Revenge is not the same as justice.
And if just "copying data" isn't bad, and you wouldn't prosecute anyone if they "copied data" from you, post your credit card numbers, social security number (or equivalent), name, address, and phone number here in the forum. Obviously copying data isn't a big deal to you, so what's the harm if you put that data out for us to copy? Is it really a big deal if anyone gets your "secrets"?
The hallmark of the criminal mind is usually that it's a bit dense, if you know what I mean...:)
Enforcing laws meant to protect private property is not about "revenge," it's about deterrent. When some people see that others are caught and punished for the very crime they have contemplated committing themselves, it will at the very least make them think twice about actually going through with their plan, if not deter them from it altogether. Most of the time, criminals consider themselves "smarter" than others--the jails are full of such brainiacs...:) Truly intelligent people toying with criminal concepts generally take the hint and are deterred.
Remember that the purpose of laws is to protect our private property from unlawful search and seizure--theft. The irony here is that while some people see nothing wrong with hackers searching and seizing Valve's property, they think its terrible that the FBI might search and seize the hacker's property. It's pretty funny when you think about how hypocritical that viewpoint is...:) Where the criminal is concerned it is only he who has any rights.
Finally, just because in your view what was taken from Valve is of no value, that hardly justifies its theft. Consider that governments around the world can print all of the money they like when they like, and yet it is still a crime to rob banks in every country on earth. It is also a crime to counterfeit money, as well, around the world. The reason the printing of money must be tightly controlled is because if it was OK for everyone to just print up as much money as he needed then all paper money would soon become worthless, and we'd have to revert to a barter system. It is the difficulty involved (work) in obtaining legitimate money that gives paper money its worth.
Likewise with computer software--just because it is "code" which can be easily copied has no relation to what it is worth to its *owners*--which would be Valve--not the hackers, in case you are confused. Laws exist for rational purposes, even if criminals cannot comprehend those purposes themselves...:)
Also, I must point out that
(a) We have no corroboration the story is even true and should get it before assuming the story as told is accurate
(b) If this person's computers were seized, there is no corroboration that it involves Valve at all. He might have "photochopped" the search warrants to include mention of Valve simply to cover up the fact, among his friends and associates, that his property was seized for other purposes, such as common computer credit-card fraud, or something similar.
Finally, a good concept for you to consider is that the value of your neighbor's private property is determined by the owner of that property, and nobody else. It's a good thing to know. If you can accept the idea that what belongs to your neighbor belongs to him and not to you, regardless of what you may think that property is worth, I can guarantee you a long and happy life entirely outside of the prison system...:)This comment was edited on Jan 20, 11:33.
It is well known that I don't make mistakes--so, if you should happen across an error in something I have written, you can be confident in the fact that *I* did not write it.