Views on piracy

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Iwudacus
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Views on piracy

Postby Iwudacus » Mon Aug 02, 2004 9:50 am

So here's my topic on piracy.

First off, I have no university degree as of yet. And I really suck at economics. I do, however have a fair amount of common sense, and I was cursed with the gift of being able to see the views of both sides of an argument.

My views will be expressed from my own perspective, since I have no idea how things are in other countries.

Piracy

To me it seems that piracy happens due to game prices more than game quality. Sure we went through a period of crappy games, where the best release was GTA:Vice City. But still people pirated due the games being rather expensive, instead of the games being bad.

The developers/publishers say they'll lower prices if people stop pirating. The pirates say they'll stop pirating if prices drop. It's a bit of a catch we're in: The pirates won't budge, because they're not the one suffering harm from their piracy. The developers can't budge, because they need the money to cover their expenses. It seems the pirates have a hold on the developers...


"OEM" Bootlegs

In SA there are a few shops that sell bootleg games. Yes actual established shops selling pirated games. They claim these games are OEM versions. But if they were OEM versions, they would still be original, and original games don't need cracks to work. These cracks are on the pirate/bootleg CD's in a folder called "patch".

These shops obviously hold the same threat to the gaming community as normal piracy. There is, however a single good thing about these shops:

In South Africa we don't get even 20% of the title released worldwide. The bootleg shops recieve pirate versions of games we normally wouldn't even know about here. Even though this still doesn't get money to the developers, the games and companies get exposure here.


And that's basically my views on piracy (in teeny tint nutshell). Please just discuss this in a chilled manner, as a topic like this is very likely to create drawn out, dirty argument (as some of us have seen...)

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Postby Icepick » Mon Aug 02, 2004 9:46 pm

There really is no justification for piracy. You dont need a computer game to survive, its not an essential of life, and its wrong, both legally and morally, no matter what way you look at it. There are plenty of websites around that will deliver worldwide, so distribution isn't a major issue either.

On the other hand, saying that piracy costs companies so much money that it will put them out of business, and that they would lower prices if people didn't pirate games, isn't exactly accurate either. This arguement assumes that everyone who pirates a game would have gone and bought it if they couldn't get it for free, which is obviously not true. I can also say with a high level of certainty that, even if everyone in the world DID stop pirating games, publishers still wouldn't drop their prices - why would they when people will pay them as it is? From numerous articles I've read from people in the games pubishing business, the industry has little intention of performing any major drop on prices for the forseeable future.
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Postby Stewsburntmonkey » Mon Aug 02, 2004 9:56 pm

Economically speaking if piracy stopped you might well see a rise in prices as demand would theoretically increase (to some degree) and thus by the rules of supply and demand the price would likely increase. Therefore it may be piracy that is keeping prices down. On the other hand it is also likely that piracy is keeping the quality of games down to some extent as well. Like Ice said there is no justification for piracy in any event. :)
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Postby chemman » Mon Aug 02, 2004 11:58 pm

I am a pirate, and proud of it. What amazes me though, is why don't you want to notice the one major plus of piracy. For the price of one original game, you get five pirate ones. Or more.

This is a standpoint, not necesary mine <don't throw those rocks yet!>, that those who bought original games somewhat regret doing it. In their subcounciousness though. They know that logicly - they have made a stupid decision, although justify it by being the only morally right. From the simplest, most logical and straightforward approach, pirate games *are* right. And usually, the simplest approaches are the best. You may say that it kills software companies - and right. Perhaps it does. But piracy is common, just like corruption (depends on country) and waste.

Was there any company which died because piracy sucked all it's games?
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Postby Stewsburntmonkey » Tue Aug 03, 2004 3:05 am

So corruption and waste are good? This is some of the stupid excuse for logic I have seen in a long, long time. Your whole logic is built around a totally self-contained (self-centered world). By your logic all crime is good and and any form of self-restraint or thought of someone other than yourself is totally wrong. This is the thinking of 3-4 year-olds, have you not developed any further than that? Judging by what you have done on this forum you haven't, which is quite pathetic. You totally fail to comprehend the interconnectedness of economics (or any action). You seem incapable of thinking through the series of consequences any of your actions have beyond their immediate benefit to you.
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Postby Zion » Tue Aug 03, 2004 6:17 am

