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Sometimes It's OK To Steal My Games

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the eternal-debate-continues dept.

Piracy 438

spidweb writes "One Indie developer has written a nuanced article on a how software piracy affects him, approaching the issue from the opposite direction. He lists the ways in which the widespread piracy of PC games helps him. From the article: 'You don't get everything you want in this world. You can get piles of cool stuff for free. Or you can be an honorable, ethical being. You don't get both. Most of the time. Because, when I'm being honest with myself, which happens sometimes, I have to admit that piracy is not an absolute evil. That I do get things out of it, even when I'm the one being ripped off.' The article also tries to find a middle ground between the Piracy-Is-Always-Bad and Piracy-Is-Just-Fine sides of the argument that might enable single-player PC games to continue to exist."

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First post? (0, Offtopic)

FunkyRider (1128099) | more than 4 years ago | (#33077446)

From first pirate!!!

Re:First post? (-1, Offtopic)

greentshirt (1308037) | more than 4 years ago | (#33078118)

It's fascinating how some people are so predisposed to just doing the unimaginative, annoying, cliche, tried, tired, brain-dead thing. I have great difficult understanding the first post thing. Nobody thinks it is funny, clever, or any kind of accomplishment - yet the trend persists. /boggle

Re:First post? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33078280)

It's fascinating how some people are so predisposed to just doing the unimaginative, annoying, cliche, tried, tired, brain-dead thing. I have great difficult understanding the complaining about first posts thing. Nobody thinks it is funny, clever, or any kind of accomplishment - yet the trend persists. /boggle

Re:First post? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33078390)

It's fascinating how some people are so predisposed to just doing the unimaginative, annoying, cliche, tried, tired, brain-dead thing. I have great difficulty understanding the complaining about the complaining about the first posts thing. Nobody thinks it is funny, clever, or any kind of accomplishment - yet the trend persists. /boggle

Re:First post? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33078468)

It's fascinating how some people are so predisposed to just doing the unimaginative, annoying, cliche, tried, tired, brain-dead thing. I have great difficulty understanding the complaining about the complaining about the complaining about the C-C-C-COMBO BREAKER!!1

Actually.. (1, Offtopic)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#33077476)

You get piles of stuff for free with any Ubuntu distro, and none of it is pirated (at least I haven't heard of any "Linux for Pirates", but maybe it exists)

Re:Actually.. (0, Offtopic)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#33077488)

*I meant Linux rather than Ubuntu there, poor editing..

Re:Actually.. (-1, Flamebait)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#33077862)

Strictly speaking, you cannot get "piles of free stuff with any (Linux) distro." There are a number of distros that require payment for repository access; here is a well known one:

http://www.redhat.com/ [redhat.com]

Re:Actually.. (1)

Draek (916851) | more than 4 years ago | (#33077960)

Strictly speaking, what they're charging for is access to *their* repository, you're always free to download, compile and install any Free app you'd like, or even find someone kind enough to give access to their repository for free and use it instead of Red Hat's.

Re:Actually.. (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#33078034)

But not from that specific distro. GP said that "any" Linux distro will give you tons of free (gratis) software, and my point was simply that that was not true.

Re:Actually.. (5, Informative)

Jerslan (1088525) | more than 4 years ago | (#33078346)

Actually, there *is* an alternative repository that is 100% binary compatible with the enterprise editions of the distro you refer to. You may have heard of it...
http://www.centos.org [centos.org]

The distro you refer to also has their own totally free Linux distro/repository, which you also may have heard of...
http://fedoraproject.org/ [fedoraproject.org]

The business model of your example is not simply repository access. What you're paying for with their "main distribution" is easier access to support and updates/patches.

Re:Actually.. (1)

Draek (916851) | more than 4 years ago | (#33078358)

He didn't say "from", he said "with", therefore it is still true.

But honestly, this is a fairly stupid discussion on semantics if you ask me. The OP's meaning was clear and valid, and that's all that should matter.

Re:Actually.. (2, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#33078558)

They will give you the source, you just need to compile it. Still free though.

Not all Linux is GNU/Linux (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#33078228)

You get piles of stuff for free with any [Linux] distro

True, any GNU/Linux distribution distro either comes with a free repository set up or lets the user adds free repository. But not all Linux is GNU/Linux; embedded Linux tends to be less open. For example, the TiVo DVR runs a Linux kernel, but it's much more like a video game console because it verifies the digital signature of every piece of software from the bootloader on up.

Re:Not all Linux is GNU/Linux (5, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#33078262)

This is the reason that the FSF pushed so hard for Linux to be GPLv3'd; the FSF is more concerned about user freedom than about spreading the software as far and wide as possible as quickly as possible. This, however, is not the position that many open source developers take, as many felt that the use of Linux in TiVo meant both greater exposure (and hence more developers) and code being made available to others (i.e. TiVo's modifications to Linux). This is where free software philosophy and open source software philosophy diverge.

