The Needles: Crash Course in IP Enforcement Strategy

hyperdrachen

New member
Jan 1, 2008
468
0
0
There is no more evid
Cynical skeptic said:
7ru7h said:
So, according to rhethoric, piracy damages, used sales support. But based on the evidence, piracy, at worst, does nothing, and used sales subvert the sale of new copies.
There is no more evidence to support that a used sale is a lost new sale than there is to support that piracy is a lost sale. Let me start by saying i generally despise what gamestops used game blitzkriege has done to the developers ability to profit off of thier games. However used games are cheaper, even if it is a small percentage. You do not have the data to prove that was a lost new sale. There are people who always trade in thier old games and always buy used copies. They want Game X for $55 dollars, but that does not prove they would have payed 60. The fact that they did in fact buy a used one might suggest that they are willing to part with money for games but it does not indicate that they would have bought a new copy in the absence of a used one. For all you know they would have pirated it instead.

Piracy and Used game sales afford the consumer a luxury that I don't think they deserve. They can recieve the product that a creator valued at 60 dollars retail, for an arbitrary amount determined by somone who had absolutley nothing to do with the work that went into the game.

Companies put out things I think are overpriced all the time, 400 dollar phones, 3k TVs. I express my lack of interest in that value proposition by not buying the product. I don't think used game sales should be illegal since I feal my rightfully purchased copy is mine to do with as I please. However, it is detrimental to the creator, and while hard data on bootleg copies = lost sales is essentially impossible to nail down, it is overly generous to assume no pirate was a potential customer. When PC game piracy was small groups of people on obscure web-sites PC games saw higher purchase/pirate ratios. But as friends told friends people who used to pay for games or wait for thier birthday eventually found themselves on torrents.

Piracy is mindnumbingly accessible these days. The cost of video games have not inflated anywhere near pace with the cost of cigarettes. But you can't pirate cigarettes. Which is exactly my point. People pirate and buy used copies because they can. Many of these people were customers before they were pirates. It doesn't help that so many people buy into the "The ignorant buy, the informed and intelligent pirate" schtick. I'm not ignorant for engaging in what I determine a fair trade between me and a creator. I enjoy the content, they spent thier time to create it, I feal an exchange of money for services is due. It's called a sense of fairness, and ethics, that expand beyond "what's most advantagous for me".

OT: This is a complex issue, especially from enforcement standpoints and I don't really think our Gov. is nimble enough to navigate it properly. Best approach is to direct your enforcement at the distributers and crackers. The end user pirates aren't an issue if the availability is gone. Trade restrictions on countries that allow your countries IPs to be misused, completely fair game. I see people crying about the lost revenue in jobs of that country. No tears for the lost revenue and jobs from the rampant piracy? But laws are written in ink and lack the grace to manuever through the complexity of the world. I doubt these laws will be enforced outside specific victims seeking action. I don't think the FBI is gonna have some guy that trolls forums to see if anyones pirating Assassins Creed 3. More likely Ubisoft will first approach the FBI with a complaint. So I don't really see this being a big hammer dropping on the broke ass Chinese with R4s in thier DS. Instead fining and shutting down web sites broadly advertising theyre working on violating the copyright on big budget games, movies, so on so forth.
 

hyperdrachen

New member
Jan 1, 2008
468
0
0
FieryTrainwreck said:
Edit: aaaand do people honestly believe the US will ever go bankrupt under the current economic system? It's a complete farce that we make up as we go along, and we've got everyone else in the world playing along with us. You think China or Europe is going to suddenly decide they don't want any part of a system that continually enriches the top 2% while shitting on the rest of the world? Not as long as greedy people are in charge of most major markets around the world.

And strangely enough, non-greedy people tend not to land in those positions.
Well said, of course it's no coincidence that people with a sense of fair play don't land economicly controlling jobs. The few that have the mix of ambition/greedlessness required to become such a person run the risk of having the greed set in once they have the position. I'd guess alot of people start with the best intentions only to end up scared they'll lose thier power so they horde it as much as possible. Greed is quite litterally a weekness, not just in the character sense, but that it litterally limits what you are capable of.
 