First of all Stewsburntmonkey, I'd like to remind you of the first post in this topic. Iwudacus clearly stated his wishes for this topic to be a general, friendly topic whereas to discuss one's feelings and ideas toward piracy in a non-violent or discriminatory way. I personally have no idea if you actually read what chemman wrote. Never did he say that corruption and waste were anything like piracy, he just implied that it is as common as the other two. And his world isn't necessarily as self-contained or self-centered; Remember, the whole point of his pirating was to help 1 or 10 or 1000 other needy schmucks get a copy for themselves, which maybe if they come from a poor family couldn't afford to purchase a legal copy of the game. I in no way support pirating, but you've misread most of what chemman wrote in this topic, I'm just trying to stop the argument from spreading. If you want to argue it; Yes, he did state that piracy was 'right' and possibly that it is a decent thing to do to help out a fellow human being. But never did he say that it was _his_ viewpoint. He is a pirateer, but never did he say that he enjoyed watching the game producers squirm in thier multi-million-dollar luxury thrones atop the worlds highest mountaintop, or that he even supports pirating. Maybe he does it because someone has a gun to his head(or not). He said he was proud to be one, but maybe that is because he his whole life has seen his mentor pirate games and since he was 5 wanted to be just like *him*. The fact of the matter is that you jumped all over him before you learned his beliefs or thoughts, before you learned his origins. Pirating is a fact of life, there is always going to be piracy. It's going to be a major topic everywhere and get worse as time goes on. The penalties for it will increase and so will the demand for those pirating little rebels. People will be born and some will die, life will go on. Yet, the topic will still remain. The end. :)

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Postby Iris » Tue Aug 03, 2004 6:44 am

Zion wrote:]Yes, he did state that piracy was 'right' and possibly that it is a decent thing to do to help out a fellow human being. But never did he say that it was _his_ viewpoint.

Does he need to? He is already doing it, and he admits it. Do he need to spell out for everyone what his viewpoint is? While I don't have any judgment on his viewpoint, I am just raising the issue here that what you admit to do and do it with intention is a fairly good reflection of your standpoint.

Zion wrote:He is a pirateer, but never did he say that he enjoyed watching the game producers squirm in thier multi-million-dollar luxury thrones atop the worlds highest mountaintop, or that he even supports pirating.

So how does a small-time crook differ from a million-dollar thief? The amount of money, perhaps? So does this justify stealing in small portions rather than in bulk?

For the less fortunate, one reason for the proliferation of privacy is the lack of proper mentorship and education among the new generation. Media propaganda and false hero-worship does not help in the process as well. For the more fortunate, profiteering is the primary catalyst for piracy, which is why people with less resources are forced to find more affordable means of obtaining the same value from these products.

Has anyone of those who have less money ever tried creating a product and selling it to the outside world, only to find out that they've been robbed because of piracy? I doubt it. Has those guys from the big businesses ever experienced being out of money and profiteered by those who had the means? When people fail to see the other side of the coin, they only believe that the side they see is the only true side. If there is no compromise, there is no benefit.

This is one of the key learnings that Apple has kept in its introduction of iTunes. Not only did they make music content affordable for most people who can only afford so much, they have found themselves the niche to make better profits. So now the other big boys are taking notice (I hope, else they rot in hell).

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Postby Iwudacus » Tue Aug 03, 2004 8:17 am

Icepick wrote:There really is no justification for piracy. You dont need a computer game to survive, its not an essential of life, and its wrong, both legally and morally, no matter what way you look at it. There are plenty of websites around that will deliver worldwide, so distribution isn't a major issue either.


Sorry. I was slightly unclear on the "OEM" bootlegs' good point (assuming that's what you're referring to). What I meant wasn't that it's right to buy game there because you can't get them in SA otherwise. What I meant was that it's a good place to breeze through and see what's on the market in the rest of the world.

Stewsburntmonkey: I beg you, please don't start again. In SA piracy isn't considered right, but it's not considered as hideous of a crime as you might think. That's because SA has a pirate society. Maybe Poland (it is Poland, right?) is the same. The people know it's illegal, but to them it's normal and acceptable. You can ask someone if piracy is wrong, and they wouldn't think so, because that's what their society tells them. I only saw the crime in piracy about 5 or 6 years ago myself...

What makes me smile is the fact that I got a good job that pay pretty well now, so I can buy proper originals and even order what SA never sees on the shelves! YAY!

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EDIT: Bum! I hit the submit button by mistake instead of the preview button. Had to edit for the Ra.
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Postby elDiablo » Tue Aug 03, 2004 8:40 am

chemman wrote:I am a pirate, and proud of it. What amazes me though, is why don't you want to notice the one major plus of piracy. For the price of one original game, you get five pirate ones. Or more.

This is a standpoint, not necesary mine <don't throw those rocks yet!>, that those who bought original games somewhat regret doing it. In their subcounciousness though. They know that logicly - they have made a stupid decision, although justify it by being the only morally right. From the simplest, most logical and straightforward approach, pirate games *are* right. And usually, the simplest approaches are the best. You may say that it kills software companies - and right. Perhaps it does. But piracy is common, just like corruption (depends on country) and waste.

