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Title: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: ForumBot 0.8 beta on April 03, 2008, 07:06:13 AM
Does it come down to trust?


Brad Wardell, founder of Stardock, had some interesting things to say about piracy in a post he made on his blog last week:

So even though Galactic Civilizations II sold 300,000 copies making 8 digits in revenue on a budget of less than $1 million, it’s still largely off the radar. I practically have to agree to mow editors lawns to get coverage. And you should see Jeff Green’s (Games for Windows) yard. I still can’t find my hedge trimmers.

Another game that has been off the radar until recently was Sins of a Solar Empire. With a small budget, it has already sold about 200,000 copies in the first month of release. It’s the highest rated PC game of 2008 and probably the best selling 2008 PC title. Neither of these titles have CD copy protection.


While I don’t see Sins as the best-selling PC title of 2008 (leave that to the upcoming World of Warcraft expansion, Spore, or The Sims 3 if it’s out in time), that’s not the interesting part. Brad goes on to say that the key to a successful PC title is to find a demographic that buys games, and then to build them a game.

(obviously, the rest after the jump)

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Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: IainC on April 03, 2008, 07:23:58 AM
He's right as far as he goes but it's not a solution. If studios suddenly stopped making the sort of AAA titles that top the torrents, do you think Johnny Pirate will go and find a new hobby or do you think he'll carry on pirating the new and different games that are being released? Likewise moving the problem to consoles isn't an option either, console titles are just as susceptible to piracy as PC games and if the focus of piracy moves to that market then it will quickly become as easy to casually pirate console titles as it currently is to pirate PC ones. Also what about those of us who like bling on our PCs and pay for games? Why do we get shafted because a bunch of mouthbreathers think it's cool to torrent everything.

Making better games isn't a solution either (although I'm all for studios making the effort). While your average pirate may say that they only steal games because they don't think they're good enough to pay for, I'd be prepared to put money on that being a hollow statement. if you're used to getting something for free and you buy into the whole 'stealing = awesome' meme that infects gaming culture then i doubt that you're suddenly going to have a road to Damascus moment if a bunch of super amazing games show up.

So yeah, make games for game buyers and let the big studios eat the piracy losses on the shiny titles, but it moves the problem rather than solves it.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Ratman_tf on April 03, 2008, 07:41:01 AM
One of my beefs is that priacy is easy to blame. Anyone can release a shitty game into a glutted market and them blame poor sales on priacy. Bleh. When you put your 3rd or 4th string team with a budget of tree-fitty on a "me too" title, you're going to do poorly. Stop blaming priacy for that.

And there will always be pirates. The danger (and one of the reasons I hardly ever pirate stuff) is that haxkiddie can slip all kinds of keyloggers and trojans into a .exe file as easily as he cracks a game. Making consumers aware of the dangers of piracy is one thing. (Blizzard did it right with their recent update on gold farmers in WoW. Not too far into the "gold farming is bad, mmmkay?" area, but enough into the concequences of sharing passwords.)

Last thought is that piracy paranoia can lead devs to do all kinds of stupid things that annoy the ever-living fuck out of legitimate consumers. If the copy protection is enough of a hassle, then it actually becomes less hassle to deal with a cracked version. "Cutting off your nose to spite your face." as it were.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: cmlancas on April 03, 2008, 07:47:09 AM
So yeah, make games for game buyers

I think this cannot be stressed enough. The article, and from what I've read of Stardock, illuminates to me how painfully obvious a concerted effort to fully research a "target audience" -- not just a "hopeful target audience" -- works.

It's as if there's an elephant in the room -- games are subject to the same laws of supply and demand as every other G+S in the world is -- and "piracy" is somehow being named as opposed to a carefully researched business plan.

Edit: "It’s [Piracy] only relevant how many people are likely to buy your game" and "the key to a high selling PC title is to develop a game that will play on the widest variety of hardware configurations...to support players beyond the traditional hard core frequent video card buying market." are gems that I think should be posted at every boardroom at every company producing PC games.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: trias_e on April 03, 2008, 08:18:21 AM
I know admitting to piracy is a big no-no, but I'll do it anyway.  I have pirated games with DRM simply because of their DRM, and games that I'm not sure I would like that didn't have demos.  If I did enjoy the game, I'd buy it.

I'm not sure if there's many people out there like myself, but I doubt I'm a totally unique snowflake.  I suppose I'm the type of gamer that buys stardock games  ; )  (sins is fun!).  And in that case, it is indeed a matter of trust.  And making demos.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: shiznitz on April 03, 2008, 08:29:13 AM
Demos are a good point. I imagine there is a good number of players who steal a game just to see what it is like. Having a free demo available would give these people the ability to sample without stealing.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: schild on April 03, 2008, 08:31:19 AM
Too bad most companies can't even make a good demo.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: cmlancas on April 03, 2008, 08:36:06 AM
Too bad most companies can't even make a good demo business decision about which audience to target.

Need to have one before the other.  :awesome_for_real:


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Nebu on April 03, 2008, 09:33:00 AM
I feel like you guys just don't get it.  Think of piracy as shoplifting.  It's not THE problem, it's a small part of the problem.  For example, Nearly $2 billion was lost to shoplifting and employee theft in 24 U.S. retail companies in 2003, according to the 16th Annual Retail Theft Survey.  Those costs have to be made up by additional sales and increased costs to paying customers.  The case in intellectual property theft is similar, but more nebulous as it's unsure how many software/music pirates would have otherwise purchased the material.  Still, piracy and attempts to prevent piracy add cost and drive up the price for those of us that don't pirate. 

Shoplifters never think that they're a part of the problem.  It's the same with piracy. 


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: naum on April 03, 2008, 09:35:34 AM
DRM hurts customers and those that should be the target of it are the ones who easily elude it.

It's a major contributor to why I don't buy as many games these days.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: schild on April 03, 2008, 09:47:31 AM
I don't feel like harping on the same points I've been harping on for like 4 years now, but here's my take:

Piracy doesn't hurt games, pirates wouldn't have spent the money anyway.

Money spent on DRM is better spent on better packaging or more promotion or on the game itself.

The only thing that tangibly hurts games is the allowed resale of games through huge chains like EB and Play N Trade. Used games do far greater damage than pirates could _ever_ do.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Nebu on April 03, 2008, 09:56:29 AM
While I agree completely with your second and third points, I find it difficult/impossible to support the first.  There's just no way to measure the validity of the first statement.  While piracy may (in some strange way) help better games through extended distribution and viral marketing, it likely has a detrimental effect on all other titles.  Of course this supports your early assertions that "lousy games won't sell anyway", but I'm trying to be objective here. 

I also agree that you make some valid points when it comes to music.  As a child, we used to tape record songs off of the radio because we couldn't afford to buy them on vinyl.  Now, I own all of that music on CD.  Did my piracy really hurt the sales of the music?  Probably not in the long run.  I guess it just seems more direct now that people can burn their own cd's from pirated material without any real need to ever purchase a higher quality copy.

The bottom line is that it's difficult to get an accurate assessment of the cause & effect going on here.   


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: schild on April 03, 2008, 09:59:58 AM
Well, I didn't mean it was something that could be measured. I'm just saying, if I made a game, I wouldn't care what pirates do. Their money is obviously no good in shops. Rubber checks and whatnot.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Ratman_tf on April 03, 2008, 10:05:45 AM
Another thing that bugs me is "One game per machine." What harm does it do the company if I install SuperDeluxeGame on 2 or 3 machines in my household? Diablo and Starcraft had the "spawn" options... whatever happened to that? Are companies so greedy that they can't think of making their consumers happy for 5 seconds out of the day?

Oh yeah, I can install games on multiple machines if I use a crack.  :awesome_for_real:


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: WayAbvPar on April 03, 2008, 10:15:18 AM
This thread title is making me hum a Billy Joel song. There will be hell to pay.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: schild on April 03, 2008, 10:18:01 AM
This thread title is making me hum a Billy Joel song. There will be hell to pay.

First you knock affliction and now you knock billy joel?

Hell to pay, sir. Hell to pay.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Nebu on April 03, 2008, 10:19:34 AM
He was being funny-like.  Sort of a "whistling is copyright infringement" pun or sumting.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Riggswolfe on April 03, 2008, 10:33:13 AM
There are only two times I pirate:

1) It's an old game and I can't find a used copy for a decent price. ($100 bucks for an old game that I only want for nostalgia?)
2) I buy the game then can't play it because the copy protection is so tight that it doesn't like my CD-rom drive or something.

I think alot of people do number 2 and I think it's part of what the Stardock guy is getting at.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: bhodi on April 03, 2008, 10:33:46 AM
And there will always be pirates. The danger (and one of the reasons I hardly ever pirate stuff) is that haxkiddie can slip all kinds of keyloggers and trojans into a .exe file as easily as he cracks a game. Making consumers aware of the dangers of piracy is one thing. (Blizzard did it right with their recent update on gold farmers in WoW. Not too far into the "gold farming is bad, mmmkay?" area, but enough into the concequences of sharing passwords.)
This doesn't happen. I have never heard of a keylogger or trojan in a game that is not almost immediately discovered upon release. That doesn't stop a lot of people trying to convince people it's about as safe as sleeping with a diseased hooker, just as the RIAA/MPAA is trying to convince people that if you download once you will get caught 100% of the time. It's all FYAD.

Sometimes you'll get programs like nero that will only burn coasters with bad reg keys, and there are always various programs that simply won't start with blacklisted keys, but that's pretty much it. Any group that releases anything shady is immediately blackballed.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Vinadil on April 03, 2008, 10:35:47 AM
I feel like you guys just don't get it.  Think of piracy as shoplifting.  It's not THE problem, it's a small part of the problem.  For example, Nearly $2 billion was lost to shoplifting and employee theft in 24 U.S. retail companies in 2003, according to the 16th Annual Retail Theft Survey.  Those costs have to be made up by additional sales and increased costs to paying customers.  The case in intellectual property theft is similar, but more nebulous as it's unsure how many software/music pirates would have otherwise purchased the material.  Still, piracy and attempts to prevent piracy add cost and drive up the price for those of us that don't pirate. 

Shoplifters never think that they're a part of the problem.  It's the same with piracy. 

The $2billion is a big number to throw out, it would be more interesting to know the split between Shoplifting and Employee theft.  I know when I worked at Best Buy (close to that time period actually) that the vast majority of their loss was from employees.  The only point here is that, again, it is easy to look at the "cheating customers" as the problem, when the problems might well lie in the organization itself.  The Stardock author also provides some insight into the "if there WERE no AAA games then people would steal little games like Sins" argument too.  Apparantly game development is their second-hand revenue generator; windows apps being their first.  And, they are in the AAA category there in a market that is also heavily pirated... and yet they still sell tons of units.  I suppose you could still make the nebulous argument that they might sell more units and for a cheaper price, but the Stardock guys seem completely satisfied with their profit margins and sales numbers; and those are likely the two things driving most of the complaints from other companies.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: WayAbvPar on April 03, 2008, 10:46:56 AM
This thread title is making me hum a Billy Joel song. There will be hell to pay.

First you knock affliction and now you knock billy joel?

Hell to pay, sir. Hell to pay.

Nothing against Billy, but that is one of my least favorite songs from him.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Ratman_tf on April 03, 2008, 10:51:09 AM
And there will always be pirates. The danger (and one of the reasons I hardly ever pirate stuff) is that haxkiddie can slip all kinds of keyloggers and trojans into a .exe file as easily as he cracks a game. Making consumers aware of the dangers of piracy is one thing. (Blizzard did it right with their recent update on gold farmers in WoW. Not too far into the "gold farming is bad, mmmkay?" area, but enough into the concequences of sharing passwords.)
This doesn't happen. I have never heard of a keylogger or trojan in a game that is not almost immediately discovered upon release. That doesn't stop a lot of people trying to convince people it's about as safe as sleeping with a diseased hooker, just as the RIAA/MPAA is trying to convince people that if you download once you will get caught 100% of the time. It's all FYAD.

Sometimes you'll get programs like nero that will only burn coasters with bad reg keys, and there are always various programs that simply won't start with blacklisted keys, but that's pretty much it.

Which brings up something a little off topic. The few times I have gotten a bad virus, it never actually seems to do anything, besides take my system down and require a reinstall of the OS. What the hell good does that do for someone to write a virus that just makes someone's  computer suck? LIke that's hard to do with Windows in the first place...

Anywho. Last time I had a virus was from a no-CD crack. So take that for what it's worth.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: cmlancas on April 03, 2008, 10:52:18 AM
You ever been to /b/? Or rather, anything on 4chan? Does it make sense? Does it have to make sense?


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: HaemishM on April 03, 2008, 11:16:05 AM
This part made me tangent:

Quote
While I agree that catering to a lower spec machine is one way of increasing sales, it’s not a requirement. Relatively demanding games such as Crysis breaking into the top 10 are not an anomaly.

But it isn't just about sales, of course. Crysis may make the top 10, but what was its budget in relation to Sins? If it costs 10 times to make, it absolutely has to sell 10 times as many copies before it starts making money. The high production values that come with a game like Crysis come at the price of profitability. It's the same reason developers are turning out crapware for the Wii as opposed to crapware for the 360 and PS3 - it's much easier to break even with fewer sales.

But his point is valid: anti-piracy measures aren't stopping PC games from getting pirated, and lack of DRM isn't stopping good games from selling profitably.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: WayAbvPar on April 03, 2008, 11:19:01 AM
Quote
But his point is valid: anti-piracy measures aren't stopping PC games from getting pirated, and lack of DRM isn't stopping good games from selling profitably.

I would argue that including DRM is stopping good games from being even more profitable. There are several games that I have written off as soon as I heard they had Stardock or other intrusive DRM software on them. I won't buy them, and I am damned sure I am not alone.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: HaemishM on April 03, 2008, 11:19:39 AM
The case in intellectual property theft is similar, but more nebulous as it's unsure how many software/music pirates would have otherwise purchased the material. 

I can tell you the answer to that quandry. NONE. People who pirate games cannot and should not ever be considered a lost sale because if they took the trouble to pirate the game, they weren't planning on buying it.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: veredus on April 03, 2008, 12:07:09 PM
The case in intellectual property theft is similar, but more nebulous as it's unsure how many software/music pirates would have otherwise purchased the material. 

I can tell you the answer to that quandry. NONE. People who pirate games cannot and should not ever be considered a lost sale because if they took the trouble to pirate the game, they weren't planning on buying it.

There's too many reasons that people pirate, I don't think you can say none would be lost sales. I bet it's pretty safe to say most were never going to buy it.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: sinij on April 03, 2008, 12:19:19 PM
. If the copy protection is enough of a hassle, then it actually becomes less hassle to deal with a cracked version.

I buy *all* my games, every single game I played for more than a day I own. I go out of my way to pick a copy of something that I think innovative, has good ideas or moves industry into right direction. I see it as investing into my gaming future. Now DRM pisses me to the extreme, I actually avoided titles I would normally buy&play due to over-restrictive DRM making it inconvenient. I didn't bother to pirate it ether, but I see how many people would do just that and I would not blame them for doing so.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Nebu on April 03, 2008, 12:41:09 PM
I can tell you the answer to that quandry. NONE.

