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Jason Carr

We Need Your Help! We're being attacked and threatened.

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Hey everybody, just sent this email out to our email list. I'm copying it here so that it's available online as well.

We Are Being Attacked and Threatened

First off, thank you so much to the entire community for the amazing success that LaunchBox has seen over the past few years. Everything is going extremely well and we look forward to continuing to improve LaunchBox and Big Box going forward. Over the years, we have come across some major bumps in the road, and we've surpassed every single one of them with relative ease. We expect to surpass this issue in the same way.

That said, we need your help. We are being attacked and threatened by a hard drive seller named Christopher Shaw, who goes by wizshaw. We do not believe that he is capable of serious damage, but there's no doubt that he could become a thorn in our side. He became angry with the LaunchBox community because of a thread on our forums, and claims that LaunchBox forum users are continuously reporting and getting his YouTube channel shut down. I have no way of determining if that is the case or not, but regardless, his channel has been repeatedly reported due to his own illegal practices.

This morning I woke up to a message from Mr. Shaw:

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Not sure if you seen what went on yesterday, but apparently your admins are starting trouble for me on youtube... again. As they have once again enacted fake takedown notices on my youtube channel. I suggest you have a little chat with them and ask them to refrain from doing so now in the future. Or ill be forced to retaliate. I don't want to, as I don't like screwing with peoples revenue, just like I don't like people screwing with mine. It goes both ways here.
But just to let you know, as of last night, because of your forum moderators. Which completely deleted the thread I was posting in. I have a full paid for URL ready to go, and I will offer bigbox for free, in its current form. I have not 1 but 2 unlimited licenses, and ill put together a flawless 2tb image. With bigbox, and ill just release it. Server seeded an all.
You will ether have to go free, which I'm sure you don't want to do, or, if you can ban the license, youll have to do that, but not before 5000+ get your software. Without paying for it.
And this will not affect me in the least. I am going up to 24 tbs. I live overseas now, etc 
Your move man.
Chris 

Mr. Shaw ultimately sells hard drives full of ROMs, emulators, and frontends. We do not support people like this, but we have never taken legal action against him or any other hard drive seller. Ultimately we believe that it is wrong to make money off of other people's work, which is exactly what he is doing and continues to do. However, we are not concerned about his "business", as it is minimal and has never been an issue for us. We are primarily concerned with his threats to massively distribute illegal versions of LaunchBox Premium and Big Box online. This is not the first time that someone has massively distributed pirate versions of LaunchBox Premium, and it won't be the last, but it is a potential further issue for us.

We have chosen to take a DRM-free approach to our licensing system, which means that we are at risk here. We have chosen not to annoy our customers with crippled software in order to prevent piracy, and we have dealt with a fair amount of piracy over the years. However, we do believe that the best way to prevent piracy is simply to put out quality content with regular new features, and this approach has worked very well for us so far, thanks to our wonderful community. We have no intentions to ever change this, even if our sales do start to suffer due to piracy. That said, it is our hope that we can prevent this from happening.

Going back to Mr. Shaw's conversation with me this morning, my response to him was to the point and very clear:

Quote

 

Chris, I do not appreciate being threatened, and I will take legal action if necessary. The primary difference between your situation and mine is that I am on proper legal ground, and I will use that situation to my advantage.
I also have a community of more than 200,000 people who won't hesitate to retaliate. Your threats are being sent to my lawyer, and I will publicize them if we can't work things out.
I have no intention of hurting your business, though I do not want my product included in it. I would like to propose that we simply just stay away from each other and do not mention or have anything to do with each others' work. I will interpret a non-response as you continuing to pursue all of this with ill intentions.

 

I hate making threats like this. This is the first time in my entire career that I have ever felt the need to say something like this, and it disappoints me and troubles me greatly. As a Christian I value forgiveness and love above all else, and it's painful to share with the world that I would write something like this. However, LaunchBox is a business that needs protected, and I do need to be entirely open and honest with you all.

