View from the Road: When I Was a Pirate

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Alterego-X:

RMcD94:

xunjez:

A) I steal because I deserve this yet I can't afford it.
B) I commit a victimless crime, the copies are endless and I don't sell it.
C) I steal because I would have never have purchased the product anyway.
D) I steal with the intent to judge the product's worth and if I find it acceptable I will pay full value.
E) I steal to prove a point, I steal to hurt large companies with policies I find unacceptable.

F) I steal because I don't a damn about other people and their morals. ie, if I could steal a car and get away with it, I would.

I think a lot of people are F. If I didn't like arguing then I'd go with F, but it's boring.

C doesn't have a victim. B does if he would have bought it without the option to pirate.

In the end all pirates must fall on the fight that they hurt no one.

No they don't.

There would just be no games

Do you know how many free games there are?

G) I believe that the traditional concept of copyright is outdated, and creators should move on to find other sources of income.

I'm not a moral relativist, I believe that piracy is right and copyright is wrong.
I don't care if I hurt the industry, because I want to see it destroyed.

I think both of those reasons are totally spot on as well. i think F applies to the concept of theft in general because it is not a rationalization that it is OK in anyway. It is simply "I steal and I admit it". Where G is something I hadn't thought of, that some people do this with the intent to show that they take knowing it hurts the industry and do it because they want a total overhaul of the system. I do still stand by the idea that there would be far less self-justification out there if pirates didn't have the idea of victimless crime to fall on though. You would just have the F option like you do in every other aspect of society when it comes to stealing.
And of course I know about free games. I'm talking about games that are pirated, games you would normally have to pay for. My point of the post was that the whole world can't be China and there still be a game industry. I know some nice people might still give things away.

DuX1112:
The truth is, piracy DOESN'T HURT big business. If it did, we'd have seen EA and Ubi go down the drain a looong, long time ago.

It may hurt small indie publishers, but then again, everyone should be both self-aware and aware of the general sentiment toward games, and not pump product prices.

The idea that John Funk suggested is a pure win. (The $8 budget video game). At least it would be here, in Macedonia (where I'm from). ANYONE would buy games if the pricing was appropriate! Just last week, a stroke of luck: I ran into a newspaper store and was pleasantly surprised when I saw original, budget versions of videogames, but priced 200 denars (~$5). Heck, the games are old, not blockbusters, but I felt like I wanted to buy the whole store!

Ultimately, I purchased Hearts of Iron 2 and Darkstar One (isn't that a surprise, eh?), for a total of 400 denars (= $10!). I was so happy that I bought Darkstar One for my friend and gave it to her, since I have already pirated (i.e. downloaded it when someone SHARED IT on the net via torrent). Boy she was beaming she got an original copy of a game! (Yes, people here just rarely, rarely buy an original copy. Even if they're rich, they don't buy any, because for the price of a single game, one can buy decent shoes, can spend a whole weekend having a trip out of town, eating, drinking and partying, etc. We just can't afford it.)

Also, I caught a glimpse of a Fallout Collector's Edition in the store. $5, and I get Fallout 1, Fallout 2, Fallout: Tactics, etc. I don't get F3, but heck, I've already 'acquired' that one. Didn't finish it. And I'd personally punch myself in my face if I ever paid all that money for all the games I "acquired" and didn't finish later because I didn't like them. My condolences for all the people who DID pay and felt cheated by the companies' marketing strategy.

Anyways, back to the topic, my message is: provide CHEAPER versions of games. Please. That's the only remedy against piracy. Sure, maybe the pirates would sell them even cheaper, but a pirated copy doesn't grant you online access, registration, bonuses... whereas an original title, albeit a cheap, stripped down, budget - WILL. And people will gladly pay an extra dollar to have all that advantage!

Also, they can region-code them, to prevent people smuggling cheaper versions to richer countries. Or, they can scale their offers: 1) $10 - just the disc; 2) $20 - the disc in a box, + manual; 3) $50 - the disc, a luxury box, a larger manual and some paraphernalia. And everyone can choose which version he/she wants and can afford. Plus, language localization would go a long way to deter smuggling localized games to third countries.

If big game publishers and developers would sell their products at appropriate prices in mycountry - they'll get RICH, famous and successful. BUT, since they're not doing anything to please our market, they get NOTHING. And people play their games, nonetheless. And will continue to do so. Without the publishers getting a cent. And I like the fact how their arrogance costs them money. Serves them right.

And it's not stealing, stop being ignorant. It's more like sharing a COPY you made of something, and giving it to your friends, family, neighborhood, city, country, world - for free. And my guess is that it's doing the game industry much more good, than bad (we actually market their games on their new, unconquered markets. And we take the advantage of having their products free of charge for granted. We'll gladly pay back any game's worth (half a monthly salary) if they bought us the games we market for them in the first place, hehe.) :D

Western World: play by your rules, buy your games (you can afford them), have fun, and carry on. We'll pay what we can afford (which is much less than you can). Or we won't but we'll still have fun. We have our own reality, and our own rules and laws. Be polite and respectful, refrain from imposing foreign rules to us.

Now let us all forget this and have fun, shall we?

Agreed agreed agreed. I'm not from Macedonia but I'm nearby. And all the gamers I've ever met are pirates. Curiously, the trend started to change MASSIVELY in the last few years, mostly with MMOs and Steam. It's actually getting easier being a customer.

However, I understand entire economies being pirates when they aren't even on the publisher's radar. The games are practically abandonware for them, and if they get released, it's usually at an inflated price.

A game costs $90-100+ where I live, and practically everything I buy at that price will have a test period, possibility of return or reimbursement, a guarantee, ANYTHING. How is a game NOT a piece of expensive technical merchandise ? But spending half a monthly wage on something that's basically worthless if it breaks or doesn't function on your system, when it's actually CHEAPER for wealthier countries is... It's just mind-boggling. It's not a level of consumer rights we can accept, and it simply cannot make a customer out of me. It didn't, and I buy games barely a few times a year, on discount, contributing almost nothing to the industry. I don't currently pirate because hardware is similarly expensive, but at least affordable since it's localized. I still spend on them a chunk of my income that would label me a "hardcore gamer" in the West, but instead I get a few bargain-bin titles.

Apply this to Eastern Europe, all of Asia except Japan, Africa and South America. Thank God for fucking Steam. I hope every other model of distribution dies as quickly as possible.

Seneschal:

DuX1112:
*SNIP*

Agreed agreed agreed. I'm not from Macedonia but I'm nearby. And all the gamers I've ever met are pirates. Curiously, the trend started to change MASSIVELY in the last few years, mostly with MMOs and Steam. It's actually getting easier being a customer.

However, I understand entire economies being pirates when they aren't even on the publisher's radar. The games are practically abandonware for them, and if they get released, it's usually at an inflated price.

A game costs $90-100+ where I live, and practically everything I buy at that price will have a test period, possibility of return or reimbursement, a guarantee, ANYTHING. How is a game NOT a piece of expensive technical merchandise ? But spending half a monthly wage on something that's basically worthless if it breaks or doesn't function on your system, when it's actually CHEAPER for wealthier countries is... It's just mind-boggling. It's not a level of consumer rights we can accept, and it simply cannot make a customer out of me. It didn't, and I buy games barely a few times a year, on discount, contributing almost nothing to the industry. I don't currently pirate because hardware is similarly expensive, but at least affordable since it's localized. I still spend on them a chunk of my income that would label me a "hardcore gamer" in the West, but instead I get a few bargain-bin titles.

Apply this to Eastern Europe, all of Asia except Japan, Africa and South America. Thank God for fucking Steam. I hope every other model of distribution dies as quickly as possible.

"Agreed agreed agreed" also. :)

Anyways, even before I checked your profile I knew you're a Croat. Not the first (supportive) Croat I met here too. :) I have lots of respect for you guys, I've spent almost all of my time and high-school and half on college reading Croatian gaming magazines like Hacker and PC Play... I enjoyed them immensely. Golden times.

Anyways, yes, games cost $90, $100, even more here too. It's absurdly funny how anyone can expect for a Macedonian or a Croat (or any other person in our situation) to buy a game that costs half of his salary. I mean, the situation is so comical that is almost Python-esque, or even Pratchett-like. :D It's... crazy.

Well, peace to you brother, and welcome to the club! :)

DuX1112:
snip

YES! Finally, some people from the Balkans who understand how buggered the economy is around here!

The_Prophet:

DuX1112:
snip

YES! Finally, some people from the Balkans who understand how buggered the economy is around here!

Oh, another friend! :D And am I glad to see some local folks here!

Welcome! =)

Very good article, I read it all the way through with utter fascination.

And just one thing.....
Some people claim that Pirates pirate because they are too poor to afford the games themselves, but wouldn't the cost of getting the equipment to pirate equal the cost of a game?

I don't know much about pirating.
The only thing I've ever managed to pirate was a demo of "Plants Vs. Zombies".

Yea. A demo.

"The other major hangup, of course, is price. If a publisher tries to sell its games in developing nations at the same price as it does in the rest of the world, it will fail - period, full stop, no questions asked. In a country where I could get a good, hearty dinner for 10 RMB (about $1.46), $60 (or ~410 RMB) goes a lot further than it does here. People simply can't afford those prices unless they're in the very highest income levels. "

Thank you! It is finally said by the escapists writers.

/sigh

Tho I can already see a 10000 word rant by Shamus Young how pirates "don't deserve" to play games or something.

SCREW YOU, AND EVERYONE WHO THINK THAT WAY. If I wanted to buy a game in lithuania (and this isn't even on release days or anything) it would cost me nearly 1/5th of my monthly income.

/sigh again. God, every time piracy is mentioned I get put on probation...

TsunamiWombat:

Voltano:

John Funk:
You are taking something that someone spent time and money on, for free, when they have the right to receive money for their hard work.

I'd have to disagree with that a pirate is actually "taking" the game from the developers. If I "took" the game I'd have to get in their office, take the hard-drive/media containing the actual game, and then claim it as my own. A person could spend time and money to make a car that could get stolen, but anything that is digital these days are so easy to copy that implying the words "stolen" or "taking" confuses me. Trying to steal something that is abundant/easy to copy is like a person claiming they are stealing air or water, in my opinion.

However I do agree that because software is easy to copy that it is becoming an issue for developers, especially with China, and it should be something that has to be resolved. I think the problem is most people tend to think anything digital is an exclusive item--an economic term where an item is denied to consumers unless they pay for it. Obviously that is not true in China as you pointed out in your experience there. Offering other services with the product as you pointed out is a good work-around, though I don't know why they limit this just to multiplayer services. What if they sold add-ons to those games? Like more items/enemies or tutorials on how to make independent games from that game, similar to the editor for "Dragon Age"?

