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Other Piracy

Discussion in 'Software' started by Zinfandel, 2 Aug 2010.

  1. phulshof

    phulshof What's a Dremel?

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    True, but at least I've made an effort to find independent research supporting my position, limited to film and music as it may be, and found some proof for several other opinions I have posted here as well.
     
  2. Elledan

    Elledan What's a Dremel?

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    From which we can draw the conclusion that there's no study on this subject, and your observations are only of relevance to your own business, not to the entire industry. Maybe you just ended up in a particularly bad spot on this globe to do business in, who knows? :)
     
  3. stuartpb

    stuartpb Modder

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    Thing is though, I hear my opinions echoed by many other indies like myself. I will say I cannot claim to have the definitive answers, but I do have a valid point of view, based on more than just a whim.:thumb:

    Afterthought: Also, does the fact that my business is a small one make the fact that piracy is a problem (even if somewhat limited) make this OK? We heard that not enough thought is given to the small companies, the fat cats are creaming the system etc. etc., but when I voice my concern it is dismissed or discounted because I don't have a big enough share of the gobal market........hmm something not right there! Again, this is something people who condone piracy epically fail at recognising, piracy doesn't just hurt the big guys!
     
    Last edited: 17 Aug 2010
  4. Elledan

    Elledan What's a Dremel?

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    One could also conclude that some business models need to be reorganized. I mean, a lot of business models of the past are no longer feasible today due to changes in technology. The concept of a music label, for example, is very outdated and if one sees that their only purpose today is to keep their artists poor and in debt and the 'fat cats' fat and happy, the only conclusion one can draw is that they would have to fall to keep the system healthy.

    The best thing to do in analyzing a situation is to always take a global, objective look. Forget about opinions, prejudices and previous statements/conclusions. I did this for my business and came to realize that our products (software, games) are without value. Not without worth, but since they can be replicated infinitely for no significant costs, they have no financial value whatsoever. Where is the value in our work, then, if it's not in our products? Easy: in the service we provide by putting these products together. That's what people pay us for and which is what they can't (easily) copy or replace.

    That's the whole point of a business after all: being irreplaceable.
     
  5. Cabe6403

    Cabe6403 Supreme Commander

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    I skimmed the last few pages because as far as I can tell the same arguments are going round and round. Certain people are being stubborn and refusing to really listen to what the other parties are saying (and this is on both sides of the argument and not aimed at any one particular person).

    Regarding the market in piracy:

    iPhone game developers have also found that around 80% of their users are running pirated copies of their game (using jailbroken phones) [Source] yet only 5% of iPhones are jailbroken [Source]
    The highest estimate I've seen is that 10% of worldwide iPhones are jailbroken. Given that there are so few jailbroken phones, how can we explain that 80% of game copies are pirated?

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    The answer is simple -- the average pirate downloads a lot more games than the average customer buys. This means that even though games see that 80% of their copies are pirated, only 10% of their potential customers are pirates, which means they are losing at most 10% of their sales.

    In regards to Elledans point in turning a blind eye to piracy:
    Reflexive games (a small company not unlike Elledans) performed a series of experiments with anti-piracy measures, they found that they only made one extra sale for every 1000 pirated copies they blocked. This implies that their 90% piracy statistic caused them to lose less than 1% of their sales.
    Extrapolating this means that eliminating 50,000 pirated copies might only produce 50 additional legal copies and does help put things in perspective. [Source]

    Stuart, should Elledan's company spend a great deal of time and money implementing an antipiracy system that could cost more than the additional sales would bring in? Should she still do it even if she risks inconveniencing and alienating legitimate customers? What if implementing DRM turns away 10 customers in 1000 for bringing in 1 extra? That's a negative difference of 9 sales per thousand. Even if it only turns away 1 per 1000 then the sales will be exactly the same, despite having spend a great deal of effort (and money). I believe this is what she was getting at when she says that they will be turning a blind eye, the return is not worth it. (Also, if you - or anyone else - are going to argue this point I would appreciate sources to back up your points as I have done here)

    Another point that should be mentions is that Modern Warfare 2 was the most pirated game of 2009 with over 4 million illegal downloads. [Source] Yet it sold more than 7 million copies it's first DAY. [Source] MW2 went on to be the largest entertainment product launch in history. [Source]
    The point is that although MW2 became the most pirated game in history it still sold a hell of a lot. Why? Because it's a good game, people buy good games.

