Boston's Suffolk County Municipal Court has ruled thatif 21-year-old Justin May stays off Xbox Live for 18 months,he won't have to go to court. But if the temptation to play Left 4 Dead 2 is just too much to overcome, he'll face a trialin whichhe's accused of attempting to steal software valued at $6 million.
In March, May gained a bit more attention than he bargained for at the PAX East expo in Boston. The kid paid his dues to attend the gaming expo just like thousands of others, but unlike normal conventioneers he also brought his laptop and other equipment. On the last day of the show, he found a computer at the booth of developer Atomic Games and started transferring a proprietary build of the game Breach, a timed Xbox 360 exclusive, to his laptop.
Above: Justin May's mug shot
It didn't take long for one of the Atomic representatives to notice him and, whenconfronted, May ran away. He was chased after by expo officials, caught, and arrested. May, age 20 at the time, was charged with a count of "trade secret, buy/sell/receive stolen" and larceny. He posted $200 cash in bail and has been awaiting his court appearance since.
That appearance happened yesterday,and the judgeshowed him a great deal ofleniency. During the brief pre-trial hearing, May was told to "stay in school, not reoffend, stay off of Xbox Live web sites, and forfeit his computer, which was seized at the time of his arrest." We're pretty sure this ruling means he can't access Xbox Live at all, though the judge obviously doesn't realize the difference between a "web site" and an online console game service.
Above: Here's the game May was trying to steal. He only nabbed 14 MB before he was caught.
If May complies for 18 months, the case will be dismissed and he won't face prison time. But if he straysfrom the path, his trial will continue.
As for Atomic Games, the company is pleased with the District Attorney's handling of the case. Atomic President Peter Tamte remarked on May's relative good fortune, saying in a statement,"Had he been able to post Breach on the Internet for download, and then been caught, he would likely end up serving time in jail."
Breachis due out on Xbox 360 in January, but the PS3 and PC releases are still a thing of mystery. We wonder if May will still want it in 18 months?
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