Re:Not all Linux is GNU/Linux (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#33078568)

And that is why I won't buy a tivo.
Sure it won't convince them, but I am doing my little part.

Re:Actually.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33077756)

you obviously don't know jack shit about computers.

Re:Actually.. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33078002)

WHAAAT?! I even downloaded mine from a torrent! It has to be pirated!

Re:Actually.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33078030)

I just spent some time looking for it...oh well, I guess that is a niche Linux is yet to fill.

Re:Actually.. (4, Insightful)

PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 4 years ago | (#33078076)

He was speaking in terms of PC games. I've not seen a lot of high-quality PC games given away (Alien Swarm is the one recent exception that I know of).

The whole point of this article is what I've said in every piracy argument I've been involved in: if no one buys quality PC games, they won't be made any more. Buy the games you play. I'll go even further than the author: don't just buy one a year, you cheap schmucks. Buy anything you play for more than 10 hours.

The more money we sink into the PC games market, the healthier it will be. The more quality titles we support, the more we'll see of the same level of quality.

Re:Actually.. (-1, Offtopic)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#33078106)

you cheap schmucks

Insulting people is not going to get you anywhere.

Re:Actually.. (2, Insightful)

westlake (615356) | more than 4 years ago | (#33078332)

Insulting people is not going to get you anywhere.

I'll remember that the next time I see a Borg icon, a rotten Apple, or a stained glass Window.

Re:Actually.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33078452)

Hey fuckface, he didn't make those or choose that they represent those subjects.

Re:Actually.. (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#33078460)

Corporations are not people; I'll give you the borg icon, since it is Gates' face.

Re:Actually.. (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#33078462)

>> Insulting people is not going to get you anywhere.
>
> I'll remember that the next time I see a Borg icon, a rotten Apple, or a stained glass Window.

We're not the ones trying to sell something.

Of course context matters.

Re:Actually.. (5, Interesting)

Randseed (132501) | more than 4 years ago | (#33078236)

See, you have people like me who DO. For a classic example, Starcraft II. Starcraft II is a high-budget game, which Blizzard spent a lot of money marketting. All that is good. I was going to buy it. Here's what happened: I bought the thing, was confronted with a 36 hour download time, and used a version that I happened to have which was a torrented predownload. For reasons I still don't understand -- maybe it was regioning, whatever -- their DRM prevented me from using the game that day. I had to wait until July 28th, a day after it was released, to play it at all. On the release day, I'd tried numerous times to "authenticate" my copy, all of which failed. I went to my battle.net account, which claimed that I'd somehow activated too many copies. I called Blizzard and got hung up on numerous times with an "unfortunately, we're experiencing a high call volume" load of crap until I finally got through, at which point the hold time was 56 minutes. Now, I did the right thing. I bought the damned thing for $60. Blizzard's DRM caused a major screwup, which made me wish that I'd pirated it so at least it would work.

Re:Actually.. (1, Insightful)

genner (694963) | more than 4 years ago | (#33078432)

See, you have people like me who DO. For a classic example, Starcraft II. Starcraft II is a high-budget game, which Blizzard spent a lot of money marketting. All that is good. I was going to buy it. Here's what happened: I bought the thing, was confronted with a 36 hour download time, and used a version that I happened to have which was a torrented predownload. For reasons I still don't understand -- maybe it was regioning, whatever -- their DRM prevented me from using the game that day. I had to wait until July 28th, a day after it was released, to play it at all. On the release day, I'd tried numerous times to "authenticate" my copy, all of which failed. I went to my battle.net account, which claimed that I'd somehow activated too many copies. I called Blizzard and got hung up on numerous times with an "unfortunately, we're experiencing a high call volume" load of crap until I finally got through, at which point the hold time was 56 minutes. Now, I did the right thing. I bought the damned thing for $60. Blizzard's DRM caused a major screwup, which made me wish that I'd pirated it so at least it would work.

It had nothing to do with DRM. Blizzards network broke under the strain. That's why smart people wait a few days before buying a game that popular.

Re:Actually.. (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 4 years ago | (#33078134)

You get piles of stuff for free with any Ubuntu distro

Piles of something, anyway.

I don't mean to sound unkind, but Ubuntu's games have an early 90's freeware-shareware look to them.

Re:Actually.. (4, Funny)

yoyhed (651244) | more than 4 years ago | (#33078508)

What are you talking about? These are THE GAMES people want to be playing! Have you seen xEyes?

Re:Actually.. (5, Funny)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#33078220)

You get piles of stuff for free with any Ubuntu distro, and none of it is pirated (at least I haven't heard of any "Linux for Pirates", but maybe it exists)

Yarr... we be workin' on that, matey. These peg-fingers make the work slow, and it be difficult to motivate without promise of any booty. Ye have me word on the pirate code that it will be free as in grog when we be finished, yar.

Re:Actually.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33078378)

You must not play PC games..?

