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News CD Projekt to fine Witcher 2 pirates

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by CardJoe, 23 Nov 2010.

  1. eddtox

    eddtox Homo Interneticus

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    Not quite. You see, that copy if the game only comes into existence when it is actually copied. That particular copy never belonged to the publisher because it never existed before being copied. Something that doesn't exist cannot have an owner. The pirate is not "taking" anything, they are causing something to be (re)created without the permission of the rights owner. Therefore, they are infringing copyright, not stealing.
     
  2. Coldon

    Coldon New Member

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    Because obviously before video games, people had no way to unwind, and how did this poor unfortunate binman afford the console or the PC necessary to play said game. That argument is a load of crap...

    If you can afford to buy the game then dont play it! I understand if a month is rough and you simply cant afford another game, i bought 2 games this month and couldnt afford the crazy pricetag of COD BLOPS. Played it at a friends house and was glad i didnt bother.

    The point is gaming is A PRIVELAGE, not a right! that binman can go out and have a pint, read a book, take up a hobby, watch the soccer, etc... he doesnt need a video game to relax! And i'm sorry but €50 out of €1500 is only 3% of his salary, i'm sure he could afford it and skip 2 trips to the pub.

    I can understand guys downloading a game to check it out as a demo, i do that but i promptly uninstall it if its crap and go buy the original if it's good. This usually only happens if i've bought several games already that month and am a little broke. Most people dont, they simply just play through the game and dont bother ever buying it or helping the developer in anyway.
     
  3. tron

    tron New Member

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    This gets funnier :)

    If you truly believe what you have just said, I would love to see you try to explain that nonsense in court.

    And, if you are so confident that the downloaded pirate copy of that video game you have installed on your PC is not legally owned by the game publisher, then you should have no problems approaching that particular game publisher, with your full name and address, telling them what you have done, then winding them up by "smartly" telling them they don't have any legal ownership of your downloaded game with its DRM removed.

    Regardless of the opinion you have just invented, the copyright law is very clear.

    And, the reason it is called a "copyright" law is because it deals with the many subjects and scenarios regarding a persons work and the copying of it.

    If somebody legitimately buys a copy of a video game, then removes the DRM and puts that "cracked" copy of the game on an internet server for millions of people to download, that "cracked" or "modified" work still remains the property of the author or publisher.

    In fact, much of the copyright law exists in order to protect the author's work against corruption, modification, or straight perfect duplication, so that throws your opinion out of the window. So please go back to the drawing board and try to invent something else tomorrow or the next day, so that I may come back and recite some copyright law facts for you again.

    All copies of the copyright material remain the property of the copyright owner unless you have purchased your particular copy, or they have given you permission to take a free copy of the game. Even then, you may own your copy, but they still own the "copyrights" to your game. Meaning you are not allowed, with the exception of the fair rights usage clause, to make copies of that game, including modified copies of that game.

    So, any copies of the game that may have come into existence by a pirate and not the game publisher, is owned by the copyright owner, who is the author or publisher. And if you have that copy on your PC, then you have taken something which belongs to the publisher. So you have effectively stolen from the publisher, because stealing is clearly defined as: to take something that belongs to somebody else without permission.
     
    Last edited: 24 Nov 2010
  4. AstralWanderer

    AstralWanderer New Member

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    Glad you found them of use. :)

    You still seem to confuse copyright infringement and theft - theft means taking an item from someone with the intention of permanently depriving them of it. Copyright infringement involves making a copy - no act of taking is involved. There is no overlap between the two.
    The Theft Act 1968 seems to fit the bill rather well. Might I suggest you peruse it further?
    First of all, I am not trying to justify software piracy - I purchase all my games (while boycotting many due to offensive DRM) and you have no business trying to insinuate that I - or anyone else here making similar arguments - commit piracy.

    However it is important that people do not fall for the propaganda spun by the film/music/software industries that try to equate copyright infringement with more serious crimes (including terrorism) because they will then use this as a springboard to impose more draconian limitations on the paying public. As it stands, we have ever more onerous technological restrictions (regional coding on DVDs/Blu-ray, HDCP on high-definition content, online activation/media checks on games) which give more control to content distributors and greater costs for consumers.
     
