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 Post subject: Re: Extra Credits: Piracy
PostPosted: May 14th, 2012, 10:36 pm 
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Well, you really don't own any part of the game. If it's a boxed copy, you own the box and the disk, and that's about it. What you get is the license to play the game. The terms of that license can be very different. Nobody really says that the license has to be unlimited in duration. Naturally, pricing/sales should reflect that, and after a fashion, it does. Steam sales are better due to the promise that DRM will be disabled if Steam servers have to go down some time in the future. So with Steam, the license is unlimited in duration, at least as promised. If another company provides their own DRM, they can establish their own duration for the license.


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 Post subject: Re: Extra Credits: Piracy
PostPosted: May 16th, 2012, 11:13 am 
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Silence wrote:
I think there was an episode where Ubisoft's servers went down and people who legally owned Assassin's Creed 2 could no longer enjoy their single-player, which brings me to a deeper issue I have.


This has just recently happened with Diablo 3. After the initial launch snafu (expected), Blizzard took down their servers to swap in some fresher hamsters (also expected.) The problem is that some people were playing single-player; they didn't want to play with friends, they wanted to experience everything for the first time on their own, without other players.

They still can't play, because the servers are coming down. This is not something that should become commonplace.

What I really, really want to see is a big-name developer release a major game completely devoid of DRM; protect the source code and whatnot if you'd like (I think that's fair, don't you?), but don't use DRM. If it's available through Steam or Origin or whatever, that's fine - just make it so that Steam and Origin are just there to help you get it, but aren't required to be running in order to launch/play it. Again, no DRM whatsoever.

How much do you want to fucking bet that the big-name developer does that makes trainloads of money on top of what the IP (intellectual property; the game franchise/universe) makes to begin with? What if Valve released Half-Life 3 with absolutely zero DRM of any kind?

Do game developers really understand just how willing gamers are to give them their money if they feel their product is worth it?

Understand, this would be an enormous risk the studio would be taking - but that's absolutely critical, too. If you're releasing a two-bit game you drummed up in a few weeks' time, it's still something, but it wouldn't be enough.

Releasing a huge, massive multi-million dollar project that took years of effort to create? And not protecting it from piracy? That shows a level of trust in their consumers that is fucking unheard of, not just in the gaming industry but in damned near any industry.

Know what I think would happen?

They'd probably lose a couple hundred thousand in lost sales, but they'd gain a couple dozen million in sales from people who are giving them money simply because of how fucking much they appreciate that gesture of trust - the developer is treating their consumers as people, not as a fucking threat.

I was just recently reading about CD Projekt, makers of the Witcher games, and how they're releasing their games DRM-free because they think DRM is bullshit; not only that, but they're also releasing DLC for free. The only DLC they said they'd charge for are full-on expansions, or actual games.

Know what? I can get behind that. Know how I'm gonna show that? I'm gonna go buy their fucking games, full price, even though I don't like the Witcher games. That kind of behavior from a developer deserves my fucking money.


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 Post subject: Re: Extra Credits: Piracy
PostPosted: May 16th, 2012, 2:25 pm 
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Manishtushu wrote:
1. The hardcore pirate. These are the people who frequent torrent sites, who collect multi-terabytes of pirated content, most of which they probably don't even use. If something can be pirated, they'll pirate it.
2. The cheapskate. They can probably afford to buy one or two games a month at full price, but why do that when you can get them for free? Then you can spend your money on something else. This person is also most likely to be a student, with only small amounts of disposable income.
3. The locked out. These are people who simply can't get it legally. It may not be distributed in their country. It may be banned, or simply overlooked. Or on the other side, it may be so old that no one sells it anymore. There's just no way to get it legally.
4. The casual pirate. These can be people who don't even know what piracy is. A friend likes the look of a game? Sure, fire up the DVD burner and give them a copy. They probably don't know anything about torrents or cracks.

I make the confession, and I make it easily. I have pirated Software (and other mediums). And I think I don't know anyone who hasn't. Well, If I'm in any way represantive and the asumption that pirating kills the content industry (and as a software developer I'm part of it) would be true, it would be extinct for a long time now.

Why is that?

Because, as much as I know no one who never pirated, I don't know anyone who hadn't also legally bought content.

