AOH :: P41-05.TXT

Pirates Cove



                                ==Phrack Inc.==

                   Volume Four, Issue Forty-One, File 5 of 13

                                  Pirates Cove

                                   By Rambone


Welcome back to Pirates Cove.  News about software piracy, its effects, and the
efforts of the software companies to put and end to it are now at an all time
high.  Additionally, there is an added interest among the popular media towards
the other goings-on in the piracy underworld.  Additionally over the past few
months there have been several major crackdowns around the world.  Not all of
the news is terribly recent, but a lot of people probably didn't hear about it
at the time so read on and enjoy.

If you appreciate this column in Phrack, then also be sure to send a letter to
"phracksub@stormking.com" and let them know.  Thanks.
_______________________________________________________________________________

 More Than $100,000 In Illegal Software Seized
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
WASHINGTON -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Illegal software valued in excess of $100,000
was seized from an electronic bulletin board computer system (BBS)
headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, marking the first U.S. case for the
Business Software Alliance (BSA) against a BBS for pirating software.

The BSA previously initiated an enforcement campaign against illegal bulletin
boards in Europe and is investigating illegal boards in Asia.  As part of the
U.S. seizure, more than $25,000 worth of hardware was confiscated in accordance
with the court order, and the BBS, known as the APL, is no longer in operation.

Investigations conducted over the past several months found that, through the
APL BBS, thousands of illegal copies have been made of various software
programs.  Plaintiffs in the case include six business software publishers:
ALDUS, Autodesk, LOTUS Development, MICROSOFT, NOVELL, and WordPerfect.  The
action against APL was for allegedly allowing BBS users to upload and download
copyrighted programs.

Nearly 500 software programs were available for copying through the APL BBS, an
infringement of software publishers' copyright.  In addition, BSA seized APL's
business records which detail members' time on the BBS and programs uploaded
and/or copied.  BSA is currently reviewing these records for possible
additional legal action against system users who may have illegally uploaded or
downloaded copyrighted programs.

"Electronic  bulletin boards create increasingly difficult problems in our
efforts to combat piracy," according to Robert Holleyman, president of the BSA.
"While bulletin boards are useful tools to enhance communication channels, they
also provide easy access for users to illegally copy software," Holleyman
explained.

Strict federal regulations prohibit the reproduction of copyrighted software.
Legislation passed this year by the U.S. Congress contains provisions to
increase the penalties against copyright infringers to up to five years
imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.

The APL investigation, conducted by Software Security International on behalf
of the BSA, concluded with a raid by Federal Marshals on October 1, 1992.  In
addition to the six business software publishers, the BSA action was taken on
behalf of Nintendo.

Bulletin boards have grown in popularity over the past several years, totaling
approximately 2000 in the United States alone.  Through a modem, bulletin board
users can easily communicate with other members.  The BSA has recently stepped
up its worldwide efforts to eradicate the illegal copying of software which
occurs on some boards.

The BSA is an organization devoted to combating software theft. Its worldwide
campaign encompasses education, public policy, and enforcement programs in more
than 30 countries.  The members of the BSA include:  ALDUS, APPLE COMPUTER,
Autodesk, LOTUS Development, MICROSOFT, NOVELL, and WordPerfect.

The BSA operates an Anti-piracy Hotline (800-688-2721) for callers seeking
information about software piracy or to report suspected incidents of software
theft.

CONTACT:  Diane Smiroldo, Business Software Alliance, (202)727-7060

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 Only The Beginning
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The bust of APL BBS had made unprecedented impacts in the pirate world because
of the implications behind the actual arrest.  Business Software Alliance
(BSA), representing many major business software companies along with Nintendo,
joined forces to hit APL very hard.  They joined forces to permanently shut
down APL and are, for the first time, trying to pursue the users that had an
active role in the usage of the BBS.

Trying to figure out who had uploaded and downloaded files through this BBS and
taking legal recourse against them is a very strong action and has never been
done before.  One of the major problem I see with this is how do they know if
what the records show was the actual user or someone posing as another user?
Also, how could they prove that an actual program was downloaded by an actual
user and not by someone else using his account?  What if one user had logged on
one time, never called back, and someone else had hacked their account?  I'm
also sure a sysop has been known, on occasion, to "doctor" someone's account to
not allow them to download when they have been leeching.

