EXACT DATE UNKNOWN
LORD II (Legend of the Red Dragon II) Door Game is released to the public.
Source Dave Kelso
January 7, 1994
Mark Abene, alias Phiber Optik begins serving a 10 month sentence at the Schuylkill federal prison in Pennsylvania. Emmanuel Goldstein accompanies him to drop him off and records the event for his documentary Freedom Downtime.
January 10, 1994
Robert and Carleen Thomas, Sysops of the Amateur Action BBS in Milipitas, California, are arrested by the U.S. Postal Service via federal agents on 6 counts of transporting obscene material and one count of recieving of child pornography. So begins the "Thomas Case" or "Amateur Action Case", wherein it is revealed that the Thomases have been arrested in CALIFORNIA based on community standards in TENESSEE. Over the next half-decade, the Thomases will fight their case, ultimately ending up in prison for several years.
January 25, 1994
A federal grand jury for the Western District of Tennessee returns a twelve-count endictment against Robert and Carleen Thomas of the Amateur Action BBS for conspiracy to violate federal obscenity laws, shipping obscene materials via UPS, and one count of causing the transportation of materials depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
April 7, 1994
The United States District Court, District of Massachusetts brings an indictment against MIT student David LaMacchia, indicating that under the handles of "John Gaunt" and "Grimjack", he committed software piracy using MIT servers. This is the first use of Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud statues in a bulletin board case. The indictment is for a single count, usually unheard of in federal cases.
April 19, 1994
Richard Gillmann releases the source of his DLX BBS Program to the public domain.
release.txt (4.0K) Official Announcement on USENET of the Release of DLX BBS by Richard Gillmann (April 19, 1994)
Commodore Business Machines goes out of business; all property is sold to German computer company Escom AG.
June 22, 1994
RemoteAccess BBS v2.02 is Released.
August 17, 1994
ONE BBSCON '94 is held in Atlanta Georgia from August 17th to the 21st.
August 31, 1994
Richard D. Kenadek, sysop of the Davy Jones Locker BBS is arrested by the FBI, two years after his BBS was seized in a raid, and charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraid and criminal copyright infringement.Published on September 1, 1994, Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA) MAN FACES "PIRATE' CHARGE \ MILLBURY MAN IS INDICTED MILLBURY - A local man accused of being a pirate on the information highway was arrested by the FBI yesterday.Richard D. Kenadek, 43, of 46 South Oxford Road was charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and criminal copyright infringement. He was indicted by a federal grand jury.The charges came more than two years after the FBI first raided his home and seized thousands of dollars worth of computer equipment. He was not charged at that time. Kenadek is accused of using that equipment.... Published on September 1, 1994, Boston Globe MAN IS ACCUSED OF COMPUTER CRIME A Millbury man has been arrested by the FBI for allegedly selling copyrighted software on a computer bulletin board. Richard D. Kenadek, 43, was charged with conspiracy and criminal copyright infringement. He was released on $50,000 bail by US District Court Judge-Magistrate Lawrence Cohen in Boston yesterday. Published on September 1, 1994, Boston Globe MAN CHARGED IN SOFTWARE PIRACY A 43-year-old Millbury man who operated a huge computer bulletin board known as ''Davey Jones' Locker'' was arrested yesterday on charges he illegally distributed a variety of copyrighted software programs to paying subscribers in 36 states and 11 foreign countries. Richard D. Kenadek of 46 Oxford Rd. was charged with conspiracy and criminal copyright infringement. He was released on a $50,000 unsecured bond and is scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 8. From the Crypt Newsletter: THE SPA, SOFTWARE PIRACY, TWO STRIKES AND DAVEY JONES LOCKER Massachusetts authorities are saying 43-year-old Richard D. Kenadek may be the first computer bulletin board system operator to be indicted for alleged federal copyright infringement. According to Crypt Newsletter news records, they appear not to have a good memory. On the last day of August, the FBI raided the Millbury, Massachusetts home of Richard D. Kenadek, arresting him in connection with the alleged operation of a pirate bulletin board system called Davey Jones Locker. Charged with conspiracy and copyright infringement, the man was also sued by the Software Publishers Association (SPA) which prosecuted the investigation along with the FBI. Kenadek was accused of the usual SPA no-no's leveled at operators of pirate systems: the distribution of copyrighted retail software without payment of the owners of the programs and charging access fees to users for the express purpose of making a profit off distribution of the software. According to wire news, Kenadek could be slapped with six years in prison and fines up to $275,000. He would also lose all of his computer equipment used in servicing and maintaining the bulletin board system. Paradoxically, this is not the first time the FBI has stormed the home of Richard Kenadek. In June of 1992, the FBI first raided Kenadek and the Davey Jones Locker bulletin board. At the time, Bill McMullin, the FBI's p.r. man in the Boston bureau would not discuss the raid on the Milbury man except to say it was the first of its kind handled by his office. McMullin's counterpart in Washington, D.C., Nestor Michnyak, did say that "Our involvement in white-collar crime investigations of this nature is spotty, at best . . . it's not a top priority." During this period, representatives of the Business Software Alliance and Software Publishing Association, trade groups which help direct, or assist - depending on who's talking - the FBI's investigations into software piracy openly smacked their lips at the prospect of taking Kenadek down on strengthened software piracy laws which set him up for serious jail time and fines, if convicted. Apparently, the trade groups were premature in their hopes. However, the SPA appears to have a long memory and uncommon tenacity. At the time of the original arrest in mid-1992, the software groups, in conjunction with the FBI, claimed Kenadek and the Davey Jones Locker system charged a $99 annual fee from callers for access to retail software.