Actually, I suppose, you can see pirating as a form of marketing. That doesn't work so well for games and music (yet still) but it works excellent with other types of software. My earliest "pirating" experiences have been with the Commodore 64. With that homecomputer (treated by many as a console ;-) ) Things got really messy. Nearly everyone I know who had one tried to pirate as much games as possible, often collecting over a hundred titles (making them the type 1). So its no wonder the gaming industrie cried out and lobbied hard measures against pirating. It was also the time when they started to treat every copy as a lost profit. Yet the whole calculation had a big mistake in it. People got the C64 in large numbers because games where so easily available. And While the average user had his collection of pirated games, most had two or three games as boxed, bought versions. Copies that would have not been sold without the existence of the pirated versions who got the people to buy the hardware in the first place.

Manishtushu wrote:
1. Make the legitimate copy of the game better than a pirated copy
Or, failing that, don't make the legal version of your game worse than a pirated copy. Asking someone for money to get a worse version isn't a great sales tactic, guys.

2. Make the game available everywhere, fairly
It may be difficult logistically, but don't stagger distribution (maybe a day either way is permissible), don't lock out regions, and deliver it digitally to everyone at the same price - for fuck's sake, get rid of regional pricing. Telling someone they have to pay twice as much - in the same currency - as someone in another country is telling your customer that you don't value them as much as another customer.

3. Provide good support
It's actually amazing what this will do. Have you seen the forums for some indie games, where people will buy many copies of the game and give them to friends just to support the developers? You can also see this with some big companies that participate with their fans, causing them to come back for game after game. It's amazing how loyal gamers can be if they feel like they have a relationship with the developer.

That's pretty much it. A bit long winded, but if there's a TLDR version of the post, it would go like this:

You won't ever stamp out piracy, so don't bother. A minimal amount of DRM is all that is needed, any more and you're doing more harm to your product than good. Focus the majority of your efforts on making purchasing your game a better experience, and more convenient than piracy can ever do.


The lack of these sum pretty much up why I pirate. DRM being the main problem. I used the first filesharing tools because it was so easy to get music that was not easily to be found anywhere else, here it was a search and a click away. I wanted to be able to read a book on a handheld electronical medium (Tablet PC, PocketPC, Cellphone and the like, most preferably on a paperlike ebook) and keep it. Beside a nice printed version on the shelf. But I cannot get a legal digital copy without hard DRM restriction. Music is available now legally with the same comfort that started me downloading it illegal in the first place, but with DRM restrictions that actually garanty that you have to either pirate it anyway or buy it over and over again, if you want to change the medium, reinstall the OS or anything like that. (By the way, that led me personally to prefer Creative Commons licensed music and restricting myself to legal streaming for other sound instead of buying)

But its not only DRM. Try to be a legal customer when using Microsoft products (espacially in a company). The licence terms are often that complicated, that many, many people "pirate" Software without even knowing it. In my experience even Microsoft sales people don't really have the neccesary insight.

Than there is another problem. If you work in an office there is a set of software you should know well. Microsoft Office, Adobe Products and the like. People need to learn to use this products, but each copy, depending on the software, has a pricetag in the middle three figures. Thats why some companies actually make their products easy to hack (Adobes copy protection is a joke). The more people have experiences with the software, the more likely its used in a corporate setting, where the products definatly am bought (Well, I've seen some struggling, small companies that didn't, but its the exception)

I run emulator software for older Nintendo Products. I wouldn't have too, I also have a Wii and you can purchase older titles for it. But I found the process pretty painfull, when I looked into buying one of the older Mario titles.

If I look at the problem from a meta view I can see why the problem exists. Copies of mediums are only a product because legislation makes it one. Its hard to get around this reality and creating a feeling of buying a real product in the same way you buy hardware. I also think that its the wrong concept to monetize in the long run. But the internet has provided us with better working models.
Subscriptions, Actually financing the production instead of the copies (I think this is what makes Kickstarter projects so attractive). Freemium. These actually work with games.

In case of Application development the Open Source model is actually quite attractive and since most of my projects where on individualized software, as most application development is, I don't see a monetization problem at all here.

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 Post subject: Re: Extra Credits: Piracy
PostPosted: May 16th, 2012, 10:07 pm 
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KSquared wrote:
Well, you really don't own any part of the game. If it's a boxed copy, you own the box and the disk, and that's about it. What you get is the license to play the game. The terms of that license can be very different. Nobody really says that the license has to be unlimited in duration. Naturally, pricing/sales should reflect that, and after a fashion, it does. Steam sales are better due to the promise that DRM will be disabled if Steam servers have to go down some time in the future. So with Steam, the license is unlimited in duration, at least as promised. If another company provides their own DRM, they can establish their own duration for the license.