    It's extremely easy for publishers and developers to blame piracy for lack of sales. It's a lot easier to point the finger at the pirates than admit that perhaps admit that the game they made isn't that good. The most pirated games each year are usually games with extremely high sales [Source]. This also shows that people actually BUY the games. If high piracy = loss of sales then why, in the case of at least the 10 games linked in the previous source, does it seem that high piracy = more sales. I'm not saying that piracy doesn't cause some lost sales but refer back to my point above relating to iPhone games. Pirates are a small percentage of the market but the number of illegal copies is comparatively high.

    Now, if anyone feels like arguing or refuting the points I have discussed in this post I would appreciate sources.
    Stuart, you keep saying you want people to reply with sources and studies, how about you cite some other than your own personal experiences with your business. Not that they are not valid opinions, but if I were to use my experience as a consumer and student developer and call that a source I get the feeling you'd reject it.
     
    Last edited: 18 Aug 2010
  6. stuartpb

    stuartpb Modder

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    Elledan, my primary business function is to provide IT support to SME and home users, the sales part of my business is subsidiary. I noticed certain trends within my sales ledgers, and on doing so, I began to investigate. As part of this, I began speaking to my clients about piracy, and also conducted some private research of my own. What I learned is that which I have already said here. I also adapted my own business practice to try and address the problems I found were being caused by piracy. I didn't just raise my hands in disgust and sit there in a strop.

    Now I have been told that I am not really listening, and am just being stubborn. I have listened, and I welcome others opinions. I cannot change my opinion on hearing everyone's opinions here though, as it counters everything I have seen and witnessed within my own company, and everything I also hear from my peers. If this was expected of me then you are all going to be disappointed. Is this being stubborn? No. Is this refusing to listen to others? No. I am not stubborn, and I have listened, but there simply is no convincing argument that can make me disregard what I have heard and seen with my own business, and heard from many other of my peers, it's as simple as that.

    Having said that, I don't expect, nor would I want anyone to take what I say as the definitive answer to piracy. It does affect people and organisations in different ways, I am aware of that. I did think that it was important to hear the small man's story for a change, as we all hear how EA's profit is being cut into by piracy, and I still say that not enough thought is given to those who ARE affected by piracy, and have less ability to counter the problem. We cannot keep pretending that piracy does not have an adverse effect on businesses, to do so is just being ignorant, and I also find it arrogant.
     
  7. ataraxis84

    ataraxis84 What's a Dremel?

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    Going to add my 2 cents to this one.

    I openly admit to being what the authorties would consider to be a massive pirate.

    Now please before you condemn me or call me cheap/whatever, hear me out.


    My choice of medium for said piracy has been and always will be games. I do this not because I don't want to pay for them, but because there is so much rubbish being produced these days, I point blank refuse to buy something without thoroughly testing it first.

    I know a lot of you will say 'most games have demos, just use those' but they have never really given the full picture of how good a game will be, it could be that they have chosen the best level in the entire game to use as a demo, where only playing the whole game would tell you that the rest of the game is utter jank.

    And I can genuinely say this is used for demos, because I have a very large collection of paid for games, my steam account has something stupid like 85 titles on it. Just recently I decided to download Mount and Blade warband (through illicit methods) found I liked it, and then bought it on steam, all within the space of a couple of hours.

    So without my 'piracy' the games industry just would not get anywhere near as much business as they do currently, so this form of piracy is good, no?


    As for music, I have a few friends who download music, and the music industries stance on this really f***s me off. I remember watching Pete Waterman on channel 4 news talking about piracy and its affect on the industry. His stance was basically 'If you want what I have to sell, you buy it off me the way I want you to and at the price I set' - Rubbish, utter utter rubbish. Its always been a buyers market, and if you have massive numbers of people pirating music then it is the consumer TELLING you that they are not happy with the way your selling it/pricing it. His attitude was so arrogant in that he knows best I really wish I could have been there to speak to him and put him in his place. With the amount of music piracy at the moment, to me at least, it seems that the world is crying out for a subscription based service where you can listen to as much as you like for £10/£15 a month or something similar. Now I don't buy/pirate music, but if a good enough service like that existed then I would probably buy it, as it would seem like good value. Even the games industry are making this work, http://www.metaboli.co.uk/ anyone? and they're products are considerably more expensive than an albumn/single, so why can't the royalty based system work for music?

