Jimquisition: Piracy Episode One - Copyright

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Carnagath:
[quote="Robert B. Marks"

Robert B. Marks:

4. If anybody wants to say that game companies are not injured by computer game piracy, I would ask them to take a moment and count the number of PC game companies that hopped ship to the smaller console market over the last 10 years. Compared to 2002, the computer game world is considerably sparser than it used to be.

Hmm... Nope, getting nothing. Do tell. Which PC game companies jumped ship? I can't think of a single one that abandoned the PC market and devoted themselves exclusively to consoles. Many of them realized the market expansion in consoles and turned their releases multiplatform, sure, some of them may even have decided to not release some of their titles on the PC due to specific logistics of those particular titles, but can't think of a single one that has written the PC off. Example of the above: Rockstar. Yes, they did not release Red Dead Redemption for the PC, but they did release LA Noire and will release Max Payne 3. I can however think of a multitude of examples of studios that were bought by behemoth publishers over the last 10 years, who agreed to fund and promote their projects, but instead cannibalized them and their intellectual property. How ironic...

I'm not going to reply in this thread more than once - I have found that online arguments don't tend to be worth the time. But, if you want your example, here's one: Epic. They started as a PC company called Epic Megagames, and have since moved to consoles. Their console titles do get PC releases, but by a different company.

But, if you really want a better picture, read this: http://www.tweakguides.com/Piracy_5.html

That link is from a website that did a proper analysis of the numbers, and talked about why the migration from a PC market measured in billions of PCs to a console market of under 100 million consoles took place.

And that's all I have to say on the subject.

"like the secrets of the Bermuda Triangle of the truth of the Zelda Timeline."
I think you meant "or" and not "of", writer of the video blurb. Either way, you should be aware your Escapist buddies already noted an Official Zelda timeline BOOK was published by Nintendo... So that's become a moot issue...

And this is where we see what SOPA and PIPA were really about- you couldn't be attached to any other company if you wanted to distribute your own work on the internet because then the other company would have the site taken down. This was their plan to kill online distribution.

Looks like ESA has looked at the amount of money the RIAA and MPAA have and decided they want in on that.

I hate all these mergers. I miss Sierra a lot, The Realm was my first MMO. I also miss 3D0, and the Might and Magic franchise.

Come back T.T

Also, just wondering... coincidence?
image

I think people going off on copyright law miss the point. Piracy get's the "theft" label because of the claim that any download is a lost sale. But what about when the product isn't being made available and probably won't, something us anime fans have been saying for years. I download a lot of older anime just because legal issues keep region 1 releases from happening. Held IPs are the same problem, they aren't selling to me, so what am I costing them by downloading. Why hold the IP at all if you aren't going to use it, unless we're right and it's to keep the property from going elsewhere and becoming competetion. It actually stifles IP by taking something permenently off the table for use.

Without rejecting the idea of copyright law, I do support a use it or lose it idea. It becomes fair game if not used or in active development for 5 years. Either some good ideas will be put back into the hands of someone willing to use them, or everything will be on PSN just to retain the rights.

Nasrin:

image

Weirdly, I had this exact thought whilst watching the video: 'Damn, I've never noticed before that Jim Stirling looks like a slightly larger version of Garth Merenghi...'

Interesting points Jim. I to long for the day that publishers, record labels and movie studios are no longer relevant. However the price of making a AAA means that the video game publishers will be around for awhile yet.

I really do think creators of IPs should retain their rights in some form, unless they sell it on to another party. And I'd suggest a similar thing to music rights in the UK where by the rights expire so many years after the song was released and moves into the public domain. This would games like Metal Arms sitting in a publishers attic forever never to be used again.

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.

If I remember right, companies can actually seize any creative works you make while in their employ. So if you spend your time off making an indie title in your basement, guess who gets to claim a free IP.

Not so big a deal for people intentionally trying to sell their ideas, but a hindrance for any programmer or artist with higher aspirations.

Thats an interesting way to look at the argument and to some extent I do agree with you.

However I still believe that Piracy is stealing - it is still the individuals choice. I would much rather they went and brought a pre-owned game than stole it. At least the money then goes towards a shop such as GAMEUK or Gamestop and keeps them going. Stealing it benefits no one but the stealer.

