Piracy: is it theft or isn't it?

Jason Venter writes: "At the Game Developer Conference, Minecraft creator Notch is reported to have said: "Piracy isn't theft. If you steal a car, the original is lost. If you copy a game, there are simply more of them in the world." Minecraft swept the PC world by storm thanks to the creative construction it has enabled. There's no doubt that Notch knows how to put together something special, but that doesn't mean that rational people who haven't made great games can't disagree with his apparent stance on piracy."

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WayneKerr2971d ago

Its not theft on 360 but is theft on Ps3.

Go figure.

zootang2971d ago

Ask the developers who make the games!

Dark_Charizard2971d ago

"To Err Is Human, to Arr Is Pirate"

Blaze9292971d ago (Edited 2971d ago )

I see no difference from borrowing, renting, or buying a used game :-/

so, in thought, are those above options also theft? Or isn't it? Every way, the publisher and developer sees no money.

da da dummmm

2971d ago
Urrakia342971d ago (Edited 2971d ago )

@Blaze929-the difference from borrowing, renting, or buying a used game is that the game has already been paid for, one way or another. You borrowed from a friend? Well he bought it from a retailer. Rent? The company has to buy a certain amount of copies to rent them out. A used game? It has to be previously bought by somebody to become "used" doesn't it?

evrfighter2971d ago (Edited 2971d ago )

"@Blaze929-the difference from borrowing, renting, or buying a used game is that the game has already been paid for, one way or another. You borrowed from a friend?"

so all I need is permission from someone who bought the game then?

Alright kewl. I give anyone permission to borrow any game on my steam list you have to download it via torrent though.

I'll let you borrow it. I'm gonna go download all those games I havn't played yet. It's kul cuz I know someone who owns them. I'm just borrowing them.

Urrakia342971d ago (Edited 2971d ago )

@evrfighter- that's completely irrational. You are no longer lending out your game but you are distributing it, which is illegal if you are not authorized to do so. Use a bit of common sense. (if you have any that is)

Borrow - to take or obtain with the promise to return the same or an equivalent: Our neighbor borrowed my lawn mower.

Now if that neighbor didn't return your lawn mower wouldn't that make you mad since it's STEALING?

tehpees32971d ago

Developers have the problem set in both the pre owned market and piracy.

But yes piracy is theft. I can't say pre owned is because you deserve respect for still parting with your cash but piracy is no excuse.

mrkeith2971d ago

actually the developers have been asked about piracy and good majority of them are like "Thats cool. I can't believe someone wanted to actually play are game" The publishers are the one's who care the most.

PirateThom2971d ago

Blaze, I'm going to pick a game at random from my collection and post something for you, the closest game to me was "Killzone 3" but you'll find warnings like this all over the place:


All media, music, movies, games, carry similar warnings, some even state "lending/borrowing" as well as resale and rental. How do you get authority to resell or rent? You pay a substantial sum of cash to the content holder. Obviously, there's no way to police lending, but, that's why online passes are coming into play.

Eamon2971d ago

lol piratethom, you'd support the policing of lending games if such a way existed?

That's scary.

+ Show (7) more repliesLast reply 2971d ago
Dante1122971d ago (Edited 2971d ago )

@ WayneKerr

Stop with that console war bs man. It's theft no matter what console because it takes money outta the developers pockets after all their hard work. It also hurts the gaming industry.

HolyOrangeCows2971d ago (Edited 2971d ago )

"Its not theft on 360 but is theft on Ps3"
I see trolls like you say stuff like this x1000 more often than actual fanboys suggest/contradict-themselves/ say.
Go add some sugar to this bitter dish.

"Theft clearly is no longer limited to physical items and really hasn't been for a very long time"
Agreed. You can't justify theft by saying there are more or that it's "only a copy"...if we played by the thief's rules, NO ONE would be safe from copyright infringement, creating fake currency would be legal, and "There's always more" would be a way to avoid prosecution.

