Jimquisition: Piracy Episode One - Copyright

 Pages 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 NEXT
 

Piracy Episode One - Copyright

Piracy is one of those issues that will absolutely never die, like the secrets of the Bermuda Triangle of the truth of the Zelda Timeline. Jim Sterling has always had a set view on piracy -- it's not the worst crime in the world, but it's selfish theft nonetheless. However, in the wake of corporate attempts to buy our legal system, he has reexamined the piracy issue and come away with a rather altered stance.

This is the first episode in a miniature series looking at the problem of videogame piracy.

Watch Video

You weren't wrong the first time. They are. What happens in another area does not change the nature of an individual's actions.
Your example, if taken to extremes, would give a partial justification for Swinging Ape to engage in piracy - not the sideline sitting parasites who actually do so. Another bad guy in the room does not preclude you from being one, too.

Some interesting points. I guess buying old games whose developers are long gone is bad for the industry, since it gives publishers a reason not to sell the IP.

Hang on if anyone said this on the forums they would get banned faster than you could say "hypocrisy".

I completely agree with Jim though, and that was a great episode.

Dear Jim:

As a reformed pirate, I agree. And as someone who is just beginning work on a game with some friends, this is a VERY important warning to me and my fellow teammates. We will need to keep our modsbanned creative right to the project.

I find it appalling how some companies can just take your creative idea, and then neither do anything with them, nor let YOU do anything with them. It's total shit, and totally unacceptable.

I will spread this video far and wide. Stay classy, Jim. *salute*

On the other hand, these big publishers didn't seize the rights away from creators at gunpoint. They walked up and waved a bag of cash in front of them. It seemed like a good deal at the time, and I have a hard time feeling sympathy for anyone who sold their soul, or IP, to EA.*

Then on the third hand, you get stuff like a band posting videos they created themselves of their own music on Youtube and getting takedown orders from their record company because they don't have the rights to promote themselves in any way that might interfere with the company's profits. Yeah, screw that.

*I know EA wasn't actually involved in the example in the video, but I wanted to draw a selling your soul to the devil analogy, and EA just fit so well.

Well said boyo.

Also, new glasses? I ask this, because I don't usually feel your gaze drilling into my soul.

This episode gave me a mind boner.
Completely agree with everything you said.. also gutted about Metal Arms i used to love playing that back on the gamecube, at least now i know why there hasnt been another.

Interesting to see how what Jim says has changed since this whole SOPA thing. I'm not calling him a hypocrite or anything, because he's not. It's just interesting to see how his ideas are changing in light of changing events.

You mean I missed out on two more Metal Arms games? Those Bastards!

Actually, that does make a lot of sense, I always thought there were a few plotpoints and things that were just forgotten about by the end of the game. Still, it's a pity.

Oh, and to be on topic, although you have a point, I still don't think someone being a dick justifies being a dick to them, unless your dickishness helps fight their dickishness. Then again, I've always looked at morals on a personal level, rather than a big picture thing. If you take something, that doesn't belong to you, that you didn't earn, and wasn't gifted to you by someone with the right to gift it, then you are a thief and a twonk.

What's f'ed up is that in the last few months I have garnered the same rage as Jim towards publishers etc. It makes me f'ing furious recently.

And the point which I find the most poignant is that actually Publishers really are becoming totally obsolete and all this recent bullshit they've instigated really does look like nothing else than a feeble attempt at making sure they are somehow still relevant. Which they aren't. They just put billions in to making sure they can't be taken out of the loop offering totally irrelevant and immaterial services.

Anyways, best stop there before that vein on my forehead pops.

btw. I still think pirates (in video game terms) are people who don't want games as we know them to continue and thrive, but they piss me off less than the corporate scum. Especially when most of the games revenue nowaydays goes to some fat slob behind a desk without the faintest clue about games, yet calls all the shots like he does.

In fact I truly believe that the corporate side of gaming is killing the games industry far quicker than any pirates are.

