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Play a computer game in Greece...go to jail!

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WOW. Thats more than incredible... Its downright shocking! :-eek :-eekIf you really think about it, civil wars have started for much less than the stupidity of that uber-stupid law. I can't believe it was considered, let alone passed.It just goes to show you that if you don't take an active role in your own government (and its elected representatives - although I hesitate to call anyone in Greece that passed that law such a thing), you leave the running of your government to the clueless. While we're not quite there yet on this side of the pond, we're well on the way... There is more than one extremely stupid bill on the floor of the Senate right now that clearly qualifies - such as legalizing and encouraging anyone with a copyright to break into computers worldwide. Bad enough to begin with, but the only requirement to do so is "suspicion" of copyright infringement... LOL!It'll be interesting to see whoever passed that stupidity in Greece back pedal from the public outcry... Or defend the stupid law they passed on some kind of anti-terrorism grounds... That seems to be in vogue today for the truly clueless.Thanks for the heads up Braun... I'll be following this one.Take care,Elrondhttp://members.rogers.com/eelvish/Boycott-RIAA.gif]"A musician without the RIAA, is like a fish without a bicycle."[/font://http://members.rogers.com/eelvish/B...cle."[/b][/font://http://members.rogers.com/eelvish/B...cle."[/b][/font

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Yep,This one took my breath away. This has to be one of the most outrageous examples of lawmaking gone wrong. Sometimes I wonder if governments pull this stuff just to see if anyone is paying attention.So what's next? No dancing.....Footloose anyone ? :-lolElrond: Don't get me started on the "laws in the name of terrorism". Sometimes I wonder if this nation (and world, for that matter)didn't cease to exist years ago.... and we are now living in some screwy alternate universe where critical thinking and common sense are a thing of the past.Fan of S.I.G.s & P.A.C.s everywhere :-roll ,Roger

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I've just read the law and I can't see where it says that all computer games are banned. What it says is that computer games used for gambling are illigal. http://www.gameland.gr/lawenglish.htm(Assuming that this is a correct translation of the law).Looks like yet another internet haox/urban myth. Don't believe the hype.PaulEGJJ

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Hi Paul,Read it again... Closely. This isn't being reported on every major news site (and on CNN the channel a few minutes ago) for nothing.Article 1 - d:"Electronic games are those, that depend on both electrical-electronic mechanisms and software."Article 2 - 1:"1. Operation and installation of any game of type (:(, © and (d) of Article 1, including computer games, placed in public places such as hotels, cafeterias, organization halls and in any other public or private place, is prohibited."Can't get clearer than that. This includes computer games, OF ANY KIND, gambling or not. The stated reason in an interview was: the government can't and "can't be expected" to tell the difference between gambling games and non-gambling games (!). So they outlawed them all - and have already levied heavy fines.Its the simulation of landing poker cards in Greece thats the real problem of course - any other stated reason is just an internet haox/urban myth, so don't believe them.Take care,Elrondhttp://members.rogers.com/eelvish/Boycott-RIAA.gif]"A musician without the RIAA, is like a fish without a bicycle."[/font://http://members.rogers.com/eelvish/B...cle."[/b][/font://http://members.rogers.com/eelvish/B...cle."[/b][/font

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I read it again and I was wrong.I looked at the bit that said:e. Entertainment technical games are those, whose result depends exclusively on the ability and skill of the player, and are used solely for entertainment.that ARE allowed, but (and this is the bit I misunderstood) only in machines that run on muscle power (type A). Thanks for the correction.PaulEGJJ

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Elrond,You didn't posted the last, more important category, the "e", that is NOT banned in the law.e. Entertainment "technical" games are those, whose result depends exclusively on the ability and skill of the player, and its use is solely for entertainment."It's clear that under this category will fall ALL PC, console and any other non-gambling game, that is not designed to win money and it's used only for entertainment.The argument "what about if you place a bet on FS2002 ?" doesn't hold, because in that case it's only the betting process that would be banned, not the game itself in its normal use. Probably, a public place accepting bets on people playing FS2002 would be illegal, but not if there isn't any gambling involved and it the game it's "used solely for entertainment.", as written in the law.Anyway, I think the use of a PC game like FS2002 in public places were some gambling or other kind of winning money is involved, should be already ruled out in the EULA, that usually cover only private and entertainment use.regards,