Slightly off topic but I do have a question on piracy. Say someone was telling an unpracticed story and without their knowledge someone was writing it down. That person then published it without the knowledge of the teller. Would that be wrong to copyright in any way?

I agree with essentially all of his points. I don't have any sympathy for any corporations who get upset of pirates stealing games that don't hurt them at all. However, I tend to have a little disdain for people who pirate new games, ones that have been out for about a month or so.

I hope the laws change soon to give the artist the copyright instead of the developer to squeeze money out of. I wonder how Ubisoft does their business. I hope they aren't gonna screw around with Assassin's Creed. They haven't yet but there's always that possibility.

I hate to curse but Jim brought something back up.

Well all I have to say is this video had about 5 too many dildos than I required it to have.

Diana Kingston-Gabai:

Sober Thal:
How so? You mean the people that don't know how to research a product before they buy it?

Yeah, they gamble, and it's silly.

I fail to see how any amount of research would've stopped customers from shelling out substantial amounts of money for products like "Elemental: War of Magic" or "Amy", to name just a few recent duds...

My brain exploded.

http://www.metacritic.com/game/pc/elemental-war-of-magic
http://www.metacritic.com/game/xbox-360/amy

ONE STEP STOP.

And Amy is not a "substantial" amount of money. It's the same as a full meal at McDonalds. I'm guessing that you don't do ANY research at all, since it doesn't work? >:(

that is actually damn brilliant. companies have gone to such disingenuous extremes to protect their own dated breadmaking tactics that it is no longer possible to feel bad when someone "steals" from them.

its like if someone broke into your house and stole a jar a raspberry jam, and you went on a hissy fit, pouring billions into campaigning for a bill that would give you the right to arrest anyone when the same brand of jam in their fridge, hiding behind some notion of protecting your right to delicious bagel spread.

im sorry you lost your jam, but for fucks sake chill out.

JasonBurnout16:

Slightly off topic but I do have a question on piracy. Say someone was telling an unpracticed story and without their knowledge someone was writing it down. That person then published it without the knowledge of the teller. Would that be wrong to copyright in any way?

I think the first person to publish the story would count as the author. Publishing is a broad term though, if the person who told the story did it in front of a public audience it would probably count as publishing.

Sober Thal:

Dragon Age 2 was a great game

After browsing these forums for quite some time... I honestly, until now, didn't know you had a sense of humor.

DeadlyYellow:

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.

If I remember right, companies can actually seize any creative works you make while in their employ. So if you spend your time off making an indie title in your basement, guess who gets to claim a free IP.

Not so big a deal for people intentionally trying to sell their ideas, but a hindrance for any programmer or artist with higher aspirations.

You remember wrong.

Unless your contract with the employer specifically includes such clauses, in which case they aren't "seizing" anything, because you agreed they had ownership when you started working for them.

And yes, for people who are working in tech companies, language of this sort in the contract is fairly common. That's why you hear of people (like, say, Gabe Newell) leaving their jobs (like, say, at Microsoft) to form their own companies (like, say, Valve) before going forward with their development ideas.

Copyright law is seriously screwed up. As are the ways in which many content creators are forced to negotiate if they want their product to get advertised and distributed through mainstream channels.

Consider for a moment this business with Sony and Spider-Man. Sony is making a new Spider-Man movie because if they don't, they lose their right to the license back to Marvel.

That's the way it should work, but that's not the standard. That happened because a company like Marvel has the money and clout to negotiate something like that with another big company like Sony.

As it stands, copyright on an IP can last for over a hundred years. Long after the death of its creators, a corporation can still make a buck on Mickey Mouse or Superman... And stomp on a day-care center for painting one of those characters on their wall without authorization.

In at least one sense, Jim is spot-on. SOPA and PIPA are to a great extent more about controlling the means of distribution than actual copyright infringement. About old-media companies sinking their claws into new-media ones to prevent themselves from sliding into irrelevance, any wounds they inflict on the upstarts in the process being a bonus.

To be clear: Minecraft is the exception, not the rule. There are plenty of developers selling their games on Steam who languish in obscurity, and it's not because their work isn't any good; it's still very difficult for a small, independent development team to draw the attention to be successful. Which leads many back to the big publishers and those Faustian bargains to raise development and advertising capital at the cost of losing their hard work.

