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The Piracy Debate: A Lack of Compromise

So everyone has their own opinion on the Piracy debate, and most people feel very strongly about it, one way or another. Note that the following article only contains my personal feelings on the matter, which may very well not reflect the collective opinion of Twinfinite as a whole. Most people who comment about the issue on sites like Reddit are going to be biased pro-piracy, or at the very least towards Internet freedom. Those that receive the most mass media publicity, as one would expect, are usually media publishing companies, and congressmen (congresspeople?) in the companies’ pockets, who would understandably be very polarized towards the anti-piracy side of the debate. I feel as though there are a lot of people in the middle, who are less likely to be heard. This is a common problem with many debates, like birth control, healthcare, and immigration, because let’s face it- most people are childish and unwilling to compromise. They fail to come to a consensus on complex issues.

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lorianguy2106d ago

That was an interesting read, thanks!

ATi_Elite2106d ago

Piracy is not theft! Theft is theft!

anyway SOPA only affects the United States which is not in the top ten countries of biggest pirates. So therefore China, Russia, Brazil, France, Spain etc will still continue to Pirate the hell outta everything digital that they can.

SOPA is just a way for the U.S. Government to censor and control the Free Flow of Information nothing more nothing less.

Also if all piracy stopped today, digital revenue would not increase but only decrease. I've Pirated stuff i wasn't sure about the quality of and if i liked it i bought it and told my friends to buy it.

Most people will not be willing to just buy an unknown game without a test run and most companies still do not offer up Demos so therefore pirating fills that void.

So if Pirating stopped people would by less games cause less people would spread the word of a good game worth a purchase. Usually the most pirated games are the biggest sellers anyway.

(Except Crysis 2 cause Crytek totally tried to screw PC Gamers with that crap but it backfired)

kafe2106d ago

"Also if all piracy stopped today, digital revenue would not increase but only decrease. I've Pirated stuff i wasn't sure about the quality of and if i liked it i bought it and told my friends to buy it.

Most people will not be willing to just buy an unknown game without a test run and most companies still do not offer up Demos so therefore pirating fills that void."

- You have absolutely no evidence of either of these claims. Most games these days have free demos on steam, psn, xbla, etc., and countless reviews up all over the internet. People don't say, "I've heard that Skyrim is amazing, I've read reviews praising it, have seen videos of gameplay, and have even played a demo, but I guess I won't buy it because I can't play through it in its entirety yet to make absolutely sure." They either buy it or they don't. Piracy intuitively hurts the industry. Just because it's impossible to prove exactly the effect of piracy on the industry doesn't mean that we should simply ignore it. Are you telling me that not one of the people who massively pirated World of Goo would have bought it if they were unable to pirate it?

A man is willing to purchase a game. Instead, he realizes that he can pirate it, and does so. Due to an illegal download, the company loses the sale, and therefore the money for that sale. It does not matter that they do not "lose" a physical copy of the game, the point is that they are not rewarded for the time invested in creating the digital copy of the game, when they would have otherwise. In your opinion, what is the primary difference between piracy and theft in this scenario, and why is it not a problem?

I don't think you read much of the article. The entire point was that people on both sides make unsubstantiated claims about the effect of piracy, while the truth likely lies somewhere in the middle. You say that because there is a small chance that piracy does not hurt the industry, we should ignore the problem entirely.

ATi_Elite2106d ago

1. Piracy = someone buys a game, uploads it to the Internet and gives it away for Free.

How is that different from you buying a game and then letting your best friend play it for free and then he lets his friend play it for free and so on?

2. Just because someone Pirates a game doesn't mean that the company lost a sale. There's no guarantee that the Pirate would of bought the legal copy if the pirated version wasn't available.

I've bought/pirated games that i had NO intention on buying just for the mods. So do the Mods get some of that cash? No. Even though they boosted sales. Didn't think about that did you?

I bought GTAIV PC but went online and downloaded the Pirated version to get around the nasty DRM it had. Bet you never thought about that before writing your stupid reply that many Pirated downloads are done to avoid DRM by game purchasers.

3. Also as far as "rewarded for the time invested in creating the digital copy of the game", the Devs are paid a salary to make the game so they are PAID up front so if a game sales 2 copies or 20 million copies the Devs got paid except for Indie Devs who rely on sales.

4. Piracy does have an effect on the industry just like Devs/Pubs who make crappy games have an effect on the Industry. For every Gamer who bought a crappy game and couldn't get a refund there is gonna be a pirated copy downloaded of a good game.

5. I don't support piracy but it forces the Industry to make better games thus bringing balance to the system.

smashman982106d ago

@ ATI ELITE

To point #1 I don't buy games, play them and then give them away for free. I may sell them to a friend, trade it whatever. Now for the difference if I do sell or trade my game 1) I no longer have it and 2) only one person can have it at a time.

