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TUCoPS :: Cyber Law :: glenbust.txt

Transcript of the CHEK Newscast on the recent IBM pirate bust - a must read for all users!




Glenn Vermette's Pirate Bust:

The following is a transcript of a news item that appeared on the CHEK
5:30 news on Friday, August 7th, 1992.  It centers on the police
officer, Cst. Glenn Vermette of the Victoria City Police, who recently
investigated and arrested a local teenager who ran a pirate board.

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(Anchorperson)
Lee Mackenzie: They are everywhere, in the world of high-tech
               communications.  And their crimes are committed at the
               touch of a keyboard.  Computer pirates.  They're a
               multi-million dollar problem for the computer software
               industry.  Many of the offenders are young, and not
               seeking profit, just a challenge.  But as one high school
               student discovered, the adventure can "byte" back.

[Cut to a full screen view of Apogee's "Wolfenstein 3-D." It is on level
one, score zero.  It appears to be the shareware version of the game.]

Glenn Vermette:    [slightly distracted; he's operating the game]
                You go round and... it's just a... game where you go
                around and hunt bad guys down, and, uh, and shoot them.
                   [he chuckles]
(Reporter)
Harry Maunu: Take us to a bad guy.

Glenn Vermette: Here's a bad guy here.
                   [in the game, he enters a large room, where a "bad
                    guy" (a brownshirt) is walking across the room, his
                    back to the player.  Vermette shoots the "bad guy"
                    in the back, killing him with one shot.  It is at
                    this point that it becomes apparent that GV doesn't
                    have a sound board.]
(Voice over {sempre simile})
Harry Maunu: Glenn Vermette gets another bad guy.
                [cut to a shot of Vermette at a desk, working a PC.  By
                 the way, GV doesn't know where "home row" is on his
                 keyboard.]
             On his own time, at home, on his computer.
                [cut intermittently between shots of Vermette and
                 Wolfenstein's intro/help screens]
             Six months ago, he went after the real thing.  At home, on
             his own time, on his computer. The bad guy was a pirate.  A
             sixteen year old.  Using a home computer, and the telephone
             lines, he allegedly rifled copyrighted computer programs,
             archived them, and traded them for free.
                [cut to Wolfenstein's registered message: "Attention,
                this game is NOT shareware.  Please do not distribute
                it.  Thanks.  Id Software"]
             Like most computer pirates, he wasn't seeking profits.

[Cut to Vermette]

Glenn Vermette: I've never run across a case where, uh, you phone up one
                of these pirate boards and they say I want X amount of
                dollars for this program, it, it doesn't happen.  They
                do it, it's more to gratify their ego, is what it is
                [grins] um, the big kick seems to be if you can get
                what's called zero day wares (they call them wares, for
                programs) uh, meaning that the day it's released,
                they've got them available to download, or in a lot of
                cases, uh, if they can the program even before it's
                released to the, duh, general public, all the better.

[cut to another screen shot, this time it's a terminal program.
Vermette, a member of BB&C, is logging onto their BBS.]

Harry Maunu: This is a legitimate computer bulletin board.  A piece of
             software that loads on home computers.  It runs 24 hours a
             day, provides masses of data, and endless files.
                [cut to an HST, presumably Vermette's, going through an
                 answer sequence]
             A modem hookup transfers information at high speed.

[cut to Vermette again.]

Glenn Vermette: The speed has improved greatly, which is what makes one
                of, uh, the reasons for pirating programs a lot easier
                and more attractive to do.  Now you can get a, a game or
                a commercial program that may be five or six disks long.
                Back in the early eighties it would take you three days
                to transfer that information through the phone lines,
                where now you can do it in the inside of an hour.

[cut to another screen shot, this time it's the logon screen for
Vermette's own BBS, The Smell of Bacon II, complete with the ANSi police
car]

Harry Maunu: The pirate's bulletin board apparently was filled with
             several copyrighted programs that he let others access.
             It's called downloading.  Vermette, a computer buff for ten
             years, tracked the pirate quickly.  That was the simplest
             part.

[cut to Vermette]

Glenn Vermette: This is gonna take another month or so of investigation,
                um, you have to show that the person had intent to do
                this, that they knew that it was against the law, you
                have to get a hold of the people who hold the
                copyrights, you have to get the copyright certificates
                from Hull, Quebec, I mean it's just a, it's a nightmare
                to investigate.

[cut to a view of a tower-style PC, Vermette is loading a 3.5" disk into
its drive.  The camera swings up to a view of Vermette operating the PC]

Harry Maunu: The RCMP commercial crime squad are helping Vermette lay
             what amount to complex charges.  What transpires in court
             has enormous implications for the computer software
             industry.
                [Maunu's voice-over continues as the view cuts to the
                 software shelves at Tesseract Software]
             They say piracy is a multi-million dollar problem.  Severe
             fines and lengthy jail sentences await the biggest and
             worst offenders.
                [Cut to a view of a young male adult browsing the
                 software shelves at Tesseract]
             The problem here is many offenders are young, and think
             that what they are doing is really no different from buying
             a CD and taping it for a friend.
                [cut to another screen shot of Wolfenstein 3-D]
             But who's going to bust them?  Glenn Vermette, that's who.

Glenn Vermette: [playing Wolfenstein, he shoots another Nazi in the
                 back] There, I killed this guy, now I pick up his
                 ammunition.

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Cst. Vermette can be reached on his BBS, The Smell of Bacon II, at
604-727-3873 (300-14400 bps).


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