Regardless, this was Mr. Shaw's response:

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1. I live overseas now. Not coming back to NA, so take all the legal action you want. Its not going to matter.
2. I didn't start this. Your admins did. Speak to them and have the fake notice taken down. Then tell them to never mention me again.
3. You asked me to stay away from your site. So I did, out of respect for you. I haven't even mentioned you guys since the last time we spoke. But the same thread, that I was in before, 5 months ago, which is now deleted by (REDACTED), notified me that there was activity. So I came back to see what was up. Low and behold, talking once again about taking people down. Then I got a fake take notice in my email. They are indeed connected. Ask your admins to take down the fake youtube complaint. Because if I lose my youtube channel over some self righteous bull****. Well I wont take it laying down.
The last thing I want is a fight. But I got just as much pull here, as you do. And yes, I am not legal, but as stated above. It doesn't matter anymore. Talk to your admins, get this sorted. YouTube gave me 2 days to get this sorted, before they "Potentially", take action. Its almost been 2 days.
Chris
Here is a copy of the takedown. Same guy that did it before to me, or, he researched the thread over on hyperspin-fe and used the same name. Ether/Or, still originated from one of your guys.
Title: Mr
Full legal name: (REDACTED)
Company name: HyperSpin-FE
Trademark owner name: (REDACTED)
Relationship: Myself I am the Creator/Owner of HyperSpin-FE
Email: (REDACTED)
Brand type: Logo
Register status: No, I claim use rights
Jurisdiction of registration: US
Registration number: http://hyperspin-fe.com/
Brand type: Wordmark
Register status: No, I claim use rights
Jurisdiction of registration: NO
Registration number: https://emumovies.com/
Content type: Video and channel description
Videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFA6p2C65IQhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMqV8bcB3nI http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgSjzX8Arus http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gR4nGS7Yi0khttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTBZP3ANDbM http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tuKTF3cJ31g http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZD0-XUSwk4A
Channels: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwHPzNZKPrts7MxqoxtpI8Q
Clarification: Video thumbs, titles and descriptions clearly show the use of our trademark, logo, branding and naming. The user/uploader has no affiliation or permission from/with HyperSpin and is in clear violation. We are currently taking his website and branding down through legal channels also.
Signature: (REDACTED)

Clearly, he is accusing us of destroying his business, despite the fact that none of us have had anything to do with his YouTube channel getting shut down. We have more important things to do (like LaunchBox development!) than to go around and attempt to shut folks like him down. It's worth noting that I did replace all names in the above text with (REDACTED) in order to protect everyone involved, and I did censor some inappropriate language as well, as I will continue to do going forward.

My response to him was this:

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Ah, I see. I have spoken to my admins; they have been instructed to stay away from you completely. I have also confirmed that none of them had anything to do with this takedown.
(REDACTED) is the owner of Hyperspin, of course. I have never spoken to him at all, nor is he on our forums. I can promise you that this take down had nothing to do with us, so there's unfortunately nothing I can do here.

And his response:

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Yeah? That's not even his REAL NAME! Go over and look at the original thread at Hyperspin-fe. Theyre straight lying to you. Stop with the crap
I wouldn't be implicating you if I was wrong, the proof was in the thread! I was mentioned several times. Which is the whole reason I even posted again.

 

And once again mine:

Quote

 

Look, I had nothing to do with this and I have no way of determining who did it. I have spoken to my admins and have confirmed that none of them did this. I expect that it was someone in the Hyperspin community, since they used Hyperspin to do it. I don't understand why you're connecting this with us?
We will delete all relevant threads in order to stop encouraging people to do stuff like this (if we haven't already). All I want is out of this completely, Chris.
Please let me know if there's anything I can do to avoid a war. I've done the best I can to identify if any of us have done it, and I can confirm that we have not. I'm not an unreasonable person and I do not want to destroy or hurt your career, and it is my hope that you do not wish to destroy mine. I just want us to go our separate ways.

 

At this point he is dead-set on destroying us, simply because he's convinced, without proof, that someone in our community has been getting his illegal YouTube channels shut down. He feels entirely in the right in this. Here's his response:

