Piracy.


  • Please log in to reply
107 replies to this topic

#1 FullAuto

FullAuto

    Catching the next pimpmobile outta here!

  • Chief Editor
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,853 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK

Posted 28 January 2005 - 03:17 PM

Now before anyone starts locking or deleting this topic and banning me, just wait, give me a minute, ok?
Now, I'm not advocating or supporting it, I just wanted to air an idea or two.  I always argue with a friend of mine, because he insists piracy is bad and decreases sales of whatever media involved.  His big example is downloading music.
I've pointed out that this is rubbish, because album sales are up to about 230 million per year, an increase of 3% over last year.  Computer game sales are also up, despite there being less titles released and everyone bitching about piracy.  Sales of cinema tickets are up to 180 million, another increase, making the UK Europe's largest cinemagoing country (Germany sold about 170 million, and they have a much larger population.  This is just the situation in the UK, but I'm not really hearing anything about dropping sales anywhere else.
Discuss?

Erfworld - the finest comic about turn-based gaming ever.


#2 Slaughter

Slaughter

    Colonel

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,409 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Norway, Oslo

Posted 28 January 2005 - 03:46 PM

Discussions about piracy are fine as long as no one links to warez or directly tell people to download pirated stuff.


#3 Kernel

Kernel

    Her Majesty's Imperial Guard

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 125 posts

Posted 28 January 2005 - 04:12 PM

What I want to know is why piracy is always counted towards lost revenue for these companies...
I mean, how do they know that the person who downloaded their product would go out and actualy buy it if they couldn't download it?

For example: Person A decideds to download a game because he/she has no money.

How is that a lost sale? Since clearly person A wouldn't have been able to buy the game in the first place.
"Any rumors of a military coup by the Imperial Guard are greatly exaggerated."

Duct tape is like the force. It has a light side, a dark side, and it holds the universe together....
-- Carl Zwanzig

#4 Accounting Troll

Accounting Troll

    Bridge troll

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,060 posts
  • Location:Wales

Posted 28 January 2005 - 07:36 PM

I don't think the majority of people who illegally download games do it because they can't afford to get them legally because they could clearly afford a reasonably good PC and a broadband connection.

Some do it because they want to save the money they do have for other luxuries, and most of the others do it because they enjoy thinking that they are ripping off a multinational corporation.  And I end up paying more money for a game because the company has no choice but to increase its price to allow for piracy :)

However, I also think that some software companies can go too far to fight software piracy.  I had been interested in buying Half Life 2 until the reviewers started complaining about the amount of stuff you have to download to get it to work.  As my internet connection is patchy I decided to give HL2 a miss.

#5 Matri

Matri

    Official Love Nest Mascot

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 587 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 28 January 2005 - 09:59 PM

Actually, HL2 just suffers from an incredibly complex and highly unnecessary copy protection scheme. According to a local newspaper review, you don't actually download much if you already have the DVD. It just connects to the Steam server to confirm that you're legal, then downloads a key to decode EVERY SINGLE BYTE for the 4gig installation...

Still, at least its not StarForce. THAT is bordering on malware already.
"Never be normal!" - Ron Stoppable

MechQuest. Get your mecha RPG fix.
Star Citizen.

#6 Torgulf

Torgulf

    Squaddie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 6 posts

Posted 28 January 2005 - 11:05 PM

Quote

increase of 3%
How large do you think the increase would've been if noone pirated? :)

Keep in mind that it's a bigger market to feed too (those 3% only comes from people who pay for the software) => more demands on a higher quality product (more competition) => more costs + less income due to piracy => higher prices for paying customers or bankruptcy.

So say that those 3% have to reach $500'000 for the company not to go minus on it - the scenario is as follows: 40'000 people decide to enjoy this game.

1) 30'000 pirate it and 10'000 buy it legally. The pirates generate no income and thus the final price for one copy of the game must cost at least 500'000 / 10'000 = $50.

2) All 40'000 buy it legally. The cost for one copy now becomes 500'000 / 40'000 = $12.5.

3) The increase on 3% = $500'000, thus, 100% = 16.7 million bucks. Now say that everyone buys it legally, and the company gets to charge $50 for it: 40'000 50 = 2 millions - a 12% increase. Imagine how the sequel looks now, with 1.5 millions more to play around with.