Even if you go back and buy it later (because WAHHH SOMETIMES I BUY THE GAMES I PIRATE), your cocking up their profit margin which affects wether or not a great game gets a sequel

Explain further

The Austin:

And just one thing.....
Some people claim that Pirates pirate because they are too poor to afford the games themselves, but wouldn't the cost of getting the equipment to pirate equal the cost of a game?

Well, the only equipment you'd need is a working PC and a blank CD/DVD, you know that, right? I sure know it. :)

The Austin:
Very good article, I read it all the way through with utter fascination.

And just one thing.....
Some people claim that Pirates pirate because they are too poor to afford the games themselves, but wouldn't the cost of getting the equipment to pirate equal the cost of a game?

I don't know much about pirating.
The only thing I've ever managed to pirate was a demo of "Plants Vs. Zombies".

Yea. A demo.

All you need to pirate is a computer and an internet connection.

How you were lead to believe you needed all sorts of costly equipment confuses me

DuX1112:

The Austin:

And just one thing.....
Some people claim that Pirates pirate because they are too poor to afford the games themselves, but wouldn't the cost of getting the equipment to pirate equal the cost of a game?

Well, the only equipment you'd need is a working PC and a blank CD/DVD, you know that, right? I sure know it. :)

STOP INFLATING THE PRICE! The CD/DVD is completely optional if you just want to play it at the computer you download from

I also live in a country in which piracy is a norm.

When i was young and foolish i was a big time pirate, I'm not a jerk who want free stuffs it's just that i don't have enough money to buy those expensive games,back then,my allowance was less than a dollar per day, and The law forbid me from doing any part time jobs until i was 18, so saving money to buy a game was like building the Great wall of China.

But when i was old enough to do part time jobs,saving money for games were a lot easier, and the first Legit copy of game i bought was Half-Life,years after its release date.

I stop being pirate ever since.

now almost every games i have are legit copies,well, except Manhunt 1 and 2, Fallout 3, and GTA4 since those are banned in my country.

The issue at hand in these countries can also be cultural, not just economic. There are places that have very different views on intellectual property, and their laws (or lack thereof) regarding it reinforce their particular view.

But all of this--the cultural and economic differences--can only be taken for what they actually are: An explanation for WHY piracy exists. It doesn't change the nature of piracy, nor the morality of it. The fact is, if someone makes an item and offers it at a certain price and you can't afford that item, you're not entitled to have it. If they make an item and won't sell it where you live, you're still not entitled to have it. So, you either do without it OR you're a thief.

If I steal to feed my starving children, I'm a thief. I may be the world's most UNDERSTANDABLE thief, but I'm a thief, nonetheless. What about the people I'm stealing from? How do I know that now THEIR children aren't starving now that people like me have stolen from them?

But beyond this, I understand how it can be even LESS cost effective for developers/publishers to crack down on piracy in these situations... but I can also see how sometimes, the problem bleeds BACK across borders. If someone in China creates/cracks a pirated version of some game and it stays in China, that's one thing... but if it is posted to the internet, and is now accessible by everyone else, the problem is possibly worth squashing, no?

Typical anti-pirate tirade with typical pirate responses.
At least the article was informative, even if the ensuing discussion was so predictable that I could have synchronized a metronome to it.

Pirates don't want to pay. That's why they were given a term that was commonly associated with crime and theft (even though it technically isn't theft since nothing tangible disappears...but it's still the loss of a sale.)

You know what? I'm in college right now, living on bare-minimum sustenance. I drive to classes every day from my relative's because I cannot afford the dorms. I cannot find employment anywhere near me nor that shithole of a city.
And *I* still pay for my games.

I don't buy any more than maybe 1 or 2 every three months, but I still pay for them.

That was deep.

John Funk:

RMcD94:

You aren't entitled to get something for free just because you want to.

If it isn't to the detriment of anyone else then why not?

I am of course assuming they wouldn't buy the game in the first place. I know no one who would have bought it but pirates it instead.

Because it is. You are taking something that someone spent time and money on, for free, when they have the right to receive money for their hard work.

That's a bullshit excuse that people use because they feel entitled to get things that cost money for free.

Its actually an excuse that is built-in to Western psyche, if something is to be wrong it must be based on a harm principle of some kind.
You are trying to use the argument "stealing is wrong" when you mean to say "stealing ought to be wrong" but if we focus on harm it causes then it is not wrong in every case. In this case, pirating is harmless stealing ("they lack money" and "they lack access" is an equivalent argument) and so it is logically ok, even if it appears like it ought to be wrong on another moral standard (such as religious conviction or "rights" whatever they may include, everyone seems to add to the list what they want).
However, and the stronger argument, if you take without paying and he takes without paying and he takes, pretty soon no one finds reason to pay because it is the norm and the industry suffers. Such is the case in China
Yet, as you point out, that does not change the fact that people who "legitimately pirate" (if we can call it that) are still not in the wrong, and this fits with the harm principle. If people who have the money/access choose to pirate because the first group made it common, they are still the real thieves and not the first group.
As I am not in the first group, this is irrelevant for me which is important as I fear someone will just say something along the lines of "you are rationalizing your own bad behaviour".

On a different note, let me ask you an hypothetical question: I live in Canada and I want to play a game that is Japanese and is not going to be sold here. Am I allowed to pirate that game and use fan translation patch?
I'm just trying to understand your position on when its ok and when its a sin to pirate, it seems more confused and nuanced rather than the "this is obvious!" responses you give.

I hope I made sense, I find myself confusing my grammar/structure when I write this long.

Atmos Duality:
Typical anti-pirate tirade with typical pirate responses.
At least the article was informative, even if the ensuing discussion was so predictable that I could have synchronized a metronome to it.

Pirates don't want to pay. That's why they were given a term that was commonly associated with crime and theft (even though it technically isn't theft since nothing tangible disappears...but it's still the loss of a sale.)

You know what? I'm in college right now, living on bare-minimum sustenance. I drive to classes every day from my relative's because I cannot afford the dorms. I cannot find employment anywhere near me nor that shithole of a city.
And *I* still pay for my games.

I don't buy any more than maybe 1 or 2 every three months, but I still pay for them.

You do know that during the time the economic crysis had the biggest effect, half the country was balancing between starvation and actual living? Myself especially included. How can you expect us to pay for a game which costs one half of our low income?
I don't buy any more than maybe 1 or 2 every year.

The_Prophet:

You do know that during the time the economic crysis had the biggest effect, half the country was balancing between starvation and actual living? Myself especially included.

Your point here being?

Look, if it comes down to personal survival (in a privileged country), I don't think gaming should really be anywhere on the list of priorities, let alone discussion.

Then again, this is entering the usual "Ends justify the means."

I'm sorry, but even as much as I love gaming, I recognize it strictly as a luxury.

Atmos Duality:

The_Prophet:

You do know that during the time the economic crysis had the biggest effect, half the country was balancing between starvation and actual living? Myself especially included.

Your point here being?

Look, if it comes down to personal survival (in a privileged country), I don't think gaming should really be anywhere on the list of priorities, let alone discussion.

I just wanted to explain how effed the economy is here. Anyway, you read the PM, I really shouldn't argue things this early. Well played.

*facepalms*

Look, kids, it's entertainment. This is not something anyone *needs*. You NEED a bag of bread to live on. You NEED a place to live. This is why I could understand someone swiping a loaf or breaking into an abandoned flat for shelter. Those are called "extenuating circumstances".

If you're sneaking into a movie theatre, hopping the fence to get into a theme park, busting someone's car window for a joyride, or pirating games, you're doing it for fun.

So feck off with all the self-justification crap. I pirated when I was a kid, I did it for the exact same reasons, but I didn't bullshit anyone about it either. I wasn't OWED this. I wasn't JUSTIFIED. I didn't RATIONALIZE.

Pirates exist because everyone loves getting something for nothing. And right up to the point that something actually negative happens to them, it continues to be a no-price, no-consequence affair.

You know why I stopped being a pirate? Because half the pirates out there are script kiddies who love using the same circles to distribute their favorite viruses. For the lulz, y'know? You sleep with the filth, you get their diseases. The effort I ended up putting into trying to hunt down "legit" (ha ha) cracks of a given game EXCEEDED THE TIME NEEDED TO GET A DAMN JOB AND BUY THE THING.

When I was on unemployment, I could still budget for my favorite games. Don't give me crap about how poor you are or how horribly fascist the companies are for wanting to actually get PAID for THEIR work.

I appreciate this article. I really didn't know it was that bad in China.

ionveau:

Yes the teen living the perfect life, living in a house in a rich area with no crime, with a mom and dad with high income jobs, he/she can have any game console he wants a wii PS3 xbox anything, His mom and dad even buy him collectors editions for his birthday so he can have the little toy or the art book that come with it, Yes life is good why would he need to pirate right?

Or lets talk about his counterpart

Lets talk about Teen B, B lives with one of his parents, his mom after his dad lift them, his mother works all day at a restaurant, Teen B cant go out side because the area he lives in is known for crime, The only entertainment he has is his computer.

Overall i agree that pricey is bad, No its not bad because its stealing no. Its wrong because it distroys the social higharcy, You see a person without money should not be happy with his life, or should not be entertained, there should always be a struggle to be better, by having people just take what they want we are one step closer to everything being free,

You see people say that the poor play a key role in society, they are there so we work hard or study hard to not be where they are, now that a person with not so much money can own the whole library of adobe CS5, the whole fear is starting to leave people.

Someone did sociology 101? I was kid B. I didn't and still don't pirate games. I grew up in the bad neighborhood with little money, had friends die from heroin overdoses etc. I saw games christmas and birthdays, the games were well researched before buying and were played to death. I was still happy, games don't equal happyness. I spent a lot of time with friends, doing sports and thankfully stayed out of trouble.

I've worked hard and now have a good job. I work in criminal justice with offenders and I've heard this class bullshit too often. "You don't know what it's like to be poor, from a bad neighborhood with drugs everywhere". "I had to, I couldn't afford it any other way". I even had some clown compare himself to Robin Hood. Every other offender tries these lines with me.

It is about many offenders (like many pirates) are self centred and don't care how their actions affect others. They want their satisfaction, right now, and don't mind that it affects other people. "He's rich and probably has insurance so he's not lost out" comes up a lot. To sum it up they are selfish, selfcentred if you will. They want something for free, the root cause of piracy. The nerd who wants the satisfaction of cracking the drm like some sort of rubbicks cube is the minority. Even he is doing it because he's selfish.

With piracy you are affecting code monkeys who need sales to feed their families. You just don't care as long as you are satisfied. "I'd buy it if I could afford it" (the root of your class argument) is just a smoke screen to justify it to yourself. If everyone pirated they would all be out of jobs and we'd be back to lone kids in bedrooms developing small games. See, the 80s weren't all bad.

You need to justify your actions in your own mind no matter what. You can always find a reason why you did something even if its as flimsy as "I would not have buggered that chicken, but I was drunk". You should hear some of the justification I've heard from sex offenders. its not pleasant listening.

