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Lucent Heart Item Dupers Face 10 Year Fraud Sentences


MMORPG Lucent Heart’s operator Gamania has announced its intent to pursue unprecedentedly harsh measures against those who wilfully abused a recent item replication bug on its servers.

As well as terminating their accounts and those of their entire clan, Gamania vows to pursue criminal charges of fraud against the dupers, with guilty offenders possibly facing ten year prison sentences.


The recent duplication bug forced Gamania to take the popular MMORPG’s Japanese servers down for two days whilst it scrambled to patch the issue.

Service has since resumed, but Gamania has vengefully announced its intent to mete out the harshest of retribution to those who abused the bug.


The least of this involves terminating the accounts of all those detected to have duped items, but they have more in store for clans (guilds) too; their official statement runs as follows:

“We shall investigate accounts used to replicate items, as well as those otherwise connected with the bug, and institute permanent suspensions and similar when dealing with them.

Additionally, where we can confirm that clans have intentionally involved themselves with the duplicating of items, all accounts associated with that clan will be subject to permanent suspension.”

This is but the beginning of their vengeance:

“With respect to all those who have violated the Terms of Service of their subscription with us, we are currently pursuing legal consideration of the possibility of pressing criminal charges under section 246, paragraph 2 [of the computer fraud law].

Please be aware that we will be pursuing not only those who directly duplicated items, but also those knowingly took possession of these items.

Those who bought the items at shops will not be pursued.

We will report on the progress of this action at a later date.”

If found guilty of electronic fraud under section 246 – paragraph 2, offenders face a prison sentence of not more than 10 years (presumably significantly less).

They already report suspending 73 accounts for dealing in the items at shops, and “permanently suspending” 12 for actual acts of duplication.


Those who doubt the seriousness of these charges should refer to the various previous cases of virtual fraud and theft which have resulted in substantial real-world penalty.

However, if successful this prosecution would represent the first for duping, as previous charges have usually stemmed from gaining unauthorised access through stolen passwords and similar.

Responses from other companies facing duping have thus far involved only bans.

With the financial worth of virtual items now legally recognised in many places as being just as “real” as many other long recognised “virtual assets” (for example, derivatives or other such financial instruments), it seems only a matter of time before the law and the taxman fully catch up to “protect” the financial interests of these companies.

The online response appears to be less than impressed with the legal response, seeing it as overreaction, though few are actually sympathetic to the dupers.

Some can’t help but point out that Gamania is a Taiwanese company which only maintains a token Japanese presence, which may have affected their ability to respond to the bug in a timely fashion.


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  • zomgalazerpewpewpew says:

    I don’t know, for the company’s point of view, I those dupers are destroying the company’s profitability.

    People duplicate stuff, the game economy gets destroyed. Then more people quit from the game. Then the company will probably lose millions. They will try to patch the game which will cost money. Even after the game is fixed, it will never be the same again.

    Yeah, you can say that its the company’s fault for not making the game perfect. But its the player’s fault for intently exploiting bugs to destroy the game which causes the company lose significant amount of money.

    Therefore, bug abusers are saboteurs who wants to take down the company. I think that is a crime and depending on the damage they made, I say it should be appropriate to put buggers to jail or make them pay in terms of damages.

  • Why do people insist on saying x amount of years is too much. These people are criminals and deserve as much time as they can get. If your a decent law abiding citizen you shouldnt have to worry about punishments being too harsh because your not going to be in their position. If people are willing to do one “little” crime and get away with just a slap on the wrist they will just end up commiting another crime again and it may be an even bigger one.

    • Crime’s punishment should be equal or at least to a scale of the human suffering they caused. This is tampering with people’s free-time hobbies. It’s an annoyance. Yeah, they should get punished, but jail time with violent assault convicts, drug addicts, and rapists isn’t going to help anyone. If you think anyone deserves jail time for something inconsequential as this I pray you’re never in a position of any power.


