Jimquisition: Piracy - Trying To Kill It Makes It Stronger

Sentox6

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Kwil said:
Generally agree, but you fail in the same way that most of these rants against "the man" fail.. you forget that the reason we're getting this crap DRM stuff imposed on us in the first place is because of the pirates.

That's why I get really annoyed whenever somebody gets up on their righteous horse and says, "It's the companies' fault!"

NO. IT. ISN'T.
It's the pirates' fault that game publishers institute a number of measures that have, and have always had, zero effect on piracy, while inconveniencing the paying customer?

No, that special brand of idiocy is all on the publishers, I'm afraid.

It's like those unskippable anti-piracy trailers that were placed at the beginning of DVDs for a while. The only people who ever saw them were the people who paid for the product. The product I paid for was worse than the pirated product.

Clearly, though, I should blame the pirates for these moronically counter-intuitive measures that have no effect on piracy.
 

Yopaz

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Jun 3, 2009
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GeorgW said:
bahumat42 said:
GeorgW said:
Yopaz said:
GeorgW said:
Yopaz said:
GeorgW said:
I wonder what would happen if a game were to be released, and you had the choice of paying extra for a DRM free version. Say, a $10 convenience fee. No codes no nothing, just the game ready to play. Sure it'd be easier to pirate, but it's already easy. I'd love for them to just remove the DRM, everyone hates it anyway, and for good reason. But we all know that won't happen, so why not this idea?
Making a DRM free copy would mean that those who upload games in the first place would have a lot easier job doing so while all the honest customers would have to pay for it, either in cash or frustration.
But the people that upload do it within days of release(your own words), I doubt it's much of a hassle anyway. And the honest consumers wouldn't have to pay a cent more for the same product they buy now, they just have the option to pay to skip DRM. I'm sure plenty of people would do it, and if they do maybe publishers will rethink DRM.
I wont go back on my word that most DRM is cracked within days of release, Modern Warfare 3 was uploaded before its release. However what you fail to see with this point is that DRM is just a false security in these days of piracy. If they were to release a copy without DRM and one with they actually show us all that they know DRM wont stop piracy, yet they punish honest customers who aren't willing to shell out for the DRM free version. This shows us and the pirates that they know they are fighting a losing battle in this and that they actually give up on the battle and try to squeeze us for more money. DRM on the budget version punishes a honest customer. A higher cost DRM free awards the wealthy and makes piracy a lot easier than it already was.
You make a good point and I'm not sure how to counter it. As I said, it was only a thought experiment.
But answer me this, what happens if you want to play a Ubisoft game or Diablo 3 and don't have a stable internet connection? Why should your only option be to pirate, why can't the publishers give you another option, but for a small convenience charge? I understand why my version doesn't really work, but can't we figure one out?
well you also have the option to play other games, especially in the case of D3 where T2 is a really high quality contender without the drm nonsense (and cheaper)
Simply not buying it is always an option, but isn't that worse for everyone (except the competition)? The gamer doesn't get the game they want and the publisher loses a sale. That's not exactly a solution.

Yopaz said:
GeorgW said:
You make a good point and I'm not sure how to counter it. As I said, it was only a thought experiment.
But answer me this, what happens if you want to play a Ubisoft game or Diablo 3 and don't have a stable internet connection? Why should your only option be to pirate, why can't the publishers give you another option, but for a small convenience charge? I understand why my version doesn't really work, but can't we figure one out?
I know I would be willing to pay a convenience charge for my games. I use Steam even though I can get it cheaper from retail most of the time even with Steam sales because I like having my games collected in one place. Honestly I like the idea of a one time online activation made simple. It's easy for pirates to bypass it, but it's just slightly inconvenient for the honest customer. The sad thing is that those who are behind cracking games are quite smart even though I know several pirates who aren't. I think that fighting piracy is a lost cause and that we should fight it in a way that doesn't alienate those who actually are honest.
I agree. It's just sad how publishers never listen to the costumers. And people pirating humble bundles and the Witcher 2 isn't exactly helping our case either.
Yeah, pirating games where the money goes to charity or games that don't offer us any problems makes it hard to side against DRM. I actually think I would be OK with a game that had a crappy DRM if it actually did prevent pirates from playing it.
 