I realize that you're citing this with regard to games, but I was referring to intellectual property in general in my quote.  I don't think that the answer is a clear as you make it out to be.  There's no good metric for determining this as both sides of the debate massage their numbers in an attempt to prove their point (i.e. the music industry in a post-napster world).  I did come across THIS REPORT (http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/media/files/wp2005.pdf) in my travels.  While it didn't have much to directly add to the topic, it did teach me a bit about how they approach litigation in the digital age.  I'm sure it's outdated information by now, but still found it educational.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Ratman_tf on April 03, 2008, 01:44:11 PM
You ever been to /b/? Or rather, anything on 4chan? Does it make sense? Does it have to make sense?

Just the question that runs through my head while I'm waiting for Windows to reinstall, and mourning the porn that I forgot to back up.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: HaemishM on April 03, 2008, 01:50:19 PM
I can tell you the answer to that quandry. NONE.

I realize that you're citing this with regard to games, but I was referring to intellectual property in general in my quote. 

No, I was pretty much applying that to ALL intellectual property.

Quote
I don't think that the answer is a clear as you make it out to be.  There's no good metric for determining this as both sides of the debate massage their numbers in an attempt to prove their point

Exactly. None is just as much of an exaggeration and a falsehood as $2 billion in lost sales. You didn't lose the sale, you never had the sale, and chances are it might never be a  sale because someone made the conscious choice to pirate it rather than buy it.

If someone is going to pirate my novel, they aren't a customer. They may turn into a customer by pirating my work or they may not. By not treating this pirate as the scum of the earth and the cause of my shitty sales, I might make him into a customer. I'll never do that if I blame him for lost sales that never existed.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Nebu on April 03, 2008, 01:55:03 PM
I see where you're going.  Thanks for the clarification.  My example of shoplifting is a poor one as there is no tangible good being stolen.  There is no inventory loss when it comes to digital piracy, thus there's a lot greater difficulty in attributing value in loss as well as accountability. 

I do believe that there exist some population of consumers that are on the fence.  By this I mean that they would buy the product were it more difficult to procure via free means.  Of course this then becomes a cost - benefit analysis between protection of goods versus potential lost sales.  What a mess.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Tannhauser on April 03, 2008, 04:50:43 PM
No one's pirating Sins because it blows.

I don't torrent anything.  Because
1. I can't be bothered fooling with it. 
2. I like to pay for my games and videos.  Call me a chump but I vote with my wallet.  That money is saying "Hey, thanks for putting out something I am interested in." 
3.  It's wrong.

Pirates will always be here unfortunately.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Strazos on April 03, 2008, 04:55:20 PM
Yep, there are definitely games I will not buy because of something like Starforce on it.

Hell, there's been a game I've been eying for about a year now at GS...but I won't buy it due to Starforce. Sucks.

And yeah, I pirated music as a kid. I had no money, so I wasn't going to buy it anyway. I think there's a lot of merit to the thought that most pirates are not actually lost sales.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: trias_e on April 03, 2008, 04:56:22 PM
Quote
2. I like to pay for my games and videos.  Call me a chump but I vote with my wallet.  That money is saying "Hey, thanks for putting out something I am interested in."

This is exactly why I torrent.  Or play a friend's copy first.  For instance, I'm so glad by friend bought Black and White first for obvious reasons.  That way I got to find out the game wasn't very good and thus adjust my spending towards better games.  Every EA sports game is also on my no-buy must-torrent list, because most of them suck and even if they happen to be good they sell enough of them regardless.  If 2k sports started making games for the PC, I'd be buying them in a heartbeat.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Calantus on April 03, 2008, 05:07:56 PM
I mostly pirate based on availability personally. I've never pirated a game that's available for download online, but if I can't get your game online and the shop doesn't have it right when I want it utorrent is going to get busy.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: cmlancas on April 03, 2008, 05:10:32 PM
I don't mean to rain on your "pirating is okay sometimes" party, but you're either a pirate or you aren't.

It's intellectual property theft. Sorry if we're still stewing over SOE or EA or Insert_Random_Dev_Group_Here, but it's still stealing.

Just thought I'd point that out before we go any further in this thread.  :uhrr:


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: schild on April 03, 2008, 05:16:22 PM
Everyone knows that. But that doesn't mean it's actually costing money. Theft can be for $0.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: cmlancas on April 03, 2008, 05:19:39 PM
Am I stealing your oxygen again? :P

Really? I'm not sure how you can thieve something without value -- maybe not straight Value->$$, but everything is worth something. Care to qualify that statement a little bit before we go further?  :drill:


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: schild on April 03, 2008, 05:22:02 PM
Actually, I don't need to qualify it. That's the beautiful thing. If devs asked themselves why people pirate rather than focusing or even thinking about the supposed value at all, they'd have more time to make the fucking game better so people want to buy it instead of acquiring it from wherever.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: IainC on April 03, 2008, 05:39:34 PM
Actually, I don't need to qualify it. That's the beautiful thing. If devs asked themselves why people pirate rather than focusing or even thinking about the supposed value at all, they'd have more time to make the fucking game better so people want to buy it instead of acquiring it from wherever.
Do you really, honestly think that people who have become accustomed to getting their games for free are suddenly going to reach for their wallets because there's a great game they really want to play rather than a 'meh' game they really want to play? We've all seen the guys who'll drop a monkey each on a brace of video cards for a PC that cost 3 grand and could run mission control at NASA but still whinge that $40 for a PC game is outrageous. Those people will never pay for a game. Ever. And they are probably a majority amongst the people with super pimped rigs specifically for gaming on.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Fabricated on April 03, 2008, 05:40:50 PM
I never pirate PC titles since it's generally a hassle and I'm one of those people who patch everything because I enjoy performance increases and bug fixes. I have no problem with securom but this malware stuff has made me stop buying all but the biggest PC releases. I have a copy of Brothers in Arms I've never played since it had Starforce and refused to install or run at all on any PC I tried it in. I've never touched the game in any other form.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: veredus on April 03, 2008, 06:15:54 PM
Actually, I don't need to qualify it. That's the beautiful thing. If devs asked themselves why people pirate rather than focusing or even thinking about the supposed value at all, they'd have more time to make the fucking game better so people want to buy it instead of acquiring it from wherever.
Do you really, honestly think that people who have become accustomed to getting their games for free are suddenly going to reach for their wallets because there's a great game they really want to play rather than a 'meh' game they really want to play? We've all seen the guys who'll drop a monkey each on a brace of video cards for a PC that cost 3 grand and could run mission control at NASA but still whinge that $40 for a PC game is outrageous. Those people will never pay for a game. Ever. And they are probably a majority amongst the people with super pimped rigs specifically for gaming on.

That also kind of reinforces the idea that pirated versions are not lost sales. So yes if that time and $ went to making the game better instead of into DRM, going off of the above assumption you would get more sales. You wouldn't grab the pirates but you could possibly pick up some extra folks that do pay for games.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Calantus on April 03, 2008, 06:57:59 PM
I just think it's funny that some companies will go out of their way to make it harder to get their game for pirates but not go out of their way to make it available online for legitimate customers. It's especially amusing/annoying when it comes to games that SHOULD be abondonware because you can't get them anywhere but the company will threaten to sue if an abandonware site lists it.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Xerapis on April 03, 2008, 07:10:46 PM
Hi, my name is Xerapis, and I'm a pirate.

Here's why.  I'm living in South Korea.  I can't find the games in English in the stores, digital download hates Asian IPs, and distributors won't ship to Asia.

I've tried to give my money to the game companies, but they just keep rejecting it.

So I get the game for free much more easily.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: cmlancas on April 03, 2008, 07:58:36 PM
I tip my hat to you sir. You are the best and finest pirate EVAR!

 :thumbs_up:


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Ratman_tf on April 03, 2008, 08:36:43 PM
I"m going to stop soapboxing about my own beefs, and address the question posed by the article.

If you aim your game at the highest end of hardware, you are intenionally limiting your audience. This is self evident in all the people playing lower end games compared to higher end games.

The kinds of people with the knowledge of hardware to own those high end rigs are also very likely to be the ones with knowledge about how to successfully pirate a game. Stands to reason. They spend their time on web sites about games and gaming hardware. They pursue that kind of knowledge.

There are going to be a certain number of people who pirate for other reasons. To try before they buy, or maybe they're the poor type who can scrape together a couple grand when tax returns come in, and splurge on a decent gaming computer, but have lean times when they're going to priate a game here and there.

So yeah. I do think that 1. Limiting your audience by hardware and 2. targeting the audience with the knowledge to easily pirate is going to see a game that is heavily pirated.

Piracy is not lost sales. Piracy is a seperate issue from sales. And the people that tend to face the most aggrivation from anti-piracy measures are the people who do not pirate games.

Therefore, it's irrelevant if those pirates are targeting Crysis or MahJohng, those sales would still have been made, and those pirated copies would still have been pirated.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: UnSub on April 03, 2008, 10:31:50 PM
One minor side issue (which I might be wrong about) is that Stardock does have DRM process in place - the patches come through a launcher which checks the license. You can play SinsSE unpatched if you want, but the latest version requires a bought copy. Or so I understand.

I really see it as a semantics issue to say that piracy isn't a lost sale. It's assuming that the product only has value when sold, but that line of thinking could easily be stretched into any kind of theft, tangible or intangible (e.g. I was never going to BUY this Ferrari, so taking it is okay too!). It's lost revenue. Sure, there are your hardcore pirates out there who won't pay for anything, but then there are the less hardcore / beginner pirates who could be swayed into actually paying for the product. DRM means that more people who want the game will have to buy it, which sees money returned to the developer.

It's also all well and good to pretend that if games were better quality, then people would pay for them, but it's a junk argument. As the article indicates, the newest, most expensive titles are also the ones that get torrented the most. Regardless of the reviews, the better known games are more pirated because more people are aware of them. Now, some of those games should be fun, even if based on distribution of probabilities. It's pretty unlikely that a large group of pirates think, "Boy, I've just had a great time playing that game - now that I've completed it and will never play it again, I'm off to buy it from EB!".

One of the few studies I've seen that looks the impact of piracy and what is behind it is this one using the German movie industry (http://www.marketingpower.com/content1865006.php). It puts the determinants of online piracy as the degree of substitution between original and illegal copy, the utility of the original as perceived by the consumer, the costs of the illegal copy as perceived by the consumer, the specific utility of the illegal copy as perceived by the consumer, and consumer knowledge about file sharing. Although they recognise some of the weaknesses in their methodology, they've tried to be unbiased about it and look at things from the academic viewpoint. A big issue is that as broadband becomes a lot faster / more available worldwide, more people are going to have access to pirated games and the number of pirated copies is going to increase. Between that and credit card fraud, it can't be attractive from a company perspective to go into computer game development.

But I'm sure we've done this dance before.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: sinij on April 04, 2008, 12:24:45 AM
It's intellectual property theft.

It isn't theft nor is it property.

Lets say you came up with a device that can copy objects on molecular level. First thing you do, you go and make a copy of your neighbor's Porsche. Did your neighbor lost any property? Was there any property stolen? Are you now driving stolen Porsche?


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: sinij on April 04, 2008, 12:38:27 AM
DRM means that more people who want the game will have to buy it, which sees money returned to the developer.

You assume that unbreakable DRM can exist.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: driph on April 04, 2008, 03:36:10 AM
Demos are a good point. I imagine there is a good number of players who steal a game just to see what it is like. Having a free demo available would give these people the ability to sample without stealing.

That sounds like it should be true, and I agree with you. However, I'd love to see piracy comparisons between titles with solid and freely available demos and those are demoless. Would there be that much of a noticeable difference?

I just think it's funny that some companies will go out of their way to make it harder to get their game for pirates but not go out of their way to make it available online for legitimate customers.

Exactly. Why all the focus on making it harder for pirates to get your game, when instead we should be concentrating on making it easier for the potential buyers to get ahold of it. And we should go farther... instead of focusing on DRM and other anti-piracy measures, and in addition to simply making a game you can proudly stand behind (not always easy!), why not do more for the players that do buy your game? Build a relationship with 'em, show them that you really value them (and their dollars). This is the part I feel companies like Stardock (and Valve, and Bungie, and Behemoth, etc) excel at.






Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: WayAbvPar on April 04, 2008, 10:09:34 AM
Quote from: trias_e
Every EA sports game is also on my no-buy must-torrent list, because most of them suck and even if they happen to be good they sell enough of them regardless.

Give me a fucking break. I hate EA as much as anyone (save maybe Haemish), but I haven't unilaterally decided that my hatred gives me the right to pirate their games. You are either deluded or trying to justify something you know is wrong.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Ratman_tf on April 04, 2008, 10:30:31 AM
Exactly. Why all the focus on making it harder for pirates to get your game, when instead we should be concentrating on making it easier for the potential buyers to get ahold of it. And we should go farther... instead of focusing on DRM and other anti-piracy measures, and in addition to simply making a game you can proudly stand behind (not always easy!), why not do more for the players that do buy your game? Build a relationship with 'em, show them that you really value them (and their dollars). This is the part I feel companies like Stardock (and Valve, and Bungie, and Behemoth, etc) excel at.

Compare to Flagship Studios and Hellgate London. They had a dollar amount, and then tried to shoehorn a reason for paying it. There's some kind of disconnect between providing value and justifying expense (a subscription) that just didn't get made there.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: WayAbvPar on April 04, 2008, 10:46:02 AM
Quote
Compare to Flagship Studios and Hellgate London. They had a dollar amount, and then tried to shoehorn a reason for paying it. There's some kind of disconnect between providing value and justifying expense (a subscription) that just didn't get made there.


Speaking of overshooting your mark-

4th Edition of D&D will carry a $14.95 monthly fee for online services. (http://www.usatoday.com/tech/gaming/2008-04-01-dungeons-dragons_N.htm)

I can see $14.95 a YEAR, but there is no way a 5 man group is going to pay $75 a month to play D&D together online. That is just insane.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: NiX on April 04, 2008, 10:52:47 AM
I think for fair comparison you should of also counted the amount of seeders. They directly affect how many leechers are on the tracker at any given time. If the ratio is 1:5 the amount of leechers just piles up. There's never enough dedicated seeders to outweigh the amount of people that end up lining up in the leech queue. Of course this obviously points out that I download games and know from experience. I buy what's good and have gone to great lengths to get some of them (TLJ took me 3 weeks and having a manager ship it from Alberta to get it.)


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: IainC on April 04, 2008, 11:30:00 AM
Assume that it was possible to produce a game with uncrackable copy protection such that if you wanted to play this game, then you absolutely had to have a legitimately bought copy for each and every installation. Yeah I know that can't happen but for this thought experiment assume that it can. Further, assume that the game is at least as good as most AAA titles and has the usual amount of pre-release lube added by the gaming press/industry marketing juggernauts.