Quote

I know you didn't have anything to do with this, but the people from your forum did. AS THEY TALKED ABOUT DOING IT TO ME! THIS WAS 2 DAYS AGO! ON YOUR FORUMS, IN WHICH IT WAS DELETED FOR A REASON! And I wish the thread was still there, but (REDACTED) deleted it. I wish I had screenshots.
Anyways, if the complaints go through, ****s gonna hit the fan. Nothing personal against you, but I don't give a **** anymore. I had private conversations where your admins continued to badmouth me and I said nothing. And I can only assume their lying to you.
Here are the quoted posts in my email. I'm not bull****ing you.
(REDACTED) said:
I would say it's less ignored a promotion and more of raising awareness about the issue.  It's good to know these things as a community.  I had no idea of the magnitude of this aside from (REDACTED).  So I'd be appreciative to see it and be able to investigate it.  
(REDACTED) said:
I ve seen him on fb. He is on 6 of the groups there. lot of bad reveiws about him. one guy got one of the drives and it was bunk. Tryed to get a hold of Chris, but dogged by Chris. after that few more people came out and said things. Chris finely got back , not sure what happen after that. but there was a lot of posts.   He just came out and drop a new 16 tb drive, it s on fb now. I think its hyperspin owner the group. And he has his own group too, can t remember the name.
There was a few more posts, but I only got notification of these. 
If you want to go separate ways, deal with the issue. Came from your forums. And youll never hear from me again. Otherwise, I don't have a choice. I will not take this lying down.

Clearly at this point, there was nothing I could do. I can't message the whole entire community and ask them "if you're the guy who banned his YouTube channel, can you unban it?" I'm not even sure if that's possible, but I also don't know if anyone in our community even did it, nor should it matter, as it was full of illegal practices to begin with. So once more, Mr. Shaw is threatening to do everything he can to ruin our business (which, for what it's worth, is not much).

And the conversation continues with my response:

Quote

 

Those two are not moderators or admins on my forum, so I can't really do anything about what they do. Like I said, going forward, I will not allow anyone to encourage stuff like this against you on our forums, to the best of my ability. You have won in that regard.
I will be very disappointed if you proceed to attack us based on one or two members of our community that we cannot control, but if you do, I think you are underestimating our response. I have the emails of 250,000 people that support us and want us to succeed. If you take action against us, I will not hesitate to email everyone and explain the situation, including your threats. Do not underestimate the power and danger of 250,000 angry people. If you're not concerned with the law, then fine, but you do not want 250,000 angry Internet users after you. It will only make things far, far worse.
However, I sincerely hope and pray that we can end this right here. I don't want to have to do any of that, for your sake and for mine.

 

So here we are. I am so very disappointed to have to send this email out, and I poured over this email for hours before even considering actually sending it.

Mr. Shaw's response was more of the same:

Quote

 

Lets get a couple facts straight here.
1. Don't bull****me.
2. You have a max of 50k posts on the entire board. 30k of those are from 10 people. Including yourself
3. Your highest youtube post has 34K views, and you have 22K followers.
4. Frontends are small. And most people in the hobby have taken the stance of free is better. You offer a product for money, If they can get it for free. They are going too jump at it.
5. I have literally every game on the planet, on 8 servers. Located over in Europe. If I decide to put out a 2tb offering with your setup. People are going to take it up in spades. Plus I have the power to update things. In which ill develop a loyal base of people of customers in which I can upsell them.
6. There are two sides to every story, and if I do decide to retalitate. Believe me, ill be voicing my side of it. Plus I got all the direct abuse given directly by your admins in my emails. Ill be making it just as known as you.
7. Like I said, I have two launchbox licenses, I will continue to update with one and update the banned license. Ill build a whole other site directly at your expense. In which I already own the URL for.
8. People are fickle. You care as much to them as their last ****. And I already service over 1000 clients unofficially. 500+ In my group directly. I got my own pull, and I actually deal with real numbers as frontends are far from mainstream.
This is what you should be doing to avoid all this.
1. Making a public post regarding on your forums in which everyone will see. Asking to avoid any conflict. And that you don't want to know who did it, but if they quietly take it down, without your knowledge. Then things will proceed as they once did.
Otherwise ill basically just steal your product and make money off it.
Chris

 

If that's not incriminating enough, I don't know what is. He has some of the most disgusting intentions that I have ever seen in all of humanity, and he's not in the least bit ashamed to admit it.

My response to him was this:

Quote

Okay, I will be sending out an email to all 250,000 people before the day is out. I am not kidding. I have the email addresses of every single person who has ever downloaded the free version of LaunchBox. And there are well over 250,000 of those people. The email will go out very shortly if you continue with this. If you need proof:
[Screen capture of our mailing list total count with our email provider]
You continue to threaten me despite my immense efforts to prevent this, thus I have no choice but to take action. There is still time to change your mind, as it will be a few hours before I can finish and send out the email. You will not survive this if I do.

