Lawyer Destroys Arguments for Game Piracy

ResonanceSD

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Apr 11, 2020
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deth2munkies said:
He didn't seem to touch the harder arguments that people make about things that are not available/not in production that are being pirated.

To curb a large amount of piracy just do 3 things:

2) Allow for digital distribution.

3) Use reasonable DRM.

Is there something I'm missing with DRM? Every single system of DRM I've used isn't that much of a pain in the ass in a first-world country. face it, you live in the western hemisphere and you're a gamer. You'll have always-on internet.
 

RaggedKarma

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Jan 21, 2011
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You vote with your money. The money you hand over isn't paying for the game you take home, it's funding the next one.

If you keep pirating games you like, you might find people stop making them. I'm not talking about genre or setting, but fundamental game mechanics and market strategy will move towards:

- Intentionally short, easy-to-play games with minimal overhead chasing the impulse purchase,
- Annual releases with minor updates in an attempt to emulate a subscription model.
- Completely locked down, download-primary ecosystems (XBLA, PSN, iOS, OnLive) where your game library can be held hostage for failure to comply with their ToS.
- Addenda to the above: episodic, DLC-heavy gameplay that, again, seeks to emulate a subscription model- even blatantly, lately.
- Free-to-play supported by in-game purchases. This is a proven money-maker in the right environment (MMO), but experiments are already underway elsewhere (such as Team Fortress 2).
- Kickstarter / hostage-based funding (I like this one, actually)

None of these are an evil in an of themselves, but the industry is shifting (and will continue to do so) towards what makes them money.

And if that isn't you, you don't get to complain.
 

DEAD34345

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Kwil said:
Lunncal said:
There'll be no trial before websites are censored by SOPA (in fact there's practically no confirmation needed at all, that's one of the main reasons people are against it), and I've certainly never been to a trial before being punished by bad DRM for the actions of pirates (who don't have to deal with said DRM at all).

Besides which, yes, you should be fairly certain that you've got the right person before you go to a trial at all.
Which is exactly what this lawyer is saying, we can be fairly certain that the folks with the IP addresses are the ones that are the pirate, because most of these guys aren't the crackers and simply aren't tech savvy enough (nor concerned enough) to bother with fake IPs.

SOPA's bad all around, I'll agree. However that doesn't mean that no attempts at enforcement are the answer, just that SOPA's a particularly bad one.
They aren't concerned enough yet, but as soon as you do start punishing them using their IP as evidence, they will be.

I just Googled "mask IP address" and sure enough, here's the top result:

How to Hide Your IP Address
whatismyipaddress.com/hide-ip
Instructions on how to hide the public IP address of your router or computer by masking so you can surf anonymously and protect your identity.
A page that shows 4 different ways of masking your IP address in a couple of small paragraphs of text.
What was required? Use of Keyboard. Ability to read. Brain (debatable).

Punishing them based on IP addresses just wouldn't work. Even worse, it could result in trouble for innocent people who have their networks used without their permission. Although I'm sure that 99.9% of the people who pirate are not tech savvy or cautious enough to do this, there is always the 0.1% that are, and it's just not worth it.

No-one would benefit from this, not the developers, not the publishers, and certainly not the innocent consumers.

Well... no-one but the lawyers, anyway.
 

Atros81

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The argument that piracy doesn't lead to lost revenue is complete and utter hogwash. Yes, the ratio of lost sales to copies pirated isn't 1:1... there ARE people who wouldn't be able to afford the game at all (and thus wouldn't be sales anyway), and there ARE people who would buy the game after pirating it. However, it is NOT 0:1, either... there ARE people who can... in fact.. PAY for the games they're pirating, but CHOOSE not to. While it's not 'theft' in the strictly legal sense of the word, as there are no physical goods being taken, it's not exactly saintly behavior, and is detrimental to the way society expects people to behave. If somebody provides a service to you with the expectation, be it a charity car wash or providing a game for you to play, and you consume such service without paying for it... well... there shows to be a significant breakdown. You wouldn't drive off after some high school club washed your car without paying... why would you pirate a game?

Likewise, though... people have to be able to say they're getting their money's worth. You'd be righteously pissed if... in going to the aforementioned car wash, you gave your money, but then told to piss off... or perhaps for a more apt picture to fit the scenario, they cleaned off the windows, but left mud caked on the sideboards. So many times, with so many games, it feels like you're given an experienced that's either incomplete unless you fork over additional money (mandatory day zero DLC and such)... or you're just given a product that is so inferior that there is no reasonable way you can say that it is worth your $60. These are serious issues that need to be addressed by the games industry.