Quote

Person A decideds to download a game because he/she has no money.
Person B decides to throw a brick through the window to some car retailer and steal a car, because he/she has no money :)

Quote

How is that a lost sale?
Because people need to entertain themselves somehow. Either with a bottle of cheap whisky, a computer game or by staring into the wall (or whatever). If they can do it for free, well then noone makes any cash on it, except for the thief (pirate). It's really like stealing a pair of shoes because you want to afford a new pair of jeans too. It can simply can not be justified - not in my eyes, at least.

Why? Because it makes it more expensive for me, for you and for your parents/girlfriend/wife/whoever buys it for you on your birthday. Thus - it is not only wrong and egoistic, it is also a complicated way of shooting yourself in the foot if you or your friends ever plan to buy a game legitimately :lol:

#7 Kernel

Kernel

    Her Majesty's Imperial Guard

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 125 posts

Posted 29 January 2005 - 12:11 PM

Torgulf, on Jan 28 2005, 11:05 PM, said:

Kernel, on Jan 28 2005, 04:12 PM, said:

Person A decideds to download a game because he/she has no money.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Person B decides to throw a brick through the window to some car retailer and steal a car, because he/she has no money :)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

But in that case the car retailer has actuly lost the car so thay can't sell it to anyone else. Copying a music track/game or whatever is exactly that... making a copy. The original is still there to be sold.
Thus you can't compair copying a music track and stealing a physical object like a car.

"Person B decides to throw a brick through the window to some car retailer, make an exact copy of the car and drive away in the copy." would be a better analogy.

I'm not saying piracy is right, because at the moment it does mean that the developers/music artists make less money. But that's mainly down to the now outdated business model that these industries operate under.
"Any rumors of a military coup by the Imperial Guard are greatly exaggerated."

Duct tape is like the force. It has a light side, a dark side, and it holds the universe together....
-- Carl Zwanzig

#8 Torgulf

Torgulf

    Squaddie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 6 posts

Posted 29 January 2005 - 06:18 PM

Quote

Copying a music track/game or whatever is exactly that... making a copy. The original is still there to be sold.
No, the original is still there to be copied and those copies are there to be sold :) cars work the same way - thousands of copies of a particular type are made and then sold. The only difference is that software is just... software =) You're not selling the CD/DVD, the manual or the little box it's packed in - you're selling the software.

Quote

"Person B decides to throw a brick through the window to some car retailer, make an exact copy of the car and drive away in the copy." would be a better analogy.
If you would build a volvo from scratch then you're not really copying it. Then you've built it :o

If you would take a game and look at it and then program an entirely new game - or make a cover on some song - then, apart from the plagiarism :lol:, alright, but that's another thing :)

#9 Strong Bob

Strong Bob

    Sailor Jupiter is hot

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 567 posts

Posted 30 January 2005 - 09:29 PM

As much as I disdain piracy, I have to agree with the anology on the stolen car. While you technically ARE stealing from the company in question, you are not commiting theft. It's like building the exact same car, with no purchased license or anything. You're stealing the chassis and overall car, essentially they lost the purchase because you own a car of their design illegally.

Therefore you lose morality all the same. Would you build  a car and sell it, only to have a ton of people all build the exact same type of car and drive it while you suffer the fact that they would have had to pay you to have that luxury if they obeyed the law? What if you were trying to scrape a living together off of this particular car design? You'd go bankrupt because your car was essentially stolen by hundreds. Despite the only thing being stolen was the idea, it still caused harm. Which is why I feel that piracy DOES make an impact.

Has anyone looked at the sales record for System Shock 2? Does anyone know how many System Shock 2 fans exist? Does anyone know how much money the game made despite its large fanbase?

Things like piracy caused the downfall of the System Shock series. It wasn't the only factor, of course, but it was indeed a big one. And now with the System Shock license a complete mess, the game cannot be continued.

Also, I have noticed that not one of my friends possesses a legal copy of either Baldur's Gate II or Giants Citizen Kabuto. Neither series was continued. (Although I know the Baldur's Gate engine was continued. But essentially, Baldur's Gate only moved on as a Diablo clone on the consoles.) So what I see definitely contradicts the numbers indicating that Piracy isn't hurting anyone.
Strong Bob's random Star Trek quote of the year:

*Scans rock* "It's dead, Jim." - McCoy

"Very funny, Bones." - Kirk

#10 Kernel

Kernel

    Her Majesty's Imperial Guard

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 125 posts

Posted 31 January 2005 - 03:02 PM

Strong Bob, on Jan 30 2005, 09:29 PM, said:

Things like piracy caused the downfall of the System Shock series. It wasn't the only factor, of course, but it was indeed a big one. And now with the System Shock license a complete mess, the game cannot be continued.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Looking Glass were making huge losses long before System Shock 2 was finaly released due to a string of badly rated games that didn't sell well. Out of all the games they released the only ones that made them a profit were the Thief series and System Shock 2. But even these weren't enough to stop Looking Glass from going bankrupt.