The points I bring up are valid as far as I am concerned and unless the Secret
Service had logs and phone numbers of people actually logged on at the time, I
don't see how they have a case.  I'm sure they have a great case against the
sysop and will pursue the case to the highest degree of the law, but if they
attempt to arrest users, I foresee the taxpayers' money going straight down the
drain.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 BSA Hits Europe
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The Business Software Alliance reached their arms out across the Atlantic and
landed in Germany.  Along with Interpol and the local police, they proceeded to
take down 80% of the boards in Berlin.  One of the contributing factors in
these busts was that the majority of the boards busted were also involved in
toll fraud.  Until recently, blue boxing was the predominate means of
communication with the United States and other countries in Europe. When most
of these sysops were arrested, they had been actively blue boxing on a regular
basis.  Unfortunately, many parts of Germany had already upgraded their phone
system, and it became very risky to use a blue box.  It didn't stop most people
and they soon became easy targets for Interpol.  The other means of LD usage
for Germans was AT&T calling cards which now are very common. The local police
along with the phone company gathered months of evidence before the city wide
sweep of arrests.

The busts made a bigger impact in Europe than anyone would have imagined.  Some
of the bigger boards in Europe have been taken down by the sysops and many will
never go back up.  Many sysops have been arrested and fined large amounts of
money that they will be paying off for a long time.  BSA, along with local
police and Interpol, has done enough damage in a few days that will change
European Boards for a long time.
_______________________________________________________________________________

 IBM:  Free Disks For The Taking
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
In a vain effort to increase sales, IBM decided to send out 21 high density
diskettes to anyone who called.  On these diskettes was a new beta copy of OS/2
Version 2.1.  They were hoping to take a cheap way out by sending a few out to
people who would install it and send in beta reports.  What they got was
thousands of people calling in when they heard the word who were promptly Fed
Ex'ed the disks overnight.  The beta was not the concern of most, just the
diskettes that were in the package.  The actual beta copy that was sent out was
bug ridden anyway and was not of use on most systems.

When IBM finally woke up and figured out what was going on, they had already
sent out thousands of copies.  Some even requested multiple copies.  IBM then
proceeded to charge for the shipment and disks, but it was way too late, and
they had gone over budget.  Way to go IBM, no wonder your stock has plummeted
to $55 a share.
_______________________________________________________________________________

 Users Strike Back At U.S. Robotics
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Since 1987, U.S. Robotics (USR) has been a standard among sysops and many end
users.  With the loyal following also came terrible customer service and long
delays in shipments.  Their modems, being in as much demand as they are, soon
showed the results of shortcuts in the manufacture of certain parts in some of
the more popular modems.  The most infamous instance of this happening was the
Sportster model which was a V.32bis modem which could be bought at a much lower
price than that of the Dual Standard.  The catch was that they cut some corners
and used that same communication board for both the Sportster and the Dual
Standard.  They assumed they could save money by using the same board on both
modems.  Boy were they wrong.

All that was done to the Sportster was to disable the HST protocol that would
make it into a Dual.  With the proper init string, one could turn a Sportster,
ROM version 4.1, into a full Dual in the matter of seconds and have spent 1/3
of the price of a full Dual Standard.

This outraged USR when they found out.  They first denied that it could be
done.  When they found out that it had gotten too wide-spread and could not be
stopped, they then proceeded to tell the public it was a copyright infringement
to use the "bogus" init string and threatened to sue anyone who attempted to
use it.  Most people laughed at that idea and continued to use it while giving
"the bird" to USR.  Some vendors are now even trying to make a buck and sell
Sportsters at a higher price, and some are even selling them as Duals.

Obviously, they have now discontinued making the Sportsters the cheap way and
are now making two separate boards for both modems.  The versions with the ROM
4.1 are still floating around, can be found almost anywhere, and will always
have the capabilities to be run as a full Dual.  Better watch out though.  The
USR police might come knocking on your door <g>.
_______________________________________________________________________________

 Warez Da Scene?
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Over the last 6 months there have been several changing of hands in the major
pirate groups.  One person who supplies them has bounced to 3 groups in the
last four months.  One group fell apart because of a lack of support from the
major members, but is making a valiant comeback.  And yet another has almost
split into two like AT&T stock.  We'll have to see what comes of that.

