Is piracy bad when you don't have a choice ?

vivec710

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Oct 25, 2009
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SyphonX said:
So you folks don't want these people to experience a form of art, even though, given the circumstance, they cannot afford the game no matter what? Therefore they are not a lost sale in any regard, because they couldn't buy the game in the first place. You people, out of some spiteful bullshit attitude, would rather see these people not play games even though their doing so affects absolutely nothing but entertain them and spread word of mouth perks on good games?

Do you people even listen to yourselves? Gaming, a luxury? If I was a game developer, and I knew that in certain places, people couldn't afford my game, under any circumstance, I would most certainly want them to play it anyway. Within reason.

Fuck anyone who disagrees with that. You carry such a self-righteous attitude towards this null and void mild problem that you spit on people and claim they shouldn't enjoy games anyway.

If companies are not going to adjust prices when appropriate, and are so stubborn to suggest that they don't care if there are virtually no sales in a given region, and still refuse to adjust, then they deserve to have it pirated it in that region. It's just simply ignorant. It isn't jewelery, or food, it's video games. While not being anything that someone "needs", it's certainly something that helps people cope with everyday life, just as much as a book or film does. If I were an author, and people were "stealing" my books and not paying for them in various regions, because they couldn't afford it, I would be seriously proud and virtually indifferent. Same with film. If no one is going to adjust the price, then what is the point. Really, tell me the point.

I dare any of you people to adjust your economic situation to the point where you can't afford basic entertainment to cope with life, and with no change seen in the future, and I DARE YOU to tell me that you would still agree with people that say you don't deserve to at least try and obtain some entertainment to keep sane.
I completely agree with that, and that is one of the more valid points I have heard in awhile. I would add something new to the conversation but I think you said it all for me.
 

shadow skill

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Rather than say you do not have a choice, you should say that you do not have a meaningful choice. I'm not very concerned with the rightness or wrongness of the act itself, but I do see that pricing things out of reach of consumers will lead them to find other means of obtaining the product. It is the same reason I hold no respect for publishers who whine about piracy on the PC and don't offer people a way to rent the games and saddle them with DRM that mocks customers for buying the product.
 

TheRealWaldo

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Krelias said:
I live in Romania where the minimum wage varies around 350 euros (430 dollars) and the average new release costs around 40 euro (50 dollars) most of the times more expensive than in the US or UK for example(this i think is beacause they fall in a certain category of products that are heavly taxed). Here software piracy is a way of life most releases are played waaay before the hit the stores and most people justify their abuse of software piracy by their lack of money to spend on games or other software.

Now, i respect the western point of view that intelectual property and creation in general has to be financially rewarded otherwise the entertainment business would cease to exist but for most people here if there wouldn't be piracy they wouldn't afford to buy games -period- so if you look at it my way verry few potential customers are lost really.

I know that the argument against what i'm saying would be something along the lines of: "people who use pirated software just don't care about morals or the fate of the sudios that developed their favourite games" and i have to admit that i've seen that mentality showcased around those around me "why pay money for something i can get for free" or "i will never pay for a game as long as there's piracy" and i agree that those people no matter how hardcore they think they are don't deserve to be called gamers, but i've also seen recently people who save up to buy the most anticipated titles or sequels to their favourites, even collectors editions after playing a game just to reward the satisfaction given to them by that game's developers.

Romanian society as a whole is really primitive when it comes to understanding a market economy even if it's been around for twenty years, but people are starting to understand why it is better to buy rather then steal even when it comes to software. Even if things are starting too look up piracy remains rampant cause it simply determined by economy.