Sounds like some kind of liberal! (5, Funny)

BitHive (578094) | more than 4 years ago | (#33077516)

Me, I prefer the moral clarity that comes from seeing everything in black and white. If the founding fathers had taken the "middle ground" we never would have ended up with the Constitution, the most error-free and infallible document ever created.

Re:Sounds like some kind of liberal! (0, Flamebait)

XanC (644172) | more than 4 years ago | (#33077716)

You may or may not like the Constitution, but it is the only thing granting the federal government you love so much the power to do anything at all.

Re:Sounds like some kind of liberal! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33077776)

Uh, you have that backwards friend.

The Constitution explicitly denies the federal government any powers that weren't granted to it explicitly by the Constitution itself, and reserved them to the states individually.

It's PEOPLE who have allowed the federal government to slowly, and carefully usurp those powers. The CONSTITUTION forbade it, in the form of the 9th amendment.

Re:Sounds like some kind of liberal! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33078222)

Self correction. Meant to say 9th and 10th ammendments.

Re:Sounds like some kind of liberal! (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#33078264)

The Constitution explicitly denies the federal government any powers that weren't granted to it explicitly by the Constitution itself

The Constitution grants Congress the explicit power "To lay and collect taxes ... to ... provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States", "To regulate commerce [...] among the several states", and "To establish post offices and post roads". These three enumerated powers are big enough to drive a postal truck through.

Re:Sounds like some kind of liberal! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33078288)

Ask your average government-drone public-schooled retard what the 9th amendment even is and I guarantee that they can't tell you. This country has gone to shit.

Re:Sounds like some kind of liberal! (4, Insightful)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 4 years ago | (#33078446)

Hm, I suppose that is true technically, but I think you're not really on target there.

Your problem is the second use of the word 'explicitly.' That word isn't in the ninth amendment. Instead the rights reserved to the states and the people are merely those that are neither granted to the United States, and not denied to the states. This, especially in conjunction with the elastic clause, leaves the door open to implicitly granted powers, which are fairly like penumbral civil liberties that are also not expressly protected but can be understood to be present by careful reading. (E.g. the First Amendment expressly protects a right to speak freely, but not a right to listen -- since the lack of the latter would effectively gut the former, and this would be an absurd result, we must infer that the latter is also protected)

Re:Sounds like some kind of liberal! (1)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 4 years ago | (#33077746)

That must be why we are still debating it...
Speech is fallible therefore...

Re:Sounds like some kind of liberal! (0, Offtopic)

BitHive (578094) | more than 4 years ago | (#33077814)

As with climate change, the only people who think the constitution is up for "debate" are socialist usurpers.

Or... (4, Interesting)

supersloshy (1273442) | more than 4 years ago | (#33077558)

You can get piles of cool stuff for free. Or you can be an honorable, ethical being. You don't get both.

Why not? [flattr.com]

Re:Or... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33078104)

Because flattr doesn't make it free.

Re:Or... (1)

General Wesc (59919) | more than 4 years ago | (#33078116)

Um...Flattr is a way of paying for the cool stuff. You just pay a flat rate each month.

Re:Or... (1)

supersloshy (1273442) | more than 4 years ago | (#33078174)

Um...Flattr is a way of paying for the cool stuff. You just pay a flat rate each month.

Sort-of. The stuff itself is free, but the service isn't. You aren't paying for the things you get, only the service. The service is just donations on steroids. Watch the video on the page; it says the same thing. With Flattr, you're giving your things away for free and people can choose to pay, and it's effortless to do so because it's all linked to your monthly Flattr payment.

Re:Or... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33078552)

I would like to see a world where this model is the primary form of exchange for original creative content.
However, it is impossible with various industries' lobbying groups enforcing a chokehold through their ratings systems and such non-open standards of distribution.

Exactly. (4, Insightful)

cosm (1072588) | more than 4 years ago | (#33077566)

Much like indie music producers, many love to have their music 'pirated' because it means exposure. Like the old shareware days. Remember when Radiohead [telegraph.co.uk] did that pay-what-you-want scheme? Not a bad idea. The sooner the content producers adapt to the new distribution models, eliminate the middle-men cartels that get all the cuts (old-school mentality), the sooner the gangsters of profit are shown that information generally wants to be 'free', finding a way to make people pay for it through their own generosity and good-will obligation, as to arm-twisting and draconian DRM, the sooner quality information can flourish, the sooner garbage that keeps our current signal-to-noise ratio so low begins to become weeded out.

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe there needs to be a front company to sell the work of somebody else. But I believe this should only be true for circumstances in that the producer(s) can't maintain the quality of their work, nor the channels of distribution in a manner that maintains the quality of the original product. But something that is self-contained awesomeness that has a fairly hands off approach, well, find ways to monetize it other than arm-twisting and litigation. This guy seems to get it.

Re:Exactly. (1)

TYH.DataAngel (1683052) | more than 4 years ago | (#33077628)

Which does work just fine for Indie game producers. However (unfortunately) it's a different story for the producers of mainstream games who have no need of exposure whatsoever.

