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Would-be PAX East thief can't use Xbox Live by order of Boston judge

Boston's Suffolk County Municipal Court has ruled that if 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 trial in which he'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, when confronted, 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 judge showed him a great deal of leniency. 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 strays from 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."

Breach is 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?

[Source: Boston Herald]

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12 comments

  • captaingrumpy - October 29, 2010 10:37 p.m.

    I think he got off scott-free. He stole $6m worth of investment.
  • CoffeeForTheAdmiral - October 29, 2010 2:53 p.m.

    Ultima, that's the first thing I thought when I saw the picture.
  • Kitsuta - October 28, 2010 11:43 p.m.

    Dangit, I missed the best part! I knew I shouldn't have left early. Seriously though, this guy was lucky. As Tyler pointed out, there is a lot of variability in cases like this, and it depends a lot (perhaps too much) on the judge's temperament. So good for him and all, but if he goes back to trying to pull off stunts like this I'd prefer a tougher punishment. By the way, how are they going to know whether or not he signs onto XBL? Plus it normally signs you in automatically, so unless he already had that setting turned off, this is an effective ban from using the 360 at all.
  • pinoklin - October 28, 2010 11:03 p.m.

    that screenie looks aweful, at least graphically so i agree with ultimatepunchrod, but i guess you can't judge a book by it's screenshot
  • elpurplemonkey - October 28, 2010 9:40 p.m.

    At least that means we won't have to see this moron online for a while.
  • D0CCON - October 28, 2010 9:34 p.m.

    I'm excited for this game, but I wouldn't steal it in broad daylight in a public place with hundreds of people (I'm not sure if he was excited or really wanted money, though). Dumbass.
  • ultimatepunchrod - October 28, 2010 7:55 p.m.

    that screen shot doesnt look too pleasing. it would suck if he got into all this crap and the game sucks
  • Ultima - October 28, 2010 7:01 p.m.

    Isn't that Harry Potter?
  • jimmeroo - October 28, 2010 6:50 p.m.

    he should just play ps3 then lol
  • TylerWildesBloodAlcoholLevelIsTooDAMNHigh - October 28, 2010 6:46 p.m.

    I'm not sure if this is a fair punishment or not, but it seems kind of light for what could be a 4-5 figure loss(or allegedly 6 million) in the right hand. People have done time for lesser crimes. http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/weird/Yawn-in-Court-Earns-Prison-Time-52880012.html
  • Spybreak8 - October 28, 2010 6:35 p.m.

    oh that's rich
  • ventanger - October 28, 2010 6:14 p.m.

    It's always good news when a public official can rule these kinds of cases appropriately, despite knowing dick-all about what's being talked about.

Showing 1-12 of 12 comments

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