For those saying there's should be no DRM... face it... it is NEVER going to happen. It is just naive to expect that if a game is released without DRM, that nobody will pirate it. Look at World of Goo, Witcher 2, etc. Some DRM is necessary... not so much to ensure that the game never gets hacked (which most likely will happen... sooner or later... if nothing else, the crackers love the challenge), but rather to keep would be paying customers honest. There are fewer people then people would want to admit who would pay for something if they can get it for free. It's that simple.

DRM, however, doesn't have to be completely draconian. Steam, as mentioned in the article, is a very good (though perhaps not perfect) example. It adds something to the games beyond simple DRM. The social aspects, the ability to re-download games, the quickly distributed updates, all provide a reason to make you want to continue using it beyond the simply copy protection. Yes, there are flaws to it, but in my own personal opinion, it's a net positive.

Value is something that needs to be seriously looked it. In all honest, for way too many games these days, they are NOT worth the sticker price of $60 that is asked. Many developers/publishers need to sit down and take an actual look at what they're providing, and price it accordingly. In a handful of cases, the price of games may go up. I know I, for one, would probably have been willing to pay MORE then the $60 asking price for Skyrim, for example... bugs and all. In many other cases, the price would drop. I feel sorry for anybody who paid full price for Duke Nukem: Forever. Finding the balance is key.

SOPA, however... is an iron fisted, heavy handed way of handling things, though. I'm not usually fairly progressive as far as my view of government goes, but in this case, I think the libertarian approach is probably ideal. Have the market decide the balancing point. It's an ongoing and continuing balance to find, and not an easy problem to solve. Blanket censorship without due process... well... most people here know the arguments... the vast majority of which really have nothing to do at all with piracy in the first place.
 

antipunt

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So I don't support piracy (yay...). I also think that any argument that attempts to make piracy 'justifiable' is silly. With that said, I also really dislike intellectual dishonesty, and think of it as being just as morally reprehensible. I see a lot of straw-manning going on, and claiming the moral-high-ground with such a snooty 'I am pure, and you are an evil pirate that deserves to burn' mentality just reeks of nasty >_>
 

Belated

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Okay, we've been over this. You're not allowed to say piracy is a loss of revenue or a sale until you can refute this study. [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/114537-File-sharing-Remains-Legal-In-Switzerland] You need to back up your arguments with facts and evidence. I have facts and evidence. This lawyer doesn't.
 

RikuoAmero

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buy teh haloz said:
I can understand the complaints regarding piracy. It absolutely sucks that developers and publishers lose out on sales and all, but I have a couple qualms with this, mostly because he isn't looking through a consumer perspective of things. There are a couple reasons why piracy is prevalent:

1. We don't want to put up with bullshit. We have absolutely no patience for DRM and less so for publishers who have a narrow and close-minded view of PC gaming as a whole. Denying them of a sale seems like a reasonable thing to do when said publisher implements a mechanism that sets out to punish people who purchased the game and inadvertently REWARDS those who pirate the game. It all comes down to the message said publisher conveys, and if the publisher is saying "Fuck you, we don't want your money.", they shouldn't ***** when they're refused a sale in favor of a better functioning pirated copy.

Same applies to those who force a spyware client to run a game (Battlefield 3) and the same applies to those that frequently and traditionally screw consumers over because they live in different territories of the globe (Nintendo and Xenoblade Chronicles). Publisher refuses our money? Okay! Don't come crying and blithely whining "HURF A DURF, PIRACY ARE BAD BECAUSE WE IS LOSING LEGITAMITE SALES. HURRRR DURRRRR"

2. Piracy is a good testing mechanism for PC gamers. We pirate the game, if it runs, HEY GREAT! We can buy the game and enjoy a legitimate copy to enjoy. I mean come on, Battlefield 3 and Crysis 2 are on that list, those are, if anything, heavy duty games that require a really good computer.