Strong Bob, on Jan 30 2005, 09:29 PM, said:

Also, I have noticed that not one of my friends possesses a legal copy of either Baldur's Gate II or Giants Citizen Kabuto. Neither series was continued. (Although I know the Baldur's Gate engine was continued. But essentially, Baldur's Gate only moved on as a Diablo clone on the consoles.) So what I see definitely contradicts the numbers indicating that Piracy isn't hurting anyone.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Theres no "series" of Giants because Planet Moon decided to make another game instead, not because Giants didn't sell well, but because they realised that any sequal to Giants just wouldn't be as good as the original. Their 2nd game was Armed and Dangerous, which has a similar gameplay to Giants. Unfortunatly it didn't get good reviews due to not having a multiplayer mode and so it hasn't sold very well.
"Any rumors of a military coup by the Imperial Guard are greatly exaggerated."

Duct tape is like the force. It has a light side, a dark side, and it holds the universe together....
-- Carl Zwanzig

#11 FullAuto

FullAuto

    Catching the next pimpmobile outta here!

  • Chief Editor
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,853 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK

Posted 31 January 2005 - 05:36 PM

It just seems to me that a lot of people are moaning about piracy, but they're making lots and lots of money.  The markets for games, DVDs and CDS is thriving, despite piracy.  Companies don't put prices up because of piracy, they put prices up because they want a bigger profit, and quite frankly the usual RRP for media is quite plainly stupid anyway.
£40 for a game, £15 for a CD and £20 for a DVD?  I'm sorry, but there's no way I'm paying that.  I don't mind companies making a profit, it's necessary for capitalism, but making a stinking fat profit?  Greed seems to afflict a lot of people these days.

Erfworld - the finest comic about turn-based gaming ever.


#12 Zager

Zager

    Lieutenant

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 391 posts

Posted 31 January 2005 - 05:59 PM

Quote

£40 for a game, £15 for a CD and £20 for a DVD? I'm sorry, but there's no way I'm paying that. I don't mind companies making a profit, it's necessary for capitalism, but making a stinking fat profit? Greed seems to afflict a lot of people these days.

Then you are not entitled to own a copy of the contents of that CD or DVD. It's that simple.

#13 Aralez

Aralez

    Forum Grandpa'

  • Fan Fiction
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,670 posts

Posted 31 January 2005 - 06:40 PM

Fullauto, i can see your point, but there are legal ways to go your way, too. Download Freewaregames and/or applications, download free music (like www.electromancer.com, where young DJ's let you hear their music for free)and and and, there are lots of possibilities to live the way of non-capitalism.

But if you want that new fullpricegame, well, you have to buy it, everything else is illegal, no matter with what intention you have.

Another way (seldom used) is to simply say: No, i don't need that. You would be amazed to see how many things you don't really need to live.

If you copy a game you actually support the "system" you want to fight, simply because you give in to their seduction.

Posted Image

#14 Zombie

Zombie

    Mr. Grognard of X-COM

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,547 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Wisconsin, USA

Posted 31 January 2005 - 08:43 PM

I disdain piracy. The musicians/programmers spent long hours making something that they want to get paid for. Granted, the retailers and the middle-man always up the price for stuff which is sometimes siginifacant. Downloading the file not only bypasses the middle-man and the retailer, but also shorts the guy/gal who worked on it. Sometimes their salaries are based off of sales.

The downloading of games/music seems to be reserved for the upper-middle class because they have the necessary income to afford DSL or broadband connections. Sure, you can still download these files with just a dial-up connection but look at the time it takes. Who wants to spend 3-4 hours waiting for an album or a game to download?