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Hi Umberto,If you read Article 2 closer, you'll see that type E games are only allowed if they are Type A games as well:Article 1 - A"a. Mechanical games are those, that depend on one's muscle force."Article 1 - E"e. Entertainment technical games are those, whose result depends exclusively on the ability and skill of the player, and are used solely for entertainment."Article 2 - 2"2. Operation of games of type (e) is allowed in devices of type (a). Regarding these games, it is prohibited to place bets. Such bets will attract penalties described in Articles 4 and 5."In other words, pinball machines and the like (any game that is played for entertainment purposes only AND "depends on one's muscle force" to play) are NOT banned. Computer games, ALL COMPUTER GAMES, ARE banned and covered under Article 1 Section D and Article 2 Section 1.If the text of the law doesn't convince you, simply turn on your TV to CNN, or go to MSNBC, CNN, Fox News, The Register, News.com, etc, etc. It is extremely clear and precise exactly what they did - and why (if not understandable to mere mortals). Like I said, this isn't causing such an uproar across the internet for no reason. Greece already had laws that outlawed online and/or game gambling. They wrote this new law because the old one wasn't working (evidently this is a big problem over there? Lots of homeless because of it or something?). Well, thats the publicly stated reason at least (but there must be a hidden one...) - or the elected official who came up with this really is simply stupid as mud.Take care,Elrondhttp://members.rogers.com/eelvish/Boycott-RIAA.gif]"A musician without the RIAA, is like a fish without a bicycle."[/font://http://members.rogers.com/eelvish/B...cle."[/b][/font://http://members.rogers.com/eelvish/B...cle."[/b][/font

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Paul,>depends exclusively on the ability and skill of the > player, and are used solely for entertainment. >>that ARE allowed, but (and this is the bit I misunderstood) >only in machines that run on muscle power (type A). >>Thanks for the correction. I don't think this is the meaning.It's simply means that type E games are allowed to run in type A machines as long there's no betting, but it doesn't state *only* in type A machines. Since the prohibition mentions only B, C, and D, and NOT E, it should apply the general principle of law that everything that is not specifically prohibited, is considered to be allowed.Anyway, I think we should wait confirmation from someone that has read the final text in Greek and can comment it, because this is a translation, not the original text.regards,

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>Anyway, I think we should wait confirmation from someone >that has read the final text in Greek and can comment it, >because this is a translation, not the original text. But a good translation as I am told by some friends in Greece. It's a weird law. Greece however is not country filled with people who obey every law as faithfully as, let's say, I do:-)Mathijs KokLAGO

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:-lolThats probably true Mathijs, but regardless of your angel-like nature :-), it still criminalize's (your) very normal behavior. That in itself is extremely dangerous, and very, very rocky road to start traveling down. What comes next if such a thing is allowed to stand? And what country does it affect (infect, actually) next as well?Take care,Elrondhttp://members.rogers.com/eelvish/Boycott-RIAA.gif]"A musician without the RIAA, is like a fish without a bicycle."[/font://http://members.rogers.com/eelvish/B...cle."[/b][/font://http://members.rogers.com/eelvish/B...cle."[/b][/font