RvLeshrac

This is a Forum Title.
Oct 2, 2008
662
0
0
hyperdrachen said:
Used sales do no damage. Transfer of ownership is a right, not a privilege. What does damage is pricing a product more than the market will bear.

100-3000% increases in sales volume during Steam sales events have made it *CRYSTAL* clear that far more people are willing to buy at a lower price point, but software developers and publishers are looking for the easy buck - the game that people will buy regardless of price point, because they've "gotta have it." They're also looking for the suckers - the people that have to buy a game on day one, and aren't willing to wait a month for a price drop. Notice that a $60 game will drop to $40 in the span of a month, but a $20 game will often continue selling well for a year at the same price point.
 

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
45,698
0
0
Samurai Goomba said:
Sure, illegal copying does damage to the industry, but the big copyers, buyers and sellers of bootleg material aren't even in this country. They should go after the countries that have their economy propped up by bootleg sales before attacking Joe Pirate for copying a few games. It's a matter of perspective. If you want to stop damage to a country, do you arrest the guy with a machine gun or the fellow with the nuclear warhead?
I detest the insulting and facile argument, "If you'd read what I wrote..." but you might want to check out the strategy document (or the column about it) a little more closely. To quote the final paragraph on the first page:

"The strategy also lays out the need to 'combat foreign-based and foreign-controlled websites that infringe American intellectual property rights.'"

I'd also suggest that your analogy of flawed. Through all the wars and the tens of millions of deaths they caused over the course of the 20th century, nuclear weapons have been used twice, both in the same conflict, with most estimates pointing at less than 200,000 resulting deaths. Clearly, it's the men with the machine guns who pose the infinitely greater threat.

And taking it even further, drinking is not inherently dangerous. Drinking until you puke, drinking and driving, getting drunk and trying to juggle chainsaws, yes, that's dangerous, and your finger-snapping stats would no doubt reflect that. And so those are the behaviours that we attempt to regulate. But drinking? I'll come up with stats just as quickly demonstrating that moderate alcohol intake has numerous health benefits.

Getting back to the original topic, I think you're a little too ready to jump on the "my rights!" bandwagon without taking the time to make yourself fully aware of what this is actually about.
 

Cynical skeptic

New member
Apr 19, 2010
799
0
0
hyperdrachen said:
Except, there is evidence. I mean, if anyone involved in software/movie/music piracy were living in diamond castles and enjoying daily cocaine fueled frolics through their harems, it'd be impossible to argue piracy does no damage. But theres never been a large sale 'bust' with the headline "piracy magnate cornered in Yugoslavia, millions in assets and pirated materials seized." At least not in the last couple hundred years.

But thats exactly whats happening with large corporations employing the used game model. Massive amounts of money is being leeched from the entities responsible for creation by entities responsible for distribution. This has always been the case, as retail has never, in it's entire history, operated on any level beyond insisting the only way a producer can reach a consumer is through it. Its just getting somewhat absurd now, by manipulating a legal loophole that mistakenly grants massive corporations "first sale" rights.

Speaking of, you made a common error in attempting to support used sales. You, like pretty much everyone else on your side, confused your rights with the rights of massive corporations. Yes, you bought the product, you should be able to do anything you want with it. You should be able to put it on ebay/amazon/whatever for whatever price you want and then you should get all the proceeds from the sale. Nothing wrong with that. But thats not whats happening.

Whats happening is massive corporations are taking something with a static (or nil) value, assigning an arbitrary "buy" value to it then multiplying by ten to get the "sell" value. yes yes, Buy low, sell high, etc. Except they're subverting the actual value of the product for profit. They're pocketing all proceeds. They're doing it on a large enough scale to significantly impact the marketability of the products in question. They're also holding all the cards.

Publishers and such can't compete with used sales. If they drop the price of new copies, used sales retailers match. If they drop it too low, retailers refuse to carry the products at all. They can't take this to court, as used sale retailers (obviously) have enough money to fight any decision, and would spend every dime, as they'd be defending their very existence. etc, etc, etc, etc.

Now, trying to argue theres no evidence used sales are new sales is simply crap. The used sale business model not only needs new copies, they need them on the shelves for the higher price point. Its the only reason 'used sales' work at all. Arguing some people "always do that" just further proves my point. That its a con, and they're being conned, and one is is telling them, "you know between the actual value of that trade-in and the sticker price of that used copy, you're actually paying around 70% more than you would for a new copy."