TheScottishFella

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Actually with the rise in indie games I feel that this system is on the way out, but it wants to make the process of leaving as painful as possible.
 

Alterego-X

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I think that simply making buying "more convinient" than piracy, is a good solution, but it's a temporary one.

Not having to pay money for every product that I check out, can also be a major convinience, and right now, it is only counterbalanced by the fact that several people have the feeling that we are "supposed to" pay for every game.

It's essentially just a cultural habit, that we feel guilt over copying games, but happy to pay for them. And in part, paying to avoid guilt is the convinience that we pay for.

But how long will that habit remain? It's not an universal constant, or an objective moral standard, just a remnant of the past few decades where buying physical copies in the store was the only choice. In other media, like radio, or TV, everyone feels that getting shows for free is natural. (yes, there is a different business model that makes it ok, but most people don't ay attention to that, I'm only talking about the vague feeling of entitlement).

Or just think about how with Internet news, everyone feels entitled to free news reports, and suddenly newspapers are more unappealing, and even have to switch to an ad-heavy free distribution model, like Metro.

Now the Internet is having that effect on all media, a whole generation is growing up in a world where copying files all day is self-evident. Eventually, the habit of paying $60 for certain downloads, while none for others, will lose it's meaning in the eyes of the masses who don't particularly care about industry revenues.

While I agree that making legal game downloads more convinient makes more sense than DRM, this is just a first step. On the long term, gaming industry must be redesigned to be profitable while distributing most of it's content.
 

GeorgW

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Aug 27, 2010
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Kwil said:
GeorgW said:
Simply not buying it is always an option, but isn't that worse for everyone (except the competition)? The gamer doesn't get the game they want and the publisher loses a sale. That's not exactly a solution.
Actually, it's the only solution. When companies see a game being pirated a lot they conclude they're on the right track, they just need even better piracy controls.

They only really start looking at other answers when the product isn't moving.

Ideally, people would not buy or pirate, and would let the company know *why* they aren't doing so.
But that's the problem, if a game just isn't selling, they would just scrap it, they would never realise it's cuz of DRM. And I don't think publishers look at big pirate numbers positively, that would just mean the next game wouldn't sell any, and get pirated a bunch. I would love a way to tell the publishers off, but I can't really think of a way to do that. I love Android's thing where when you uninstall an app, they ask you why, but given that you'd have to have already purchased it, that would be impossible with games.
Yopaz said:
GeorgW said:
bahumat42 said:
GeorgW said:
Yopaz said:
GeorgW said:
Yopaz said:
GeorgW said:
I wonder what would happen if a game were to be released, and you had the choice of paying extra for a DRM free version. Say, a $10 convenience fee. No codes no nothing, just the game ready to play. Sure it'd be easier to pirate, but it's already easy. I'd love for them to just remove the DRM, everyone hates it anyway, and for good reason. But we all know that won't happen, so why not this idea?
Making a DRM free copy would mean that those who upload games in the first place would have a lot easier job doing so while all the honest customers would have to pay for it, either in cash or frustration.
But the people that upload do it within days of release(your own words), I doubt it's much of a hassle anyway. And the honest consumers wouldn't have to pay a cent more for the same product they buy now, they just have the option to pay to skip DRM. I'm sure plenty of people would do it, and if they do maybe publishers will rethink DRM.
I wont go back on my word that most DRM is cracked within days of release, Modern Warfare 3 was uploaded before its release. However what you fail to see with this point is that DRM is just a false security in these days of piracy. If they were to release a copy without DRM and one with they actually show us all that they know DRM wont stop piracy, yet they punish honest customers who aren't willing to shell out for the DRM free version. This shows us and the pirates that they know they are fighting a losing battle in this and that they actually give up on the battle and try to squeeze us for more money. DRM on the budget version punishes a honest customer. A higher cost DRM free awards the wealthy and makes piracy a lot easier than it already was.
You make a good point and I'm not sure how to counter it. As I said, it was only a thought experiment.
But answer me this, what happens if you want to play a Ubisoft game or Diablo 3 and don't have a stable internet connection? Why should your only option be to pirate, why can't the publishers give you another option, but for a small convenience charge? I understand why my version doesn't really work, but can't we figure one out?
well you also have the option to play other games, especially in the case of D3 where T2 is a really high quality contender without the drm nonsense (and cheaper)
Simply not buying it is always an option, but isn't that worse for everyone (except the competition)? The gamer doesn't get the game they want and the publisher loses a sale. That's not exactly a solution.

