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Calantus
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Reply #35 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.
cmlancas
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Reply #36 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.  swamp poop

f13 Street Cred of the week:
I can't promise anything other than trauma and tragedy. -- schild
schild
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Reply #37 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.
cmlancas
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Reply #38 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?  DRILLING AND MANLINESS

f13 Street Cred of the week:
I can't promise anything other than trauma and tragedy. -- schild
schild
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Reply #39 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.
IainC
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Reply #40 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.

- And in stranger Iains, even Death may die -

SerialForeigner Photography.
Fabricated
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Reply #41 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.

"The world is populated in the main by people who should not exist." - George Bernard Shaw
veredus
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Reply #42 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.
Calantus
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Reply #43 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.
Xerapis
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Reply #44 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.

..I want to see gamma rays. I want to hear x-rays. I want to...smell dark matter...and feel the solar wind of a supernova flowing over me...
cmlancas
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Reply #45 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!

f13 Street Cred of the week:
I can't promise anything other than trauma and tragedy. -- schild
Ratman_tf
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Reply #46 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.



 "What I'm saying is you should make friends with a few catasses, they smell funny but they're very helpful."
-Calantus makes the best of a smelly situation.
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Reply #47 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. 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.

sinij
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Reply #48 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?
« Last Edit: April 04, 2008, 12:35:25 AM by sinij »

Eternity is a very long time, especially towards the end.
sinij
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Reply #49 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.

Eternity is a very long time, especially towards the end.
driph
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Reply #50 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.





Chris
WayAbvPar
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Reply #51 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.

When speaking of the MMOG industry, the glass may be half full, but it's full of urine. HaemishM

Always wear clean underwear because you never know when a Tory Government is going to fuck you.- Ironwood

Who the hell taught you how to write? Fuck, that sentence is like internet transmitted face-attacking knives. Jesus. schild
Ratman_tf
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Reply #52 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.



 "What I'm saying is you should make friends with a few catasses, they smell funny but they're very helpful."
-Calantus makes the best of a smelly situation.
WayAbvPar
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Reply #53 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.

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.

When speaking of the MMOG industry, the glass may be half full, but it's full of urine. HaemishM

Always wear clean underwear because you never know when a Tory Government is going to fuck you.- Ironwood

Who the hell taught you how to write? Fuck, that sentence is like internet transmitted face-attacking knives. Jesus. schild
NiX
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Locomotive Pandamonium


Reply #54 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.)
IainC
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Reply #55 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?

- And in stranger Iains, even Death may die -

SerialForeigner Photography.
Furiously
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Reply #56 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.

schild
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Reply #57 on: April 04, 2008, 12:20:28 PM

Ah, but you forgot one thing:

MMOGs aren't games.
cmlancas
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Reply #58 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.

f13 Street Cred of the week:
I can't promise anything other than trauma and tragedy. -- schild
schild
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Reply #59 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.
veredus
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Reply #60 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.
trias_e
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Reply #61 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!
« Last Edit: April 04, 2008, 01:17:27 PM by trias_e »
HaemishM
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Reply #62 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."

Furiously
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Reply #63 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?

driph
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Reply #64 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.

Chris
bhodi
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No lie.


Reply #65 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.
Furiously
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Reply #66 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.

NiX
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Reply #67 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.
Ratman_tf
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Reply #68 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.  DRILLING AND MANLINESS



 "What I'm saying is you should make friends with a few catasses, they smell funny but they're very helpful."
-Calantus makes the best of a smelly situation.
tkinnun0
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Reply #69 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.
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