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Pirating

Posted Feb 9, '09 at 2:28am

Klaushouse

Klaushouse

2,853 posts

**Attention: This is a thread discussing the morality and your views on pirating. I do not want to see any talk on where to go to pirate, or how to pirate. Nor do I want to hear about who pirates and who doesn't or what you pirate. If this happens, the thread will end up being locked, or you banned if you talk about where to pirate.**

In a day and age where the internet is the median for acquiring almost everything, I think it's appropriate to bring up a very up and coming trend: pirating. For does who don't know it, it's the act of getting anything that you would usually pay for (Music, Movies/TV Shows, Video Games, Software) online, for free, from someone.


I want to make it clear that I will not be showing anyone how or where to start pirating. I also do not condone anyone pirating anything.

Pirating in general is stealing from a company, a company that worked hard to bring a product, it cost them money to make it in hopes of selling it for more, making money. But to start, I want to differentiate pirating from stealing, because they are very different. You might hear pirating is stealing in ads but you must be weary, for this is not true. Stealing is taking something away from someone that you aren't suppose to, whereas pirating is making a copy of something that you aren't suppose to. For example, when you steal lets say a candy bar from a store, that is a physical candy bar that the store will never get back. Online, if you pirate a movie or a game, you are not physically lets say taking a game from a store, or factory, no. You are making a copy of someone else's game that they have, and they don't lose it. Unfortunately this is used as an excuse for people who pirate, saying it isn't stealing, its pirating. Although it is important to know the difference, you must understand it's still not right. In some respects, you can see is as stealing money, because they lost a potential customer. But that isn't my point. My point is that before committing such acts, you must understand what you are doing essentially, to understand what your implication is.

As I mentioned briefly, there are 4 main categories of things pirated: Movies and TV Shows, Music, Video Games, and Software. This doesn't cover everything, like books or some other stuff, but it is the main four reasons to pirate. The most popular type of pirating is music. Almost everyone downloads music, from sites or programs that I won't mention(most all of you surely know them anyways). Although popular, it does not detract from the amount of money they make. One of the most prominent reasons being quality. Quality of music downloaded from these sites are usually low, unless you know where to look. And for most people this isn't good enough for them, so they buy CDs, and get high quality. Also there has been a big scare lately surrounding illegal music downloads, like cases of people paying $50 for every song they had that was not paid for. Movies and TV shows would come next in the list in most downloaded content. This is simple to explain in that being able to watch and play shows and movies whenever you want has become a big aspect of our lives, not being chained to times set by the tv network or cinema listings. Although again, quality is low, unless you download huge 20gb files for 1080p you won't get that, and that's a lot to download. Which is why they still thrive. You can't download a movie theater, or easily and speedily download blu-ray quality.

Next is video games, I make a new paragraph for video games because although not the most downloaded, it is the most affected. Distribution of music, tv, and movies hasn't changed much because of pirating. Video games have. A lot. DRM are thrown into all games and they are getting stricter and stricter. You look at an old video game and one person could install their game on 100 PCs no trouble. But nowadays you must use a serial key to activate your game, need the CD in the drive to play, and it's also been talked about, to have to confirm your legit game online every 10 days to play. It was also seen in a new game, that if a fake key is found, that levels have invisible walls in them, so that you cannot play through it. Now even with all this, talented individuals find ways to crack through this easily without any problems. And they continue to do with no matter what. But I digress. Games cost a lot of money, ranging from 40 to 100 dollars a game, this doesn't come cheap to a gamer with new games coming out weekly. Forcing a lot of people to download, and it is becoming quite a large trend. This doesn't affect larger companies so much, they still have enormous profits, because console games are harder to crack(you need to mod your xbox/ps3, which becomes a hassle for someone who isn't well versed in doing so) and console systems can usually run the games better than most normal people's computers, so they are optimal for gaming. But small indie developers begin to struggle. Some great games are made by new and upcoming teams, but they suffer great damage because of pirating. One example is the team behind World of Goo. This is an amazing game, completely incredible and I would refer anyone to it, just absolutely splendid. And the whole world loves it. The problem? It was reported that 90% of the copies of world of goo were pirated. That means only 10% of the people paid for it, and this is a cheap game. 10$. Can you imagine how much money this small company is losing? Quite a bit, and who knows if we will ever see anything else from them.

