1. Hitto

    Hitto MKDS Tournament Winner

    Nov 29, 2005
    I'm an artist and I condone piracy.
    Shlub, shlub
  2. kjean

    kjean GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Sep 15, 2008
    I'm a master thief. Muhahah! [​IMG]

    And piracy IS stealing.
  3. Hopawarty

    Hopawarty Banned

    Apr 28, 2009
    I dont care if its stealing.
    Its free shit.
  4. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    Nov 21, 2005
    United Kingdom
    OK then I am bored so a workthrough of the points/review/counter essay is coming up. Page by page breakdown is the method of choice.
    Page 1 is just an intro so skipping to
    <b>page 2</b>
    Wikipedia links aside (word to the wise wikipedia is an inherently untrustworthy source and there are many more reputable sources of information) the focus of the page is purely on the personal side of copyright as opposed to the rights of works and skips over patents and software patents (a non-existent entity in much of the world and applicable in some cases to modding communities) which is acceptable although possibly missing out the hacks/mods and such (come under derived works and/or trademarks). I would not suggest the page for someone new to the issues surrounding intellectual property on the basis that it makes very little attempt to explain the various angles (copyright, patents, fair use, design right, exceptions) which form much of the backbone of the debate to come.
    Interestingly it takes the rather curious stance of using the hypothetical rationale behind intellectual property and mentioning of some of the various laws that could be considered counter productive to the purposes (the DMCA analysis at <a href="http://www.doom9.net/" target="_blank">http://www.doom9.net/</a> is a good start), in simpler terms this would be divide between the "morally justified" and the "legally justified". I would attribute this to the "general" nature of the document and the fact it covers multiple legal jurisdictions although there is the risk of it being perceived as something different.

    For the sake of clarity
    Intellectual property, it was recognised a great deal of time ago that the creation of a work or method of doing something that does not truly "exist" in the sense that the table in front of you does can well take considerable resources to pull off and this then warranted the creation of intellectual property laws. In all cases they create a time limited monopoly which can be used or sold or in some cases left to rot.
    Broadly there are two types of intellectual property.
    1) Right to a work. This would be copyright and how the owner can then license it out to various people, it should be noted that licenses may indeed be unenforceable or even invalid (in several places a license presented after the point of sale/download is invalid).

    2) Right to a method of doing something.

    There are hybrids of the 2 things but this is more of a localised issues (see design right ( <a href="http://www.businesslink.gov.uk/bdotg/action/detail?type=RESOURCES&itemId=1073791344" target="_blank">http://www.businesslink.gov.uk/bdotg/actio...emId=1073791344</a> ) and registered design ( <a href="http://www.ipo.gov.uk/design.htm" target="_blank">http://www.ipo.gov.uk/design.htm</a> ) in the UK), in addition to this you have the likes of trademarks which also come into play in these circles (the tetris company being a major one and there have been several cases of fan mods/remakes being shut down on such grounds).

    There are however many exceptions to both, common cited exceptions include education, criticism and review purposes and in the US and to some extent Australia you can patent software methods while in the Eu you are presently unable to do such a thing.
    Nobody can get it right first time so these base laws have been amended in actual laws and in case law (court cases that have clarified a given point or created new ones).
    Noteworthy point intellectual property is usually the matter of two individuals/groups/coalitions and so any matters that make it to court are handled by the civil courts rather than the criminal/state/country courts.

    Methods. A passable summary although I would replace torrents with peer to peer and then place emphasis on torrents if necessary.