If I upload it i just made it available to billions of people at the same time while I keep my copy.

does the company lose sales if i sell it to my friend; yes, absolutely the company has lost one potential sale

But how many sales do they lose when billions have access for free probably more than the 1-3 they'll lose through what I just described

To Point #2 If there wasn't a risk for piracy then there wouldn't have been a drm

Now I know you could easily say well if there wasn't a drm you wouldn't have downloaded and illegal copy after buying your copy

well to that i say the fact that the illegal copy is even in this equation proves my point

#3 true the devs work on salary but if they're game doesn't sell then people get laid off

#4 So for everyone who watched a bad movie, heard a horrible song, drove a horrible car, ate a bad snack are all clear to steal what they want

noooo deal with it do better research next time dont buy a game from that company again speak with your wallet!

#5 You really shouldn't be defending something you don't support.... it makes zero sense

steve30x2105d ago

Most games have free demos these days? What paralell universe are you living in? Its more like only about quarter of games these days have demos.

smashman982106d ago

BS! Most games now, do get a demo on, top of that there are reviews, gameplay videos, forums, all of which will let you get an idea of what the game is like and whether or not you'll like it.

Please just listen to yourself.

"Piracy is not theft! Theft is theft!"

WHAT!?!

C'mon now get a grip.

Pirates are running out of excuses and fast.
The whole test run excuse doesn't work anymore

And thats why the pc community is starting to get shafted

its not fair for the people who just wanna sit down andbe honest consumers or the hard working devs

people hate drm and activation codes

but we have the pirates to thank for that if you wanna test run something how bout you go test run getting a job

Pirates aren't gamers! GAMERS ARE GAMERS

Eamon2106d ago (Edited 2106d ago )

What undeniable quality of illegal filesharing is that it helps advertised electronic entertainment industries drastically. I mean, without internet, would the anime industry spread outside than Japan? Would game companies these days be spending tens of millions of dollars on game development?

It's true that there are some games/movies/anime/software that suffer because of piracy. However, if we are to live in a modern world in 21st century we should also think like someone living in the 21st century; i.e. Piracy is NOT theft. It should be treated differently to theft because it is not the same thing. Companies that HAVE treated the two as the same have never benefited from it and are continuing to waste loads of money on anti-piracy security only for it to get cracked by a lone hacker on the internet. Valve understood the difference between theft and piracy and smartly assessed how they should tack piracy and succeeded.

Even Microsoft acknowledged that piracy does have huge benefits in terms of advertising and spreading of word. Bill Gates said, "If the pirates are going to steal, then we'll make them steal only our product" when referring to pirated copies of Windows Operating System.

vortis2106d ago

Absolutely correct. Bubbles to you.

A lot of people tend to associate piracy with some burglar-mask-wearing thieves and it's not the same thing.

I'll take it a step further, though: a lot of movies I've seen I've gotten from torrents *gasp* why? Because they aren't available here in U.S. even via Netflix or Hulu. I love a lot of foreign movies and indie foreign flicks that aren't distributed here because there's no money to made by the distributors, yet they consider it thievery because I didn't pay to see the movie. It's not my fault a lot of foreign films aren't distributed or released over here or you have to go in some back alley, seedy import shop to find them.

It sometimes works the same way with games and music...there are a ton of songs I would love to buy but many of the kind of music genres I like aren't available on iTunes, Amazon or Napster. Millions of people like me are out there willing to buy stuff if its affordable and available but we have such a closed marketplace when it comes to global distribution that it makes it tough to pay for stuff.

Sometimes piracy is the only way for a property to expand and grow because it's the only option available.

kafe2106d ago

If everybody pirated, companies would make exactly zero revenue.

If a person pirates a game when they would have otherwise bought it (please don't claim that this situation never happens), what, in your opinion, is the primary difference between theft and piracy, and why should it legally be treated any differently?

The quote by Gates was made 14 years ago, when the levels of digital piracy was entirely different. And he doesn't admit that piracy has "huge benefits", in fact, Microsoft as a whole estimates that they lost $14 billion due to piracy in 2005 (probably inflated, but the point is that they believe they are hurt by the practice). Gates merely acknowledges that if a person pirates, he would prefer that they pirate windows software, as there's a CHANCE that they will buy microsoft in the future, meaning that he would prefer a pirated copy to nothing at all.

Mikeyy2106d ago

Well on the pc front, steam is most definitly a good step forward. The sales and packs are amazing. People just dont want to pay full price anymore. The economy has tanked and these companies need to get with the times. Unfortunatly most companies are just raising prices, like the grocery industry..

MWH2106d ago

"Fifteen men on the dead man's chest--

...Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!
Drink and the devil had done for the rest--
...Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!"

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