I'll agree with you there, and basically just say that I'm going to miss the days of unlimited licensing. I'm also going to miss the times where I wasn't required to have them check my license in order to play. I'm also gonna miss LAN parties. BLAST YOU BLIZZARD!!! :: slams fists against ground ::

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 Post subject: Re: Extra Credits: Piracy
PostPosted: May 17th, 2012, 9:32 am 
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Truth be told, I'm quite used to piracy.
You see, I live in Argentina, which suffers the same problems as Brazil.
Just to point a few things:

* Having to pay twice or thrice for games, consoles, computers and programs, and sometimes even more.
* No support from the companies, even when they have brunches in your city.
* There ain't any sort of "discount" or "promotion" to help you make stuff more affordable (buy 3 games, take one 30% off).
* No guarantee the game/program can be returned.
* No way of knowing how or when the game is going to be released, depending more on luck than anything else.
* Prices than never go below 40$ dollars a game.
* Most of the money I'd pay wouldn't go to the true minds behind the product, but the executive owners/taxes/copy right holders.

All those things make you feel really depressed. If Sonny, Microsoft, Apple or Nintendo cared A LITTLE about my country, they'd not behave like this.


They clearly don't give a fuck about me or my people.
In return, I don't give a fuck about them, and pirate things to my heart content.

Only exceptions is when I see groups that are not guilty of such ill behavior, as a 3d party developer of an indie game.

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 Post subject: Re: Extra Credits: Piracy
PostPosted: May 18th, 2012, 2:15 pm 
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Pirates aren't good people who will suddenly do right if they appreciate what a game developer has done. EC covered every single exception where it becomes understandable (like the game not being available in the country you live in), but the rampant piracy in developed nations as well as most pirates' self-righteous asshole attitude makes it abundantly clear just what most of them are - psychopaths. And, by far, most psychologists agree that pshychopaths can't ever feel sympathy, empathy, remorse, or love; it's extremely idealistic to think they'll feel the sympathy to care for the game developers' well-being or the remorse to regret ripping them off.

It sounds like you're a good person, PizzaSHARK, so I don't want this to sound too confrontational or critical. Just know that what you describe isn't normal of pirates. It actually sounds like you're doing something very common to human behavior despite its enormous probability for error - assuming others are like you. I've assumed others are like me quite often, so I don't want to sound like I'm too good to make that mistake. It's just key to understand that "turn the other cheek" also makes the world go blind, because then serial eye-gougers are allowed to run rampant and gouge out people's eyes as they please.

In case anyone is curious, my take on how to deal with crime is "two eyes for two eyes" which is comparable to the more commonly said "everyone deserves a second chance." This is because, if someone is a good person, he/she will stop hurting others of his/her own will. However, if he/she doesn't stop of his/her own will, you have to stop him/her (lest the serial eye-gouger blind the world).


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 Post subject: Re: Extra Credits: Piracy
PostPosted: May 18th, 2012, 2:46 pm 
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Pirate isn't such a negatively associated word, there's this pirate party that "wins" one elections after another:

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The distribution of digital property rights and copyright laws clearly needs an update. Society has to reconcile creators and consumers.


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 Post subject: Re: Extra Credits: Piracy
PostPosted: May 18th, 2012, 3:02 pm 
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If ones business model consists of having legislature (often lobbied) and than treating all your potential customers as potential criminals there is something wrong with the business model. Thats why I pointed out that there am business models that work. Those that work have in common that they don't treat only ever a lizenced copy as a product, but build the business around that.

And I have to ask, if developers ain't a bit set up by the content industry because on the business journals I read of the monumental profits of the gaming industry, here on extra credit I read (and watch) cries for help because the lower end jobs (who actually am the creatives) are treated like shit. I don't make the connection between the always existing expence of piracy and the income/working condition problems here. Zynga e.g. hasn't a piracy problem because of their monetizing structure, is a shooting star in revenues, but is said to be one of the worst employers (or contractors).