Back to your argument, the poor are needed in society so that you can get your burger served to you, your streets cleaned and to buy products/services to keep people in work.

Your argument that they have a right to be happy/entertained holds some weight but it does not mean free videogames. There are plenty of other ways to be happy and entertained, martial arts worked for me. I liked how you said the computer was B's "only entertainment". Really?. It's the same way you don't get to fly for free just because they haven't filled all of the seats on a plane.

There are lots of injustices in this world, kid B having to pay for his games isn't one of them. Start looking at the standard of his education, healthcare etc. instead. Being able to take what you want isn't freedom. Anarchy is not all it's cracked up to be.

I have more understanding with the Chinese, you cannot buy a legit copy in your stores, the only other option is to import a copy in a language you don't understand. You could play SFIV in another language but can you imagine navigating the menus? And that is on of the more import friendly titles.

maxben:
Its actually an excuse that is built-in to Western psyche, if something is to be wrong it must be based on a harm principle of some kind.
You are trying to use the argument "stealing is wrong" when you mean to say "stealing ought to be wrong" but if we focus on harm it causes then it is not wrong in every case.

Nice use of "Intro to Ethics," but you're not seeing the idea through to conclusion--or rather taking it far enough back to the source.

Piracy is considered "wrong" not because of the 'harm principle,' but because of the 'ownership principle.' You're coming at it from the wrong end. Some things are wrong because they cause harm to others, true. Other things are wrong because they violate an established right--whether or not the end result directly leads to perceivable harm.

In this case, the person who created the game owns the game. The idea, the software, they OWN it. They caused it to exist, and so it belongs to them. Whether a pirated copy results in a loss of revenue is ancillary--it's ALREADY wrong because it is taking ownership without permission.

BUT TO GO FURTHER: Many of these "legitimate pirates" you're talking about then turn around and SELL these pirated copies at a profit. At that point, it's beyond the old "it was just so I could get access to this game in my third-world pit!" Now they are using the stolen property for personal gain without permission, so they lose any hope of the moral "high ground" you seem to be attributing to them. And still, this is unrelated to whether or not there is revenue lost on the publisher's part.

BUT TO GO YET FURTHER: Now pirated copies are in existence. Perhaps they were created by a guy in Madagascar so he and his buddies could play it, and no sales were lost (thus no "harm" done)... but now it's out there. And then it hits the internet. So now this pirated copy is accessible to ANYONE, ANYWHERE--including places where they could instead buy the game. Harm done.

ionveau:

...

Lets talk about Teen B, B lives with one of his parents, his mom after his dad lift them, his mother works all day at a restaurant, Teen B cant go out side because the area he lives in is known for crime, The only entertainment he has is his computer.

Overall i agree that pricey is bad, No its not bad because its stealing no. Its wrong because it distroys the social higharcy, You see a person without money should not be happy with his life, or should not be entertained, there should always be a struggle to be better, by having people just take what they want we are one step closer to everything being free,
...

However "understandable" a crime is, it's still a crime. However "reasonable" stealing can seem in a situation, it's still stealing.

You spew this garbage about the "social heirarchy," and how the non-poor just don't want the poor enjoying himself. You're working this one backwards.

The whole reason Teen B is pirating, and people like you are defending him, is the brainwashing of our consumer-based culture that TELLS him he needs this game to be entertained. To hell with the THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF YEARS that mankind has gone on without video games, no, he NEEDS this. It's his ONLY hope.

By stealing it, he's surrendering his mind to the very machine that CREATES the social heirarchy in which he is trapped. No, I'm not talking about "evil capitalism," but rampant consumerism--the idea that we need STUFF to be happy, healthy people. It's what the rich use to keep the middle class in an irresponsible cycle of debt so they can live off the interest, and it's also exactly what will keep Teen B stuck exactly where he is.

So, you talk like he's fighting against that heirarchy... when really, he's feeding himself to it.

Atmos Duality:

Pirates don't want to pay.

Depends on what you think a pirate is. If that's me who plays pirated games, then the answer is "You're WRONG." If you read any of my posts, you'd have understood that I WOULD (and several times did) BUY original games. People where piracy is the norm agree on this. However, the games I bought were budget versions (~$5 each). Old games, etc. I can't afford a $100 Ass' Creed 2 - I earn $250 a month.

I've also stated that if games in my country would sell at an appropriate price to our economy, I WILL buy games. The way it is, I won't. I just don't accept Big Publishers' forcing Holywood prices on us that no one can afford. Heck, man, people here eat for a month with $100. Games are not Ferraris. Nor Rolexes. Nor diamonds. Hence - they're NOT luxury, but I'll return to that later.

And, btw, I do not "pirate." A pirate is someone who buys/obtains an original game, then cracks into its protections, makes it clean of all lousy DRM bullsh*t and puts it up on the net for everyone to enjoy a DRM-free-product - or to make it available globally, instead exclusively to one, insulated market. Me, the end-user, downloads this game and plays it, for lack of better options. If you've downloaded at least one pirated game, you'd had the opportunity to read the crackers' Info text, which almost always says: "If you like the game - buy it! Support developers!" Note the if part. That should tell you something. For example not being fooled into buying rubbish. The customer is always right.

Also, one must ask: why would anyone BUY an original product, then spend weeks cleaning it off of DRMs and stuff, and later share it for FREE on the Internet? Suspicious, ain't it? Maybe something's fishy in the whole games industry, eh?

Atmos Duality:
That's why they were given a term that was commonly associated with crime and theft (even though it technically isn't theft since nothing tangible disappears...but it's still the loss of a sale.)

It's NOT a lost sale, if I wouldn't buy it. And I WOULDN'T buy it, and I DON'T buy it, because it's too expensive to buy. I myself, and the millions of people who play pirated games cost the industry nothing. Because - simple - they don't sell here properly. At least they haven't bothered to localize one single game, nor to adapt product prices, ffs. The, even if I was rich and had the money - why would I buy an English, Russian, or a German, Greek or Bulgarian version of the game? Maybe I want it to be in Macedonian. So see, even if I'm a rich stuck up boy, I still won't buy it.

Atmos Duality:
You know what? I'm in college right now, living on bare-minimum sustenance. I drive to classes every day from my relative's because I cannot afford the dorms. I cannot find employment anywhere near me nor that shithole of a city.
And *I* still pay for my games.

Well, good for you. If you're willing to suffer so much about gaming - you obviously overrate video games very much, I'll tell you that. It's probably a Western cultural "thing." That you'd rather not eat - but spend 10-20 hours playing a game. It's crazy...

Atmos Duality:

Look, if it comes down to personal survival (in a privileged country), I don't think gaming should really be anywhere on the list of priorities, let alone discussion.

But you don't understand. Sure, there's crisis everywhere, but I invite you - visit my country. And you'll see that we live just fine here. Have food, have homes, cars, cellphones (on of my friends has a SE Xperia-X10, the other a Nokia N900, me a SE C905 - all legit, no fakes), etc. We party, we go out, we have fun like all the world has.

Accordingly, the prices here a much different than the are in France, Germany or the U.S., for example. Food is much cheaper, clothes too, and second-hand cars can be bought for 1000 EUR, sometimes. (That's almost 2 Xperias, mind you).

Now, with an average pay of $300 a month, you're asking that we just don't play games, watch movies, or listen to, say Kanye West, Gaga, Britney, or Metallica, just because we don't live in the USA, EU, or can't throw $100 on a DISC containing temporarily-entertaining software (video game)? Wow, maybe we could just all go in some bunker somewhere, lay down and die. All 4-5 billions of us. Sheesh.

My point being: we can have everything here at an appropriate price, except videogames. Which is absurd. It doesn't make any sense. I, alone, have spent, I don't know, maybe almost a thousand dollars on books. Maybe more. But rarely does a book cost $100. I have, also, spent maybe $500 dollars for pirated games. But for 50 games, not 5. The point is that I would buy, and have been buying, and buy, if the prices are not insane. You folks earn thousands of dollars a month, and to buy a game for $50, or even $100 isn't such a big deal.

Well, would you still buy games if the cheapest one cost $500?

Oh, sorry, you probably won't, and wouldn't download a free copy of it either because it would hurt EA's multi-billion budget so much, despite them selling tens of millions of games! - so you'll just become a monk instead. Yeah, right. :|

Atmos Duality:
Then again, this is entering the usual "Ends justify the means."

If the "end" is keeping yourself fed an healthy, then yes, it justifies the means (downloading a free copy instead of bying a Swaro... oh, wait - a videogame). If the end is having fun with something you cannot afford in other ways, and if it hurts no one, then yes, that end justifies the means.

Atmos Duality:
I'm sorry, but even as much as I love gaming, I recognize it strictly as a luxury.

Well, I don't. In the same way that I don't see TV, the Internet, and all art/media as luxury goods. We're living in a digital era, for God's sake, you surely can't expect everyone to pay for every show they air? I mean, they make a surplus just by getting payed/paying for commercials. But users are a big cow that needs endless milking, right? 'Cause people who own choppers need some planes.

A lost sale is the product of an inflated price.

I.e. Companies do it to themselves. I'd happily buy their games if 10 of those didn't cost me a kidney.

dastardly:

However "understandable" a crime is, it's still a crime.

Last time I checked, a crime was whatever a certain legal system decided it was. You surely know NOT ALL countries and societies have the SAME legal system, right? Hence, you're doing it wrong.

Like, 70% of the world still doesn't sanction piracy as some (your?) countries do. Like, your argument doesn't expand, nor apply outside the borders of your country, and especially not here on the Internet.

We can talk about specific legal systems and legislatures, but no, what's crime in the USA doesn't mean the same is (or should be) a crime in Albania, Indonesia, Cameroon or wherever.

dastardly:
However "reasonable" stealing can seem in a situation, it's still stealing.

It's copying - not stealing. The original contents is intact. You just multiply it for whatever purpose - which in itself, is a good, caring act. If it's for commercial purposes, some countries sanction it. If it's for backup purposes, virtually no one sanctions it. Neither they should.

DuX1112:

It's NOT a lost sale, if I wouldn't buy it. And I WOULDN'T buy it, and I DON'T buy it, because it's too expensive to buy. I myself, and the millions of people who play pirated games cost the industry nothing. ... So see, even if I'm a rich stuck up boy, I still won't buy it.

Then don't play it. It's not yours, regardless of the reason. If they won't sell it where you live, start a gaming company or move somewhere else... or do what millions already do and find another form of entertainment. If you don't like the price, don't pay it... and, again, find some other way to entertain yourself.

... If you're willing to suffer so much about gaming - you obviously overrate video games very much, I'll tell you that. It's probably a Western cultural "thing." That you'd rather not eat - but spend 10-20 hours playing a game. It's crazy...

