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Other Piracy

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

  1. joavery

    joavery Huh. So it CAN burn...

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    I'm still clouded on right vs wrong in regards to piracy, but here are three instances where I believe I am entirely and completely justified in getting a pirated copy.


    1. Aftermarket Piracy
    I bought a copy of Baldur's Gate 2 going on about 10 years ago. Fantastic game, played it to death. About a year and a half ago I wanted to play it again. I pull the CD from it's case, inspect the back, no scratches, CD isn't warped, no visual problems. For whatever reason though, no computer will read the CD set for this game. As I research later, CD/DVD's have an average shelf life of ten years, some shorter, some longer. Now I have already payed for the intellectual property of Baldur's Gate 2. I have no issues pirating a second copy so that I can merely play a game I have already paid for.

    Some may claim that a CD is like a piece of furniture, and it wears out, but furniture's and CD's have decidedly different purpose. A CD provides me access to IP. A couch *is* the IP itself.

    2. DRM
    I also bought a copy of Spore about 2 years ago. Interesting game, I enjoyed it, play it from time to time for an hour or so. Problem is, with how often I reinstall everything on my computer, I ran into a brick wall - Spore's voracious DRM policy, perhaps the most stringent in gaming history. It allows for a grand total of ONE install before EA disables it and requires a phone call, hour wait time with customer service, the whole nine yards. I have no regrets pirating software I paid for merely because the publisher feels that they should have control over my access to it. It would be as if a paper publisher came to me in the middle of my morning coffee asking me for my NY Times back because I'd read it once, and I'd have to call him if I wanted to read it again.

    3. Compatability Testing
    This happened to me with Aliens V Predators about 5 years ago. I look at the system recommendations, note that my computer is far above those recommendations, and purchase the game. Lo and behold, for whatever reason the game hates my video card and refuses to work. After much arguing with Game Stop, they let me return it for store credit. This taught me a valuable lesson though - Pirate first, buy later. I was considering purchasing Settler's 7 recently. Decided to pirate it first, after loading it up, I found out on the very first mission that though I was well over the minimum system requirements, the game stuttered so horrifically on my computer that it wasn't even playable. Now why would I drag myself out to buy it and find this out, only to have Game Stop either A: Say no to a return, or B: Merely give me store credit. By pirating the game first, I learned rather quickly not to waste my money.




    I agree that piracy with no intent to purchase is wrong. However, if game designers spent an iota of time developing functional demo's for their upcoming games, I can guarantee it would reduce a significant amount of piracy in people. They would be able to A: See if the game is good. B: See if it works on their systems. C: See if it piques their interests.

    Car manufacturer's do the same thing, they let you test drive.
    Game Stop let's you play console games in their store.
    Book writer's publish prologues in advance to give you a taste of their upcoming novel.
    TV producers provide trailers and teaser advertisements.
     
  2. Krazeh

    Krazeh Minimodder

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    Honestly I wouldn't count either of those as piracy. If you've purchased the game then as far as i'm concerned you're entitled to obtain another copy of it if your original one ceases to work or find a crack if overzealous DRM prevents you from playing it properly.
     
  3. Elledan

    Elledan What's a Dremel?

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    Customers have had to sacrifice many rights on the altar of 'copyright' to keep the big companies happy, including format shifting and backups. They have even invaded our PCs with literally malware resulting in hardware dying (CD-ROM drives), rootkits getting installed and requirements to install junk applications to play a CD on one's PC instead of allowing it to be treated like a regular audio CD (thus violating the red book standard).

    We customers are getting shafted at every point because the big companies have to 'fight piracy', even though it's only their customers who feel the pain and the actual people behind the copyright infringement either get a fun puzzle to solve, or have to wait a few days or weeks while the DRM gets stripped and they can obtain the superior product over the legal version.

    The sad thing is that downloading an ISO of a game one bought and which got damaged is also considered to be illegal in most countries if not all of them. The DMCA probably makes circumventing DRM and/or applying a patch illegal, even if that patch is the only way that game you bought is going to work on your system. Same if you got an audio CD and your lovely child decided to use it as a toy, rendering it unusable. You have no legal right to get a replacement copy, download a replacement or make a backup beforehand. Unless you live in countries where downloading music is legal, of course.

    So, before certain people here start whining some more about those poor content producers and filthy rich CEOs getting less money because of 'thieves', consider the awful state of customer rights, especially when it comes to software. I don't see any reason why we have to suffer because of some imaginary War Against Piracy.

    Sorry, just felt like ranting about this pet peeve of mine :lol:
     
  4. roland777

    roland777 What's a Dremel?