  5. Rebourne

    Rebourne New Member

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    I was going to buy it... Now I'm just going to avoid it all together. I was looking forward to it too :(, bummer. I just can't buy something that is going to use the money to fund those anti-piracy firms that extort people and charge single mothers millions of dollars for downloading four songs.
     
  6. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes How many wifi's does it have?

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    Music Industry != CD Projekt

    Unlike the Music Industry, CD Projekt talks about a fine, this is same approach Microsoft follows (among other companies). You still use Windows, so you seam to not mind.
    A story a read on the news paper that there was a small computer company selling to small businesses custom solution computer and servers with (without the client knowing) pirated software including the full range of Microsoft products. It was found out, and the company closed down (no more reputation), and the owner was fined by Microsoft around 90 000$ in damages.

    I don't know about you, but that sounds like the amount they saved by going pirate software with all their clients, plus lawyer cost. I am sure that the undisclosed fine from CD Projekt will be similar, where it's the price of the game + lawyer cost + a little extra.

    Personally as CD Projekt is a very small company, I don't think they have enough to afford taking anyone for giggles, I am sure they will make sure that you clearly pirated the copy, come to you, ask if you have the game, if not, present you with a fine, else you can fight in court. In court the judge can place a warrant and the police can grab the suspects computer and check if the game is there. If not, there is no proof, case close, if there is.. well...
    you get the idea.

    The Music Industry tactics is bring you to court, and delay everything until you can't afford a lawyer, and then attack you. Or similar cheap tactics.

    Of course I can't guaranty anything I am saying, but I feel they just use a scare tactics. I however think that this is not the way to do thing. i mean, it's fine and all, but don't say stuff like "we will sue you", because of this, I am sure pirate, to show how "good" they are and satisfied their ego, will pirate the game. Sa basically, because of CD Projekt statement, they ask for trouble.

    Example, is Nintendo, and again Microsoft, they don't say anything. You are caught, then you'll pay the consequences.
     
  7. eddtox

    eddtox Homo Interneticus

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    As I said above, I do not pirate and I think piracy is wrong, so I will thank you to stop suggesting that I do - it just makes you sound like an idiot who is incapable of reading.

    I agree with all you said in the paragraphs I italicised, but the last paragraph is bilge. Something which does not exist cannot have an owner. The copyright owner therefore cannot own that which does not exist. However, they have the right to control its production (copying) and seek remuneration for it. When you copy a game without the rights owner's permission you infringe upon their exclusive right to control the distribution of said material. You are not "taking" anything, therefore it is not stealing.

    It may be as bad as stealing, but it is not the same thing. It may lead to the rights owner losing revenue through a lost sale and therefore be akin to stealing, but it's not the same thing.

    I wouldn't mind them saying "Copyright infringement is as bad as theft", but to say the two things are the same thing (even though they may have similar consequences) is disingenuous. It's sole purpose is to try to elicit an emotional response which they would not get if they used the proper term for it ("Piracy" is the same). This whole mess could have been avoided if they had been straight up from the beginning and tried to educate people that copyright infringement is as bad as stealing. Instead they've tried to take various cheap shortcuts (like "Home taping is killing music") which have just made them lose credibility.
     
    Last edited: 26 Nov 2010
  8. tron

    tron New Member

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    Interesting. You still seem to be confusing the Theft Law and its lack of use in copyright affairs with the actual true broad dictionary meaning of the word Theft, and how that true meaning of theft can be applied in many situations when that Theft Law is not used.

    Anyway, I totally disagree that we should be looking at the Theft Law in this debate. However, just for you, lets analyse it:

    "A person is guilty of theft, if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it"

    APPROPRIATE

    What does the word mean? It more or less means the same as to acquire or take something for you and yourself.

    How did that free game get on your PC? You didn't just wake up one morning and find it magically appear. You had to go online and actively seek it. and take it for yourself.

    Regardless of who created that copy, as soon as it came into existence, that copy, by Copyright Law, belongs to the author. You did not pay for it, and you did not get the publisher's permission to acquire that copy. So that means you have acquired something that legally belongs to somebody else.

    PROPERTY

    What does property mean? Here it means something that somebody owns, whether it's a physical PC DVD or a digital form.