Hate that this needs to be injected in every piracy debate, but its just absurd that piracy is getting federal funding and task forces, while used sales are somehow the god given right of retailers when they're functionally identical.
 

hyperdrachen

New member
Jan 1, 2008
468
0
0
Y
RvLeshrac said:
hyperdrachen said:
Used sales do no damage. Transfer of ownership is a right, not a privilege. What does damage is pricing a product more than the market will bear.

100-3000% increases in sales volume during Steam sales events have made it *CRYSTAL* clear that far more people are willing to buy at a lower price point, but software developers and publishers are looking for the easy buck - the game that people will buy regardless of price point, because they've "gotta have it." They're also looking for the suckers - the people that have to buy a game on day one, and aren't willing to wait a month for a price drop. Notice that a $60 game will drop to $40 in the span of a month, but a $20 game will often continue selling well for a year at the same price point.
Used gamesales do damamge a developers revenue from a game, stating the fact that you have the right to do so is strawmanning that part of my argument. The game is sold twice the dev is paid once. That's pretty plain. It's not illegal, nor do i think it should be.

Most games do not price drop a month out on consoles, not new copies, what you might find at your suggested price point a month later is a used copy, which some "sucker" had to buy first and trade in, to make available. Yes I believe publishers need to take a long hard look at steams success. Yes I believe the 40 dollar new game is in order. Good ways to express that fact are, not buying the game, or waiting for it to drop to your appealing price point.

The used game purchase is also valid but again the damage to the actual creators bottom line is real, especially true in common practice. Gamestop sells used games for $55. If you buy a discount card from them every year, they'll knock it down to $50. Are you really unwilling/unable to front that extra 5 to 10 bucks so that the people behind the product can see the benifits of your desire for it? If your buying these used copies direct from user you'll prolly see a more signifigant savings, say ebay or amazon. This part of the market is too variable to really talk about pricewise and too small for me to worry about damaging devs. The real problem is that the big chains intentionally shortstock thier shelves so that used games are commonly the only copies available after the first two weeks or so. That's one reason they push for pre-orders so hard. They want to order enough new for the guy determined to buy new(me) and 0 extra. The entire model is setup to minimize money that goes to the original publishers/devs, and maximize gamestops profit. I choose not to support that model.

Here's the bitter sting of reality. If publishers drop the average game to the 40 dollar price point, gamestop can sell used ones at 35. So while the volume sales proof of concept is great on steam, where you're rights to a game cannot be transfered, it doesnt work so great on the physical copy which as you obviously know, is completely legal to transfer. The 40 dollar rereleases of these games work for the most part but mind you this is after the heat dies down, and I've seen used copies of price drop version for 20 bucks.


I personally don't buy alot of games, the ones I buy I think are damn good value propositions at 60 bucks usually. Mass Effect 1-2, Forza 3, Gears, Most Halo Games(Odst woulda been fine for 40 so not included in that list). I have easily logged 50 hours or more out of all the games I listed, 50 hours of being highly entertained, not like in an MMO when i'm putting up with 50 hours to get the candy I want. As soon as a console game stops being fun I stop playing it. Games drop in price because after your primary audience/biggest fans have bought the game at full price, you recoupe dev costs and sock away some initial profit, any additional sales are candy.

The lower price point game is a proven concept, the problem is it was proven on digital distribution. Make no mistake, I loves me some digital distro. If i could I would buy every game from steam or a similair service. But countering an argument that used game sales don't damage creator revenue, with a "no it doesnt" and steam as an example doesn't work. The creators get a cut of every copy sold on steam. For every used sale of physical copies they write a big 0 in thier book.

As a consumer you have the right to choose when a product appeals to you for its price. But you do not have the right to aquire somone elses Intellectual property for free, this is my argument against piracy. You correct me in that transfer of ownership is a right on used game sales, and not privilage. I'll refine my view on used game sales.

I think as an individual you should have the right to sell your used copy of a game, perhaps in the future even your digital rights to a game. I think it would be a good idea for creators to alter thier distribution agreements with retailers. How about this.