As of right now, I have not received a response from him. I thought about waiting until he actually did retaliate, but considering that I probably won't even know about it when he does, that wasn't really an option. I wanted to make the entire community aware of this; my apologies for the extremely long and involved email, and for involving you all in this.

What Can You Do?

First and foremost, no one in our community is obligated to do anything, so please don't feel that way. Even if nothing is done to stop Mr. Shaw from his attempts to hurt us, we will still survive, as I do not believe that he is capable of doing any major damage. The most important thing that you can do is to simply not purchase any of his products and to discourage others from doing the same. The public needs to be aware of his horrible business practices and corrupt nature. Also, if he does come forward with illegal versions of LaunchBox Premium and Big Box, we would ask that you not download or use them (of course).

Even though we have not reported any of his social media sites in the past, I believe that now is the time to do so. Probably the most effective way of preventing his business from continuing is to report his YouTube, Facebook, website, etc. as being illegal. Here are links to his known sites:

https://www.hyperarcadesystems.com/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/205573939885510/

Most importantly of all, I must insist that we do not resort to attacking him. I'm not so naive as to think that no one will do so, but I do have enough hope in humanity that most of us know better than to personally attack someone over a business issue. Please DO NOT take any further action other than reporting his websites and discouraging people from purchasing or using his products. We do not want to become the enemy here, nor do any of us want to face any legal issues. This is extremely important.

Thank you all very, very much for your continued support, and please rest assured that LaunchBox and Big Box development will continue for many, many years to come. We're only just getting started here. :)

Love,

LaunchBox (Jason Carr)

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3 minutes ago, DOS76 said:

Can you preemptively cancel his licenses and refund his money.

I certainly would if I could. Because we're DRM-free, I can disable his licenses for future versions, but not for existing versions.

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This is sad someone would do this to yall. I was lucky to get my key in a free giveaway a while back on 7/25/2016. And I freely promote this product to people for a looking for a good frontend. I have even help purchased a few copies for friends and family.

I will continue to do so and I hope this conflict has minimum effect on LaunchBox.

And for his info I love this software but am not subscribed to yall's youtube...i just subscribed to the forums to respond to this.

Edited by cloud1771
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We have a great community and we know we will get through this issue. Launchbox has a huge future ahead. With so many great features coming Launchbox will continue to be the premier front end with features not available anywhere else and worth every penny spent on it.

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I hope nobody retaliates... I hope nobody knows how to pen-test... and I really hope nobody posts any information and/or vulnerabilities they find! Besides, where would someone post information like that anyway?

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If It goes all bad a class action law suit might be the way to go. However, here are few sites if you want to take action as single person.

https://www.ic3.gov/complaint/splash.aspx

https://www.europol.europa.eu/report-a-crime/report-cybercrime-online

https://www.fast.org/what-piracy/illegal-software-sales-and-downloads

https://www.justice.gov/actioncenter/report-crime

 

Edited by ayuno

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Hey just made a forum account to add my two cents. In-case anyone isn't familiar with how to look up this stuff, his website is hosted by Wix (based on a cursory glance at the Whois record on his site), and you can report his site by going to https://www.wix.com/upgrade/abuse

Just do general abuse, since we aren't actually Nintendo and Sony and the like. Plus be sure to note that the owner is harassing other content creators. Not trying to start a war because that would make it worse, but we might as well speed up the inevitable since he's pretty much stealing in plain sight.

I love LaunchBox, keep up the good work guys.

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I don't care about whatever drama you have happening with your site, however what you are saying is only going to further this conflict. I don't care about your personal issues with users, but crying to your email subscribers and trying to turn them into your own personal internet army is ridiculous and petty. Being angry over someone threatening to share your software and sending people like me emails like this is pointless and harassing. In a world where serious and legitimate cybercrime is a daily occurrence your own issues are truly micro. If anything, Mr. Shaw is being reasonable and not trying to threaten you or extort you, but warning you that he doesn't want issues. The Launchbox community is not your own personal army to fulfill your ridiculous demands, and you should be able to deal with this on your own. This entire debacle reeks of desperation, and is incredibly unprofessional. I get that you're probably inexperienced in moderating and likely don't understand how to handle issues like this, but I recommend you think twice about trying to turn this into a flame war with a clear and obvious troll. Leave the users alone, as we have no dog in this fight and shouldn't be drafted into this.

