The underground industry chain of private server games needs to be eradicated urgently

From source code buying and selling server leasing "private server" construction to recruitment agency promotion

  □ Our reporter Fan Tianjiao

  □ Wang Tao, our intern

  "Upgrading to level 999 with a single knife", "Raising monsters in the server and quickly upgrading", "Crazy explosive equipment"...

  Many players are no strangers to this kind of private server game advertising.

Compared with the regular game platform, regardless of the player's strength, as long as the money is charged, it can quickly become "high play".

As everyone knows, the money he has charged has continuously "provided blood" for the private server black industry chain.

  Recently, the High-tech Branch of the Public Security Bureau of Hefei City, Anhui Province cracked a case of copyright infringement by a private server game, breaking down a complete underground chain from source code sale to server setup, renting to website construction and promotion.

According to the police, such cases have shown a trend of increase in number and mature industries in recent years, causing more losses to right holders and greater harm to society.

A reporter from the "Rule of Law Daily" conducted an investigation on why private server games are constantly emerging.

Not authorized by the game copyright owner

Set up private servers to make high profits

  In March of this year, the staff of Hefei Perfect World Network Technology Co., Ltd. discovered during daily inspections that someone used the company's game code to set up a private game server, distribute website links to attract users to enter the game, and conduct illegal profit-making behaviors.

Subsequently, they reported to the Hefei High-tech Police.

  After investigation, the police found that Li Moumou from Jiangxi had purchased the source code of a game called "The Legend of Condor Heroes" from Perfect World Network Technology Co., Ltd. on the Internet. After renting the server, he initially built a "little lychee statue". "Xia Lian" private server games, and then he posted advertisements on multiple game forums, post bars, QQ exchange groups and other channels to recruit game promotion agents. The agents attract private server game players. After the game players recharge, Li Moumou and the agents share proportionally .

  "The so-called private server game is an online game that illegally obtains the game program code, sets up a private server, and provides services to players without the authorization of the game copyright owner." Wang Tao, deputy director of the Gaoxin Police Station who handled the case, told a reporter from the Rule of Law Daily In this case, Li Moumou initially built a private server game with only 900 yuan, but during the six months of operation, the player recharged up to more than 5 million yuan. Excluding the agency share, Li Moumou made a profit of more than 1.9 million yuan. , Reached the "daily income of ten thousand yuan."

  After finding out the situation of the criminal gang, in April this year, the policemen who handled the case went to various places to carry out network collection operations, seized two servers involved in the case, destroyed two private server game websites and two mobile App platforms.

Eleven people including Li, the organizer of the private server game, Zheng, who sold the game source code, Yang, the website operator, Li, the promotion agent, and Zou, the server pretender and maintainer, were taken criminal compulsory measures.

Profit-driven leads to the proliferation of private servers

Presenting the trend of chain industrialization

  Searching for private server games on the Internet, the front of the page is a variety of advertising links labeled private server games.

Click to enter, and after a simple registration, you can enter the game interface. The links at the top of the page to guide players to recharge can be seen everywhere.

  Wang Tao told the reporter of the Rule of Law Daily that one of the main reasons for the endless emergence of private server games, even blatant, is that there is a huge buyer's market behind it.

  On a private server game publishing website, a reporter from the Rule of Law Daily clicked on a game titled "1.80 Yushen Legend". After entering the interface, under the huge game poster is a line of imperceptible small words: Provided by three parties, this studio does not participate in game development and operation.” Below the small print is a huge recharge interface. The form lists the recharge amount and the available game privileges in detail.

On the game login interface, "Blast" is displayed at the entrance, indicating that there are more players currently participating in the game.

After a few minutes of trial play by a reporter from the Rule of Law Daily, the system showed that the player was too weak, and a pop-up window popped up to guide the recharge.

  "In the game world, everyone wants to become stronger, but in genuine games, players need to invest more time or recharge to upgrade. In private server games, the growth and upgrade of game characters becomes very simple, and players only need to invest very little. You can enter a higher level with your energy and money.” A senior private server game player said, as to whether it encourages infringement, I don’t think so much about it. Anyway, everyone plays like this.

  In order to obtain a better gaming experience, some online players can spend thousands of dollars to build a private online server that has almost the same interface and functions as the public server game and has a higher experience.

Some criminals have seen the huge market space, knowing that private servers are infringement crimes and still cross the "red line", and want to "get rich overnight" by building private server games.

  Strong market demand and low technical threshold for piracy have made it difficult for well-known games to escape the fate of infringement.