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 Post subject: Re: Extra Credits: Piracy
PostPosted: May 21st, 2012, 2:28 pm 
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SarahAndreaRoyce wrote:
If ones business model consists of having legislature (often lobbied) and than treating all your potential customers as potential criminals there is something wrong with the business model. Thats why I pointed out that there am business models that work. Those that work have in common that they don't treat only ever a lizenced copy as a product, but build the business around that.

And I have to ask, if developers ain't a bit set up by the content industry because on the business journals I read of the monumental profits of the gaming industry, here on extra credit I read (and watch) cries for help because the lower end jobs (who actually am the creatives) are treated like shit. I don't make the connection between the always existing expence of piracy and the income/working condition problems here. Zynga e.g. hasn't a piracy problem because of their monetizing structure, is a shooting star in revenues, but is said to be one of the worst employers (or contractors).


I don't think working conditions and piracy are related, really. I guess if a business was indeed losing profits to piracy (which is highly unlikely, honestly; they're more likely to lose sales due to low quality content or, ironically, byzantine DRM methods) you'd see the cuts come out of the drones' paychecks and not the CEO's, but I'm not really comfortable drawing a line connecting the two.

But you're right that the major problem is that many developers and publishers treat their consumers as a threat, rather than as potential friends. Well, friend isn't the right word, but it's the only one that pops into my mind without me needing to spend 10 minutes with a thesaurus.

Services like Steam are definitely the best compromise available, though even Steam isn't without faults - it needs much better Offline Mode tools so that players with inconsistent internet connections (soldiers on tour, people living out in the boonies, etc) can still reliably play their games. But it's a start, and I've never felt like Valve treats me as a threat rather than as a valued customer.


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 Post subject: Re: Extra Credits: Piracy
PostPosted: May 24th, 2012, 3:25 pm 
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As for games without DRMs it should be mentioned that The Witcher 2 was shipped without any DRMs of any kind.
Also its really a shame that nobody has mentioned GOG.com.

Here´s a store that actually DO what people are asking for: sure you need a stable Internet connection to buy and download the games, but once they are downloaded and installed you can play them without any Internet connection of any kind.

The main problem with GOG.com is that GOG stands Great old Games old being the word the games they sell are from the 80s and 90s sure they are still great but for those who are looking for modern day games they are mostly looking in vain on that site.

But i do hope that more game developers will go the GOG route they only Internet connection you need for playing the single player games is when you are installing the game otherwise you don´t need any.


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 Post subject: Re: Extra Credits: Piracy
PostPosted: May 26th, 2012, 12:03 pm 
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Maybe this point would be better asked if Extra Credits ever makes a copyright episode....but since you guys are bringing up older games being provided by GOG.com and Steam offers older games too....

What do you think about the prices being charged for these older games? Does it really make sense? Is it worth it? Does it influence Piracy?

I took a look at the games on the front page of GOG.com and they listed Syndicate (1993), Dungeon Keeper 1 (1997), Dungeon Keeper 2 (1999), Nox (2000), Crusader No Remorse (1995), etc each for $5.99. I also looked up an old game on Steam, UFO X-Com Defense (1994) for $4.99, and I'm sure there's other equally as old games on Steam going for roughly that price. All these games are really old, 12 to 19 years old....and trust me that's a really really long time ago because I remember when each of these games came out.

My point is, are games this old really worth the price they're charging for them? Considering I bought Dead Space 1, Deadspace 2, Fallout New Vegas each on Steam for $5 on sale when those games are only a year old to a couple of years....well vastly newer than the previous mentioned "old games" and more advanced in the amount of content and programing and cost to make.

I'm sure it's arguable that the IP holders can charge anything they want for their product no matter how old it is, and the marketing of corporations like Steam can use any tactics & strategy to undercut the competition to try to increase sales. But to the customers, does it really make sense such old games still costs that much? I wouldn't expect arcade coin-op games that cost a quarter to play 25 years ago to cost even a nickel today. Sure a nickel isn't that much, but it's still kind of a ripoff if you think about it. I would expect it to be free or a penny at the most.

I was trying to think of other products that get old and how they depreciate as a comparison. When thinking of cars, they get old and are worth less and less.....however they get physically old whereas software doesn't really, unless you count not running on the same OS anymore. However, if somebody was to make a 1980 car today exactly like before using all new parts so it wouldn't be old, would they be able to sell it for anywhere near half or quarter of the price of a comparable newer car out there today?

