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Report: Activision Confronting CoD: Black Ops Pirates...
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Report: Activision Confronting CoD: Black Ops Pirates...Politely
Pirates trying to sell leaked copies online being thwarted by "polite" private investigators.
By Kris Pigna, 10/23/2010

[Image: 463z.jpg]

Quote:It's no surprise Activision is going to take any possibility of Call of Duty: Black Ops being pirated before its release very seriously. What is a little surprising, though, is how they're evidently handling such situations so far. VentureBeat reports that in the wake of leaked Black Ops copies being sold online, Activision has hired a private investigation firm to confront the pirates...and politely ask them to stop.

As the report explains, Activision hired IP Cybercime, a PI firm that handles online piracy, to track down any potential pirates who appear to be trying to sell leaked or bootlegged copies of Black Ops. This has already led to a number of "sting operations" where investigators met such pirates in coffee shops and other locations. But instead of immediately reporting them to the FBI, the investigators are first giving them a warning and asking them to stop, as well as to divulge where they got the leaked copies.

According to IP Cybercrimes' Rob and Jason Holmes, most pirates confronted so far have been "scared," and surrendered their leaked copies and cooperated. One such pirate, who calls himself "Computer Healer," even posted a series of (warning: lots of cursing in them) where he recounts what he claims was his encounter with investigators, who he describes as "polite." Ultimately "Computer Healer" says he surrendered his copy of the game (which he paid $150 for), and says he never intended to leak it online; he calls it the "best game I ever played...I wouldn?t have sold the f***** for a million dollars."

So far the leaks don't appear to be widespread. IP Cybercrime monitors various piracy websites as well as Craigslist and Facebook, and they first noticed leaked copies being sold in college towns in the South, including the University of Mississippi, and locations in Alabama and Georgia. They can also easily identify leaked copies being played on the Xbox 360 through Xbox Live, where Microsoft can then identify who's playing it and turn their identity and location over to investigators.

As for everyone who doesn't want to be tracked, identified, confronted, and potentially reported to the FBI to face legal charges, Call of Duty: Black Ops goes on sale nice and legally on November 9.
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