While only about 15% or so actually doing anything for the scene, the other 85%
seem to complain and bitch.  Either the crack doesn't work or someone forgot to
put in the volume labels.  Jesus, how much effort does it take to say, "Hey,
thanks for putting this out, but...".  The time and effort it takes to acquire
the program, check to see if it needs to be cracked, package it, and have it
sent out to the boards is time- and money-consuming and gets very little
appreciation by the majority of the users around the world.

Why not see some users send in donations to the group for the appreciation it
takes to send the files out?  Why not see more users volunteer to help courier
the programs around?  Help crack them?  Make some cheats, or type of some docs? 
Be a part of the solution instead of the problem.  It would create less
headaches and gain more respect from the members who take the time and effort
to make this all possible.
_______________________________________________________________________________

 Review Of The Month
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I usually type up a review of the best program I have seen since the last
issue, but since I was so disappointed with this game, I have to say something
about it.


  ___________________________________________________________________________
 |                                                                           |
 |   RELEASE INFORMATION                                                     |
 |___________________________________________________________________________|
 |                                                                           |
 | Supplied by : ACTION MAN & MUNCHIE ...................................... |
 | Cracked by  : HARD CORE ................................................. |
 | Protection  : Easy Password ............................................. |
 | Date        : 16th December 1992 (Still 14 days left!) .................. |
 | Graphics    : ALL ....................................................... |
 | Sound       : ALL ....................................................... |
 | Game Size   : 5 1.44Mb disks , Installation from floppies ............... |
 |___________________________________________________________________________|


One of the most awaited games of the year showed up at my doorstep, just
itching to be installed:  F15-]I[.  I couldn't wait to get this installed on
the hard drive and didn't care how much space it took up.  I was informed
during installation that the intro would take up over 2 megs of hard drive
space, but I didn't care.  I wanted to see it all.  Once I booted it and saw
the intro, I thought the game would be the best I had seen.  Too bad the other
8 megs turned out to be a waste of hard drive space.

I started out in fast mode, getting right up in the skies.  Too bad that's the
only thing on the screen that I could recognize.  Zooming down towards the
coast, I noticed that it looked damn close to the land and, in fact, it might
as well have been.  The ocean consist of powder blue dots and had almost the
same color consistency as the land.  Not finding anything in the air to shoot
at, I proceeded to shoot a missile at anything that I thought would blow up. 
This turned out to be just about everything, including bridges.  Let a few
gunshots loose on one and see a large fireworks display like you dropped a
nuclear bomb on it.

Close to 3 hours later, I finally found a jet, got it into my sights and shot 3
missiles at it.   A large explosion, another one, and then he flew past me
without even a dent showing.  I shot my last 2 at it, same result.  Thus my
conclusion:  the Russians must have invincible planes.  Either that or F-15 ]I[
has some major bugs.  I'll take a wild guess and say, hmm, bugs.

This game is not worth the box it comes in and I would not suggest anyone,
outside of a blind person, from purchasing this.  I hate ratings but I'll give
it a 2/10.  The 2 is for modem play, which is not bad, but not good enough.
_______________________________________________________________________________

 Piracy's Illegal, But Not The Scourge It's Cracked Up To Be     August 9, 1992
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 By T.R. Reid and Brit Hume (Chicago Tribune)(Page 7)

The software industry has embarked on one of its periodic public relations
campaigns to get people to believe it's being robbed blind by software pirates.
Even The New York Times took the claims seriously and ran a front-page story
illustrated by a picture of a cheerful computer hacker wearing a Hawaiian shirt
sitting in his basement surrounded by PCs and awash in piles of disks, many of
them containing bootleg programs.

With a straight face, the Times reported the industry's claim that in 1990, the
last year for which figures are available, programs worth $2.4 billion were
pirated, an amount equal to nearly half the industry's total sales of $5.7
billion.  In fact, the software industry has no way of knowing how much it lost
to illegal copying, but the $2.4 billion figure is almost certainly rot.
Here's why.

It is true that it's a snap to make an "illegal" copy of a computer program and
equally true that the practice is rampant.  You just put a disk in the drive,
issue the copy command, and the computer does the rest.