Who's the one overrating games? He's saving his pennies to buy one and play it for fun in a legal/ethical/moral/fair way. YOU'RE elevating games to some "must have by any means" artifact which is your only hope of entertainment salvation.

[quote}
Now, with an average pay of $300 a month, you're asking that we just don't play games, watch movies, or listen to, say Kanye West, Gaga, Britney, or Metallica, just because we don't live in the USA, EU, or can't throw $100 on a DISC containing temporarily-entertaining software (video game)? Wow, maybe we could just all go in some bunker somewhere, lay down and die. All 4-5 billions of us. Sheesh.[/quote]

Or maybe you could just find some other way to entertain yourself. Video games aren't the only damned thing on the planet.

Well, would you still buy games if the cheapest one cost $500?

Oh, sorry, you probably won't, and wouldn't download a free copy of it either because it would hurt EA's multi-billion budget so much, despite them selling tens of millions of games! - so you'll just become a monk instead. Yeah, right. :|

But here's the point: No one is saying they don't UNDERSTAND why you steal these games (or buy stolen games, which isn't any less unethical). Yeah, it sucks the exchange rate is so broken. Yeah, it sucks the localizing a game isn't cost-effective for the companies that make the GOOD games. But Jesus H. Christ, stop trying to EXCUSE it.

It's YOUR choice, it's YOUR fault, and it's YOUR piss-poor ethical code. No other factors come into play. Man (or Woman) up! Own YOUR choices. Give the middle finger to the world (or the culturally appropriate rude hand gesture of your choosing), but put your own damned NAME on it. "I wanted this game, so I took it without asking or paying. Ta. Da."

A lost sale is the product of an inflated price.

I.e. Companies do it to themselves. I'd happily buy their games if 10 of those didn't cost me a kidney.

Then don't do business with those evil companies. Stop using their products. Hey, if enough of you do it, maybe they'll get the message. But if you're going to steal the games, all we're saying is own up to it. Quit whitewashing it and just own the choice.

DuX1112:
Last time I checked, a crime was whatever a certain legal system decided it was. You surely know NOT ALL countries and societies have the SAME legal system, right? Hence, you're doing it wrong.

Like, 70% of the world still doesn't sanction piracy as some (your?) countries do. Like, your argument doesn't expand, nor apply outside the borders of your country, and especially not here on the Internet.

1. Source?

2. Just because some countries don't pursue enforcement as aggressively as we do in the US, that doesn't also mean they have no laws on the matter, so some of your 70% figure is likely just poor understanding on your part anyhow.

3. Product is stolen from America--maybe not PHYSICAL product, but not all theft must involve material goods. That stolen product is brought to a country with no laws regarding this. Fine. BUT THEN, that product finds its way back into the states? Not fine.

4. I know of scant few cultures in the world that have no problems with stealing. I do, however, know some countries that have legal systems that have not caught up to the information age--their laws have not yet adapted to protect INTELLECTUAL property in the way that they protect PHYSICAL property. All this means is they have not yet had to come to terms with the notion that copying something (like a game) without permission is a form of stealing--or have they?

Let me roll up into that country with counterfeit money. Hey, it's not stealing--it's just a copy! You're telling me they're going to be alright with that? Not a chance. The government owns the right to "copy" money. It doesn't matter if I can't get that particular form of currency where I live, and it doesn't matter if I just don't like the exchange rate. If I copy it without permission, they're coming after me.

Or if I go to Guy 1's house and borrow his car... without asking. It doesn't matter if I return it, he's going to be pissed! I'm using something that belongs to him without his permission!

Or, hey, let's say Guy 2 has spend his family fortune researching and developing a new technology for irrigating crops. He is planning to sell this technology to earn back the money he spent creating it. And I just pop in, take the prototype, copy it, and sell it first (because I can spend MY family fortune going straight to distribution, having cut out R&D)... you're saying that guy is going to be FINE with that? Or, even sillier, that he'll be okay as long as I return the prototype? No, he won't. He will feel stolen from--not just the item, but the ability to earn back the money he spent developing that technology.

The precedent is there in nearly any country I can think of--it just hasn't had video game terminology applied to it yet. To say it's "fine" is like saying "Well, the law says I can't steal someone's car. It doesn't say I can't steal their HELICOPTER," if the law was written before helicopters were invented or in common use.

It's copying - not stealing. The original contents is intact. You just multiply it for whatever purpose - which in itself, is a good, caring act. If it's for commercial purposes, some countries sanction it. If it's for backup purposes, virtually no one sanctions it. Neither they should.

For BACKUP purposes. That means for each copy that exists, and for each end-user of that copy, a BACKUP copy can exist. The idea is that they are not being used simultaneously, or by different people.

But seriously... pirating the game is a "good," "caring" act? That's where you lose any shred of credibility you could have had. This whole "rob from the rich, give to the greedy" crap has got to go.

COPYING something so that you can use and distribute it WITHOUT PAYING for it. That is STEALING. You are taking what is not rightfully yours. If I steal a million dollars, let it sit in a bank and earn interest for a year, and then give it back keeping the interest... I've STOLEN that interest, regardless of giving back the million.

If it costs me $100,000 and one year to develop a game, and everyone out there is OK with piracy, guess what I have to do? I have to sell ONE copy for $135,000 to recover the cost of making the game AND pay my bills for the year I spent working on it. And that's if I worked on it entirely myself, and I'm not looking to make a profit--just to break even!

You're saying that's fine. You might not realize it, but you are. By saying that piracy isn't wrong, you're saying you look forward to a world of $135,000 games.

=OR=

You're saying that as long as EVERYONE ELSE doesn't pirate, and enough people buy copies that the company shows a profit, it's okay for YOU to pirate. Once a company reaches the profit line, everyone gets a free copy--except for those poor saps that had to buy the legal copy so that making games is still cost-effective!

Newsflash: The fact that the companies aren't going bankrupt doesn't mean piracy is right. If I just put a small crack in one window of your house, it doesn't break the whole wall or make the house unlivable... but you're going to tell me that it's "right" for me to have done it?

dastardly:

maxben:
Its actually an excuse that is built-in to Western psyche, if something is to be wrong it must be based on a harm principle of some kind.
You are trying to use the argument "stealing is wrong" when you mean to say "stealing ought to be wrong" but if we focus on harm it causes then it is not wrong in every case.

Nice use of "Intro to Ethics," but you're not seeing the idea through to conclusion--or rather taking it far enough back to the source.

Piracy is considered "wrong" not because of the 'harm principle,' but because of the 'ownership principle.' You're coming at it from the wrong end. Some things are wrong because they cause harm to others, true. Other things are wrong because they violate an established right--whether or not the end result directly leads to perceivable harm.

In this case, the person who created the game owns the game. The idea, the software, they OWN it. They caused it to exist, and so it belongs to them. Whether a pirated copy results in a loss of revenue is ancillary--it's ALREADY wrong because it is taking ownership without permission.

BUT TO GO FURTHER: Many of these "legitimate pirates" you're talking about then turn around and SELL these pirated copies at a profit. At that point, it's beyond the old "it was just so I could get access to this game in my third-world pit!" Now they are using the stolen property for personal gain without permission, so they lose any hope of the moral "high ground" you seem to be attributing to them. And still, this is unrelated to whether or not there is revenue lost on the publisher's part.

BUT TO GO YET FURTHER: Now pirated copies are in existence. Perhaps they were created by a guy in Madagascar so he and his buddies could play it, and no sales were lost (thus no "harm" done)... but now it's out there. And then it hits the internet. So now this pirated copy is accessible to ANYONE, ANYWHERE--including places where they could instead buy the game. Harm done.

ionveau:

...

Lets talk about Teen B, B lives with one of his parents, his mom after his dad lift them, his mother works all day at a restaurant, Teen B cant go out side because the area he lives in is known for crime, The only entertainment he has is his computer.

Overall i agree that pricey is bad, No its not bad because its stealing no. Its wrong because it distroys the social higharcy, You see a person without money should not be happy with his life, or should not be entertained, there should always be a struggle to be better, by having people just take what they want we are one step closer to everything being free,
...

However "understandable" a crime is, it's still a crime. However "reasonable" stealing can seem in a situation, it's still stealing.

You spew this garbage about the "social heirarchy," and how the non-poor just don't want the poor enjoying himself. You're working this one backwards.

The whole reason Teen B is pirating, and people like you are defending him, is the brainwashing of our consumer-based culture that TELLS him he needs this game to be entertained. To hell with the THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF YEARS that mankind has gone on without video games, no, he NEEDS this. It's his ONLY hope.

By stealing it, he's surrendering his mind to the very machine that CREATES the social heirarchy in which he is trapped. No, I'm not talking about "evil capitalism," but rampant consumerism--the idea that we need STUFF to be happy, healthy people. It's what the rich use to keep the middle class in an irresponsible cycle of debt so they can live off the interest, and it's also exactly what will keep Teen B stuck exactly where he is.

So, you talk like he's fighting against that heirarchy... when really, he's feeding himself to it.

Soo...the poor should be happy with water and bread,

Good stuff this is also wrong, if people are happy where they are its not a right way to live, you should also be annoyed with your life not being the best, a person with almost no money will look up to his friends for having more games then him, so he finds a job he gets the games you see? he wants something he gets it by also improving his life

like i said in these days there is no social ladder for the internet you cant go to your friends home see he has all the adobe products and say ohh hes rich etc,
or a person cant show off his money by saying "i own 300 games"
Because of this the poor are becoming better off then the rich,
The poor are getting more educated by pirating Books software and other things

You also say that we are being enslaved by wanting products? right? well why do you own a computer why do you pay for internet? why do you buy software? this is just the way the world is welcome

I also dont understand why people are telling each other not to share software, if you dont like to share good for you but dont go around pushing your views into other peoples faces,
feels like i walked into a global warming protest

dastardly:

DuX1112:

It's NOT a lost sale, if I wouldn't buy it. And I WOULDN'T buy it, and I DON'T buy it, because it's too expensive to buy. I myself, and the millions of people who play pirated games cost the industry nothing. ... So see, even if I'm a rich stuck up boy, I still won't buy it.

Then don't play it. It's not yours, regardless of the reason. If they won't sell it where you live, start a gaming company or move somewhere else... or do what millions already do and find another form of entertainment. If you don't like the price, don't pay it... and, again, find some other way to entertain yourself.

So how about you and me switching places a bit? You sound like you'd enjoy it. =)

Jokes aside, again and again you don't seem to understand. We're not retarded, ok? There's plenty of fun in life. We don't depend on games. Gamers here are a minority as everywhere else. So don't go underestimating people ok? Get off your uninformed high horse.