    They also tried to suggest that music piracy costs the industry millions a year, I don't know about you guys, but the people I know that download lots of music have all said the same, 'if we couldn't get it for free, we wouldn't buy it either' so the music industry isn't losing out, its just not gaining, which it wouldn't either way.



    Overall, there is some truth to the saying 'Some of the biggest pirates are also some of the biggest spenders' I looked at my steam account just before posting this, and I have spent over £500 on the service since it started, thats not to mention console games (I own PS3/Wii/360 about 20 games each atm) PC games I can't buy on steam Starcraft 2/World of Warcraft subs for about 4 years non stop, the list goes on.

    I think its time that all pirated industries start to look at the reason people do it, rather than spending millions trying to criminalise people who do.



    Sorry if this is a bit long and a bit rantish, but I wanted to get my thoughts down as I've been looking for an avenue like this for years :)
     
  8. Kris

    Kris Lord Lolwut

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    What you said, Atraxis.

    It just isn't so clear cut, and one cannot in all truthfulness claim that 'piracy has caused my sales to drop', which is claimed over and over again by various companies, from Crytek to Universal etc etc etc.

    One has to think of the fact that pirates are most probably the biggest consumers of digital media, and, are also the biggest spenders(most probably at least). But, as far as I know, there is no research into this specific side of the coin.
     
  9. Porkins' Wingman

    Porkins' Wingman Can't touch this

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    Everything I buy games, music and movie-wise I deliberately download afterwards to do my bit in skewing all the stats.
     
  10. nemo

    nemo Foregone Destruction

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  11. ataraxis84

    ataraxis84 What's a Dremel?

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    Nemo, the last phrase of that picture says everything I put into that post (and all that effort)

    In 14 words.... legend.

    It is exactly what I've been saying for some years
     
  12. stuartpb

    stuartpb Modder

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    Wow, within that whole sentence I counted at least 3 contradictions.:D

    First, if it's probable it certainly isn't a fact.

    Second, you say "are also the", and then qualify it with "most probably at least"

    Then the crescendo, "no research into this specific side of the coin.

    So what are you basing your judgement on?

    I'm not disputing your claims, simply because I cannot. As you say, there has been no research into this, so I would have just as hard a time disproving you as you would me. Just to clarify though, you seem to have some inside knowledge, maybe you could share how you reached these conclusions?
     
    Last edited: 19 Aug 2010
  13. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead It's big, and it's clever.

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    I want to buy a new car... but wait! I am not sure if the car will be good or not, so why should I buy one, only to find out that it is in fact, not as good as I thought it was?

    What's that? A test drive? Pah!... everyone knows that most probably, the test drive vehicle is a special one with all the best features, and the one I will buy is not as good. No.. the only way I can get those pesky, lazy car designers to learn their lesson is to steal one! Yes.. that will teach them to make better cars.


    Seriously... give it a rest. The whole argument relies on the fact that you don't BUY games because they're not good enough to buy? Then if they're so crap, why steal them? Just ignore them. Also, even if the games industry DOES listen to you, and starts making uber games... how will you know until you buy it? So will you STILL steal teh uber games? As soon as you buy a game you end up not liking as much as you thought, will you go back to pirating games and calling them all thieves and scoundrels?

    Based on this unshakeable logic, I shall go to Sainsbury's later, and I shall only pay for the goods I KNOW to be tasty and nutritious... all the other stuff I refuse to pay for.. I mean why SHOULD I? I may not like it. Of course... once I've stolen it, and sampled it, I shall return to the store and pay for it.


    Thank you for showing me the error of my ways. How DARE an organisation make a product, and charge a price people are willing to pay in a free market economy.


    Just LOL.
     