    <b>page 3</b>
    One problem with any of these arguments is that they assume such if things would vanish then "this is what would happen", the main problem I always see with such things is that it is impossible by the laws of physics or more realistically that for a computer to function in any worthwhile way it has to have freedom of input, perhaps incredibly crudely summarised "if it can be made it can be broken (and seen as all our machines are made to be free at some level that just becomes easier)". As such it can never be stopped and while it does not render arguments null and void it adds and incredibly complex set of variables to any estimates which would then make my argument that it becomes almost incalculable.
    An example of sorts would be the argument relating to ease of access/use and how things have got "easier" and so more overt than the past, assuming ease can be quantified you then have factors like genre (at the risk of generalising are RTS fans more technically capable than FPS fans and then what about stuff like Halo Wars (an RTS set in a universe of a popular FPS game)) and familiarity with computing; 15 years ago a PC was perhaps not rare to find in a home but it is unlikely there would be more than one (a popular line of thought at the time went along the lines of a PC is the third biggest expense after a house and a car for a family, keyword being "a") whereas today it is far from unlikely to find a family with a PC for every member which folds into familiarity by way of it not being a little toy but an essential tool of sorts.

    Points with the first section: two examples of "badly" cracked games are cited and while it is a valid point I would accuse it of being one sided at this point by way it citing the developers (admittedly there is the issue of no cohesive "pirate voice" which will crop up again and again in any debate) and assuming that the problems did indeed play an effect that could be considered substantial, considering we are still effectively in the introduction part of the essay it does set the tone somewhat.

    Points with the second section, for clarity the section deals with the "free rider" problem which in short goes the tendency of man is to minimise costs even if it is to the detriment of the society/group as a whole.
    I take issue with the following statement
    "various methods used within piracy.....Usenet for example requires monthly subscription fees to access; FTP piracy requires login details to monitor and prevent abuse; file sharing services limit the amount of free downloads and require payment for full access"
    The reason is because it appears to misconstrue the entire idea behind the pricing, how these methods work and who gets anything from it.

    A further more subtle point further down suggests that torrents may "collapse" due to lack of incentive, a situation it seems which it seems could not be further from happening (which indeed is even pointed out in the very same section; "most popular piracy channel"). The anecdote of the RELOADED releases brings up a further issue of how to clarify "pirates" and indeed what "counts" underneath it all (is a person who cracks a game in a few hours* inherently more valuable to the community that someone who gathers and presents information or indeed the people providing the underlying hardware/software and mechanisms.

    *for my own anecdote I will cite many of the NFOs bragging about speed or indeed the the 0day nature of various things.

    Further down
    "evidence related to tech support requests by pirates"
    My argument here is that it provides a seriously flawed sample (what person calls tech support and indeed of those that do who how do they know who is doing what and who is lying; how hard is it to disguise things?) and as such is invalid.

    <b>Page 4</b>
    As an insight it works but as anything more I take issue by way of known arguments
    Alexa, he already disparaged them and there are no further points that need making.

    percentage (volume) of traffic. This is murky territory, leaving aside the issue of what volume of the volume of the given method is "illegal" it has to be asked how good of a metric is volume: counts of titles are what generally matters and what things are generally priced in and it would be folly to assume that traffic volume in bytes can be used as a metric (even with "scene standards").

    Rates section, we just spend the last few hundred words stressing the need for impartiality and how data is inherently unreliable and then we have pictures of guesses from those with vested interests, bravo.

    Game specific section. No real attempt is made to challenge the validity of the data (how many are fakes, redownloads for propers and the like, updated versions, partial downloads, how are downloads measured, they are torrents but how many share info), later on we also deal with a time frame (0day section) and no mention of this is made. In the comparison I am also curious (although it is justifiably not mentioned) what level of difference (percentage wise) there is between torrents and other methods, in my own experience (which is invalid for anything other than an anecdote) much of console stuff is shifted to usenet and similar methods (you need only look around this site (a general site if ever there was one) to try and get a feel for how it is done).

    He mentions DRM, again we spent about 3 pages now explaining how it is a multi faceted issue with no clear cut answer and then he tries to pin issues to one factor (in this case DRM/similar).

    I already did the tech support metric a little while back.

