Sega Shuts Down Computer Game Pirates

ByABC News
July 21, 2000, 9:17 AM

S A N   F R A N C I S C O, July 21 -- Sega announced Thursday it had crushed more than 60 illegal Web sites and 125 auction sites selling pirated versions of its Dreamcast games which, until recently, was viewed as one of the most secure digital entertainment systemson the market.

Sega supports a creative community of talented artists.Pirates are parasites that hurt this community and will not betolerated by Sega, said Peter Moore, president and chief operating officer of Sega of America Inc.

This is just the first step in an even bigger action thecompany will undertake to stop this problem. We will continue totake aggressive steps to protect our business, consumers and thecreative talent we have at Sega.

Sega of America Inc. is a division of Sega Enterprises Ltd. of Japan.

Utopian Dreams

In attacking Dreamcast, the pirates were taking on what manyindustry analysts regarded as the Fort Knox of online intellectualproperties equipped with far more complex protections thanthe relatively simple music, film and video files targeted bycontroversial services like Napster and Scour.

Segas Dreamcast system features both internal copyprotection and a proprietary GD-ROM compact disc capable ofstoring almost twice as much data as an ordinary disc.

But earlier this month a shadowy group of computer hackersdubbed Utopia announced it had managed not only to copyDreamcast games on to normal CDs, but also had developed bootdisc software which would trick Segas own hardware intoplaying the pirated versions.

Since then, several dozen Dreamcast titles have beenreleased on the Internet and traded on underground networks, suchas Internet Relay Chat (IRC).

Sega said Thursday it was working closely with Yahoo! Lycos,Excite, eBay and Amazon to shut down auctions by peopleattempting to sell illegal games and pirated boot disks.

Going After the Big Guys