I think the entertainment industry has tricked us into thinking things don't depreciate. Look at old popular movies that were on VHS, then Laser Discs, DVD, and now Blu-Ray....same movie maintaining the same sale price. I assume old books, music, and such are more or less the same way too. I guess music is being offered for $1 on iTunes? I don't know....but is that like them trying to compete with the pirates?

Anyways, these questions might be better addressed with an episode on Copyrights. As I understand copyrights, it's supposed to allow the IP holder to be able to profit for a certain amount of time (which keeps getting extended) and then it goes into the public domain (free for all). This doesn't seem to be happening anymore, and the non-IP Holders who are supposed to be getting public domain stuff for free is getting screwed (yeah that sounds dramatic, but you know what I mean for the lack of better words). Does all this influence/motivate the pirates and people who pirate? Also since the Extra Credits Video talks about the people who make the games (not necessarily them being the IP Holders) who needs the money....when you buy an old game from Steam or GOG.com does all the "drones" who made the game get compensated today? Programmers? Graphic Artists? Voice Actors? Music Composers? SFX people? Somehow I think they get nothing.


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 Post subject: Re: Extra Credits: Piracy
PostPosted: May 26th, 2012, 1:08 pm 
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In overall response to you, Blitzwing, I think it has to do with the intrinsic entertainment value of those old games. Even old games can be fun, despite being old, meaning they can give you hours and hours of entertainment, just like new games at the same price can.

A car analogy for them doesn't make much sense, because an older car will be inefficient compared to its newer counterparts. But for GOG.com, the games are, in a sense, more efficient, because the hardware has evolved, meaning the software runs smoothly and takes relative less space.

I would definitely say those old games are worth the price GOG.com asks for them.

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 Post subject: Re: Extra Credits: Piracy
PostPosted: May 27th, 2012, 2:40 am 
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The only thing to add is that no one's getting screwed by these old games not being in the public domain. Every country's copyright laws differ a little, but IIRC the U.S.'s copyright laws (as a frame of reference) don't have creative works enter the public domain until:
95 years after the work was created
70 years after the creator died
or whichever occurs first between those two.
It's basically designed to last the creator's whole life. Or it lasts until the creative work is no longer relevant. :lol:
IIRC it's also possible for the creator to transfer the copyright to someone else through his/her will upon dying.


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 Post subject: Re: Extra Credits: Piracy
PostPosted: May 27th, 2012, 3:12 am 
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http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2011- ... -for-steam


__________________________________________________________________________
Valve co-founder and CEO Gabe Newell believes piracy stems not from price, but from convenience. And as Steam boasts fast access to a dizzying selection of games, so piracy has become "basically a non-issue" for Valve.
"In general, we think there is a fundamental misconception about piracy," Newell told The Cambridge Student, via VG247. "Piracy is almost always a service problem and not a pricing problem.
"For example, if a pirate offers a product anywhere in the world, 24x7, purchasable from the convenience of your personal computer, and the legal provider says the product is region-locked, will come to your country 3 months after the US release, and can only be purchased at a brick and mortar store, then the pirate's service is more valuable. Most DRM solutions diminish the value of the product by either directly restricting a customers use or by creating uncertainty.
"Our goal is to create greater service value than pirates, and this has been successful enough for us that piracy is basically a non-issue for our company.
"For example," Newell added, "prior to entering the Russian market, we were told that Russia was a waste of time because everyone would pirate our products. Russia is now about to become our largest market in Europe....
___________________________________________________________________________

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 Post subject: Re: Extra Credits: Piracy
PostPosted: May 27th, 2012, 3:31 am 
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Quote:
IIRC it's also possible for the creator to transfer the copyright to someone else through his/her will upon dying.


His estate, or another named party can be entitled to copyright, but it's still limited by the life plus 70 years thing.


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 Post subject: Re: Extra Credits: Piracy
PostPosted: May 27th, 2012, 4:45 am 
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@Strawb

I think some could say they find the game experience of Monopoly, Chess, Checkers, or Poker more fun than old or new games. Should the software version of these board games still cost the same as old games even though they're much much older than old PC games? They do run more efficiently than old games just like old games to new game.

Somehow I find it hard to justify that board games should really cost as much as old games...even though the actual physical versions of them cost more. I agree that the gaming experience of old games could be much better than new games, but theoretically speaking the new games generally are or should be better than the old games. And old games should depreciate based on age and not how good they are....otherwise nothing good will ever be free. Imagine the best stuff in public domain still costing money instead of being free just because it's still good.