The problem (that you fail seeing) is the injustice that happens when a product (i.e. a videogame) gets presented and marketed globally, BUT is only available locally. What you people seem to be oblivious of is that the USA and the EU are NOT the WORLD. Ok? But when you go and present the World stuff like music, games, movies etc., it is normal for the World to WANT what you offer. But then, you don't provide. So the World puts his foot down and GETS what was promised.

Actually, it's people in the USA and the EU that actually buy, crack, hack, pirate and upload games on the net.

So don't shoot us messengers, okay? If YOUR people have problems with the way gaming industry works, you should think about it. If not, just bash them, who cares.

dastardly:

DuX1112:
... If you're willing to suffer so much about gaming - you obviously overrate video games very much, I'll tell you that. It's probably a Western cultural "thing." That you'd rather not eat - but spend 10-20 hours playing a game. It's crazy...

Who's the one overrating games? He's saving his pennies to buy one and play it for fun in a legal/ethical/moral/fair way. YOU'RE elevating games to some "must have by any means" artifact which is your only hope of entertainment salvation.

Eh? Wow, you actually believe people who pirate or buy pirated products feel they "must have games by any means?" Maybe I should offend you similarly, but sorry, I don't see the point in doing so. Maybe you should shake some prejudices off? Take a cold shower?

Anyways, the one that's saving pennies is the one doing the overrating. You just don't go save your last pennies religiously, for a videogame. Unless you're a die-hard gamer or a die-hard fan. There's your overrating. And I'm not saying it shouldn't happen - I'm just saying it's nor the norm.

Have you read something like "piracy is the norm"? This, my friend, means that it is THE NORM. Meaning, it's the socially accepted way of doing something. Okay? That means, everyone, from a toddler to a grandfather, can go in a shop and buy a copy of a game. Do you know how many fathers, mothers, or grandparents go and buy games for their kids or nephews? Virtually ALL, if they want to. And the only way to turn people away from buying pirated software is to RAISE the standard of living and improve their buying power. There's no other way. Laws will still get broken invariably.

And NO, if EA and whoever-publisher-it-is doesn't put my country on their map, then if we acquire their products unofficially - they make no loss. What they do make, however, with the help of the people that play their games - is relevant social presence. When people here play their games for free, publishers and developers actually get marketed for free without investing in a country's market at all. How is that a bad thing? If tomorrow they decide to sell legal, budget copies of their games, everyone would buy it. But they don't - and it's their loss.

dastardly:

DuX1112:
Now, with an average pay of $300 a month, you're asking that we just don't play games, watch movies, or listen to, say Kanye West, Gaga, Britney, or Metallica, just because we don't live in the USA, EU, or can't throw $100 on a DISC containing temporarily-entertaining software (video game)? Wow, maybe we could just all go in some bunker somewhere, lay down and die. All 4-5 billions of us. Sheesh.

Or maybe you could just find some other way to entertain yourself. Video games aren't the only damned thing on the planet.

Again, let's switch places? I'd welcome some fresh air out of the bunker.

Also, please note that you conveniently ignored music and movies. Can we have music and movies, Mr. Western Gamer, Sir? Maybe we should just whistle some tunes, or practice some theater. For games, we can always play some soccer or idk, play hide and seek or play chess all our lives.

dastardly:

DuX1112:
Well, would you still buy games if the cheapest one cost $500?

Oh, sorry, you probably won't, and wouldn't download a free copy of it either because it would hurt EA's multi-billion budget so much, despite them selling tens of millions of games! - so you'll just become a monk instead. Yeah, right. :|

But here's the point: No one is saying they don't UNDERSTAND why you steal these games (or buy stolen games, which isn't any less unethical). Yeah, it sucks the exchange rate is so broken. Yeah, it sucks the localizing a game isn't cost-effective for the companies that make the GOOD games. But Jesus H. Christ, stop trying to EXCUSE it.

I'll stop excusing piracy when people like you will stop excusing what you just EXCUSED, playing all lawful stupid. Well yeah you know what? It sucks that people pirate games, but hey - they do. If we can live with all the injustice, then you (and the industry you defend so much) can live with piracy. ;)

dastardly:
It's YOUR choice, it's YOUR fault, and it's YOUR piss-poor ethical code. No other factors come into play. Man (or Woman) up! Own YOUR choices. Give the middle finger to the world (or the culturally appropriate rude hand gesture of your choosing), but put your own damned NAME on it. "I wanted this game, so I took it without asking or paying. Ta. Da."

You stubbornly seem to mistake ethics and law. Law isn't necessarily ethical. How to put this? Oh yes. Say, a scientist writes a book on how to fight malaria. Then, he gets published, but the publisher (and the law) forbid copying of the book and they refuse to sell it in India, Bangladesh, Thailand, despite the people there suffering from malaria the same or more than the country the book gets published in.

People buy it, make the publisher and the author rich, learn stuff, help themselves and other people. Now, some people with a 'piss-poor' ethical code (like you said mine was), worry about the people in Malaria-stricken areas, and despite breaking the law and hurting the publisher the bucks it was never going to make - decide to scan the book and put it on the Internet.

But then, lawful-stupid people get all angry and judge these people's actions, threatening them with sanctions even though they suffered no loss whatsoever (in fact, thanks for pirating the book, now the author is loved worldwide, and the publisher is respected) - but at the same time, millions of people access the book and learn how to treat or prevent malaria. Thanks to breaking the law, thousands of lives are saved. Piss-poor ethics won't make you money - but yeah - it helps people.

And thanks, I'll keep my piss-poor ethics, thank you very much.
(By the way, I know the immediacy of the goods isn't on par, but just exchange 'book' with 'videogame', and 'health' with 'happiness', and you've got a worthy analogy).

And YES, I OWN my choices. My choice is to use the benefit of getting a game for free, if no one can acquire it or afford it otherwise. I will continue enjoying games like this until videogame publishers decide to adapt to our market and actually try to sell their games over here. When that happens - I'll just buy their original products. Finally.

dastardly:

A lost sale is the product of an inflated price.

I.e. Companies do it to themselves. I'd happily buy their games if 10 of those didn't cost me a kidney.

Then don't do business with those evil companies. Stop using their products. Hey, if enough of you do it, maybe they'll get the message. But if you're going to steal the games, all we're saying is own up to it. Quit whitewashing it and just own the choice.

But pal, I DON'T DO BUSINESS WITH THEM. I don't buy their games. I don't steal their games. They don't market or sell their games over here. I download their modified products for free, and then I play them. These are uploaded form servers in the USA, EU, Russia, China... See, I don't deal with those evil companies. And no, they won't get the message since we're not on their MAP. We don't EXIST for them, do you understand?

I own my choice. My Assassin's Creed 2 is not the same game that Ubi sells. Mine can be played without a disc in the drive, and can also be played offline. So, you own your choice, I have nothing against it. But let me make mine, ok?

dastardly:

DuX1112:
Last time I checked, a crime was whatever a certain legal system decided it was. You surely know NOT ALL countries and societies have the SAME legal system, right? Hence, you're doing it wrong.

Like, 70% of the world still doesn't sanction piracy as some (your?) countries do. Like, your argument doesn't expand, nor apply outside the borders of your country, and especially not here on the Internet.

1. Source?

You seriously need a source for this, after John Funk's testimony about China, about others' testimonies about Africa, South America, and my testimonies for Eastern Europe? Why don't you just read other people's comments too? I'm sure you'll find plenty of sources.

And about the percentages: USA has ~300 million residents. The EU something like ~700 million. You know what China has? ~1,3 billion. That's USA + EU + another USA. Care to factor India in? It's ~1 billion. Care to factor South America + Russia too? Let's better not. Sources: the World Atlas, sheesh.

dastardly:
2. Just because some countries don't pursue enforcement as aggressively as we do in the US, that doesn't also mean they have no laws on the matter, so some of your 70% figure is likely just poor understanding on your part anyhow.

I agree, but that still doesn't help the fact that billions of people still pirate. Having a law and enforcing it are, as you are well aware, two very different things. Also, I don't see that many people getting arrested for piracy in the USA too, so best to clear your own lawn first.

dastardly:
3. Product is stolen from America--maybe not PHYSICAL product, but not all theft must involve material goods. That stolen product is brought to a country with no laws regarding this. Fine. BUT THEN, that product finds its way back into the states? Not fine.

I agree, but as I said, that's not our responsibility. The people in your country should think things over, and decide what the best course of action would be. DRM is failing constantly, high prices fuel piracy. I myself (and John Funk hinted it too) have mentioned that it's the industry's fault AND responsibility to sort things out. They should evolve, adapt to new markets and boldly give new ideas a try. I've mentioned some of those in previous posts.

dastardly:
4. I know of scant few cultures in the world that have no problems with stealing. I do, however, know some countries that have legal systems that have not caught up to the information age--their laws have not yet adapted to protect INTELLECTUAL property in the way that they protect PHYSICAL property. All this means is they have not yet had to come to terms with the notion that copying something (like a game) without permission is a form of stealing--or have they?

dastardly - Intellectual Property laws would only treat the symptoms. That's the problem with it - the States HAVE it, many other countries do (mine included, they're working on it as we speak), but that won't SOLVE the issue of pirating. Not by a long shot. If you're not convinced - just take a look what happens in the States. Many, many people pirate stuff. Intellectual Rights should be reviewed, especially regarding digital media. The quality of the media itself cannot work with the nature of the laws enacted. The laws may be fine on paper - but in reality - they don't work. Social mechanics are against it.

That's why I suggest a double strike - Economically: review marketing habits and adapt prices, and Legally: review and improve Intellectual Property rights. Once this is set and modernized, piracy will diminish, and people won't be so compelled to 'steal' any more. It can be done.

The comparisons you gave just don't hold ground. As we agreed - digital media isn't physical property.

DuX1112:
It's copying - not stealing. The original contents is intact. You just multiply it for whatever purpose - which in itself, is a good, caring act. If it's for commercial purposes, some countries sanction it. If it's for backup purposes, virtually no one sanctions it. Neither they should.

dastardly:
But seriously... pirating the game is a "good," "caring" act? That's where you lose any shred of credibility you could have had. This whole "rob from the rich, give to the greedy" crap has got to go.

Now you're putting words in my mouth. I never went Robin Hood. If I did, please quote me. I said making a backup copy, or making 'more' of something is a good, caring act, especially if we're talking about digital, ephemeral media that can be easily destroyed.

dastardly:
COPYING something so that you can use and distribute it WITHOUT PAYING for it. That is STEALING. You are taking what is not rightfully yours. If I steal a million dollars, let it sit in a bank and earn interest for a year, and then give it back keeping the interest... I've STOLEN that interest, regardless of giving back the million.

Yeah, but you miss the point: you don't get to KEEP the interest. You EARN/buy the money, and then you put them on the street, along with their interest churning out more money, with a sign "FREE." Whoever comes by will take some money, be it dollars, euros, yens, liras or whatever. That doesn't make that stealing. It makes it a donation. Punishable by law, for some matter...

