We hope that this article will provide answers to one of the most commonly asked questions through our e-mail; "Where do pirated stuff come from?" But be warned- this will be a long post.
Movies, games appz, e-books and music that can be found on the internet are not uploaded by the publishers themselves so you lazy asses can download them with a click; no it aint that easy. Most of the pirated stuff that circulates the web comes from "The Scene".
What is it?
The scene (also known as the warez scene) is a clandestine worldwide network where people trade pirated goods, like dvds, movies, games, applications etc. Warez refers primarily to copyrighted material traded in violation of its copyright license. It does not refer to commercial for-profit software counterfeiting.
Releases and Releasegroups
First, warez is released by releasegroups, groups which are specialized in publishing warez. They copy a dvd or break the security of a game, and will make it available for other people, as a so-called release. When these releasegroups finish a release it will be uploaded to topsites. These sites are very fast private ftp-servers, and the first stadium in the distribution of a release (getting access to one of the topsites is not easy if you are not a cracker yourself). The speed of this worldwide network is enormous. Within minutes a release can be copied to hundreds of other sites. Within an hour, it's available on thousands of sites and fxp boards. Within a day or two it's available on newsgroups, irc and in the end, on p2p-software.
There are release groups that specialize themselves in certain categories within the scene.
Crackers (Reverse Engineers)
The part of The Scene community that specializes in the creation of software known as cracks and keygens.
Notable appz release groups:
CORE (Challenge of Reverse Engineering), PC (Phrozen Crew), uCF (uNITED cRACKING fORCE), ViRiLiTY, AGAiN, AG (Another Group), DVT, TNT (The Nova Team), ECHOS, iMMERSiON, iSO, H2O, LND (Legends Never Die), PANTHEON, Rise, RBS (Rebels), TBE (The Bitter End), TDA (The Devine Alcoholics), W3D (Warez3D), XiSO, ZWTiSO (Zero Waiting Time ISO)
The part of The Scene community that specializes in releasing PC and Console games.
Notable Gamez release groups:
ADDiCTiON, CLASS, CLONECD, DEViANCE, PROViSiON, FASiSO, FLT (FAiRLiGHT), HOODLUM, MiRROR, MYTH, Razor1911, RELOADED, VENGEANCE
The part of The Scene community that specializes in releasing pirated music in MP3 format
Notable Mp3 release groups:
1KING, aPC (aPOCALYPSE pRODUCTION cREW), BPM (Beats Per Minute), DDS, DJ (DeeJay), DOH, FMC (Fresh Music Cartel), SQ (Swiss Quality), 4CHOON, HSALiVE, MOD (Musical Over Dose), MUSiQ
The part of The Scene community that specializes in releasing pirated movies/movies rips.
Notable Movie release groups:
ALLiANCE, Centropy, FLAiR, PoT (Pirates of the Theatre), VALiOMEDiA, VideoCD, SCREAM (Sexy Cool Rightful Evil Angry Mobsters), WastedTime, MEDiAMANiACS, LiNE, DONE, DiAMOND, PROMiSE, VOMiT, FiCO, iNCiTE, CFE, CHAKRA, HAFVCD, ViTE, PUKKA, mVs (maVenSupplier), pFa, qNs, BestDiVX, FLAiTE, UNiVERSAL
The part of The Scene community that specializes in releasing rips of television shows.
Notable TV release groups:
ANiVCD, BAMHD (Bad Ass Mutha Hi Def), FoV (Future of Vision), LoKI, LOL, MiNT, MiRAGETV, ORENJi, SFM (Sci-Fi Maniacs), TCM, XOR
The part of The Scene community that specializes in the creation of digital graphical art in text format.
The part of The Scene community that specializes in the creation of so-called Demos. These are computer programs which bundle together sophisticated code which produces esthetic art in the form of animated graphics with music.
The part of The Scene community that specializes in releasing pirated e-books
The part of The Scene community that specializes in the underground distribution of warez software.
Notable distribution groups:
AOD (Angels on Drugs), RTS (Request To Send), Motiv8, RiSC (Rise in Superior Couriering), SWAT (Special Warez Acquisition Team), UPS (United Piracy Service), STE (Super Trade Encounters)
General Scene guidelines
- Open - Anyone with enough technical or artistic skill can be a member of The Scene
- Free - All content offered on the Scene must be free of charge and non-profit and art is generally reusable with permission
- Groups - Individuals who make up the Scene may be members of one or many groups the point of which being that the promotion of work is unified; work published under one group name typically cannot be resubmitted under another
- No Ripping! - It is unacceptable for a group or individual to take another group or individual's work and republish it as its own without explicit permission being given! Rippers are usually banned on sight.
- Credit - Any sort of recode, rework, edit, manipulation or remix must also credit the author of the original, permission from the original author to publish the remix is also a good thing to get somewhere along the line
- Respect - Skill is the only thing by which people are measured on the Scene; if you are sufficiently skilled you can get into any group you wish
- Competition - Groups that form The Scene compete amongst each other, each wanting to prove they are better coders / artists than the other.
Well that should have given you a basic idea on what the scene is and obviously answered the question "Where do pirated stuff come from?" There may be points we missed and groups we failed to mention so if you found any flaws plz mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or post as comments.
Stay with FILEnetworks for the latest information on Scene and Non Scene releases!