    Regardless of what you may believe, that copy on your PC is legally the property of the publisher, even if it is somewhat altered from their original works.

    DEPRIVE

    What does deprive mean? It means to take from somebody, or keep something from its rightful owner.

    Whether your copy exists as a couterfeit DVD game or a digital version, as soon as it is created and you appropriated it, I can assure you that the publisher will want it back, either given back to them physically, if applicable, or at least to have proof that the copy is destroyed and taken away from your appropriating thieving self.

    Further, most pirates have the intention of permanently depriving the publisher of their copy, especially if they like the game.

    It can also be argued in many situations that you are depriving the publisher of financial earnings. Theft. You guys like to promote the idea that you would not have purchased the game, but do you really think that is true in all cases. What if there were no digital copies, no internet, no demos, and no second hand market? Would you have no games? No, you would have bought the game, maybe. Or walk into a high street store and steel it from the shelf. Then tell the store security guy that you are just going to see if you like it. Or, tell them that each stolen copy does not result in a lost sale, because you never had any intention of paying for it.

    Yes, I know that some piracy would not have equalled a lost sale, but all of you guys are just as bad as each other. First, you are encouraging it by trying to use the Theft Act to desensitise these persons against the true reality of their thieving actions. Second, the person who downloads just for the purpose of "trying out" the game is encouraging piracy due to his support of the pirate website, and also due to putting ideas into his friends minds when visitors see his games and then ask where did he get it from. So now more people are going online to download the games. Some of these people may have bought the game if they did not find out about his pirate collection. Third, as each of them contribute to the huge piracy download statistics, they are making more and more game companies turn away from the PC market, effectively aiding in the destruction of PC gaming in terms of more DRM and less titles available. But that's another argument. :)
     
  9. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

    Reported post read, and ignored. He has made a constructive post, which people are free to do. Carry on.
     
  10. eddtox

    eddtox Homo Interneticus

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    I'll just quote my post above, seeing as you seem to have missed it.
    I hardly consider moronic trolling about how everyone is a filthy pirate constructive, but I'll keep that in mind for future discussions.
     
    Last edited: 26 Nov 2010
  11. Krikkit

    Krikkit All glory to the hypnotoad! Super Moderator

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    Trolling doesn't just mean he disagrees with the general sentiment you know. :p
     
  12. AstralWanderer

    AstralWanderer New Member

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    Since you chose to put forward your viewpoint as a "legal fact" it seems perfectly relevant to quote the appropriate legal definitions. And there should be no confusion since the dictionary definitions that you quote and the legal ones largely overlap.
    "Appropriate" is defined here. To quote:

    "(1) Any assumption by a person of the rights of an owner amounts to an appropriation, and this includes, where he has come by the property (innocently or not) without stealing it, any later assumption of a right to it by keeping or dealing with it as owner.

    (2) Where property or a right or interest in property is or purports to be transferred for value to a person acting in good faith, no later assumption by him of rights which he believed himself to be acquiring shall, by reason of any defect in the transferor’s title, amount to theft of the property."


    Section (2) is intended to cover land/housing, as per section 4(2), so we can focus discussion on section (1). Now if someone copies an "item" (for this purpose, software such as a game, video or music track) they are not assuming the right of an owner - the original is still in the owner's possession and the copier is not claiming authorship (though they might subsequently do so, which would then involve them in "intellectual property theft").

    Basically if we met in the real world and I swiped your coat and threw it in a ditch, that would not qualify as theft since I would not be claiming to own it (or for that matter, to deprive you of it permanently). If I took your coat and instead listed it on eBay, then I would be claiming to own it so it would then qualify as theft. If I made a copy of your coat (leaving you with the original intact) and sold it, that would fall outside the remit of the Theft Act - it would not be theft but could constitute an infringement if you had copyrighted your coat. Unauthorised duplication of software is best compared to the creation of counterfeit goods (dealt with by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act also).
    Chapter VI (Rights and Remedies of Copyright Owner) of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 does not grant the copyright holder "ownership" of copies for the purposes of the Theft Act 1968, but instead the right to claim compensation or to seize the copies concerned.
    Section 4(1) of the Theft Act 1968 provides a broader definiton:

    "“Property” includes money and all other property, real or personal, including things in action and other intangible property."
    As noted above, the publisher is not the "owner" of every copy (nor is the copyright holder). They are licensors with the legal right to permit (or forbid) the copying, broadcasting, performance or modification of their work.

