Piracy: How would you stop it?

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Now plenty of people on the Escapist have made it clear that piracy is wrong.
But I now pose a new question to you:

How would you go about preventing piracy without having the majority of the internet want to track you down and slit your throat?

There's been plenty of stuff like SOPA and it's ilk, and even an attempt to impose a government on the virtual world, but does anyone here have any other ideas that would be less detrimental to the world?

As a CIA plant fellow Escapist and internet user, I'd like to hear your ideas.

Captcha: river styx - Fine that'll be plan B.

First, have the corporation stop being jackasses when us consumers pay for our product.

Second, the consumers should stop being jackasses 'cause they want something for free.

Third, ???????

Fourth, profit?

Yeah it all comes down to people being greedy/stingy jerks. That's one way to fix it as some people will always steal, despite having laws and society against it.

You can't stop it.

The best thing to do would be to decriminalize it, and implement a tax on it or something so the creators see some money from it.

I think it'd take a complete overhaul of the entire economy, really. Like, I dunno, scrap monetary economy and go back to trading a sack of potatoes for a pair of socks.

"We don't use money" doesn't have to mean "Everything is free" and all. But, well, that's not feasible on this planet I suppose.

Here's the deal. Data is a series of instructions to a computer. Until that changes piracy will never and can never be eliminated because of the very nature of computing. You can complain all you want. You can change as many things as you want. But unless you change the very nature of the thing your working with, being a computer. Piracy will always exist. Anyone who fights it, doesn't understand how it functions.

If I was running a gaming company? And my primary motivation was profit and defending the bottom line?

I'd probably go the same way the industry is going. FTP core game and then kill them on micro-transactions.

I'm of the school of thought that you really can't stop piracy. I mean we have laws against shoplifting, and we have had them a lot longer than laws against piracy, but it still happens and people still get away with it. Same with piracy. The only way to effectively reduce the numbers is to go all tyrannical on the Internet, and even then people will still determinedly find ways around every barrier you try to put up.

As for circumventing piracy and making sure as little as possible is pirated, I think the simplest thing that companies can do is give buying their product advantages that cannot be achieved by piracy. Unfortunately most companies have already tried to address this in the form of online passes and codes that expire and other such things that people in general hate, but I think Valve has the right idea. Have a single, simple form of DRM that requires next to nothing on the part of the customer to engage with, and make the system as user-friendly as possible. Also, make it worth their money. Give them sales and discounts like you get in retail so they have as much control over the product as possible. In other words, good customer service. Treat them better than the pirating service will.

Again, it won't prevent all piracy, but giving people as few reasons to pirate as possible has done well for Valve. It made them money in Russia, a country they were told to not bother with because piracy was so rampant.

As others have said, it's impossible to really stop piracy. People want stuff for free. Some of them know how to bypass pretty much any prevention meassure others can come up with given enough time. At least some of those people share that knowledge with the rest of the internet. So I'd really have to say some people should stop being assholes about pirating stuff. I don't neccessarily mean everyone who pirates with that. I'd rather people didn't pirate at all, but I know it's not the end of the known free world if it's done every now and then. I'm talking about the people who pirate everything they can, never pay for anything if they can help it, and even pirate stuff they don't end up using. Those people are the main problem in my opinion.

But at the same time I do think the publishers/producers should meet people half way. The first step is accepting that there will always be people who pirate your product. It's not something that can be stopped or prevented. Next, get rid of pretty much all DRM. It doesn't hurt pirates that much or make a lot more sales. It only really tends to cause the legitimate buyers problems. Thirdly, provide a sample of the work for people to see if they want to purchase it. This means people won't pirate things to 'see if they like it before buying it.' That's a point that could be taken as a legitment reason to a point, but it's also a reason people who just want the item for free can use as a defense. And finally, don't treat the customers like crap. Try to have good tech support, work with customers who paid, and even provide them with benefits for future products. Price reductions if you buy X number of games from them for future purchases (even if it's only a few dollars), free DLC, and similar rewards go a long way. It makes the customer feel like they're being rewarded for not pirating instead of being punished for being a legitimate customer.

