Warez group

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A warez group is a more or less tightly organised group of people involved in creating and/or distributing warez such as movies, music or software ("warez") in The Scene. There are different types of these groups: release groups and courier groups. Groups often compete, as being the first to bring out a new quality release can bring status and respect - a type of "vanity contest". The warez groups care about the image others have of them.[1] The primary motivation of warez groups is not monetary gain. Individual members of these groups are usually also the authors of cracks and keygens.[2] There are warez groups outside the warez scene too.

Warez groups typically add NFO files with their releases. Due to the nature of the scene, not much is known about these groups. Most groups follow one of the different warez standards to prevent being nuked.

The FBI have been combating warez groups with Operation Buccaneer, Operation Fastlink, Operation Safehaven and Operation Site Down.[3]

Some game and software groups include Razor 1911, Reloaded, DrinkOrDie, Pirates With Attitude, Class, and Fairlight. For a larger list, see the list of warez groups.

Release groups[edit]

Release groups are responsible for making warez releases. They are at the top of the warez world.[4] Their releases show up in pre databases. Access to the original software products is necessary to write cracks and keygens so they share original media among each other, usually using private sites and servers.[2]

Courier groups[edit]

Courier groups take releases and distribute them. This can be done using FXP to FTP sites. There are more couriers in the scene than there are crackers, suppliers and sites combined.[1]

Couriers are a specific class of topsite users who earn their access by uploading new releases and filling requests. When a courier gains access to a topsite, they are often required to pass a trial test such as uploading a certain amount in a short period of time.[5]

Couriers compete (race) against each other for respect, credits, access to other topsites, and fun.[6] Private couriers often operate as independent (iND) couriers. Some couriers band together to form courier groups which provide support and friendship through camaraderie. Although it may be noted that Couriers/Racers are looked down upon more than ever by affiliates and topsite staff with the increase of scripts that perform the couriers tasks automatically.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Craig, Paul; Ron, Mark (April 2005). Burnett, Mark, ed. Software Piracy Exposed - Secrets from the Dark Side Revealed. Publisher: Andrew Williams, Page Layout and Art: Patricia Lupien, Acquisitions Editor: Jaime Quigley, Copy Editor: Judy Eby, Technical Editor: Mark Burnett, Indexer: Nara Wood, Cover Designer: Michael Kavish. United States of America: Syngress Publishing. doi:10.1016/B978-193226698-6/50030-1. ISBN 1-932266-98-4. 
  2. ^ a b Kammerstetter, M.; Platzer, C.; Wondracek, G. (2012). "Vanity, cracks and malware". Proceedings of the 2012 ACM conference on Computer and communications security - CCS '12. p. 809. doi:10.1145/2382196.2382282. ISBN 9781450316514.  edit
  3. ^ O'Brien, Timothy L. (2005-08-28). "King Kong vs. the Pirates of the Multiplex". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-05-24. 
  4. ^ Adam L. Penenberg (1997-08-08). "Where do you want to pirate today?". Forbes. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  5. ^ Plischke, Sascha (2010-06-21). "Die geheime Welt der Raubkopierer" [The secret world of pirates]. T-Online (in German). Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  6. ^ Wilson, Steve (1999-07-29). "Online Piracy: From Music to Film". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2013-12-15. "Like the pirates, the couriers do this largely for bragging rights, not money."