Sober Thal:

newdarkcloud:

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?

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?

Are you even aware of the ludicrous double standard in what you've said?

Consumers are supposed to be capable of doing research to find out if the game is any good. Developers are supposed to be able to go through enormous contracts with a fine toothed comb while wolves growl at their door and the members of their team live on ramen noodles- not that they necessarily have agents or legal teams to go through the ramifications of those contracts, they're just supposed to be inherently able to do so under pressure, and if not, well, sucks to be them.

But the big publishers! Oh, dear stars, won't someone think of the poor Sonys and Activisions and EAs?! How are they supposed to live without contracts that screw over their serfs? Why should companies with millions in the bank be expected to suffer any kind of risk? It's not like they can do any sort of research! It's not like they get some kind of- I don't know, design document or prospectus advising them as to what the developer hopes to do with their money, so they might scrutinize it and consider whether it's a good investment or not. It's not like they have marketing departments to advise them on just this matter. It's not like they can set milestones demanding certain results by a certain time frame, or even withhold payment altogether if the development team doesn't suddenly move in an entirely different direction.

No, no! The publishers are the victims, here! And a contract that has a creator lose all rights to the work they've created, that may see that work turned over to create derivative works that they don't see a cent from- why, how could a dev recognize that with anything other than humble gratitude?

One thing I wondered is that, when Copyright ends, how do you stop people from alterting stuff (this is just based on my knowledge, so it maybe wrong.) Let's say when Lotro goes copyright free, then couldn't anyone say: "I am going to make an offical sequel!" or I am going to change how the stories went.

Then in such as a universe as Middle Earth, how do you tell what is canon and what's not afterwards..?

I don't want to make a universe, and then after copyright ends, someone continues the works and butchereds the characters.

This was an interesting episode for me personally.

I feel like a lot of pirates don't morally differentiate between 'victimless' stealing from Publishing giants and taking stuff from small, struggling artists.

Case in point, I felt pretty sad the first time I found these:

http://www.google.ie/search?ix=hcb&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=miracle+of+sound#sclient=psy-ab&hl=en&safe=off&source=hp&q=miracle+of+sound+torrent&pbx=1&oq=miracle+of+sound+torrent&aq=f&aqi=g1g-m1g-b1&aql=&gs_sm=e&gs_upl=1858l4958l0l5329l8l7l0l0l0l0l226l1033l1.5.1l7l0&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.,cf.osb&fp=6985811cc01f9710&ix=hcb&biw=1280&bih=699

See, that's why I love living in Germany. Under German copyright law, it is technically impossible to "give away" the copyright to anything. You, as creator, ALWAYS own it. You can of course contractually lend it to a company and give exclusive rights, but it always defaults back to the creator if the company does not use it. Why doesn't copyright law in common law countries work like that? Because common law has been obsolete since before its creation, that's why.

Korten12:
One thing I wondered is that, when Copyright ends, how do you stop people from alterting stuff (this is just based on my knowledge, so it maybe wrong.) Let's say when Lotro goes copyright free, then couldn't anyone say: "I am going to make an offical sequel!" or I am going to change how the stories went.

Then in such as a universe as Middle Earth, how do you tell what is canon and what's not afterwards..?

I don't want to make a universe, and then after copyright ends, someone continues the works and butchereds the characters.

The simple answer is, you don't. Disney is well know for having 'butchered' a lot of original IP. And some of the authors that Disney borrowed from themselves had a liberal view of their sources. Another way to see it is to call it artistic interpretation.

If Lord of The Rings is considered to be the best by our ancestors, they may treat the original as 'canon'. If they consider a derived work better that would probably become the popular interpretation.

Jim is 100% right about publishers being the middle man. And we need to cut the middle man out of the equation. It's a purely capitalist concept that's no longer necessary because of other ways of distributing material, thanks to technology development. Most publishers really are just a bunch of people who don't do anything and they get payed a lot for it. Why should they exist? The world would be a better place is all developers published their own stuff.

Bostur:

Korten12:
One thing I wondered is that, when Copyright ends, how do you stop people from alterting stuff (this is just based on my knowledge, so it maybe wrong.) Let's say when Lotro goes copyright free, then couldn't anyone say: "I am going to make an offical sequel!" or I am going to change how the stories went.