Now, do you think that sales for that game would be higher than they would be if it was available on torrents across the world? This isn't supposed to be a leading question, I'm asking if you think that people who normally pirate their games would buy a game if there were no way to pirate it. If you answered 'yes', do you still hold that piracy does not affect sales?


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Furiously on April 04, 2008, 11:32:34 AM
Assume that it was possible to produce a game with uncrackable copy protection such that if you wanted to play this game, then you absolutely had to have a legitimately bought copy for each and every installation. Yeah I know that can't happen but for this thought experiment assume that it can. Further, assume that the game is at least as good as most AAA titles and has the usual amount of pre-release lube added by the gaming press/industry marketing juggernauts.

Now, do you think that sales for that game would be higher than they would be if it was available on torrents across the world? This isn't supposed to be a leading question, I'm asking if you think that people who normally pirate their games would buy a game if there were no way to pirate it. If you answered 'yes', do you still hold that piracy does not affect sales?

I have one answer...World of Warcraft.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: schild on April 04, 2008, 12:20:28 PM
Ah, but you forgot one thing:

MMOGs aren't games.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: cmlancas on April 04, 2008, 12:44:14 PM
Lets say you came up with a device that can copy objects on molecular level. First thing you do, you go and make a copy of your neighbor's Porsche. Did your neighbor lost any property? Was there any property stolen? Are you now driving stolen Porsche?

Before you troll me, at least engage your brain. Theft occurs because you've copied a protected idea (the patented Porsche) and not paid a dime on it. Same logic applies to computer games.

I'm not going to lie, Sinij. This post was by far marked with the most dumbfuckery I've ever read.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: schild on April 04, 2008, 12:46:45 PM
Ok, both of you aren't getting it.

We're not arguing over what is and isn't theft. We're arguing over the dollar amount being important.

Because it isn't. If you assume pirates aren't going to pay for the game in the first place, you quickly start realizing that your game just needs to be worth paying for. By everyone.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: veredus on April 04, 2008, 12:54:07 PM
Assume that it was possible to produce a game with uncrackable copy protection such that if you wanted to play this game, then you absolutely had to have a legitimately bought copy for each and every installation. Yeah I know that can't happen but for this thought experiment assume that it can. Further, assume that the game is at least as good as most AAA titles and has the usual amount of pre-release lube added by the gaming press/industry marketing juggernauts.

Now, do you think that sales for that game would be higher than they would be if it was available on torrents across the world? This isn't supposed to be a leading question, I'm asking if you think that people who normally pirate their games would buy a game if there were no way to pirate it. If you answered 'yes', do you still hold that piracy does not affect sales?

Yes I think the sales would be higher. I don't think it would be that big of an increase though and the $ spent on DRM could probably be spent on advertising and see a bigger increase from that. To me it seems that most people that pirate are either never going to buy, don't have the $ to buy, or already buy the must haves anyway.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: trias_e on April 04, 2008, 01:13:51 PM
Quote
Give me a fucking break. I hate EA as much as anyone (save maybe Haemish), but I haven't unilaterally decided that my hatred gives me the right to pirate their games. You are either deluded or trying to justify something you know is wrong.

morality?  whats that?

 :awesome_for_real:

But for real, I totally disagree with you.  I suppose that puts me in the deluded camp.  I mean, I think (generally speaking) supporting EA's business practices by paying for their games is a bigger sin than pirating, so I've gotta be fucking stupid right?

Although, I'll be honest, if EA made a really excellent game I'd be forced to buy it just to support great games being made, but I'd still be fucking torn!


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: HaemishM on April 04, 2008, 02:45:57 PM
Look, grabbing shit for free online that someone else is supposed to be making money on is a kind of theft, and it is wrong. Let's not mince words about that. Is it the kind of wrong that the RIAA and MPAA and other shitheel bodies want to make it out to be? No, certainly not, but for the struggling musician, writer, game developer, taking the product without paying isn't stealing money from them so much is it's just not paying them. They can neither count that unit as revenue or lost revenue because it's neither. Measuring that neither is impossible and fruitless.

It's fruitless because if you try to measure how much money you lose from someone experiencing your product without paying, you are already entering into a customer relationship on a hostile note. You are saying "You may have liked my stuff, but you're a dirty thief and I want to see how much money you've stolen from me." That's a negative customer interaction, and marketing people with their heads NOT up their asses recognize that this will create future barriers to purchase.

You want to reach the pirate? Don't treat him like a criminal, treat him like ANY OTHER POTENTIAL SALE. Treat "pirating" as "guerilla marketing" and make sure the product he gets is great. Even if HE doesn't buy, he will tell someone else and his sentence won't begin with "those cockscuckers."


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Furiously on April 04, 2008, 03:00:55 PM
Is there something that ties your xbox live to a particular copy of a game? Or a Key?


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: driph on April 04, 2008, 03:14:24 PM
Is there something that ties your xbox live to a particular copy of a game? Or a Key?

Generally, only in the case of downloadable titles. Those are then tied to both your particular Xbox 360 as well as your gamertag. After purchase, anyone can play the game on that Xbox 360. Additionally, it can be played on any other Xbox 360 under limited conditions... only when your account is brought over as well and signed into Xbox Live.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: bhodi on April 04, 2008, 03:47:53 PM
In other words, extremely onerous and one of the main reasons why I have never bought anything from xbox live. Especially once I heard that if the hard drive goes bad, you can't transfer that game to the new one, you get to live with those "limited conditions" for the life of the game.

Treat me like a criminal, and I'll act like one.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Furiously on April 04, 2008, 05:35:46 PM
It just seems to me the industry is finally going in the direction of a key per game with some sort of "live/online" portion that keeps people legit.

Because in security, it's something you know and something you have. (A keycard and a pin number for example). So going to a game key being tied to a user account seems like a smart thing to do. Once you get 2 keys with different accounts, you see if it is a family member and let it slide until 5 people are using the key and then send a notice that "hey, something seems off to our auditing software, can you explain?" If 100 people are using it. It's probably safe to revoke it, then get the angry letter from the fraternity.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: NiX on April 04, 2008, 06:29:16 PM
You want to reach the pirate? Don't treat him like a criminal, treat him like ANY OTHER POTENTIAL SALE. Treat "pirating" as "guerilla marketing" and make sure the product he gets is great. Even if HE doesn't buy, he will tell someone else and his sentence won't begin with "those cockscuckers."
Bingo. I've downloaded games where I couldn't afford to buy it, but when I told a friend how good it was they've gone out and bought it based on that. Call me a thief or criminal, I really don't care. It doesn't change what I've done or what I will do. Sometimes I can't afford it and sometimes I just think $60 is a bit much for what they've made. I'll wait until the game goes down in a price and then buy it. Some people have disposable incomes and some of us just won't be there for a long fucking time.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Ratman_tf on April 04, 2008, 07:34:53 PM
Assume that it was possible to produce a game with uncrackable copy protection such that if you wanted to play this game, then you absolutely had to have a legitimately bought copy for each and every installation. Yeah I know that can't happen but for this thought experiment assume that it can. Further, assume that the game is at least as good as most AAA titles and has the usual amount of pre-release lube added by the gaming press/industry marketing juggernauts.

Now, do you think that sales for that game would be higher than they would be if it was available on torrents across the world? This isn't supposed to be a leading question, I'm asking if you think that people who normally pirate their games would buy a game if there were no way to pirate it. If you answered 'yes', do you still hold that piracy does not affect sales?

Yes, but not to a noticable extent. I think they will go pirate other titles.
There are other factors you left out too, like what is the game's system requirements and target audience?

Oh, and if you can write uncrackable copy protection, WTF are you doing making goddamn video games? The government will probably give you a bajillion dollars to go work in the NSA.  :drill:


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: tkinnun0 on April 05, 2008, 03:30:24 PM
Before you troll me, at least engage your brain. Theft occurs because you've copied a protected idea (the patented Porsche) and not paid a dime on it. Same logic applies to computer games.

Oh for the love of...

1) Suppose there's a way to create a molecular copy of something.
2) Suppose you have a garage, which to the outside world appears as a Schrödinger's Box.
3) Suppose you may or may have not copied your neighbor's Porsche in your garage.

Has a theft occurred?

The answer is that there is no answer until someone else peeks in the garage. Schrödinger's Box means that the only way to determine if a theft has occurred is to peek in to determine if a theft has occurred. Circular logic.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Azazel on April 05, 2008, 09:26:55 PM
Yep, there are definitely games I will not buy because of something like Starforce on it.

Hell, there's been a game I've been eying for about a year now at GS...but I won't buy it due to Starforce. Sucks.

At risk of repeating myself, as I've said essentially the same thing in many threads, but back when I was younger and broke I used to pirate heaps and heaps of stuff. Never got around to installing, let alone playing it, but hey.

Now I am older and bitterer, but no longer broke, I buy a ton of stuff. I still never get around to installing or playing much of it, and I have bought a lot of the stuff I had previously pirated and enjoyed. Pretty much for the reason of "feeling good".

However, anything with Starforce is on my no-buy list. Fuck that noise.




 


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Wasted on April 06, 2008, 04:25:07 AM
Quote
Do 4X players pirate games less than RTS players, who in turn pirate games less than FPS players?

One type of game provides many hundreds of hours of gameplay whilst another is lucky to provide ten, and they both cost the same amount of money. Moral debate on piracy aside it isn't a surprise to see why 4x fans are more willing to pay for games in their genre.   


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: UnSub on April 06, 2008, 09:21:31 PM
Before you troll me, at least engage your brain. Theft occurs because you've copied a protected idea (the patented Porsche) and not paid a dime on it. Same logic applies to computer games.

Oh for the love of...

1) Suppose there's a way to create a molecular copy of something.
2) Suppose you have a garage, which to the outside world appears as a Schrödinger's Box.
3) Suppose you may or may have not copied your neighbor's Porsche in your garage.

Has a theft occurred?

The answer is that there is no answer until someone else peeks in the garage. Schrödinger's Box means that the only way to determine if a theft has occurred is to peek in to determine if a theft has occurred. Circular logic.

I reserve the right to reconsider what is and isn't piracy when magic super-advanced science gets to this point.

Until then, using quantum physics arguments to justify piracy just screams smokescreen.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: UnSub on April 06, 2008, 09:23:22 PM
You want to reach the pirate? Don't treat him like a criminal, treat him like ANY OTHER POTENTIAL SALE. Treat "pirating" as "guerilla marketing" and make sure the product he gets is great. Even if HE doesn't buy, he will tell someone else and his sentence won't begin with "those cockscuckers."

I'm always a big fan of carrot and stick approaches. DRM is still needed, but you should be trying to convert those who might have pirated your application into paying customers, perhaps through extra patches that only work on legit copies.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Samwise on April 06, 2008, 09:46:12 PM
I reserve the right to reconsider what is and isn't piracy when magic super-advanced science gets to this point.

Here's a real-world scenario that I think accomplishes the same goal: I go to the bookstore and take a book off the shelf that I have no intention of paying for.  After a few seconds I return it to the shelf and leave the store, returning the store, shelf, and book to the state they'd be in if I'd never been there.  Have I stolen anything?


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Nebu on April 07, 2008, 02:20:57 AM
Here's a real-world scenario that I think accomplishes the same goal: I go to the bookstore and take a book off the shelf that I have no intention of paying for.  After a few seconds I return it to the shelf and leave the store, returning the store, shelf, and book to the state they'd be in if I'd never been there.  Have I stolen anything?

Are you comparing your memory to a hard drive or a CD?  Similarly we can open a discussion on plagiarism.   


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Riggswolfe on April 07, 2008, 08:51:35 AM
I reserve the right to reconsider what is and isn't piracy when magic super-advanced science gets to this point.

Here's a real-world scenario that I think accomplishes the same goal: I go to the bookstore and take a book off the shelf that I have no intention of paying for.  After a few seconds I return it to the shelf and leave the store, returning the store, shelf, and book to the state they'd be in if I'd never been there.  Have I stolen anything?

This isn't a good comparison. Here's one that works better.

You go to a bookstore, take a book off of the shelf, photocopy the entire thing then return it to the shelf and leave with your photocopy which you then begin passing out to interested people. Have you stolen anything?


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: naum on April 07, 2008, 12:03:53 PM
I reserve the right to reconsider what is and isn't piracy when magic super-advanced science gets to this point.

Here's a real-world scenario that I think accomplishes the same goal: I go to the bookstore and take a book off the shelf that I have no intention of paying for.  After a few seconds I return it to the shelf and leave the store, returning the store, shelf, and book to the state they'd be in if I'd never been there.  Have I stolen anything?

This isn't a good comparison. Here's one that works better.

You go to a bookstore, take a book off of the shelf, photocopy the entire thing then return it to the shelf and leave with your photocopy which you then begin passing out to interested people. Have you stolen anything?

No, that's not a fair comparison.

Bits are just bits.

To photocopy an entire book, requires resource expenditure of equal or greater value than the existing book — cost in toner, paper (at cost greater than the book itself in most instances)…

And even at $.25 a page, would not be feasible to undertake…

But bits can be copied freely, at minimal cost (the cost of a data connection, of which capacity is mostly, not utilized to full capacity).


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Samwise on April 07, 2008, 12:22:32 PM
I take it everyone's answer to the previous question was "no".

Suppose I download a copyrighted MP3.  I then delete it from my hard drive immediately, zero the bits, everything.  I don't even listen to it first.  But I do not buy the copyrighted work.  Am I a pirate?


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Ratman_tf on April 07, 2008, 12:36:41 PM
Jesus guys, start cussing each other out or something. This thread's gone to the corner of Pedantic Ave, and Analogy Way.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Samwise on April 07, 2008, 01:26:24 PM
We originally had a nice funny analogy that used quantum physics, but that wasn't serious enough or something.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Yegolev on April 07, 2008, 01:43:14 PM
Look here, fuckers: piracy is wrong. Even if the game devs are drooling morons, they at least prodiuced a game. Vote with your dollars. Bittorrent isn't a vote.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: naum on April 07, 2008, 03:51:37 PM
Barlow: Mayor Quimby, you're well-known, sir, for your lenient stance on crime.  But suppose for a second that your house was ransacked by thugs, your family tied up in the basement with socks in their mouths, you try to open the door but there's too much blood on the knob…

Quimby: What is your question?

Barlow: My question is about the budget, sir.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: UnSub on April 07, 2008, 07:34:33 PM
I take it everyone's answer to the previous question was "no".

Suppose I download a copyrighted MP3.  I then delete it from my hard drive immediately, zero the bits, everything.  I don't even listen to it first.  But I do not buy the copyrighted work.  Am I a pirate?

No, because you didn't listen to it.

If you'd listened to the song, enjoyed it, maybe even danced around a little, then you would have been a pirate. Fun and piracy go hand in hand.

At this point in time, I'm wondering how many analogies this thread can torture to death.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Samwise on April 07, 2008, 07:40:01 PM
I take it everyone's answer to the previous question was "no".