      • If someone commits murder and takes anothers life, the victims life is now put on a scale? That persons life is gone forever and nothing can bring it back, there is no punishment severe enough for the person that took that life. Jail time or the death sentence is not just for the victims of the crime but for the others that have to live with that criminal. The death sentence insures that he will be no longer be able to commit any more crimes and time on jail attempts to rehabilitate the criminal through punishment so they will not do it again.

  • Hmmmm, I’ve long thought that only Cyber crime that could be construed as sane/viable was Fraud.

    And sure these days game money can = real money.

    But… aren’t the Devs the ones at fault here?

    This game company is pursuing legal assfucking mumbo jumbo like they’re the victims.

    But it was THEIR CODE, their own failings, that caused this wasn’t it?

    People are in a fictional world with real monetary repercussions… I can think up plenty of games in my past I used in-game bugs to play around with. They’re supposed to be an innocent part of the fun (who hasn’t read a “tips and tricks” gamefaq for some game they owned at some point or another and abused an in-game flaw for fun and profit?).

    Who could blame MMORPG players for following that tradition?

    What would happen if you logged into your bank account one day and suddenly realized that by transferring funds from one account to the next it magically gave you an extra $100.00 every transfer?

    Even if you go nuts with the extra cash, when they eventually catch the problem, they don’t fucking SEND YOU TO JAIL. They take the money back from you and everybody’s even (don’t they? I could be wrong, but that’s how it should be anyway).

    In America, don’t we have Golden Rule that you can’t be forced into serving Jail time for Monetary Debt?

    That’s why I see this as out-of-bounds and obnoxious on the part of whatever this game company is, engaging in this sort of litigious militancy.

    IN SHORT: I’d call it “debt” rather than “fraud” because it’s the Dev’s fault for the bug being there in the first place.

    • You should really get your facts right before writing a wall of text. It only makes you look stupid. Players agree to Rules of Conduct, Terms of Service, EULA or however they put it, in other words: a contract. This contracts usually includes a paragraph that says “Don’t use bugs for your own profit, report them.” While in western mmorpgs, you just get banned, because you really didn’t do any damage to the game company by real money trading or even item duping, you have to expect more repercussions in eastern mmorpgs which are often free to play (no monthly cost) but instead have item shops where you have to use real money to buy the most powerful ingame items or character upgrades. Duping those items is like stealing the company’s income. They can’t really let that slip.

      • Somehow I think I could spend my time more productively than reading up on the subtle sub-cultural differences between the endless gamut of MMORPGs out there. But your point is taken.

        Man, has gaming culture changed. Glad I rarely waste my time anymore with this kind of stuff.

        Way too serious to look like it’s any fun at all.

    • Bugs are unavoidable, every piece of software has one..

      In the old ‘form’ of gaming where you didn’t play with
      anyone harm done.

      Punishment – None.

      In multiplayer games (the non-mmorpg way) you ruin one game, or every game till it’s patched.
      Punishment – You might get banned from the game and have to buy a new game for a new serial code.

      In a mmorpg you ruin the game for thousands of players who’ve spend thousands of hours to get where they are.
      Punishment – Permanent ban as well would be enough?
      I do think a more severe punishment is in place, although 10 years I’d only find fair if the said person was like behind a company selling the items by the bundle for commercial profit.
      See it as spammers, they’re giving half the world problems just for their own benefit.. they also face quite severe charges.

      I find it justifiable if someone is making a ton of money by selling items that he faces jail charges that would warrant charges for jailtime as long it would take to make that money with a normal job.

  • and that’s how black markets are created. hackers will be making even more real life profit out of dupe items. watch the crime rate statistic boost shortly after. NEETs may find a way out after all.

  • well we can all relate to the anger of the company for duping these items, but i cannot see why they have to respond so harshly, these duplications are half their fault for being there in the first place (upgrade/patch not tested properly).