Obedience collars to control the behavior of citizens. It wouldn't make anyone mad since being mad is against the rules and nobody breaks the rules (and lives).

Aside from that horrible big brother future, it's impossible since people are dicks and will do dick things. That's free will and you can't change it.

CpT_x_Killsteal:
Now plenty of people on the Escapist have made it clear that piracy is wrong.
But I now pose a new question to you:

How would you go about preventing piracy without having the majority of the internet want to track you down and slit your throat?

There's been plenty of stuff like SOPA and it's ilk, and even an attempt to impose a government on the virtual world, but does anyone here have any other ideas that would be less detrimental to the world?

As a CIA plant fellow Escapist and internet user, I'd like to hear your ideas.

Captcha: river styx - Fine that'll be plan B.

I know its moderator wrath to say anything remotely positive towards piracy so what I'll say is, when people think piracy they think of greasy monsters at keyboards collecting as many films, games and music as their desires want.

What they don't think about is, supposed educational licenses for
Microsoft office student that costs £100, when it used to come free with new computers anyway.
Industrial packages that purposely do not include backwards compatibility so you have to pay for the previous package.
Educational industry packages that cost £1000's for each license to the extent you get university's having to share 20 licenses between a course of a 100. (commonly from company's who develop software needed by the industry so they receive tax breaks.)
So your a student who has paid £1000's for an education, there is no feasible way you can afford the software, its totally beyond your means. You either stay the strait and narrow and receive a 2nd rate degree due to many industry's reliance on electronic aids, or source it through questionable methods. Its not a good thing, but you would have to be pretty cold to fail to sympathize.

In relation to music, games & films. Admittedly there are no doubt people who do it because they can, simple as. But I know I myself as a consumer I do not feel valued, I often feel I don't get value for money.

I would say 50% of the films I pay to see at the cinema turn out to be total **** due to advertising that does a surprising job of showing things in a good light. The other reason that its quite hard to get a reliable review. Most reviewers fall into 2 categories, influenced by who sponsors their site/mag/etc or is a crap reviewer who fills it with total personal opinion and does not even attempt to look it objectively in in context of its genre.

Dvd's normally get a lot better percentage of quality, as more reviews will be out, + general public opinion. Can't really complain.

games for me are commonly one of the biggest industry's where I feel my money is basically robbed from me. Never ever have I bought a product where I would say so many reviews are "owned" by developers of consoles. You only have to read a blog of anybody who's worked for xbox Microsoft to hear how much they are told never to slag off things like kinect. Theres release date dlc, having to pay for access to online games, when you've paid for an online subscription and the game already. pumping out the same game every single year with a slightly different story line and stopping support for it, because unfortunately there's so many rubes they will buy the new one every single year, leaving the game servers barren and with out extra content evera gain. its not acceptable to release a game that's half oriented to online play, release it with 6 odd maps, instantly release dlc and keep doing so until you have no choice to purchase, if you ever want to get in a game, and then releasing the new game 12 months after release.

So I can totally sympathize, these industry's especially the games industry encourages it, by allot of them not caring about their consumers, why should consumers that feel like cash points care about the profits of a company that has no qualms taking hard earned cash for a sub par product and doing everything they can for more.

Stop releasing material that's crap what ever medium it is, then misleading customers.
Stop doing things that were originally designed to continue the life time of a game like dlc to pump your customers for more money.
Stop making minimal changes to a game because you release it ever single year.

Won't stop piracy by any means, will cut it though and reward loyal customers.

BloatedGuppy:

I'd probably go the same way the industry is going. FTP core game and then kill them on micro-transactions.

I hope it doesn't totally go that way, I've stopped playing some games, because wheres the satisfaction in leveling up, competing missions for rewards etc, when someone else is just paying for xp packs or weapons etc.

Piracy is only wrong if you use it wrong.

Unfortunately that applies to a lot, if not most, people who do it

Employing the British Navy seems like a good move from a historical point of view.

AnarchistFish:
Piracy is only wrong if you use it wrong.

Unfortunately that applies to a lot, if not most, people who do it

Good comment and cute avatar (who is that?) :)

Anyway, OT: stop piracy? Why sir, you must be joking. Anything short of making everything permutations of play 4 free (which would include some sort of analogue in movies, music, etc) is not going to actually work.