Suppose I download a copyrighted MP3.  I then delete it from my hard drive immediately, zero the bits, everything.  I don't even listen to it first.  But I do not buy the copyrighted work.  Am I a pirate?

No, because you didn't listen to it.

If you'd listened to the song, enjoyed it, maybe even danced around a little, then you would have been a pirate. Fun and piracy go hand in hand.

Stupid as it sounds that enjoyment/use of the copyrighted work without paying for it is the thing that's "wrong", doesn't that seem like a more defensible position than the argument that simply transferring the bits constitutes theft?

Of course, once you go there, why is it legal for me to go over to a friend's house and dance around to his copy of the CD?  I didn't pay for that privilege either.

The thing I find interesting/troubling about the piracy issue is that most people agree that piracy is in theory a bad thing but nobody seems able to define it in a way that is non-ludicrous,  doesn't boil down to "I know it when I see it," and still covers any significant portion of what we consider "piracy" in this country.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Ratman_tf on April 07, 2008, 08:43:23 PM
If you'd listened to the song, enjoyed it, maybe even danced around a little, then you would have been a pirate. Fun and piracy go hand in hand.

(http://blogs.sun.com/drax/resource/2653_JackSparrow300.jpg)

Quote
At this point in time, I'm wondering how many analogies this thread can torture to death.

(http://ladyofbloodydarkness.files.wordpress.com/2007/12/jack-sparrow.jpg)


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Wasted on April 08, 2008, 02:08:35 AM

The thing I find interesting/troubling about the piracy issue is that most people agree that piracy is in theory a bad thing but nobody seems able to define it in a way that is non-ludicrous,  doesn't boil down to "I know it when I see it," and still covers any significant portion of what we consider "piracy" in this country.

Piracy, as it used to be defined was the act of making a forgery/copy and selling that as if it was the real thing.  Whether file sharing is piracy is still debated and has far from a 'most people agree' consensus.  Organisations like the RIAA have paid lots of money to try to change the definition, and criminalise the basic human characterisation of sharing.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Xerapis on April 08, 2008, 02:14:11 AM
And ya know, they could have stopped about 90% of all piracy if they had just called it faggotry instead.

I mean, everyone wants to be a pirate.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Roberik Manders on April 08, 2008, 06:46:23 AM
The Oxford English Dictionary defines piracy as;

noun 1 the practice of attacking and robbing ships at sea. 2 the unauthorized use or reproduction of another’s work.

So, if you're pirating a PC game then the one who copies it from the disc and makes it available is a pirate. Likewise, the one who downloads it and plays it without paying the creator of the game is a pirate. If you download it but don't play it then you havn't used it, so according to this definition you haven't actually done anything wrong.


There was another interesting definition on Google; The stealing of food (or nesting material) from one bird by another. See "kleptoparasitism." Parent martins are known to steal nesting material from other martins (both in the air and out of their nesting compartments).

Don't steal twigs from nests, it's piracy.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Nebu on April 08, 2008, 09:16:57 AM
I thought this was fitting given the topic:

Quote
Only in America
 
Students at the University of Texas drew up an “honor code,” in which they pledged not to cheat or commit plagiarism, by copying an honor code in effect at Brigham Young University, which itself was copied from one at Clemson University. The incident illustrates a disturbing trend among students in the age of Google and Wikipedia, said Daniel Wueste, director of Clemson’s Rutland Center for Ethics. “Young people today have a different understanding of what in the way of ideas and words is property that can be taken without authorization.”


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: stu on April 08, 2008, 10:39:30 AM
At least they didn't get it from sparknotes!


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Samwise on April 08, 2008, 12:27:28 PM
2 the unauthorized use or reproduction of another’s work.

So, if you're pirating a PC game then the one who copies it from the disc and makes it available is a pirate. Likewise, the one who downloads it and plays it without paying the creator of the game is a pirate. If you download it but don't play it then you havn't used it, so according to this definition you haven't actually done anything wrong.

You may want to look up the definition of "or" in that there dictionary.  (Hint: it's different from "and"!)

Under that definition, going over to a friend's house and playing a game he owns or listening to a CD he owns is also piracy, since you have not been granted authorization (via purchase) to use that work.

If purchasing a copy of the work gave him the right to authorize its use by others, then file-sharing wouldn't be an issue.

Note also that the above definition prohibits making backup copies of purchased works for personal use.  In short, I question the OED's legitimacy as a legal reference.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: UnSub on April 08, 2008, 08:26:23 PM
The thing I find interesting/troubling about the pornography issue is that most people agree that pornography is in theory a bad thing but nobody seems able to define it in a way that is non-ludicrous,  doesn't boil down to "I know it when I see it," and still covers any significant portion of what we consider "pornography" in this country.

 :awesome_for_real:

If you're going to argue definitions of common words, I reserve the right to be a dick about it.  :awesome_for_real:

Slightly more realistically, purchase should give the rights to ownership. It's only the large software companies / industry rights groups who want the money you pay on their product to be some kind of lease / hire system.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Samwise on April 08, 2008, 08:36:54 PM
The thing I find interesting/troubling about the pornography issue is that most people agree that pornography is in theory a bad thing but nobody seems able to define it in a way that is non-ludicrous,  doesn't boil down to "I know it when I see it," and still covers any significant portion of what we consider "pornography" in this country.

 :awesome_for_real:

I agree with you completely -- I used the phrase "I know it when I see it" for a reason.  That is indeed another issue where it's hard to find two people with the same definition of the word, and (IMO) a dangerous thing to try to legislate against for that reason.

purchase should give the rights to ownership.

You can't think that and make any sort of argument against piracy under ANY definition.  If by purchasing a copy of a work I "own" it I can do whatever I damn well please with it, including making copies, slapping my name on them, and reselling them.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Margalis on April 09, 2008, 02:23:58 AM
I used to have a pirated copy of 3D Studio Max. There was an exactly zero percent chance I was going to pay for it, it was pirated copy or nothing. Who exactly lost money from that?

The bookstore analogy is an interesting one. Modern bookstores encourage customers to grab a coffee, sit down and "steal" their content. In the end it sells books and coffee, whereas being hardasses sells neither. Maybe the gaming industry could learn from that.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Nebu on April 09, 2008, 09:08:17 AM
I used to have a pirated copy of 3D Studio Max. There was an exactly zero percent chance I was going to pay for it, it was pirated copy or nothing. Who exactly lost money from that?

A company that could have produced a less expensive version of 3D Studio Max with very similar functionality. 

I say this because you obviously NEEDED the functionality provided by the software, you just didn't think it was worth the cost of this functionality.  If there was absolutely no way to obtain this function without a purchase, you would have had to choose between a) not doing what you wanted to do or b) searching for a less expensive alternative.  Think about it like a car.  Sure, you want to drive a mercedes... but you could only afford a Honda.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Samwise on April 09, 2008, 09:36:50 AM
Modern bookstores encourage customers to grab a coffee, sit down and "steal" their content.

Technically, it's not the bookstores' content, it's the publishers' (or authors').  The bookstores are the real thieves by facilitating the unauthorized use of other peoples' content.

Don't even get me started on those goddamn "libraries".


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: naum on April 09, 2008, 10:32:43 AM
Recent study cited that 60% of Photoshop users were using a pirated (unlicensed) copy. But that estimate was derided by many as way too low, that the mark is probably as high as 90%. If you own a business, you're going to license the software but even then, Adobe has made it a nasty deal, especially post-Macromedia merge where they've incorporated their DRM technology which makes installing and upgrading legitimate copies nightmarish.

I lost count of all the folks who would argue against music DLs (even on these very forums), but see nothing wrong about using unlicensed copies of Photoshop, and they justify it with weak arguments like: (a) Programmers make more than musicians, (b) Adobe PS is prohibitively expensive, (c) software is a different matter than music, etc.…

There are plenty of lower cost and/or free alternatives to Adobe PS, it's just that people get used to the UI in Photoshop and want to train on the same stuff the pros use (no problem with that strategy, but using unlicensed copy is just as unethical as downloading what could easily be purchased). And unless you're in need of high quality CMYK print output, the other products would serve well, and accomplish same task, albeit after enduring a learning curve on the software (Gimp, Pixelmator, PSP, etc.…).

So by pirating a copy of PS (or Maya or Illustrator or $HighEndSoftware) you are foregoing a purchase in a more competitively priced product.

Paradoxically, piracy enabled software genre leaders to entrench their market dominance — it happened in the 90s with Windows, it happens today with Photoshop and Maya, where they've become giant sellers because they are also pirated to an extensive degree…


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Margalis on April 09, 2008, 11:07:01 AM
A company that could have produced a less expensive version of 3D Studio Max with very similar functionality. 

I say this because you obviously NEEDED the functionality provided by the software, you just didn't think it was worth the cost of this functionality.  If there was absolutely no way to obtain this function without a purchase, you would have had to choose between a) not doing what you wanted to do or b) searching for a less expensive alternative.  Think about it like a car.  Sure, you want to drive a mercedes... but you could only afford a Honda.

Wrong. I didn't NEED it, I wanted it. And I wanted something that would save in the 3DStudio file format and was able to produce all the features that would get saved into a 3DStudio file, so a cheaper knockoff was out of the question.

The answer, of course, is that nobody lost any money on it at all.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Samwise on April 09, 2008, 12:06:26 PM
Paradoxically, piracy enabled software genre leaders to entrench their market dominance — it happened in the 90s with Windows, it happens today with Photoshop and Maya, where they've become giant sellers because they are also pirated to an extensive degree…

It's not in any way paradoxical.  Why do you think Adobe turns a blind eye to most of that piracy?  A large number of Photoshop pirates move on to use Photoshop in business settings where they'll have to buy legit copies.  Adobe gets the money in the end either way, so why spend their time chasing away future customers?


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Nebu on April 09, 2008, 12:09:41 PM
Wrong. I didn't NEED it, I wanted it. And I wanted something that would save in the 3DStudio file format and was able to produce all the features that would get saved into a 3DStudio file, so a cheaper knockoff was out of the question.

The answer, of course, is that nobody lost any money on it at all.

Missing the point entirely.  Were 3D Studio ONLY available by a purchased copy, you would have four choices:

1) Not do your project at all

2) Find another piece of software to do the job.

3) Buy 3D Studio

4) Do your project on the system of someone that owned a copy. 

This was my point.  Options 2 and 3 have the most economic impact.  Option 4 may or may not have economic impact.   


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Samwise on April 09, 2008, 12:12:02 PM
2a) freeware?


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Nebu on April 09, 2008, 12:17:54 PM
2a) freeware?

Great suggestion.  I thought of this and it DOES have economic impact.  The developers of freeware/shareware can become a profit making entity with time and success.  It still retains impact, it's just less immediate.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: naum on April 09, 2008, 12:30:49 PM
2a) freeware?

F/OSS software usage has a huge economic impact, even if just for applying pressure to commercial software entities that must compete.

The 20%+ of Firefox users (or whatever the mark is now, it is higher on tech oriented sites, and people who use Firefox over MSIE are generally much more tech savvy and more likely to be content creators, internet participants v. spectators, etc.…) triggered M$ to devote attention to improving MSIE.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Sairon on April 09, 2008, 06:05:48 PM
Since nobody pretty much cares about the act of copying I think most of the discussion is pretty irrelevant, what's relevant is if pirating reduces sales. And to that I think it does short term, but long term it increases. Although extreme I think it's like if dope was free, then a hell of a lot more people would probably get addicted. When I was in high school / elementary piracy was the main way to get games, how would it be possible to pick up gaming as a main hobby when you can afford like 5 games a year and perhaps a few on your birthday/christmas?


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Samwise on April 09, 2008, 06:36:00 PM
True dat.  If I hadn't pirated a few games as a kid it's much less likely that I'd be spending thousands of dollars a year on PC gaming now.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Rasix on April 09, 2008, 06:39:26 PM
Piracy... for the children!   :uhrr:


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Samwise on April 09, 2008, 06:42:53 PM
Or not.  Think what productive members of society we'd all be if we'd stuck to stickball as kids, or whatever it is you do outside in that fresh air stuff.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Rasix on April 09, 2008, 06:49:43 PM
Or not.  Think what productive members of society we'd all be if we'd stuck to stickball as kids, or whatever it is you do outside in that fresh air stuff.

Speak for yourself.  I didn't turn into a shut-in until college.  I guess that's the benefit of having jock friends that didn't have computers and only knew of their use in looking at pictures of scantily clad women. 

I long for the days when I was in that good of shape.

I guess I'll get back to letting everyone make excuses for stealing shit.   :geezer:


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Samwise on April 09, 2008, 08:15:31 PM
I still want to know when we're going to do something about those damned libraries.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: bhodi on April 09, 2008, 09:56:16 PM
I still want to know when we're going to do something about those damned libraries.
I thought our government was taking care of that?


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Margalis on April 09, 2008, 10:34:25 PM
Quote
I thought our government was taking care of that?

It is, but it's doing it the long way: producing masses of idiots who can't read.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: UnSub on April 13, 2008, 07:48:33 AM
I still want to know when we're going to do something about those damned libraries.

It's an interesting point.

One issue here is that publishing a book can still make you money for decades after it first appears. Libraries or not, having a book available can help see sales continue.

Publishing a game, as the industry is structured, probably sees the vast majority of them bring in any revenue for only a few months. Then every three years or so, all the 'old' games are no longer readable for people who buy the newer platforms. It's like if every three years, society started using a new language that made all previous books unreadable unless you'd been around to learn it.

Perhaps the secret to removing the issue of piracy is to figure out how library methodologies can be used within the game industry (more than just 'lending things out', obviously).


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Samwise on April 13, 2008, 11:00:53 AM
One issue here is that publishing a book can still make you money for decades after it first appears. Libraries or not, having a book available can help see sales continue.

Publishing a game, as the industry is structured, probably sees the vast majority of them bring in any revenue for only a few months. Then every three years or so, all the 'old' games are no longer readable for people who buy the newer platforms. It's like if every three years, society started using a new language that made all previous books unreadable unless you'd been around to learn it.

This is very true.  It's worth noting that a fairly common motivation for "pirating" games is the game no longer being readily available for purchase through legitimate channels.  I expect digital distribution to start making a dent in this, though, since "shelf space" is slowly ceasing to be an issue for selling old/niche games.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Xilren's Twin on April 15, 2008, 07:59:37 AM
I still want to know when we're going to do something about those damned libraries.

Ironically enough, the library in the town i grew up in actually lent out computer games as well as vhs tapes long before piracy became vogue.

To flip the discussion around, would you prefer that all pc games were free to download/play but they come with built in advertising (i.e the TV method - yes ignore tivo and the like for now)?  That's one way to change the playing field.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: HaemishM on April 15, 2008, 10:41:19 AM
I no longer have much problem with games having built-in advertising. Fuck, I already have to sit through at least one goddamn Nvidia or ATI screen for every PC game I play on top of the assy credits screens. If the game is free, I'm much more inclined to not give a shit about ads in the game.