If I REALLY want some album or game, and don't want to pay full retail on it, I wait. Then I buy it used off ebay for cheap. If I end up not liking it, I'll try to resell it and recoup some of the loss. At least the game/music was purchased legally where the money went to the respective licence owners. In addition, if I end up liking it, I'll have a hard copy on disc which I can use anytime I want to replace a corrupted file/track. That's my rant anyways. :)

My X-COM Patch Kit For UFO Defense | Emergency XCOM Meeting spoof on YouTube




JellyfishGreen said:

Zombie: Empirical data's your only man, when formulating a research plan.
A soldier's death is never in vain if it makes the formula more plain.
A few dozen make a better case for refining that third decimal place.
They call me Zombie because I don't sleep, as I slowly struggle to climb this heap,
of corpses, data points, and trials, but from the top - I'll see for miles!

#15 Bomb Bloke

Bomb Bloke

    The Smily Admin

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,625 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Tasmania (AU)

Posted 01 February 2005 - 01:52 AM

The traditional trade system goes along the lines of, person A has something, person B has something. Person A gives their something to person B, who gives something in return. Both lose their original possesion, in exchange for the others item.

Computers make that scheme a fair bit more complex.

Person A has some media, person B has some money. Person A gives their media to person B, in exhange for money. Person A now has money, but still has their media. Person B has the media, but no money. Nor does he have the right to sell on the media he has bought.

Given that the price to copy software (or music) is free, what you are in fact paying for is two things. One is the license to own that media, and the other is the storage material that holds that media.

Now, these days, your software publishing companies (and music recording companies) would like to think that these two things are not mutually exclusive. That is, if you do not own the licence, you have no right to the storage material, and if you happen to break the storage material, you lose the rights to the media, and thus have to pay for both again.

As a general rule, state laws over ride this. You'll note that just about every licence agreement notes this. So, that law only applies if you're in a location of the world where it's not ruled otherwise. This means that if you own the licence, you may use the media regardless of the state of the storage material. For example, you may make a copy of the media, and use the copied disc. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you can pirate the media - you can only use one copy at a time. What it boils down to is that backups are legal, but you can't distribute them.

But, consider this. The recording industry likes to say that the reason CDs cost so much, and performers get such a low percentage of the procedes, is that the storage material costs so much, as does the distribution costs. If that's the case, why not simply spread the music across the web, and cut out the CDs in stores altogether? Prices would plummet, and I bet piracy would go down with it. The only real answer I can think of is that the recording industry is full of lying greedy pigs; but it might just be that they are simply stupid.

Now, I may sound harsh when I say that, but let's face it, it's true.

If any music can be played on headphones, or through stereo speakers, it can be recorded and stripped of any copy protection mechanisms. And yet the recording industry continues to create new copy protections, which only prevent paying customers from playing the music - but don't stop pirates from copying it. They then up the price of their albums due to the development costs of these redundant 'copy protections'.

Let's face it. Either they're making extra money there - greed - or they really don't know their hurting only their customers - stupidity.

The same thing can apply to computer software. Just look at what happened with Steam - early customers couldn't play because the official servers died, but pirates could because they could make their *own* servers.

This tends to... annoy... customers, who turn to piracy. It's more convieniant. Not only is it cheaper, it's easier. The only catch is, it's immoral. I could rant on for hours (and I type pretty fast, so that's a lot of text ranting), so to sum up - the above reasoning isn't an excuse for piracy, but it is one of the reasons why it's about.

Perhaps piracy would drop if sellers made their products more conveniant to use by not implementing copy protections that prevent the media from being used by their customers(regardless of intentions, let's face it, that's how it turns out), and if they used more practical and inexpensive distribution methods.

I suppose they could continue to rely on un-enforcable anti-piracy laws, while continuing to make things harder and more expensive for their customers. But can you really see that causing a drop in piracy rates?
BB's X-Com Projects Page - X-Com Games At GamersGate
You're just jealous 'cause the voices only talk to me :P
We love Tammy! :)

#16 Zombie

Zombie

    Mr. Grognard of X-COM

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,547 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Wisconsin, USA

Posted 01 February 2005 - 06:05 AM

Bravo, Bomb Bloke. Well stated!

Though there is one thing that might be misleading:

Bomb Bloke, on Jan 31 2005, 07:52 PM, said:

But, consider this. The recording industry likes to say that the reason CDs cost so much, and performers get such a low percentage of the procedes, is that the storage material costs so much, as does the distribution costs.
The "storage media" you refer to is blank CD's. I know for a fact that the media itself is pretty inexpensive, as is the cost to burn a retail CD from the "master". I recently had to get 100 CD's made for my roommate who is a local recording artist. From memory, the total bill was something under $5 USD per CD.