Yopaz said:
GeorgW said:
You make a good point and I'm not sure how to counter it. As I said, it was only a thought experiment.
But answer me this, what happens if you want to play a Ubisoft game or Diablo 3 and don't have a stable internet connection? Why should your only option be to pirate, why can't the publishers give you another option, but for a small convenience charge? I understand why my version doesn't really work, but can't we figure one out?
I know I would be willing to pay a convenience charge for my games. I use Steam even though I can get it cheaper from retail most of the time even with Steam sales because I like having my games collected in one place. Honestly I like the idea of a one time online activation made simple. It's easy for pirates to bypass it, but it's just slightly inconvenient for the honest customer. The sad thing is that those who are behind cracking games are quite smart even though I know several pirates who aren't. I think that fighting piracy is a lost cause and that we should fight it in a way that doesn't alienate those who actually are honest.
I agree. It's just sad how publishers never listen to the costumers. And people pirating humble bundles and the Witcher 2 isn't exactly helping our case either.
Yeah, pirating games where the money goes to charity or games that don't offer us any problems makes it hard to side against DRM. I actually think I would be OK with a game that had a crappy DRM if it actually did prevent pirates from playing it.
I wonder how much Skyrim got pirated, given that it was on steamworks and a major title.
Yeah, the big problem with DRM is that it doesn't do shit. I wonder if Diablo 3 will either not be pirated at all or pretty much exclusively, cuz given the way their DRM is heading that's the only 2 options I'm seeing.
 

Not G. Ivingname

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Jim Sterling said:
In the near future, piracy is going to have something that is going to stop them in their tracks if the gaming industry accepts it, the cloud.

With Onlive proving at least the service can function, we can get any game we want INSTANTLY without downloading, installing, or anything else. Any kind of traditional torrent site just simply can't provide that amount of convience. As soon as the internet connection needed to run the service becomes common place, and they figure ways around the technical issues such as low frame rates and get the games multiplayer to work proper, and it becomes a subscription service like Netflix, why is their any reason to pirate games at all?
 

Baresark

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What a topic. Great discussion as always when it comes to piracy.

Melon Hunter said:
That's how a competitive market works; one company sets up a business in a pre-existing market to try and get some of the profits from it. Should Microsoft not have bothered with making the Xbox, as it didn't need to exist, due to the Playstation 2 and Gamecube already existing? Of course not.

In a way, it should have been a good thing, as Steam hold a virtual monopoly over digital distribution for PC games. The problem is, Origin has nowhere near the level of good service and pricing that Steam offers currently.
That is exactly how competitive markets work, but I will not understand why people say Steam holds a monopoly. They do not. A monopoly is a predatory business practice that prevents other companies from entering the same market as the company is in. Steam does nothing like this. They are biggest because they have been around for a long time (in computer years), they offer the best deals (as long as you are not in Australia) and they make their customers happy. All the titles on Steam are allowed to be sold everywhere else. They do not prevent other titles from selling on their service. Even with Valve games, you can go to a brick and mortar store and buy them.