Re:Exactly. (2, Interesting)

ivan_w (1115485) | more than 4 years ago | (#33077752)

I have to disagree here..

Mainstream games *DO* need exposure (just like any product to be sold).

However, they use another venue for this : commercial advertisement.

Just 2 different angles to address the same problem. One is going for the upfront lump sum approach (mainstream), the other one is going for the progressive scheme : If the product is a flop, nothing lost - if it's a hit - then the revenue is probably less than if it would have been a mainstream company.

Just my .02 (of whatever you currency is)

--Ivan

Re:Exactly. (1)

Erikderzweite (1146485) | more than 4 years ago | (#33077762)

Piracy creates fanbase for Indie producers which they can monetize upon. Established producers have the fanbase already, they need to reach for the fans, create additional extras or even franchise, make the fans want fan articles (by creating good game) and then sell them what they want to buy. Game publishing is more just software selling, especially if you are big and can afford creating a good franchise.

Re:Exactly. (5, Interesting)

cosm (1072588) | more than 4 years ago | (#33077774)

it's a different story for the producers of mainstream games who have no need of exposure whatsoever

I don't think that is entirely true. Why do game producers continue to make titles based off of the same tired-ass hollywood kids movies. How many games have you seen clutter the shelves at Wallmart, "Barbies Adventure in X" or "Comic Book X Action Game" or "SpongeBob's New X". Kids relatives, grandmothers, etc, continue to buy these games because of exposure. So saying mainstream games have no need whatsoever is a bit to closed minded. And if you contest those examples as not being mainstream, then what is mainstream? What the 'pro' gaming community deems quality? Well if thats your argument, then those games need even more exposure to sell, especially if they don't have some cookie-cutter Hollywood blockbuster to pound the IP into the heads of the masses. Mainstream needs exposure.

Remember the original Call of Duty? Fairly low key developer, but it was a bad-ass game, free demos were available online, the game received glowing reviews and gained a fan-base. There were dedicated servers, mods, etc. Then as it went mainstream, my personal opinion is that the quality went down. No dedicated servers. Rehashes of old maps being piece-mealed off ala the Sims series, and other blatant abuses of their mainstream status.

Counter Strike. Started of as a free mod. People loved it. Spread everywhere. Indie-devs were exposed to the mainstream through word of mouth. They didn't need massive advertising campaigns. And look at the games longevity. You don't see ads on television for Counter-Strike, and yet people still play on the dedicated servers. Compare that to Halo 2 for the original Xbox. Massive advertising from a 'mainstream producer'. And what do you get? Kicked off of your gaming experience once the company deems it 'unprofitable'. Sure they have to make money, but I am not arguing for money, but instead the longevity of longstanding, quality content. And generally, it comes from those who are not ruled by greed, control, and margins.

Re:Exactly. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33077796)

Radiohead is not really a good example. They had already achieved success inside the context of the music industry, not to mention critical acclaim and a huge fanbase.

Re:Exactly. (5, Informative)

TheEyes (1686556) | more than 4 years ago | (#33078094)

Okay, how about the Humble Indie Bundle then? They made over a million dollars in a month, with basically no advertising other than word of mouth (which turned into news coverage), despite the fact that the games have no DRM and were--and still are--easily pirated.

You do not understand (4, Insightful)

Weezul (52464) | more than 4 years ago | (#33077832)

All those middle men are not ripping off their artists. They are ripping YOU off.

In the arts, powerful middle men sell fame to artists, and sell product to consumers. Artists get an acceptable deal if they reach the end of their contract while remanning creative, as they'll sell more shit for vastly more then.

Yet *some* artists would achieve fame anyways, maybe very different artists. YOU are deprived of them because some middle man made another choice about who becomes famous.

And middle men are ripping off the best artists by preventing an egalitarian competition for fame, obviously.

Re:Exactly. (1)

Draek (916851) | more than 4 years ago | (#33077930)

We do need front companies, bands like Radiohead already have thousands of fans reading their website daily but Google isn't good enough for finding new music to listen to.

However, as Magnatune [magnatune.com] and Jamendo [jamendo.com] prove, there's no need for that company to be evil either.

Dunno how that'd extrapolate to the videogame market, however. The thing about copyright is that it covers such drastically different areas that a "one size fits all" solution would necessarily be as flawed as copyright itself already is.

We need to stop saying... (3, Insightful)

TheEyes (1686556) | more than 4 years ago | (#33078058)

"Information wants to be free." That's a fine statement to make if you already know what's being discussed--that is, you know the difference between free-as-in-speech and free-as-in-beer, but it's not a statement that is at all productive when speaking to an adversarial or even a divided crowd. Part of the problem is that the default meaning of "free" to most people is the "free beer" version. Put quite simply, most people spend far more people in their day to day lives thinking about money than they do about abstract legal concepts like free speech, and so whenever a well-meaning debater says, "Information wants to be free," that translates into most people's heads, by default, into: "I don't want to pay for information;" that is, you want to get everything for free. Yes, yes, I know that's not what the statement means, but it's a statement so easily misconstrued that it should really never be mentioned in a persuasive argument about copyrights, patents and trademarks if you want to actually try to persuade someone.

