Breach thief gets pre-trial probation

Do you remember the guy who tried to steal a copy of Atomic Games unreleased shooter Breach back at PAX East in March?

The story goes that Justin May used his laptop to hack into an Xbox 360 debug kit that was demonstrating the game at the expo - actually managing to start transferring files before he was interrupted. Then - just like in the movies - he ran away from the machine, creating a bit of a scene and a bit of a chase throughout the halls.

Breach

Breach

When he was finally caught, May admitted to trying to steal the files. After another drawn-out saga involving skipping bail and playing a bit of Modern Warfare 2, he finally appeared in court for his official hearing late last week.

He's been put on pre-trial probation, which is similar to a suspended sentence without a dictated jail term. May must must "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". If he can stick to those rules, the case will be dismissed after 18 months. If he can't, he'll be back on trial.

Atomic Games president Peter Tamte explains what happened behind the scenes with the case:

Justin May

Justin May

"Our request of the District Attorney was that they treat this case just as seriously as if Justin May had stolen some very expensive tangible goods. In other words, we requested that they not treat the theft of intellectual property any differently than they would the theft of tangible property.

It's my understanding that the path they have taken with Justin May is consistent with this request, and the DA's course of action was heavily influenced by the fact that Mr. May was caught before his theft could cause any damage. 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."

Atomic Games (developers of Six Days in Fallujah) have said they are looking to release Breach on Xbox Live Arcade and PC, early next year.

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