UK hackers jailed for software Piracy R v Bell (and others) 2005

June 2005

Technology, Software, Internet

Four internet hackers who spent their time cracking codes for fun and releasing pirated software onto the internet were jailed at the Old Bailey (London’s senior criminal court). The four, members of the ‘DrinkorDie’ group, caused mayhem by cracking protection on software programmes to enable games and other programmes to be downloaded without payment. Judge Paul Focke told the four that their activities ‘struck at the heart of the software trade’ and that the loss to software owners through piracy was staggering. The Judge said that he estimated that a third of all software used in the UK is pirated. Alex Bell (29) and Steven Dowd (39) were jailed for two and a half years and two years respectively for conspiracy to defraud after a five month trial. Andrew Eardley (35) and Mark Vent (31) were jailed for eighteen months each after pleading guilty. DrinkorDie was closed down after a global investigation involving the police from the UK, America, Australia and other countries.

Source: The Times May 7th 2005

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