Similarly, I don't like to use the words "Intellectual Property," as that confuses the concepts of copyrights, trademarks, and patents with those of actual property, For the same reason I don't like the new mindset of calling such things "Imaginary Property," which in my mind is as juvenile as those people using M$ to denote Microsoft. Instead I try to use the acronym "CPT"--for Copyrights, Patents, and Trademarks--as a more accurate, and shorter, qualifier.

Yes, these word choices are a bit overly pedantic, but we need to be more diplomatic in our speech if we don't want discussions on CPT law to devolve into the same partisan shouting matches that everything else falls into.

Re:We need to stop saying... (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#33078532)

Piracy will happen. It doesn't matter if you think it is "good" or "bad". It's simply a side effect of technology.

You can't stop it. Even if you could, it would probably be too costly.

So the only reasonable thing to do is to figure out how you're going to adapt to the new reality.

Being a crass jerk will probably alienate potential fans.

Also, the whole "piracy" thing skews everyone's perceptions. People see a pirated copy of something
and see dollar signs. They are unwilling to unable to acknowledge the fact that what they see is the
reflection of the product having a price of zero. What they are seeing is the result of infinite
demand of a luxury good with very elastic demand and lots of competition.

They may be pinning their hopes on a mathematically absurd mirage.

Re:We need to stop saying... (2, Insightful)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 4 years ago | (#33078554)

Instead I try to use the acronym "CPT"--for Copyrights, Patents, and Trademarks--as a more accurate, and shorter, qualifier.

Meh. I don't use 'IP' either, but it contains some other things too, like trade secrets, publicity rights, hot news, and other even more obscure fields. Given that most of these have nothing at all to do with one another, and it's fairly rare for them to all arise in conversation, I suggest not trying to glom them together, and just using whichever one is appropriate at the time. Plus it saves on having to teach people a new initialism, and then get into the whole spiel. Just a suggestion.

Qualifications (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#33078320)

Maybe there needs to be a front company to sell the work of somebody else. But I believe this should only be true for circumstances in that the producer(s) can't maintain the quality of their work

Given what is known about console game developer qualifications [warioworld.com] , Sony and Nintendo appear to be under the impression that micro-businesses "can't maintain the quality of their work".

Aleks (2, Interesting)

Chih (1284150) | more than 4 years ago | (#33077570)

For those that read it (yes, I'm new here...), I liked the article and the reply by a user named Aleks. I did the same exact thing a long time ago with Commander Keen. Although I never payed for that game, I got all my friends playing it, and many of their parents eventually payed for the game for them. Would they have played and purchased the game without my prodding? Who knows. I'm no saint, but I pay for games that entertain me, even if it's just a dinky flash game on the interwebz.

Re:Aleks (3, Funny)

kanto (1851816) | more than 4 years ago | (#33077726)

Pfft... people should just stop giving the dinky flash people money so we'd get our interwebz back.

Uhm (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#33077710)

You can get piles of cool stuff for free. Or you can be an honorable, ethical being. You don't get both.

http://www.fedoraproject.org/ [fedoraproject.org]

They're freeware, and they look it. (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#33078344)

The article is about games. Fedora doesn't even have Tetris or DDR, and the games that Fedora and Ubuntu have still have what westlake called [slashdot.org] "an early 90's freeware-shareware look to them."

Your morals are not my morals (5, Funny)

Rix (54095) | more than 4 years ago | (#33077732)

Reasonable people recognize this and go through life without calling people names.

You may feel piracy is wrong, and that's fine. We can agree to disagree. The Amish feel cell phones are wrong. We can agree to disagree. Tom Cruise feels psychiatry is wrong. Ok, he can go fuck himself.

Re:Your morals are not my morals (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33077812)

Sorry, if you feel that there's nothing wrong with pirating, your morals are wrong. You're stealing someone's hard work. If you don't pay for it, you don't get to benefit from it. If you feel it's fine because you wouldn't otherwise pay for it (and people lie to themselves about this all the time), and it doesn't hurt the developer to just make a digital copy, then tough luck; you don't get to benefit from their hard work. It obviously isn't worth it for you.

Re:Your morals are not my morals (3, Insightful)

BitHive (578094) | more than 4 years ago | (#33077888)

Nobody is entitled to get money just because they made some software or recorded some music. Rewards are handed out by the free market; if they don't receive the return they would like then they need to change their product or find another career not whine about other people pursuing their rational self-interest. Read up on free market capitalism sometime.

Re:Your morals are not my morals (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33077990)

Nobody is entitled to get a free product just because they don't want to pay for it.

Re:Your morals are not my morals (4, Insightful)

Rix (54095) | more than 4 years ago | (#33078012)

And no one is entitled to prevent me from helping my neighbour just because it interferes with their business model.