@smellybelly

Well the way I think of public domain is when things become that, it becomes the property of all of us so that we all can benefit from it free of charge. By making it take longer before things become public domain, I see that as depriving all of us something longer to allow the IP holder to try to profit longer. It's kind of greedy in my opinion, but that's just my opinion. 70 to 95 years seems way too long of a time, especially now a days when things get obsoleted so fast. I think that's the problem in combination of corporations extending the copyrights, which I think they did in the '80? or '90?

-----

I don't know, I was thinking about all this some more after my initial post. I doubt people making the games today and before (for old games) are really profiting from them being sold today. Today's game maker "drone" probably does their job and gets a salary. Once the game launches, profits from the game doesn't go back to the "drone"....probably only the publisher and IP holder gets the cuts of the profits. With old games, unless the game was made by a few people who hold the IP rights still, the "drones" don't see the money of today's sales either.

If one of the game making "drones" says "Hey why don't I get any royalties from the game I worked on 20 years ago", most people would probably think "Why should you continue to get paid for work you did 20 years ago, I wish I continue to get paid for work I did long ago". The Company the "drone" worked for or the current IP holder would probably say "Too bad, that's what you negotiated for in your contract".

But here's the thing, isn't the company or IP holder doing exactly the above? Continuing to try to "get paid for work done 20 years ago"? The pirates or people who pirate are the ones now saying to them "Why should you continue to get paid for work you did 20 years ago? I'm just going get your stuff for free". (Yeah I know, nobody probably cares about people who pirate such old games, but if you look at the movie or music industry the same way....they're going after any pirating no matter how old the stuff is).

I think there's a big disparity here between physical manufactured goods and digital manufactured goods. Physical good you still have to do work today to make them even though all the blue prints and designs are already made. Digital goods, relatively speaking, no work needs to be done to copy and sell them.

If I was a seller of goods, I know I rather be in digital goods and hold as many IP as possible so I can continue making profits off them for relatively no work for 70 to 95 years. But anyways my point is, I don't think copyrights really work for digital goods that well. The more I think about it, the copyright/piracy issue is really more complex than it seems to be....and as more things become digital, it really needs to be sorted out sooner rather than later.


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 Post subject: Re: Extra Credits: Piracy
PostPosted: May 28th, 2012, 9:52 am 
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http://torrentfreak.com/copyright-infri ... ce-110827/

I think this article is actually quite good at highlighting exactly why nobody is lobbying Piracy to be treated as theft.

Basically if it was, i think A LOT more piracy chases would fall out in favor of the accused and even when it doesn´t and the accused is found guilty he/she wouldn´t be sued for everything he/she owns.

This would mean that all those lovely money a lot of the anti-piracy companies is getting from all those chases against average citizens, suddenly wouldn´t be there anymore.

In short it would be suicide for the good business of suing average citizens for piracy, if piracy was suddenly threated as theft.


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 Post subject: Re: Extra Credits: Piracy
PostPosted: May 28th, 2012, 10:18 am 
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I play a lot of old games. I especially love many games of the Nintendo 64 era and I would consider them worth 5 to 10 USD (as I said I would have bought some SNES titles for the Wii if it had not been so compicated, especially when you don't have a credit card). With 20 or more years worth of game development, there are really some gems that am hard to beat with only novelty and "better" graphics. Better in bracelets, because sometimes I think, the older graphics have more charm and are not so flooded. But maybe that's just me. With never games I prefer abstract to realistic, too. Maybe the peak in the uncanny valley comes very early for me ;-)

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 Post subject: Re: Extra Credits: Piracy
PostPosted: May 28th, 2012, 3:09 pm 
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Although I have NEVER pirated a game.. in fact I have never stolen from a shop :? .. I would still be hugely worried if a company such as EA games started filing lawsuits against average gamer's who pirate games.

A huge population of my friends pirated Skyrim but nearly all of them did it to see what the game was like, like a trial run. Later 80% of them purchased the game.

I think a company has fair reason to lay down charges for punishing pirates but we all know that they may go too far.

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 Post subject: Re: Extra Credits: Piracy
PostPosted: August 7th, 2012, 4:42 am 
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I hate arguing semantics...

Fine. I concede. Is piracy stealing? No.

Does that make piracy OK? No.