    <b>page 5</b>
    Quotes (cherry picked) from developers stating piracy as a major issue. 3 points here, developers are people too and read the same news, the perception/use of PCs has changed drastically in the last 10 or more years (a question to the audience now in their 20s; how many of you had to beg borrow and steal to get a PC as a kid, now look at your younger siblings/similar) and as part of said shift consoles have risen somewhat compared to previous generations ( <a href="http://vgchartz.com/hwtable.php?cons" target="_blank">http://vgchartz.com/hwtable.php?cons</a>[]=Wii&cons[]=PS3&cons[]=X360&cons[]=PSP&cons[]=DS&cons[]=SC&cons[]=XB&cons[]=GC&cons[]=GBA&cons[]=WSC&cons[]=PS2&cons[]=WS&cons[]=PockSt&cons[]=DC&cons[]=NGP&cons[]=N64&cons[]=PS&cons[]=SAT&cons[]=SNES&cons[]=GB&reg[]=Total&start=32621&end=39929 )

    Continuing on, I like the idea of measuring graphics cards as a metric but I am not convinced it is a good idea to use it as a sole base and instead should factor it into another metric; I (I know it makes this a personal anecdote but by way of my having now seen about 1000 offices/libraries/schools/hospitals/similar across Europe and the US as well as sales data and disposal data I believe it to be valid) see hundreds of office (both home and cubicle) machines that could be suited to a gaming role (your average dell machine is likely sporting something quite nice under the hood) and nowadays graphics cards do that little bit more than they used to (video encoding and output by multiple methods, stuff like CUDA, CAD apps and other design stuff)

    <b>page 6</b>
    Again I am not entirely convinced torrents (especially from public trackers) are a good measure for large software. Films, TV (if indeed it can be), cheap and cheerful software, older (smaller) games and music perhaps but large software.
    Quality: metacritic and the like have been nicely put to rest elsewhere: <a href="http://www.gamerevolution.com/features/mind_over_meta" target="_blank">http://www.gamerevolution.com/features/mind_over_meta</a> although that is perhaps missing the point.
    Prices, at the risk of starting the second hand debate up I will mention the perceived value of a second hand game, depreciation certainly features in any mindset. It is also a good starting point about things like Steam of which a second hand steam game has next to no worth.

    The anecdote about crysis, I seem to recall it became a meme of sorts regarding the demands of the game so I am not sure it is an entirely valid one.

    <b>page 7</b>

    I will mention two terms: loss leader and margins. Loss leader could best be summarised by the line from Jay and Silent Bob strike back "You gotta do the safe picture. Then you can do the art picture. But then sometimes you gotta do the payback picture because your friend says you owe him.", car companies do the same thing (small runs of cars/concept cars) and I could pick many other industries with similar concepts.
    Margins: here I talk about the "Of those 20% that are finished and released to the market, only 20% of them will ever realize a significant profit"
    If any other industry tried the same thing and they would be laughed at.

    <b>page 8</b>

    The DRM debate. The first part of the article shows a misunderstanding of sorts (I need not point any further than the GBA and the DS) and also what I will deem a pointless look back to the past; consumer grade electronics and the level of low level kit and knowledge available has shifted over the last 5 years let alone 24 (nes was released in 1985).

    Were I to feel like it I might make a comment about the "ethereal" nature of intellectual property vs the physical nature of discs and how that is conveniently forgotten, also worth mentioning is the rise of drive emulators, multi rom image flash carts, hard drive loaders and the like which is notably completely omitted.
    The next section is an anecdote from the author's life (pointless to compare against), a note on the massive rise of the internet and a setup for the next paragraph comparing DRM to timed protection.
    The argument could be made that comparing physical and copyright "theft" is different in law, mindset and perception but I will skip over that in favour of the rest of the page:
    World of Warcraft and subscribers. The hundreds of private servers thing is serious downplayed which is odd and it also gives the perception that Steam is somehow more resistant (hint; it has never been easier than with steam).

    Anecdotes abound in the next section, cherry picked again although it is perhaps the only way as there is no "data from the other side".

    Sales rates. The "static" nature of the data from pages past, however weak it can be considered, appears to have been forgotten although I will leave it to stand.

    Onto DRM, I would like to debate "freedom of the machine" but that is a fairly washy area so instead I will talk numbers (the numbers appear to be plucked out of their ass but I will use them as hard numbers) 99.8% of 1000000 (1 million) is still thousands of people and pissing off thousands of people is not something that is generally wise to do (not to mention it could feed back into perceived tech support).