In order to be liscensed to purchase new games wholesale you have to agree not to resell used copies of games from publishers you have this agreement with. Problem solved right? The everyman keeps his freedom, and Gamestop(The Game Stops Here!) has to concede to some buisness rules to continue enjoying the profitability that comes with gaming's popularity. Then since retailers can no longer double dip on single copies of the game, you might actually see volume sales on physical copies that could support the lower price paradigm. I think the biggest problem with this plan is that consoles don't yet have the digital distro availability on new releases to circumvent the brick and mortor retailers until they give in to the agreement.

Finally, I know I've beat this horse, but it is apparently not yet dead, so the beatings continue. People who pay for new copies of a game, at a price they feal it's worth are not:

Stupid, ignorant, suckers, dumbasses, gullible... Or any other word that makes you feal smarter than people with valid cases for considering the effect on the people that make a living off thier prefered liesure time activities. People pirate and buy used copies for many reasons. Some because they truley cannot afford the products, I'd estimate this is the smallest percentage. Some because they feal the vanilla price is too expensive, acceptable on the used sale, suspiciously smells like bullshit on the pirated copy. Because they can get away with it(piracy). Because they'd like to support the jobs at game retailers just as much as they'd like to support the jobs at developers.

However if your reason for doing so is any fealing of intellectual superiority you are...
1-Wrong
2-An Asshole

Good news is, realization of item 1 can help fix item 2.
 

RvLeshrac

This is a Forum Title.
Oct 2, 2008
662
0
0
hyperdrachen said:
Y
RvLeshrac said:
hyperdrachen said:
*snip*
*snip*
My point is that saying "Used sales do damage" is like saying the sun and wind harm energy companies. No matter how much you want to keep repeating it, it simply isn't true.

If games, *REGARDLESS* of platform, were priced lower at launch, they would see more day-one, first-hand sales. Every day-one, first-hand sale means one less Used sale, which means dramatically lower prices, which means lower trade-in values, which means people are less likely to trade in titles. Used sales and day-one sales are not independent ecosystems.

The lower price point had to be proven via digital distribution because the retail chains and publishers have refused to attempt it.

Paying what you feel something is worth makes you no less a sucker than someone who loses millions buying overpriced land. It might make you feel a little better, but doesn't make your investment any more intelligent.
 

Cynical skeptic

New member
Apr 19, 2010
799
0
0
RvLeshrac said:
My point is that saying "Used sales do damage" is like saying the sun and wind harm energy companies. No matter how much you want to keep repeating it, it simply isn't true.
Actually thats backwards, at best. Used sales would be commodity based energy threatening the entire planet (industry) while squelching out any sort of alternatives. Not to sound like a tree hugggin hippy fagit, or nuthin.

Also, Its not that publishers have refused to lower the suggested retail (which retailers are well within their rights to completely ignore, getting them even more money), its that lower price points can only work on digital platforms because if new physical copies were priced lower, used sale retailers would just match the reduction on used copies and trade-ins. So more new copies sell, resulting in the same amount of money for more units, and the used game model is completely unaffected in multiple ways.

The worst part about all of this is way back before the large chains bought out every single one of the mom&pop video game shops, the mom&pops used the proceeds generated from their used game models to knock a few bucks off the cost of new copies. But now the retail chains just pocket every dime and act like thats just the way things go.
 

RvLeshrac

This is a Forum Title.
Oct 2, 2008
662
0
0
Cynical skeptic said:
RvLeshrac said:
My point is that saying "Used sales do damage" is like saying the sun and wind harm energy companies. No matter how much you want to keep repeating it, it simply isn't true.
Actually thats backwards, at best. Used sales would be commodity based energy threatening the entire planet (industry) while squelching out any sort of alternatives. Not to sound like a tree hugggin hippy fagit, or nuthin.

Also, Its not that publishers have refused to lower the suggested retail (which retailers are well within their rights to completely ignore, getting them even more money), its that lower price points can only work on digital platforms because if new physical copies were priced lower, used sale retailers would just match the reduction on used copies and trade-ins. So more new copies sell, resulting in the same amount of money for more units, and the used game model is completely unaffected in multiple ways.

The worst part about all of this is way back before the large chains bought out every single one of the mom&pop video game shops, the mom&pops used the proceeds generated from their used game models to knock a few bucks off the cost of new copies. But now the retail chains just pocket every dime and act like thats just the way things go.
Ah, but used sales aren't squelching alternatives. Selling used $property has existed for longer than the game publishers.

