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Author Topic: The Root of Game Piracy  (Read 6522 times)
Lashiec
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« on: August 11, 2008, 11:03:03 AM »

A game developer takes on a novel idea to "combat" game piracy: instead of resorting to the usual DRM and prosecution of the offenders, he ask them why they're doing it. The answers seem to be the usual, and AFAIK most of them have been mentioned here when discussing software piracy, but still the article makes a nice analysis on the current state of videogaming regarding the piracy matter, and the blog post is an interesting read. Also, I wonder what conclusions Mr. Harris will extract from the comments and the mails.


Note that the discussion is mostly centered about PC gaming, as the current generation of consoles does not suffer from the rampant piracy present in the last two generations, due to various reasons (expensive blank media and duplicators, locked-down systems, etc.). And the blog is getting hammered as well ;D
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mouser
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« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2008, 11:07:05 AM »

Nice find.  thumbs up
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Deozaan
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« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2008, 01:45:13 PM »

Good read. Thmbsup
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40hz
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« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2008, 06:40:33 PM »

Terrific article.

My hat is off to Cliff Harris. Rather than speculate or pontificate, he decided to go straight to the source and get the facts. Brill! Thmbsup


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Don't you see? It's turtles all the way down!
Lashiec
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« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2008, 09:08:56 AM »

Cliff has posted a followup, with a summary of the opinions, what is he going to do to lower piracy of his games, and general conclusions.
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mouser
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« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2008, 09:47:32 AM »

Thanks Lashiec, the follow up is actually quite nice.. I hope he gets lots of sales.
It's important that we all support people who create stuff we use and like.
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thebaglady608
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« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2008, 10:51:16 AM »

Awesome.  I'm glad that he learned about some of the things that make me NOT BUY games (I'm too much of a wimp to pirate, but the reservations that make pirates pirate instead of buying also make me just not buy, period.)  The one that came to mind for me was the "this demo is tiny, how do I know the game is going to be worth my $20?", for instance.  He gets a lot of props for not only asking but listening and allowing his customers to change his mind.  Dropping the DRM and dropping the price of a game he really likes takes some guts (and will probably make me buy said game.)
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tymrwt33
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« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2008, 09:11:49 PM »

Piracy is just stealing. Putting a fancy name on it is like trying to pick up a turd by the clean end.
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Deozaan
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« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2008, 09:25:46 PM »

Piracy is just stealing. Putting a fancy name on it is like trying to pick up a turd by the clean end.

I think that's the point of calling it "piracy." Seafaring pirates were not the romantic, fun loving, good hearted adventurers we see in the media today. Pirates were thieves who looted, murdered, and plundered. That's not really a fancy name or a pleasant title.
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CWuestefeld
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« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2008, 09:47:07 PM »

Piracy is just stealing. Putting a fancy name on it is like trying to pick up a turd by the clean end.

I think that's the point of calling it "piracy." Seafaring pirates were not the romantic, fun loving, good hearted adventurers we see in the media today. Pirates were thieves who looted, murdered, and plundered. That's not really a fancy name or a pleasant title.
False.

The courts do not deal with IP piracy as theft it's in its own class, infringement:
Quote
The RIAA, MPAA and copyright holders describe P2P users as "pirates" - invoking images of swashbuckling pre-teens hauling up the Jolly Roger and stealing intellectual property in the dead of night. New ads announced by MPAA President Jack Valente impress the idea that "copying is stealing" and that someone who burns MP3s is no different from those who slip a CD under their shirt at the local Tower Records.

But technically, file sharing is not theft.

A number of years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court dealt with a man named Dowling, who sold "pirated" Elvis Presley recordings, and was prosecuted for the Interstate Transportation of Stolen Property. The Supremes did not condone his actions, but did make it clear that it was not "theft" -- but technically "infringement" of the copyright of the Presley estate, and therefore copyright law, and not anti-theft statutes, had to be invoked.
http://www.securityfocus.com/columnists/175

Obviously this doesn't make IP infringement right. But because the infringement does not deprive the legitimate owner of the continued use of his property, the crime is clearly distinct from "theft".

From Justice Blackmun's majority opinion:
Quote
The phonorecords in question were not "stolen, converted or taken by fraud" for purposes of [section] 2314. The section's language clearly contemplates a physical identity between the items unlawfully obtained and those eventually transported, and hence some prior physical taking of the subject goods. Since the statutorily defined property rights of a copyright holder have a character distinct from the possessory interest of the owner of simple "goods, wares, [or] merchandise," interference with copyright does not easily equate with theft, conversion, or fraud. The infringer of a copyright does not assume physical control over the copyright nor wholly deprive its owner of its use. Infringement implicates a more complex set of property interests than does run-of-the-mill theft, conversion, or fraud.

Addendum on real piracy:
They may have been bloodthirsty and all the rest, but the story is far richer than that. I betcha didn't know that pirate ships were generally run democratically:
Quote
Presidential candidates, take note: Long before they made their way into the workings of modern government, the democratic tenets we hold so dear were used to great effect on pirate ships. Checks and balances. Social insurance. Freedom of expression. So Leeson, an economics professor at George Mason University, will argue in his upcoming book, "The Invisible Hook: The Hidden Economics of Pirates."

Yes, those stereotypically lawless rum-chuggers turned out to be ardent democrats. ...

The pirates who roamed the seas in the late 17th and early 18th centuries developed a floating civilization that, in terms of political philosophy, was well ahead of its time. The notion of checks and balances, in which each branch of government limits the other's power, emerged in England in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. But by the 1670s, and likely before, pirates were developing democratic charters, establishing balance of power on their ships, and developing a nascent form of worker's compensation
http://www.boston.com/bos...ryone_in_favor_say_yargh/
« Last Edit: August 15, 2008, 09:51:47 PM by CWuestefeld » Logged



mikiem
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« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2008, 01:58:14 PM »

With apologies for slightly changing the subject, since so many developers/coders frequent donation coder, I thought you might find the comments at giveawayoftheday.com interesting, & worth checking out... Basically they give away a license for a different program every day, & the users/visitors leave their blog comments. Since the software is free, I find many of the critiques quite amazing... it presents a look into the user mindset you probably wouldn't see elsewhere. And the user mindset is IMHO what this thread, & the original blog it's based on, are all about.
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Paul Keith
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« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2009, 11:00:14 PM »

Sorry, for necro-posting on this thread. I thought you might want to know that the person being talked here has been accused of spamming the comment threads of Piratebay torrents of his games.

I can't verify if it's really him but certainly one of the users is using his name Cliffski however there were enough people who remarked how there are other spam accounts that seem to be exclusive to his torrents where people intentionally say the torrent is a fake. Not saying it's him doing this but there are strong implications.

Of course I have my own opinions of software piracy but I'm not sure if it's wise to bring this up on an old thread. I just thought I'd update you guys on this issue.

Note that I don't have screenshot of the incident and I think Piratebay has removed his comments but if you search for the highly seeded torrents of his games, you'll still read some people complaining about the actions of the "Cliffski" person.

 
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