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Elrond,>Hi Umberto, >If you read Article 2 more closely, you'll see that type E >games are only allowed if they are Type A games as well: If you read Article 2 even more closely, you'll see that the word "only" doesn't exist. And it's not needed, because the entire E kind is not forbidden, hence, it's allowed. If they had ruled out also type E, the "only" word would have been needed, to make an exception, thus permitting type E only if used in type A devices. But this is not the case.>In other words, pinball machines and the like. Computer >games, ALL COMPUTER GAMES, are covered under Article 1 >Section D and Article 2 Section 1. No, all normal computer games fall in the general case of type E, because one can easily demonstrate that these are all games "whose result depends exclusively on the ability and skill of the player, and its use is solely for entertainment.", that is, type E.I can agree on one issue: the law *IS* confusing, because a PC game could pertain to BOTH D and E categories, because it's certainly has a software and it's electronic ( type D ), but it also has "result depends exclusively on the ability and skill of the player, and its use is solely for entertainment", so it's also cleary of type E.What would probably happen, and it's very usual in Europe, after the law, a set of "applying rules" will follow, clearing more in detail the open issues and, more important, a judge could emit a verdict that will ( hopefully is ) use some common sense and will act as a precendence.>To verify for yourself, simply turn on your TV to CNN, or go >to MSNBC, CNN, Fox News, The Register, News.com, etc, etc. >Its extremely clear and precise exactly what they did. Regardless of what the media are commenting, the law it's not saying exactly this. All this sites are using exactly the same wording ( sometimes even using the same headline "Use a Gameboy in Greece, go to jail" ), it looks like they simply reported the news and spread it, without caring to actually *read* the law, let alone asking a lawyer what he thinks about its possible impact in the real world.regards,

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To my reading, its as clear as a bell:"Operation of games of type (e) is allowed in devices of type (a)."It says nothing more or less than that... Type (e) games are allowed on type (a) machines. Type D is explictly "Computer Games".To add more, this isn't a new issue - this bill has been floating around for quite some time, it was only passed a short while ago. The intention, in my eyes, is crystal clear here. And to me, its the intention that counts, not the end result after a storm causes someone to back down. The intention still resides at the core in that case - and to me, thats the scary part. A part I'd do my utmost to make sure doesn't rear its head again or have influence on others (or, simply vote it out so it can't).For further reading, check this article from Kathimerini newspaper - an online English language Greek newspaper. This is from May of this year:http://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/news/content.asp?aid=17011Most to the point I think, is this quote:"The blanket ban was decided in February after the government admitted it was incapable of distinguishing innocuous video games from illegal gambling machines."And here's some background reading from one of my favorite sites. This is from April of this year:http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/6/26041.htmlI think the history here is clear: and the reason why the law was finally passed. That they added "private" use as well as public in the final law is just another damning point to me. That the bill is the stupidest thing in the world to begin with, sets an extremely poor precedent, and shows a complete lack of understanding of both the internet and technology in general by the Greek government is plainly clear. I sincerely hope you are right and they back-pedal on this something fierce... But I don't think the argument can be made that its some sort of big mistake.Of course, thats just my opinion... So, take it for what its worth (which probably isn't much! :-)).Take care,Elrondhttp://members.rogers.com/eelvish/Boycott-RIAA.gif]"A musician without the RIAA, is like a fish without a bicycle."[/font://http://members.rogers.com/eelvish/B...cle."[/b][/font://http://members.rogers.com/eelvish/B...cle."[/b][/font

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Elrond,>To my reading, its as clear as a bell: >It says nothing more or less than that... Type (e) is >allowed on type (a) machines. But it doesn't state *only*, that's missing statement makes a lot of difference. Anyway, you are right, in principle, that is the intention that counts, but at the end of the day, it's how the law it's applied that has a real impact on people's lives. In Italy, we have literally *thousands* of stupid and worthless laws like this, and none gets applied by the letter. It's always some more or less common-sense verdict from a judge that always overrides a badly written law.>But I don't think the argument can >be made that its some sort of big mistake. Sorry I haven't put this more clearly: I *DO* think this law is stupid AND bad written at the same time. But I also don't like the hype that caused, how the media jumped on it, and the terrorist-like headings like "play a Gameboy, go to jail", that it to over the top journalism, for *my* liking.best regards,

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I'd just love to see them try that here in North America!It's just like cigarettes here in Canada a few years back.The gov decided they wanted more taxes so they raised the price to about $8 CDN per pack. The smoking public said "screw you" gov, and bought all their smokes from the First Nations. The gov then realized that they losing millions in taxes because no-one would buy legal smokes and repealed the law.The point is, that if people really want something, regardless of the law, they'll get it. And if enough of them stand up and defy it, they might just win (or go to jail).Pretty stupid move on the part of the Greek gov, though. All they'll end up doing is forcing people underground, and gambling will still be where it was before the law.JMHOCF-AOA