CD's are so damn expensive because the record labels take a deep cut of the total record sales. To do this, they crank up the price. That's why musicians frequently get screwed out of millions; the record labels "siphon" off their share first, the recording artist gets what's left. Granted, distribution of those CD's do cost some money. The record clubs/stores also crank up the price some to offset their business costs. But the biggest cut always goes to the record labels, that's just the way the industry works, and if anyone tells you different, he/she's lying!  :)

My X-COM Patch Kit For UFO Defense | Emergency XCOM Meeting spoof on YouTube




JellyfishGreen said:

Zombie: Empirical data's your only man, when formulating a research plan.
A soldier's death is never in vain if it makes the formula more plain.
A few dozen make a better case for refining that third decimal place.
They call me Zombie because I don't sleep, as I slowly struggle to climb this heap,
of corpses, data points, and trials, but from the top - I'll see for miles!

#17 Bomb Bloke

Bomb Bloke

    The Smily Admin

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,625 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Tasmania (AU)

Posted 01 February 2005 - 07:09 AM

That's where the 'lying greedy pigs' bit comes in.  :)

I didn't point that out myself? Oops, thanks for the extra notice there.  :)
BB's X-Com Projects Page - X-Com Games At GamersGate
You're just jealous 'cause the voices only talk to me :P
We love Tammy! :)

#18 Matri

Matri

    Official Love Nest Mascot

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 587 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 01 February 2005 - 07:36 AM

And let's not forget the most important point here : All intellectual property rights goes to the recording label, NOT the artists.
"Never be normal!" - Ron Stoppable

MechQuest. Get your mecha RPG fix.
Star Citizen.

#19 Strong Bob

Strong Bob

    Sailor Jupiter is hot

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 567 posts

Posted 01 February 2005 - 08:17 AM

Quote

£40 for a game, £15 for a CD and £20 for a DVD? I'm sorry, but there's no way I'm paying that. I don't mind companies making a profit, it's necessary for capitalism, but making a stinking fat profit? Greed seems to afflict a lot of people these days.

Most ironic statement yet.

Dude, it's just as greedy getting all your games for free. You can't fight fire with fire, if you need to make a point, you will have to use a different argument besides greed.


I only pirate when there's literally NO other option. For example: The software being unavailable in stores and/or incredibly hard to find both off and online.

Right now, I only possess TWO pirated games. Both of which are no longer supported by their respective companies, and neither can be found in stores nor even have official websites. (No, neither of them are X-COM. But they are from around that era.)

I realize I support piracy when I do this, but at the same time... I feel that some element of that type should exist. Otherwise, where will we find some of the rare classics? Ebay doesn't always help you know, and online shopping doesn't go to all countries... Downloading is world-wide, however.
Strong Bob's random Star Trek quote of the year:

*Scans rock* "It's dead, Jim." - McCoy

"Very funny, Bones." - Kirk

#20 Ivory

Ivory

    Squaddie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 2 posts

Posted 01 February 2005 - 11:04 AM

i can see both points of view i have to say...those who fel they are losing out on revenue, and those that download becasue they are dead broke! (ive solved the how n you be broke and have internetn issue.... you use your parents/brothers/sisters/friends machine)

i am deliberatly ignorring the terrorist argument.

i have to say that as it stands , no there are not huge losses in album sales...BUT if it was easy and legal for everyone to download from the internet would sales drop then??? (thats a question to be considered)

thing is, some companies do try and make HUGE profits, the bigger the better, and that plays a major part in piracy...however do they feel they need to do this in order to recoup what they have lost thro said piracy? just as small shops have to increse profit margins to cover shoplifters? (another interesting thought)

piracy is fine as long as a few people are doing it, because the majority still opertate legally...but what if the tides were turned? (see whati did there :) ) would in an extream some industries crash and burn?? quite possibly! and the consumer would loose out, not just the companies. companies only grow and suceed on suply and demand. on incommings being higher than out goings.

so, in conclusion (to my very long winded and probably nonsense point) i think its something that will always happen, but that if it was wide spread, wide scale, we could be in trouble.
Under brooding skys and watchful eyes
On convulsive seas of false urgency
We walk empty corridors in vain




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users