To the People

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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

China's Next Target: Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, A, B, Start

Three men are on trial in China for virtual gun-running. But that doesn't mean they were selling real guns to online buyers. No, the trio were selling virtual guns to would-be video game pros, "weapons" they created after hacking the source code of the popular game Legend of Mir 2.

The charge against the men? "Copyright violation." (Since when, exactly, is copyright protected in China?)
Prosecutors allege the trio earned illegal profits of more than 2 million yuan (US$250,000) by using the computer code database of Legend of Mir 2, a popular online game operated by Shanda, to produce and sell large quantities of high-level game weapons. The weapons are normally only available to high-level winners, and hadn't been for sale.

Possession of the weapons would allow less skilled players to succeed more easily. The activities of the three also circulated far more virtual weapons than the company planned, which alerted the company that something was amiss.
More from the Shanghai Daily here.

The message I take away from the arrests: We must all be equal. There are too many guns out there. Video games are violent. Sounds like China's stealing from the playbook of John McCain and Hillary Clinton.

China's also cracking down on actual guns, too.

Post title reference here.