Then in such as a universe as Middle Earth, how do you tell what is canon and what's not afterwards..?

I don't want to make a universe, and then after copyright ends, someone continues the works and butchereds the characters.

The simple answer is, you don't. Disney is well know for having 'butchered' a lot of original IP. And some of the authors that Disney borrowed from themselves had a liberal view of their sources. Another way to see it is to call it artistic interpretation.

If Lord of The Rings is considered to be the best by our ancestors, they may treat the original as 'canon'. If they consider a derived work better that would probably become the popular interpretation.

But shouldn't there be the option to only allow some people to edit or expand on the works or none at all. For like, ever?

I couldn't agreed more, this is EXACTLY what this is ALL ABOUT! Remember (i think 2 years ago) they try to pass a "orphan art" law? where companies can go around the net, and "Adopt" an art that was not "Copyrighted" (like going through all the paper works, money prepossessing to get), such like a piece of "art student's work", they can just pick up, and use!? with out being punished for?, and now they are saying that we can't even use their game clips to do rents/reviews? WTF!?

Korten12:
One thing I wondered is that, when Copyright ends, how do you stop people from alterting stuff (this is just based on my knowledge, so it maybe wrong.) Let's say when Lotro goes copyright free, then couldn't anyone say: "I am going to make an offical sequel!" or I am going to change how the stories went.

Then in such as a universe as Middle Earth, how do you tell what is canon and what's not afterwards..?

I don't want to make a universe, and then after copyright ends, someone continues the works and butchereds the characters.

When copyright ends the material in question is considered public domain. That means it is free for the public to use in whatever manner anybody sees fit. So yes, anybody could say they're going to make a sequel.

But you don't have to worry, because copyright of anything created since 1978 lasts for the life of the author, plus 70 years. So that universe you created is guaranteed to remain under copyright long after you're dead and probably beyond when even your kids are dead.

Even then, by the time it gets close to expiry, I expect Disney will have bought yet another extension to the legislation.

Personally, I'm surprised Jim Sterling can't manage to hold enough hate in his heart for both the practices of the industry (especially with respect to legislation) and the pirates.

I certainly can.

They are killing their own market...

I life in europe, for many many years it would take 6 months easily for a movie that came out in America to come out here. Why? WHY!

There are quite some movies we would love to own on well DVD and Blu-ray and yes even on some kind of streaming service. Again if the big guns upstairs don't want it .. all you can do is go grey!

That and their fight against a changing world. A world in what the internet is good enough to provide our entertainment. But guess what..they still shrug it off. Sure there is netflix in america but not in europe!

Yes and I do dislike how they are acting like spoiled brats. Yes they have the money to buy the goverment and the laws... even against the wishes of the normal people.

I find this subject interesting because the oldest entertainment industry has the most friendly attitude towards the creators of their products. The Publishing Industry where the writers own their copyright and the publishers job is to print and distribute the content.

Marmooset:
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.

Pretty much this. Someone being a dick doesn't give you right to be a dick right back. It may be therapeutic, but it's far from justified.

That said, Jim is pretty much spot-on insofar as copyright law does need to change. Unfortunately, the changes it needs are directly opposed to the entertainment industry making piles of cash, and as such is not likely to pass.

Scrustle:
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.

It is and I hope more people are starting to look at the other side of the argument. After SOPA/PIPA, I would have to question the sanity of anyone who still fights FOR the bottom line of multi-millionaire corporations. The same corporations who flat out told everyone that they don't care about consumer rights or internet freedom. Don't fight for them people, they won't fight for you and in fact were fighting against you.

I'm starting to like you more and more, Jim. Hardly an episode goes by when I'm not in complete agreement with you already.

How many seconds after SOPA gets passed will this video get taken down by the government?

Sober Thal:

Diana Kingston-Gabai:

Sober Thal:

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

Why not? We (the customers) do...

How so? You mean the people that don't know how to research a product before they buy it?

Yeah, they gamble, and it's silly.

By research, does that include downloading a full game trial, to determine if your PC can run it, because the publishers didn't want to fund a demo and wanted you to buy blind?

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