Lucent Heart Item Dupers Face 10 Year Fraud Sentences

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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    69 Comments
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    Comment by Cerenado
    05:58 19/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Can you even prosecute something like that in the first place?
    I don't know the world at all do I...

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:32 19/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    1 year prision or pay XXXX USD will be a nice punishment for this cases.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:41 17/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Because games are serious bizznez?

    Avatar of Geerie
    Comment by Geerie
    02:28 19/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    holy shit that's more severe than you get for pirating the game.

    Comment by Nimas
    02:57 19/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Internet , serious business

    Avatar of Icy-nee-san
    Comment by Icy-nee-san
    08:18 19/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Ppl blow things out of proportion on this site...mostly the people without avatars XD

    Comment by omfg
    02:40 20/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    yes clearly your loli avatar makes you more important :D

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:40 19/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    you are so unprofessional

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:24 19/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Great. Next they'll have a punishment where some player kills another player in a PVP/duel match and the player who won gets a ticket to do life in jail for murder.

    Avatar of metatron
    Comment by metatron
    20:30 19/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    criminal charges is a bit too extreme...

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:36 19/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I can haz yur stuff plz? :3

    Avatar of Aeromax
    Comment by Aeromax
    09:09 19/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Holy Jesus, this is even worse than RunEscape's hammy policies

    Comment by zomgalazerpewpewpew
    14:59 19/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    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.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:03 19/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    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.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:23 19/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    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.

    Psycho.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:14 19/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    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.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:03 19/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    You are forgetting something, anonymous. Most murder victims are NOT innocent bystanders when they are killed.
    They have done something EXTREME to piss someone off that they shouldn't have done in most cases, and therefore have caused their OWN DEATHS!

    Even an ex-cop and ex-homicide investigator who I talked with had to admit that, and that is why he quit the homocide division: because most of the 'victims' were not innocents.

    Comment by Typewriter
    03:24 19/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Why are we talking about murder, now?

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:43 17/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Getting nerverous?

    Avatar of motaku96
    Comment by motaku96
    01:01 19/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    MMO game crimes are getting to be common these days. Well maybe this'll stop people from cheating.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:40 18/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Wow! And I thought SE was harsh(the main reason why I left FFXI, plus the sky and sea junks), this is taking draconian practice to a whole new level.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:38 15/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Harsh? Hardly. If anything Square-Enix is lax in dealing with cheaters.
    Or maybe you are butthurt because you were one of the people duping and you got banned for it?

    Avatar of softbanker
    Comment by softbanker
    16:15 18/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    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.

    Comment by Kev
    04:24 19/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Because you're not really paying for an item, you're paying for a service, you know how everyone gets jipped for service-charges IRL.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:51 18/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    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.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:50 18/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    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.

    Comment by wee
    16:46 18/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    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).

    Avatar of Tasche
    Comment by Tasche
    17:18 18/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    so agreed. its the company's own damn fault for allowing such things to happen anyways.

    Avatar of CC
    Comment by CC
    19:32 18/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    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)

    Avatar of Aoshi_88
    Comment by Aoshi
    16:49 18/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    They should try mRO where no real people play and the server is all but populated with bots who have ruined the game's economy.

    Avatar of takuya13
    Comment by takuya13
    16:10 18/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    eh.. thats a bit harsh time in the slammer for exploiting a bug =\

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:30 18/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    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...

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:00 19/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    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.

    Comment by mmorockz
    15:25 18/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    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.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:41 19/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Just punishment?

    MMO's, serious buisness.

    Get a life.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:34 18/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    >they need to get lives… losers.
    Says the one playing mmos.

    Anyway.
    Wow.... jail?

    Avatar of TransistorGlamor
    Comment by ToastCrust
    16:20 18/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    '>they need to get lives… losers.
    Says the one who wants them to go to jail."

    Fixed.

    Avatar of Tasche
    Comment by Tasche
    17:16 18/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    thats fail...

    if you dont like the dumbasses that play, then dont play.

    Comment by mmorockz
    17:36 18/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Hey they're my escape, and I don't need assholes like you ruining them.

    Go get cancer and die loser.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:43 19/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    "they need to get lives… losers."
    says the escapist?

    Comment by Yuuta
    15:23 18/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Wow, jail for dupe. Extreme huh.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:58 19/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Extreme.... and stupid! This is just going to piss off the people who use the service and frighten them off. Banning people? Okay.
    Threatening them with jail time for item duping? Not okay, and these laws need to be rewritten to make it clear that unless there is an ACTUAL LOSS OF MONEY, jail time isn't applicable.

    Comment by Neo X Alucard
    12:58 19/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    If they had to take down the server for 2 days then they lost quite a bit.

    Also, is this one of those "micro transaction" games like Fly For Fun? Even if it is they need to chill with all that "legal action" BS, I mean it was their bug that even made it possible in the first place!

    Comment by WKnight
    13:47 20/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Correction: They had to take their servers down for 2 days BECAUSE THEY SCREWED UP.

    Their software, their responsibility.

    Comment by missingno
    11:52 19/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    more than you get for child abuse....

    Comment by Neo X Alucard
    12:52 19/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Obviously money is more important than children...

    Comment by WondrousWizard
    16:53 18/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Totally agree. Too extreme. 10 years for duplicate, I mean cmon... they are people out there who commit more vicious crime and never got punished. That's only my opinion, but I believe 10 years in jail is a too extreme in this case. Would see that person in jail with others criminal like murderer and thief?

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:52 19/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    not to mention the consequent butt reap that duper might be getting in jail, and all that for some silly in-game cheating?
    This Gamania should definately reconsider this.

    Avatar of kamanashi
    Comment by Kamanashi
    00:39 19/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I hate cheaters and all, but this is a little much like you said.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:40 19/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Man, now I want to purposely fuck up their stuff because of their hamfisted response.

    Comment by MooMooCow
    15:31 18/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    This is why you don't share exploits you discover....




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