Re:Your morals are not my morals (1, Insightful)

LBArrettAnderson (655246) | more than 4 years ago | (#33078100)

Yes they most certainly are entitled to try to prevent you from stealing their products. Their business model is their choice, not yours.

Re:Your morals are not my morals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33078338)

Yes, but copying != stealing.

And no, pointing that fact out doesn't imply that I think piracy is always OK or that I do it myself.

Re:Your morals are not my morals (2, Insightful)

LBArrettAnderson (655246) | more than 4 years ago | (#33078040)

Nobody said they are entitled to get money, just that they should be able to expect to be paid by people who use their products. In "free market capitalism," (which you should read up on sometime), when I use a product, I pay the entity that created that product (sometimes that's through another vendor, and sometimes that company says that the price is $0).

Re:Your morals are not my morals (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#33078132)

In free market capitalism, increasing supply decreases the price. Since there is no limit on the supply of copies of a particular game, the price can be expected to get tangentially close to zero. Additionally, in a free market, I am allowed to make copies of something I buy, and to sell those copies at the price of my choosing.

Re:Your morals are not my morals (1)

Oligonicella (659917) | more than 4 years ago | (#33078266)

"Additionally, in a free market, I am allowed to make copies of something I buy, and to sell those copies at the price of my choosing."

That is a desire, not a reality. Nor, it appears, do you understand where the cost of games comes from. You purposely choose to incorrectly believe the cost per disk burining defines it.

Business models other than pay-per-copy (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#33078434)

Nor, it appears, do you understand where the cost of games comes from.

Wherever it comes from, it could be paid for by advertisers (e.g. Sneak King), or by companies or governments who use the game's engine for a training tool (e.g. America's Army), or by a bounty of preorders after the free demo is released (the Street Performer Protocol).

Re:Your morals are not my morals (4, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#33078544)

You seem to be confused about the laws of supply and demand. When demand increases, price tends to increase. When supply increases, price tends to decrease. This is perhaps the most basic and fundamental pair of laws in economics, and no matter how hard you try, it is inescapable. Copyright is designed to create a situation where the supply can be arbitrarily limited by force of law, but that is entirely secondary to a "free market."

Re:Your morals are not my morals (4, Informative)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#33078564)

>> "Additionally, in a free market, I am allowed to make copies of something I buy, and to
>> sell those copies at the price of my choosing."
>
> That is a desire, not a reality.

Nope. That is reality.

The free market is distorted. Copyright is an artificial monopoly created by the
government based on the idea that this distortion of the market will lead to some
greater public good.

Copyright is active interference in the free market.

If copyright were less distorted, older works would be legal to trade on BT and that
would further dilute the value of new works.

Re:Your morals are not my morals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33078296)

Since there is no limit on the supply of copies of a particular game, the price can be expected to get tangentially close to zero
 
Sorry, the limit is the number of people who might play the game, which isn't anywhere near the world's population of ~7 billion, let alone infinity.

Re:Your morals are not my morals (2, Informative)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 4 years ago | (#33078520)

just that they should be able to expect to be paid by people who use their products

I don't think that's very reasonable.

First, copyright does not include a right to 'use.' Making more copies, distributing copies, etc., sure, but not mere use.

Second, just as mere use isn't protected, there are plenty of exceptions that dash your supposed expectation. First Sale, for example, allows people to resell copies without paying authors, and usually permits rental and lending as well, without royalties or other payments.

Authors may have a reasonable expectation of payment when they are one of the parties to a transaction, but for transactions in which they are not personally involved, they can expect nothing other than what society, acting in its own interests through a democratic government, deigns to give them.

Copyright = monopoly (1)

Wooky_linuxer (685371) | more than 4 years ago | (#33078542)

Copyright protected works cannot work by "free market capitalism" rules (and free market is an abstraction, BTW). Each copyright owner has a monopoly on his own copyrighted work, whereas free market is based on competition. I can only get a Harry Potter book written by Rowling, and whoever happens to be her publisher. There is no possibility of competition. Similarly, I can only get a game from its publisher/developer. There may be other similar games, and there is competition in that sense, but this is indirect competition. You can't replicate the exact experience you get with a piece of software with another. Copyright and patents create state-approved monopolies. The idea is that the incentive to explore your own monopolie would drive innovation forward. So there are no valid comparisons with the (mythical, anyway) free-market that are valid in this case.

Re:Your morals are not my morals (1)

General Wesc (59919) | more than 4 years ago | (#33078156)

No one's complaining about people simply not buying games. Free market capitalism for not preclude IP. Perhaps you should consider not being a smug asshole and make your point honestly next time.

Re:Your morals are not my morals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33078180)

The way free market capitalism works is that if you don't like their product or their price, you choose a different product. You should read up on it sometime.

Re:Your morals are not my morals (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33078306)

Certainly not. The creator of the content is not entitled to get money. However, the consumer is not entitled to get the content for free, either.

The content creator is entitled to set the terms for which his content is distributed. The consumer is entitled to choose whether the terms are acceptable to them, or to avoid the content.

