Who Would Pirate the One-Cent Humble Indie Bundle?

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
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Who Would Pirate the One-Cent Humble Indie Bundle?

Despite being a stupidly awesome deal that people can legally pick up for a penny, it seems that some folks just can't resist pirating the Humble Indie Bundle.

We talked about the Wolfire Games [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/100451-Get-Five-Great-Indie-Games-for-Any-Price-You-Want]. Even better, some or all of the money put toward the purchase price of the game can be directed to charity. Yet in spite of all that, the bundle is still being pirated at a fairly significant rate.

"After some simple math, I estimate that over 25 percent of Humble Indie Bundle downloads are 'pirated' - that is, users download from shared links from forums and other places without actually contributing anything. Note: that is not including BitTorrent and other sources," Wolfire Games co-founder Jeff Rosen wrote in a blog post [http://blog.wolfire.com/2010/05/Saving-a-penny----pirating-the-Humble-Indie-Bundle]. "25 percent seems incredible given that you can simply pay $0.01 to be completely legitimate."

Rosen reached the 25 percent figure by sending two days of raw download data to a statistician friend of his, who estimated that the bundle had been downloaded from the website roughly 105,500 times, while approximately 79,000 people had made a donation of some amount. Some simple math indicates that about 75 percent of the downloads from the site are legitimate.

"There are a lot of assumptions here, but I tried to be as conservative and simple as possible," he added.

Why would anyone pirate a collection of games when they could acquire it legally for one one-hundredth of a dollar? Rosen himself offers several explanations: It's more convenient to click a torrent link that to type in a credit card number, users may be making one big donation on behalf of their friends rather than separate gift donations, some people may live in parts of the world where PayPal, Google Checkout and Amazon don't work and of course - this is the one I'd go with - some people are just jerks.

Whatever the reasons may be, Rosen said Wolfire is going to continue doing exactly what it's been doing to combat piracy: Pretty much nothing. "Making the download experience worse for generous contributors in the name of punishing pirates doesn't really fit with the spirit of the bundle," he wrote. "When considering any kind of DRM, we have to ask ourselves, 'How many legitimate users is it okay to inconvenience in order to reduce piracy?' The answer should be none."

For those who insist on pirating the bundle, Rosen has one request: Do it somewhere else. "Please consider downloading it from BitTorrent instead of using up our bandwidth!" he wrote. "Also, even though you are pirating our games, please tell some of your friends about the Humble Indie Bundle. Posting to Facebook, telling your Twitter followers, or simply talking to someone sure doesn't require a credit card." And maybe your friends won't all be cheap jerks.


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John Funk

U.N. Owen Was Him?
Dec 20, 2005
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I'm going to go out on a limb here and say "ungrateful, self-entitled dicks," that's who.

Hmm. Wow, it's hard to believe that pirates would be this unprincipled. Man, it's almost like the rationalizations that pirates use for their behavior (DRM, price, etc) are actually just flimsy pretenses to get stuff for free. Can you possibly imagine that?!
 

Jared

The British Paladin
Jul 14, 2009
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John Funk said:
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say "ungrateful, self-entitled dicks," that's who.
Cound not be said any better...I cannot believe some people...
 
Apr 28, 2008
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Well thats just... lame.

It appears that price isn't much of an issue when dealing with pirates, since wherever you live, whatever currency you have, 1 cent is really, really cheap no matter where you are.

I'm sure there are people who really can't pay, but in that case, just don't get it.

At least the developers aren't planning on doing anything that does nothing but hurt honest consumers I mean use DRM.
 

Optimus Hagrid

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Feb 14, 2009
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Wow, and the some of the proceeds go to charity? This makes me lose faith in humanity a little.

[sub]the pirating part, not the charity donation part[/sub]
 
Dec 14, 2009
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John Funk said:
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say "ungrateful, self-entitled dicks," that's who.

Hmm. Wow, it's hard to believe that pirates would be this unprincipled. Man, it's almost like the rationalizations that pirates use for their behavior (DRM, price, etc) are actually just flimsy pretenses to get stuff for free. Can you possibly imagine that?!
The sarcasm is strong in this one...

But yeah, I agree. Pirates are douchebags, not 'freedom fighters' battling the corporations oppressive DRM scheme.
 

TsunamiWombat

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Sep 6, 2008
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John Funk said:
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say "ungrateful, self-entitled dicks," that's who.

Hmm. Wow, it's hard to believe that pirates would be this unprincipled. Man, it's almost like the rationalizations that pirates use for their behavior (DRM, price, etc) are actually just flimsy pretenses to get stuff for free. Can you possibly imagine that?!
I KNOW. Totally ludicrous. Thats like saying when wealthy successful men cheat on their wives, they do it because they're genetical and instinctivly disposed to do so, and not because a mighty alien wizard has cast his spell.

Maybe an alien wizard made them pirate the game!?
 

Distorted Stu

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Sep 22, 2009
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See video for answer.