GeorgW said:
You make a good point and I'm not sure how to counter it. As I said, it was only a thought experiment.
But answer me this, what happens if you want to play a Ubisoft game or Diablo 3 and don't have a stable internet connection? Why should your only option be to pirate, why can't the publishers give you another option, but for a small convenience charge? I understand why my version doesn't really work, but can't we figure one out?
Your only option is piracy because companies won't treat their customers with respect. It's not the consumers problem that the company creates obstacles for you to play games. It's not the customers responsibility to jump through hoops to play a game that you bought. It's the literally the companies fault that these things happen. Piracy is not the consumers fault or problem when we are talking about honest customers. But the companies act as if the piracy is all that matters. Yet, they still make more than enough money off of paying customers to create new games, find new ways to get in the customers way of playing them, and spend lots of money on security solutions. It sounds to me like the companies should start paying attention to what paying customers need.

OT: The thing that drives me nuts is that paying customers hate these things the companies do but then simultaneously make excuses as to why it's ok. All I'm saying is that I know what pirates do and I don't support them, but I do not care to be treated like a criminal because my neighbor may be a software pirate. It's not my fault and it's not my problem. And, accordingly I do not buy games from companies that do not respect me (Ubisoft, Activision, EA, any game that uses GFWL, etc.). We are all adults and know that there is no such thing as guilt by association. If my room mate downloads all his music, did I commit a crime? No, I did not and I should accordingly not be treated as someone who should be living in a 5x9 cell.
 

geizr

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I've heard it said several times in other articles and forums: piracy is not a criminal issue; it's a customer service issue. I find it very difficult to disagree with that idea. We really don't need more laws regarding piracy(and I'd really like to see the limits on copyright rescinded back to the standard of 14 years; if you can't profit from your idea in 14 years, you have an issue). What we really need is for companies to adapt their policies to the changing expectations of the market.

Most people are rational enough to be willing to pay for the content they enjoy, but you have to let them actually enjoy it. If people are not able to enjoy the product, then they will either learn to live without it, or they find a means of removing the restrictions that prevent them from enjoying it(for which piracy ends up often being the means of implementation of this strategy). In both cases, the company loses on potential income because they devalued the product relative to the asking price in the minds of the buyer, which leads the buyer to refuse to purchase the product.

Several times, I have proclaimed that there are only three reasons for piracy: lazy, cheap, and a douche-bag. While that is true in a large percentage of cases, it is not true in every case(demonstrating that my own thinking was oversimplifying the case). In many cases, the reason for piracy is unavailability or extremely limited availability relative to demand. Basically, there exists a market for a particular product, but that market is not being served with that product. As a result, the market is forced to obtain the product through different means, i.e. piracy. While this is not a justification for the act of piracy in this case, it is a point to show cause for the phenomenon and to demonstrate there being a simple remedy of making the product more conveniently available to that market for reasonable price. I think a good example is the anime and manga market here in the US(granted, that market has other issues, currently, that are likely contributing to its woes), and the example of Viz Media's push to make the manga they license digitally available through their mobile device apps(I know they have an iPad/iPhone app, but I don't know if they have an Android app) for substantially lower price than print(almost 50% off, in some cases).

I think if companies adapted to better serve their markets through the Internet and digital media, while they will not eliminate piracy(as Jim says, you really, truly can't stop it), they will make piracy less an issue for them.

EDIT: minor grammatical edit.
 

Asehujiko

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Kwil said:
You want to fight piracy? Here's a good way, tell everybody you know who's a pirate that they're a prick for forcing companies to put all this crap on their games to try to slow them down.

--

On the other hand, *we* can take steps toward stopping piracy and crappy products at the same time, simply by refusing to give pirates any succor or rationalization. You hear that somebody pirated a game, just go, "Man, that's not cool," and no matter what half-ass rationalization they give you, repeat, "Whatever, it's still a shitty thing to do."
Imagine you log onto a forum and the first thing to meet you is an internet tough guy frothing at the mouth and raging about how you are a stupid little corporate drone and the source of all problems in the western world and how you are the worst scum of humanity and don't deserve blablabla.