    A law giving the copyright holder automatic ownership over every copy would criminalise every retailer and distributor since they would then be committing theft (through claiming ownership themselves) every time they sold a copy to Joe Public.
    Covered here:

    "(1) A person appropriating property belonging to another without meaning the other permanently to lose the thing itself is nevertheless to be regarded as having the intention of permanently depriving the other of it if his intention is to treat the thing as his own to dispose of regardless of the other’s rights; and a borrowing or lending of it may amount to so treating it if, but only if, the borrowing or lending is for a period and in circumstances making it equivalent to an outright taking or disposal.

    (2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1) above, where a person, having possession or control (lawfully or not) of property belonging to another, parts with the property under a condition as to its return which he may not be able to perform, this (if done for purposes of his own and without the other’s authority) amounts to treating the property as his own to dispose of regardless of the other’s rights."

    Really? Have they mounted raids on the likes of Ubisoft or Activision to destroy their gold masters? Stormed retailers to seize their shrinkwrapped goods? Unless you can provide some solid proof of this, then I suggest you are talking utter nonsense.
    This is where copyright holders are on more solid ground - clearly not every unauthorised copy is a lost sale (many would have been made by those unable to purchase) but there will also be cases where people could (and undoubtedly should) have purchased. Then there are those who use unauthorised copies as a trial before purchasing (this Gizmondo article has one developer noting that 10% of such copies "go legit"). Since the biggest impact is made by "collectors" (those who copy with no intention of seriously playing or purchasing), an estimate of an overall 5-10% loss (i.e. unauthorised copiers who would have purchased) seems the most reasonable, taking into account the sales gains from triallers.
    This sort of comment is where your posts descend from valid arguments to repetitive, attention-seeking trolls. You have been told multiple times that people here are not advocating copyright infringement yet you persist in trying to label anyone that opposes your view as a criminal.

    Now it may be that you have been personally affected by this as a developer - if so, then please let me know what products you worked on so I can be sure to boycott them. I have no interest in supporting developers who think they are entitled to everyone's money any more than I would support musicians who think likewise.
    I started computing in the early 80s so I can tell you what things were like - most people exchanged copies or purchased them from commercial copiers (e.g. market stall traders). When Leisure Suit Larry was released in 1987 for the PC, it was estimated to have been the most copied game ever, with only 1 in 10 copies being legitimate. High street stores almost exclusively stuck with cheap (£10 or less) titles with minimal packaging - for anything more weighty (like RPGs) you had to use mail order, either direct from the publishers or from specialist stores.

    Did the software industry die as a result? Clearly not - it has grown massively since but that growth has caused problems for many companies. Out-of-control budgets for AAA titles, the frighteningly short shelf-life for new games (giving them only a few months to recoup their development costs), the vast choice available to PC gamers (including lots of freeware content and mods for older games) and, not least, the ridiculous inconvenience of certain DRM systems (which only hamper legitimate users) are all greater threats to the industry in my view, since they constrict the industry's lifeblood of legitimate purchases.

    There are solutions to many of the above (DRM-free digital distribution via GOG and similar services being the best in my view, offering steady pricing while bypassing the problems involved with retail).

    File-sharing has brought two significant changes for the software industry - firstly, it has almost killed off commercial copying (who's going to bother paying a market stall trader when their product offers nothing over what you can download?) and the second is more visibility of the scale of copying. If 100,000 people bought unauthorised copies of GenericFPS from DodgyCo's Emporium, GenericFPS' author had no way of tracking this. File sharing GenericFPS however, can be tracked with a greater degree of accuracy.
    Try using a dictionary next time you participate in these forums. There are a lot of insightful, intelligent people here - but posts like yours makes me wonder where evolution went wrong. :(
     
    Last edited: 25 Nov 2010
    eddtox likes this.
  13. eddtox

    eddtox Homo Interneticus

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    Why, thank you so much for that most enlightening comment - I don't know how I've lived without your wisdom. :rolleyes:
     