Now lastly is software, I don't know much about software, but the biggest thing I believe is Adobe products. Now I say this, but it doesn't mean that you should go out and illegally download it, but it doesn't matter that much to them if you do. That is to say, if you are just someone who wants to use photoshop or flash to create little pictures or movies or games for yourself or your friends, in a closed community for the hell of it, it really doesn't matter. You are not a target audience. Adobe makes their products for large companies and designers alike, so that they may make great commercial products. If you plan on making things for a profit, or to put online, this becomes a different story. Because people's whose job it is to use adobe, as in companies and designers, they need real versions. And you don't know how big companies can be, full of people needing adobe products. They rake in cash, and you were never in their projected sales if you are 12 and using it for fun. With movies and music and games, if you couldn't get it free chances are you would find a way to buy it. But for adobe, if you are a kid and you see $700 adobe products you wont buy it, nor will you ever, its not worth it for what you want to do. Adobe knows this and doesn't account you into their sales estimates and what they plan to sell, so you don't matter. Also if they really cared they would make it harder to crack adobe products, because at the moment it's a joke.

Now, after all this informative chat I finally come to my point. The morality of pirating. Why you do it, why you don't, and what if you do. This part is strictly my opinion now, and I am sure you will all have your own opinions and I would lose to hear them. Hence me posting this.

When I see pirating I see three different reasons for it. Time to go through them.

1. Being greedy/lazy.
This is for people who don't want to go to the store and buy whatever, even if they can afford it and it is not much for them. This is people who want to save money by stealing it, even though they can afford it. I find this to be abominable because they cause this for their own sake of being greedy. They feel no sympathy for the people who work hard on things and lose the companies money out of laziness. This is the worst of the three, and if you are one of these people then I urge you to rethink things because you cause companies to tighten up even more, including ISPs, essentially ruining your life! :)

2.Pirate because can't afford.
This piratee, you might call them, cannot afford the matter at hand in the first place, so they download it. This person probably lives in a state where they use all their money to live and pay rent/bills, and is on a very tight budget. This brings up a moral question similar to "should you steal bread to feed your starving family". Although it's not exactly the same, this person is trying to live and you can't blame them for wanting nice things like movies and music like everyone else, even if they can't afford it. In a way pirating has been an modern Robin Hood to the poor and helped them out a bit, except the 1st group could be seen as someone who isn't in a financial crisis yet takes money from robin hood anyways(in a sense, if you catch my drift). And this brings me back to my adobe theory. If you couldn't and won't ever be able to afford the music/games/software/movies that you want, then you were never or will never be a client, therefore it is not a true loss to the company, and it essentially doesn't matter. Now in real life it would be different, if you could and would never be able to afford a car the company would still care if you stole it. But taking the car into pirating terms, if you couldn't or would ever be able to afford it, but made a COPY of it, then this would be a different story to the company. Because they did not lose a car, it's still there, it's just a copy, and the person couldn't afford it anyways so they never expected to sell to them, so it doesn't matter. Hopefully you can grasp what I am saying with this.

3.Pirate as a filter.
In my head, the most respectable pirating to be found. These people download everything, and whatever they truly like and enjoy will then go and actually buy it. This is the most honorable way of doing it in my opinion. An example is video games. I go to the store and buy a game, 65$, I go home and I completely HATE it. I go to the store, no refund, but they will buy it back from me! But for 15$. This is ridiculous, because truly knowing if you liked a game or not doesn't happen in a 10 minute demo, or watching someone ELSE play. Although reading reviews and watching trailers and a demo do help in decision making, you can never be too sure until you really have the game. Which makes it hard to really chose games because you could be wasting a ton of money. So the solution? These people download the games, play the entire thing. If they liked it, they will go and purchase a copy, if not, then they let the company burn, and the same principle goes for movies/music also. I personally see this as making sense. Why pay them for something you completely hated, it's a very bad system, because you pay a lot of money for this stuff. Essentially these people use pirating as a filter for good and bad stuff, then buy. When you think about it, this way only companies that please their clients will remain in business while others, who make crap, will be destined to go out of business or change their ways so that they make money, or else people will be gypped into buying it, and they will make another ****ty sequel.

