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Indie Lineage 2 Servers Shut Down 29

Posted by Zonk
from the off-the-farm dept.
Gamasutra reports on efforts by NCSoft and the FBI to shut down independently-run Lineage 2 servers. The servers, run by an outfit called 'L2Extreme' were making a profit off of the unauthorized MMOG operation. Gamasutra had the chance to talk with FBI agent Thompson from Austin office. From the article: "Regarding the Lineage II server code, Thompson explained that it was 'really not determined' who had originally made it available, but the L2Extreme creators were 'certainly someone who was using [NCSoft's proprietary code] — that is at least part of the investigation.'"
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Indie Lineage 2 Servers Shut Down

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  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:05PM (#16931774)
    ...as if a million South Koreans cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.

    -Eric

  • From the article:
    This group in particular was downloading our version of the Lineage II software from our servers, costing us close to a million dollars in realized bandwidth costs during the period it was operational.

    Maybe I am clueless, but that seems a little high... Even if the claimed 500k registered L2Extreme users downloaded the client each 1 time, that would mean it costs them close to $2 to upload the file each time.
    • Re:What the ?? (Score:4, Informative)

      by tlhIngan (30335) <.slashdot. .at. .worf.net.> on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:41PM (#16932752)
      Maybe I am clueless, but that seems a little high... Even if the claimed 500k registered L2Extreme users downloaded the client each 1 time, that would mean it costs them close to $2 to upload the file each time.


      It's more like besides the initial download, all the little incremental downloads as well (patches, updates, etc), which were hosted by NCSoft.

      It's more akin to some website linking against photos you host on your website - you're stuck with the bills, and they profit. Of course, why NCSoft couldn't push an update, I don't know.

      I find the Ars Technica [arstechnica.com] article informative.
  • Ars Technica had an article today highlighting what's known about this case, and what Ars themselves were doing during the "Open Ultima Online" days, providing a reproduction experience like the reverse-engineered official service.

    What's the actual evidence that closed Lineage II code was stole^Winfringed, versus clean-room reproduced? What's the actual evidence that the knock-off groups were offering unlicensed copies of Lineage II clients? And like the RIAA-$$$$-per-song arguments, what's the actual

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by RasputinAXP (12807)
      I know that it's silly to assume that /.'ers have read the article, but had you clicked on the damned link, you'd have seen that he admitted it:
      Jason Chambless is the original creator of L2Extreme. He played beta testing retail and one day found out that the Lineage II server files had been leaked. He liked the game so much, he then decided to use one of his spare computers to host the game.
      So...admission of guilt is proof, n'est-ce pas?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Thalagyrt (851883) *
      I've seen the files myself, worked with Jason a few years ago just for kicks - bored college student. They're definitely leaked, and completely illegal to use. There are whole forums dedicated to it, known in the L2 server scene as L2Off. I personally run a L2 server using an emulator, L2J, which uses no copyrighted files or whatnot and is not illegal. It is, however, a violation of the TOS to connect to it with the official client, but that just means that they can deny you play on the retail servers. Bre
      • by Thalagyrt (851883) *
        Addendum: For the record, my server pretty much just has me and a few (8 or so) close friends of mine on it, and I really don't want to deal with more than that. I'm not trying to run a big server like the L2X guys were, and I wouldn't think of using the illegal official files. It's just a small distraction for fun.

        Also, if anyone from NC reads this, I might be able to dig up some extra info on the L2X guys for you if I can find it in my chat logs. I also have a few friends who could help out as well, and p
      • by Sparr0 (451780)
        I think you make a key mistake here, and it is centered in the words "illegal to use". There is no law, barring odd DMCA applications, against USING software, EVER. You do not need a license to use software, or to have bought it. If I walk out on the street and find a copy of MS Office on a CDR then there is nothing stopping me from running it (except maybe 'installing it makes a copy' nonsense, which is covered in law AND precedent). The same goes here. Maybe they can get him for violating trade secre
        • by Thalagyrt (851883) *
          Jason distributed modified client files (artwork, libraries, etc) so that the C4 client and such could connect to his C1 hackjob server. The copyright on those files belongs to NCSoft.