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The Greek Authorities recently arrested a few British plane spotters for taking photos of aircraft at a Greek Airbase, and charged them with spying!!So here's the deal - I go off to Greece with a friend and 'play' Microsoft Flight Sim. I'm arrested for playing computer games....My friend says he can land an Olympic Airways Airbus with one engine out and severe crosswinds at Athens Airport (in FS of course). I bet him he can't land it without crashing. I'm arrested for gambling....He manages to land the plane and takes a few screenshots as proof. He's arrested for taking pictures at the airport....The authorities then 'review' our cases and decide to detain us as spies....I reckon anyone living in or visiting Greece are going to have to work bloody hard to keep themselves out of jail !! :-lol :-lol :-lolWhatever glue the Greek politicians who thought this one up are sniffing, I think they should change their brand...Toni.

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I'm glad to see someone still believes judges can use common sense, considering Tom's recent 'Stella Awards' :-)A big concern for all on line flyers, what will this do to the excellent Greek VATC, assuming Elrond's interpretation of the law is correct?Very worrying.Quite a while ago (years) there was concern that Governments were getting in a spin about the Internet, the way it works meant they had little or no control over its affect on people and that does not sit well with Governments.It would seem that events in the USA, UK, some Far East Countries, and now Greece are proving that fear about the Internet being 'free' and Governemnts are beginning to exert control more and more.

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The Greek authorities really are becoming a bit of an international joke these days. First they arrest people for plane spotting, and now this. They're just a bunch of paranoid idiots as far as I'm concerned.And there I was thinking that Greece was a democratic country.Chris Low,ENGLAND.

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And isn't there a guy over in Greece who has a full sized sim that he made? Stamatis something? I can't remember the guys name now. But imagine building your cockpit and then having it declared illegal? I wonder if they'd let him export it?Paranoid or what???Still flying (playing) free in Canada. Just try to take away my copy of FS!CF-AOA

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So you consider it to be simply "hype" that two have already been arrested for playing Counter Strike on-line, face a 150,000euro fine, and 12 months imprisonment?! Not sure I follow you here...Greeks fight computer game banCheers, Tony

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Tony,Yes, it is. It's hype when one writes: "a guy has been arrested", without stating, in detail, what's really happened, if the guy was arrested or only charged for something that will be resolved on the trial, if the guy was instead arrested for something else happened in that occasion, if the guy it's actually in prison or not, if the guy *will* be in prison next week ( when this news will be already too old to be interesting, and they'll go with the next one ), if the guy it's the only one in the country been arrested, or there will be others, and if it's the only one, why.It's typical hype-based journalism. Defend a poor this week, until the news is hot and sells, than find another one to defend when people forget about the first one, without remotely caring how it really ended or evolved, nor caring to explain why.Maybe I'm wrong, but I still believe that Greece *is* a democratic country, is part of Europe, and common sense *will* prevail, hopefully some judge will fix what the politicians screwed up big time. I think one shouldn't forget the Greek's people character, quite close to we italians, they are very ironic, not really taking their relationship with a set of rules *that* seriously. A law as stupid as this, will not stand ANY trial, not even the first stages, let alone sending any people in prison.regards,

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Have you read the casefile on that one (the original one, not something some reporter cooked up based on the translation of a rumour by some highschool kid)?Were they arrested for playing a game or for gambling on the outcome?The latter is banned and was banned before, this new law only makes it easier to arrest and charge the perpetrators.It's gambling on the outcome of games which is illegal in Greece (and I agree with that). As such, games of chance have been banned. I haven't seen a single Greek person yet who commented on the wording of the original text. Who's to say that the translations floating around aren't grossly inaccurate?

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Those guys were taking pictures without permission after entering a military installation without permission.Had they had permission, they'd have entered through a gate and not through a hole in a fence.AFAIK that's illegal in any country on earth.Add to that that they did it in wartime (NATO vs. Afghanistan) in an area with high tensions (Greece vs. Turkey, Greece vs. FYR of Macedonia). IMO they got off lightly with only probationary sentences and being blacklisted for entering Greece.

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