Of course, if it's $60 AND has ads, I get a bit pissy.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Velorath on April 29, 2008, 04:47:39 PM
Crytek has jumped in on the "blame piracy" bandwagon, with Crytek Studios President Cevat Yerli announcing that they are no longer going to do PC exclusive games.

Quote
"We are suffering currently from the huge piracy that is encompassing Crysis. We seem to lead the charts in piracy by a large margin; a chart leading that is not desirable," Yerli said. "I believe that's the core problem of PC gaming, piracy. To the degree PC gamers that pirate games inherently destroy the platform. Similar games on consoles sell factors of 4 [to] 5 more. It was a big lesson for us and I believe we won't have PC exclusives as we did with Crysis in future. We are going to support PC, but not exclusive anymore."

What they don't mention is that a lot of people are probably pirating Crysis just to see if the damn game will actually run on their PC's.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: schild on April 29, 2008, 05:16:08 PM
He sold over a million copies on something that required a beast of a machine.

What a pompous dick. I think I'm done buying Crytek games.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Miasma on April 29, 2008, 05:56:48 PM
I bought crysis and think the game looked great, especially that script where the mountain is falling to pieces, but the game itself was so mediocre that I couldn't finish it, even with God mode cheating.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: HaemishM on April 30, 2008, 09:58:55 AM
Quote from: Idiotic Douchebag
"We are suffering currently from the huge piracy that is encompassing Crysis. We seem to lead the charts in piracy by a large margin; a chart leading that is not desirable," Yerli said. "I believe that's the core problem of PC gaming, piracy. To the degree PC gamers that pirate games inherently destroy the platform. Similar games on consoles sell factors of 4 [to] 5 more. It was a big lesson for us and I believe we won't have PC exclusives as we did with Crysis in future. We are going to support PC, but not exclusive anymore."

Yeah, no. What a fuckhead. Games on consoles sell better because gamers with consoles don't have to worry if their console will run the fucking game or not. They just buy the game, insert disc and if it doesn't work, they go get another copy. They don't fuck with drivers, they don't tweak settings, they just play.

Also, what schild says. He's bitching about piracy after selling better than 99% of the PC games out there. Fuck off.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Ratman_tf on April 30, 2008, 09:05:57 PM
You fuckers just don't understand his pain! If those pirates had bought legitimate copies, they'd have more money!


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Samwise on April 30, 2008, 09:24:39 PM
Everyone go buy two copies of Crysis right now!  Because if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Nebu on May 01, 2008, 01:28:41 PM
Not to condone the act of being an asshole, but if the guy did the work and produced the product what's wrong with wanting to get paid for it?   Selling 1,000,000 copies doesn't mean than the next one doesn't have equal value. 

Some people go their entire lives hoping for a single moment of success.  You have to get the most from it. 


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Samwise on May 01, 2008, 02:51:27 PM
Not to condone the act of being an asshole, but if the guy did the work and produced the product what's wrong with wanting to get paid for it?

I have the same issue I have with all statements of this type -- the assumption that each alleged act of piracy (how do they come up with these counts, anyway?) is equivalent to a lost sale, or that it causes damage above and beyond the theoretical lost sale.

Nothing wrong with wanting to get paid for one's work, but getting paid more than most and then bitching and then whining that it wasn't enough because your game is obviously that much better than everyone else's, as demonstrated by your alleged piracy statistics, is obnoxious.  Especially when it's a shitty game that I wouldn't play if it was free.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: HaemishM on May 01, 2008, 03:06:09 PM
Not to condone the act of being an asshole, but if the guy did the work and produced the product what's wrong with wanting to get paid for it?   Selling 1,000,000 copies doesn't mean than the next one doesn't have equal value. 

It's like J.K. Rowling bitching about a spoilery review in the New York Times, even though she's already selling a bazillion copies and getting free press everywhere. Most game developers are fighting to get someone to play their game, and this fuckhead comes along bitching about pirates as if his game didn't sell more than most of the other non-WoW PC games out there, as well as get more pre-release press knob-polishing than most PC developers get in their lifetime. It's not about him not getting paid for his work, since he can't calculate each pirated copy as a sale anyway.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: IainC on May 01, 2008, 03:29:05 PM
It's like J.K. Rowling bitching about a spoilery review in the New York Times, even though she's already selling a bazillion copies and getting free press everywhere. Most game developers are fighting to get someone to play their game, and this fuckhead comes along bitching about pirates as if his game didn't sell more than most of the other non-WoW PC games out there, as well as get more pre-release press knob-polishing than most PC developers get in their lifetime. It's not about him not getting paid for his work, since he can't calculate each pirated copy as a sale anyway.
No it's not the same thing at all. To be the same thing, it would be like the NYT publishing it's own version of the book which it was giving away for free without her permission. If you create something I don't see that it's unreasonable to get pissy when people take it for free. It doesn't matter how many of them you sell, whether you're J.K. Rowling or some self-published hack. People don't have the right to take your work without paying for it whether they were intending to buy it anyway or not.

Arguing about how many copies they sell isn't the issue, neither is how many copies they didn't sell. The issue is that you're spending time and effort to provide a game/book/song that you're proud of and some mouthbreathers on the internet think they're entitled to rip you off and redistribute the product of your hard work (and not inconsequential financial investment) because 'they would never have bought it anyway' or 'they wanted to see if it was worth paying for' or 'games aren't worth paying for'.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Samwise on May 01, 2008, 04:40:33 PM
Arguing about how many copies they sell isn't the issue, neither is how many copies they didn't sell. The issue is that you're spending time and effort to provide a game/book/song that you're proud of and some mouthbreathers on the internet think they're entitled to rip you off and redistribute the product of your hard work (and not inconsequential financial investment) because 'they would never have bought it anyway' or 'they wanted to see if it was worth paying for' or 'games aren't worth paying for'.

What you're saying is that it's not about the money, it's about the principle.  Correct?  That's a valid stance to take (although I will still point you at libraries and their unauthorized use of copyrighted content and ask you why they're exempt from your righteous wrath about people using and distributing your work in ways that they were not explicitly authorized for), but it's not what the Crysis guy was saying at all.  He was complaining specifically about lost sales and saying that his numbers, high though they were, should have been higher.

You're griping about interweb jacktards thinking they're entitled to free shit.  I'm griping about Crysis jacktard thinking he's entitled to more sales.  If I thought he'd made a good game I might feel some sympathy for him, but I don't.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: tazelbain on May 01, 2008, 04:47:46 PM
I am building a new computer and was going to buy a copy of crysis to put through its passes.  But fuck them.  Is there another top end game that I can use, who's developers aren't using bullshit statisics to whine about how they didn't get as many money hats as they wanted?


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Nebu on May 01, 2008, 04:53:40 PM
You're griping about interweb jacktards thinking they're entitled to free shit.  I'm griping about Crysis jacktard thinking he's entitled to more sales. 

My stance is that both statements are correct.  Noone is entitled to anything for free that is copyrighted just as no businessman should feel entitled to be paid for fictional sales.   


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: IainC on May 01, 2008, 05:00:09 PM
What you're saying is that it's not about the money, it's about the principle.  Correct?  That's a valid stance to take (although I will still point you at libraries and their unauthorized use of copyrighted content and ask you why they're exempt from your righteous wrath about people using and distributing your work in ways that they were not explicitly authorized for), but it's not what the Crysis guy was saying at all.  He was complaining specifically about lost sales and saying that his numbers, high though they were, should have been higher.
And he's right. People cared enough about his game to break the law and steal it. It's not as though they weren't buying it because they didn't care about the game or because they didn't like it. Normally if you want to play the game, you need to pay for it, why should people be able to exempt themselves from that just because they feel like it?

Libraries aren't unauthorised use either. They are explicitly authorised with specific restrictions on them.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: schild on May 01, 2008, 05:17:52 PM
I am building a new computer and was going to buy a copy of crysis to put through its passes.  But fuck them.  Is there another top end game that I can use, who's developers aren't using bullshit statisics to whine about how they didn't get as many money hats as they wanted?

Call of Duty 4? Mass Effect?


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Samwise on May 01, 2008, 08:09:27 PM
You're griping about interweb jacktards thinking they're entitled to free shit.  I'm griping about Crysis jacktard thinking he's entitled to more sales. 

My stance is that both statements are correct.

Why did you object to my gripe if you think it's correct?   :headscratch:


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Ratman_tf on May 02, 2008, 12:06:16 AM
You're griping about interweb jacktards thinking they're entitled to free shit.  I'm griping about Crysis jacktard thinking he's entitled to more sales. 

My stance is that both statements are correct.  Noone is entitled to anything for free that is copyrighted just as no businessman should feel entitled to be paid for fictional sales.   

Agree. I wonder if it's a point that's so obvious people miss it?

Piracy is a seperate issue from sales. Sep-er-ate.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: tazelbain on May 02, 2008, 07:33:44 AM

 Mass Effect?
Ya.  And Bio Shock.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: HaemishM on May 02, 2008, 11:10:04 AM
You're griping about interweb jacktards thinking they're entitled to free shit.  I'm griping about Crysis jacktard thinking he's entitled to more sales. 

My stance is that both statements are correct.  Noone is entitled to anything for free that is copyrighted just as no businessman should feel entitled to be paid for fictional sales.   

Agree. I wonder if it's a point that's so obvious people miss it?

Piracy is a seperate issue from sales. Sep-er-ate.

Yes, it is. And just like music and movie piracy, it can be an effective marketing tool, so long as you don't treat every person who downloads your song/game/book/movie as a fucking criminal who should be buried under the jail. Treat them as a POTENTIAL sale. If you're REALLY worried about lost sales from piracy, the people you need to be dogfucking are the street vendors who are actually making money off of selling a bootlegged product (which for software is bigger in Asia and Russia than here) and the people charging for access to torrent sites.

Attacking the BitTorrent technology and its creators is just reliving the stupidity that was the Napster trial.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Nebu on May 02, 2008, 11:52:16 AM
Attacking the BitTorrent technology and its creators is just reliving the stupidity that was the Napster trial.

Why do you even care what the music industry does?  If they want to spend millions of dollars chasing cars, that's their decision.  One of the side effects of these trials was that it mainstreamed the a la carte availability of music and video, which was sorely needed. 

The whole thing is a societal issue.  There's an air of entitlement in this country that is stronger than anything I've seen in my lifetime.  What's so hard about not downloading music, not copying software, and not copying movies without paying for them?  I mean really... why is it so hard to just not have what you never paid for? 


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: HaemishM on May 02, 2008, 12:33:22 PM
Attacking the BitTorrent technology and its creators is just reliving the stupidity that was the Napster trial.

Why do you even care what the music industry does?  If they want to spend millions of dollars chasing cars, that's their decision.  One of the side effects of these trials was that it mainstreamed the a la carte availability of music and video, which was sorely needed. 

No, that was a side effect of the technology being developed that made single-song downloads easy to do. The trials meanwhile delayed the implementation of a reasonable method of monetizing those single-song downloads by a few years, pissed away tons of money and stifled one innovators abilities. Meanwhile, a billion other little download technologies sprung up like mushrooms. And every time the music industry has tried to squash them, they've only succeeded in driving the downloaders into a different method. Meanwhile, the music-buying/listening populace got used to the idea of downloading a single song or an album, and suddenly all that revenue that had started disappearing for CD sales started returning in the form of downloads.

All of which could have happened about 2-3 years earlier if the industry hadn't treated downloads like a purely criminal activity.


Quote
The whole thing is a societal issue.  There's an air of entitlement in this country that is stronger than anything I've seen in my lifetime.  What's so hard about not downloading music, not copying software, and not copying movies without paying for them?  I mean really... why is it so hard to just not have what you never paid for? 

Why is it so hard to realize that getting that little bit for free can turn a "pirate" into a customer for life?


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Samwise on May 02, 2008, 12:41:56 PM
The whole thing is a societal issue.  There's an air of entitlement in this country that is stronger than anything I've seen in my lifetime.  What's so hard about not downloading music, not copying software, and not copying movies without paying for them?  I mean really... why is it so hard to just not have what you never paid for? 

What you are railing against and what the content industries are most vigorously engaged in prosecuting are different things.  The main targets of prosecution and bile in the US are not the downloaders looking for free stuff at no cost, or the bootleggers looking to make profit off someone else's work, but the uploaders (e.g. P2P "supernodes") who enable everyone else and are generally motivated primarily by altruism (I realize that calling these "pirates" altruistic will probably rile some people, but they gain no profit from what they do and they expose themselves to some risk by doing it, so I feel it's apt).  How do they fit into your entitlement rant?


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Nebu on May 02, 2008, 01:49:03 PM
How do they fit into your entitlement rant?

First, altruists do things for ethical reasons rather than financial.  I wish that I could believe these distributors acted with only the best interests of humanity in mind, but I really don't buy it.  They had financial incentives for doing so and I'm willing to bet that their distribution helped them in financial ways, at least before the litigation started.  You can't be money-motivated and an altruist at the same time.  At least not in the way I choose to define the term.  Second, it's not a "rant".  It's my opinion.  You're entitled to yours. 

Haemish: downloading material that you didn't obtain permission to download is wrong.  Whether it's criminal is debatable and I lack the expertise to enter into that discussion.  The actions of the record industry have nothing to do with this statement as they are separate issues.  My fundamental point is that: if people never copied material protected by copyright laws, we wouldn't even be having this discussion.  I guess I see things as being right and wrong rather than legal and illegal.  My personal morality suggests that I shouldn't take what doesn't belong to me.  Perhaps I'm just showing my age.  There is no justification for music piracy in the US, beyond selfishness.   
 



Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: HaemishM on May 02, 2008, 02:39:54 PM
There is no justification for music piracy in the US, beyond selfishness.   

I never claimed there was any other justification. As an artist myself, who hopes to get paid for his writing one of these days, my selfishness leads me to try to get my book published, and try to get as many people to buy and read it as I can. I want people to buy my books. But I'm not going to get my panties in a bunch about an individual downloading my books. That person could very easily become a great marketing asset for me if he likes the book, whether he buys a book ever or not. If he tells 5 people that he likes my book and 1 of those 5 buy a book, I'm good with those numbers.

Now the people I WILL get my panties in a bunch about are the assholes SELLING copies of my book that aren't authorized. Those fuckers can rot in hell. But I won't begrudge someone buying it from them, because everyone wants to get something for cheaper than expected. The guy buying the book just wants to read my stuff. The guy selling the copy? He's a douchey leech who's trying to steal my bread.

The problem comes in that the entertainment industries do not distinguish between the two. They call them both dirty pirates and curse them to hell. They should be cultivating the buyer and attacking the seller.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Samwise on May 02, 2008, 03:09:04 PM
I wish that I could believe these distributors acted with only the best interests of humanity in mind, but I really don't buy it.  They had financial incentives for doing so and I'm willing to bet that their distribution helped them in financial ways, at least before the litigation started.

