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Vanz

Half Life 2 Beta leaked now...

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"When hackers broke into the computing system of Valve Software, they stole more than just the source code to Half-Life 2. They also stole enough game maps and other components to put together a playable build of the game. Today, five days after the first leak, they have released that build. Message boards and chat rooms were buzzing Tuesday morning with word of the leaked game. Some fan-based and hacker sites were even displaying in-game images. It is unclear whether the leaked version features the entire game or a limited number of levels. Also unclear is how current the assets used to create the game are." Guess this was inevitable. I really don''t see why the authorities can''t track this crap down, even if it is in a different country (Russia I heard), they still would have laws against theft... Pretty amazing since the Doom3 alpha leak that this could happen again on such a high profile game, these hackers could be making so much moola writing firwall/prtoection software. Really makes me think twice about my bank account that I can access on-line (don''t have much money and can only view statements but still). Makes you wonder how safe other on-line bank accounts are, or even e-trade accounts... rhuala

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I don''t think game companies being hacked is a high of a crime as hacking into a bank. I mean that in the sense that concerns the authorities. Sure hacking is bad but the on the scale of crimes, bank hacking will attract much more attention as it involves everyone and not just a company.

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dont know about other countries but as far as i know you wouldnt get far with sueing them for "theft". its illegal to get into a system and modify data (so installing the keylogger etc. would be one reason to sue), its illegal to break into systems that are specially secured (no, passwords dont count). seeing that valves system definitely wasnt specially secured breaking in and copying whatever you want wouldnt even be a crime in itself. so if anything it would be a copyright problem.

guess valve is lucky not to be in germany ,-).. else a judge might just say "if you dont take the necessary measure to secure your work its completely YOUR problem"

positive so far: the "beta" doesnt seem to be jumping right at you everywhere like the source did.

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The problem with prosecuting the offenders is that there are no formal laws governing cyberspace. Even the very nature of what is considered a crime is subjective. The international aspects of it also make it difficult to prosecute the offenders. Afterall was the crime commited in US or russia, sure the victim was in the US but the crimnals where in russia. Which countries laws apply, do either or both apply?

These are all the kinds of questions that law makers are trying to come to disciussions on and it is very difficult process. For instance in most countries copying and modifying data on another computer is not even a crime.

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There''s also a political aspect to it. If it really was a Russian hacker, Valve will have absolutely zero chance to engage legal actions against him. Considering the current American - Russian relationship, Russia''s reaction will probably be something like "He hacked one of your companies ? Hehe, well, tough luck. Try to protect yourself better next time". As Trienco mentioned, in most non-US countries, this would not even qualify as theft, as the servers were not specifically protected.

The only real chance for legal actions are if the hacker is/was in the US, when comitting the IP theft.

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what if these russians use this source and levels, physics to make their own game? or try to sell their own game? isnt there some sort of international law against that since Valve owns the rights to the game obviously and/or other US companies involved.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
It''s not only other US companies. Some of the physics code was apparently licensed to VALVe by an Irish company. But no, I think there would be no law against that. For one thing, noone in their right mind would use the exact same graphics and levels. Secondly, as far as the code itself goes, I am not sure how that works. I mean, sure, if you release the code for your game, someone could tell, but what if you don''t? I don''t suppose one can detect copyright infringements through a binary file?

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quote:


The problem with prosecuting the offenders is that there are no formal laws governing cyberspace. Even the very nature of what is considered a crime is subjective. The international aspects of it also make it difficult to prosecute the offenders. Afterall was the crime commited in US or russia, sure the victim was in the US but the crimnals where in russia. Which countries laws apply, do either or both apply?






I imagine it would be the same as other internet related crimes. For example if you live in a country where alcohol is illegal, and you attempt to order some alcohol online from a company where alcohol is not illegal, then its still your ass and you can be punished (if caught, of course...).

So I think any laws that Russia has for this scenario would be applied.
IF they are actually from russia, that is.
and IF there are any laws for this type of scenario.
and IF the folks are caught

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