          I don't think using the server itself would be copyright violation, though it would probably fall under trade secret violation.

          Distributing a modified client is clearly copyright infringement though, just as uploading a copy of a Windows XP CD or a copyrighted work of art is copyright infringement. If they can't nail him on th
  • Indie? (Score:3, Informative)

    by the_demiurge (26115) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:41PM (#16932742) Homepage
    These guys weren't so much independent game developers as guys who happened to get the leaked source code for the Lineage 2 servers.
  • Why Say "Indie"? (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by TexVex (669445)
    Why is this article calling them "independents" when they are apparently thieves? If I sell other people's music without their permission, that doens't make me an indie record label. It makes me a criminal.
    • by Endo13 (1000782)
      The reason the article calls them "independents" is because they're hosting their own servers, independent of NCSoft. Not really that difficult to grasp.

      That's not theft. It's copyright infringement. Illegal yes, but not theft. Theft is depriving someone of property they own. IP is not property that can be owned; you can only hold the rights to distribute it.

      If you own a widget shop and I steal some of your widgets to re-sell, that's theft. If I copy your plans to make the widgets and make identical widgets
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by radarjd (931774)
        That's not theft. It's copyright infringement. Illegal yes, but not theft. Theft is depriving someone of property they own. IP is not property that can be owned; you can only hold the rights to distribute it.

        This has always been a curious argument to me. All property is like a bundle of rights. For example, you can lease your land to someone else. That person does not have all the rights to the land, but they do possess some rights, even against the true owner.

        Or, let's say you have a car. You can sell

        • by Endo13 (1000782)
          Actually it's not nearly that complicated. If I break into your house and run off with your new HD TV, that's theft. I'm now depriving you of actual property. You no longer have your TV and you can no longer use it. But let's say you also have a computer in your house, on which you're coding a piece of software. Instead of running off with your TV, I decide your software is probably worth more, so I just pop a flash-drive in your PC, copy the code on my disk, and run off with that instead. You still have yo
          • by radarjd (931774)
            If I break into your house and run off with your new HD TV, that's theft. I'm now depriving you of actual property. You no longer have your TV and you can no longer use it.

            Okay, correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems that, to you, only tangible property equals "actual property". That is to say, by your argument, no intangible property could be "actual property".

            I just pop a flash-drive in your PC, copy the code on my disk, and run off with that instead. You still have your code. I have not deprived you

          • The purpose of copyright law is to stimulate creativity and innovation, not establish innate rights.

            One has little stimulation to be creative/innovative if it provides no benefit. The ability to profit from your creations is a significant benefit, and consequently a significant motivator. (Probably THE most significant motivator)

            The current events in Second Life is a prime example of this. Players are able to freely copy the creations of others without permission. This is causing creators to close

    • by Ant P. (974313)
      Selling physical audio media you bought doesn't make you a criminal either. And if you're unfortunate enough to live somewhere where the law's insane enough to make it illegal, chances are it still won't make you a criminal because you'd already be one for a million other things.
  • by psychrono (1030230) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @01:22PM (#16933900)
    The reason being, and I know I'm not the only one that thinks this, is because NCSoft did NOT maintain their servers, with botters and hackers running rampant throughout their servers, even to this day and because of this, many of the 'legit' players left the retail servers for these private servers. I have played on a handful of private servers, and I was simply amazed how much effort these people put in to stop cheating, botting, etc. Sure, they weren't 100% successful, but if they can maintain a server of higher quality than a retail server (which costs to play monthly, whereas free servers accept donations, but are not required by any means), then that says something about the way NCSoft is maintaining their service, in my opinion anyways.

    It's also worth noting that not just koreans play this game... there is a huge populace of spanish speaking, european, as well as north american people that play this game, especially on these 'indie' servers.
    • by StikyPad (445176)
      It's also worth noting that not just koreans play this game... there is a huge populace of spanish speaking, european, as well as north american people that play this game, especially on these 'indie' servers.

      So, people all over the world of Korean ancestry play it too. Got it.

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