If you're looking to reduce piracy, then we can talk.

DoPo:

AnarchistFish:
Piracy is only wrong if you use it wrong.

Unfortunately that applies to a lot, if not most, people who do it

Good comment and cute avatar (who is that?) :)

Anyway, OT: stop piracy? Why sir, you must be joking. Anything short of making everything permutations of play 4 free (which would include some sort of analogue in movies, music, etc) is not going to actually work.

If you're looking to reduce piracy, then we can talk.

That's Mélanie Laurent. So many people ask me that, although you're the first person to do so on this particular site

Quaxar:
Employing the British Navy seems like a good move from a historical point of view.

I agree entirely. The British navy would solve most major world problems, if only people bothered to ask.

OT: Destroying the internet would be a good first step. And then systematically working backwards until no technology existed anymore.

The same way King Canute stopped the tide coming in.

Nah, seriously, you can't stop it. Piracy satisfies that most basic of human desires - something for nothing - and there's literally no way to counter that. You can reduce it with better price management (who's going to pay £12 for a CD when you can download it and burn a copy yourself for pence?), and Diablo 3's model - as heinous as it is - seems to be working so far; but all-out stopping? Forget it.

Captcha: easy-peasy. Yeah, right.

Treat customers as customers not thieves, a customer treated nicely is likely to come back, which means repeat business in the future. Just ignore the pirates, you cannot fight them why waste money trying to?

Essentially I do this;

I have product I'd like to sell.
Customers wishes to purchase said product.
Money is exchanged.
I and the customer have no further dealings on said product.
I also saved on overheads of not paying for a frankly useless piracy deterrent that has always been subverted in the past.

I don't know, maybe any recording device or software have a hidden self destruct virus that will self destruct when its recording anything that ain't suppose to be recorded (to seperate stuff like home videos). Also no, this can't be removed at all.
Don't asked me how that will be possible, you asked me how, not a demostration.

I wouldn't

Too much work.

Step 1 unplug the internet.
Step 2 uninvent electricity
Step 3 giggle
Step 4 no more pirates... well of media anyway

So easy I am surprised none of you posted it. Otherwise just try to be more consumer friendly and recognize demos as a risk but a positive as long as your game is not complete crap. As a consumer it is hard to find reviewers that I agree with on all types of games and demos would make my life easier.

i never really understood why dongles went out of fashion as an idea.

you could legitimately pass them on with a game too and that way it doesn't affect and attempt to criminalise the second hand market (they could be easily mounted in the case like the memory cards of old).

nowadays we perhaps even have the perfect interface for it in the form of usb. small usb items cost next to nothing to mass produce.

while we're at do away with regional lockouts on games. its kinda dumb to put millions into a game and only sell it to some gamers in todays economic climate.

If no property belongs to anyone whatsoever, then piracy can not exist.

You'll never eradicate it completely, but to lower it as much is it is ever going to go content creators have to make their content more convenient to buy than to torrent. For example, people would pirate games a lot more if services like Steam didn't exist.

Games on Steam are cheap, they're convenient (just download them, and you get a lot from the service other than just the ability to play games.

If content creators followed this model, and made their content worth buying, people will buy it. I'm not saying that if someone doesn't follow this model it's okay to pirate their stuff, quite the opposite. I'm just pointing out one way to make piracy rates go down.

Some sort of technological tracking bugs that follow the pirated something or others.

Then use assassins, deadly overt assassins, who would leave an insignia or possibly a note stating that the cruel and unusual murder was the result of piracy. Pfft, they don't even have eyepatches anymore. wimps.

If they made convinient distrubution methods, DRM free, at affordable prices; I think this would go a long way.
Steam did this mainly (though it's DRM) and Valve is rolling in cash.

If I could simply go to a website, type in a movie name, and buy a 1080p copy for $2 - $3 I promise you I will have spent $100 by the end of the night. Of course, under the assumption there is no DRM so I can play it on any device I want, and that I can re-download said movie as many times as I desire.

