A Cleveland man is doing some serious time in jail for pirating PC games and selling them on eBay and Amazon between 2005 and 2009.
“According to federal agents, Qiang “Michael” Bi of Powell, Ohio, purchased legitimate retail copies of various computer games, duplicated the games illegally, and then sold them for $9.95 on eBay and Amazon.”
He was initially given a 90 day suspended sentence but when the judge discovered that one of the games Bi was selling was Rogue Warrior, the judge changed the sentence to 30 months in prison and ordered him to pay the court $367,669 in cash, as well as ordering him to forfeit his house, a car and computer and electronic equipment. The Judge then lectured Bi:
“I believe at your core you are a good person,” Judge Marbley told Bi. “You made a gross error in judgment … Rogue Warrior? That terrible game with the Mickey Rourke voiceover? Dude!”
Of course, all this probably took place in an alternate dimension:
“Investigators found that Bi had sold the games from 2005 through December 2009 for $10 rather than the $20 retail price for an original new game.
“Investigators estimated that the value of the games Bi counterfeited and sold would have been $700,000 at retail.”
And that’s just a drop in the bucket compared to the eleventy billion dollars a year that game publishers have scientifically proven they lose due to piracy.