Fun fact. The artists and developers own 100% of their IP. They then decide to sell the rights away for money and more resources. Duh.

Well said. This actually just changed my views on Sony and Universal Media. Fuck them. Seriously the Internet is a world all its own, one any one can contribute to, but not one that any one may regulate. Censoring it is a crime all its own.

Sober Thal:
Fun fact. The artists and developers own 100% of their IP. They then decide to sell the rights away for money and more resources. Duh.

That's what happens when the rights-buyers have rigged the game in their favor before the artists create their art. Duh.

Publishers don't sell or give back the IP to avoid competition. If they sold back the IP, then the developer could theoretically just go to another publisher for the sequel or self-publish.

I'm not saying it's good (or moral, because it does stifle creativity and I do agree with Jim), but I can rationalize the reasoning behind the action.

On the other hand, I do consider pirating games from these old, unused IPs victimless crimes.

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this why they can't get the IP back for Firefly? Because Fox now owns it?

Jimothy Sterling:

Sober Thal:
Fun fact. The artists and developers own 100% of their IP. They then decide to sell the rights away for money and more resources. Duh.

That's what happens when the rights-buyers have rigged the game in their favor before the artists create their art. Duh.

Creators have a choice to sign these contracts. Are we implying that these people who make games don't know how to read?

While copyright law is a festering pile of bullshit, I still have to say that I feel that piracy is bad for the industry in general. I mean you talk like game sales aren't where the actual developers of the games are getting their money from - or determine what games get made, etc.

You can hate on the big publishers all you want but by pirating you hurt the publisher and the developer, essentially punishing the devs for the publisher's sins.

They only spent $190k? That's peanuts. Sounds like they didn't really think it would work. If they were truly behind it, I would expect numbers in the millions.

They sold their art to people who were better placed to make money out of it... So? I hate all this "suffering artist" crap. If you don't need publishers then do it yourself, just don't cry when Modern Warfare 83 sells 83 million times as many copies as you do.

Stealing a loaf of bread from a rich person is the same as stealing it from a hobo. Not that I think piracy should be directly equated with theft. People knowingly commit crimes which disadvantage other people and their ability to make money. I don't care if it's Kotik or hobo 73.

I generally cannot agree with most kinds of piracy. However, it is an issue that is not so much just gray, but rather a white and gray. Clearly buying the game is always right, but pirating a game is not the worst thing in the world. In some cases I suppose it is better that someone pirates something than never play the game at all. Still, I cannot support piracy, only tollerate it.

Copyright law is pretty fucked up though. I think that you could be onto something with your loaning out copyrights idea Jim. It seems your limitless wisdom has yet again brought brought glorious revelation to my unworthy mind.

Sober Thal:

Jimothy Sterling:

Sober Thal:
Fun fact. The artists and developers own 100% of their IP. They then decide to sell the rights away for money and more resources. Duh.

That's what happens when the rights-buyers have rigged the game in their favor before the artists create their art. Duh.

Creators have a choice to sign these contracts. Are we implying that these people who make games don't know how to read?

It is a Hobson's choice. Especially before digital distribution became much more widespread. Sure, they could "choose" not to go through a publisher, but in an industry run by the publishers, what choice is that?

The deck is stacked in the favor of publishers. For the longest time, they've owned the deck, dealt the cards, owned the cards, and bought anybody holding the cards. Some of us don't think that should continue.

Hitchmeister:
On the other hand, these big publishers didn't seize the rights away from creators at gunpoint. They walked up and waved a bag of cash in front of them. It seemed like a good deal at the time, and I have a hard time feeling sympathy for anyone who sold their soul, or IP, to EA.*

Then on the third hand, you get stuff like a band posting videos they created themselves of their own music on Youtube and getting takedown orders from their record company because they don't have the rights to promote themselves in any way that might interfere with the company's profits. Yeah, screw that.

*I know EA wasn't actually involved in the example in the video, but I wanted to draw a selling your soul to the devil analogy, and EA just fit so well.