Piracy is taking something without paying for it. Time, effort, and money went in to making this game possible, and you just took it without offering the creators their rightful dues. While that might not be "Stealing" technically, it's still amoral.

Argue it if you will, but to me this isn't about laws but conscience.


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 Post subject: Re: Extra Credits: Piracy
PostPosted: August 7th, 2012, 11:04 am 
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ZenBear wrote:
I hate arguing semantics...

Fine. I concede. Is piracy stealing? No.

Does that make piracy OK? No.

Piracy is taking something without paying for it. Time, effort, and money went in to making this game possible, and you just took it without offering the creators their rightful dues. While that might not be "Stealing" technically, it's still amoral.

Argue it if you will, but to me this isn't about laws but conscience.


Murder isn't stealing either. That also doesn't make murder ok. BUT!!!
Murder is treated differently from stealing, both in prevention and punnishment. Murder is usually considered worse than stealing aswell. You give different things a different name so you can identify and handle them in different ways.

Piracy is considered less bad than stealing by most people because you don't actually take away an original. Some people MIGHT miss some money, but then there's the question wether or not you would have bought it in the first place and all that.

You want to bring morals and conscience into the picture ? Do some research on the game, music and film industries. You'll find that if there's ANYTHING amoral when it comes to these, it's the big publishers. "Offering the creators their rightful dues" I find that realy a few people actually care about this. Why ? Because every time there's and article about preventing second hand sales (something that ALSO hurts the developers and publishers) people suddenly grab their torches and pitchforks to defend their rights to both sell their old games and buy other games at reduced prices. When it comes to money being made by the publishers and developers, there's no difference between piracy and second hand sales.

Bottom line, no piracy is not ok, but its harm is way overstated by the media and everyone benefiting more from games, music and films than the actual developers. Piracy does hurt developers, but not more than second hand sales. Piracy is amoral, but not as amoral as what some of these big publishers do.

p.s. A small example of the amoral stuff going on in the film industry. The actor who played Darth Vader in Return of the Jedi is not getting paid residuals because due to some creative accounting at Lucasfilm, the movie still isn't profitable.

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 Post subject: Re: Extra Credits: Piracy
PostPosted: August 7th, 2012, 11:47 am 
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markvelthuis wrote:
Piracy does hurt developers,


Hm.

Do we have evidence that people getting games for free has a different effect on sales than people getting books for free (Which increases sales of works by that author, both the one that people get for free - either pirated or legally - and other books by that author, incidentally. To the point that some publishers put up a couple of works by their authors for free online, Baen being the obvious one that does this)?

Is piracy immoral? In the vast majority of situations, sure. (As the EC episode points out, there are cases where you cannot get hold of a legitimate copy, even second hand) Does it harm developers? I've not actually seen any evidence it does, and evidence from other industries indicates that it doesn't when the player isn't paying for it. If the player pays for a pirate copy, then it's as harmful to the developer as used sales - They won't then pay for a copy that the developer gets a cut from.

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 Post subject: Re: Extra Credits: Piracy
PostPosted: August 7th, 2012, 1:20 pm 
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I hate this topic...it always makes me sound like a hippie -.- but here I go again

As a developer...piracy hurts me and I don't like it!
As an artist...I just wan't people to experience my work.

But most importantly: As an individual...I feel like there is something inherently wrong with the way we look at digital goods. And I think the main cause of piracy is that other people feel something similar.

A digital good can be shared by everyone without additional cost to speak of....and having more of something only ads value to the world in general, right? What do I lose if somebody else has played my game? Or seen my movie? Or used my software?
And limiting it is just creating artificial scarcity...or something...I mean...damn it...I don't know...

I can't really put my finger on it...and I do apologize for that...but...the "pain of piracy" is only if I do not get the money that I deserve for the effort and time I've spent on the project.
I've experienced the same pain from working with publishers from hell. Or even as a lowly artist, working in someone else's crappy studio...

I've been thinking a lot about platforms like Kick Starter...you go there and say "this is my idea! Who wants to play THIS game? I need 150k to make it!" and people pay in advance for you to create the thing you promised...after that, sales are more or less a happy bonus from that point on... and I think that's a great way to go. Digital goods can be crowd funded and effectively pre-sold without any effort or time being wasted on projects that nobody cares to see...

My point is: Piracy is a side effect of our instincts colliding with our limited mind-frame...