  14. tron

    tron New Member

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    Please don't get me wrong. I do actually trust you when you say you don't pirate games. But at the same time you are not helping your own position when you say you don't do it, then follow on, within the same debate, to provide unnecessary examples and hyperlinks of file-sharing or piracy benefits, and how the software industry has grown massively since a particular previous generation of piracy. Don't you realize you are feeding the pirates. This is why when I speak out, I group all of you guys, including the pirates, together. In my opinion, you are all, directly or indirectly, a part of the problem of piracy. All feeding off of each other. Now, you don't have to agree with my views on linking Piracy with Theft. And, we may continue to debate it until the new year. But let's just say, for argument's sake, that there is a one in a million chance that I am wrong about saying piracy is stealing. Why is it so incredibly important for you to prove that wrong? What do you really have to gain from this? I'm not implying that you, sir, are a pirate. I'm just saying you sound like them. You are encouraging them even though that may not be your true intention.

    Anyway, let's get back to the debate ...

    We both agree on much of this. We both already know which Law is most applicable in which situation. So, there's not much to debate here.

    However, let's revisit the argument of who actually owns the "copy" of a video game when that copy came into existence by a pirate and not the publisher:

    Let's break this down into two parts -


    1) If that pirate copy is not owned by the game publisher / developer/ copyright owner, then who actually does legally own it?

    I am sure that by now, in this debate, we both agree that the pirate has created that copy dishonestly and illegally. Right? So, he has acquired that copy illegally. Meaning, he has violated the copyright law. So, legally speaking, does he own it? Of course, he may own it in the sense that it is installed on his PC, but does he legally own it? Remember, he acquired it illegally. He only came in possession of it by breaking the law. That copy did not originally exist, but he created it illegally. He can not possibly own it legally. If you think he owns it legally, then you have got to be delusional.

    Now, in the situation where the copy was made by the pirate, I can assure you that the game company will not wish for that pirate to keep possession of that copy. Therefore, even IF that copy did not have a legal owner when it was first created by the pirate, the game company can automatically claim legal ownership of that copy at any time.

    How? because the pirate broke the law in order to create or acquire the copy of somebody's work.

    So, even if there was some kind of initial doubt as to who owns it, then legally, the game company can come forward at any time and take back ownership of that copy.

    That pirate copy never did legally belong to the pirate thief, did it? He has something installed on his PC that does not belong to him. He stole it.


    2) Although the previous argument is already more or less "bombproof", and no further argument is required, let us still look at it from my original point of view, the complete perspective of the copyright law.

    From this perspective I am arguing the point that the game company never loses ownership over any new copies of the game created by the pirate, and they do not need to physically come forward and claim ownership of the pirate copy.

    You are saying that if the game company maintained ownership of every copy, even the copies sold in shops, then we would all be criminalized, even the retailer. That's a wrong way of looking at it. Let me explain:

    It is the copyright owner's intention that his work is sold in a certain market (and under certain licence conditions). Now, whether you buy via that market or even acquire a legitimate copy outside of that market, he still owns the copyright to each copy, and there will also probably contain a Licence Agreement within each copy of game.

    Technically, the way it works is that every copy of the game that is made, automatically carries through the copyright and licence agreement.

    You seem to believe that the copyright owner only has a legal ownership over say a particular batch of legitimate copies produced from say his master copy by a particular manufacturer / distributor.

    Just because the pirate decided to make a new copy from a copy, does not make the slightest bit of a legal difference to the ownership.

    That pirate copy is automatically licenced the same as the legitimate copy on a shop shelf, and by pirating, he has broken the agreement and cannot own it.

    That is why I call pirates thieves. Because they have acquired what legally belongs to somebody else.
     
    Last edited: 26 Nov 2010
  15. Twist86

    Twist86 New Member

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    Any publisher that spends this much time on pirates I usually ignore their games. They treat us legit buyers as thieves and waste time/resources that could have been put into the game and done better.

    I use to buy every single game I saw from 1999 to 2005 because the games didn't focus on pirates and they ROCKED because they put some love/time into the game. Now I get a 5 hour "single player campaign" with a crappy story line and is a re-skin of the last for $60. They wonder why sales are down when its pretty obvious to me.
     
  16. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes How many wifi's does it have?