The problem with your stating that used sellers would simply "match the reduction" is that used game buyback prices are already so low that people typically think twice before trading in games. Also note that people are willing to buy a used game, which may contain nothing but the game disc, for a mere $5 discount. That should be more than enough information to tell you that people are *hungry* for lower-priced games.

Used CD sales didn't hurt the recording industry, and once New CD prices finally dropped to the *right* level, used CD stores went out of business in droves.
 

Cynical skeptic

New member
Apr 19, 2010
799
0
0
RvLeshrac said:
Well, for starters, the problem with comparing the video game industry to any other business is its unlike any other business. From the costs of initial production, reproduction, raw materials, man-hours, nothing matches up to any other model. I could write a book on every way any comparison to any industry is flat out wrong, but doing so would be banging my face against a brick wall. So I'll go for genericisms, rather than post three novels worth of information you'll lack the attention span to even read.

The sale of used [anything that isn't video games] is based around the fact the item in question won't function as well as a new version. The expected performance/lifetime is lower/shorter, and the cost adjusted proportionally.

With video games, no one beyond tactile obsessives gives a shit about only getting the disc. As the disc is all that matters. It will function as well as a new copy or it simply isn't accepted as a trade-in. Since the functionality of a used copy is identical to a new copy, pricing of used games reflects only the price of new games. Used game pricing's only concern is to compete with new copies. If the price of new copies drops, the price of used copies matches, all the way down until retailers refuse to buy new copies at all. A negotiating point publishers are forced to avoid. No one who "trades in" thinks twice, as once they're finished with a game, it has no value to them. Something the retailers exploit the shit out of in their corrupt business model.

Music... The video game industry has nothing comparable to concerts, which are the primary source of revenue on all levels of the music industry. Even thinking about music on in this argument is wholesale ignorance, as the video game industry has no choice but to subsist entirely on home sales. ALBUM sale prices dropping had nothing to do with used sale or piracy, and everything to do with the fact music never, in it's entire history, ever made money from album sales. But thats not a big problem, as concerts can't be duplicated. They can be filmed or recorded, but its nothing compared to actually being there... and it never will be.

This was a pretty long post, still. Even though all you said is "ur wrong" and repeated yourself. Hopefully I've expanded enough to where you'll actually have to think of a new argument before posting again.
 

Cynical skeptic

New member
Apr 19, 2010
799
0
0
Well, it took them two weeks but the moderation staff finally went for purest hypocrisy on this subject.

That post is over three weeks old and doesn't advocate anything beyond ABANDONWARE. Like downloading a rom of a nes cartridge in lieu of paying some dick $200 for it, or spending that much in gas driving around to every flea market in the state.

Even with retail chains doing everything they can to cut the publisher out of the video game market (allowing only just enough new copies to keep the revolving door used game business model running) its still really, really hard to not find a new copy of anything released within a few years.

But thats not going to be the case a few years from now. If things don't change, console versions of somewhat low profile (but still really good) games like singularity and metro 2033 simply aren't going to exist in any form beyond used copies. Further strangling the life out of the video game industry.

But don't think publishers and console manufactorers are asleep on this. They're constantly testing and fielding methods to lock copies of console games to the first console that runs them. Its not like they have a choice either. The abuse of the first sale doctrine by massive retail chains is simply crippling the a business model that must rely exclusively on home sales. Music makes most of it's money from concerts, film makes most of it's money from cinema, video games have nothing even resembling either.
 

Danzaivar

New member
Jul 13, 2004
1,967
0
0
Does this extend to second hand sales of stuff? Assuming pirates are cheap-skates (Which is a reasonable assumption considering they, you know, pirate stuff) then they'll just go for the next cheapest option, which won't be to buy a brand new copy. IP holders still don't benefit.

I personally think there should be something out there to make stuff more easily accessable to encourage people not to pirate (I.E. Downloading SNES ROM's of games which haven't been made in over a decade and won't ever reach the Wii store, at a small price that benefits the IP holder), but tbh you'd have to be stupid to not think this stuff was gonna head this way. GG Land of the free :p