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 Post subject: Re: Extra Credits: Piracy
PostPosted: August 7th, 2012, 3:02 pm 
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Gizensha wrote:
markvelthuis wrote:
Piracy does hurt developers,


Hm.

Do we have evidence that people getting games for free has a different effect on sales than people getting books for free (Which increases sales of works by that author, both the one that people get for free - either pirated or legally - and other books by that author, incidentally. To the point that some publishers put up a couple of works by their authors for free online, Baen being the obvious one that does this)?

Is piracy immoral? In the vast majority of situations, sure. (As the EC episode points out, there are cases where you cannot get hold of a legitimate copy, even second hand) Does it harm developers? I've not actually seen any evidence it does, and evidence from other industries indicates that it doesn't when the player isn't paying for it. If the player pays for a pirate copy, then it's as harmful to the developer as used sales - They won't then pay for a copy that the developer gets a cut from.


It's realy hard to get raw numbers for this. The thing is, it's not simply sales. Implementing DRM is tough, and I speak from experience. Especially on PC where systems have different hardware made by different manufacturers. It's been know for DRM to not register a game as legal even though it is. It's even been known to break the system's drivers/OS. Many games, developers and publishers have been criticized for using a certain DRM. Developers/publishers have decided to not release certain games on certain platforms because the ammount of piracy on that platform is too high. So even if piracy itself isn't actually hurting developers, doing something to try and prevent it is.

But again, it's hard to get raw numbers on this for multiple reasons. Its easy to look at a torrent's total downloads and claim "x people have downloaded so we lost x sales". It's practically impossible, especially on short term to make any observations about what would have happened to the sales if that torrent wasn't there, or what if other torrents weren't there. And in a GDC presentation about piracy and DRM it was said that while companies DO have estimates on how many sales were lost due to bad implementation of DRM, these numbers are never released. There are developers that have advertised "no DRM" with success, I'm sure a lot of buyers only bought the game to support DRM free software. If "no DRM" would ever become the norm, this support would slowly but surely diminish.

While there's no evidence that people getting games for free has a different effect on sales than people getting books for free, there are a few things that books have going against them that games do not.
1) Publicity. When I'm browsing the web or watching TV, I rarely see book advertisements, but I see a lot of movie/game advertisements.
2) Writers. I'm not 100% sure about this, but I'm quite sure there are more writers than game studios. This makes standing out a lot harder.
3) Popularity. Movies and especially games have been increasing in popularity the last few years. I couldn't find much info on books but what I saw it that books (normal and e-books) stayed pretty much the same. And before e-books, it book popularity seemed to be decreasing.
4) School. Yup this is a strange one, and it's kinda related to popularity. It may not apply everywhere either. Over here (the netherlands) we are forced to read books in school. Not the educational ones but the ones people would usually read for entertainment. We have to create a book report, and there's a limited number of books we're allowed to read. And there's NOBODY that I know who did NOT have an aversion against books after that for at least a year or 2. Even those who enjoyed books before have started disliking them just because they were forced to read books they didn't like. Strangely nobody I know was ever forced to watch a movie or play a game against their will, without compensation, and with the added work of writing a report about it.

Making something free, in this case books, will draw attention to it. And since it's done legally ,it's easier to get information about it aswell because people don't have anything to hide. Games are still increasing in popularity, so it's not realy neded to draw more attention to them. And not many people are eager to give info about their torrenting habbits because before they know it, they might face an insane fine or even jail time.

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 Post subject: Re: Extra Credits: Piracy
PostPosted: April 18th, 2013, 7:28 pm 
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What about psychological backlash of "every time I buy a game without playing it through first, it turns out badly"?
For example, as a player with 5-year-old pc (that ran all the games more or less okay prior to this point), it was... A pain ful hit right in the guts for me, when Bioshock infinite just flat out said "fuck you, not running on xp" after I pre-ordered it and just set there with my fingers crossed. I honestly don't really nderstand why any graphics had to be improved over bioshock 2, but, seeing how no other machines I have available can pull infinite anywhere near playable, I wat to take a pickaxe and go explain any game developer why no amount of excuses can justify postprocessing, that can't be turned off.
And it happens every time! It's like a curse - I pirate a game and then pay for it because, well, I wouldn't try playing a bad game in the beginning, and it works just fine, but I try to buy without that - it turns out to be Simcity.


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