If the consumer doesn't like the terms, that doesn't mean he is free to ignore them.

Happy god (-1, Troll)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#33078458)

content creator

I detest this term, which literally means "happy god" [gnu.org] . Authors are not gods, and works of authorship do not necessarily bring contentment. In discussions about copyright, the terms "author", "publisher", and "copyright owner" are better defined.

The consumer is entitled to choose whether the terms are acceptable to them, or to avoid the content.

And replace the works under unacceptable terms with which works under acceptable terms?

Re:Your morals are not my morals (2, Insightful)

Rix (54095) | more than 4 years ago | (#33077992)

Sorry, if you feel that there's nothing wrong with using a cell phone, your morals are wrong. Sorry, if you feel there's nothing wrong with sex before marriage, your morals are wrong. Sorry, if you feel that god doesn't hate fags, your morals are wrong. Sorry, if you feel that womyn should not make all decisions in the world, you're morals are wrong.

It's subjective. Sometimes we just have to agree to disagree.

Re:Your morals are not my morals (1)

LBArrettAnderson (655246) | more than 4 years ago | (#33078074)

So... should murderers be let off just because in their moral code it's ok to kill?

Re:Your morals are not my morals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33078084)

Sorry, if you feel that there's nothing wrong with using a cell phone, your morals are wrong. Sorry, if you feel there's nothing wrong with sex before marriage, your morals are wrong. Sorry, if you feel that god doesn't hate fags, your morals are wrong. Sorry, if you feel that womyn should not make all decisions in the world, you're morals are wrong.

It's subjective. Sometimes we just have to agree to disagree.

Why are christians such dumbasses?

Re:Your morals are not my morals (3, Insightful)

Sylver Dragon (445237) | more than 4 years ago | (#33078312)

Yay, Moral Relativism! So while we're agreeing to disagree, we'll just have to agree to disagree that it is wrong for me to drop by, tie you up, skull fuck you in both eye sockets and take all of your possessions. After all, I see nothing wrong with me doing any of that to you, so it's OK and we'll just agree to disagree.

And this would be why no sane society bases itself on Moral Relativism, it sounds fun right up until someone with weapons and organizational skills realizes that he can set himself up as a dictator, and does so. And then the anarchist utopia ends and we get Somalia. Paradoxically, in order for a free society to function you have to have good laws which don't leave things open to such ridiculous interpretation. While some of the lines are pretty easy to draw, I think we can all agree that skull fucking someone is not OK, others are going to be a little tougher. Unsurprisingly, in those gray areas people tend to disagree. At this point, the best solution for deciding those gray areas, which we have come up with, is to have democratically elected representatives argue it out and make a final rule. And, in order to keep our society out of the hell of anarchy, we all go along with it and work though the system to change things we don't like. I think I'll have to agree with Mr. Churchill on this one, "Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."

So which one sounds better to you?
A society based on rules which keeps everyone mostly free but brings overwhelming force to bear to maintain an acceptable standard
Or
Anarchy and the possibility of a random guy dropping by to skull fuck you

I'm gonna stick with my laws, even if they are screwed up from time to time. At least I have the option to change them without a gunfight.

Re:Your morals are not my morals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33078496)

"I believe that all other political states are in fact variations or outgrowths of a basic state of anarchy; after all, when you mention the idea of anarchy to most people they will tell you what a bad idea it is because the biggest gang would just take over. Which is pretty much how I see contemporary society. We live in a badly developed anarchist situation in which the biggest gang has taken over and have declared that it is not an anarchist situation - that it is a capitalist or a communist situation. But I tend to think that anarchy is the most natural form of politics for a human being to actually practice." - Alan Moore

RIAA and MPAA I'm looking at you...

Re:Your morals are not my morals (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#33078152)

The difference between copying and stealing:
  1. Copying creates more of the thing being copied
  2. Stealing does not create more of the thing being stolen; the person who was stolen from is deprived of the thing that was stolen.

One final note: depriving someone of a potential sale is not theft, unless you are prepared to say that competing businesses are "stealing" from each other.

Re:Your morals are not my morals (1, Insightful)

LBArrettAnderson (655246) | more than 4 years ago | (#33078316)

One final note: depriving someone of a potential sale is not theft, unless you are prepared to say that competing businesses are "stealing" from each other.
 
How are those in any way even remotely similar? One is competition, and one is using the creativity and work of someone without compensating them. That's theft.

Re:Your morals are not my morals (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#33078444)

Key facet of stealing: someone is deprived of something. That is why stealing is wrong. So, I make an unauthorized copy of a game; who is deprived and what are they deprived of?

Re:Your morals are not my morals (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#33078484)

depriving someone of a potential sale is not theft, unless you are prepared to say that competing businesses are "stealing" from each other.

Until a court rules that Roxor Games is stealing from Konami. Read it and weep [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Your morals are not my morals (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#33078518)

Just when I thought we couldn't stoop any lower...