So my question is "should someone feel guilty for pirating a software that he or she can't afford ?" since there's really no affected party involved i mean the developer is losing only the chance to sell the product to one more person who wouldn't have aforded it anyway.
Your really just a cheap person to not be able to "afford" games. I see you say people save for the ones they really really really want but if they dont want it bad enough to save for it then they dont need to be pirating it to begin with now do they. You say you make less money than other places but pay more and this is clearly false you state that it costs you $50 for a game here in the US its 60$ so I may make a couple bucks more but I pay more too and I still manage to buy 2 or 3 games a month. The only time pirating will pass with me as something that should not be looked down on is in the case the its an old old old old game that is no longer in production and the only way to get it is off ebay or something which is usually way over priced that I understand because why should I pay 200$ for a game that was originally only 50 or 60 and its used. So in that case it is the devs own fault for not still at least printing some copies of the games for those who may not have it. Honestly devs need to open up sites where you can order games through them and they will print a copy for you or something sure its not cost productive but maybe they could charge a small fee. But I digress anyways like I said the only reason to torrent is if you want a game thats long out of production and you want it. New games or even older games still in stores should not be pirated you say no ones losing out because you never would have been a potential customer but clearly thats a lie if you werent a potential customer you wouldn't show enough interest to bother pirating it after all why take the risk or being fined or going to jail for something you dont want.
 

Abedeus

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Boo-hoo. Steal some Ferrarris, because you can't afford them.

Nobody tells you "YOU MUST PLAY GAMES OR YOU'LL DIE!!!". Get over it.
 

HellsingerAngel

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Krelias said:
I think that i've led everyone down a wrong path by overstating the less than fortunate financial condition of people in my home country. I wasn't trying to make anyone "feel" for the "poor people" that pirate games cause theý just have no money to buy them. I was just trying to say that when it's coupled with someone's incappacity to buy a game, piracy becomes a victimless crime, something that hurts no one. But that's just me i need to find a rational reason for doing or restrainig myself from doing someting I want to do "just cause it's wrong" doesn't cut it :)
scobie said:
Krelias said:
So my question is "should someone feel guilty for pirating a software that he or she can't afford ?" since there's really no affected party involved i mean the developer is losing only the chance to sell the product to one more person who wouldn't have aforded it anyway.
As a diehard consequentialist, I find this argument extremely compelling. The logic essentially being: if I don't pirate the game, I don't have the game and the company doesn't have my money. If I pirate the game, then I have the game and the company doesn't have my money. Thus piracy is obviously the right choice.

I would just like to clarify here that I'm not trying to advocate piracy. But I am saying that the argument for piracy under those circumstances seems pretty good from a utilitarian perspective. I have never, however, come across an equalling compelling argument from the other side - all I've seen is people saying "It's just wrong" and dropping the matter. It's not the same as theft, because no-one is actually losing anything. So I'm still on the fence.
LordNue said:
Just because no one gets hurt doesn't make it right.
If it genuinely doesn't hurt anyone, and benefits someone, then to me it's perfectly morally acceptable. As someone who remains undecided on the matter of piracy, would someone care to explain to me, in terms a utilitarian might understand, why piracy is wrong when you're pirating something you wouldn't have bought anyway? Explain to me, essentially, who is being hurt. I'm seriously asking because I want to know what the answer is. Because from my perspective, most of what I see coming from the anti-piracy side is self-righteous posturing, in this case condemning someone who lives in much less fortunate circumstances than most of the people in this thread and telling him "you'll just have to do without, then, won't you?" for no particular reason.

You've got a chance to bring me over to your side. Give it your best shot.
I like this egg scenario people have been throwing around, so I think I'll stick with that for my example. So Mr. Guy has a replicator that can make an exact copy of something, in this case an egg. So he decides he wants to solve world hunger and replicate this egg for people who wouldn't be able to afford eggs, in this case Romania. So he copies a single egg for all of Romania and everyone is happy.

The problem is that anyone who's distributing eggs is now out of a job. But that's ok, because they have an unlimited supply of eggs, right? Well, unfortunately, you can't pay for other things with eggs, such as shelter or heating, as they've now become worthless with the ability to copy them. Suddenly, this starts a trend where other food companies like peanut butter are quickly taken out of business because eggs become the source of protein as they're so easy to get. That's more people out of jobs who can't afford their houses because all they have ar eggs, a fairly useless product in terms of selling or trading for other good and services. Then, suddenly, someone from Hungry asks Mr. Guy for an egg, because he too is hungry, but really he just doesn't want to go and get a carton of eggs when he can get them for free. Out of kindness, Mr. Guy replicates him some eggs. Soon, everyone in Hungry is saying they can't afford eggs and are asking Mr. Guy for their eggs, regardless of their finacial situation.