But there is simply no way the software industry can estimate accurately how
many illegal copies there are, and even if it could, it couldn't possibly
determine how many of them represent lost sales.  It does not follow that every
time somebody makes a bootleg copy, the industry loses a sale.  That would be
true only if the software pirate would have paid for the program had he or she
not been able to get it for free.

Indeed, some of those illegal copies undoubtedly lead to actual sales.  Once
users try a program, particularly a full-scale application such as a word
processor or database, and like it, they may decide they need the instruction
book and want to be able to phone for help in using the program.

The only way to get those things is to buy the software.  If that sounds
pie-in-the-sky, consider that an entire branch of the industry has developed
around just that process.  It's called shareware -- software that is offered
free to try.  If you like it, you are asked to buy it.  In return, you get a
bound manual and telephone support.

The word processor with which this column was written, PC-Write, is such a
program.  So is the telecommunications program by which it was filed, ProComm.
These programs were both developed by talented independent software developers
who took advantage of the unprecedented opportunity the personal computer
provided them.  All they needed was a PC, a desk, a text editor and a special
software tool called a "compiler."  A compiler translates computer code written
in a language such as Basic, C or Pascal into the binary code that the computer
can process.

Once they had written their programs, they included a set of instructions in a
text file and a message asking those who liked the software to pay a fee and
get the benefits of being a "registered" user.  They then passed out copies to
friends, uploaded them to computer bulletin boards and made them available to
software libraries.  Everyone was encouraged to use the software -- and to pass
it on.

The ease with which the programs can be copied was, far from a problem for
these developers, the very means of distribution.  It cost them nothing and
they stood to gain if people thought their program good enough to use.  And
gain they have.  Both PC-Write and ProComm have made a lot of money as
shareware, and advanced versions have now been released through commercial
channels.

The point here is not that it's okay to pirate software.  It's not, and it's
particularly dishonest to use a stolen program for commercial purposes.  The
practice of buying one copy for an entire office and having everybody copy it
and use the same manual is disgraceful.  Software may be expensive, but it's a
deductible business expense and worth the price.

At the same time, it's not such a bad thing to use an unauthorized copy as a
way of trying out a program before you buy it.  The shareware industry's
success has proved that can even help sales.
_______________________________________________________________________________

 No Hiding From The Software Police                            October 28, 1992
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 By Elizabeth Weise (The Seattle Times)(Page B9)(Associated Press)

One call to the Piracy Hotline is all it takes for the Software Police to come
knocking at your computers.  Parametrix Inc. of Seattle found that out last
year when the Software Police, also known as the Software Publishers
Association, showed up with a search warrant and a U.S marshal to audit their
computers.  The search turned up dozens of copies of unauthorized software
programs and meant a penalty of $350,000 for Parametrix.

The SPA says too many companies "softlift" -- buying only one copy of a program
they need and making copies for as many computers as they have.

It seems so easy -- and it's just as easy to get caught.

"It only takes one phone call to the 800 number to get the ball rolling.
Anyone taking that chance is living on borrowed time," said Peter Beruk,
litigation manager for the Washington D.C.-based SPA.  "You can run, but you
can't hide."  And the stakes are getting higher.  A bill is before President
Bush that would elevate commercial software piracy from a misdemeanor to a
felony.  The law would impose prison terms of up to five years and fines of up
to $250,000 for anyone convicted for stealing at least 10 copies of a program,
or more than $2,500 worth of software.

Those in the computer industry say softlifting will be hard to prevent unless
programmers are better policed.  AutoDesk Retail Products in Kirkland has met
obstacles in educating its staff on the law.  AutoDesk makes computer-assisted
drawing programs.  "The problem is that you end up employing people who don't
want to follow convention," AutoDesk manager John Davison said.  "We hire
hackers.  To them it's not stealing, they just want to play with the programs.
"You got a computer, you got a hacker, you got a problem."  Bootlegging results
in an estimated loss of $2.4 million to U.S. software publishers each year,
Beruk said.  That's out of annual sales of between $6 billion and $7 billion.
"For every legal copy of a program sold, there's an unauthorized copy of it in
use on an everyday basis," Beruk said.  As SPA and its member companies see it,
that's theft, plain and simple.