It is true that the creators has been paid for the rights. However I do not believe there are any buisness model that allow the creator to keep their rights. I believe it is "Give us your stuff and we get it out, or stay in the dark".

What we need is a company that can help creators get their product out, without taking the rights for the product. This would be a very big change from the current model, but it would be amazing. I think something like the indie market on XboxLive but waaaay bigger.

Excellent show, Jim. Really one of the best in a while. Hopefully you'll also mention the insane length of copyrights (which are now owned by these companies in many cases): around 130 years or 70 years after the death of the original artist if I remember correctly. All so the lumbering, undead behemoth that is Disney can keep its mascot under copyright until the end of eternity, long after the death of its original creator.

When those rich men make their money off anything they themselves have made aside from more money or a business structure, then we'll talk about who's ripping off who.

I totally agree with this.
in some cases piracy is the only way to get older movies/games/songs and if the rent-a-license plan where to get implemented it would make the internet a better place.

Jimothy Sterling:

Sober Thal:

Jimothy Sterling:

That's what happens when the rights-buyers have rigged the game in their favor before the artists create their art. Duh.

Creators have a choice to sign these contracts. Are we implying that these people who make games don't know how to read?

It is a Hobson's choice. Especially before digital distribution became much more widespread. Sure, they could "choose" not to go through a publisher, but in an industry run by the publishers, what choice is that?

The deck is stacked in the favor of publishers. For the longest time, they've owned the deck, dealt the cards, owned the cards, and bought anybody holding the cards. Some of us don't think that should continue.

Hobson's choice, eh? Damn right! It's their money! You want their money, you agree to what they offer. If Valve is such an evil entity (publisher) why do people bend over backwards to praise them?

The 'artists' need to wise up if this is as bad for them as people seem to be saying.

Sober Thal:

Jimothy Sterling:

Sober Thal:
Fun fact. The artists and developers own 100% of their IP. They then decide to sell the rights away for money and more resources. Duh.

That's what happens when the rights-buyers have rigged the game in their favor before the artists create their art. Duh.

Creators have a choice to sign these contracts. Are we implying that these people who make games don't know how to read?

Publishers won't even look at a developer if the developer wants to keep the majority share of the rights to the IP. The only exception is when the developer has already become well known enough to have publishers compete for them.

The most problematic aspect of this attitude, while it deservedly takes out one's frustrations on the obsolete publishing system, is that the content creators have to rely on charity. Unless we have an alternate system of intellectual property, creators of digital content (which is a post-scarcity good, cannot be evaluated objectively and can hardly fit in the classical supply/demand economy) must rely on the good will of their customers to support them (much like a street performer does) even though their creations can be acquired freely, everywhere, at any time, in unlimited amounts. We'll soon be forced to face this problem with new views on intellectual property, because the old ones are almost impossible to maintain and enforce. For example, smaller content (like music) is more and more commonly just freely distributed (which acts as marketing to the creator) and the creator then earns from live appearances. Of course, this doesn't apply to videogames, so people smarter than me will have to figure out how the medium will sustain itself in the future. Maybe on-demand cloud gaming? Maybe ubiquitous, approachable, freely-given, tiny games that you can donate to, or that have microtransactions of some sort?

But in the meantime, these companies are artificially creating scarcity by trying to censor and control the means of distribution. If free and unlimited web access is rare, then access to games is restricted and special and therefore worth more! BRILLIANT! So of course they'll step over human rights to achieve it, it would be the Philosopher's Stone for media companies!