By the way, it's not stealing, since you're not stealing the physical copy per se. It's copying, and what you do with the copy afterwards is open to you. You PAID for the game you COPIED. It's YOURS to COPY. And to give to your friend, if you want to. Of course, you can buy two separate games, but... since you have a copy... And your friend can't/won't buy it. I mean, come on?

dastardly:
If it costs me $100,000 and one year to develop a game, and everyone out there is OK with piracy, guess what I have to do? I have to sell ONE copy for $135,000 to recover the cost of making the game AND pay my bills for the year I spent working on it. And that's if I worked on it entirely myself, and I'm not looking to make a profit--just to break even!

My, that's some twisted logic. :|

No, you'd have to sell ~1000 copies priced $100 each, so you can make the cut. Sorry but - if you can't sell more than ~1000 copies - on a market of 1.000.000.000 buyers - your game sucked. You did a lousy job. Period. Get over it.

By the way, no, not everyone is OK with piracy, and NO, games won't ever cost $135.000. You're making things up now, employing some very exaggerated, far-fetched, fantasy logic.

dastardly:
You're saying that as long as EVERYONE ELSE doesn't pirate, and enough people buy copies that the company shows a profit, it's okay for YOU to pirate. Once a company reaches the profit line, everyone gets a free copy--except for those poor saps that had to buy the legal copy so that making games is still cost-effective!

Yes, I'm saying exactly that. Why can't the profit of big corporations be reasonably limited? Say: they can't make more than $2 billion a year. The rest goes as donations, taxes, providing people in need around the globe with some fun and meaningful help, why not? Why should we make space-capable behemoths out of yesterday's videogame publishing companies? Heck, they can even buy themselves a small army. Which reminds me of HAWX's story...

Now the last one is a good idea. :] No one made the 'poor' chaps buy their games you know. It would be their choice. The choice they OWN. Huh. :)

As I said, the other version is "People with helicopters need some planes." It's not that it's not their right, but they can't expect for people to like them or approve of their motives.

dastardly:
Newsflash: The fact that the companies aren't going bankrupt doesn't mean piracy is right. If I just put a small crack in one window of your house, it doesn't break the whole wall or make the house unlivable... but you're going to tell me that it's "right" for me to have done it?

Well, you did that crack because you wanted to borrow some juice, but I didn't lend you any. Then, you offered to buy it. You didn't have $100 to pay me with, but you'd still pay me something, but I refused and kicked you out of my house. Later that day, your kid saw a juice bottle on my windowsill - he took the bottle and scratched my window. Then, he took a few sips, then gave the rest to his friends and family.

Anyway, cracks or not - right or wrong - sh*t happens. The cracks is there. One should think why it happened, could it be avoided, and how to prevent future cracks. Being kinder would help. As will mutual understanding. That's all there is to it.

---

P.S. On another note, I find all this docility regarding the diminishing of customer rights by videogame publishers a bit disturbing. I even get a bit scared when people adamantly defend Assassin's Creed 2's imposing DRM. I mean, come on people, now they're meddling with what you do with a product you lawfully PAID FOR. What's next? You're gonna give consent that the next installment of Assassin's Creed could keep an eye on your Email or Facebook, just to be sure you're not talking about pirating the game? I mean come on. It's downright morbid.

P.P.S. According to the CIA World Factbook (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/),

The Annual GDP Per Capita in Macedonia is: $9.000.
While the Annual GDP Per Capita in the USA is: $46.400

That's five times more. And yet, the videogames are priced equally.

Sure, one can argue "If you don't like how it's sold, then don't buy it", but I deem that standpoint is too shallow to help the issue at hand, so I'll refrain from discussing it with proponents of the said logic, since I don't approve of it.

Cheers to you all.

DuX1112:

If that's me who plays pirated games, then the answer is "You're WRONG." If you read any of my posts, you'd have understood that I WOULD (and several times did) BUY original games. People where piracy is the norm agree on this.

That's rationalizing the consequence, not justifying it. If everyone used piracy only to test the waters before committing, then it would be more ethical, yes.
But if you honestly think most people do that, I'm sorry to say that you are naive.

In years past, I could name over 50 individuals who all pirated for the very reason I said. You can claim it's a small number that does not represent the norm, but you have no way of substantiating your own claim either.

Fine. Lets try something I can substantiate.

How about Demigod? Where you can actually measure piracy based on how many people have registered their game online instead of cracking it? It's an online-centric game by far, so these numbers might as well represent actual sales.
Compare the number of registered players to how many are actually connected: Roughly 20% of those who are connected had original keys.

These pirates didn't care: 80% of the people connected to their servers playing their online game DID NOT PAY. Keep in mind, these people kept playing long after trying it, so they obviously liked it.

Those are, irrefutably, lost legitimate sales for a legitimate game.

The way it is, I won't. I just don't accept Big Publishers' forcing Holywood prices on us that no one can afford. Hence - they're NOT luxury, but I'll return to that later.

You might want to look up the word "luxury", because I do not think it means what you think it means. Gaming is something you can live without. It's a hobby. Not a requirement of life.

A pirate is someone who buys/obtains an original game, then cracks into its protections, makes it clean of all lousy DRM bullsh*t and puts it up on the net for everyone to enjoy a DRM-free-product - or to make it available globally, instead exclusively to one, insulated market. For example not being fooled into buying rubbish. The customer is always right.

You describe the first step of piracy. The distribution part is every bit as essential as the actual cracking. If you willingly copy a product you did not pay for, it's piracy no matter how you try to rationalize it.

As for the "Not being fooled into buying rubbish" bit, well, I agree to an extent.
You should always do your research before purchasing something in my opinion. However, I do not have to pirate the game in order to find something I enjoy.
The last 2 out of the 3 games I bought were based on neutral gameplay videos and word of mouth. Look at ALL reviews and try to find the details that appeal to you.

A metascore says nothing for taste, but reading through a few reviews and gameplay videos takes the same amount of time as to downloading, cracking, and installing a typical game, and it is not illegal in the slightest.

The people who claim that piracy is the only way to make a good purchase just haven't done their homework.

Also, one must ask: why would anyone BUY an original product, then spend weeks cleaning it off of DRMs and stuff, and later share it for FREE on the Internet? Suspicious, ain't it? Maybe something's fishy in the whole games industry, eh?

The motivations of pirates are many.

Regardless, I don't do business with game companies who use excessive DRM or pricing schemes. Period.
If you don't believe in a practice, don't support it in any way. Piracy directly acknowledges that you want their product. YOU WOULDN'T PIRATE IT IF YOU WERE NOT INTERESTED TO BEGIN WITH.

DRM is ineffective and punishes the legitimate customer. Therefore, I do not accept any business done with the people who support DRM as legitimate business for my purposes.

Ethical. Legal. Logical.

It's NOT a lost sale, if I wouldn't buy it.

I explained why the "try it before you buy it" excuse doesn't really matter before. I see no reason to repeat it here.

Well, good for you. If you're willing to suffer so much about gaming - you obviously overrate video games very much, I'll tell you that. It's probably a Western cultural "thing." That you'd rather not eat - but spend 10-20 hours playing a game. It's crazy...

Well...that was out of the blue.
I flat out said that gaming shouldn't be anywhere in your life's priorities if survival is at stake.

I'm giving a realistic summary of why this isn't excusable. I do play thrift games when I can. I don't buy out the latest gun spamfest on day 1 just for the privilege. I did download Portal for free on Steam.

Never once did I say that I had to give up food entirely. If I had to choose between ramen and and a game title, it would obviously be the ramen...actually, that choice has come up more than I'd care to think about.

Though from the sounds of things, you're just looking for an excuse to start some rant against America. As disappointed as I am in my own country, I suggest we stick to the topic at hand.

Sure, there's crisis everywhere, but I invite you - visit my country. And you'll see that we live just fine here. Have food, have homes, cars, cellphones (on of my friends has a SE Xperia-X10, the other a Nokia N900, me a SE C905 - all legit, no fakes), etc. We party, we go out, we have fun like all the world has.

Here you acknowledge that there are other forms of entertainment, yet later you imply that gaming is essential in a digital age.

Which is it?

Tangentially, I do plan to travel abroad for the perspective in the future.
I'm hoping my chosen career ensures that...but I digress.

My point being: we can have everything here at an appropriate price, except videogames. Which is absurd. It doesn't make any sense.

No matter how much I agree here, it's still subjective reasoning.
I agree with your opinion. Game prices and content ratios have gone south in recent years.
But piracy is certainly not going to change anything. The market will charge what they can. They do this in every conceivable market in the world.

"A product is only worth what someone will pay for it. No matter how much or how little."

That's capitalism. Yes, it's greedy. I disagree with how it is used to excuse every price hike, gouge or shady policy implemented today.
But if you think that piracy is honestly going to improve the industry or the quality of the games that are made, you are most certainly wrong.

Well, would you still buy games if the cheapest one cost $500?

(Assuming we aren't talking about inflation) I wouldn't have to worry about that price lasting for terribly long anyway. Because nobody would buy it.
If the game will not sell (or realistically, CANNOT sell), then whoever produced it just dug their own grave.
Basic economics.

Oh, sorry, you probably won't, and wouldn't download a free copy of it either because it would hurt EA's multi-billion budget so much, despite them selling tens of millions of games! - so you'll just become a monk instead. Yeah, right. :|

Become a monk instead? Isn't that a Strawman argument?
Well. If I missed the joke, I apologize.

Actually, I wouldn't buy anything from EA if that's what they want for their product.
Don't try to reason with the unreasonable, and EA is nothing if unreasonable.

If the "end" is keeping yourself fed an healthy, then yes, it justifies the means

That argument would fly, if I had not already accepted games strictly as a luxury; that is, not essential to living. That been said, one can change hobbies too you know.

A lost sale is the product of an inflated price.

Or the wrong product in the wrong market...or the right product at the wrong time...or the wrong product period...or a very poorly marketed product.

I.e. Companies do it to themselves. I'd happily buy their games if 10 of those didn't cost me a kidney.

Right with you there brother.

May I never make a post this long ever again.

Atmos Duality:
*SNIP*

For the sake of brevity (which failed again), I won't quote you word for word, I'll just repeat/make some points:

1) I agree with you on many things (your general views on DRM, law and capitalism).

2) I won't comment on Demigod's case: it has been both supported and heavily questioned in previous threads. I won't get into it. I'll just point out that neither Gas Powered Games nor Stardock are out of business. Not even close, actually. Sure, they didn't make billions, but they made the cut. Isn't that the goal of every company?