You see where I'm going with this? Maybe the copying of a game doesn't effect the developers directly in your isolated case but the world isn't just that simple. Suddenly the people who are distributing these disks are out of money because they lost those contracts. Other hobby stores that could also really use the money are losing out because people can just download entertainment for free instead of looking for alternatives to video games. Your actions also reinforce and educate other people on pirating, which then becomes a trend and is seen as morally acceptable. Enough people do this and there goes another gaming company because there are no renewable sources of income to invest into their next blockbuster project. So now you've just destroyed three facets of the economy through pirating and that only furthers the downward spiral of a capitalist economy (which I believe most of the world runs on now) as you truly do need to spend money for the economy to make money. If people start losing jobs, that's less money to spend, which causes more jobs to be lost. Vicious, but true.

Don't get me wrong, I feel for you. Pricing does suck in your country, for sure, but that doesn't mean it's right to start draining the economy because you want a little entertainment through digital means. Be mindful of free works posted on the internet (I hear League of Legends is coming to EU), make sure to take advantage of used games and sales on older titles and just buy that one awesome game for yourself every year.

EDIT:

SyphonX said:
Mcface said:
You can't charge 60 dollars for some people, and 10 for others. Know why? It aint fair to the other guy. You may think stealing software is harmless, but you are literally taking money out of peoples pockets who worked hard on the game. And you dare me? Bro before I started earning a military salary I didn't have shit. I had my buddys old system that I played used games on. I didn't ONCE pirate a game. Grow the fuck up.
Really? Where is the magical world you live in, where your $10 is the same as the $10 in any other given country? You do realize, in some countries, keeping the price at $60 is equivalent to a few hundred bucks, or even much, much more..

Yeah, poor you, it's so not fair that someone doesn't have to pay a hundred dollars more, or the equivalent of their weekly salary, if that.

You tell me to grow the fuck up, when you don't even understand that basic fact. Let me ask you, have you been in another country within your military career? If so, then you've surely had to deal with fluctuations in currency exchange, and realize that your $1 is vastly different in some countries, in one way direction or another, up or down.. ?
It sounds like you're the one who doesn't understand economics. The OP clearly stated that the current exchange from his country's currency still equates to a relevent price in the U.S. and subsequently Canada. His pay is minimum wage. That would be something akin to working at a McDonalds, though funny enough they pay much higher than minimum wage where I live. So, taking that into account, most people I know that work at a minimum wage job struggle to support themselves and can't afford video games. Sorry, but that's life. It also doesn't state what time period he makes his 350 Euros (again, that's $430 USD) in. I'm more interested in that than anything. So before you go shooting your mouth off, why don't you actually look at what the argument is and the points made within it.
 

Truehare

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Irridium said:
I agree that companies and publishers need to adjust prices for overseas markets. Charging what could be a whole month's salary for a game is just stupid and wrong.

However it is also wrong to steal something you don't even need to live.
You can go without games, and while I do feel for your situation, you do have a choice. Pirate or don't.

Granted as Furburt said, this is a very grey area, and I can't really take a side.

Publishers need to adjust prices for regions, people in the regions need to stop stealing.
You know, I don't have the patience right now to read through all eight pages of this thread to see if anyone has already said this, but I must admit that it hadn't occurred to me the idea of the companies adjusting the prices for overseas markets (I'm an Economics retard). If they did that, I'm sure at least a small decline in piracy could come as a consequence.

I don't see the opposite happening anytime soon, though: pirates don't have a problem with piracy (obviously); and even if they somehow would suddenly decide to stop, y'know, pirating, I doubt the companies would have reason to adjust their overseas prices as a consequence.
 

The Wooster

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Jul 15, 2008
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The way I see it piracy is morally justifiable if it can't be obtained through reasonable channels. This includes out of print games, super rare games with absurd price tags and/or games with pricing way beyond the average person's spending power.

