obviously).

jmerriex
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jmerriex

Lights_andMusic wjowski Umm… no, they were ordered to pay Blizzard their investigation fees. No where does it say they were ordered to pay court fees.

Lights_andMusic
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Lights_andMusic

wjowski If you read the post, you’ll see that the defendants were ordered to pay the court fees – thus, the tax payers did not incur the costs.

kalex716
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kalex716

seventhbeacon – Woh – woh woh… Who said anything about “we”?

If you want to prosecute the NSA I say go ahead and try, but don’t drag us into this! I don’t need my name on any more lists than it’s already on.

Cyroselle
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Cyroselle

PizzaDoh Cyroselle Hmmm. Well sure, that’s fair I suppose.

Cyroselle
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Cyroselle

Werewolf Finds Dragon I didn’t say that they didn’t do damage, I merely said it wasn’t equatable to murder. :)
It’s still a violation though, and should not be tolerated by any civilized society.

Werewolf Finds Dragon
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Werewolf Finds Dragon

Not only that, but Smedley’s systems are based more on pot luck than anything else as they’re going to be mostly automated. This was something that Blizzard had human eyes on, looking at the players affected, and tracing the internal item IDs from point to point, and then investigating from there.
And the crime isn’t so much what happened in the game but rather that malware was used to affect other people and leave them more vulnerable.

Werewolf Finds Dragon
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Werewolf Finds Dragon

Hardly victimless considering that the people affected likely still have malware on their machines. Whole lot of spin, that is.