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From: rde...@orac.holonet.net (Richard B Dervan)
Newsgroups: comp.dcom.telecom
Subject: Large BBS Raided by FBI
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Date: 5 Feb 93 13:18:52 GMT
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X-Telecom-Digest: Volume 13, Issue 70, Message 1 of 5


   WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Federal Bureau of Investigation on
Saturday, Jan. 30, 1993, raided "Rusty & Edie's," a computer bulletin
board located in Boardman, Ohio, which has allegedly been illegally
distributing copyrighted software programs.

   Seized in the raid on the Rusty & Edie's bulletin board were
computers, hard disk drives and telecommunications equipment, as well
as financial and subscriber records.

   For the past several months, the Software Publishers Association
("SPA") has been working with the FBI in investigating the Rusty &
Edie's bulletin board, and as part of that investigation has
downloaded numerous copyrighted business and entertainment programs
from the board.

   The SPA investigation was initiated following the receipt of
complaints from a number of SPA members that their software was being
illegally distributed on the Rusty & Edie's BBS.

    The Rusty & Edie's bulletin board was one of the largest private
bulletin boards in the country.  It had 124 nodes available to callers
and over 14,000 subscribers throughout the United States and several
foreign countries.  To date, the board has logged in excess of 3.4
million phone calls, with new calls coming in at the rate of over
4,000 per day.  It was established in 1987 and had expanded to include
over 19 gigabytes of storage housing over 100,000 files available to
subscribers for downloading.  It had paid subscribers throughout the
United States and several foreign countries, including Canada,
Luxembourg, France, Germany, Finland, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden
and the United Kingdom.

   A computer bulletin board allows personal computer users to access
a host computer by a modem-equipped telephone to exchange information,
including messages, files, and computer programs.  The systems
operator (Sysop) is generally responsible for the operation of the
bulletin board and determines who is allowed to access the bulletin
board and under what conditions.

   For a fee of $89.00 per year, subscribers to the Rusty & Edie's
bulletin board were given access to the board's contents including
many popular copyrighted business and entertainment packages.
Subscribers could "download" or receive these files for use on their
own computers without having to pay the copyrighted owner anything for
them.

   "The SPA applauds the FBI's action today," said Ilene Rosenthal,
general counsel for the SPA.  "This shows that the FBI recognizes the
harm that theft of intellectual property causes to one of the U.S.'s
most vibrant industries.  It clearly demonstrates a trend that the
government understands the seriousness of software piracy."  The SPA
is actively working with the FBI in the investigation of computer
bulletin boards, and similar raids on other boards are expected
shortly.

   Whether it's copied from a program purchased at a neighborhood
computer store or downloaded from a bulletin board thousands of miles
away, pirated software adds to the cost of computing.  According to
the SPA, in 1991, the software industry lost $1.2 billion in the U.S.
alone.  Losses internationally are several billion dollars more.

"Many people may not realize that software pirates cause prices to be
higher, in part, to make up for publisher losses from piracy," says
Ken Wasch, executive director of the SPA.  In addition, they ruin the
reputation of the hundreds of legitimate bulletin boards that serve an
important function for computer users."

   The Software Publishers Association is the principal trade
association of the personal computer software industry.  It's over
1,000 members represent the leading publishers in the business,
consumer and education software markets.  The SPA has offices in
Washington DC, and Paris, France.


   CONTACT: Software Publishers Association, Washington
             Ilene Rosenthal, 202/452-1600 Ext. 318
             Terri Childs, 202/452-1600 Ext. 320

                     =======================

Richard B Dervan                       rde...@holonet.net
System Support Programmer/Analyst      70007...@compuserve.com
Information America, Inc