It's a judgement unique to computer software though so all you anger merchants screahing about how you wouldn't steal a Ferarri can shove it. Software piracy's negative effect is a loss of potential sales, if there's no possibility of a sale to begin with then there's no revenue lost.
 

the D0rk One

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Apr 29, 2010
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whoa-hoa.
"fuck anybody who doesn't agree", this is always heart-warming :)

OT: it's wrong. you DO have a "righteous" alternative: save money. i know it's hard and fucking frustrating to wait 3 months or more to buy a lousy game, but if you are indeed worried about straying toward the Dark Side :) and want to keep playing games (naturally) that's what i think you should do...

even i, in my unachievable greatness, had to save money for 5 fucking months before i could afford spending 350 euros on lousy 360. would have gone for PS3, but meh, it was around 500 euros and i had to choose between buying 360 games or saving for PS3.
 

unFunkiest

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Mar 24, 2010
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Kwil said:
Piracy is not stealing. It's slavery. It's benefiting from the product of another person's labour without that person's consent, agreement, or compensation. At least American slaves used to get room & board from those who did this.
"slavery [ˈsleɪvərɪ]
n
1. (Law) the state or condition of being a slave; a civil relationship whereby one person has absolute power over another and controls his life, liberty, and fortune
2. the subjection of a person to another person, esp in being forced into work
3. the condition of being subject to some influence or habit
4. (Business / Industrial Relations & HR Terms) work done in harsh conditions for low pay"

Nope... Care to try again?
 

Iron Lightning

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Oct 19, 2009
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SyphonX said:
So you folks don't want these people to experience a form of art, even though, given the circumstance, they cannot afford the game no matter what? Therefore they are not a lost sale in any regard, because they couldn't buy the game in the first place. You people, out of some spiteful bullshit attitude, would rather see these people not play games even though their doing so affects absolutely nothing but entertain them and spread word of mouth perks on good games?

Do you people even listen to yourselves? Gaming, a luxury? If I was a game developer, and I knew that in certain places, people couldn't afford my game, under any circumstance, I would most certainly want them to play it anyway. Within reason.

Fuck anyone who disagrees with that. You carry such a self-righteous attitude towards this null and void mild problem that you spit on people and claim they shouldn't enjoy games anyway.

If companies are not going to adjust prices when appropriate, and are so stubborn to suggest that they don't care if there are virtually no sales in a given region, and still refuse to adjust, then they deserve to have it pirated it in that region. It's just simply ignorant. It isn't jewelery, or food, it's video games. While not being anything that someone "needs", it's certainly something that helps people cope with everyday life, just as much as a book or film does. If I were an author, and people were "stealing" my books and not paying for them in various regions, because they couldn't afford it, I would be seriously proud and virtually indifferent. Same with film. If no one is going to adjust the price, then what is the point. Really, tell me the point.

I dare any of you people to adjust your economic situation to the point where you can't afford basic entertainment to cope with life, and with no change seen in the future, and I DARE YOU to tell me that you would still agree with people that say you don't deserve to at least try and obtain some entertainment to keep sane.
I was about to comment on this thread, until I read your comment and, well, there's no point in repetition.

Suffice it to say that I agree completely.
LordNue said:
I don't view games as art. They're products and entertainment pure and simple, they cost money. If I don't have money I don't buy games. If I don't have enough money to buy a new game, well boo-hoo I'll just play the ones I already own. Just because they're older or I've beaten them doesn't mean they're unplayable. Also, game developers don't care if people play and enjoy the game or not really. It's a business and a company and what matters is money, the fact that they get money for their game and their hard work.
Again, just because there's no clear victim and no one gets hurt doesn't make it right, it's still petty and childish to "steal" something just because you can't afford what is a pretty clear price.
A game pirated because it is not affordable is not money lost. Nor is it resources lost. If gaming is truly such a "bottom-line" industry than it would be truly incapable of producing art as you say. I do not see "games as toys" as a preferable future or an accurate depiction of the present.
 

the D0rk One

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i've noticed some of you blame the developers for the prices, but it's the publishers (most of the time) who handle the sales and marketing aspects (including pricing).

and the pricing usually doesn't aim to cover the developer's expenses only, but the expenses of the publisher as well...

for instance, FIFA 10 was priced ~50 not to cover only the expenses of EA Sports, but those of other developers suckling its teat, such as pandemic...
 

