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Piracy

Discussion in 'Alley of Dangerous Angles' started by Vukodlak, Aug 17, 2008.

  1. Vukodlak Gems: 22/31
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    There was an interesting post on Kotaku recently:

    http://kotaku.com/5037902/indie-dev-asks-why-and-pirates-reply

    and the original blog post:
    http://www.positech.co.uk/talkingtopirates.html

    Basically, an indie games developer asked pirates to write to him and under conditions of anonymity, explain their reasons for pirating his games. He got a lot of replies - most of them explaining their reasons for pirating games in general. To summarise, most people seem to have three main reasons: money, quality and DRM (although there's more than that, and reading the post is well worth it).

    A lot of the comments on Kotaku are very damming and dismiss the above as lame excuses, hiding the real reason - that pirating games is a crime but a crime that is easy, free and virtually consequence-free. Although there is truth in that, I personally can relate to all three of the above mentioned gripes. I especially agree with this:

    It's easy to say that developers are only including DRM because piracy exists - but it's important to understand that DRM is not helping stop piracy. DRM, as it stands now, enables pirates to have a product of superior quality than the customers who legally bought the game. The one exception is Steam - which is doing excellent business, primarily because of the immense convenience and customer satisfaction. The DRM on steam is very much non-invasive and behind the scenes though.

    As a final remark: could a PC game do well in sales even with no DRM? Geez, if only there was an example of this already.

     
  2. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    I think that blaming it primarily on DRM is dishonest, because most of the people who do pirate games do it without regard for the DRM as it doesn't really apply to them.

    I certainly agree that in the long run DRM is doing more harm than good, but if you look at the current market trends, you'll notice that having extremely to moderately strict DRM on release and shortly after is the norm, but so is also eliminating it more or less completely later on. I think that this is acceptable. Publishers force DRM because they want to grab as much of the initial top price sales as possible, but most gamers don't play the games just a few months after the release but later on too. I feel that if there was a rule of say having the DRM protection apply for only the first 3-6 months that its reception would be far less negative.

    However, with the majority of the gamers wanting a new game yesterday is typical, so expecting the masses to be willing to wait for the DRM to expire is utopian. It would work for the smart buyers, and for everyone who doesn't buy new games right away but rather waits for the price to come down a bit and the first few patches to fix the most glaring bugs.

    But naturally, that's never going to be your average "I want my game NOW" gamer's MO.
     
  3. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Whatever you feel about piracy of any digitalized product the fact remains that it is impossible to stop. The producers have to find ways to make money through other channels and they are doing just that. Not to mention that the sales of games, music and movies are by no means low. People still buy and piracy actually allows a lot more people to experience the products than would actually buy them.

    So instead of alienating their consumer base by lawsuits and DRMs accept the world as it is, find other ways to make money be it through advertizement, monthly fees ala MMOs or something else and I am sure everyone would be a winner. I would dare to stick out my chin and say that piracy has already made most people a winner, creators, distributors and especially the consumer.
     
  4. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    There is a very easy alternate route for game developers to make much more money; by making console-only games. Unfortunately, most PC gamers aren't very happy about that.
     
  5. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Since I am teh dummest...what exactly does DRM stand for? I know what it is, I just never knew the acronym...
     
  6. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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  7. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Quite easy to pirate console games as well so that is not really a valid solution for the producers.

    One thing I have thought about, I am wondering if the producers of media count any pirated product to be a lost sale? Wouldn't surprise me if they did, that they think that anyone watching a pirated movie would buy said movie if they couldn't pirate it
     
  8. Vukodlak Gems: 22/31
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    On a purely personal level, I haven't pirated any game in the last 6 years or so (the less said about the period before that the better :D) and I was tempted only once - when I couldn't get my legally bought copy of Bioshock to work, due to 2K severs being dead. It got sorted out eventually, but I felt VERY bitter, especially as it became available on steam later on. I am not getting Mass Effect (either legally or illegally) for the same reasons.

    By the way, I feel that the reason I don't pirate PC games is very similar to the reasons noted in the article - i.e. money and quality - not being that much of a problem any more. Since getting a job, I have more money and less time to play games. Therefore I choose to spend money only on those games that come very highly recommended - both in terms of gameplay and lack of annoying copy protection and/or DRM.

    Switching to making only console games may work for a while, but will increase the number of pirates that play console games. As far as I know, only PS3 games are difficult to pirate, and that will likely change as blue-ray drives become more ubiquitous.
     
  9. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Of course they do.

