<< 2001 2002
January 2, 2002
Jim Harrer, co-founder of Mustang Software (makers of the Wildcat! BBS system) becomes President and COO of Starbase Corporation in Santa Ana, California.

pressrelease.txt () Starbase announces Jim harrer as President and COO (January 2, 2002)
Source Starbase Press Release

February 27, 2002
John Sankus, Jr., 28, of the piracy group "DrinkOrDie" pleads guilty to one felony count of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement. He is sentenced in May to 46 months in federal prison.
Warez 'Ringleader' Pleads Guilty In Software Piracy Case  

By Steven Bonisteel, Newsbytes.
ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA, U.S.A.,
27 Feb 2002, 2:30 PM CST

Federal law enforcement officials said today that an international sweep of groups
trading in copyrighted software online has netted its first guilty plea - from a
man they say was a ringleader in one of the Internet's oldest "warez"
organizations.  Authorities said John Sankus Jr. of Philadelphia, Pa., "co-leader
of one of the oldest organized software piracy groups on the Internet," today
entered a guilty plea in an Alexandria, Va., District Court to one felony count of
conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement.

U.S. Attorney Paul McNulty said Sankus, 28, was a key player in a group of software
pirates known as DrinkOrDie, which took pride in posting online copies of new
software applications as soon as - and sometimes before - they were released by
vendors.

Investigators said members of the group would crack copyright- protection schemes
before posting software on secret Internet servers so that others could install the
illegal downloads.

Sankus is to be sentenced May 17. Officials said a maximum sentence would be five
years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.

McNulty and Michael Chertoff, assistant attorney general for the Criminal Division,
said Sankus was rounded up in an operation called "Project Buccaneer."

The officials said Project Buccaneer took 15 months and led to 70 search warrants
and several arrests in the U.S. Australia, Norway, Sweden, the U.K. and Finland.

Customs Commissioner Robert Bonner said Project Buccaneer "is the first of several
cases by the U.S. Customs Service to dismantle the top groups engaged in this
illegal activity."

Investigators said DrinkOrDie was behind the illegal distribution of thousands of
copies of copyrighted software, games and movies.

"Members rarely meet in person and frequently only know each other through their
screen nicknames," McNulty's office said in a statement released today.

DrinkorDie kept the location of its software-download sites a secret available only
to members "and conducted business in closed invite-only Internet relay chat
channels," the statement said.

Calling groups like DrinkOrDie "techno-gangs," McNulty said such piracy "is a crime
against the integrity of our electronic infrastructure."

"John Sankus and his group knew what they were doing was illegal and they took
every technological step possible to conceal their activity," McNulty said.

Reported by Newsbytes.com, http://www.newsbytes.com . 

14:30 CST
Reposted 15:06 CST 

(20020227/WIRES ONLINE, LEGAL, BUSINESS/PIRACY/PHOTO) 



May 3, 2002
Barry Erickson, of the piracy group DrinkOrDie, pleads guilty to one felony count of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement as a result of Operation Buccaneer. He is sentenced to 33 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release.
DrinkOrDie Software Pirate Goes To Prison  

By Dick Kelsey, Newsbytes.
ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA, U.S.A.,
03 May 2002, 11:12 AM CST

A figure in the software pirating group DrinkOrDie has been sent to prison for
nearly three years, the first of many members of the "warez" organization that will
be sentenced for their roles in an operation that caused millions of dollars in
damages.  In U.S. District Court Thursday, Barry Erickson, 35, of Eugene, Ore., was
sentenced to 33 months in prison to be followed by two years of supervised release.

Under a plea agreement, Erickson, once a systems engineer with Internet security
firm Symantec Corp., pleaded guilty to one felony count of conspiracy to commit
criminal copyright infringement. 

Erickson acted as a supplier for the loosely-knit, global operation, providing new
Symantec software to be sold illegally on the Internet after its
copyright-protection schemes were removed. 

DrinkOrDie, which investigators say is among the oldest software piracy groups in
existence, was at the center of a federal probe called "Operation Buccaneer" that
led to the execution of 70 search warrants worldwide on Dec. 11. DrinkOrDie is the
first warez group to release high-end software applications and utilities,
government lawyers said. 

Erickson is the eighth DrinkOrDie member to plead guilty in Virginia to charges
related to the illegal online distribution of copyrighted software, games and
movies. He is the first to be sentenced, and prosecutors expect additional arrests. 

Federal prosecutors and Erickson agreed that his actions contributed to losses
ranging from $2.5 million to $5 million, said Paul J. McNulty, U.S. Attorney for
the Eastern District of Virginia. 