Source Worcester Telegram and Gazette, Boston Globe
In Lincoln County, Oregon, election results are delivered via BBS, outstripping local newspapers by several days. The successful experiment was set up by Mark C. Nasstrom of the Oregon Coast Rural Information Service Cooperative.
September 8, 1994
Richard D. Kenadek, sysop of the Davy Jones Locker BBS, pleads not guilty to software piracy.Published on September 9, 1994, Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA) MILLBURY HACKER ARRAIGNED New England News Service BOSTON - A Millbury man who was indicted last week on charges he transmitted copyrighted computer software to members of his computer bulletin board service was arraigned yesterday in U.S. District Court. Richard D. Kenadek of 46 South Oxford Road, Millbury, pleaded not guilty to charges that he infringed on copyrighted software of some 50 computer packages."This is a 2-year-old case that was settled," said Worcester defense attorney James Reardon.
Source Worcester Telegram and Gazette
September 30, 1994
The defense attorneys of David LaMacchia ask the US District Court of Massachusetts to dismiss the case against him. LaMacchia is accused of running a Piracy BBS on MIT Servers and has been indicted for Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud, a first of its kind.
The US Secret Service returns the hardware of the RIPCO BBS, seized four years earlier, to the SysOp, Dr. Ripco. As a condition, the hard drives are erased of all data.Hiya Jim, Besides offering greetings I just wanted to let you know that Operation Sundevil is officially closed, I guess. Ripco (the original) came home to roost, the SS finally released the seized hardware and I picked it up today. From what I gathered I was the last one to get out of their hair. I know SJ had some problems but surprisingly, everything seems to be in fairly good shape. My guess is it all probably just sat in storage. Although it physically is back, the system isn't. One condition was to have all the data erased prior to return because of the copyrighted pirate warez lurking about. The guy from the justice department said it wouldn't look right to just return it, would put the feds in the light that it was ok to have it with their blessing. I suppose I could of cut some deal leaving the non-warez intact but after seeing it take 4 1/2 years just to make up their mind to return it, I didn't feel like waiting another 4 for someone to sort everything out. A few pieces of the hardware still have some value today, the old bbs would only have historical value. It would also appear (Secret Service agents) Foley & Golden are/were the butt of some inside joke. Every time their names were mentioned, someone either rolled their eyes or engaged in jest. The new guy in charge (Greg Meyer) seemed pretty cool overall. I know, never trust a fed, but it was interesting he had the same attitude like the guy in D.C. (Josuha Silverman), a hint of embarrassment and total lack of logic behind the whole thing. It appears the computer fraud division, at least here in the Chicago office is more aiming at counterfeiting. Anyway, I wanted to say thanks for everything. I don't know what would have happened if we didn't communicate early on, but it's unlikely things would have ended in a whimper like it did. I'm totally convinced the efforts of CuD, the EFF and CPSR made a major impact on all of this; it put the feds in a defensive position instead of offensive. Things could always have come out better but you have to be grateful for what you have. Thanks much Jim, all your efforts and assistance is deeply appreciated. Bruce Esquibel (Dr. Ripco) firstname.lastname@example.org
Source Computer Underground Digest
October 9, 1994
Minor Threat and Mucho Maas release ToneLoc Version 1.10, a Wardialing Program for DOS.