    That's how they get to those numbers for the monetary damage caused by piracy, and the greater the damage caused the more credible their lobbying for criminalisation.

    It also offers an explanation for their shareholders for lagging profits, which needs to be something other than that people simply aren't overly fond on the mediocrity they produce. That is particularly true as far as music is concerned. I don't buy all that much new music, and I certainly don't pirate it - it's just that what's coming out isn't in any way all that impressive. They have professionalised marketing to the extent that the product that comes out in the end usually is some streamlined crap :rolleyes: Now wherever creativity is required that doesn't work. Now, of course, there are exceptions. Still, German musicians for instance are leaving the big houses like rats a sinking ship and run to the small labels where they can do their thing without all the professional tutelage, and, eh, firm guidance. So while the big houses here are running out of stars they can be heard complaining loudly about the immense damage to their companies ... caused by piracy.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2008
  10. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    It's nowhere near as easy or widespread as PC game pirating. And for the publishers there's the added benefit of the much larger console game market and the higher prices of console games.
     
  11. DCD Gems: 2/31
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    Pirating is a sticky issue, but I'm sure the number one and two reasons are money and convenience, though frankly some folks would go out of their way to pirate in two specific cases. The biggest not-mentioned reason though is danger. I for one am hesitant to use real money online, because of the ease of identity theft and hacking to get information - people might think they're free behind firewalls, but against a real hacker that kind of defense is worthless.

    I think this fear of identity theft makes people more willing to oppose the law rather than oppose clever crackers, particularly because the law is slow and cumbersome and doesn't really extend well into the digital world. "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em" I guess.

    Piracy also raises the question of where to draw the line. Let's say someone has a game and the DVD breaks for some reason. Is this grounds for pirating? A purchase was made, why buy another one? When someone buys something they're buying a license to use a product not the product itself, theoretically they still have the license so long as they have a proof of purchase. So, torrenting for such purposes would seem perfectly justified.

    Another case is where people absolutely hate the people who handle the material and pirate to spite them. I know several people like this, and I can understand their frustration especially because those they steal from are arses, and as many come to understand about the inefficency and petty politics in business management, distro and publishing, resentments builds.

    I mean, how many people pirate for pleasure just to say "bugger off" to the RIAA? I'm sure that number is growing all the time.

    If lawmakers aren't going to extend an olive branch sometime soon, I'd say that anti-establishment factions might eventually become a mainstream internet power.
     
  12. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    This is probably not something that you want to hear, but the likelihood of your computer getting infected or hacked due to the use of pirated software, cracks and the like is infinitely higher than having your credit card information stolen when you're using secure connections with trusted vendors, e.g. Amazon. It's very easy to stumble upon an infested torrent and crack, whereas having any of your personal information stolen due to online shopping is practically unheard of when it comes to reputable online stores.
     
  13. DCD Gems: 2/31
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    The severity and longstanding impact of virii/malware/hacking is far less than identity theft, however. A prudent person knows how to clean for things or have a back-up drive in case of a need for pure wiping. For most pirates, viruses are little more than harassment.

    You won't convince many that they are safe using online transactions with the media consistently pounding on how incapable the law is at preventing, ceasing or repairing damage caused by the determined. My own sister was hit twice in the past two weeks by identity theft, and she's lost her life savings because of it. I feel I'm far more exposed than she is, but I have nothing of permanent value connected to my online life.
     
  14. Aikanaro Gems: 31/31
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    I feel no moral qualms about pirating things (well, except indie games, but that's a bit of an illogical hangup) - especially things that I wouldn't have bought anyway.

    One thing I do wish I'd pirated instead of bought is Portal. I've been holding off buying it because I hate the idea of Steam (don't understand why everyone responding to cliffski likes it - it's just ellaborate DRM). Well, now I've installed Steam and I really, really hate it. Forcibly infesting people's computers with this PoS program if they want to play your game is just a generally ugly way of dealing with them.

    In general I'm definately more likely to pirate a game that has annoying DRM than one that doesn't, if only just as a '**** you' to the publisher but also so that I don't have to spend time wading through shady websites looking for cracks anyway so it will run. Not to mention the whole possibility that they'll pull their authentication servers (as Yahoo music did not very long ago, leaving all the mp3s they've ever sold as completely worthless (well, unless you break the encryption, which is trivial, but that's not the point)).

    One thing I'll take the time to briefly rant about is the textbook publishing industry. Well, **** the texbook publishing industry. Hmm, I might boot up Azureus so I can seed textbooks some more. When your essential product aimed at a poor demographic is ridiculously expensive, you can damn well expect it to be widely pirated, and those that scan and upload them to be seen as heroes rather than dastardly pirates.