What would you think of that guy?

Odds are that you'll consider them a rude, moralizing asshole.

Incidentally, that is exactly what the pirates will think of you when you start preaching to them. And don't go blabbering on about you are 100% right and 100% wrong because morality is subjective and your opinion is still your opinion, no matter how hard you stick your fingers in your ear when the opposition talks and pretend they don't have arguments.

As an example as to how piracy is a service problem, look no further then KA2 which was released with a game crippling bug just a few days ago.

Neocore offers a patch at 15gb, to be downloaded exclusively from their official servers, which are, as of this typing, offline.
Pirates however, can acquire the same patch at a mere 50mb from their nearest seeder/ftp.

Imagine yourself in the place of somebody on the fence about the issue, what method would you chose to make your game playable?
 

Baresark

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Not G. Ivingname said:
Jim Sterling said:
In the near future, piracy is going to have something that is going to stop them in their tracks if the gaming industry accepts it, the cloud.

With Onlive proving at least the service can function, we can get any game we want INSTANTLY without downloading, installing, or anything else. Any kind of traditional torrent site just simply can't provide that amount of convience. As soon as the internet connection needed to run the service becomes common place, and they figure ways around the technical issues such as low frame rates and get the games multiplayer to work proper, and it becomes a subscription service like Netflix, why is their any reason to pirate games at all?
Cloud gaming is a ways off. There is simply not enough broadband to support the number of gamers there are. The infrastructure that is in place now is a huge hindrance. Also, combine that with the use of internet for a large portion of other activities that gamers do not even use it for, such as business. There is also the element where there exists a requirement for some sort of install base. It's like when the concept of Plug-n-play first came along. It's superb but true PnP will never be realized simply because it would require a universal driver that was capable of running everything. As it stands, it comes really close, but at the same time there is the need to install something locally to get it to work completely.
 

Baresark

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Kwil said:
Generally agree, but you fail in the same way that most of these rants against "the man" fail.. you forget that the reason we're getting this crap DRM stuff imposed on us in the first place is because of the pirates.

That's why I get really annoyed whenever somebody gets up on their righteous horse and says, "It's the companies' fault!"

NO. IT. ISN'T.
It is, and will remain, the pirates fault. You want to fight piracy? Here's a good way, tell everybody you know who's a pirate that they're a prick for forcing companies to put all this crap on their games to try to slow them down.

There are ways to lessen piracy, yes. And yes, the companies can take steps toward it as Steam has done, but let's be honest, unless everybody released on Steam, your next rant would be about how it's so inconvenient to remember which service your game is signed up with and so people pirate because they don't want to be bothered going through any service.

On the other hand, *we* can take steps toward stopping piracy and crappy products at the same time, simply by refusing to give pirates any succor or rationalization. You hear that somebody pirated a game, just go, "Man, that's not cool," and no matter what half-ass rationalization they give you, repeat, "Whatever, it's still a shitty thing to do."
You fail to realize that software pirates need no rationalization from anyone, let alone honest paying customers. No one is rationalizing piracy by saying the companies are in the wrong. There are companies I just do not give any patronage to because of this. It is not the companies fault that people pirate their products. But it is the companies fault that they hinder people from using their products. It is not the pirates fault the company hurts their customers. Also, as we all know, no product seems safe piracy no matter how many layers of DRM or protection they put onto it. It only seems safe from the paying customers use. The piracy community will exist as it always has, but companies put so much effort into stopping them and none into paying homage to their honest customers, and that is the companies fault. So people will rationalize piracy, even if they don't agree with it because the companies rationalize the systematic destruction of consumer rights in the name of stopping piracy. And people like yourself will rationalize what the companies do. And we have come full circle.
 

fix-the-spade

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getoffmycloud said:
The simple reason they don't do more stuff like steam is look what happened with origin as soon as it was announced everyone came out and said they hated it and would never use it and just pirate EA games so I can see why publishers would be put off this kind of service.
Well yes, because when announcing Origin, EA also pulled all their games from Steam, revealed Origin titles would sell at the sime price or higher and would be needed to play games in addition to any other layers of DRM already present on the game and/or present on any other service you bought the game from (such as D2D).