Was there any company which died because piracy sucked all it's games?


1) The cost of making pirated software is either one copy of the game (to copy from) plus 10p/cd to copy it to. You buy copied games for, say £5-10? The person copying is making a HUGE profit then. So you're getting screwed over again.

2) Companies have gone out of business due to pirating. They just cant afford it. Again, if you were to make something (like a painting) and someone came in and stole it cos they didnt want to pay for it, would it be right?

3) Yes, pirated games are cheap, but morally, its wrong. Obviously you dont realise (as Icepick said excellently) that you don't need games to live. Games developers, however, need you to pay for them to live. Are you really willing to break the law to save a few bucks? Hey, why not skip on taxes too (when you get a job)! The country doesn need all that money, and you could save some!

Stews: I completely agree with that post.

Zion: chemman wrote that pirating means that you can get games cheap. This means that he isn't thinking about the whole picture... The games developers or the law. Therefore, it is a self-centred little world. He just pirates them because he doesn't want to pay for them. He wants it easy. And pirating so that some poor people can get the game? If they can afford a computer to run HL2, why should they pirate it? The game is like 1/100th of the price of a pc... And if games developers didnt need the money, they would release the games for free. They don't, because its their job to make games. They get paid for it. Therefore, pirates steal their livelyhood. This is wrong. Pure and simple.

Iris: agreed too!

Iwudacus: Please don't think I'm trying to flame or anything. I just dont agree with pirating at all. And the fact that I wish to be a games developer in life, I really dont want people to steal from me :)

And finally, I have to say again. Admitting you pirate games isn't a great way to get into the beta of a new game chemman. If anything Chris will see you pirate and say "No, because I dont want this person steal it, and give it to other people on the internet." I wouldnt be surprised if he didnt let any of your "friends" in either, as they might agree with you and give it to you.
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Postby Iwudacus » Tue Aug 03, 2004 9:06 am

elDiablo wrote:Iwudacus: Please don't think I'm trying to flame or anything. I just dont agree with pirating at all. And the fact that I wish to be a games developer in life, I really dont want people to steal from me :)


No worries. I'd have to pretty damn sensitive to think that's a flame. Anyway... I think I was unclear again. I really don't agree with pirating either. And the creepy thing is that I want to become a game developer as well (but then I guess so do many others here), so I understand your viewpoint perfectly.

So just to clarify something about the bootleg shops: I don't have internet access at home, so I can't browse the web to look for foreign games. Since the bootleg shops use some sort of legal loophole to avoid the law, I can't do anything about it, so I make the best of the situation by checking their shelves to see what's available outsite SA. If I see something I like, I order an original over the internet. That way the companies not represented in SA does get a little money from over here.

OK. I'm done.

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Postby chemman » Tue Aug 03, 2004 10:02 am

I gotta put my flame-proof suit on, it's getting a bit hot in here.

So, first, elDiablo's post.

1) That's right. Some people sell games cheaper that is. Like I do. And that is right. I sell games to people. Not too much, usually one game per week, due to my slow DSL. And then, I sell it to a couple of people. To date, I have downloaded 14 discs - 9 being racing games, 1 music CD and the rest a pack of SNES games with an emulator. And one time Mandrake Linux. And I don't like racing games.

2) Which companies. Thwor some names around, not XYZ, please.

3) Here, you are right. I will break the law to gain a few bucks. As long as the risk isn't too high, I am definitly in. And here, there is no risk. As for the country, seeing how the Olsztynian councillors have given themselves a raise (while everything crubles in ruin) convinces me that thet would use that money in wrong purposes.

And hey, I'd want to be a game developer as well. Just that Guildhall isn't exactly free. And I know people will steal from me, so I should replan the budget to be realistic, and not idealistic.

And if I won't be a beta-tester, well, I'm not the one to decide. I am a pirate, so saying that straight is just what I consider right at this point. Perpahs it does make me look dumb/stupd/immature (add some to that, stews), and lowers my chances, but as said, I never pirated indie games, and will never do that.

As for friends giving it to me - I don't need it. I would need it if I would test it for bugs, right. But a beta with no content is for an end user more or less useless.

Going on to Iwudacus

The Polish society is even more crime-accepting that yours. Perhaps we have more money - right. But a lot of Poles tolerate crime, until they profit, or they don't lose on it. Most of them sit in the government, or plan to do so. With them stealing in bright daylight (and sometimes getting caught and set before court), the rest of the society does the same.

Iris:

That is not my viewpoint. And I think it would be too early to reveal it at this point.

<takes off flame-proof suit>

Zion: Well, good to see someone look at both sides before screaming out every sear word you cxan think up of.