3. Piracy helps to justify a purchase. Yes, I know there is a thing called demos, but not a lot of games have them. I'll be the first to admit that I pirated Minecraft, but after playing the pirated copy, I set out to purchase it, knowing that the purchase I made was worth it having played it before and knowing what I was getting myself into. Plus, games are 50+ dollars these days. How do I know whether or not the game I'll be getting is either A: Good, B: Shit, or C: A console/PC port depending on the platform of choice?
This. This is exactly how I work, especially your second and third points. I remember buying a copy of Crysis 1 and Warhead, only it ran insanely slow on my computer, so I spent a few hundred upgrading it. I'm also in the middle of building a new high end rig and am planning on buying TWO copies of Crysis 2, one for PC and a console version, so I can compare the graphics (although if I can borrow a friend's console version, I would, if they had one).
And some illegal downloads DO lead to sales. I got the pre-release leaks of the Sims 3, Crysis 2 (the pre-release version that only supported DirectX 9) and a full release of Dragon Age: Origins. I went out and bought a copy of Sims 3 first opportunity I had, and as I've said above, once I've finished building my computer, I'm buying Crysis 2. As for Dragon Age, I torrented that and then, once the expansion Awakening came out, I BOUGHT THEM! I loved the game so much I decided to reward Bioware.
 

vivalahelvig

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All of this damned piracy nonsense could have been averted if we had just NOT INVENTED COMPUTERS, THE INTERNET, AND EVERYTHING ELSE! That would be the only way to get rid of stealing of files. Piracy would be completely different and would involve actual pirates stealing real things.
 

AndyFromMonday

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For calling itself the "mouthpiece of the gaming generation", the Escapist has got to be the most disingenuous news website on the entire fucking internet.
 

Dreiko_v1legacy

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Aww, and here I was hoping he'd address the "people weren't going to buy the game anyways but they pirated it and ended up buying it after all since it surpassed their expectations" defense or the "free advertisement defense". Hell, even the "I wouldn't buy the game anyways" often suffices since in both situations the makers get the same amount of money, hell, buying it used is the same as piracy as far as the makers are concerned.
 

Agayek

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Oct 23, 2008
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XMark said:
There really weren't any good arguments for piracy to begin with. It's bad to illegally copy games and one who does that doesn't have any moral high ground to stand on unless the game wasn't available for release in their country or the original game makers were out of business or something like that.
Just a point to address this. Have you, at any point in your life, ever borrowed a book, CD/tape, game or other similar item from a friend?

If so, you have committed the exact same sin people who pirate the same do. You have used and acquired something without paying the original creator.

The whole debate is rather ludicrous. Piracy is silly, but the sheer level of outrage over it is even worse. It's quite literally exactly the same as borrowing a copy from someone, and borrowing is not, nor has it ever been, illegal.
 

Blunderboy

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Slycne said:
LilithSlave said:
but in the meantime it means a financial loss for the developer
NO, it does not. That logic is incredibly erroneous.
As I see it, the two polar notions that piracy is always a lost sale and that piracy is never effectively a financial loss are what is truly lacking logic. The truth is in fact somewhere in the middle.
Finally,someone in a piracy thread speaks logically and maturely. I applaud you sir and not just for your avatar.
 

ZippyDSMlee

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Wow another one that dose not get it. IMO at the end of the day its about information and inspiration which can not be defined thus all information needs to be traded freely. However those that own the IP should be the only ones to profit any off its trade.

Right now the system in place is a mess and getting worse so I say most copy right law is a scoff law you can ignore.

I'd like to call it cigital disobedience.

http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/2011/12/31/what-is-cigital-disobedience/
 

XMark

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Agayek said:
XMark said:
There really weren't any good arguments for piracy to begin with. It's bad to illegally copy games and one who does that doesn't have any moral high ground to stand on unless the game wasn't available for release in their country or the original game makers were out of business or something like that.
Just a point to address this. Have you, at any point in your life, ever borrowed a book, CD/tape, game or other similar item from a friend?

If so, you have committed the exact same sin people who pirate the same do. You have used and acquired something without paying the original creator.

The whole debate is rather ludicrous. Piracy is silly, but the sheer level of outrage over it is even worse. It's quite literally exactly the same as borrowing a copy from someone, and borrowing is not, nor has it ever been, illegal.
We're talking about completely different things here. If you go to Bittorrent and download a full copy of Skyrim for free online and never pay for it, you're clearly in the wrong.
 

Jinx_Dragon

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LilithSlave said:
but in the meantime it means a financial loss for the developer
NO, it does not. That logic is incredibly erroneous.
That was a line that got to me as well. This is a complete line of bullshit, as if they have a right to our money the moment the game comes out instead of having to wait till we decide to give them that money! That any reason, including verifying that the product is worth spending money on, is causing them financial hardship.... Sorry, it has broken me a little bit to see that argument even being made.

This anti-piracy response was simply in regards to the results produced by Swiss that took into account more then just distribution vs licenses that the pro-piracy group fixates on*. This report found out there is no real economical loss from piracy itself, that the entertainment industries get our money anyway. It has gone from 'waaa, we didn't get their money' to 'waaa, we didn't get it fast enough.'