Fairlight (group)

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FairLight
aka FLT
Fairlight.png
FairLight logo by JED of ACiD.
Formation 1987
Purpose Warez and demo
Location
Membership Strider, Black Shadow, Gollum, Bacchus, Pantaloon and http://csdb.dk/group/?id=20
Founders Strider and Black Shadow
Website http://www.fairlight.to/

FairLight (FLT) is a warez and demo group initially involved in the Commodore demoscene, and in cracking to illegally release games for free, since 1987. In addition to the C64, FairLight has also migrated towards the Amiga, Super Nintendo and later the PC.[1] FairLight was founded during the Easter holiday in 1987 by Strider and Black Shadow, both ex-members of West Coast Crackers (WCC). This "West Coast" was the west coast of Sweden, so FairLight was initially a Swedish group, which later became internationalized. The name was taken from the Fairlight CMI synthesizer which Strider saw Jean Michel Jarre use on some of his records.

Beginning[edit]

FairLight became known for their fast cracks. The secret was that Strider worked in a computer store where he got the latest games. He then bribed a train conductor to transport the games from Malmö to Ronneby where Gollum cracked the game and sent it back in the same way. That way they could get releases out faster than other groups.[1]

Operation Fastlink[edit]

Several high-ranking members of the group were caught on April 21, 2004, 8 months after the group returned from their temporary "retirement" that began on June 9, 2003 and ended on August 30, in an FBI operation called Operation Fastlink.

Police forces from eleven countries were involved, arresting about 120 people and seizing more than 200 computers (including 30 servers). One server from the U.S. raid contained 65,000 pirated titles which were alleged to be in the archive repository of the group.[2]

The operation was coordinated by the FBI, the British National Hi-Tech Crime Unit, the German Bundeskriminalamt (BKA) and the Business Software Alliance, and took place in 27 U.S. states. In the UK, seven computers were seized and three arrests made in Belfast, Manchester and Sheffield. In Singapore, three people (22, 30 & 34 years old) were arrested. In the Netherlands two servers owned by students on 2 universities were investigated by police officers. Other arrests and seizures were made in Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, and Sweden for a total of 11 countries.

According to rumor, the raid occurred just before the warez group would have released the game Hitman: Contracts. The game was released by other groups (iNSOMNiA, for Xbox and PS2, and Razor 1911, for PCs) a few days later.

Shortly after the Operation Fastlink raids, council member [Bacchus] writes:[3]

Protections of today are ones that *very* few can penetrate and those who do, should be worthy the respect. Downloading them fast is just a matter of a fast line in combination to access to a site. Skills stay, whereas the access can be revoked instantly!

The last massive warez-related raid prior to Fastlink was Operation Buccaneer which targeted DrinkOrDie (amongst others) in December 2001.

Since October 2006 the ISO division of FairLight has started releasing again.

Notable demo releases and awards[edit]

The demo division of FairLight has received numerous awards during their career, listed below.

