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Author Topic: "Why I pirate" - Extreme Tech Article  (Read 9203 times)

Nightcrawler

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"Why I pirate" - Extreme Tech Article
« on: January 20, 2012, 01:40:09 pm »
Since piracy is a hot topic recently here in the US, and our SOPA topic shows we all like discussing piracy around here, I caught this article that is making the rounds across the net.

http://www.extremetech.com/computing/114493-why-i-pirate

It's a fairly well written article. I'd say it's better than most in the 'pro-piracy' camp. I use the term loosely because it's not really pro piracy, nor trying to justify it. It's just an explanation of what's wrong with our current copyright laws, where the money goes for the protected goods, and some personal opinion. There are a few points that don't make sense that you can poke some holes in, but most of them are good. It's a cut above most similar article I've seen like this in the intelligence department.

I've been on a recent kick about how broken and lousy things are in the U.S. right now thanks to corporate america and how we're headed down the crapper to collapse. This is just another article to remind everybody how broken it has become. Big companies in the good 'ole boys club have driven what used to be reasonable copyright law with realistic time frames and protection of the artist in mind, and turned it into 100+ years and protection of corporate interests with no care about the artists.

By the way, the rest of you guys outside the US better watch out as well. We're trying all we can to give ourselves some kind of jurisdiction over your country, and influence your lawmakers to pass similar lousy legislation.

The world is screwed. I'm depressed. :(
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DankPanties

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Re: "Why I pirate" - Extreme Tech Article
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2012, 01:54:43 pm »
Well this ought to pep your spirits right up sir!

Can you say retroactive lawsuits?

Sure, I knew you could!

Can we fix it?

Nope, it's fucked.

SargeSmash

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Re: "Why I pirate" - Extreme Tech Article
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2012, 02:52:51 pm »
Some of those arguments have some legitimacy.  I'm not a big fan of DRM, for instance.  But the cost thing?  That argument is absurd.  I mean, I don't like how expensive stuff is, but the idea that I'm going to pirate because publishers don't give the artists enough, so instead they get nothing, is the height of lunacy.

Now, I've definitely pirated before.  I probably will again.  But if I can obtain something legitimately and have the means to do so (i.e. I'm not a poor college student anymore), I'm going to do it.  Most people, unfortunately, are not operating under that principle.

That reminds me, I should probably get a legit copy of Battlestar Galactica, instead of the DVD rips I have...  Giant flaming hypocrite here, I suppose.  :P

EDIT:  I will add that for a lot of people, the article is right, that it does come down to money.  Of course, it's hard to beat free.  The cost estimates from the industry are definitely over-inflated, as there are many cases (including my own) in which those sales were never going to happen in the first place.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2012, 02:58:53 pm by SargeSmash »
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?  -- Mark 8:36

Validus

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Re: "Why I pirate" - Extreme Tech Article
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2012, 03:51:48 pm »
I enjoy a large bluray collection all bought new or new condition. Fantastic movies suchh as KICKBOXER have been upscaled to perfection and no pirate will ever match its visual quality on the right HDTV

Auryn

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Re: "Why I pirate" - Extreme Tech Article
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2012, 01:27:42 pm »
There are probably many factors that push somebody to pirate and I think things changes with time and the value change with time as well.
There are probably many people in this forum with age 30+ (as myself) that have a big collection of AMIGA, MSX, NES, SNES, Saturn and probably PSX games at home and this as original, maybe still mint or at least still keep the spine card.
And I believe that all this people have a smaller collection in the same state for the next systems up to today.
Why is it like this??
Well, first of all in that collection there is probably the first game you have ever played/beaten/finished.
Then there is the fact that back at that time you treasured those games because you had first less choice, more time to play the game and you had to wait Christmas or birthday or work your ass off to buy that game.
At that time we probably all had one eye pointed to japan to see what would be the next wish game we will play.
Let's be honest, the old games was way much better that the new one (talking story, entertainment and make you feel inside the game).