Buh?  How is a guy in a college dorm with a shared folder full of MP3s (this is how Napster started, and this type of "sharer" remains the backbone of noncommercial piracy) financially motivated?  How does he derive revenue from his dormmates listening to his music collection?  What sort of a business model is that?  Have you ever made a mix tape and given it to a friend for free?  How much money did you make off that little transaction?

You might be able to argue that Napster Software Inc. or YouTube or whoever is able to make money off that once they can interpose themselves into that process, but it's still all nothing without that guy who bought the CDs and then decided to share them with others for free.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Nebu on May 02, 2008, 03:53:33 PM
You might be able to argue that Napster Software Inc. or YouTube or whoever is able to make money off that once they can interpose themselves into that process, but it's still all nothing without that guy who bought the CDs and then decided to share them with others for free.

Ah, that's the target (i.e. Napster etc.) I was focusing on.  I apologize for my misunderstanding. 


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Nebu on May 02, 2008, 03:56:39 PM
The problem comes in that the entertainment industries do not distinguish between the two. They call them both dirty pirates and curse them to hell. They should be cultivating the buyer and attacking the seller.

Yes, I see your point.  It's silly to treat the small-timer and the major offender as one and the same.  I do understand what you mean by the "piracy-turned-customer" bit as well.  I've known many folks that have downloaded a single song only to end up as a full cd customer.  I guess that I still have many personal experiences that anger me about this whole situation.  Seems that smart artists would allow free downloads of single songs with the hope of attracting a stronger following.  Struggling bands do this all the time... and it often works.  My anger is really pointed toward those individuals that pirate music/software because of convenience.  When you corner them on the ethics of it, they refuse to accept the responsibility for their action.  I just can't comprehend how people think it's not stealing just because they're using their own equipment anonymously to obtain it.  Grrrr... sorry. 


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Samwise on May 02, 2008, 04:12:04 PM
Ah, that's the target (i.e. Napster etc.) I was focusing on.

And yet the Napsters (the ones making the money) generally aren't the ones in direct violation of copyright law.  Napster in particular should never have been found liable for anything IMO, since they were just a search engine (imagine prosecuting Google because people are able to use it to find illegal websites).

Note also that file/content sharing has been around since long before anyone thought to monetize it.  Napster was pretty much the first, and it didn't start off as a commercial app; it was written because the pool of shared files in the author's dorm was getting too big to search through manually and he wanted an easier way for him and his friends to find each other's stuff.

Bootlegging is of course a very lucrative industry and always has been, but that's entirely separate from file sharing and has been around for much longer.

I agree with you in principle that people who just want to get shit for free that they would otherwise have paid for suck, btw.  But I think it's making a pretty giant leap to say that all file sharing is equivalent to lost sales, or that the existence of those freeloaders justifies cornholing your paying customers, or that anyone who's ever downloaded a torrent is the scum of the earth.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Nebu on May 02, 2008, 04:48:50 PM
I agree with you in principle that people who just want to get shit for free that they would otherwise have paid for suck, btw.  But I think it's making a pretty giant leap to say that all file sharing is equivalent to lost sales, or that the existence of those freeloaders justifies cornholing your paying customers, or that anyone who's ever downloaded a torrent is the scum of the earth.

I wasn't saying anything of the like, btw.  I'm not naive enough to think that every pirate is a lost sale nor do I think that pirates are necessarily scum.

For the record, I think of most music/software pirates as being akin to petty shoplifters.  Individually, they really don't have much impact on the industry at all.  When you have millions of shoplifting events a year, it has a significat effect on the cost of goods for PAYING CUSTOMERS.  I saw this in spades when I was a department head for a local stearo shop in Minneapolis during the 80's.  You may have heard of Best Buy Co.  Now, shoplifting of tangible good is very different than a download (i.e. not all downloads are lost revenue, etc.) but I think there are plenty of similarities when it comes to principle. 


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Samwise on May 02, 2008, 05:36:55 PM
For the record, I think of most music/software pirates as being akin to petty shoplifters.  Individually, they really don't have much impact on the industry at all.  When you have millions of shoplifting events a year, it has a significat effect on the cost of goods for PAYING CUSTOMERS.  I saw this in spades when I was a department head for a local stearo shop in Minneapolis during the 80's.  You may have heard of Best Buy Co.  Now, shoplifting of tangible good is very different than a download (i.e. not all downloads are lost revenue, etc.) but I think there are plenty of similarities when it comes to principle. 

The comparison breaks down when you try to assign a dollar value to individual acts of piracy.  It's very easy to assign a value to an act of shoplifting -- it's the price the store paid for the item plus the price of whatever labor is required to replace it.  Even if this value is very small, you can multiply it by the number of shoplifters and arrive very simply at a combined cost to the store (which is then shouldered by consumers).

What if each individual act of shoplifting somehow cost the store exactly $0 (suppose each shoplifter walked out the door, walked back in, and replaced the thing they'd stolen without being detected)?  Does it matter how many shoplifters there are then?  Any number times $0 is still $0.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Nebu on May 02, 2008, 06:19:02 PM
The comparison breaks down when you try to assign a dollar value to individual acts of piracy.  It's very easy to assign a value to an act of shoplifting -- it's the price the store paid for the item plus the price of whatever labor is required to replace it.  Even if this value is very small, you can multiply it by the number of shoplifters and arrive very simply at a combined cost to the store (which is then shouldered by consumers).

What if each individual act of shoplifting somehow cost the store exactly $0 (suppose each shoplifter walked out the door, walked back in, and replaced the thing they'd stolen without being detected)?  Does it matter how many shoplifters there are then?  Any number times $0 is still $0.

I think this is where we disagree.  I believe that each act of piracy has a cost albeit a cost significantly lower than what the music/game industry would have you believe.  So in my opinion it's not multiplication by zero but by some very small number.  I think it's incorrect to assume that they don't lose at least a few sales from piracy.  Again, we just differ in opinion.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Murgos on May 03, 2008, 07:27:33 AM
I think it's incorrect to assume that they don't lose at least a few sales from piracy.

Assigning values to potential acts off in the future, particularly when they may not be probable, is pretty much always going to be arguable.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: IainC on May 03, 2008, 07:58:20 AM
I think it's incorrect to assume that they don't lose at least a few sales from piracy.

Assigning values to potential acts off in the future, particularly when they may not be probable, is pretty much always going to be arguable.
Not really. If you assume the game was not piratable at all then the people who pirate it fall into two camps. Those who wouldn't buy the game anyway because they don't care enough to buy it and those who would have bought it but preferred getting it for free.

It's not really possible to determine the relative size of each group but it is fair to say that sales are lost to piracy.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Samwise on May 03, 2008, 11:01:22 AM
Not really. If you assume the game was not piratable at all then the people who pirate it fall into two camps. Those who wouldn't buy the game anyway because they don't care enough to buy it and those who would have bought it but preferred getting it for free.

It's not really possible to determine the relative size of each group but it is fair to say that sales are lost to piracy.

This is fair to say -- but anyone who says HOW MANY sales are lost OVERALL (i.e. sales lost minus sales gained) is pulling numbers out of their ass.  Because, as you said, you might be able to determine how many people downloaded a copy of a game, but there's no way to determine whether they would have bought it otherwise, or whether they bought it anyway, or whether that's why they bought it, or neither.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Ratman_tf on May 03, 2008, 08:44:00 PM
It's not really possible to determine the relative size of each group but it is fair to say that sales are lost to piracy.

Sure, but not to the extent of 3-4 million copies, as Mr. Yerli seems to insinuate.

Does anyone think that WoW would have 10 million subs if it had system requirement like Crysis?


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Murgos on May 04, 2008, 12:46:35 PM
I think it's incorrect to assume that they don't lose at least a few sales from piracy.

Assigning values to potential acts off in the future, particularly when they may not be probable, is pretty much always going to be arguable.
Not really. If you assume the game was not piratable at all then the people who pirate it fall into two camps. Those who wouldn't buy the game anyway because they don't care enough to buy it and those who would have bought it but preferred getting it for free.

It's not really possible to determine the relative size of each group but it is fair to say that sales are lost to piracy.
I was pretty clear that I was talking about assigning values and that you wouldn't be able to make a claim and not have it be, at least partially, refutable.  Hence, this thread and the thousands like it across the internet.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: HaemishM on May 05, 2008, 03:16:37 PM
Individually, they really don't have much impact on the industry at all.  When you have millions of shoplifting events a year, it has a significat effect on the cost of goods for PAYING CUSTOMERS. 

I'm going to get snarky here when I say that the cost of shoplifting or piracy has MUCH MUCH LESS effect on the price of CD's than corporate price-fixing has since the introduction of the CD format. Remember when CD's were $18 and the industry said they would drop in price once CD's were the standard industry format? CD's are still $18 now (barring sale prices that are highly variable), despite the cost of production going through the floor AND the format being the standard physical delivery medium.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Nebu on May 05, 2008, 04:23:33 PM
Should I be snarky back and say that $18 now is significantly less expensive when compared to $18 in 1984 and adjusted for inflation?I remember paying $25-$30 for a cd when I sold stereo gear in the early 80's.  I never dreamed I could buy compilation disks for $5 like I can now.

You're still correct.  The music industry is artificially adding cost because it's what the market is willing to pay.  I don't agree with their figures for lost sales either.  I still believe that we are absorbing at least some small part of the losses to piracy.  It's entirely possible that were piracy eliminated 100% that they'd not lower the price at all as well.  So maybe I am wrong. 



Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Samwise on May 05, 2008, 05:01:00 PM
I'm quite confident that the industry is losing much more to its fight against piracy (money spent developing new antipiracy measures, money spent hiring people to track down and prosecute suspected pirates, money lost by driving paying customers away) than it ever could to piracy itself.

Which means either that they're stupid (possible) or that it's a smokescreen for them to get something else that will pay off bigger.  Like, say, shutting down cheap distribution channels for indy music and thereby removing some competition, or moving toward dismantling consumer rights afforded by current copyright law (first sale in particular), or both.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: HaemishM on May 06, 2008, 10:20:27 AM
It's entirely possible that were piracy eliminated 100% that they'd not lower the price at all as well. 

Now you and I both KNOW the answer to that. They wouldn't lower the goddamn price one dime so long as enough people were still paying it.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Nebu on May 06, 2008, 10:22:23 AM
Now you and I both KNOW the answer to that. They wouldn't lower the goddamn price one dime so long as enough people were still paying it.

I know that you're right.  It just took me a little while to get there. 



Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Samwise on May 06, 2008, 11:32:13 AM
Now you and I both KNOW the answer to that. They wouldn't lower the goddamn price one dime so long as enough people were still paying it.

I know that you're right.  It just took me a little while to get there. 

Now, if this is true, and the high prices are currently fixed by high demand, and making the assumption (which I still don't think is valid) that piracy cuts into sales, wouldn't it LOWER prices for legitimate consumers by lowering demand without lowering supply?   :grin:


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: cmlancas on May 06, 2008, 11:38:50 AM
I think now is a good time for me to play with the "report to moderator" button that I just received access to!

 :drill:


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: bhodi on May 06, 2008, 12:56:19 PM
Well, apparently EA does not feel particularly trusting. Both Mass Effect and Spore PC releases (http://masseffect.bioware.com/forum...5&forum=125) are going to use the new (crippling, IMO) version of SecurROM:
Quote
Mass Effect uses SecuROM and requires an online activation for the first time that you play it. Each copy of Mass Effect comes with a CD Key which is used for this activation and for registration here at the BioWare Community. Mass Effect does not require the DVD to be in the drive in order to play, it is only for installation.

After the first activation, SecuROM requires that it re-check with the server within ten days (in case the CD Key has become public/warez'd and gets banned). Just so that the 10 day thing doesn't become abrupt, SecuROM tries its first re-check with 5 days remaining in the 10 day window. If it can't contact the server before the 10 days are up, nothing bad happens and the game still runs. After 10 days a re-check is required before the game can run.

Please feel free to ask any follow up questions in this thread and I will try and answer them when I can.
Quote
For clarity, though, an internet connection is not required to install, just to activate the first time, and every 10 days after. You can be completely connectionless for 9 days and encounter no problems playing Mass Effect. And you don't need the disk in the drive to play.
Quote
Yes, EA is ready for us and getting ready for Spore, which will use the same system.

This new version isn't just a forced internet activation like bioshock, it's required every 10 days or the game won't run.

It apparently doesn't require the disc to be in the drive, though. One step forward, two steps back.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Der Helm on May 06, 2008, 01:30:50 PM
Shit like that is the reason the only games I played in the last years are MMOs.

(and my shitty computer of course)


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Samwise on May 06, 2008, 01:38:51 PM
Pretty obnoxious, but not quite enough for me to want to boycott/warez Spore.  Internet requirement is better than perpetual CD requirement in my book.  I'll be wanting it to phone home regularly to get me new player content anyway.

Shit like that is the reason the only games I played in the last years are MMOs.

Did you know that MMOs phone home EVERY time you play them?   :star:


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Tebonas on May 07, 2008, 02:46:32 AM
Thats not ideal, but better than the CD requirement copy protections. Depends on the actual implementation. Can I do the online check and then disconnect and play offline?

Basically Steam does the same and nobody whines about it. Beside getting the English version instead of a translated one, not having to hunt down a CD for a quick game of whatever is a godsend.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Trippy on May 07, 2008, 03:34:37 AM
Basically Steam does the same and nobody whines about it.
I whine about it constantly.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Tebonas on May 07, 2008, 03:42:45 AM
I stand corrected. Still better than that CD crap, though.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Velorath on May 09, 2008, 04:17:45 PM
Looks like they got rid of the every 10 days thing. (http://masseffect.bioware.com/forums/viewtopic.html?topic=629059&forum=125)

Quote
Q: Did BioWare and EA change their mind on requiring that the game be re-authorized every 10 days?

A: BioWare has always listened very closely to its fans and we made this decision to ensure we are delivering the best possible experience to them. To all the fans including our many friends in the armed services and internationally who expressed concerns that they would not be able re-authenticate as often as required, EA and BioWare want you to know that your feedback is important to us.

Q: If the game isn’t going to require an authentication every 10 days, will it ever require re-authentication?

A: Only if the player chooses to download new game content.

It was mentioned elsewhere that Spore will also no longer require authentication every 10 days.




Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Triforcer on May 09, 2008, 06:42:57 PM
What I find amusing about this debate is that all the "pro" piracy arguments center around hypothesizing about how piracy is really in a business's best interest, and that justifies calling executives idiots and/or not cracking down on piracy.

Shouldn't we trust the business acumen of, you know, businessmen and people with actual business degrees when evaluating how they best make money?  Make moral arguments for piracy if you must, but don't tell me you know the economics of the entertainment industry better than people in the industry unless you can flash me a Wharton degree. 


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Samwise on May 09, 2008, 08:15:06 PM
Remember that these are the same people who said that the advent of the home VCR would spell the death of the movie industry.  And that the Xerox machine would leave brilliant writers starving in the streets.