Which means it's entirely possible for a game (like say... Battlefield 3) to include three or more separate layers of DRM and up to three logins just to play the game (retail disc of BF3: Disc check-layer one, Origin login- layer two, Battle Log login- layer three).

It's the polar opposite of Valve/Steam's approach of having one account that unifies all your games and online content. It's one account, that allows you access to to all the other accounts that you still have to log into, one at a time.

Begs the serious question, why not steal the game and throw all that trouble out the window?
 

SousukeSeg

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Not too long ago there was a thread started about the DRM, multiplayer, DLC etc. in Mass Effect 3 and asking weather people are still willing to buy it.

I joined the discussion by adding: Yes, I am going to buy it, but I'm also going to pirate it, or just crack it so I don't have to put up with the publishers bull(origins).

I used to be a pirate way back when I wasn't a serious gamer, and when the stores in my country didn't actually have them, but that changed, over time my passion for games rose and I felt I had to give back to the creators(as any responsible human should).

BUT

The games industry has done nothing to make me stop piracy all together, I buy the games and pirate them as well. Last time I bought the Mass Effect 2 Collectors Edition(PC), I opened it up looked through the manual and art book for a bit and NEVER TOOK OUT THE DISKS, because I just didn't want to go through the hassle.

Pirating was just more convenient, no disk, no login, no internet verification, no mofo CD-key, no [disk 2 must be inserted to play], just ME, the GAME, and OUR PERSONAL CONNECTION.

I also find it ironic that I was almost willing to quit PC gaming in favor for the console experience, I got a PS3 and everything, I figured: Why not? there's no CD-key or other [email protected] to deal with, just insert disk and start playing, I loved that, and now it feels like the PC all over again.

Nowadays I get a new game for my PS3 am like: THE HELL IS THIS? why are you stopping me from playing, leave me alone, I want to play my game that I just payed 80-100$ for(yes, that is what my country is charging me for a brand new game).
 

luvd1

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At last someone see pirates for what they are. Competitors. Provide a better service and you get people hand you money over fist.
 

getoffmycloud

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fix-the-spade said:
getoffmycloud said:
The simple reason they don't do more stuff like steam is look what happened with origin as soon as it was announced everyone came out and said they hated it and would never use it and just pirate EA games so I can see why publishers would be put off this kind of service.
Well yes, because when announcing Origin, EA also pulled all their games from Steam, revealed Origin titles would sell at the sime price or higher and would be needed to play games in addition to any other layers of DRM already present on the game and/or present on any other service you bought the game from (such as D2D).

Which means it's entirely possible for a game (like say... Battlefield 3) to include three or more separate layers of DRM and up to three logins just to play the game (retail disc of BF3: Disc check-layer one, Origin login- layer two, Battle Log login- layer three).

It's the polar opposite of Valve/Steam's approach of having one account that unifies all your games and online content. It's one account, that allows you access to to all the other accounts that you still have to log into, one at a time.

Begs the serious question, why not steal the game and throw all that trouble out the window?
I own the retail copy of battlefield 3 and all that stuff just logs in as soon as open battlefield 3 so its not really a problem and steam still does all that stuff and it does it to games that have nothing to do with them it really annoys me that I have to have a steam account to play stuff like shogun total war and deus ex for no reason
 

Aardvaarkman

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Kind of ironic how Jim decries publishers for trying to discourage used sales, yet praises iTunes and Steam, where used sales are actually impossible.