For me Playstation one is more or less the turning point of the whole story of game piracy.
The evolution of the internet, combined to the easy access to those far to reach pearls from japan, the evolution of America/Europe starting to make own games and probably the evolution of putting the hardware/graphic capacities in the first place more that the content of a game made everything change.
Those games are getting "more and more expansive" but just because they are loosing more and more content and getting shorter and shorter even if (what the publishers say) the creations took years.

Why pay for something that we actually not treasure or at least are not really interested and that we probably will not finish to play because we find something stupid on it and anyway there is a new game coming out next week??
Why pay (the full price) for something that is actually broken (see Skyrim PS3) or with a bug that could make it impossible to finish (see the last 3 Zelda if I am not wrong) or just recycled of something I have played over and over (see all the "HD" remakes or collections like the 25Th anniversary of Mario).
Why pay for something that is not complete (see all DLC games) especially if I have to pay even more to get it complete??

I believe that all people in here that are 30+ and played all (or almost all) Zelda for the older system and just have completed Skyward Sword are asking themself "It's already finished??" or "Where in the world are the 4 years of creation time??" or "Just too easy and too short!!". Damn, it's the first Zelda I have beaten the last monster at the first time I encountered him and I am pissed off by this game because I was expecting some nice dungeon like the Water Temple in OoT but there isn't.

Well as final word I would say this:
It is wrong to see pirates and think that they are bad guys.
I believe everyone that pirated something has a limit of what is worth to download/copy and what is worth to buy.
Industry itself is to blame even if I didn't talk about movies or music, it's the same story there. Industry want to make more and more money and faster and faster money. This make the quality of the product drop; high price and low quality and big quantity,  lower the threshold and "invite" even more people to pirate the products.
Industry can spend as many millions of dollars to make a movie or years to make a game but at the end if they are really successful, they made us treasure that product and if we treasure it, we will probably not pirate it and buy it.
So industry, less quantity and more quality is a big part to the solution to your piracy problems.


DarknessSavior

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Re: "Why I pirate" - Extreme Tech Article
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2012, 02:36:44 pm »
I actually operate under that principle too. If I pirate something and like it enough? When I have money, I'll buy it.

A few examples.

- After moving in with my girlfriend, we hacked their PS3. I downloaded copies of Dead Rising 2 and Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage. I liked them both enough that I bought them (actually, I bought the "Zombrex Edition" of Dead Rising 2).
- I'm a big fan of the Japanese musician Gackt. When I went to Japan, I hunted down a few of his albums/singles that I could afford (Japanese CDs, even used, can be $20-30+). I now have three or four of them.

Hell, sometimes I'll buy something just because it's easier to buy it than pirate it. I'm sure no one has heard of the TV show "Instant Star", but I was a big fan of it when it aired on TV. I tried finding torrents for the third and fourth season, and they were either non-existent (no seeders) or terrible TV rips. So I bought the DVDs for those two seasons (and plan on getting the first two if I ever see them).

I mostly pirate things for two reasons. One being the fact that the game-rental store is basically a thing of the past (in my area, we don't even have many DVD rental stores anymore), I don't want to have to pay $60 to get a game I don't like, then have no way to return it. If I really like something? I usually buy it, when I have the money. Which leads to number two. Now with no job, I'm a poor college student. Can't afford to buy all the things I want, so if I want something bad enough, I'll pirate it first.

There are, of course, exceptions. I got a copy of Skyrim for the PS3 for Christmas, and brought it home to find out I couldn't play it on our hacked PS3 (it requires a firmware update). So I pirated it for PC instead. Now I find that the PC version is superior any damned way (community mods FTW), and plan on buying a copy for the PC (collector's edition, if I can find it) when I get the chance.