October 24, 1994
The US Attorneys in the David LaMacchia "Cynosure" BBS Piracy case respond to the defense's motion to dismiss. They argue that the case should be continued.
October 31, 1994
QuantumLink (Q-Link), an online service for using games and programs on Commodore 64 and 128 computers, announces that it is getting out of the Commodore business. Subscribers are offered memberships on the now-growing America Online service.Dear Members, As you know, QLink was originally launched in November, 1985. In the years that followed you, as our loyal members, have helped us build a unique online community for Commodore computer users. I want to thank each of you for your contribution, your support and your feedback over the years. The computing industry has changed dramatically since those first days of online communications. Commodore ceased to produce Commodore brand computers in 1993. Sadly, the company has recently closed its doors entirely. The Commodore computer, once a leader in the industry, has been replaced by faster, more powerful systems. Many software vendors no longer support the Commodore operating system. Now we find, with great regret, that we simply can no longer support the QLink service. It has become impossible for us to maintain the product up to a standard of quality that we can be proud of. Many of you I'm sure have noticed a diminished level of product quality in the last few months due to these technical limitations. Without technical support from the industry, we are not able to add new services, fix existing problems, or prevent new ones. Therefore we have made the sad decision to discontinue QLink as of November 1, 1994. We would like to thank each of you for your long and continued support and, if at all possible, keep you as part of our online community. If you now have the ability to use America Online (PC-DOS, Windows or Macintosh), we invite you to convert your membership to one of these other systems. For details on what these versions have to offer and the system requirements needed to run them, see the document in this area entitled "Converting to America Online." For details on the last month of service for QLink, important dates and billing information, see the document in this area entitled "Your Final Bill." We have enjoyed serving you. Thanks again. Sincerely, Steve Case
November 4, 1994
The defense attorneys for David LaMacchia respond to the government's replies to their defense.
November 15, 1994
Hayes Microcomputer files for Chapter 11 protection. It successfully fights off acquisition attempts from Diamond Multimedia and U.S. Robotics and emerges from Bankruptcy in April of 1996.
pressrelease.txt (4.0K) Press Release: Hayes Microcomputer announces emergence from Chapter 11 (April 17, 1996)
November 18, 1994
Oral arguments are heard in the David LaMacchia BBS Piracy Case, where LaMacchia is accused of Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud by running a pirate BBS ("Cynosure") at MIT.
December 2, 1994
Robert and Carleen Thomas, sysops of the Amateur Action BBS of Milpitas, CA, are sentenced to 37 and 30 months, respectively, in Memphis, TN. Under federal sentencing rules, both are required to serve the full terms. This is the first case of a BBS owner being prosecuted for the content of their BBS based on the standards of a community in a different state. Robert and Carleen Thomas are sentenced in Memphis in the "Amateur Action BBS Case", where their California-based BBS was found guilty by Tennessee obscenity standards. Robert recieves a 37 month sentence and Carleen recieves 30 months.
Source Chicago Tribune, Dec. 3, 1994 (p. 16)
December 15, 1994
Richard D. Kenadek, sysop fo the Davy Jones Locker BBS in Millbury, MA, pleads guilty to criminal copyright infringement.Published on December 16, 1994, Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA) MILLBURY MAN PLEADS GUILTY IN `DAVEY JONES' COMPUTER CASE BOSTON - A Millbury man who boasted his computer bulletin board was "Worcester County's biggest and best" pleaded guilty yesterday in U.S. District Court to criminal copyright infingement.Richard D. Kenadek, 43, of 46 South Oxford Road, Millbury, acknowledged that he had operated a computer system called "Davey Jones Bulletin Board" and charged fees to provide subscribers access to dozens of copyrighted software programs. Kenadek received approximately $40,000 from the illegal operation. Published on December 16, 1994, Boston Globe COPYRIGHT VIOLATOR US ATTORNEY Donald K. Stern said that Richard D. Kenadek, 43, of Millbury, operator of a computer bulletin board, pleaded guilty to violating the copyright protections of commercial computer software programs. Kenadek admitted that he operated the Davey Jones Locker bulletin board, charging fees to give subscribers access to dozens of copyrighted computer software programs. He also increased his inventory of copyrighted software, without paying fees to the owners of the computer programs...
Source Boston Globe, Worcester Telegram and Gazette
December 29, 1994
Judge Stearns dismisses the case against David LaMacchia in the Cynosure Piracy case, wherein LaMacchia, an MIT student, is accused of using MIT servers to run a piracy BBS.