Now I want to make clear, although I do find that pirating doesn't need to be seen as a horrible thing, remember it's still illegal, and you shouldn't be doing it. My personal opinion is to not pirate. Make informed choices about what you are going to buy, look up your game fully, read multiple reviews, watch clips, before buying. Ask opinions of movies, tv shows, and music from a lot of people and read up on it before buying. At worst just rent your game/tv show once and go from there. But if you go into pirating I plea for you to become like #3. If you pirate, remember that they worked hard, and as long as you pay your respects to the company by paying for what you enjoy, I think it is an acceptable practice. I see it as not paying for the product, but paying them in respect for the work they put into it. Now that said, again, even if I think that #3 is a great way of doing things, I don't do it. It's illegal and I am not venturing down that road, nor should you.

Again, this is all merely opinion based. Now that you have heard my views on it. I would love you hear yours. How you feel about pirating, where your allegiance stands, etc. Generally I just want to know what you think is appropriate and what isn't. Looking forward to seeing what you guys think!

-Klaushouse

**Attention: This is a thread discussing the morality and your views on pirating. I do not want to see any talk on where to go to pirate, or how to pirate. Nor do I want to hear about who pirates and who doesn't or what you pirate. If this happens, the thread will end up being locked, or you banned if you talk about where to pirate.**

 

Posted Feb 9, '09 at 3:52am

Strop

Strop

10,824 posts

Moderator

Holy crap, Klaus, that rivals my "Essay On Newgrounds" for the single longest non-fictional post on this forum.

This possibly may discourage other people from addressing the post. I myself didn't have the time to read all of it, but I think tackling portions of it should be encouraged. Particularly this:

ut to start, I want to differentiate pirating from stealing, because they are very different. You might hear pirating is stealing in ads but you must be weary, for this is not true. Stealing is taking something away from someone that you aren't suppose to, whereas pirating is making a copy of something that you aren't suppose to.

I'm going to, for the sake of argument, post a borderline example. Let's consider an example that is seen as stealing. Say, shoplifting, in which a copy, or multiple copies of a product are unlawfully taken. How does one differentiate this from making an unlawful electronic entity such that shoplifting is stealing but "piracy" is not?

I have my own answer to this which leads to a separate area of discussion, so I'll leave it at that for others to address.

 

Posted Feb 9, '09 at 3:57am

Strop

Strop

10,824 posts

Moderator

As a separate post because it's about a separate topic:

These people download everything, and whatever they truly like and enjoy will then go and actually buy it. This is the most honorable way of doing it in my opinion.

Certain individual commercial ventures have trialed an "honour" or "trust" system, in which a customer is invited to make a payment based on what they think a meal is worth. The theory here is that if people would still opt to pay even if not legally obligated to, and might do so more gladly. I approve of this as I would still pay for my meal were I to eat at such a place, and I suspect that it would still work out.

However if such a system were applied to the virtual world this idea might face a few more hurdles. Can anybody tell me why? Hint: It's related to my previous post.

 

Posted Feb 9, '09 at 4:59am

Septua

Septua

443 posts

Oh this is about downloading music movies ect, hmmz i kinda hoped it was about the growing piracy around africa especially the east coast.

To add to strops first post: what they do infront of the coast of africa is also called piracy but infact they hold boats,goods and crew for ransom.
So in other words piracy is (or is not?) stealing nor copying nor taking over boats,goods and crew for ransom?

I think piracy is a general term for doing something bad that is linked to copying/stealing/taking hostages for ransom.

Ah well got to read klaus his post first but he critted me with his wall of text for 10k damage.

Will read though

Sep

 

Posted Feb 9, '09 at 5:14am

Gantic

Gantic

7,438 posts

Moderator

Certain individual commercial ventures have trialed an "honour" or "trust" system, in which a customer is invited to make a payment based on what they think a meal is worth. The theory here is that if people would still opt to pay even if not legally obligated to, and might do so more gladly. I approve of this as I would still pay for my meal were I to eat at such a place, and I suspect that it would still work out.

