San Diego Republican Boss is Former Game Piracy Ringleader

May 1, 2008 -
The Raw Story has a lengthy expose on Tony Krvaric, head of San Diego's GOP committee.

According to the report, the 37-year-old Krvaric, a naturalized US citizen who was born in Sweden, was the co-founder of Fairlight, a  warez group formed in 1987. From Raw Story:
Fairlight... evolved into an international video and software piracy group that law enforcement authorities say is among the world’s largest such crime rings.

After co-founding Fairlight in Sweden, Krvaric established U.S. operations for the organization, including an arm headquartered in Southern California—a major center for the computer and video game industry.

Krvaric, known in the cracking community as "Strider," got his start pirating games for the Commodore 64, but apparently left Fairlight in 1992. In 2004, the ring was taken down following an international investigation which resulted in the arrest of 120 people. Krvaric was not among them, although another group member alleged that he remained involved.

Although Krvaric would not respond to The Raw Story's request for comment, he discounted the allegations in an e-mail to fellow Repubicans:
Apparently there’s a hit piece floating around on me, “exposing” my wild high school, teenage years where I was in a computer club where we swapped Commodore 64 games (similar to how kids swap mp3 music files these days). This was in the 80’s, on a computer that’s long since defunct!

...I don’t know who is spreading this, but just wanted to let you know what’s going on out there. Likely it’s someone who wants us to take our eye off the ball in 2008, be it the democrats, labor or someone else. Either way, we’re not going to let them get away with it.

Via: Laws of Play

Comments

This isn't much of a biggie anyway, especially since most normal people write it off as being both young and having difficulty finding the games anyway. If anything, it could potentially make him a bit more popular among voters.

Maybe a bit sigma, but i'm just livid that the words "game", "politician", "piracy", and "involved" were used in the same sentence.

Imagine how much i loose it when i find a stolen game at Wal-Mart.

Wow, what amazing understatement; helping to found one of the largest piracy rings is nothing more than his "wild" teenage years. He should have quite a future in politics.

I doubt it will have much effect on him, as most of the people who would be likely to care are not going to really understand what it is he was a part of.

[...] wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptThe Raw Story has a lengthy expose on Tony Krvaric, head of San Diego’s GOP committee. According to the report, the 37-year-old Krvaric, a naturalized US citizen who was born in Sweden, was the co-founder of Fairlight, a warez group formed in 1987. From Raw Story: Fairlight… evolved into an international video and software piracy group that law enforcement authorities say is among the world’s largest such crime rings. After co-founding Fairlight in Sweden, Krvaric established U.S. operations for the organization, including an arm headquartered in Southern California—a major center for the computer and video game industry. [...]

By the way, when i find stolen games at Da-Mart, my rage is comprable only to and atomic explosion with AIDS, Rabies, and horrifically mutated babies thrown in. (no i don't have AIDS)

Ah, heil to the reapers for they know how to rob money from the masses.

Not like the dims are "better", they just use a different lube.......

Well, being moderately knowledgable about such organizations, I'd say being a member of Fairlight isn't necessarily a bad thing. According to reports, they had a fairly high quality of being trusted among those downloading their materials.

As negative a view as some have of the pirating community, having been involved with a long standing trustworthy organization certainly can't be seen as a bad thing to those constituants who are accepting of pirating. After all, there are far worse groups to have been a member of.

Nightwng2000
NW2K Software
Nightwng2000 NW2K Software http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Altair, do you work at Wal-Mart? When I did, it was one of my pet peeves, I even set up cameras.

What we have here is a politician downplaying his involvement by comparing it to MP3 file sharing... tell me again how the government is reacting to that? Oh, right, massive legislation... by the way, how is RIAA reacting to that? Oh, right, massive litigation.

It seems to me either own up that what you did was wrong, or stand up for those who are sharing MP3's now, you can't have it both ways.

Also, point of fact: being the head of a 120 person internation piracy ring is a TINY bit different then swapping a game with your friend or borrowing a tape of a vinal recording.