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2 minutes ago, H-Ten said:

I don't care about whatever drama you have happening with your site, however what you are saying is only going to further this conflict. I don't care about your personal issues with users, but crying to your email subscribers and trying to turn them into your own personal internet army is ridiculous and petty. Being angry over someone threatening to share your software and sending people like me emails like this is pointless and harassing. In a world where serious and legitimate cybercrime is a daily occurrence your own issues are truly micro. If anything, Mr. Shaw is being reasonable and not trying to threaten you or extort you, but warning you that he doesn't want issues. The Launchbox community is not your own personal army to fulfill your ridiculous demands, and you should be able to deal with this on your own. This entire debacle reeks of desperation, and is incredibly unprofessional. I get that you're probably inexperienced in moderating and likely don't understand how to handle issues like this, but I recommend you think twice about trying to turn this into a flame war with a clear and obvious troll. Leave the users alone, as we have no dog in this fight and shouldn't be drafted into this.

Understood @H-Ten. I hear you.

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58 minutes ago, Jason Carr said:

2. You have a max of 50k posts on the entire board. 30k of those are from 10 people. Including yourself

A quick tally of the post totals comes to approx 90,000 and this is on the new forums since the old ones, math is hard.

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5 minutes ago, H-Ten said:

I don't care about whatever drama you have happening with your site, however what you are saying is only going to further this conflict. I don't care about your personal issues with users, but crying to your email subscribers and trying to turn them into your own personal internet army is ridiculous and petty. Being angry over someone threatening to share your software and sending people like me emails like this is pointless and harassing. In a world where serious and legitimate cybercrime is a daily occurrence your own issues are truly micro. If anything, Mr. Shaw is being reasonable and not trying to threaten you or extort you, but warning you that he doesn't want issues. The Launchbox community is not your own personal army to fulfill your ridiculous demands, and you should be able to deal with this on your own. This entire debacle reeks of desperation, and is incredibly unprofessional. I get that you're probably inexperienced in moderating and likely don't understand how to handle issues like this, but I recommend you think twice about trying to turn this into a flame war with a clear and obvious troll. Leave the users alone, as we have no dog in this fight and shouldn't be drafted into this.

I have a dog in this fight.  So please stop SPEAKING for others.

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2 minutes ago, Lordmonkus said:

A quick tally of the post totals comes to approx 90,000 and this is on the new forums since the old ones, math is hard.

lol just me you and Jason is nearly 15000.

 

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The irony that Chris has videos on his YouTube channel ranting about people selling his drives on their own sites is hilarious...and sad.

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4 minutes ago, H-Ten said:

But crying to your email subscribers and trying to turn them into your own personal internet army is ridiculous and petty.

Well, he did It a bit impulsively which is kinda understandable if he doesn't have much experiences in this case, however, he did the right thing. There is nothing wrong about that. Its his own community and there are possibly many people in it, who might know how to handle such guys. Other than that, he is the developer of this software which we are using and lovin, it's totally cheap and he even gives It away regularly. So with that being said, it was completely right to report this issue here for all. You don't have any rights to tell him what to do or not. It sounds just pathetic.

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"Most importantly of all, I must insist that we do not resort to attacking him." Would reporting him on PayPal fall under attacking him?

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We're not suggesting or condoning anything that any members of the community does but we also cannot tell you what you can and cannot do.

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5 minutes ago, yearofthegus said:

"Most importantly of all, I must insist that we do not resort to attacking him." Would reporting him on PayPal fall under attacking him?

Reporting his PayPal for illegal practices (which is exactly what he's doing) is not attacking him personally.

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9 minutes ago, Gardue said:

I have a dog in this fight.  So please stop SPEAKING for others.

I agree with @Gardue

 

8 minutes ago, y2j420 said:

The irony that Chris has videos on his YouTube channel ranting about people selling his drives on their own sites is hilarious...and sad.

Someone selling drives full of illegal roms crying about someone selling his drives full of illegal roms. :ph34r::D I wonder what Nintendo or Sony would say to that. 

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