"I see no difference from borrowing, renting, or buying a used game
so, in thought, are those above options also theft? Or isn't it? Every way, the publisher and developer sees no money"
Borrowing...someone has paid for it. Renting...someone has paid not only for the copy, but the right to rent it out. Buying used...someone has bought a copy and has full rights to transfer that copy and the rights entailed to it.

MintBerryCrunch2971d ago

i cant see it as a loss on sale if the person is determined to pirate the game...if they are always looking forward to the next leak, then you can count that person out of ever buying a copy of the game...piracy doesnt only affect games, but a wide range of software, but people who say that it affects sales when the majority of these pirates would not even look at shelling out $50-$60 is pointless

Kran2971d ago (Edited 2971d ago )

Its theft on whatever platform.

Because the developer/publisher loses out on ALOT of money, in which goes towards sequels and possibly new games and even more possibly, the funding of the developer bases.

Without the money, they would be doomed. Yes, sure, some games get money whether they are pirated or not (Call of Duty, most Rockstar games), but for many others, it's their death.


Im confused. Were you agreeing with me or disagreeing with me?

Anon19742971d ago

Just because no physical item is stolen, that doesn't mean people aren't being screwed every time an item is pirated. If somebody works hard to create a game and another person enjoys that game, the creator is owed financial compensation for his time and effort. Programmers, artists, producers, etc...they all have families to feed. Every time a game is stolen, it's screwing over the hardworking individuals and their families who create the games that we love to play. You have to wonder if piracy wasn't so widespread, how many more games could have been created? How many studios could have stayed open? How many games have we missed out on because of piracy.

We're not only hurting the people who are the heart of the industry we love, but we're ultimately screwing over ourselves in the process.

Kakkoii2971d ago

People who were never a potential sale to begin with are not a sale lost, and thus they have NO negative effect on the industry. Only the benefit of an increased userbase and popularity. People need to stop thinking that ever pirated copy of a game is a "lost sale". Because that's an utter lie. In reality only a small portion of pirates are lost sales. The rest make up people who can't afford it for someone reason, or don't care enough to be paying for games, if they had no option to pirate, they wouldn't be playing the game at all.

The movie and music industry's products get pirated a ridiculous amount, yet they are thriving stronger than ever. Now why is that, hmm? Try thinking about it for a bit.

mantisimo2971d ago

much as I hate to agree with you darkride this time you are absolutely on the ball. +bubs

Breadisgood2971d ago

Kakkoii is right as well though. I've downloaded games/films, etc that I never had any intention of buying, but since I could download it for free I thought I'd give it a go. That doesn't harm the sales in any way, because I would never have bothered buying it in the first place. Then maybe I find a game a lot more enjoyable than I thought I would and end up buying it (or a sequel or something) anyway, which actually helps sales.

I'm not saying piracy isn't harmful at all, I'm just saying there's two sides to it.

wicko2971d ago

Guess what? It's not theft. It's copyright infringement. Copyright has been around for something like 300 years now.

We have a term to describe what's happening here, so lets use it instead of having to sound unintelligent because we can't say big words like copyright infringement.

At this rate, we may as well label buying/selling used games as theft, because the developers aren't getting any money out of that either.

Not to mention, copyright infringement is far more damaging than simple theft and because of this it also has more severe penalties. By calling it theft, you're also downplaying it's severity.

Kran2971d ago

You obviosuly don't know the difference betweet piracy and copyright.

Copyright infringement is taking something and slightly adapting it and selling it as your own, such as Fortress Craft.

Piracy is taking something already made and illegally selling it where you get the profit, or indeed taking something off the internet for free by downloading it, which you would otherwise pay for.

Those are todays definitions... not the silly wikipedia article.

wicko2971d ago (Edited 2971d ago )

Wrong again, copyright infringement is the unauthorized use of copyrighted material.

Copyright protects the creator from other parties, as they have exclusive rights to copy/distribute and adapt. Guess what you are doing if you download or distribute a "pirated" copy of a game? You're infringing on their exclusive right to copy or distribute. In other words, copyright infringement. This is not some "silly wiki article", this is the true definition under the law and this has been established for many years.

I am honestly amazed that you actually think otherwise.. didn't you learn this in high school?

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