Amiga releases (as both FairLight and Virtual Dreams)
Title Type Awards
My Room demo 1st place at Phenomena/Censor Party 1990
Illusion demo 2nd place at The Computer Crossroad 1993
242 demo 2nd place at Assembly 1993
Full Moon demo 2nd place at The Party 1993
Chaosland 40k intro 1st place at The Party 1993
Love demo 1st place at South Sealand Party 1994
Breathtaker demo 2nd place at Assembly 1994
Psychedelic demo 2nd place at The Party 1994
Faktory demo 3rd place at The Party 1995
Sumea demo 1st place at Assembly 1996
5o2 demo 5th place at Edison 2012
Commodore 64 releases
Title Type Awards
Drop The Basics demo 3rd place at X'2001
Pretending To See The Light demo 1st place at Floppy 2002
Loaded demo 2nd place at Floppy 2003
Anyone demo 1st place at Deadline 2003
Emanation Machine demo 1st place at Little Computer People 2003
Wok Zombie demo 2nd place at Floppy 2004
One Million Light Years From Earth demo 1st place at Floppy 2005, scene.org award nominee - best oldskool demo of 2005
Hello:Friend demo 1st place at Little Computer People 2005, scene.org award nominee - most original concept of 2005, best oldskool demo of 2005
Boogie Factor demo 1st place at Assembly 2005, scene.org award winner - best oldskool demo of 2005
LCP Memories demo 1st place at Black Birdie 2005
WWIII demo 1st place at Big Floppy People 2006
One Little Wish demo 1st place at Datastorm 2010
We Are New demo 2nd place at X'2010, scene.org award nominee - best oldskool demo of 2010
Lash demo 1st place at Datastorm 2011
We Are Mature demo 6th place at LCP 2011, scene.org award nominee - best oldskool demo of 2011
One Quarter demo 1st place at Datastorm 2012
Trick and Treat demo 1st place at X 2012, in coalition with Offence & Prosonix
Too Old to Ror and Rol demo 2nd place at Datastorm 2013, in coalition with Offence & Prosonix
PC (Windows/Linux/mac) releases
Title Type Awards
Together 64k intro 1st place at Scene Event 2000
Absolut Vodka demo 1st place at Remedy 2000
ETTV demo 1st place at Remedy 2001
Virtual Vodka demo 2nd place at DreamHack 2001
Tatsu demo 3rd place at The Gathering 2002
Only Kings And Better demo 1st place at Remedy 2002
From Dust Till Dawn demo 1st place at Remedy 2004
Come Clean demo 4th place at Assembly 2004
Fresh! 64k intro 1st place at BCN 2004, scene.org award nominee - best 64k intro of 2004
Death And Taxes 64k intro 2nd place at Breakpoint 2005, scene.org award nominee - best 64k intro of 2005
Che Guevara 64k intro 1st place at Assembly 2005, scene.org award winner - best 64k intro of 2005
Re-Recycle 64k intro 1st place at Sundown 2005
Deadline demo 1st place at Deadline Harakiri 2006
Meet The Family 64k intro 1st place at Breakpoint 2006
Liquid Lust demo 1st place at Birdie 2006
Glitterati 4k intro 1st place at Assembly 2006
Dead Ringer 64k intro 1st place at Assembly 2006
Track One demo 2nd place at Assembly 2006, scene.org award winner - best demo of 2006
Scarecrow 4k intro 1st place at Sundown 2006
Media Error demo 3rd place at Assembly 2007, in coalition with CNCD and Orange
Panic Room 64k intro 1st place at Assembly 2008
Frameranger demo 1st place at Assembly 2009, in coalition with CNCD and Orange
Blunderbuss demo 2nd place at Main 2009, scene.org award winner - best soundtrack of 2009
Agenda Circling Forth demo 1st place at Breakpoint 2010, in coalition with CNCD
Ceasefire (all falls down..) demo 2nd place at Assembly 2010, in coalition with CNCD
Numb res demo 2nd place at The Gathering 2011, in coalition with CNCD
Uncovering static 64k intro 2nd place at Assembly 2011, in coalition with Alcatraz
5 faces demo 1st place at Revision 2013, in coalition with Cloudkicker

Records[edit]

FairLight held a short-lived romance with TRSI with their cooperative endeavor, TRSi and Fairlight Recordz, formed by member Zinkfloid (also known as Uyanik) and Raven from FairLight. The groups released several albums under their brand name "TRSI & FairLight Recordz", including Muffler (2000) [2] [3] and CNCD (1995). [4]

Later lives[edit]

As of writing (2012) Magnus "Pantaloon" Sjöberg works as lead software engineer at Digital Illusions. Pontus "Bacchus" Berg works in telecom. Fredrik "Gollum" Kahl is now professor in mathematics at Lunds universitet. Per "Zike" Carlbring is a professor in clinical psychology at Stockholm university.[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "We might be old, but we're still the elite". IDG. 2012-04-20. 
  2. ^ "In brief". Computer Fraud & Security 2004 (5): 3–2. 2004. doi:10.1016/S1361-3723(04)00061-2.  edit
  3. ^ Basamanowicz, J.; Bouchard, M. (2011). "Overcoming the Warez Paradox: Online Piracy Groups and Situational Crime Prevention". Policy & Internet 3 (2): 79. doi:10.2202/1944-2866.1125.  edit [1]

Further reading[edit]

  • Amiga Computing (October 1991). "Knaves and Thieves". Amiga Computing (41): 22–26.  (Shows Fairlight logo and slogan: "when dreams come true")
  • Hastik, Canan; Steinmetz, Arnd (2012a): Demoscene Artists and Community. In Bours, Patrick; Humm, Bernhard; Loew, Robert; Stengel, Ingo; Walsh, Paul (eds.): Proceedings of CERC 2012, pp. 43–48. (Shows screenshot of Fairlight crack intro from 1987)

External links[edit]