 :awesome_for_real:

The only question is whether they actually believe their own claims or not.  Stupid, or lying?  Hard to tell.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Triforcer on May 09, 2008, 08:33:42 PM
Remember that these are the same people who said that the advent of the home VCR would spell the death of the movie industry.  And that the Xerox machine would leave brilliant writers starving in the streets.

 :awesome_for_real:

The only question is whether they actually believe their own claims or not.  Stupid, or lying?  Hard to tell.

Why would they be "lying?"  If saying "PIRACY AHOY" increased profits and they knew that, they'd be doing it.

And no, business execs aren't always right.  But they get the presumption versus random people who hate capitalism, especially when the countering argument is "you'll do better if you give your product away!"

EDIT: And having this debate in the context of a game that sells a million copies is misleading.  Sure, here, piracy probably didn't keep them from turning a profit.  What about MARGINAL games that would otherwise turn a small profit and give a new company a boost, if not for piracy?  But that feeds into the original constitutional justification for copyright, which again makes certain assumptions about capitalism and the impetus for creative innovation that 95% of this community probably doesn't agree with.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Samwise on May 10, 2008, 01:36:53 AM
Why would they be "lying?"

This has already been covered, but shutting down competition and curtailing consumer rights are the two obvious motivations for people in the music industry to go along with the story.  First sale is already being eroded pretty quickly for things like iTunes purchases, "you can only install this 3 times ever" DRM, and (sad to say) Steam purchases.  Free Internet radio is pretty much dead thanks to RIAA-pushed legislation (except for the stations owned by Clearchannel and its ilk, of course), which is a shame because it could have done for indy labels what terrestrial radio has been doing for the big labels.

As far as the software industry, I suspect that it's a marketing tactic by SecuROM and its ilk -- the developers are probably for the most part smart enough to know that it's costing them more than it's saving, but SecuROM will have an army of reps whose job it is to terrorize the shareholders who don't know any better and convince them that if they don't license SecuROM's latest, greatest, and most restrictive software they won't see a dime of profit on their newest game.  (Of course, if sales drop and piracy increases when it turns out that the copy protection actually makes legit copies of the game unplayable, it's only evidence that the pirate menace is on the rise and you'd better buy our Premium package that we're coming out with next year which makes the disk self-destruct after installation.)


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Sairon on May 10, 2008, 06:09:36 AM
It's all a matter of perspective. Marketing execs tends to look at it from a different angle than the consumer, which I think is proven by some of the ridiculous claims we've seen in the past "We've lost X amount of millions because of piracy, X is the amount of money which the sales of the total number of downloads we've tracked!". Apparently a Wharton degree wasn't enough to spot the obvious that is iTunes, while the service that is iTunes was even suggested by consumers a long time before its arrival.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Krakrok on May 10, 2008, 10:55:23 AM
What I find amusing about this debate is that all the "pro" piracy arguments center around hypothesizing about how piracy is really in a business's best interest, and that justifies calling executives idiots and/or not cracking down on piracy.

Shouldn't we trust the business acumen of, you know, businessmen and people with actual business degrees when evaluating how they best make money?  Make moral arguments for piracy if you must, but don't tell me you know the economics of the entertainment industry better than people in the industry unless you can flash me a Wharton degree. 

You want people to trust business executives in America?  :uhrr: And some piece of paper describing academic hoops jumped through is suppose to make people more trustworthy? As has been discussed on this site before it isn't only about the money. Once you have $X amount of money it ceases to be the only factor.

It's about control. It's not about business; it's about executive ego. If it was really about the money they would just buy offending sites and co-op them. It would cost less and be more productive than paying millions of dollars in lawyers to shut them down. "These pirate fuckers are stealing my shit and I'm going to destroy them! What's that you say? Google and YouTube are stealing my shit? Oh, let's have an executive love fest and do a deal."

It's laughable that the RIAA is still suing individuals when every song ever is available on YouTube. Arguments like "but what about the little guy!?!" are a fraud. The little guy doesn't have enough money to do anything about copyright infringement via the American court system.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Samwise on May 10, 2008, 11:09:19 AM
The "little guy" (e.g. small software companies and indy bands) are generally the most cool about offering free demos, non-DRMed online purchases, etc.  They know what's what.  They stand to benefit far more from good word of mouth for their product (even if it means a few people might get it for free) than they would from trying to sue and/or alienate their own small fanbases.

You can only afford to alienate the source of your revenue when you already have what basically amounts to a monopoly over the medium, and the only thing keeping you there is terrorizing the people you work for into believing that they actually need the service you provide (well, that or having them under contract so that it doesn't matter).


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: HaemishM on May 13, 2008, 02:37:04 PM
But that feeds into the original constitutional justification for copyright

You really don't want to go there in this context. If you want to talk about the ORIGINAL justification for copyright, it was so that some other guy couldn't make money off of my creations. Walt Disney could be protected from someone using Mickey Mouse, not the board of the very late Walt Disney's theme park media empire being able to continually extend copyright material indefinitely. It was also supposed to expire soon after the original creator's death.

Don't bring in the Constitution, when many of those Wharton cunts you idolize keep trying to move the goal posts on what copyright is supposed to protect. Oh yes, and they also use copyrights they swindled from creators who just wanted their creations published and wanted to make a decent living off of them. You can talk about the original constitutional justification for copyright, but it isn't on the side of people like the Disney Corporation.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Triforcer on May 13, 2008, 03:54:08 PM
But that feeds into the original constitutional justification for copyright

You really don't want to go there in this context. If you want to talk about the ORIGINAL justification for copyright, it was so that some other guy couldn't make money off of my creations. Walt Disney could be protected from someone using Mickey Mouse, not the board of the very late Walt Disney's theme park media empire being able to continually extend copyright material indefinitely. It was also supposed to expire soon after the original creator's death.

Don't bring in the Constitution, when many of those Wharton cunts you idolize keep trying to move the goal posts on what copyright is supposed to protect. Oh yes, and they also use copyrights they swindled from creators who just wanted their creations published and wanted to make a decent living off of them. You can talk about the original constitutional justification for copyright, but it isn't on the side of people like the Disney Corporation.

So Constitutional copyright protection only applies when the supposed infringer is making a profit?  Every constitutional scholar ever would beg to disagree with you (yes, I understand fair use, but I don't think anyone argues game/music piracy really falls within that doctrine).  Why does this Age of Aquarius stuff seep into every piracy argument?  I always get the feeling that although the pro-piracy crowd is happy to cite numbers, split hairs over statutory interpretation, and cite empirical data when it suits their purposes, undernearth it all is some sort of towering moral indignation about how the corporations won't let music be free like your soul, man.

Note:  I agree with you about the ridiculous nature of the SCOTUS's recent opinion on the temporal extension of copyright.  But that isn't what this discussion has been about.

EDIT:  And again, making this about the huge corps wrongfully frames the issue.  But its easier to demonize copyright because of MegaCorp whining about making X million instead of X+1 then it is to think about the budding entrepreneurs and small businesses that piracy kills.  Letting copyright protect the "good" entrepreneurs necessarily means some "bad" ones will take advantage, but that's no justification for gutting copyright. 


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Tebonas on May 14, 2008, 04:15:06 AM
Copyright and Patents (especially software patents) have come to a point where they actually hurt innovation instead of protecting it.

This has nothing at all to do with Computer games, but I think that is the tangent Haemish goes for.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: HaemishM on May 14, 2008, 01:06:22 PM
Tri, you can make this all "Age of Aquarius" if you want to, but the simple truth is the original constitutional justification for copyright was not meant to benefit corporations who make empires on work-for-hire creations. They wanted the CREATORS to reap any benefits, not some far-removed jackhole with an MBA. Frankly, the thought of my children being able to indefniitely extend copyrights on my works (whether they be novels or computer games or whatever) pisses me off. Let the little fuckers write their own goddamn novels.

For examples, see what Warner did to Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. Or what Marvel Comics did to Jack Kirby in the '80's, all because of copyright. That's flat wrong.

As for computer games, copyright is a little trickier than say novels because they are a colloborative medium. But Electronics Arts dogpiling on some guy for downloading a single copy of Mass Effect does nothing for the industry.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Krakrok on May 16, 2008, 01:11:18 PM

Just to total eviscerate the idea that it's all about the money I'll link in an article (http://www.linearpublishing.com/RhinoStory.html) by Orson Scott Card where he calls JK Rowling out as a hypocrite.

Quote
Rowling has nowhere to go and nothing to do now that the Harry Potter series is over. After all her literary borrowing, she shot her wad and she's flailing about trying to come up with something to do that means anything.

It makes her insane. The money wasn't enough. She wants to be treated with respect.

At the same time, she's also surrounded by people whose primary function is to suck up to her. No doubt some of them were saying to her, "It's wrong for these other people to be exploiting what you created to make money for themselves."


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Ratman_tf on May 16, 2008, 04:04:07 PM

Just to total eviscerate the idea that it's all about the money I'll link in an article (http://www.linearpublishing.com/RhinoStory.html) by Orson Scott Card where he calls JK Rowling out as a hypocrite.

Quote
Rowling has nowhere to go and nothing to do now that the Harry Potter series is over. After all her literary borrowing, she shot her wad and she's flailing about trying to come up with something to do that means anything.

It makes her insane. The money wasn't enough. She wants to be treated with respect.

At the same time, she's also surrounded by people whose primary function is to suck up to her. No doubt some of them were saying to her, "It's wrong for these other people to be exploiting what you created to make money for themselves."

J.K. Rowling's IP is current. According to her side, the guys publishing the "Encyclopedia" or whatever are just cutting and pasting her novels into entry form and trying to re-sell them.

And Orson Scott Card is just some obscure sci-fi author homophobe who's jealous of her success.  :roflcopter:


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: cmlancas on May 31, 2008, 05:01:23 PM
I think some merit exists that Rowling cribbed and "shot her wad" so to speak.

Not many university classes study Rowling. Lewis and Tolkien? Check.



Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Salvator on June 05, 2008, 12:03:17 AM
I think some merit exists that Rowling cribbed and "shot her wad" so to speak.

Not many university classes study Rowling. Lewis and Tolkien? Check.



Lord of the Rings and Narnia didn't receive that much attention until years after their publishing date.

Besides, if we are going to say that Rowling was sort of a hack, I heard the writers of the Bible are suing C.S. Lewis's estate for plagiarism...


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Nebu on June 05, 2008, 08:56:51 AM
Besides, if we are going to say that Rowling was sort of a hack, I heard the writers of the Bible are suing C.S. Lewis's estate for plagiarism...

Tolkien also borrowed a significant amount of style from Dickens as well... but that's the way art goes.  It's common to draw inspiration from the greats that have gone before you. 


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Velorath on June 07, 2008, 05:04:07 AM
I guess Crytek has already forgotten about that whole "no more PC exclusives" thing. (http://pc.ign.com/articles/879/879687p1.html)


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: UnSub on August 20, 2008, 12:09:49 AM
Reviving the topic of Sysiphus because I learned something.

I still want to know when we're going to do something about those damned libraries.

Libraries in a number of countries (Australia, the EU has a directive to do so for members) do pay royalties back to the original authors (or copyright holders). They do this in a number of ways, but the number of times a book is taken out and an estimation on how often it is photocopied is used.

Also, given that a library system might buy 200 books (or 'copyright licenses') from an author, even if the book is then provided for free to the public, the author / copyright holder is still getting cash for their titles. If a book gets damaged / lost, they may buy additional copies to replace them.

So there you go. If a pirate (or better yet, government sponsored lending system) wants to buy 1000 copies of a game then lend out the games for free (but only 1000 copies, so that they can't exceed the number of copies they'd bought) more power to them. Even better - pay the developer some royalties for every time they rent a copy. But piracy, as it currently stands, is a long way from being a library.

Sorry, it was just bothering me that libraries looked like hard copy piracy rings from a certain angle and I heard some information that helped ... well, maintain my existing view.  :awesome_for_real:


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Samwise on August 20, 2008, 02:04:55 PM
So if I buy one copy of a game and lend it out to someone else that's perfectly okay?  Awesome, although the game companies don't seem to share your view, and the DMCA backs them up insofar as disagreeing with them requires you to circumvent their install-once safeguards, which then makes you a criminal.

Further, if I can buy one copy of a game, and I can make backup copies for my own use (this is supposed to be allowed under current copyright law, but again, the DMCA sometimes  disagrees), logically I should be able to lend out one of my backup copies to a friend (or my original, retaining my backup; it makes no difference) and temporarily transfer use of that game to him, provided that I don't play it at the same time he does.  Correct?


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: UnSub on August 20, 2008, 08:57:48 PM
No. You are breaking copyright if you fully photocopy a book without authorisation and then lend it out to people.

That's if we want to make video games = books when it comes to copyright.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Trippy on August 20, 2008, 09:55:19 PM
Further, if I can buy one copy of a game, and I can make backup copies for my own use (this is supposed to be allowed under current copyright law, but again, the DMCA sometimes  disagrees), logically I should be able to lend out one of my backup copies to a friend (or my original, retaining my backup; it makes no difference) and temporarily transfer use of that game to him, provided that I don't play it at the same time he does.  Correct?
If you give him the originals and wipe the game from your machine that would be okay. If you don't wipe the game but don't play it that's more iffy (some licenses specifically allow for that but those are rare). If you give him your backup copy instead of the original that's considered "distribution" so that's not legal unless the license specifically allows it.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Samwise on August 20, 2008, 10:27:20 PM
No. You are breaking copyright if you fully photocopy a book without authorisation and then lend it out to people.

That's if we want to make video games = books when it comes to copyright.

And yet there are photocopy machines in libraries.  And (at least in the US) there's no sort of monitoring to prevent someone from photocopying a book in its entirety and bringing it home.

So why is one both culturally acceptable and never prosecuted (even if it's technically illegal) and the other EVIL INTARWEB THIEVERY that huge amounts of money must be spent to combat?


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Trippy on August 20, 2008, 10:38:03 PM
No. You are breaking copyright if you fully photocopy a book without authorisation and then lend it out to people.

That's if we want to make video games = books when it comes to copyright.

And yet there are photocopy machines in libraries.  And (at least in the US) there's no sort of monitoring to prevent someone from photocopying a book in its entirety and bringing it home.

So why is one both culturally acceptable and never prosecuted (even if it's technically illegal) and the other EVIL INTARWEB THIEVERY that huge amounts of money must be spent to combat?
Cause book publishers don't have an umbrella organization like the ASCAP/RIAA and MPAA to go after evildoers.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Tebonas on August 21, 2008, 02:32:06 AM
Because copying books isn't convenient. The price and time to copy a whole book is worth almost as much as the original, and it is not as good to read.

Whereas digital distributed media doesn't lose usability when copied. E-Books should have the same problem, but not good old treeguts.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Samwise on August 21, 2008, 01:29:39 PM
When the photocopier became common technology, publishers predicted that their industry would die a horrible death and that nobody would bother writing books any more because there wouldn't be any money in it.  Quick, someone warn J. K. Rowling!