Yes i do work there. Theft is so bad that someone actually made off with at LEAST $1000.00 worth of game peripherals. Memory cards, Play 'n Charge Kits, you name it. The guy took a full cart of stuff over to the mens section, sliced the cases, and took everything. We got CLEANED OUT DURING REGULAR HOURS!!! Thankfully were getting remodeled soon, and personally, a tazer comes to mind for this B.S.

Kudos to him. I do think they are blowing this out of proportion. I love how he makes them look like idiots for pursuing him by making his actions look minuscule. Either way, who hasn't copied a CD or burnt some music?

Ya but hes part of the burn the fair use rights and the people that dare not pay blood money to the media families...ifthis guy was for fair use and fair CP/IP laws then mabye he would not be a hippocrate...

He's a party boss...whether Democrat or Republican...in a political machine town. He's crooked regardless of this story.

Aha, now I know who to thank for my cracked copy of the Star Wars arcade game on my Tandy 1000!

Just wait, kids, in another few years the big story will be "Democratic Nominee Admits To Downloading English Patch For Mother 3."
---
Fangamer

I disagree Sigma7.

IF (and that's a big if) he was one of the founders of that piracy group, he's been involved in organized piracy. That's the stuff that "funds terrorism", remember? Going after organized piracy rings is one of FBI's top priorities these days.

Furthermore, he's in California. The home of the MPAA, Silicon Valley and incredible amount of US based intellectual property production. If he was one of the co-founders of Fairlight, he's in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Say what you say, but if what's alleged is true, it's WAY more serious than some dumbass saying macaca on camera.

What a joke! haha... Commodore 64 teenage pirate! HAha... 20 years ago!! Totally blown out of proportion. Funding terrorist!! hahahahhhhaa.... Not even worth a response. Thank god no one is bringing my teenage days to my employers.

@Zippy
I can't really find anything in depth on this guys views. Maybe i just didn't look hard enough, but I have yet to find anything stating his opinions on the current state of copyright.

Maybe you could point me to your source?

What i did find was that he has voted against bans on burning the US flag. Something that has pissed of many a person.

He's also a naturalized Swedish immigrant.

He sure spins this story like a politician. Comparing his early-90s organized C64-cracking activities to kids today "swapping MP3s" is way, way too generous.

I think a more accurate analogy would be to a kid who works for BestBuy, "borrows" newly released DVDs, cracks their copy protection on his home computer, and then passes out free copies to his friends.

@nightwing2000
Forgive the flippancy, but I expect there are some "high quality" and "trustworthy" underground associations that trade in kiddie porn too. I don't think any sort of "honor among thieves" reputation will (or should) carry over to mainstream politics -- at least not in a way that's good for the "thief." (Is this what you were suggesting, or did I misunderstand post?)

Then again, the reality is that guy did NOT pass around kiddie porn or pirate DVDs -- he pirated computer games that would have been lucky to sell 10,000 copies in their time, published by relatively tiny companies, 20 years ago. The mainstream won't understand any relevance, and even if it did, it probably wouldn't care.

If Obama can be raked over the coals for having a crazy pastor...
If a woman's political career can be ruined by being in a Gril's Gone Wild video...
If a private group of Bush supporters can make up lies about McCain and Kerry to sabotage the presidential race...
If Clinton's college pot smoking is a political issue....

Then this guy deserves to be drummed out of politics for all of the same reasons.

I remember hearing of this guy back in my C64 days. They were a well known and popular group. I certainly don't advocate spreading copies around they way they did (even back then), but I do agree with him that it's no worse than MP3 swapping of today. The copy protection some companies put on music CDs today is actually quite similar to what some of the old C64 games did so I'm inclined to think his comparison is quite apt.

I'm a bit surprised of the mild reaction in the comments on this website, representing an industry that claims to lose so many sales to piracy that different companies are giving up on the PC as a target platform. Comparing reverse engineering to sharing mp3s is simplifying the matter, it is more like publishing cracked versions of windows and microsoft office.
 
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