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    You've mentioned that you used to pirate games (frequently too [page 14]) - if you really see piracy as being theft, can I ask what steps you have taken to make amends for your past crimes? If I had stolen actual property from someone in the past, and had now seen the error of my ways, I would do everything in my power to undo what I had done. ie I would compensate them financially. The fact that it had happened a long time ago would make no difference.

    As well as paying financial compensation to the publishers concerned, should you not also hand yourself over to the law and demand punishment for your past misdeeds? (After all, by your own admission, you were no better than a thief)
     
  5. stuartpb

    stuartpb Modder

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    Apart from ensuring I don't pirate any software etc. now, there isn't alot I do to provide recompense. Even if I wanted to, I would find it hard, as my piracy days were back in the 8 and 16 bit era, and there are quite a lot of the old devs from that time who went south. Other than keeping on doing what I am doing, buying instead of pirating, there isn't a whole lot I could do. I think my conciense is clear enough, thanks for the concern though:thumb:

    I openly admitted that I pirated, because I wasn't trying to be a hypocrite, and give anyone else a label I wouldn't be prepared to wear myself. In a debate like this, I think that is important.
     
  6. roland777

    roland777 What's a Dremel?

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    What if I said to you that I spent a large part of my youth robbing people's houses, and that I make up for it by not doing it any more. Do you think I should remain unpunished and that my conscience should be clear?
     
  7. stuartpb

    stuartpb Modder

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    Not doing it anymore isn't making up for it. I never tried to claim that. As for my self imposed penance, what do you suggest I do, find the people who I sold all my 8 and 16 bit computers to, upto 20 years ago. I would then have to hope that the games collections were intact and as I had sold them, so that I can find out who I pirated games from, and what games were originals and which I had pirated. Because that's what it would take to do as you suggest. Fancy helping in this task? Not just unrealistic, but silly to ask of someone really. Would a prolific burglar remember every house they had robbed? Doubtful, very doubtful.

    I did get away with what I did way back then, but if I received a letter now asking for payment on the products I pirated, I would pay for my actions, if it was an amount I could afford. Obviously, I could be asked to pay more than I had, which would certainly put me in a sticky wicket. I broke the law, knew what I was doing, got away with it, have changed my ways and no longer pirate a single thing, this lets me sleep at night.

    Now if I had robbed houses, which is a much more serious offense than just common theft (the name is burglary, you should look it up), then I think I would be racked with guilt, even after the first occassion. If you had done it, I would call you a scag head, and likely stick one on you for being a dirty little house breaker:D
    ^^JOKING!!^^​
     
    Last edited: 20 Aug 2010
  8. phulshof

    phulshof What's a Dremel?

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    An interesting article I just ran into on the separation of use and payment.
     
  9. MSHunter

    MSHunter Minimodder

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    I think the best anit-theft I have come across is Steam Weekend Madness Sales.

    Al lot of pirated movies end up being bought and the users tend to pirate as a form of advertisement of said product. (most prominently in entertainment i.e. movies and music industry)

    The real "problem" with piracy is it forces the company to provide more value added content / experience to convince the public to buy instead of steal. It promotes the volume of sales model over high price low volume sales model. Just look at "app stores" for mobile phone products, all the 99p apps sell highest volume and make the most profit.

    On to losses:
    How can it be that there are said to be such high losses when sales figures keep breaking previous record highs? and I'm sorry but a lot of people will watch some thing bad thats free then pay 10 pounds to see if its any good in the first place. (enter file sharing as free advertisement)

    How do the artist that have there songs free to download still make millions? They have a "quality or popular product."

    The resent reduce in sales has more to do with the economic down turn then piracy.

    In the end piracy is illegal but the stigma attached is due to bad business models and the inflexibility of the companies managers.

    Using File-sharing as an excuse to monitor and track the internet is just promoting censorship and declaring that the population does not deserve Freedom of speech rights.

    Some governments already allow investigation into you computer through the internet without a search papers because no one enters your house!
     
  10. Elledan

    Elledan What's a Dremel?

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    It's called 'reality distortion field' combined with 'bribing relevant politicians' :)
     
  11. Altron

    Altron Minimodder

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    An interesting point.

    As much as the RIAA is a bunch of idiots, we're starting to see the music business take advantage of the internet, rather than just complaining about piracy.

    Look at iTunes and AmazonMP3.

    People who won't pay $18.99 for a 12-track CD would happily pay $0.99 for the hit single from it.

    AmazonMP3 doesn't even load it with DRM. For most people, the convenience of a very high speed download of a high recording quality (iirc they are like 320kbps MP3) is well worth the dollar or so it costs, rather than pirating some crappy 128kbps track that might be a virus.

    I can go on YouTube and spend hours listening to music completely free. Most artists are uploading their own videos to youtube, on their own 'channel'. That would be unheard of in the old days of Napster and Kazaa.