Did you know that copyright law was not meant to create huge profits?
The original law was meant as a protection of intellectual property for a period of max 28 years, as to prevent stealing of new ideas and after that period ANYONE was permitted to change alter and publish new stories based on the works without permission. It's a pretty awesome idea at the core, smart and creative people get incentive to make new shit and after 28 year (lets face it if you haven't been working on new ip or updated your old ip it's very unlikely that a sudden bolt of creativity will hit your brain and you'll start expanding on your 28 old year book or whatever) fans can start tangents and new stories based on you work. This was so that no one person could live a whole life with just one contribution to society.
Now for sake of an example let's look at the creations of Walt Disney. Do you even remember when was the last time a good Mickey Mouse cartoon, book etc. came out? Well I don't and I fucking love Mickey Mouse. The thing is that by extending copyright ad infinitum you prevent eager and capable people bringing new life to old creations.

here's a nice video that explains it:

I don't know how this would relate to more modern problems such as piracy, but I'm sure if the 28 years rule was still in effect things would be a lot different.

newdarkcloud:

Sober Thal:

Jimothy Sterling:

That's what happens when the rights-buyers have rigged the game in their favor before the artists create their art. Duh.

Creators have a choice to sign these contracts. Are we implying that these people who make games don't know how to read?

Publishers won't even look at a developer if the developer wants to keep the majority share of the rights to the IP. The only exception is when the developer has already become well known enough to have publishers compete for them.

What's wrong with that? Are publishers just supposed to gamble away money on possible crap product?

Holy shit, this is exactly what has been going through my head for these last few weeks and you've put it into words. Fuck the corporations!

The Metal Arms thing reminded me of how Piranha Bites lost the rights to the Gothic universe.
The new developers butchered the series starting with Gothic 4 and the series is now a mediocre-bad action rpg with zero innovation. However they do get to cash in on the earlier Gothics.

Thankfully , the Piranhas have brought us Risen and a sequel is on the horizon. But I still hate the fact that their franchise was hijacked by a publisher and ultimately taken to the slaughtering table.

It's like taking someone's race horse to turn it into sausage. FFS !

Sober Thal:

Jimothy Sterling:

Sober Thal:
Fun fact. The artists and developers own 100% of their IP. They then decide to sell the rights away for money and more resources. Duh.

That's what happens when the rights-buyers have rigged the game in their favor before the artists create their art. Duh.

Creators have a choice to sign these contracts. Are we implying that these people who make games don't know how to read?

Yeah they have a massive choice don't they? "Oh you don't sign the contract? You get no funding, you don't get distribution, you don't get advertisement. Have fun making your game jackoff."

OT: Thank god for jim, at least someone can admit when they are wrong instead of acting like the publishers need little white knights to defend them from the big bad pirates

FelixG:

Sober Thal:

Jimothy Sterling:

That's what happens when the rights-buyers have rigged the game in their favor before the artists create their art. Duh.

Creators have a choice to sign these contracts. Are we implying that these people who make games don't know how to read?

Yeah they have a massive choice don't they? "Oh you don't sign the contract? You get no funding, you don't get distribution, you don't get advertisement. Have fun making your game jackoff."

OT: Thank god for jim, at least someone can admit when they are wrong instead of acting like the publishers need little white knights to defend them from the big bad pirates

Notch is such a jackoff, isn't he...

Sober Thal:

Jimothy Sterling:

Sober Thal:

Creators have a choice to sign these contracts. Are we implying that these people who make games don't know how to read?

It is a Hobson's choice. Especially before digital distribution became much more widespread. Sure, they could "choose" not to go through a publisher, but in an industry run by the publishers, what choice is that?

The deck is stacked in the favor of publishers. For the longest time, they've owned the deck, dealt the cards, owned the cards, and bought anybody holding the cards. Some of us don't think that should continue.

Hobson's choice, eh? Damn right! It's their money! You want their money, you agree to what they offer. If Valve is such an evil entity (publisher) why do people bend over backwards to praise them?

The 'artists' need to wise up if this is as bad for them as people seem to be saying.

You're confusing what steam does. Microsoft owns the halo IP. EA owns the dead space IP. Tell me how Steam owns Space Pirates and Zombies, Solar 2, Dungeons of Dredmor, or any other indie Game. Jim's statements were never against valve.

 Pages 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Registered for a free account here