A staff member from Perfect World Network Technology Co., Ltd. told the reporter of Rule of Law Daily that the company’s games such as "Zhu Xian", "Wulin Biography", and "Perfect World International Edition" have been infringed, which can be seen on the Internet. , Causing greater infringement on the company’s legitimate rights and interests and disrupting the normal operating order of the online game market.

  It is worth noting that a whole set of black industry chain has been formed around private server games, from source code trading, server leasing, private server construction to recruitment agency promotion.

  Wang Tao told the reporter of "Rules of Law Daily" that in the past three years, the high-tech police destroyed more than 10 private server game websites such as Chuxin Perfect, 34 Perfect, Little Lychee Condor Heroes, 39 Perfect, and 2019 Chuxin.

With the development of network information technology, not only the number of such cases has increased, but also the trend of chained and industrialized operations has emerged.

Among them are personnel selling game source code, technical personnel building private server game websites, supporting server disguise lease and maintenance personnel, website advertising construction personnel, and second- and third-level promotion agents.

In other words, from the source code to the underlying agency, each infringement link has supporting service providers, which constitutes a complete infringement chain.

  "Organizers don't even need to understand game code and server operation and maintenance. After they are set up, they only need to sit at home and wait for recharge to collect money. Other links have follow-up services." Wang Tao said.

  Since private server games cannot be updated, game players will reach the best experience period of the game 2 to 3 months after entering the private server, which is also the peak period for recharging, and will gradually lose interest in about half a year.

In order to keep the private server game website operating continuously, operators must recruit a large number of game agents, promote through game agents, and attract more game players to come to the game and recharge.

  "These promotion agents are hidden among the players. Once they are caught by the public security organs, they will become game players, disguising illegal profits as normal player recharges." Wang Tao said that in order to avoid the attack, they will regularly release server data. Reinstalling the server system, changing the domain name, and changing the server add difficulty to clue discovery and case detection.

Improve internal code protection mechanism

Use legal weapons to combat infringement

  The essence of private server games is online piracy. Only by figuring out where and how to "pirate" can we prevent it from the source.

  Yang Wenbin, an associate professor at the Law School of Anhui University, said that the development of an online game program includes complex processes such as preliminary preparation, market research, system planning, copywriting and scripting, front-end and back-end, art, and test modulation. The game program code is for online games. The core requires the production team to spend a lot of energy to design and debug. Once the source code flows out, there is a risk of being misappropriated.

  "Private server games are due to the company's source code leaks, which are used by criminals to set up game private server servers for profit." The staff of Perfect World pointed out that the source code may be leaked through two channels. One is internal game developers maliciously or unintentionally. In the case of leaks, the other is hacking, and the former is more common.

  In some software development companies, due to the imperfect internal code protection mechanism, employees involved in the development have the opportunity to copy their source code.

Regarding whether the act of copying and leaking the source code is suspected of being a crime, Fan Antian, head of the Legal Brigade of the High-tech Branch, said that usually the source code is not given for free, and profit is made from the sale. In fact, it provides conditions for the establishment of private servers, which is already a violation of knowledge. Contributor to property rights crimes.

  In accordance with the provisions of the Criminal Law, for profit-making purposes, without the permission of the copyright owner, copying and distributing its written works, music, movies, television, video works, computer software and other works, the amount of illegal income is relatively large or there are other serious circumstances, constitute Crime of copyright infringement.

In 2011, the Supreme Law, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, and the Ministry of Public Security issued the "Opinions on Several Issues Concerning the Application of Law in the Handling of Criminal Cases of Infringement of Intellectual Property Rights", which further clarified that illegal publication, reproduction, and distribution of works by others, and copyright infringement constitute a crime, shall be convicted of copyright infringement. Penalties are not recognized as illegal business operations and other crimes.

Knowing that others have committed crimes of infringing intellectual property rights, and providing them with Internet access, server hosting, network storage space, communication transmission channels, agency fees, fee settlement and other services, they shall be punished as accomplices of the crimes of intellectual property rights infringement, and the information is clear Standards for conviction and punishment for dissemination of infringing works online.

  "At present, the domestic laws and regulations in the field of online infringement are relatively complete, and there are many relevant cases. However, there will still be some'Internet gold diggers' who are attracted by huge profits and take risks. For their own works, companies and individuals should actively use the Intellectual property works must be applied for copyright, and they must also be protected by Internet security protection technology measures.” Yang Wenbin said that the industry and commerce administration and cultural industry departments should also strengthen linkages with public security agencies to establish and improve mechanisms for information sharing and clue transfer, and Intensify the crackdown on game infringements, and further reduce the space for illegal crimes.