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Corsair

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Re: "Why I pirate" - Extreme Tech Article
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2012, 02:55:26 pm »
Quote
I mostly pirate things for two reasons. One being the fact that the game-rental store is basically a thing of the past (in my area, we don't even have many DVD rental stores anymore), I don't want to have to pay $60 to get a game I don't like, then have no way to return it. If I really like something? I usually buy it, when I have the money. Which leads to number two. Now with no job, I'm a poor college student. Can't afford to buy all the things I want, so if I want something bad enough, I'll pirate it first.


This. I simply don't make enough cash to lose on impulse buys anymore. something like 90% of what I have pirated is stuff that you can't really buy retail, anyway, and I don't feel bad about pirating something from which the creators no longer profit.

Truthfully, I don't *feel* bad pirating stuff like new movies, games, music etc, but I dont' do it for the simple sake of being internally consistent.

Talbain

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Re: "Why I pirate" - Extreme Tech Article
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2012, 02:55:54 pm »
Yes, it is one of the great ironies that the people who "pirate" the most stuff are also some of the biggest spenders as well.  Prosecuting your most profitable audience does seem foolish.  Still, I have a hard time even qualifying intellectual property theft.  If I steal a piece of food, or a piece of electronics, I can understand that.  I can understand stealing something physical.  I can't understand how one "steals" an idea.  It seems very silly, but then, most current copyright law seems plain bonkers, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

I guess that's the reality of our government though.  How does one "understand" madness without becoming mad themselves?

danke

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Re: "Why I pirate" - Extreme Tech Article
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2012, 06:57:03 pm »
I tend to buy things that I pirate after pirating them, assuming I like them enough. Something about owning a physical copy of a DVD or a CD with boxart and a jewel case is appealing to me. Same with books (though I find it very hard to read ebooks on a PC).

The irony, however, is that I buy the movies/games/CDs from a second-hand store at a greatly reduced price. We have a local shop that's one of those trade-in deals, and most movies, new or old, or $5. I have a feeling that the producing companies don't see a single penny of that, and, if they could get away with it, would report that kind of stuff as piracy.


Why is downloading a movie/CD/game a horrible crime, but buying them used from Gamestop or Blockbuster A-OK? You'd think they'd be -more- against that than piracy since they not only lose a sale at full retail price, but the profit actually goes to a different company than their own.

SargeSmash

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Re: "Why I pirate" - Extreme Tech Article
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2012, 08:02:27 pm »
Perhaps because the original producer never gets any money period from a pirated game.  If it is sold at GameStop, at least that physical copy was sold new at one time.  It's physical media, so you've paid for the rights to do whatever you want with your copy of the game.

On top of that, often that money obtained from reselling it to GameStop gets used for more games, potentially new ones.  I'm not saying they're giving good prices, of course, but if someone is silly enough to sell it for that price, then more power to 'em.

Digital content is different, because instead of one physical copy, you can potentially have an unlimited number of copies from one master copy.  In the end, you don't actually own most digital content that you purchase, you've just purchased a license to use it.
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?  -- Mark 8:36

Talbain

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Re: "Why I pirate" - Extreme Tech Article
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2012, 12:11:34 am »
Digital content is different, because instead of one physical copy, you can potentially have an unlimited number of copies from one master copy.  In the end, you don't actually own most digital content that you purchase, you've just purchased a license to use it.
And this is the real problem.  Simple rewording could fix this though.  It's basically what Valve did with TF2 and they made a fortune through selling trinkets.  You can modify this code and you own a portion of it and we own a portion of it.  Everyone wins.  Most companies simply get aggravated at their competition (most of which is created lovingly) and try to sue them into oblivion, rather than bringing them into the fold and making them an asset.  Effectively, and ironically, most businesses are actually pretty bad at, well, business.

Hildebrande Glossop

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Re: "Why I pirate" - Extreme Tech Article
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2012, 12:14:25 am »
I was under the impression that the gaming industry views the rental and pre-owned markets as pretty much on the same level as piracy. If anything, it's more fiscally harmful, because while piracy usually requires a small amount of knowledge to acquire, there's a Gamestop on every corner around here. I'd love to see a comparison of new vs used sales, I'm guessing it would be pretty one-sided.