3) I disagree on your view on 'testing the waters'. I've played many demos who turned out unrepresentative for the final version of the game. And demos are a dying breed. Reviews and previews are arguably doing the job (I do follow them and do read a ton of reviews before playing a game, so hold your horses before you make some negative presumptions), but sometimes reviews don't address what you subjectively want to know. Sometimes, not a single review can help: it boils down to the personal "feeling" when playing a game. You can't know until you've played it - and you can't play it unless you buy it. So it's the old carrot and stick thing. It's a gamble (bordering on blackmail). The impression, the style, the atmosphere - how a game affects you is a very subtle thing. I once argued that the full, final versions of games should be available for, say, half the campaign, or a third of it. If the player wants to finish the game - he should pay. If he doesn't want to - he shouldn't. (Why should he pay the full price, when he wouldn't play the full game?) Anyway, there's plenty of ways for this to be done.

Anyways: why don't game publishers and devs employ a "game played" counter too, just in order to measure player interest in their product? Why can't, for example, Publisher X sell a overhyped game to say, 1 million people, and count the ratio they've actually played it? I'm kinda convinced that at least a third of people who bought the game will start it less than 10 times, total. Uninstallation will also follow. So why don't game companies check the quality of their products with the same zeal that they pursue people who acquired their game for free, often on markets when the game wasn't available to begin with?

4) According to me, games are not luxury. How can they be, when they're available in innumerable quantities? Just because something is a hobby, doesn't mean it's luxury all of a sudden (it will be a luxury if it's an expensive, luxury item in very limited supply that can't be replicated - like diamonds, for example). Drawing and painting aren't luxury (poor people do it), making music isn't luxury (poor people do that too), gaming isn't luxury (poor people do that too).

If they can download a free copy of Modern Warfare 2 - they do so (very often having no clue it's illegal in the country of origin - and when they know, they disregard that since they can't get it otherwise and don't harm the publisher - and no sanctions apply to them), otherwise, they can always play Farmville on Facebook, or can play one of millions of free games on the Internet (i.e. Quake Live). As paradoxical as it may be - gaming may be luxury only in the Western, developed world. (If you want to see it as luxury, that is). Otherwise, it isn't - it's just one more commodity, like books or magazines (often cheap or free) that is globally available, easy. And if it's available - people will use it. You can't say that something is a luxury when it's globally present in abundance. The same way food wouldn't be a luxury if we discovered food replicators tomorrow - it will be the end of famine, and hardly anyone will grow and buy food - they'll just buy a replicator. Today, we're witnessing the end of boredom, so to speak. Digital media is everywhere, either for free or for money. Those who can afford it, buy it, those who can't - get it for free - and everyone's happy. To each his own. Frankly, I don't see a problem with that.

5) Mobile phones are not other forms of entertainment. Also, I never claimed there aren't other forms of entertainment. I only argued that games should be as attainable as all other forms of entertainment in my country - and not be all elitist and a mile-high up in price-Heaven. Why should 2 games (software) cost as 1 cellphone (hardware)? Don't you find that a bit off?

6) I never claimed piracy was changing anything. I only claim piracy is helping third-world/developing-world people to have access to what is legally available only in first-world countries, but is (paradoxically) marketed globally. On a side note: if all the people on Escapist who have pirated/played a pirated game suddenly deactivate their accounts, the Escapist will suddenly become a very lonely place. This applies globally too. For example, almost 50% of WoW players are Chinese. I do hope all of them have bought legal copies of the game.

7) On the $500 analogy:

Well guess what: they DO sell games that expensive (relatively to our incomes) here. My point is that we have 5 times lower incomes than people in the USA have, and yet we are forced to buy games at USA prices: which is (comparatively) 5 times more expensive than you would buy them in the States!

Fun fact:
The Annual GDP Per Capita in Macedonia is: $9.000
The Annual GDP Per Capita in the USA is: $46.400

That's five times more. And yet, the videogames are priced equally. And then someone asks "Hell, why those people pirate? They should go back to their caves!" Totally missing out the fact that we live quite good here - maybe even better than they do. Sheesh.

So, to quote you "If the game will not sell (or realistically, CANNOT sell), then whoever produced it just dug their own grave."

My friend, that grave has been dug since I can remember. The legal gaming industry is long time dead where I'm from. They haven't even tried to be alive. They're in their grave from day one. Why? Because they don't care about the gamers here. We're not on their goddamn map.

This goes to all who don't understand the popularity of gaming and it's offspring, piracy:
Imagine that the norm in your country is that games are sold for $500 each. My question is, what would you do:

a) Give up on food for a month and buy the $500 game, at the risk of being thrown out of home;
b) Download the game for free on the Internet, clean of DRM, no sanctions whatsoverer, it's the norm where you live, and so on;
c) Find yourself other, not so popular forms of entertainment (i.e. playing sports, playing chess, etc.);

Pick one.

8) Right on brother! (On the loss of sales, unreasonable companies, the last 3-4 arguments, respectively).

This goes to all: I'm not poor. Taken the social context of my country, I'm in the middle-to-wealthy class. Sometimes middle-to-poor, but hey - that's life.

Comparatively, if I was born and lived in USA or the EU, I would probably be considered one hell of a devoted gamer: I would have bought several hundreds of game titles (which I did buy here too, but at an appropriate price), would be sometimes considered a freak since the last three computers were specifically designed and bought to do gaming and run Crysis and stuff, and I have fervently followed many, many gaming media (magazines, websites, etc.) since I was little.

I've also owned several consoles, one of which an original Play Station 1. We had to put a chip into it though, since original games weren't available here. That was more than 10 years ago, and now PS games can be biought only in the capital city, 100km from here. At a price of a bicycle, or something. One. Single. Shop. I've owned several joysticks, I have 2 gamepads (a ChillStream and a Logitech Cordless Rumblepad 2 - all legit), and have contemplated buying a driving wheel accessory.

Hell, I've also learned several foreign languages just to understand what the hell was going on in the world of games! Examples: Croatian, Bulgarian, some Italian too.

So, let's make this clear: the only thing that (according to some people) doesn't make me a "true gamer", is the fact that I was born and raised, and still live (and will probably continue to live) in a developing country.

I'm a gamer. Always have been. And couldn't care less what poorly informed, prejudiced people think.

Peace.

DuX1112:

Jokes aside, again and again you don't seem to understand. We're not retarded, ok? There's plenty of fun in life. We don't depend on games. Gamers here are a minority as everywhere else. So don't go underestimating people ok? Get off your uninformed high horse.

Oh, I'm very informed. What I'm NOT doing, however, is trying to spin disagreement into imagined "prejudice" just to try to gain an artificial high ground. No one on here has demonstrated the least bit of prejudice (except in the eyes of one that might have severe delusions of persecution, stemming from the guilt buried under layers and layers of weak rationalizations.)

The problem (that you fail seeing) is the injustice that happens when a product (i.e. a videogame) gets presented and marketed globally, BUT is only available locally. What you people seem to be oblivious of is that the USA and the EU are NOT the WORLD. Ok? But when you go and present the World stuff like music, games, movies etc., it is normal for the World to WANT what you offer. But then, you don't provide. So the World puts his foot down and GETS what was promised.

Oh, now we're going to talk about "injustice," huh? But wait... I thought this was about how laws and values and ethics are so different everywhere, but now we're all supposed to drop what we're doing and subscribe to YOUR sense of justice?

There is no injustice, only misunderstanding. You make the mistake of thinking that just because a message (like a commercial) is ACCESSIBLE to you, that must mean it was FOR you. That's like thinking that because you overheard part of a conversation, it means you're a welcome participant privy to all the details that conversation may involve.

Games are advertised in wide open channels. Some of those channels leak into places where the commercial is not specifically targetted to go. Hell, dude, I see commercials for TGIFriday's, and there's not one within three hours of me. Why? Because the network isn't advertising TO ME--they're just advertising on a channel that is viewable to everyone (many of whom ARE near a TGIFriday's). That's life.

When people here play their games for free, publishers and developers actually get marketed for free without investing in a country's market at all. How is that a bad thing? If tomorrow they decide to sell legal, budget copies of their games, everyone would buy it. But they don't - and it's their loss.

No, they wouldn't. Because the folks selling the unauthorized copies could just undercut, because they have nearly NO overhead (other than the cost of the equipment they use to copy the software). No matter how low the cost, the pirates can always go one lower--unless you expect gaming companies to sell to you at a loss just to "fight injustice."

Also, please note that you conveniently ignored music and movies. Can we have music and movies, Mr. Western Gamer, Sir? Maybe we should just whistle some tunes, or practice some theater. For games, we can always play some soccer or idk, play hide and seek or play chess all our lives.

Why not? We used to do all of those things, until WE developed OUR technology and refined OUR arts so that WE could do more. We made it here, and we chose to sell it in some places overseas. I'm not saying we shouldn't share those things with other countries and cultures--but there is absolutely no mandate of ANY kind that stipulates we MUST do so, or that other countries are in any way entitled to any of the wonderful things we create.

We share because we want to, not because we "should" or "must." (You'll probably notice I've just gone ahead and grouped western culture into "we," since you're already behaving as though all of us are representatives of some special board that dictates how that culture works.)

So, yes, if you don't feel like inventing it yourself, go play football or chess or freeze tag for the rest of your life. Stealing it is not an answer, and it doesn't do anything to improve what appears to be a significant cultural and educational drought over there--unless you're just doing your countrymen a grave injustice by describing things the way you do.

You stubbornly seem to mistake ethics and law. Law isn't necessarily ethical. How to put this? Oh yes. Say, a scientist writes a book on how to fight malaria. Then, he gets published, but the publisher (and the law) forbid copying of the book and they refuse to sell it in India, Bangladesh, Thailand, despite the people there suffering from malaria the same or more than the country the book gets published in.

And when a single video game can be shown to cure a single case of malaria, you can start taking it up as a human rights thing. Video games aren't even in the same ballpark, and you SHOULD know better.

But we'll play along anyway--the US does have access to most of the cutting edge medicine. Research, medicine, diagnostic equipment, manpower and expertise, we've got the best of the best here in our borders. Of course, this didn't happen by accident, but we'll just pretend it did.

So, you're saying that we now have a responsibility to ship all that medicine overseas at a loss if a country can't afford to even pay what it cost to make the medicine? Or that we should give out free samples of the expensive, complicated diagnostic equipment AND force people to go over there to show someone how to run it, all for free? Or at a loss?

Why? What mandate do you have that says we should do that? We do, and in vast quantities. We're an extraordinarily generous nation with things like that. Not because we have to be, but because we want to be. If we didn't want to be, we wouldn't. So it is with gaming companies.

And thanks, I'll keep my piss-poor ethics, thank you very much.
(By the way, I know the immediacy of the goods isn't on par, but just exchange 'book' with 'videogame', and 'health' with 'happiness', and you've got a worthy analogy).

Yeah, sure, and if you take "chocolate cake" and exchange it with "infectious pus," you've got a worthy dessert. The comparison you've made is borderline psychotic.