    There's a nice post in this thread that I think I'll quote (part of it, anyway) for truth.

    Also, this picture: http://img209.imageshack.us/img209/1199/piracyua6.jpg
    Which has been sitting as the top story on digg this week, and is entirely true - you get a better quality copy of something if you pirate it than if you pay for it, because you don't get the ridiculous anti-piracy nonsense.
     
  15. Gnarfflinger

    Gnarfflinger Wiseguy in Training

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    Let he who is without sin cast the first coaster--er crappy game/CD/DVD that they no longer have use for. Alright, Who threw that pirated copy of Daikatana?

    Piracy is wrong, but if the pirate has to choose between paying to get a game that he doesn't know how good it will be or feeding his kids, I have better things to do than jump on him for that.

    I believe that game quality is a legitimate concern. I've shelled out money for a game, installed it and it would not work. I have felt ripped off, and can understand such frustrations, but again, it doesn't make piracy right. While yes, the buyer needs to beware, the producers need to realize that fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me also applies. A company that released a major title, only to find that it sucks and is so buggy it's unplayable can expect an increase in piracy for their next title. But if you pirate a copy of something to decide if it's worth buying, you should go out and buy it at your earliest realistic opportunity out of consideration for the developers.

    I'll turn a blind eye to sharing something that's extremely hard to find. How many people even know what CZW is, let alone where to find a legally available copy of their DVD? Do they even have DVD's available?

    I also won't chastise someone that bought an album on 8-track, then had to buy it on Vynil, only to have to shell out again for a cassette, and again on CD for downloading it in MP3 format. Just how many times do you have to pay for something?

    Sure it's wrong, but the providers do have to be reasonable if they want to reduce the piracy and increase their sales...
     
  16. Jesper898 Gems: 21/31
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    I buy most of my games, but I do download a couple sometimes.

    For example, I am replaying the entire Tomb Raider series on the consoles, and the only way to get the extra levels for 2 and 3 is on the PC, so I simply downloaded them.


    Now, I bought both Bioshock and Mass Effect which both have that annoying little "limited installs" gimmick, and I am planning to buy Spore (which has it too) but the urge to simply crack them is overwhelming. :D

    Basically, I generally buy games, but I sometimes download games to see if they're good, or if they're old games like Castlevania or Indiana Jones: The Fate of Atlantis.

    One game I have enjoyed immensely, that I downloaded, is The Movies; I am really considering buying it.


    I think if games were cheaper, people would probably buy more, as most games are vastly overpriced, especially for people who only play through games once. (Luckily I can replay games almost indefinately. :) )
     
  17. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Jesper898,
    Just checked this limited install thing on games like Mass Effect: That's really silly.

    Sure ACTIVATION and INSTALLATION are two different things. So you are limited to the number of ACTIVATIONS not INSTALLATIONS. You can install and uninstall a million times and it won't stop you. You can also ACTIVATE on the same machine as many times as you like. In principle.

    Now, emphasis is on 'same'. As soon as you change a lot of hardware or install on an entirely different machine is when an activation gets deducted from those '3 strikes' you have. That means, if you decide to upgrade your computer once, twice, or if your MoBo breaks, or whatever, that's just your problem and you might need to re-buy the game anyway even though you bought a legit copy of the game?! Now that doesn't only sound like a rip-off. It's annoying for sure.
     
  18. martaug Gems: 23/31
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    I didn't feel bad about Downloading a torrent of diablo2 as i had already bought the game twice several years ago but have subsequently lost the disks. They made a fair price off of me & i still enjoy the game.
     
  19. Aikanaro Gems: 31/31
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    Heh - we all feel very relaxed on this issue today. Where are all the highly anti-piracy sorts to yell at us for being Bad People?
     
  20. 8people

    8people 8 is just another way of looking at infinite ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran

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    [​IMG] Only games I've pirated are ones I own and have problems with, or as a demo. Then I'll either buy or remove the program and data.

    With music, I have downloaded on my computer most of the CDs I own and ones I intend to buy. If I don't like - I delete, and don't buy.

    It's simply a habit I picked up before I had my own card and before I had a student loan. I couldn't afford to go out much, couldn't buy online and couldn't afford to buy something I didn't really want.

    So far the only problems I've had with games are with ones I've BOUGHT :rolleyes: For example I'll never be able to play B&W2 until I get a new computer. Joy!
     
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