In a move that seems like it will be about as effective as trying to herd cats, China's CDC Games has announced the formation of Online Games Alliance Against Piracy (OGAAP) to attempt to stem the tide of piracy in the country. Considering we're talking about China, where it's frequently harder to find legitimate merchandise than it is bootlegs, and big companies have been involved in large-scale IP suits, they have their work cut out for them. Other founding members of the alliance include "CCP, the Iceland-based developer of EVE Online; Ons On Soft Co. Ltd., the Korea-based developer of Shine; Sonokong Co. Ltd., the Korea-based developer of Shaiya, and Come on Baby; T3 entertainment, the Korea-based developer of Audition online game; and Wemade Entertainment, the Korea-based developer of Legend of Mir II and MIR III online games". Full release after the jump, and we'll see how well this winds up working. CDC Games and Leading Game Developers Form Alliance to Protect Online Game Industry from Piracy
Landmark Piracy Cases Result in Convictions Including Prison Sentences and Fines
BEIJING, ATLANTA - Sept. 13, 2007 - CDC Games, a business unit of CDC Corporation (NASDAQ: CHINA) and a pioneer of the "free-to-play, pay for merchandise" model for online games in China, announced today that the company, along with several other leading game developers, has founded the Online Games Alliance Against Piracy (OGAAP) to fight the piracy of online games in China.
Piracy costs the global entertainment industry billions dollars of lost revenues every year, and this problem has been particularly rampant in the booming China market. Piracy activities include operators who have set up private servers and macro programs that mimic some of the most popular online games.
As part of its commitment to fight online games piracy, OPTIC Communications, which is now part of CDC Games, has helped the China government convict two operators of "piracy for profit" of one of their online fantasy games called MIR III. These two landmark cases are among the first of their kind in China and each resulted in criminal convictions. The first case, known as the "Tianzi case" involved a private server operator that was running illegal copies of the MIR III game online. The conviction of the operator included the seizure of all their equipment and a three-year prison sentence. The second case, known as the "007 case", recently concluded in August 2007 with a six-year prison sentence and a fine of (U.S.) $67,000. In this case, the operator was running an illegal macro program that allowed players to purchase online game merchandise such as special powers and weapons. With over 20 million users currently registered as players of MIR III, the revenue impact was substantial before the illegal operation was shut down.
The goals of OGAAP are to establish a platform for industry participants and stakeholders to exchange ideas and share experiences; conduct market and technology research; propose industry-wide policies and practices; and lobby relevant government bodies and lawmakers to enact anti-piracy legislation. The alliance will also actively promote public awareness of copyrighted online game usage, educate online game players about copyrighted content and vigorously pursue the continued shutdown of pirated online games as well as the arrest and conviction of their operators.
Other founding members of the OGAAP alliance include leading developers such as: CCP, the Iceland-based developer of EVE Online; Ons On Soft Co. Ltd., the Korea-based developer of Shine; Sonokong Co. Ltd., the Korea-based developer of Shaiya, and Come on Baby; T3 entertainment, the Korea-based developer of Audition online game; and Wemade Entertainment, the Korea-based developer of Legend of Mir II and MIR III online games. CDC Games is also actively recruiting others in the online game industry to join OGAAP in this united front against piracy.
OGAAP, to be a non-profit organization headquartered in Beijing, is already in discussions with several of China's governmental organizations that oversee the games industry to seek their guidance and support of this initiative. These agencies include the China Game Publishers Association (CGPA) as well as top authorities governing press and publications, copyright administration and protection of intellectual property rights.
"At CDC Games, we have long recognised the potential severity of illicit piracy activities, and have achieved success in individual campaigns against piracy," said Peter Yip, CEO of CDC Games. "The formation of OGAAP is a milestone achievement for the online game industry and will seek to leverage the combined power, experience and efforts of many key industry players. Like other segments in the entertainment industry, we have experienced an increase in piracy, especially with some of our more popular online games. Our primary objective is to reduce, and if possible, eliminate these piracy challenges so our industry can continue its vibrant growth throughout China. This alliance and the recent successful convictions of illegal operators are major steps in achieving our objectives."
For more information regarding participation in OGAPP, please contact Dr. Xiaowei Chen, president of CDC Games at [email protected], or Mr. John Huen, COO of CDC Games' OPTIC Communications business unit at [email protected]