SargeSmash

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Re: "Why I pirate" - Extreme Tech Article
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2012, 11:18:36 am »
I think the view of most of these companies regarding used games is rather short-sighted.  Many people sell their old games that they'll never play again in order to buy new ones.  On top of this, if you have a vibrant used market for older games that are out of print, you have the opportunity to raise brand awareness, perhaps making the next entry in whatever series you're doing more popular, or helping people discover a developer that no one knew about initially.

This is the same kind of crap that Nintendo pulled with Blockbuster, honestly.  I don't want to see the day where I don't actually own anything.
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?  -- Mark 8:36

Talbain

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Re: "Why I pirate" - Extreme Tech Article
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2012, 12:57:22 pm »
And yet another reason why I'm inclined to pirate.  Just bought Sonic CD for the PC via Steam.  Doesn't work.  It should work.  It meets all the requirements to work.  But it doesn't.

This is the other problem.

SargeSmash

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Re: "Why I pirate" - Extreme Tech Article
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2012, 01:16:14 pm »
Just to play devil's advocate, PCs are such a smorgasbord of environments that there's no conceivable way to plan for every setup.  Chances are, even if you had pirated, it still wouldn't work on your rig.

What's it doing, by the way?  I don't have the PC version, actually.  Well...  I do, it's just the super-old release for PC that came out in the 90's.
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?  -- Mark 8:36

Talbain

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Re: "Why I pirate" - Extreme Tech Article
« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2012, 01:23:19 pm »
http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2493178

It's not starting.  Just... doesn't do anything.  Doesn't even give an error screen or anything.  What's really weird is that the process starts, but the game never does.

Just to play devil's advocate, PCs are such a smorgasbord of environments that there's no conceivable way to plan for every setup.  Chances are, even if you had pirated, it still wouldn't work on your rig.

What's it doing, by the way?  I don't have the PC version, actually.  Well...  I do, it's just the super-old release for PC that came out in the 90's.
This was true 10 or 20 years ago.  Now, not so much.  Graphics engines have standards, PCs follow pretty standard setups.  Guess I'll just have to play it in KEGA until SEGA fixes it (their PC games are kinda notorious for this).

SargeSmash

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Re: "Why I pirate" - Extreme Tech Article
« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2012, 01:40:32 pm »
Well, to some extent, yeah.  But I guess it's still possible to miss setups...  or have bugs slip in, which we're all aware of.  Hope they get that fixed up for you soon.
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?  -- Mark 8:36

Nec5

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Re: "Why I pirate" - Extreme Tech Article
« Reply #17 on: January 24, 2012, 04:44:54 pm »
This was true 10 or 20 years ago.
Man, don't mention all those driver hell memories.  Please.
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Re: "Why I pirate" - Extreme Tech Article
« Reply #18 on: January 25, 2012, 12:55:45 am »
So, this morning at work we were at work talking about "Megaupload and all other host servers get shutdown.. so were do we go now?" do you guys think we will be back to IRC ? P2P ? what now? we used Megaupload and Mediafire to send customized driverpacks, abandonware software, we do some IT work, and also we do cash machine asistance, but now we would have to completely change the way we work, and to be honest it's going to be a clusterfuck, unless Gmail increases the attachments size limit.

Would this be just a temporary thing?

KaioShin

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Re: "Why I pirate" - Extreme Tech Article
« Reply #19 on: January 25, 2012, 06:54:17 am »
Cloud storage, eg: Dropbox.

For legal file sharing that is. If you are refering to illegal file sharing, short term probably usenet. Mid-term something new will come up. P2P won't be it, because people are greedy fucks and don't want to share, they just want to grab stuff. They'll go back to FTP servers before P2P will have a revival.