NCsoft is stepping up the battle against IP theft, in this case targeting illegal servers in eastern Europe (concentrating on Greece and Russia). Last year, they successfully brought a suit against a Greek company who was profiting from the use of illegal Lineage II servers; they're continuing the global fight. Full release after the jump.
BRIGHTON, England (10th April 2008) - NCsoft®, the world-leading, publisher of massively multiplayer online games such as Guild Wars®, Lineage® II and City of Heroes®, today announced that it was stepping up its fight against the growing menace of intellectual property theft. This action comes as a direct response to the rise of illegal online game servers throughout Eastern Europe, particularly in Greece and Russia where NCsoft's fantasy-based online role playing game, Lineage II, is extremely popular.
The fraudulent servers in question are being used by players playing at home and in internet cafes, but such unauthorised servers often feature - or require users to download - illegally modified and potentially harmful game data, thereby changing the intended online experience.
NCsoft's European office has identified several prominent illegal servers across Europe and is in the process of taking action against individuals and corporations deemed to be in breach of international copyright laws. In a lawsuit that was commenced last year in Greece, NCsoft successfully obtained a court order against Internet Cafe business, 'e-GLOBAL' following which four of its cafes were raided and illegal software was seized. This led to the shutting down of illegal servers on which pirate copies of Lineage II software was loaded. Georgios Katostaris - Chairman of the Board and Managing Director, Constantinos Zygouras - Vice-Chairman of the Board and Managing Director, Athanassios Dobros - Deputy Managing Director and Dimitrios Koutsoukos - Administrator of the company under the name 'INTERNET DYNAMICS LLC' have all been made personal defendants to the proceedings that are continuing in the Greek Courts in which NCsoft is seeking damages as well as criminal remedies.
"Illegal game servers, such as those operating from e-GLOBAL, have a hugely negative impact on both NCsoft Europe and its customers," commented Max Brown, NCsoft Europe's Sales & Operations Director. "They seriously affect the player's experience of our products and rob the company of potential revenue that is used to further enhance the player experience on official servers. NCsoft's loss in revenue from e-GLOBAL's operation is estimated in excess of six million Euros. We are defiant in our resolve to stamp out theft of NCsoft's intellectual properties and are prepared to take the strongest measures to do so."
NCsoft has a proven track record in combating illegal servers, having worked with the FBI in November 2006 to shut down a substantial unofficial Lineage II server run by US-based website, L2Extreme.com. Following multiple raids across cities throughout the US, L2Extreme's fraudulent servers - which claimed to support 50,000 active users - were taken offline, as was the L2Extreme.com website.