      • Don’t agree with you on that, if a bicycle lock ‘opens up’ when you throw the lock against a hard surface (a lot do) then you’re free to use whatever bike you want to?
        It’s a bug in the product of the lockmaker after all..

        Okay, real world comparisons never make sense as one would actually lose their bike there, where as here an item just appears out of nowhere.. but you know you’re not supposed to obtain an item like that and if you exploit it you also know you’re the oen in the wrong.

        10 years is is extreme though, but if for example someone made like 200 very rare items and sold them off I can’t see it as all that unjustified.
        (Well in my country it would be, as the time you spend in jail for commiting murder is more often 4 years than it is the maximum of 30)

  • softbanker says:

    True, true. online items indeed can turn into lots of real cash. Lots of mmorpg players really don’t mind spending money for some virtual goods. Although I really don’t get why go spend some money on it when you can just grind for it, whats the point playing anyway.

    • Well it all depends on how much is an hour worth to you( in monetary value). If someone makes 50 bucks an hour then it is better to leave the work to the Chinese gill farmers and pocket the difference. Defeat the purpose of the game? Sure. But from a cost-benefit stand point this is a better approach.

      • Because not everyone has the free time to spend 5 hours a day grinding for in-game money/items, and they just want to spend the couple hours they do have to actually do something else in the game.

        Never spent real money for in-game things myself, but it’s easy to see the argument for it.

  • This is just plain retarded. I understand there having to be a consequence to such actions but going as far as prosecution and jail time seems a bit too extreme. This is going down a very very bad road, reminds me of how people got arrested and sentenced for being pedophiles for having loli based doujin.

    • Vallen Chaos Valiant says:

      You have the wrong idea. Online items have REAL financial value. You can sometimes buy a car for the money you can get for selling a high-level MMO character’s items. This isn’t about “fake” things with no worth; item doping has the same effect as counterfeiting, or electronic fraud. Lolicons have nothing to do with it.
      (Look at it another way, you can’t turn 2D lolis into real children, but you CAN turn online items into real cash.)

      • Palmtop Tiger says:

        But item duping is not the same as counterfiets because it is an exact copy of the item. Not fake, the real deal. You cannot tell the difference between a duped item and the original, thus fraud charges are inappropriate. All these dupers did was exploit a loophole which is not illeagal.

        • Vallen Chaos Valiant says:

          “You cannot tell the difference between a duped item and the original, thus fraud charges are inappropriate.”

          So does that mean if I make an exact copy of a US banknote, down to the serial number, I wouldn’t be be counterfeiting?
          Of course I would be breaking the law. Banks keep their money by serial number order to catch counterfeits like that.

          And in online gaming, each item is also kept tracked by serial number like banknotes. That’s how dopes are identified.

          The online items have financial value. Stealing them IRL is now known to be a crime, and as such replicating such items against game rules and profit from such, especially if they are sold to unsuspecting victims, is fraud. (Selling an item that you know would later be removed by the game company for being a dope item, is like buying things with counterfeit money.)

          No one cares if you cheat in single-player games. But online games open up possibility of exploitation. Think of the people who trade away legit items for counterfeit goods, which later gets deleted. How angry would they be?

  • If it is a cash-shop game (and I presume it is, if it is from Taiwan) and if the cash-shop items were the things being duped, then they most certainly have a real world value. That much jail times seems a bit much, but…

    • Even then, it doesn’t matter. Whether the things were cash-shop items or not (and what idiot would actually buy those things, coming from someone who plays Flyff and Maple Story and would never do that), jail time is excessive punishment.

      Really, taking advantage of a bug in a game to duplicate items shouldn’t be verboten anyway.
      If these MMO writers would DO THEIR JOBS and test their code properly…. these things wouldn’t be possible to begin with.

  • Good this seems like a just punishment. Seriously I’m so sick of faggots ruining the MMORPGS I play, I hope they enjoy rotting in prison. Pity they didn’t get more time. Oh well, can’t win them all. they need to get lives… losers.