SPA was founded in 1984.  One of its purposes: to enforce copyright
infringement law for software manufacturers.  Since then it has conducted 75
raids and filed about 300 lawsuits, Beruk said.  Several of the larger raids
have been in the Northwest.  The SPA settled a copyright lawsuit against
Olympia-based U.S. Intelco for $50,000 in May.  Last year, the University of
Oregon Continuation Center in Eugene, Oregon, agreed to pay $130,000 and host a
national conference on copyright law and software use as part of a negotiated
settlement with SPA.  The tip-off call often comes to SPA's toll-free Piracy
Hotline.  It's often disgruntled employees, or ex-employees, reporting that the
company is running illegal copies of software programs, Beruk said.

At Parametrix, an investigation backed up the initial report and SPA got a
search warrant, Beruk said.  President Wait Dalrymple said the company now does
a quarterly inventory of each computer.  The company brings in an independent
company once a year to check for unauthorized programs.

Softlifting, Dalrymple said, can be an easy tangle to get into.  "Our company
had had extremely rapid growth coupled with similar growth in the number of
computers we use," he said.  "We had no policy regarding the use of our
software and simply didn't control what was happening."

Making bootleg copies of software is copyright infringement, and it's as
illegal -- and as easy -- as copying a cassette tape or a video tape.  The
difference is in magnitude.  A cassette costs $8, a video maybe $25, while
computer programs can cost hundreds and even thousands of dollars.  Audio and
video tapes come with FBI warnings of arrest for illegal copying.  Software
comes with a notice of copyright penalties right on the box.  But despite such
threats, softlifting isn't taken seriously, said Julie Schaeffer, director of
the Washington Software Association.  "It's really in the same arena of
intellectual property," Schaeffer said.  "But people don't think about the
hours and hours of work that goes into writing a program."

The Boeing Co. in Seattle is one company that tries hard not to break the law.
It has a department of Software Accountability, which monitors compliance with
software licensing.

AutoDesk resorts to a physical inventory of the software manuals that go with a
given program.  If programmers don't have the manuals in their work cubicles,
they can be fined $50.

The SPA itself said the problem is more one of education than enforcement.
"Because copying software is so easy and because license agreements can be
confusing, many people don't realize they're breaking the law," the SPA said.

Feigning ignorance of the law doesn't help.  With Microsoft products, a user is
liable as soon as the seal on a package of software is broken.  "At that point
you've agreed to Microsoft's licensing agreement under copyright law,"
Microsoft spokeswoman Katy Erlich said.  "It says so right on the package."
_______________________________________________________________________________

 Teenage Pirates and the Junior Underworld                    December 11, 1992
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 by Justin Keery (The Independent)(Page 31)

                  "By the end of the year, any schoolboy with
                    a computer who wants Sex will get it."

The first print-run of 100,000 copies of Madonna's Sex has sold out.  A further
120,000 will be printed before Christmas, and bookshops have ordered every last
one.  But parents beware... around 5,000 school children have their own copy,
and the number is growing rapidly as floppy disks are circulated in
playgrounds.

Viewing the disk edition on a computer reveals television-quality images from
the book -- the text, it seems, is deemed superfluous.  In disk form the
pictures can be copied and traded for video games, credibility or hard cash in
a thriving underground marketplace.  By the end of the year, any schoolboy with
a computer who wants Sex will get it.  The unlucky will catch a sexually
transmitted disease in the process -- the Disaster Master virus, found on the
Independent's copy.

Sex is a special-interest area in the thriving junior underworld of software
trading.  Circulation of Madonna's pictures among minors with neither the
budget nor the facial hair to buy Sex gives Madonna's publishers little cause
to fear loss of sales.  Neither Secker & Warburg in London nor Time-Warner in
New York knew of the unofficial digital edition.  But the publishers of
computer video games have much to lose from playground transactions.

Sex is not doing a roaring trade, said one schoolboy trader.  Video games, with
price-tags of up to pounds 40, are what every child wants, but few can afford.
But who needs to buy, when your classmates will trade copies of the latest
titles for another game, a glimpse of Madonna or a humble pound coin?

Games disks are usually uncopyable.  Skilled programmers "crack" the
protection, as an intellectual challenge and a way of gaining respect in an
exclusive scene, add "training" options such as extra lives, and post this
version on a computer bulletin board -- a computer system attached to a
telephone line where people log in to trade their "wares".