"The prosecution of this defendant, and the lengthy prison term he has received,
demonstrate the Department of Justice's resolve that the copyright laws will be
enforced in the 'cyber' world," McNulty said in a news release. The charge carries
a maximum prison term of five years, a $250,000 fine and up to three years of
supervised release. 

On Feb. 22, DrinkOrDie ringleader John Sankus Jr., 28, of Philadelphia, Pa.,
pleaded guilty to one felony count of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright
infringement and is scheduled to be sentenced May 17. 

At the time, McNulty said Sankus supervised 60 DrinkOrDie members who performed
various tasks to illegally distribute pirated software through secret Internet
sites. 

Erickson and other "suppliers" provided new software before its release date, and
"crackers" defeated the software's copyright protections to allow unlimited
reproduction and use by anyone who was able to obtain it. 

DrinkOrDie is among a large number of warez groups that illegally distribute
hundreds of thousands of copies of copyrighted works around the world worth
billions of dollars in losses each year, said McNulty. 

Reported by Newsbytes.com, http://www.newsbytes.com 


May 17, 2002
John Sankus, Jr., of the piracy group "DrinkOrDie" is sentenced to 46 months in prison for his part in the copying of software through IRC and Internet channels. His is the second sentencing of the members of the group, after Barry Erickson, who had been given a 33 month term a few weeks earlier on May 2nd.
DrinkOrDie Leader Gets Four Years  

By Dick Kelsey, Newsbytes.
ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA, U.S.A.,
17 May 2002, 12:09 PM CST

The ringleader of a software piracy group known as DrinkOrDie today was sentenced
to nearly four years in prison for his role in a "warez" operation that caused
millions of dollars in damages, federal prosecutors said.

In U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., John Sankus, Jr., 28, of Philadelphia,
was handed a 46-month sentence on a single felony count of conspiracy to commit
criminal copyright infringement.

Sankus, who pleaded guilty to the charge on Feb. 22, is the second of eight
DrinkOrDie associates to be sentenced. Former Symantec engineer Barry Erickson, 35,
of Eugene, Ore., on May 2 was given a 33-month term after pleading guilty to
conspiracy to violate copyright law.

Erickson provided the group with Symantec software - before its official release
date - to be stripped of its copyright protections and sold illegally on the
Internet. The sentences imposed on Sankus and Erickson are the longest ever given
to Internet software pirates that belonged to an organized group, said Paul J.
McNulty, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.

"John Sankus and his techno-gang operated in the faceless world of the Internet and
thought they would never be caught," McNulty said in a news release. "They were
wrong. These sentences, and those to follow, should send a message to others
entertaining similar beliefs of invincibility."

Using the screen nickname eriFlleH - HellFire spelled backwards - Sankus supervised
the operation made up of 65 members from at least 12 countries, including the
United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Sweden, Norway and Finland.

DrinkOrDie, which investigators say is among the oldest software piracy groups in
existence, was at the center of a federal probe called "Operation Buccaneer" that
led to the execution of 70 search warrants worldwide.

"Suppliers" like Erickson provided new software and "crackers" defeated the
software's copyright protections to allow unlimited reproduction and use by anyone
who was able to obtain it.

Members used DrinkOrDie's private mail server to send encoded messages, identified
themselves only by their screen nicknames and conducted group business in closed,
invite-only IRC channels.

The group's Internet file transfer and storage sites - which held tens of thousands
of pirated software, games, movies, and music - were password-protected and secured
by additional authentication mechanisms, McNulty said.

DrinkOrDie is among a large number of warez that illegally distribute hundreds of
thousands of copies of copyrighted works around the world worth billions of dollars
in losses each year, he said.

Reported by Newsbytes.com, http://www.newsbytes.com 

12:09 CST 

(20020517/WIRES ONLINE, LEGAL/PIRACY/PHOTO) 

September 27, 2002
Andre Durand, author of Mindwire BBS Software for Windows NT, releases the Mindwire Software for Free Download from his website.

durand.txt () Announcement by Andre Durand of the release of Mindwire Software for Free Download
Source http://www.durand.com/mindwire.htm

October 3, 2002
Scott Dudley of Lanius Corporation officially releases Maximus BBS Software under the Gnu Public License. This final version is 3.02.

announce.txt () Announcement of the Release of MaximusBBS Source by Scott Dudley (October 3, 2002)
Source http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=2cc11822.0210030908.288a3160%40posting.google.com&output=gplain

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