ESA applauds game pirate's sentence

I was more than a little concerned to see that the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has sent out a press release this week to celebrate the sentence Timothy Wayne received for selling pirated computer and video game software through his Web site.

When I interviewed the ESA a good few years back at a US IT show, the organisation seemed to take a pragmatic approach to piracy, going after the big fish suppliers, rather than the little ones.

Wayne, who is based in the state of Illinois, was arrested by the FBI earlier this year for piracy and has been sentenced to two years in clink, three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay a $1,200 fine for selling pirated computer and video game software through his Web site.

According to the ESA, between 2001 and 2006 Hall earned more than $266,000 owning and operating a Web site that sold pirated game software for the Xbox, GameCube and PlayStation 2 consoles.

Compared to some of the pirate operations I've come across in my travels, that's not a vast amount, especially when you spread it out over five years.

Okay, I'm not arguing that Wayne should have got off scot free, but a monster fine would have been more appropriate and, I suspect, in the US tax-payers interest, rather than imposing a prison sentence that is normally meted out to someone that has seriously injured or shot another person.

Is software piracy that much of a crime in the US?...