One thing stews. Your hate for piracy turns into mania && rage. Please, be direct. As if someone would care in how long a sentence do you say that i'm stupid. Judging by your reaction to my post, you don't seem to be even a bit more mature than the 3-year old, who can't even control his emotions.
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Postby Josh mc » Tue Aug 03, 2004 12:08 pm

Does Stews really need to control his emotions on a subject which he feels very strongly about?

Also, how can "most poles" sit in government? Thats impossible. And if your society tolerates crime, then it isn't a stable society and will eventually collapse and be replaced, leaving you and your cheap pirated games up shit creek for a few years, as the new society shuns crime in the beginning. The man who agrees with murder can't complain when he is murdered, so when you realise your dreams of becoming a games developer, and your games don't sell because people would rather buy a "cheaper" version, which of course they'd obvioiusly be entitled to do, what will you do?

Sorry if this post seems a bit muddled, Stews isn't the only one who has to stuggle to control his emotions on this subject.
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Postby Stewsburntmonkey » Tue Aug 03, 2004 1:00 pm

My post was not written in an angry or mad tone. I am fully capable of calling someone out without being angry about it. Your stupidity is no where near enough to get me angry or mad. My post layed out my views about piracy and refuted the idiocy of chemman's "logic". And Zion, chemman and I have previously discussed this, so I am fairly well aquainted with his views. Both he and Iwudacus seems to justify piracy in part because it is so common. That means they also must approve of hate, murder, rape, corruption, waste, etc (because they are all common). Again that is a rather unevolved justification that one would expect a 4 year-old to give. I understand the diffeculty of getting games in many parts of the world, as I have traveled widely and had issues with it myself. However that is not the justification being given. If piracy is a good thing then why are there not any great opensource games? Why is Doom3 not going to be free to all who want it? Because people have to spend thousands of man hours developing the game. They have to also buy food and shelter. The only way capitalism works is if others pay for these developers's products. The profit motivation is what drives the modern economy and if you undermine that by stealing goods (no matter what they are) you are undermining everyone's wellbeing for your own gain. You are saying that your own entertainment is better than anyone else's needs. That is not only selfish it also means that you are ultimately hurting yourself as the profits you are taking away reduce the ability of the manufactures/developers to produce new and innovative products. Their profit motivation is no sufficient enough to allow them to take the risks in developing the next big thing.

If you look at both South Africa and Poland you will see neither is very innovative. Neither has a very strong economy. One of the reasons is that both nations do generally accept piracy and don't fully protect intellectual property. Historically one of the prerequisites to having a good economy has been establishing strict intellectual property protections. Even before all the piracy theft of intellectual property was a major roadblock to economic development. I think the states of the economy of both South Africa and Poland speak well for the impact the views of their citizens hold towards intellectual property and piracy truly have.
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Postby Iwudacus » Tue Aug 03, 2004 1:42 pm

Stews, Stews, Stews, whoa!

Before you drag me into this, know that I am also VERY MUCH AGAINST PIRACY. I never tried to justify it. All I said was where the best of a bad situation helps me to support companies otherwise not represented in my country. And I never said that chemman was right, I just said I can understand his point of view, since I shared the same point of view for many years. Like I said, I was "rehabilitated" about 5 years ago.

I'm really not particularly patriotic, but no country can be considered innovative. People can be considered innovative, and SA has as many innovative people as any other. They generally just don't get the chance to get their ideas out there, or they leave the country. As for our economy, I agree that it's in a bit of a shamble.

As for the intellectual property, I now what you mean. I'm currently working for a company dealing in copyright and the like, and I was quite shocked to see the amount of infringement that's actually going on, even in places like universities. Sheesh.

Anyhoo, if I did offend you, Stews, I'm sorry. It wasn't my intention. :)

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Postby Stewsburntmonkey » Tue Aug 03, 2004 1:53 pm

Heh, I hesitated to include you in that post, but you pointed out the complicity of the South African people in the acceptance of piracy so I did. The vast majority of that post was in responce to chemman. You did nothing to offend me, so no reason to appologise. By innovative country I meant that the nation has a large segment of the economy built on developing new technology. Much of the US economy is built on innovation (new drugs, new software, new hardware, new diets, new food, new . . . ). Western Europe has similar if somewhat less signifigant innovation as do some of the East Asian nations. It is that innovation which is the real fuel for all modern economies (with the exception of some rare resources like oil or diamonds). Manufacturing and agriculture are no longer revolutionary. With current technology the manufacture of most things is not a challenge and with the continued advance of manufacturing technology the human and economic aspects of manufacturing will continue to decline. Thus all that is left is intellectual progress and thus intellectual property. :)

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