How do I pay for Song of the South? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#33078376)

You're stealing someone's hard work.

Say I'm developing my own video game, and I'm trying to write the soundtrack. How do I avoid "stealing someone's hard work" by accidentally including a series of notes that matches the hook from some old copyrighted song?

If you don't pay for it, you don't get to benefit from it.

Then how do I pay for, say, a copy of the film Song of the South or a copy of the English version of the video game Mother? What should be done about copyright owners that don't even want to take my money, in a way that "promote[s] the Progress of Science and useful Arts"?

Re:Your morals are not my morals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33078168)

Aaah, sweet moral relativism.

I feel that your personal property belongs to me and I should be allowed to have sex with your wife. I also feel that murder is fine. I guess we just have to agree to disagree, as you said so eloquently. By the way, what is your address?

A matter of perspective. (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 4 years ago | (#33077754)

One Indie developer has written a nuanced article on a how software piracy affects him, approaching the issue from the opposite direction. He lists the ways in which the widespread piracy of PC games helps him

It helps *him* because otherwise very few people would play his games, as very few people would pay money for them.

Seriously, if people are not *PAYING* for your games, any distro is good distro. On the other hand, if you sell your games for money, obviously if people are pirating your games, you're not making money on them, and this is not good for you.

seems like it makes sense to me. (5, Interesting)

r3xx3r (1358697) | more than 4 years ago | (#33077820)

a few of my buddies pirate games sometimes. but they usually end up buying the games because very often it is either very hard or impossible for them to get it to work online, which is where they play most of the time. so, basically, they pirate the game to see if they like it, and how well it works on there system, than, if it works well, and they like it (which is usually the case) they buy the game. so basically, it seems that if game companies made a demo (and a usuable demo, that was basically the full game with restrictions of some kind), they could cut down on some of the piracy. Like, Planetside, they had the entire game free for a while, but u could only level up to a certain point (level 6 if i remember, which isnt much, but it worked). and my friends and i played it for a while, and loved it, so we decided to pay for it so we could do more in the game, it just seems like a much smarter idea.

Software piracy in general not evil in itself (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33078148)

In 1995 I bought a Windows license and was unique between most of the people around me. While I got pretty much annoyed of Microsoft for regurarily being asked if I really paid for my copy, all the others didn't bother. I quit using Windows, partially because of the innuendo by Microsoft. So I didn't pay licenses for a whole bunch of machines over several generations of the Windows operation system, their office suites and the like. All those who used pirated Windows back in 1995 still use Windows, but fully licensed and they will stick to it. So a couple of piracted copies back in 1995 was the basis of maybe 200 or more fully paid licenses of Windows including their office suites and other applications. I would rather call this a successful investment. Oh, and all of those who pirated Windows back then would get a free or price-reduced copy today.

That said I don't think using illegal copies is OK or anything like that, it's just more than these pirated copies.

cb

It's not stealing. (1, Interesting)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 4 years ago | (#33078166)

It's not stealing, and it's not Piracy. Stealing is taking a physical good, in a way that after I take it, I have it and you don't. Piracy is robbing ships on the open seas.

He is talking about Copyright Infringement, and since Copyright shouldn't exist, it is ALWAYS ok to 'infringe' on his imaginary rights.

Piracy squeezes the middle hardest (4, Insightful)

LordZardoz (155141) | more than 4 years ago | (#33078300)

You cannot look at top grossing games (or movies or music) to get an idea of the economic impact of software piracy. You have to look at the not so successful games.

The kinds of games that are going to have problems from piracy are the games that are good but not great. Think of any game that you do not ever see a commercial for on television. The impact of piracy on a high profile title is probably the difference between making 50 million dollars and 40 million dollars profit. Significant, but not really that damaging to the company that made that title.

The impact of piracy on a low profile title is probably the difference between making a modest profit and having to shut down the studio that made it.

An indie title is probably not going to be popular enough to attract that much piracy.

END COMMUNICATION

Copyright is an arbitrary social convention (5, Insightful)

metacell (523607) | more than 4 years ago | (#33078560)

Copyright is just an arbitrary social convention. Three hundred years ago, composers were happy when their music was used by others. Today, the staff at restaurants can’t sing the Happy Birthday song to their customers because it would constitute an unauthorised commercial use.

Copyright was a legal construct the printers (not the writers!) lobbied for in order to increase their profits, and soon, people got used to it and started seeing it as a god-given right. Perhaps in the future it will be possible to copyright individual sentences, and speaking them without the permission of the originator will be seen as ”stealing”. Perhaps there will be moral outrage, like the one over piracy, when people insist on speaking any sentence they like without paying the appropriate fee.

There are some morals which are very basic and vital to society, like the taboos against murder or theft, but copyright is not one of them. Copyright is a legal construct which gives priveleges to some (primarily large media corporations) at the expense of others (consumers). Copyright should be judged on how beneficial it is for society as a whole. It is an economic instrument meant to stimulate the production of literary and artistic works, not to ensure the income of writers and artists.

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