  14. ataraxis84

    ataraxis84 What's a Dremel?

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    Very quick find in terms of research: http://www.zeropaid.com/news/5584/illegal_downloaders_are_also_biggest_spenders_research/ Not the best I admit, but a step in the right direction, and I know games piracy has had similar research done, I just can't find it.

    And that sample of the UK's population is probably going to be on a similar scale to what some people on this forums personal experience would equate to. Large group of friends + friends of friends can quite easily reach a couple of hundred people, which in terms of sample size is quite a large sample of pirates.

    I think the point is Stuart is that there is clearly more to this current piracy situation than you can see. In terms of my personaly experiences + my firends, the ones out of us that are the biggest pirates (I count myself in that group, I've grabbed more than 130GB in less than a day before now) are absolutely the biggest spenders, and I get the impression that this situation is not unique as others on the forum have mimicked this same sentiment.

    As for the 'small-time' pirates - for the most part it is simply people voting with their wallet. As I said in my previous post, people are clearly not happy with the price/distribution method of music and films so they don't buy it. The only unusal situation is that there is a way for them still to enjoy what they want without having to pay.

    And this is before we start getting into DRM related piracy - Just look at Assassins Creed 2, massively pirated for the PC as a way to boycott product sales, and get round the most ridiculous DRM ever implemented.

    As I said, there is just so much more to this than simple 'Its right' or 'Its wrong'. Certainly in the UK the government really need to have an advisor that actually understands whats going on to stop kneejerk, pressured laws and inititives like the Digital Economy Bill which is the biggest waste of time I have ever seen.

    ISP's can't possibly check packet contents now, it's like asking Royal Mail to open all post and check its contents if it was all cut into tiny pieces with one character per piece of paper and they had to rebuild the post to see what the contents were. Its astounding that the government honestly think they can bully ISP's in this way. And it doesn't bloody work anyway as all that happens is everyone gets SSL encrypted VPN for a couple of £'s a month and then there is no hope of checking anything.

    The only way people get caught these days is when the MPAA/Music industry connect to a tracker grab all the IP addresses from it and send their ISP's a shirty letter, and in the above case that wouldn't work as the listed IP would be that of the VPN controller, and would probably be in a foreign country where the MPAA and their ilk have absolutely no power.

    Some more thoughts for you all to ponder :)
     
  15. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead It's big, and it's clever.

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    I am in complete agreement that the government needs to update on this, and that the Digital Economy Bill is a complete travesty.... but Stealing a product has never been a valid protest in any other arena, so why try to validate it in this one.

    If you want to protest, don't use the products.. either legal, or stolen.
     
  16. ataraxis84

    ataraxis84 What's a Dremel?

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    Thanks for proving how narrow minded people can be.

    At no stage did I say I keep any of the stuff I don't enjoy. It is mearly a way for me to have an unrestricted (except the lack of multiplayer) and not time restricted demonstration. If I like it, I buy it.

    It is absolutely not stealing, it is me using my technical knowledge to have a better demo of what I'm considering buying. A much better example would be using 'insider' knowledge of the motor industry to get a 2 week test drive of a new car, and if you like it buy it - if you don't, give it back. (and that does happen, I have done it myself before now). That is a fair comparison, not stealing the car.

    Even the guys that release the games through the scene are not evil 'stick it to the man' people. I'll quote from an nfo file made by reloaded.

    1. Unrar.
    2. Burn or mount the image.
    3. Install the game.
    4. Copy over the cracked content.
    5. Play the game.
    6. Support the software developers. If you like this game, BUY IT!

    That isn't their way of avoiding trouble, its the exact same sentiment that good number of pirates follow, and I would love to see how many are like that.

    As for the music industry, as I said, I don't download/pirate/buy music so I'm not "thieving" anything. I was just pointing out why the music industry needs to change. Without piracy, there sales figures would just be dropping and they would have to drop their pricing/change the way they sell, as it is now, they see pirates much like you do and blame that for the lack of sales. It's a cop out, rediculous. The bigger thing at fault is an industry that can't see beyond the end of its nose and thinks it can maintain its business on distribution methods/pricing that have been around for decades. Get with the times
     
    Last edited: 19 Aug 2010
  17. ataraxis84

    ataraxis84 What's a Dremel?