Sikachu

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HellsingerAngel said:
The problem is that anyone who's distributing eggs is now out of a job. But that's ok, because they have an unlimited supply of eggs, right? Well, unfortunately, you can't pay for other things with eggs, such as shelter or heating, as they've now become worthless with the ability to copy them. Suddenly, this starts a trend where other food companies like peanut butter are quickly taken out of business because eggs become the source of protein as they're so easy to get. That's more people out of jobs who can't afford their houses because all they have ar eggs, a fairly useless product in terms of selling or trading for other good and services. Then, suddenly, someone from Hungry asks Mr. Guy for an egg, because he too is hungry, but really he just doesn't want to go and get a carton of eggs when he can get them for free. Out of kindness, Mr. Guy replicates him some eggs. Soon, everyone in Hungry is saying they can't afford eggs and are asking Mr. Guy for their eggs, regardless of their finacial situation.

You see where I'm going with this?
Engaging in this counterfactual doesn't really help us with dealing with morality of piracy. The fact is that despite piracy, video games are being made and profited from. Yes, you're right, if everyone did it for every game, there would be no games industry, but that isn't the case and it isn't a useful point. Do you think that withdrawing your money from the bank is morally unacceptable? If not, do you recognise that if everyone did it our economic system would crumble down in a bigger meltdown than the great depression, plunging society into chaos? Assuming you've answered those questions as I anticipate, you must see that 'if everyone did it, things would be bad' is not useful for distinguishing 'wrongful' acts from 'rightful' acts, or at least it is insufficient. Do you have anything to add to it or replace it with?
 

Bigsmith

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Imo there is only one valid reason to pirate a game. And that is you have owned it in the past and have lost it (supream commander 1 in my case) OR you have installed it but have lost the disk (daw of war: soul storm in my case).
 

Randomologist

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If you'd bought the game and couldn't play it due to restrictive DRM or it won't play on a modern machine, I could sympathise- but buying it new? Personally, I'd wait a few months, but it's entirely your decision.
 

DarkMessiah

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Chamale said:
DarkMessiah said:
Of course someone who pirates games because they can't afford them should feel guilty.
It's not like stealing bread when you're starving and have no alternative, games are a luxury.
Piracy isn't technically theft, because you don't deny the game from anyone else. The situation in poor countries where piracy is rampant is akin to copying a bread recipe, than baking your own bread. The storeowner doesn't lose money, he simply doesn't get more profits. If he wants to go after you for violating the intellectual property rights of the guy that invented bread, he could. By not buying bread from the store owner, you hurt his profits, but our society has an idea that baking bread is "virtuous" while piracy is "wrong". When neither action directly hurts another person, and no alternate action would help others, how can we say piracy is worse than baking from a utilitarian standpoint?
That wasn't the point that I was making, I was using the comparison of pirating software and stealing bread because you only need one of those things to live.

There is a quite obvious difference between the production of bread and the production of software, I'm pretty sure the latter takes more money, manpower and effort.
Also, the analogy you used isn't totally accurate, copying the recipe for bread so you can make your own is not the same as pirating a game. That would be more like learning how to programme so you could make your own game.
 

Hasanko

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I'm going to be brutally honest here. I could really care less if anyone pirated games or the like, So i'll go with those people that are playing devils advocate.

When you think about it, companies that make these things see a profit upwards to hundreds of thousands of dollars even for poorly made crap. Past that MOST games are only distributed from manufacturers for only a number of months, after that the companies no longer see revenue from those games they made. At that point the only people that lose anything in that case are the distributors who would be carrying the games as a used copy. Even then some of those games that didn't ever sell well are too exorbitantly priced that no sane person would buy unless they felt they really had too much money. ( $200+ for a single game that's multiple system generations old is just one example, and yes there are such games. )

Past that you have games that have never seen the light of day in some regions and would otherwise be impossible to be played normally. Once again I look toward the older systems for the most prevalent examples and not quite as common today. Now for the ease of this example I'll use myself as the person in the situation:

Say that I wanted to play something like oh...Mother 3 or some such game that never saw release outside of Japan. Now by normal means it just would not make sense for me to be able to get my hands on the game and be able to play it in America. In order to properly play a game such as this I'd have to pirate it and then modify the game in order to play it and understand what's going on.
 

RhombusHatesYou

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The Wide, Brown One.
the D0rk One said:
and the pricing usually doesn't aim to cover the developer's expenses only, but the expenses of the publisher as well...
And the distributor and the store owner (assuming a non-DD version)