I also think music albums are hilariously expensive. I'm a hobbyist musician, I know making a great song takes a lot of work (I know because I've put a ton of work into absolutely shit songs :P). But at the end of the day, asking someone to pay $1 for a 3 - 5 minute track of music is just a lot of money, IMO. A few dollars an album seems more in line with expectations now-a-days.

Simply put, the perceived value of media is massively decreasing. Even if, say, you own a netflix account for the $10 a month or whatever it is; you're going to completely balk at a $30 blu-ray. You can steam a massive collection of movies, in HD, for 3 months at the price of one blu-ray. It's just so completely unappealing. This doesn't even go into the prices of anime: The whole season of Mahou Shojo Madoka Magica costs $200 on blu-ray... it's 12 episodes long; that's $16.67 an episode.

CpT_x_Killsteal:
Now plenty of people on the Escapist have made it clear that piracy is wrong.
But I now pose a new question to you:

How would you go about preventing piracy without having the majority of the internet want to track you down and slit your throat?

There's been plenty of stuff like SOPA and it's ilk, and even an attempt to impose a government on the virtual world, but does anyone here have any other ideas that would be less detrimental to the world?

As a CIA plant fellow Escapist and internet user, I'd like to hear your ideas.

Captcha: river styx - Fine that'll be plan B.

Close off the unfairness in the current system that promotes piracy/makes it viable

As it stands people who create mass media have a monopoly over their distribution through the patents. this lead to some obscene price gouging like charging 10 bucks for an 80mb album that had a unit cost of around 15 cents. same happens with movies and games, all the things that suffer from piracy.

So i would change the patent laws covering mass media giving the creator monopoly powers for the first period of time , say a month , this is there because there is production costs and once that expires anyone is allowed to distribute that media for any price but they have to kick back a percentage to the patent owner.

basically i would allow supply and demand and market forces settle on a price rather than keeping these old loopholes allowing monopolies to price gouge then whine when people do what they are encouraged to do.

See valves business practice for good ways to deal with pirates. offer a better service at a competitive price!

6 month Prison sentences for anyone who tries to hack information, pirate media or steal anything digitally.

6 month prison sentence and a 2 year computer/internet access ban for anyone found making any kind of malicious virus.

I don't care if it seems harsh I just cant stand scrawny little twerps stealing from people via the internet. I'd like to see them try to steal something without the aid of a keyboard.

Shoot a satellite into space that emits a constant stream of Don't Be A Greedy Asshole rays all over the planet.

Problem solved on all ends.

EDIT: I should probably clarify that by "all ends" I mean "yes the publishers and distributors are also not handling it the way they probably should". But that still doesn't excuse pirates from also being greedy assholes.

The Lunatic:
Act in a way that actually encourages consumers to buy your products.

You mean like making and distributing those products in the first place? Or does that not matter anymore?

Act in a way that actually encourages consumers to buy your products.

It's simple, we kill the Batman Pirates.

All piracy can't be stopped. But... provide good service & solve poverty.

Step 1) Treat customers with respect (no DRM, it'll be cracked anyway and the only people to suffer would be the none pirates, stop generally treating them like criminals in general)
Step 2) Sell at decent prices (embrace technology and the insane cost reduction that comes with using the internet. It's going up there in hours anyway, so do it on your own terms). Make it convenient.
Step 3) LISTEN to your customers. They're the ones whose money you want.
Step 4) Make money hand over fist. It's hard to care too much about what piracy DOES go on when you're building your newest mansion out of fandom love and ludicrous sums of money.

Basically, do what Steam does (well, with SOME DRM, but nonetheless very good).

CAPTCHA: Hunky dory. Why yes, Captcha, it is.

You can't stop it. All DRM does is make it more difficult for it to be initially broken and hamper those that don't pirate. In order to compete with the pirates, you must offer a service better than the pirates. Most people who pirate do so for fairly trivial matters, such as ease of use. Respect those who buy from you and give them a reason to keep buying from you.

Piracy can't be stopped. So I would not try to stop it.

As for working around it... well. I honestly don't have any ideas off the top of my head. I think I had a really good idea a while back, but I can't remember it.

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