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    But thats just not going to happen. If piracy was more difficult, then maybe people would do as you suggest, but things are too easy now.

    It irratates me that you see this as me justifying mass piracy, I'm not, not in the slightest. What I'm doing is justifying what I personally do, which only a fool could think is anything but good for the gaming industry, as they get MORE money as a result, and giving you the reasons why people have turned to mass piracy.

    I just have a much bigger problem with companies who can't see the bigger issues and use it as cop-out than I do with the people doing it.
     
  18. stuartpb

    stuartpb Modder

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    Agreed.
    .

    Ataraxis84, Some people who try to condone piracy have bast ard ised (profanity filter seems a bit tetchy here) the term "vote with your wallet". The term means if you don't like a product, or a company, then don't buy into it. It didn't mean go out and obtain illegal copies, and then decide whether to buy into it. It's a lame excuse for piracy, regardless of whether you do actually go on to buy the game or not. I also do not believe that the vast majority of people who pirate will go on to purchase the products they pirate, there may be some, in my opinion, but I would bet that this is a very small minority. I do agree research needs conducting to answer this very question, and sooner rather than later.

    I don't pirate games, I am able to form my opinions on each game I buy by using word of mouth, reviews, demos or even prior experience of similar titles (think sequels or series). How is it that you and many other people are unable to do so too? I suspect the answer is nothing more than because pirate copies are there, why not use them.
     
  19. stuartpb

    stuartpb Modder

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    That's just lame. So they commit copyright infringement, encourage people to download unlawfully, and then you expect us to give them a pat on the back for:
    So what about the many people who decide that they will play the game, but still grudge paying the asking price for it? Or how about those who don't like the game, but have still downloaded it. That's fine because the game was crap? Here we go again...........:wallbash:
     
  20. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead It's big, and it's clever.

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    Time restricted? SO you feel it's unfair that you can't use someone's product indefinitely? If you can't decide if you like something within 30 days or so, then you probably just don't like it.



    Many car manufacturers offer long term test dive deals. That fact is though, you can establish if you like a vehicle in much less time than that, and as for finding out about things that may be an issue long term, there are consumer groups, forums, customer satisfaction surveys.


    Using your technical knowledge to asses the game? Oh right... so all pirate games work 100% do they? They're all fully working, release versions.

    I'm sorry, but if you can't decide if you like a game within 30 days of using a demo, then may I suggest the game is not for you. Sure.. something may be missing or crippled in a demo, but for God sake, you can still work out whether you LIKE it or not.


    And of course, they are not doing that to try and mollify those seeking to disrupt their nice little sideline in pirating games.... and of course, everyone who is a recipient of these games will absolutely stand by this and do just that. LOL. I admire your faith in humanity.




    As opposed to how it is now you mean... with lots of piracy and buoyant sales? Where's the logic in that? You suggest that piracy HELPS sales? Why should it? It's not like you have to download illegal music to see if you like it or not, as you can:

    A) Hear it on the radio
    B) Preview it on iTunes or any other download site
    C) preview it, or stream it in it's entirety from most band's websites.


    Why would you need to illegally download the entire album from a torrent, carefully ripped and encoded as a FLAC file to see if you like it or not? (not that you do of course)

    Excuses excuses.


    Stop being a cheapskate. If you like it, buy it, if not don't, but stop using these excuses. I've managed to sample games and music legally, and found no problem in establishing whether I like the games or music, easily. Why can't you?

    If I have a problem with the price of a product... I won't buy it. Simple. However, what you are doing is "Wahhhh.... it's too expensive... but I want it!!!.... waaaaahhhhmbulance.... Well I'll just take it anyway" (purely for evaluation purposes of course).

    You may be fooling some people.. possibly even yourself, however, you do not fool me. If I was still a moderator on here I'd be considering banning your ass round about now for openly admitting that you procure, install, and use pirated material, despite whatever petty, self serving excuse you may furnish me with. In fact... I'd be mildly surprised if you AREN'T banned if you keep this up.
     
    Last edited: 19 Aug 2010

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