    <b>page 9</b>
    Hysteria over various systems reached uncharted levels without question and I can see most of it being based on unfounded science. The points stand on a technical basis (no major problems) but I will dismiss them on basis of good usage of a PC (keep it clear of all things that ultimately do not need to be there, please do not confuse this with "I am free to do whatever"). In the end I do not have much to say about this page, it is fairly solid.

    <b>page 10</b>

    The final page. I found this page quite interesting, skipping straight to the culture section
    I find the culture thing rather interesting (this site alone is a good example) if only because of the perception thing, even taking the numbers earlier as valid I doubt people could point out that many people in the "political" struggle.

    business section. A bit one sided (for instance in the now updated page the pirate bay trial was mentioned with none of the backstory), I say there are always those out there but it does not necessarily represent them all.

    <b>My conclusion</b>. First I think PC games represent the best way to play games if you have the hardware, time and the knowledge to pull it off although I freely admit that such a thing is quite hard to do. Secondly the perception is that games are a fixed medium, this could not be further from the truth as modding and multiplayer communities exist. Thirdly the best versions of any game are usually the pirate versions so hybridise it if necessary.
    The original article states that thinks are changing and not necessarily for the better, I say the opposite and that things are changing but for the better (the spec wars have more or less ended now which is a good thing, modding is on the rise, more interesting things are being done with design (which feeds back into everything).
    Scale: no doubt it is worth looking at.
    Cost to business: hard one, would have to be done on a game by game basis and it could swing either way of positive or negative.

    if you want time lapse protection make it so
    if you sell based on price make it either worth it second hand or drop prices accordingly.
    For the future: survival of the fittest, keep going as it is and whatever succeeds should be there until it does not.
  5. SoLuckys

    SoLuckys GBAtemp Regular

    Nov 12, 2008
    whoo. did you copy&pasted or something? i would take hours for me to write so much shit [​IMG]
  6. Noobix

    Noobix GBAtemp Fan

    Sep 25, 2003
    "You pirates are a disgrace to blackbeard" [​IMG]

    Back on topic I must agree that piracy might be getting a bit out of hand. In the good old days it was pretty rare and exclusive, whereas nowadays almost everyone with access to the internet is at it. [​IMG]

    I still remember copying spectrum 48k games tape to tape with my friends, and over the years it has just got even easier! [​IMG]

    At the moment almost everything on my PC apart from Windows XP has just been downloaded off the net. (I also have just about every OS ever made, but the Windows is legit 'cos I got it with my Dell XPS. ) [​IMG]

    In the future you'll probably have to use a fingerprint or scan your eyeball to run software.

    Anyway it's only a matter of time before someone comes up with a "proper" way to prevent piracy, but until that day I'll keep downloading 24/7.

    I love being a pirate!!! [​IMG]
  7. D1Tremere

    D1Tremere Newbie

    May 4, 2009
    United States
    So long as business leaders follow the "profit at any cost" model people will continue to pirate.
    There used to be a desire on the part of business owners to provide a useful service at a fair price, and if you made a profit at the end of the day everybody won...Now the desire is to take advantage of peoples base qualities and sell any thing you can regardless of quality at as high a price as you can convince people to pay, I mean seriously a game costs a bit to make but in the end with the price mark ups there virtually printing money with each sell...
  8. notnarb

    notnarb Not narbing it up

    Jun 18, 2007
    It's a big issue and some people have strong feelings about it. If I had the time (AP testing [​IMG]) I would probably write something overly long too on my thoughts on the points he brings up.
  9. godsakes

    godsakes GBAtemp Fan

    Oct 8, 2007
    gr8 article - after reading it i feel kinda bad about pirating the decent games i might have considered worth buying (but that's only a few thankfully), i'm still indifferent with regards to games i consider subpar or were never released in my region.

    one of the good points made was how the torrent/pirate sites were making a decent income from ads on their sites. Perhaps someone should start a co-op torrent site which donates a portion of their income to developers (half joke, they’d be the first to get sued to death)
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