Forming a warez scene release group has many challenges. Despite the ever present legal threats, it takes a lot of time and dedication to keep up with evolving technology and adapt to cracking latest software protection mechanisms. This takes a heavy toll on group members real lives and is one of the mains reasons why most groups disband after a couple of years. However, there are certain release groups that have been around for several decades; FAiRLiGHT (better known as FLT) is one of them. FLT is a PC game release group that was founded in 1987 – they are now 24 years old but still alive and kicking. They just celebrated the release of their 1000th PC game ISO with the recently pre’d Shogun 2 Total War. Needless to say this is a tremendous achievement, especially considering the fact that the team was even subject to an FBI raid in early 2000s.
Quoted below is the NFO they released after the group was raided by FBI, as part of Operation Fastlink which targeted sceners in many countries:
Legends never die!
You all read the news - Operation Fastlink struck hard to the heart of the scene and hit the FairLight ISO section, but mind that the demo activities on the PC and C64 are still naturally untouched, as there is nothing to complain about from a legal point of view on what they are doing.
So, let me underline it for you again: FairLight's ISO section is lethally wounded, but the group as such is still alive and kicking! FairLight is built stronger to last longer.
FairLight is bigger than one and even all of the sections. FairLight is and you can rely on the fact that FairLight will continue to be!
Respects to the Fastlink people for finding the core of the scene, which is not an easy thing to do. They are doing their job and we're not whining! In war, people take bullets - we are aware of this! If you can't stand the sight of body bags, then stand back and let the real men do the work for you.
We attack, adapt, improvise and survive!
We are FairLight and will continue to be FairLight.
FairLight IS the delight of ETERNAL might!
The raid did affect FLT very badly and the frequency of their ISO releases decreased dramatically. For a couple of years the group was limited to releasing low budget titles that did not use any of the heavy protection methods. 2011 was probably the year that truly marked their comeback – so far, FLT have pre’d several major PC titles including Crysis 2, Shogun 2 Total War, Dead Space 2 and Bulletstorm. These games were by no means budget titles and were protected by state of the art DRM such as SolidShield, G4WL (Games For Windows Live), Steam and SecuROM. Incidentally, Shogun 2 was their 1000th release, a feat no other fellow PC ISO group has managed to achieve before. Quoted below is the special announcement from Shogun 2’s NFO file:
Two boys sit on a train, in rural areas of a low density populated part of the world. There and then they form a pact that will forever change the course of the computer industry, marking a shift in culture that is soon to reach far and beyond their own expectations, and the horizon of their own vision. There and then, the group FairLight was born.
April 1987 was the year when the infant was conceived. The infant is now a grown man at the age of 23 who made significant impressions on Commodore 64, Amiga, Super Nintendo and the PC scenes, both for demo and cracks. Today we celebrate a historic day, a day few people would even envisage could ever come - FairLight celebrates it's 1000th release!
Well, this is naturally not entirely correct, it's release #1000 on PC ISO which followed hundreds of on C64, Amiga, SNES and earlier PC floppy scene appearing in parallel, or the dozens of mind boggling demos ever seen on most consumer hardware. So, rejoice and celebrate today as you are one of those who can taste yet another fruit, resulting from our blood, sweat and skills. Hours, days, weeks and months have been spent - both screen time and in some cases also prison time, for you to enjoy our work. Rejoice and celebrate with us, the efforts earning your respect. We are still here; we are still the sentinels of a world free of copy protections. We are still here as we were built stronger to last longer.
We are FairLight, standing up for quality, tradition and pride!
The FairLight council stands with eyes wet in admiration from the work of the PC ISO section. "Boys, you have all done well. You bow to no one!" We are proud to be the first gameISO group reaching #1000 gameISO releases. FairLight started the gameISO division in late 1998 and is still going. For your pleasure, check the FairLight dir for all the #1000 nfo's, and the releases.txt for all the game releases both in the included zip-file. Special thanks to our lost/retired members that made this possible! In April 2012 we will celebrate our 25th anniversary. Stay tuned! :)
FLT’s return could not have come at a better time. The PC Game scene is nowadays lacking quality groups and most have resorted to stealing and releasing P2P originated cracks as their own. FLT’s return would perhaps inspire others to bring back the good old days to the warez scene.