Most bulletin boards (BBSs) are friendly places where computer freaks exchange
tips, messages and "public domain" programs, made available by their authors
free of charge.  But illegitimate operators, or SysOps, look down on "lame"
legal boards, and "nuke" any public domain material submitted to their systems.

The larger pirate boards are the headquarters of a cracking group -- often in a
15-year-old's bedroom.  There are perhaps 100 in Britain.  Cracked games and
"demos" publicize phone numbers, and a warning is issued that copyright
software should not be posted --a disclaimer of questionable legality.  New
members are asked if they represent law enforcement agencies.  According to a
warning message on one board, at least one BBS in the United States is operated
by the FBI.

Your account at a board may not allow you to download until you upload wares of
sufficient quality.  Games are considered old after a week, so sexy images,
"demos" or lists of use to hackers are an alternative trading commodity.
Available this week, as well as Madonna, are: "lamer's guide to hacking PBXs",
"Tex" and "Grapevine" -- disk magazines for pirates; and demos -- displays of
graphical and sound programming prowess accompanied by bragging messages,
verbal assaults on rival factions and advertisements for BBSs.  According to a
former police officer, the recipes for LSD and high explosives have circulated
in the past.

The board's "download ratio" determines how many disks are traded for every
contribution -- usually two megabytes are returned for every megabyte
contributed.  "Leech accounts" (unlimited access with no quotas) are there for
those foolish enough to spend between pounds 1 and pounds 60 per month.  But
children can sign on using a pseudonym, upload a "fake" -- garbage data to
increase their credit -- then "leech" as much as possible before they get
"nuked" from the user list.

The "modem trader" is a nocturnal trawler of BBSs, downloading wares, then
uploading to other boards.  Current modem technology allows users to transfer
the contents of a disk in 10 minutes.  A "card supplier" can provide a stolen
US or European phone credit card number.  The scene knows no language barriers
or border checks, and international cross-fertilization adds diversity to the
software in circulation.

Through the unsociable insomniac trader, or the wealthier "lamer" with a paid-
up "leech account," games reach the playground.  The traders and leeches gain
extra pocket money by selling the disks for as little as pounds 1, and from
there the trade begins.

Some market-traders have realized the profit potential, obtaining cracked
software through leech accounts and selling the disks on stalls.  Sold at a
pocket-money price of pounds 1 per disk, many games reach schools.  The trading
of copyright software is illegal but the perpetrators stand little chance of
getting caught and are unlikely to be prosecuted.

The victims, software houses, suffer real damage.  Sales of Commodore Amiga
computers equal the dedicated games machines -- the Sega Megadrive or Nintendo,
yet sales of Amiga games (on disk and therefore pirate fodder) often reach only
one third of the volume of their copy-proof console cartridge counterparts.
Despite his preference for Amiga technology, Phil Thornton of System 3 Software
is "seriously reconsidering" future development of Amiga games. Myth, a two-
year project, sold pitiful amounts.  Mr. Thornton was called by a pirate the
day it was released -- the game was available on a bulletin board.  Because of
piracy, the sequel to the successful Putty will be mastered instead for the
Nintendo console.

This tactic may not help for long.  The cracked Amiga release of Putty carried
an advertisement (added by pirates) for a Nintendo cartridge "backup" device.
Transferred to disk, a "pirate-proof" console game can be traded like any
other.  Games for the Nintendo and Sega systems are available on most bulletin
boards.

Scotland Yard only takes an interest in bulletin boards bearing pornography,
though most also carry pirate software.  Funded by the software industry, the
Federation Against Software Theft has successfully prosecuted only one board,
with "more pending."

This Christmas parents will buy hundreds of thousands of video games.  Some
children will ask for modems; thus games will be on the bulletin boards by
Boxing Day, and the first day of term will see the heaviest trading of the
year.

AUTHOR'S NOTE:  I considered using a pseudonym for this article.  Two years
                ago, a Newsweek reporter exposed the North American bulletin
                board network.  His credit rating, social security and bank
                files were altered in a campaign of intimidation which included
                death threats.  Most of those responsible were 15-year-olds.
_______________________________________________________________________________

I was going to make a long list of greets, but there are too many people.  I
would like to say thanks again to DFX for throwing a great HoHo Con #3.  Great
job!


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