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From: norm....@pcohio.com (Norm Henke)
Subject: MORE INFO ON RUSTY & EDIE
Message-ID: <1993Feb20.182146.1132@tic.com>
Originator: j...@aahsa.tic.com
Sender: ne...@tic.com
Reply-To: norm....@pcohio.com (Norm Henke)
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Organization: PC-OHIO BBS - Cleveland, OH - 216-381-3320
Date: Sat, 20 Feb 1993 18:21:46 GMT
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[ bladex@wixer.uucp forwarded this from newsgroup alt.bbs.  -mod ]

FBI SHUTS BULLETIN BOARD - COPYRIGHT PROBE BEGUN
By Michael A. Hobbs

Cleveland Plain Dealer 2/17/93

(Boardman, OH)
The FBI has shut down Rusty & Edie's Computer Bulletin Board here, one
of the nation's largest, during an investigation of allegations that a
Boardman, O., couple violated federal computer software copyright
statutes.

The national Software Publishers Association said yesterday that they
were delighted with the FBI's Jan. 30 raid of the home of Russell and
Edwina Hardenburgh of Fredericksburg Dr.

Thomas F. Jones, Cleveland FBI special agent-in-charge, said in a
statement yesterday that the Youngstown FBI secured a search warrant
before raiding the Hardenburgh home.

The search warrant alleges that the couple illegally distributed
copyrighted computer software programs to their bulletin board
subscribers without permission of copyright owners.

In the raid, the FBI seized computers, computer disks,
telecommunications equipment, and financial and subscriber business
records.  The Hardenburghs have not been charged with a crime, Jones
said, but the investigation is continuing.

If charged and convicted of federal copyright violations, the
Hardenburghs could each be sentenced to five years in jail and a maximum
$250,000 fine. The couple could not be reached yesterday.

Their home phone is answered by a tape-recorded message that says: "Hi,
you have reached Rusty and Edie's...We are down now.  For that we are
truly sorry.  We will be back on line sometime between Feb. 24 and March
1."

Since 1987, the Hardenburghs operated Rusty & Edie's Computer Bulletin
Board service from their home.  Federal officals said tha bulletin board
was the largest in Ohio and one of the nation's largest.

Rusty & Edie's had more than 14,000 subscribers in the United States,
Canada and Europe, each paying an $89 annual membership fee. It provided
more than 100,000 popular software business and entertainment files to
its subscribers.

The bulletin board had 124 computer phone lines and logged more than 3.4
million calls, with more than 4,000 new calls a day.  Youngstown FBI
agent Mike Waldner said a decision would be made later on whether to
investigate Rusty & Edie's subscribers for alleged copyright violations.

A computer bulletin board allows personal computer users to access a
host computer by a modem-equipped telephone to exchange information,
messages, files and computer software programs.

Officials of the Software Publishers Association in Washington, D.C.,
said they alerted the FBI about Rusty & Edie's after they got complaints
from members that their software was illegally distributed by the
Hardenburghs.

"We applaud the FBI's action." said Ilene Rosenthal, SPA general
counsel. "This shows that the FBI recognizes...the seriousness of
software piracy...and the harm that theft of intellectual property
causes to one of the U.S.'s most vibrant industries."

Software piracy cost the software industry $1.2 billion in 1991.  Ken
Wasch, SPA's executive director, said, "Many people may not realize that
software pirates cause prices to be higher...to make up for publisher
losses."
                                                                         
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