    We're definitely seeing a shift to high-volume, low-price media, and it's a beautiful thing.

    TV shows, too, are adapting very well to a changing market. I can go on any major network's website, and watch any of their shows for free online. I might have to sit through a 30 second ad once in awhile, but I don't care.

    Rather than trying to fight piracy with DRM, they beat piracy.

    I used to watch The Simpsons on some bootleg pirate website. Now, I can watch it on fox.com after sitting through one quick ad. I never have to deal with dead links, and the quality is always good, and the speed is good too.

    That brings me to an interesting piracy question, for TV shows.

    Is it 'possible', in a legal sense, to pirate something that was freely given? Fox broadcasts The Simpsons over the air. I can watch it completely free, legally, if I have a TV with an antenna.

    Now, if I go on bittorrent, and watch it there, is it piracy? If it was made available to me in one format, and I get a copy of it in another format, is that piracy?

    I don't think it is. I've said it before, I don't pirate software. I do download plenty of TV shows. But I don't call it piracy. I have a cable TV subscription. Every TV episode that I've acquired through pirate websites was at some point made available to me legally. If I torrent an episode that was available on my TV but I missed it because I wasn't home, is that piracy? If I had a TiVo or another type of video recorder, and recorded it to watch later, would that be piracy?

    I mean, obviously, if I was to sell the recordings, that would be piracy. But is it piracy if you torrent something that was made freely available to you?
     
  12. Elledan

    Elledan What's a Dremel?

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    I prefer to download most show's eps as well, so that I can download them where and when I want, without having to jump through the hoops of using a DVR or such. I do this for shows like Mythbusters and more recently Doing DaVinci (or DaVinci's Machines as it's called in the EU). Another advantage is that I can watch the show as it's first airing, instead of being a whole season behind as often happens with US shows being broadcast in the EU.

    TV really is the most inconvenient way to watch video, to be quite honest.
     
  13. Cabe6403

    Cabe6403 Supreme Commander

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    I'm quoting my previous post because I'd like to hear the opinions of people like Stuart and Pooky on the points I've raised and cited.
    It seems like when I posted it before a blind eye was turned while other posts are picked apart for little inaccuracies. Either I'm going to assume my post was just missed or that my logic is sound and no arguments could be found. (Probably not)
     
  14. Pookeyhead

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

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    It's still 10% of their revenue lost! You talk as if this is a drop in the ocean. If you were Tesco, and you were losing 10% of your revenue, that equates to £6500 a minute. 10% is a lot. If large companies report a drop in profit of 10%, their share prices go down the pan and everyone panics. Why are you dismissing 10% as insignificant?

    If I ran a company and I became aware that I could increase my profits by 10% I'd go to considerable lengths to secure such an increase. In times like these, that may well spell the difference between life and death for the organisation.

    You can quote statistics all you want, but you are presenting them from a very naive standpoint in terms of business strategy. All you've done in your post is highlight the problem. To the uninitiated, 10% sounds like a small loss.. but it's huge!
     
  15. Jumeira_Johnny

    Jumeira_Johnny 16032 - High plains drifter

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    Well put. 10% growth for any company is big, regardless of what size. 10% loss is huge.

    What I would like to know, is how many people in this discussion actually create content protected by copyright? Because, as someone who does, I can tell you it does cause losses in sales and income. No doubt about it, it's stealing.
     
    Last edited: 23 Aug 2010
  16. Cabe6403

    Cabe6403 Supreme Commander

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    I think it's more naive to state that because 10% of the customers are possible pirates then they are losing 10% of the sales. In actuality, it's more like 0.1%

    The important part is not the 10% potential sales but the fact that a studio with 90% piracy (or "potential sales", however you want to term it) found that only 1% of sales were actually lost due to piracy. If 90% piracy gives 1% loss in sales then with 10% piracy you'd be looking at 0.1% loss. Much less than 10%.

     
  17. Draksis

    Draksis What's a Dremel?

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    There's some food for thought: take your income (what ever the source - salary, pock money), take 10% off that, and see how you do then :thumb:
     
  18. Cabe6403

    Cabe6403 Supreme Commander

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    I never said that 10% of the money would be lost, it's more like 0.1%

    Take all your income and take off 0.1% and it's a much smaller loss than 10%.
    Now imagine you could get that 0.1% back but it'd cost you approximately 2% of your total money. Hardly worth it is it.

     
  19. roland777

    roland777 What's a Dremel?

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    You seem to be sugesting that, because piracy causes losses in sales and income, it is stealing. Does everything that would cause such losses count as stealing?
     
  20. Parge

    Parge the worst Super Moderator

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    Back in the day, I personally would have bought a lot more games if I couldn't have pirated them.

    Fact.
     

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