However if such a system were applied to the virtual world this idea might face a few more hurdles. Can anybody tell me why? Hint: It's related to my previous post.

It works online on a small-scale for would-be (hence unknown) novel writers. Pay what you think the book was worth. It's almost ideal in most aspects for writers who just want to write and be able to live of it.

Some great games are made by new and upcoming teams, but they suffer great damage because of pirating. One example is the team behind World of Goo. This is an amazing game, completely incredible and I would refer anyone to it, just absolutely splendid. And the whole world loves it. The problem? It was reported that 90% of the copies of world of goo were pirated. That means only 10% of the people paid for it, and this is a cheap game. 10$. Can you imagine how much money this small company is losing? Quite a bit, and who knows if we will ever see anything else from them.

They (2D Boy) recalculated it to ~82% which means only 20% of people paid for it. There is also a quoted estimate that efforts to prevent piracy would only result in one customer per one thousand pirates. They also further stated that those who pirate are unlikely to be the ones buying the game if they added DRM.

In the post, I don't see the issue of piracy for the belief that information (including creative works) should be shared. This touches upon (or is) the issue of copyright and copyleft, but that is an anchor to something tangential and almost unrelated to "popular" software.

I'm not entirely decided on the issue of piracy or copyright and copyleft or where the money actually goes. Piracy has been around for a while and is not entirely up and coming (except for TV shows), nor is it lately that there is a scare regarding illegal music downloads. I remember discussing this stuff four or five years ago. And since then, I've moved my opinion to undecided.

 

Posted Feb 9, '09 at 6:21am

Strop

Strop

10,824 posts

Moderator

It works online on a small-scale for would-be (hence unknown) novel writers. Pay what you think the book was worth

Oops, should have specifically said "large scale corporations" though this would render my example slightly moot, as I did explicitly mention that these were independent small-scale enterprises.

In the post, I don't see the issue of piracy for the belief that information (including creative works) should be shared

Funny you should mention that- Klaus and I briefly touched upon the subject before he posted and I mentioned the issue of intellectual property treatment debates, but this in itself appeared tangential to the strictly legal aspects of piracy...or is it!

I myself would be more than happy to see a discussion of what commercial philosophies ought to be adopted as a response to this piracy phenomenon, should we ever reach a consensus on just how "big" and "threatening" it is. All I know is that "maybe big changes are lurking beyond the horizon".

 

Posted Feb 9, '09 at 1:07pm

Klaushouse

Klaushouse

2,853 posts

Oh this is about downloading music movies ect, hmmz i kinda hoped it was about the growing piracy around africa especially the east coast.

If you want, I would a 2000 word essay on the somali pirates for world issues a few weeks ago haha. :P

Say, shoplifting, in which a copy, or multiple copies of a product are unlawfully taken. How does one differentiate this from making an unlawful electronic entity such that shoplifting is stealing but "piracy" is not?

But see for something like a chocolate bar, shoplifting it lets say. The company needs actual chocolate and depending on which bar, caramel and other tasty things. These are physical objects that cost money to make. Now when it comes to the virtual world, I find the difference is that you make your own copy with your own memory. It's like going to the store with a duplicator machine and instead of stealing the candy bar, you duplicate it and take the duplication. Now the store still has the same amount of bars but you still have one, this is how piracy works, although you do not actually steal a physical object from them, you take away the opportunity of you actually paying for it, therefor they lose money. You can argue that you are stealing their customers, but that isn't my point. :P

They (2D Boy) recalculated it to ~82% which means only 20% of people paid for it. There is also a quoted estimate that efforts to prevent piracy would only result in one customer per one thousand pirates. They also further stated that those who pirate are unlikely to be the ones buying the game if they added DRM.

Yeah thanks for the exact percentage, I was too lazy to look it up, and I remember 90%. And trying to stop piracy won't work, because the smartest people do not work for the companies, but crack things from the companies. Any DRM would be cracked within hours of release, and wouldn't affect anyone. I find myself disturbed by the ratio of pirates for world of goo, such a fabulous game, and we might never see another release from 2d boy if this keeps up. I can only hope they are working on a port for Wii and Xbox Arcade and PSN, so that they can actually make money and continue to make more great games. Come to think of it World of Goo wii would be amazing...

