Honesty or Profit

박세훈l승인2015.11.10l수정2015.11.15 07:02l342호 3면

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▲ Criminal running illegal private server. (Google)

Have you heard about illegal private servers? Illegal private servers earn money for their operators and cause loses for legal game companies. According to a recent police investigation against illegal private servers, commonly earn 2 billion won per season. They earn the money by selling items or game money inside games to those who need it. The problem is they operate their server illegally using a game source that is still owned and run by the title holding game company. Of course some of you might have heard about illegal private servers or had some experience with illegal private servers, however have you ever thought about how big this industry is?

During aparliamentary inspection of the administration of game servers, one assembly woman brought up the issue of illegal private servers. She argued that there should be some guideline against illegal activities like this and estimated that last year the damage to game companies from this type of illegal activity was about 163 billion won. Even though these servers are illegal, according to
the Game Rating and Administration Committee, they are increasing all the time. The police department and game companies are trying to thwart these illegal activities.

On September 5, the Bundang police department arrested a group of suspects who opened a private Lineage game server on the charge of violating copyright laws. The defendants argued that game laws were not violated because private
sites include a speculative factor that doesn’t exist in the real game. Currently, our police departments are actively making sanctions against illegal servers. Moreover, they also announced that they will increase their rate of criminal investigations.

On the other hand, game companies are also trying to protect their copyrights. NCSOFT, for example, which developed and services the Lineage game, requested portal websites block certain words such as free servern and private server. Currently, the punishments against private servers aren’t enough. Those found guilty pay a mere monetary fee of approximately 500 thousand to 1 million won. To address this shortcoming in the punishment, NCSOFT announced that they’ll sue the criminals for everything possible such as work disturbance, violating copyright, and even violating the Juvenile Protection Act.

Currently, there are two key factors for cutting off private servers. One is a powerful legal restraint, while the other is to help educating people more about the harmful consequences of illegal private servers. I think the latter is more
important. No matter how strong a law the government and council enact and companies enforce, the prevention of private servers can’t be done without the help of individuals.

As a gamer, I also knew about illegal servers, but I didn’t know that the servers were this big. In sum, if you want to solve this problem in the short run, tougher laws are needed. However to solve this problem in the long run, we need to educate people about how harmful these servers are and target their consciousness to prevent it from growing.


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