I own my choice. My Assassin's Creed 2 is not the same game that Ubi sells. Mine can be played without a disc in the drive, and can also be played offline. So, you own your choice, I have nothing against it. But let me make mine, ok?

That's just it--you're NOT owning your choice. You're trying to weakly rationalize what's wrong with your choice. You're claiming that you're doing something that borders on SAVING LIVES. Your Assassin's Creed 2 IS the same game that Ubi sells--it uses all of their characters, sound effects, art assets, gameplay software, and other expensive bits and bobs.

The difference is yours is illegitimate. It was taken from the company without permission or just compensation. So YOU didn't take it, fine. But you KNOW that it was taken without permission and you defend it anyway. To say it's a "different product" is like me ripping a rearview mirror off your car and saying "Well, this isn't your car! It's a totally different car--see, no mirror!"

You want to "own" your choice? Then own up to it. Regardless of the REASON you play stolen copies of games, YOU DO.

You seriously need a source for this, after John Funk's testimony about China, about others' testimonies about Africa, South America, and my testimonies for Eastern Europe? Why don't you just read other people's comments too? I'm sure you'll find plenty of sources.

I've found plenty of sources that say it happens. You haven't presented a single one that makes the case that these things have no precedent as being illegal or even culturally abhorrent in these countries. The rest of my post makes my stance very clear, if you'll go back and read what you skipped.

And about the percentages: USA has ~300 million residents. The EU something like ~700 million. You know what China has? ~1,3 billion. That's USA + EU + another USA. Care to factor India in? It's ~1 billion. Care to factor South America + Russia too? Let's better not. Sources: the World Atlas, sheesh.

So, simply because a large percentage of the world "isn't the US," we're going to jump straight to the assumption that ALL of those other countries have NO laws regarding theft or the protection of intellectual property?

dastardly - Intellectual Property laws would only treat the symptoms. That's the problem with it - the States HAVE it, many other countries do (mine included, they're working on it as we speak), but that won't SOLVE the issue of pirating. Not by a long shot. If you're not convinced - just take a look what happens in the States. Many, many people pirate stuff. Intellectual Rights should be reviewed, especially regarding digital media. The quality of the media itself cannot work with the nature of the laws enacted. The laws may be fine on paper - but in reality - they don't work. Social mechanics are against it.

They DO work. You make the mistake of saying just because it doesn't work 100% of the time, it doesn't work ANY of the time. Fair use laws regarding printed material work, too--and they're MUCH harder to enforce than electronic media. Do some people still photocopy books and give them to friends? Sure. But most of the time, they don't. That's success.

But what you've completely ignored is that other countries DO have cultural precedent for defending the idea of intellectual property. It just so happens that the letter of the law has not yet applied those ideas to video games specifically by name. So this idea that it's completely "okay" in these countries is a mistaken belief--it is currently overlooked or excused, but once reason catches up to the shiny new tech...

Now you're putting words in my mouth. I never went Robin Hood. If I did, please quote me. I said making a backup copy, or making 'more' of something is a good, caring act, especially if we're talking about digital, ephemeral media that can be easily destroyed.

Yeah, but copying someone of someone else's, then selling it to someone else for personal profit... that is NOT a "good," "caring" act. Now, if these shops would send a portion of their profits to the publisher, maybe we'd think differently about it--they would be volunteering their distribution services to help the publisher deal with the cost of doing business in that country.

That doesn't make that stealing. It makes it a donation. Punishable by law, for some matter...

Yeah, so very noble of you to donate someone ELSE'S money and labor. We'll pirate you a medal--maybe a copy of the Nobel Prize!

You PAID for the game you COPIED. It's YOURS to COPY. And to give to your friend, if you want to. Of course, you can buy two separate games, but... since you have a copy... And your friend can't/won't buy it. I mean, come on?

Ah, I see. So, it's okay for me to buy a physical product, copy it, make my own, and then undercut the people currently selling it, right? Even though I can sell it for $5 to their $45, because THEY have to recover the hundreds of thousands of dollars that went into developing the product... and I can just jump in at the end, steal the finished idea, and mass-produce it to drive them out of business.

Congratulations, you just killed innovation. In your system, the guy that does it FIRST will never win, only the guy that moves SECOND. So.... no one moves. Which is maybe why no one's cranking out award-winning games in your country, perhaps?

No, you'd have to sell ~1000 copies priced $100 each, so you can make the cut. Sorry but - if you can't sell more than ~1000 copies - on a market of 1.000.000.000 buyers - your game sucked. You did a lousy job. Period. Get over it.

No no, not if it's easy and okay to pirate! Only ONE person has to buy a copy, and then everyone else will just use HIS copy. It doesn't matter how great a game is, if you say "You can have this for $50, or for FREE," people will pick free.

Sure, one can argue "If you don't like how it's sold, then don't buy it", but I deem that standpoint is too shallow to help the issue at hand, so I'll refrain from discussing it with proponents of the said logic, since I don't approve of it.

Cheers to you all.

"If you disagree with me, I won't be discussing with you." Nice work, Ambassador, we're really seeing just how our logical, practical Western ethics and morals pale in comparison to what you bring to the table--justification through aggressive ignorance.

dastardly:
*SNIP*

I won't be discussing the matter further (not with you, at any rate) because I said all I wanted to say. To reply to your denials and perspective-forcing would be to repeat myself why things are the way they ARE here, and how they can be changed. There will be no discussion unless your WE treats "my" WE with due respect, as EQUALS, which have their OWN LAWS, own reality, own budgets and our own way of life. Okay? Once you swallow that part and show some respect (and restrain some prejudice), you and me can happily engage in some... chess.

Probably "justification through aggressive ignorance" applies to yourself too, since although I did my best to inform you how things stand where I live - you don't give a damn about it. You're only interested in conforming the rest of the world to your worldview and laws. Sorry pal, won't happen.

According to you, "my" WE, and half the planet should not be able to play videogames, listen to modern music, or watch modern movies. Although you are (should?) be aware that games are not invented anymore, that nothing gets "invented" anymore. It's art and entertainment - it gets created, not invented.

Anyway, your vision is so... civilized. Why shouldn't the aliens in District 9 be locked away, yes? They're ugly and backward, why the Hell not, no? Why shouldn't you make them fight each-other for cat food, instead of integrating them? Damn, you make me feel like an alien now.

And yet you seriously wonder why the discussion would end? You know, there are plenty more reasonable people here who are decidedly anti-pirate and who have no problem whatsoever with me or my reasoning. Me and them have also agreed on many, many things. We've helped each other. And YES, respect and injustice. Be aware of those things, please. I have also stated (plenty, plenty of times) that I would buy games, and that I do buy games - and that when I do not, I cost YOU ALL nothing. Heck, it was ONE OF YOU who pirated the game in the first place! And I thank him, whoever he was, for giving me a chance to play games in my life.

Bottom line my friend: I don't agree with you.

Have a nice, civilized day.

Firstly, here's how it works--if you try to be all high-and-mighty and drop the "I'm not discussing this any further," you forfeit the 'last word' in the argument. Otherwise, you're simply continuing to do what you've already been doing--"I get to say everything I want, and anyone who disagrees is automatically prejudiced."

DuX1112:
There will be no discussion unless your WE treats "my" WE with due respect, as EQUALS, which have their OWN LAWS, own reality, own budgets and our own way of life. Okay? Once you swallow that part and show some respect (and restrain some prejudice), you and me can happily engage in some... chess.

Then use your OWN laws, reality, budget, and way of life to make your OWN games, movies, and music. Nothing entitles you to ours, not in the least bit. Or, if you really want OUR stuff that bad, pay for it. Send a letter to the publisher with a few bits of currency enclosed, as a way of saying "Hey, it's not much, but I wanted to compensate you for your work which I am enjoying."

Probably "justification through aggressive ignorance" applies to yourself too, since although I did my best to inform you how things stand where I live - you don't give a damn about it.

There's a difference between "not giving a damn about how things stand where you live" and "not thinking that your weak excuses, which you unjustly marry to a culture you claim to represent, are good enough to justify stealing."

Your culture is just fine. You can do your thing from now until world's end. No one here has said otherwise. STEALING is not (or should not be) a cultural feature, so it has nothing to do with that.

According to you, "my" WE, and half the planet should not be able to play videogames, listen to modern music, or watch modern movies.

Not true. Your "we" just should not be playing videogames, listening to "modern" music, or watching "modern" movies until you pay for them OR make them yourselves. Why does my country/culture have to provide yours with entertainment, especially free of charge? Until YOU can answer THAT, you're clearly the one with an outlandish prejudice against the more "modern" (your choice of words, not mine) nations.

And yet you seriously wonder why the discussion would end? You know, there are plenty more reasonable people here who are decidedly anti-pirate and who have no problem whatsoever with me or my reasoning.

I don't have a problem with you. I do have a problem with your reasoning. And if you can't handle that (which clearly you can't), a DISCUSSION forum is probably not your best environment. You'll be hard pressed to find someone more reasonable than me. I'm all about reason--and completely taking knee-jerk appeals to emotion out of the mix. I'm discussing things in a civil way, while you lob accusations and hyperbole about like a lawn sprinkler.

dastardly:
*SNIP*

See, I'm not even reading your post, because the very act of you disrespecting my stance on the subject and disregarding my will not to discuss matters further with you (I consider it futile) - and you clearly insisting otherwise - is pure evidence that you're pushing it, again.

You can believe and say whatever you want. It's not my problem, really. And, none of my concern. My view and yours don't overlap. I apologize, but I don't agree with you. And you can keep your judgement to yourself.

Thank you.

DuX1112:

See, I'm not even reading your post, because

You're a child. That's why.

disrespecting

You want respect? Act respectable. Discuss like an adult, instead of just throwing around idiotic accusations, playing this "gotcha last" shit, and acting like you're being wronged in some way. It's the internet, and the world is full of people who aren't going to just roll over and agree (especially not if this is the best example of your "reasoning").

disregarding my will not to discuss

Who told you to reply? Who held you at gunpoint and made you say ANYTHING else? YOU said YOU don't wish to discuss--I didn't. So that means I get to continue saying things, and YOU have to stop. You decided the terms, mate. If you don't want to discuss, you know where the "back" button is. The only thing I'm "disregarding" is your assertion that you get to declare the subject closed and that you still get the "last word" on the matter.

you're pushing it, again.

I'm staying right where I am. The one escalating things is and has been YOU. YOU keep the discussion going after you said YOU wanted out. YOU keep throwing around accusations and taking the discussion well into the realm of ad hominem. YOU are the one begging to be moderated.

So, go ahead. Say something--ANYTHING. Even posting something like "I'm not even going to answer" will do nothing but show everyone involved that you're just a childish troll looking to voice his opinion, accuse everyone else of being stupid and prejudiced, and then back out (oh, but only after getting the last word). Go ahead, let's hear it, shall we? Prove me completely right, or go completely (and silently) away.

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