I jest! I would buy it, i mean, come on, it's as close as physically possible to being free. AND ITS LEGAL! :eek:
 

GiantRedButton

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Mar 30, 2009
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Note that only people with credit cards can purchase the bundle.
For some kids its simply easier to download it from somewhere else than steal there moms credit card, which are quite rare in some countries.
I'm sure there are some hard workarounds, but those are rather...hard.
More important, what a great deal, alot more interesting than the piracy discussion so thanks for that info
too :D
I'll try to buy it really hard, but note that i don't have a credit card. I'll edit the results.
Maybe the pirates had no other possible option then to pirate.
Edit: Up to now, no possibilty to buy the games. Has anyone an idea to cirumvent the creditcard requirement?
In germany 22.7% of people own a credit card, none of the in my family or me.
So i can't pay for it even if i wan't to.
I guess thats the reason then, the pirates CAN'T buy the bundle, they aren't cheapskates.

Also, in this statistic, if your download stops and you restart the download, you count as a pirate.
They have a ftp server, no donation required.
The just compared the number of downloads with the donations, downloads being 25% higher.
So: (edit)
If you internet connection dies and you redownload, you're a Pirate.
In this statistic anyway. And if you pay 50$ and download it on every family computer, you are 4 or 5 pirates, all in one person.
 

Daemascus

WAAAAAAAAAGHHH!!!!
Mar 6, 2010
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This is really sad. ITS ONE FUCKING CENT. But some people would rather die than spend one more cent than they have to.
 

Hurr Durr Derp

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Apr 8, 2009
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That's just silly. To compensate, I'm going to pay 25% more for my bundle!

Wait, what's 25% of one cent? :p

Though, playing Devil's advocate for a moment, I imagine that with a pricing scheme like that they're more concerned with getting people to play than they are with getting people to pay. Which is exactly what they're doing, one way or another.
 

manythings

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Nov 7, 2009
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I'm betting on a dickhead who knows how awesome he is for not even giving a penny to a deserving charity and/or treating developers, who seem to be just decent people trying to do some good, like they are assholes.
 

LiquidGrape

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Sep 10, 2008
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I buy all my indie titles at full price.
Moral high ground, y'all.

Seriously though, piracy on this level is perpetrated only by the very lowest common denominator. We proper internet folks shun them.
 

Asehujiko

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Feb 25, 2008
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The disparity between the usual industry doomsayers whining about pirates outnumbering legal customers 20 to 1 and this report saying that there's one possible pirate for every 3 legal buyers is interesting.

From personal experience, I'll add a fifth category of people:
People who's internet goes down three quarters in and as a result have to re-download it.

Edit: Aaand every single post made in the meantime is part of another hate rally against strawman buccaneers that the guy this article is about says have a 75% chance of being phantoms anyway.
 

ThatTallGuy

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Jul 24, 2009
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The reason people would pirate it has been said by many, but best by one Dr. Percival Ulysses Cox. "People are bastard coated bastards with bastard filling." That, and they'll do anything to "stick it to the man" and all that crap. Bunch of cheap jerks.
 

Ossian

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Mar 11, 2010
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This reminds me of a few months ago when I saw Men of War (One of my favorite RTS games atm) for only $4.00, even though I already "had" *Caugh* the game, I bought it, for some people that don't have money and can't buy games I find piracy somewhat acceptable, I mean, they aren't able to buy it anyways? But for under $10, piracy is downright evil.

I accuse myself of doing some evils, but I'm trying to be better, in fact I'm thinking about whipping out my credit for this, World of goo itself is worth whatever you pay.
Please don't flame me for this opinion, I already did a research paper on it and I'm fairly certain I don't want to debate it again.
 

Uncle Muffles

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Mar 25, 2010
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That's just plain sad...
I mean honestly, I've never payed for games over "teh Internetz" before, but with something as awesome as this? And for whatever I want to pay?

Props to the people behind the idea.
Unfortunately, there will always be those who prefer to go; "Money is the blood running through my veins." which in turn, makes it all quite disheartening.

-3 to 'Faith In Humanity' skill.

Hell, I think it's time I bought some entertainment online... for once.
*Super Kirby Fwoosh* ~(>'-')>
 

Guitarmasterx7

Day Pig
Mar 16, 2009
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I would imagine it might get pirated a lot because of kids around the ages of 14-16 who don't own credit cards. That's the only explanation I could think of.
 

RowdyRodimus

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Apr 24, 2010
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I don't use credit cards so I can't get the bundle anyway, not that I'm going to pirate it though. Since it's pretty much for charity, why don't they just make the bundle available for free with a notice of what charity they want to make the donations to along with their adresses when the games start up. I know if I had downloaded it for free with that, I'd be more than willing to send a donation.

If they did that and people STILL pirated it, then you know people are doing it just to do it (which I think a lot of pirating is. You tell someone they can't do something and their going to just for kicks.)