Ditto for the VCR; the MPAA was sure at one point that once people could reproduce movies at will, bootlegs would shut down all the theaters and movie studios.  Lawsuits were filed attempting to shut down production of the evil machines before they could reach homes.  That sort of settled down once they realized they were making more money off home video sales than they were making at the box office.

Now, it's quite possible that the sky really is falling this time.  Stopped clocks and all that.  But this sort of kerfuffle is nothing new, and by now everyone's accepted photocopiers in libraries and VCRs in homes as not being worth worrying about.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: UnSub on August 21, 2008, 08:52:28 PM
Photocopying a book isn't convenient. Plus, the libraries I used to go to had notices about what was fair to photocopy.

Taping a movie isn't convenient because you still need to shift the physical copies. This did become easier with CDs because CDs are more convenient things to move around and cheaper to produce.

Online piracy has the big advantage of being convenient. You only need one original copy to create an infinite number of pirated copies that anyone can download in their home. The fact that every interest group spins the data to suit their own beliefs doesn't help clear things up, either.

I don't agree with a lot of anti-piracy tactics. But I do think that piracy is a big problem. Ideally we'd be paying smaller royalites on titles we play, or buying them directly from the developer, but boxes on shelves is still the dominant distribution model for gaming.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Samwise on August 21, 2008, 09:19:02 PM
Photocopying a book isn't convenient. Plus, the libraries I used to go to had notices about what was fair to photocopy.

Using a photocopier was way more convenient than writing it out by hand or using a Gutenberg press or whatever people did before they had photocopiers.  And copying a file is way more convenient than using a photocopier.  Maybe ten years from now we'll have eidetic memory implants and all the content industries will be freaking out about the fact that we can watch/read/play something once at a friend's house and have our own "copy" without even having to click a mouse.

The sky wasn't falling back then, and I don't think it's falling now.  The fact that your library has posted notices about what's fair to photocopy sort of underscores that it's not that big a deal, IMO.  Yes, it's wrong to photocopy a book in its entirety in lieu of buying it -- but you know what?  The book sales you might lose to stuff like that aren't worth hiring some guy to loom over the Xerox machine and count the number of pages you run off so he can fine you if it's more than some arbitrary number.  At some point you just have to decide that it's better to let a few jackasses go free than to make the rest of the world suffer.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: UnSub on August 22, 2008, 01:14:18 AM
I agree when it comes to physical copies and I agree, the whole "sky is falling" thing has happened in the past.

However, digital piracy is different. Previously copies of copies used to degrade to some extent, but online a copy of a copy is often just as good as the original. It's quick. It's easy. And it is becoming increasingly accepted as a method of obtaining material you want.

When I used to pirate, I had to at least have a couple of disks with me and find a guy who I could get the copy from. Now I just have to search online and google up any title I want. It's that convenience that is the difference this time. As bandwidth speed increases, the easier it becomes to download pretty much anything. At one point I would have gagged if someone told me to download a 4 GB file. Now I can do it in a few hours and without any problems.

It comes back to the point I think that the copyright holders should receive something for work and that if you don't want to pay for it, you don't have the right to pirate it either.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Samwise on August 22, 2008, 01:18:53 AM
It comes back to the point I think that the copyright holders should receive something for work and that if you don't want to pay for it, you don't have the right to pirate it either.

Yes, but this is true with other types of material as well, and being more or less convenient doesn't make it more or less wrong.  And again, there is a photocopy machine right in the library, and the only thing preventing you from abusing it is a posted notice asking you nicely not to.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: NowhereMan on August 22, 2008, 07:33:16 AM
Imo, the most important thing about the convenience aspect is that it's become easier and more convenient to pirate content than it is to actually purchase it. That's the single biggest step in on-line and digital piracy. However I think the response to that should be to step up and try to make legally purchasing and getting hold of movies and music at least as convenient. Yes you've got to worry about whether those copies are then going to become widely available and this is precisely why the content industries have been dragging their feet and fighting the process itself. Because it introduces new risks and to some extent is going to result in less control over how the product is distributed once it's been purchased. However this is happening regardless of what the industry does, refusing to set up on-line distribution didn't stop sites like the Pirates Bay or programmes like Kazaa.

I'm not arguing here that there's nothing wrong with piracy rather that I think the industry has decided that rather than attempt to deal with a new method of content distribution they've focused in solely on the bad aspects and then tried to crush it. I'm not arguing totally ignore on-line piracy but I'd be fairly confident that if the major film and music companies followed Apple's lead and created ways people can conveniently purchase reliable quality copies of the product for a reasonable price that would probably have a greater impact on internet piracy than any number of court cases. Frankly I don't think piracy would have become quite so generally widespread so quickly if things like iStore had been started years ago. People aren't habitually criminals, they are typically lazy and, to an extent, cheap. Piracy only becomes particularly desirable when it is significantly easier than doing things legally or doing things legally is seen as very overpriced.

This of course wouldn't stop hard-core pirates or people who try to crack games. That's because these tend not to be your average consumer, they pirate products because they hate the content industry or they get a kick out of cracking a game. They aren't a large group of potential consumers and many consumers would rather pay a fee to be guaranteed decent quality if it's also as convenient.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Samwise on August 22, 2008, 09:53:39 AM
I agree with what NowhereMan said.  And I think part of why the content industries are freaking out and having the "OMG PIRACY" reaction instead of trying to fix their distribution systems to be competitive is that they sense that they (at least the publishing/distribution/marketing arms, which is what entities like the RIAA tend to represent the most) might soon be entirely obsolete.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: UnSub on August 23, 2008, 09:41:18 AM
I agree that a number of copyright holders haven't behaved particularly well regarding online distribution. However, I think the biggest issue is that they are competing with a distribution system that is free. That's really hard to compete with using a payment model of some kind.

I've got friends who love music, but argue that even paying $1 for a song is too much when they can get it free online or off a friend. How do you compete with that kind of mentality, where everyone shares what they have to the detriment of the copyright holder? Paypal accounts on every official band web page?


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Samwise on August 24, 2008, 02:13:51 AM
Make it easier to purchase than it is to find it for free, make your product better than the free thing (the product you're selling is not just the content itself but its delivery mechanism), and pass the savings you're getting from online distribution on to the consumer, or at the very least make sure that the online version doesn't have any special drawbacks.  Don't have DRM that'll make your purchased content more difficult to use than pirated content.  Once a customer has purchased something, remember it and allow repeated downloads so that they don't have to keep their own backups of your content or fall back to getting a pirated copy to replace the one they paid for and lost in a hard drive crash.

It's not just that P2P networks are free.  It's that in many cases they do the job better, and are also free.  If you have a multibillion dollar business built around marketing and delivering content to consumers, and you can't do it better than a bunch of Internet hobbyists, maybe you should take a good hard look at how you're doing business.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: stu on August 24, 2008, 12:43:07 PM
I didn't see thiss anywhere else here:

http://www.eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=220176 (http://www.eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=220176)

Quote
EA Sports boss Peter Moore has said he doesn't support the move to sue consumers for illegal downloading - warning, "It didn't work for the music industry."

Moore was speaking to Eurogamer at the Leipzig Games Convention, following the announcement that five games companies are taking legal action against 25,000 file-sharing internet users.

"I'm not a huge fan of trying to punish your consumer," he said. "Albeit these people have clearly stolen intellectual property, I think there are better ways of resolving this within our power as developers and publishers.

"Yes, we've got to find solutions," Moore continued. "We absolutely should crack down on piracy. People put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into their content and deserve to get paid for it. It's absolutely wrong, it is stealing.

"But at the same time I think there are better solutions than chasing people for money. I'm not sure what they are, other than to build game experiences that make it more difficult for there to be any value in pirating games."

According to Moore, there are lessons to be learned from the experiences of other industries. "If we learned anything from the music business, they just don't win any friends by suing their consumers," he observed. "Speaking personally, I think our industry does not want to fall foul of what happened with music."

When asked whether EA has any plans to go down the same road as Atari, Codemasters and the other publishers launching the legal action, Moore replied, "Not as far as I'm aware. Regarding what EA needs to do - I can't comment on that. EA takes piracy very seriously, and people deserve to get paid for content they create.

"But as far as I'm aware, we have no plans, that I know of, to partner with Atari and Codemasters and chase down consumers," he added.

So, Mr. Moore has no idea how to go about solving his company's problem. At least he is trying to think outside the box.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: naum on August 24, 2008, 12:50:58 PM
Make it easier to purchase than it is to find it for free, make your product better than the free thing (the product you're selling is not just the content itself but its delivery mechanism), and pass the savings you're getting from online distribution on to the consumer, or at the very least make sure that the online version doesn't have any special drawbacks.  Don't have DRM that'll make your purchased content more difficult to use than pirated content.  Once a customer has purchased something, remember it and allow repeated downloads so that they don't have to keep their own backups of your content or fall back to getting a pirated copy to replace the one they paid for and lost in a hard drive crash.

You nailed it. Make it EASY to FIND and PURCHASE.

I loathe DRM but in the aggregate, customers don't really care about DRM or "free as in speech, not in beer", they just want things to work with a minimum of effort — "Don't Make Me Think!"… …and they get angry when DRM blocks you from using something you purchased money for…

Seamless one click purchase with painless install & upgrades means only a small, infinitesimal fraction will explore free alternatives…


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Samwise on August 24, 2008, 01:04:21 PM
I loathe DRM but in the aggregate, customers don't really care about DRM or "free as in speech, not in beer", they just want things to work with a minimum of effort — "Don't Make Me Think!"… …and they get angry when DRM blocks you from using something you purchased money for…

I feel like I should hate DRM on ideological grounds, but I find that practically speaking I only hate it when it gets in my way. 

The iTunes store, for example, I don't like because I can't play their freaky-deaky content on non-Apple software/hardware (unless I pay an extra 60% premium for the non-DRM high quality version), and I need to keep my own backups of whatever I download from them because they can't be bothered to record my purchases and let me re-download them.  Also, I have to burn the music to disc before I can play it in the car, which is where I do most of my music listening; this isn't the DRM's fault, but it means that I get less value for my money if I buy from the iTunes store compared with buying a CD (which I can then very easily rip into iTunes or any other MP3 player at any quality I like with no DRM).  The only plus of the store is having everything pre-tagged, but free solutions are catching up in that regard.

Steam I like because it's never once stopped me from playing a game I paid for, and installing/re-installing via Steam is much more pleasant than using discs, so I feel like I actually get more value for my money (and Steam-purchased games tend to be a little cheaper to boot).  The fact that when I built my last computer I could get most of my games installed just by installing Steam and letting everything download overnight as opposed to swapping about 30 CDs for the same period of time was a big win.  There's also added value in the form of the in-game chat, "Join this Game" friend features, etc., so it's not like having Steam itself installed is any sort of burden.  Oh, and unlike iTunes it doesn't persistently try to bring its friends along for the ride.

Limited-install bullshit, adding new system drivers that can't be removed and may cause instability, disc checks, et cetera, can all bite me.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: NowhereMan on August 24, 2008, 08:08:15 PM
Fake edit: Wrote a post and realised it was a mini-essay when I finished.
The main points were: 3 factors that affect how people acquire files: 1)Financial cost 2)Time cost 3)Quality of product.

Financial can't be won and for a subset of people it's the only important one. Generally people who've got lots of time and little money or who hate the "big bad industry". They can't be persuaded to do things legally and frankly I'd say most of them aren't really lost sales simply because they either wouldn't have been able to afford much anyway or would refuse to buy much.

Time really I guess means convenience or the amount of effort needed. At the moment P2P programmes and BitTorrent make pirating a winner here too. Having to physically go out and track down the CD I want or wait 3-4 days for delivery all make pirating it more attractive. I think this is something the industry, if it actually tries could win out on simply because there's the potential to create a small number of very comprehensive services. If people know one place they're going to be guaranteed to find what they want they'll probably head straight there. Apple Store is a great examle.
 
Quality is a bit more nebulous but also something I'm not sure much attention gets paid to. I don't just mean screen resolution or bit rate by this, that's a factor certainly though. It also includes things like reliability, if half the movies I download from a bittorrent site turn out to be in Spanish it's a pain in the ass. If I can't be sure that they're not shitty, grainy, filmed in the cinema things I'm going to be less inclined to head there to download them. The industry got its head round this and the RIAA and others have been uploading bad copies of files for ages. However quality also includes things like my capacity to use the file, something heavy DRM seriously affects. Basically I think the industry with DRM is actually fucking the one advantage it naturally has over pirates in terms of attracting people. The level of impact of DRM is variable depending on what it does but quality is something that is reflective of all products. Generally consumers don't research each individual product (games are a bit different because of the fan following element) and if I buy a CD that breaks my PC or I can't play much like downloading a copy of Dark Knight that turns out to be Batman and Robin Returns in Spanish, it's going to affect how generally willing I am to obtain stuff from the same place again.

I guess the point being, the traditional industry approach has been to stop piracy which is a different one from minimising its effects. In fact in trying to stop piracy (which I don't think is possible) its actually increasing the effects that it has by decreasing the quality of products for consumers. Trust is part of it simply because not trusting the consumer results in limiting what he can do with his product. It isn't that this is a lack of respect (it is but I don't think that's the major factor) rather its that it makes the product itself less desirable. While it can't beat the Cost factor of piracy if they could make legally purchased products win on Time and Quality lots of people who would otherwise have pirated stuff will get it legally because its easier and more reliable. Piracy would still exist but hopefully the number of actual lost sales would be minimised.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: snowwy on April 12, 2009, 10:44:21 PM
As far as the music-industry goes ,the only thing they seem interested in is keeping that cashflow filling up their boardrooms. They use a business-model made about the same time the Roman empire reigned, and flat out refuse to make ANY kind of easy-to-use-not-costing-a-metric-fuckton kind of platform. Know why piracy of music is oh so easy to do? Because most people these days store their music on their laptops/PC and use them as their media platform.  So besides iTunes may be total crap for all know, allergic to Apple(s)), name a few good, solid web-based sites that offer service in the way Steam does with games. (you may disagree with that though  :awesome_for_real: )
Anyways, doesn't seem to me like modern day artists are short on cash  :grin:
 Better hurry and get that new Bentley Mr Executive, your days are numbered......riiiiiight


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Hindenburg on April 13, 2009, 09:18:41 AM
Any particular reason why you decided to necro this?


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Samwise on April 13, 2009, 10:34:03 AM
Probably the usual reason.  Gold-farm spam in 3... 2...


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: UKLN8860 on November 20, 2009, 10:39:23 AM
 :pedobear:


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Rasix on November 20, 2009, 10:40:56 AM
:pedobear:

You're leading off with that?


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Cyrrex on November 20, 2009, 10:50:29 AM
Nothing like necroing a post with good ole pedobear for your first post ever.  I like him.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Sky on November 20, 2009, 10:56:07 AM
This guy seems legit.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Yegolev on November 20, 2009, 11:36:23 AM
I think one of you guys left the back door open this morning.


Title: Re: Does it come down to trust?
Post by: Bzalthek on November 29, 2009, 03:33:37 PM
That's what HE said!