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    5 hours! Oh you mean, Kane & Lynch 2.
    http://angryjoeshow.com/2010/08/kane-lynch-2-review/
    Warning: Hilarious video
     
  17. gnutonian

    gnutonian New Member

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    I agree it's not a right. Neither is owning a BMW. But the two aren't the same. A game can be supplied at near-zero cost (a digital copy) whereas a fancy car can't (as a digital copy of a fancy car is hard to drive to the shop).

    My binman-argument comes from my opinion that it seems like, in life, everyone is intent on ripping you off, whether it's the government or corporations. It's up to our smelly binman to decide how he wants to unwind - there are already plenty of things he won't be able to afford, so why deny him one that could be supplied so cheaply?
    Especially as, like in the music industry, the profit of games made my the big manufacturers do not go to the people who deserve it (the creators/developers), but in the pockets of the guys who own the company.

    And, in my once-poor opinion, after €500-600 rent, food for four people, etc... €50 becomes a lot of money. And then for the "privilege" of playing a stupid-ass game he'd have to be ripped off as well?

    No matter how many "affordable" alternatives there are to playing a game, I simply can't see any good reason to deny someone something that can be supplied at near-zero cost.
     
  18. Coldon

    Coldon New Member

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    And what about the poor developer that still wants a salary at the end of the month? You know the one that pirates put out of business due to bad sales...

    Also its a little known fact that studios do get a chunk of profit directly from the game sales BUT only after the game has sold a minimum quantity agreed upon by the publisher, so the studio makes nothing until the publisher has covered its costs.

    Modern games cost millions to make, indie studios cannot get that sort of cash, i doubt the bank manager would be much impressed by two scruffy geeks asking for a couple of hundred thousand dollars loan to start a game studio.

    Also, the working conditions are tough for game devs. Constant crunch times, 60+ hour weeks, working weekends etc... The guys doing it are doing it cause they love it not for any other reason. For example I can get a massive salary atm doing SAP work instead of working at a university doing my masters just to try and get a job in the games industry. With the skillsets those guys have, they can can pretty much land any cushy high paying low stress dev job of their choice.

    So what happens, they work their asses off on a game, under a ton of pressure from the publisher to deliver the game ASAP. The game launches and then 85% of the game copies out there are pirated, the publisher then turns around and says sorry your game sold poorly so we're shutting you down or the studio get reorganized (ie downsized).

    Now before some idiot comes along with the argument that only crap games get pirated, look at the download stats for COD:MW and MW2, they were downloaded millions of times, so piracy is a problem for pretty much every game out there.

    The problem isnt with the binman, who cant afford a game (but magically had enough cash for a console/gaming PC :? ) but with joe entitled that will spend $1000 on a GTX480 SLI setup but OMG WOAH $60 for a game: "game dev be tripping yo, I'z be stealin that stiz". I would say that 75% of game pirates can actually afford to buy the games they steal but choose not to... The worst part is running into guys that downloaded the game before released and now feel special that they got to play it before everyone else, or the morons that pride themselves on (and brag about) how much money they saved by pirating.

    Look at it from this perspective a game is less than 6hrs work at minimum wage in europe, My current salary is an absolute joke at the moment (after all my monthly expenses I only have around 250euros to spend on food, petrol and fun) and yet i can afford to buy two games a month. So I'm sorry but people are just entitled twats that want everything given to them for free...
     
  19. eddtox

    eddtox Homo Interneticus

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    1.Are those real statistics, or just numbers you've plucked out of the air to illustrate a point?
    2.The developers' poor working conditions are less to do with pirates and more to do with the greedy pigs who run the industry.
     
  20. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes How many wifi's does it have?

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    I completely agree and is 100% true. (with Coldon)

    You reminded me of this:
    http://theoatmeal.com/blog/apps
    And I believe it is very true. Where really expensive stuff, we have no problem, but the inexpensive stuff, it's a budget problem.


    6 hours of work, and how many of hours of play you have? Except for some exception (but that is why we have reviews). Many games give you over 60 hours of game play. And some like TF2 and StarCraft, just to name 2, provides unlimited play time. Heck even StarCraft 1 you can still play online with others.
     
    Last edited: 27 Nov 2010
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