I myself would be more than happy to see a discussion of what commercial philosophies ought to be adopted as a response to this piracy phenomenon, should we ever reach a consensus on just how "big" and "threatening" it is. All I know is that "maybe big changes are lurking beyond the horizon".

Although Gantic speaks of piracy being around for a long time, and it's true. Only in the past couple of years has it escalated to such a high peak. More and more people are becoming familiar with pirating, because it is so easy today with P2P. Before you'd have to use confusing things like IRC and people didn't understand but nowadays its as simple as a click of a button. This is causing a massive shift of the market to move to pirating as a means. Unfortunately things seem to be hitting the industries substantially, an example is EA, who layed of around 1000 workers just recently. I don't think the answer lies within DRMs or blocking users from downloading this stuff so easily, but I think they need to use this to their advantage. Many unknown bands have gotten fame through these programs, spreading their music in easy ways, and has brought them good fortune foe embracing this technology. Companies need to start finding ways to use P2P and use the freedom we have today to benefit themselves, instead of trying to block it. My best example would be Source. Source is a great program that has really took hold of today's tech, making it easy for people to speedily download and buy games online without hassle. Source is the equivalent of pirating, except for most cases you download at 10 to 100 times the speed, giving a perk to people. This is a great example, and soon enough I think most companies will be working like Source. This will really put a damper on pirating I would presume.

 

Posted Feb 9, '09 at 4:29pm

woody_7007

woody_7007

2,683 posts

I will admit I have not read the entire opening post, but I will apply an economic concept to this:

Pirating is a substitute good. Often pirate material is inferior and more importantly much cheaper than the original or in some cases free. In the economic crisis I would expect a rise in demand for pirate goods. Whether or not the act of stealing material is morally acceptable is a different matter, but for the moment, as long as the market for these goods remains unchanged piracy will probably continue for the forseeable future.

 

Posted Feb 10, '09 at 4:08am

Talo

Talo

942 posts

I don't like this rant.  This thread was made for a one sided discussion about Pirating.  I will have to disagree with you though.  Pirating is not as big an issue as you would think.  They even make a few good points on a south park ep.  Most people who I talked to about Pirating music say that if they like the songs, they will buy the CDs.  Pirating is used as an advertising method.  The reason why there are so many Japanese cartoons on TV now is because of Fan sub torrents.  Watching a bunch of free TV shows down loaded on line has created a huge fan base in the US to the point were Anime and Manga now holds a large portion of customers.  All thanks to Pirating.  In terms of games.  The only reason why the X-box had record sales was because of the mods you could do to rip games. 

Like most marketing, a company will want to get the most money out of a mass produced product.  A game will sell for $70 for the first few months, then drop by $10 every few months afterwards.  This way they hit every customer who is willing to pay for the game.   With pirating, you end up hitting the group that may try the game for free, and then buy the game if they like it. 

Most games are online now, so there is no way to pirate them.  Buying a legit copy and then CD Key Generating to play at a LAN party is Pirating, but some one still buys one copy.  I remember when games came with a multiplayer disc that you gave to your friend to use to play against.  But now, you have to spend $400 to play with a group of friends.  How could anyone agree with this, especially if you only play the game a few times.

Outside of the country, you have governments were pirating is Legal.  You still have to buy DVDs or CDs so some one is still making money off the pirating.  Nothing is free.   

There has never been a single company that has lost money on a project due to pirating.  The people who usually pirate something weren't going to buy your stuff anyways, so you really aren't losing out on anything.  If anything, they may buy your next project.

Pirating is good.

 

Posted Feb 10, '09 at 4:38am

Strop

Strop

10,824 posts

Moderator

I don't like this rant.  This thread was made for a one sided discussion about Pirating

Klaus was politically astute when pitching his post: if he had written a post that could be construed to condone piracy we would be more inclined to shut the thread down.

However in making a post that was possibly exaggerated in the other direction, this encourages responses to the contrary, such as yours, which generates real discussion.

You just got played, man!

 
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