Jimquisition: Piracy Episode One - Copyright

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Crono1973:

JMeganSnow:

Crono1973:

I am going to make a few assumptions here, correct me if I get some wrong. I am going to assume that you:

- want publishers to respect the proper rights of developers
- you don't pirate games

Has your contribution made publishers more respectable to developers? I would say that the more money you give to publishers, the worse they act but that's just my opinion.

Something like that is hard to measure, but I'd say yes, because the developers I *like* and buy products from are still in existence and still making money, even though a lot of them have swapped publishers.

Has it prevented the developers from signing away too many of their rights? No. But that's on them. Now, if I bought any random dreck that came out of a publishing house, that'd be a problem. I buy only specific games by studios I like, and if I get a game I don't like, I abandon that series. That's why I didn't get Mass Effect 2 and won't be getting ME3, even though I quite like the Dragon Age series by the same studio. I support only the particular products I want.

So what developers have received more respect from their publishers that you buy games from?

Just saying "Don't pirate and publishers will respect devs more" doesn't make any sense. It's like saying "If you want McDonalds to stop messing up your order, keep giving them money".

There is a HUGE difference between saying "don't steal" and "keep buying every shitty product they produce". If you dislike what a publisher is doing, DON'T PLAY THEIR GAMES. Don't pirate them, don't buy them, DON'T HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH THEM IN ANY WAY WHATSOEVER.

If you want to support proper relationships, buy proper products. Don't steal improper ones, eschew them altogether.

To use your analogy, what you are saying is that, if McDonalds keeps screwing up your order, you should steal their stuff. No. You should stop eating at McDonalds altogether. Which is what I do. I pay for what I want. I don't do ANYTHING about what I don't want.

Sober Thal:

Itsthefuzz:

Sober Thal:

Uhm...er... I think you failed maybe?

There is no humor in that post, nor this one. You could list 5 things that made DA 2 bad and I could probably agree with you that those things weren't good. I still loved that game more than the original. I would also bet you could list 5 games you think are better than DA 2, and I could list 5 things that made them not as great (for me) as DA 2.

I will also go on the record by saying I have never been paid by EA, Ubisoft, Bethesda, Valve, Actavision, ect ect ect...

Honestly you don't have to stay committed to the joke, it was funny you don't need to prove it. Still I appreciate the good humor.

It's not a joke dude. Can you understand that? Or are you just trying to get a rise out of me?

No, I wasn't. What else was I supposed to think you were doing?

ACman:

Cureacao:

If you allow a recording company to produce your album than you're almost definitely in a contract. Record labels aren't stupid, they realise that bands might use them for one album and then drop them and they contract to combat this.

Sounds like a good reason to avoid that contract and find someone who is just going to market you instead of insisting on rights and outmoded methods of distibution. With viral marketing you can get an amazing amount of coverage. All you need to do is chuck you track up on soundcloud and hit the music blogs and reddit\music.

Every label contracts. There are some Christian labels out there that contract with great flexibility, but they still contract. If publishers don't utilise contracts they can get screwed ridiculously easily and waste a lot of time and money on artists who abuse their services. While you can go with just getting marketing experts you're still forced to expend a lot of time and money on all the other things publishers do which I have listed in a previous post (if you can't remember/be bothered looking, it was a lot).

Viral marketing is no walk in the park. To get a decent campaign going you need a lot of time and know-how. Sure you can hit up music blogs and reddit and that might get you a couple of fans, but no one will really care unless you have something amazing. You have to show people why they should care about you and why you're better than the millions of other people doing the exact same thing as you, and that is where this falls short. Publishers have the capability and knowledge to show people why they should care and why you're different.

ACman:

Cureacao:

People who write great books/music will almost always get a publishing deal.

No. People who write commercially viable music and books will always get publishing deals. I can think of quite a few of my favorite authors who spend years getting that first deal. And most of my favorite music wasn't touched by big companies until they had success in the independent field. Now that you aren't reliant on big publishers for distribution all they can really offer is marketing.

Hmm, I see you cut out the end of that sentence. If you look again you'll notice in brackets I put, '(assuming their great works gather them a fanbase)'. I suppose that's not really too important though.

I agree with your first statements here. Artists don't get published if they can't prove they're what people want. Where your argument falls apart is you don't acknowledge how much bigger the publishers make them. Being independent is great and all but one of two thing generally happen: People find that they are no longer amassing new fans, they hit a wall. Or they find that they are only gathering fans at a much decreased rate than before. Everyone that you can reach has been reached and no one else really cares. Most indie people get stuck here, some can pass through it but they are few and far between. Publishers, on the other hand, are constantly researching and evaluating where you're at and seeing how you can gather more support. As in, there are people who make their living charting and graphing artists and discovering where they should be marketed next. Doing this by themselves is damn hard since they lack the expertise of these people (well, probably).

ACman:

Cureacao:

, a solid mixer, about 10 different mics and decent music mixing and mastering programmes

You'd be surprised at what a computer can achieve here.

Depends. If we're talking about one guy making dance music then I probably would be surprised. If we're talking about anything that covers the spectrum from soft rock - metal with some indie thrown in, then I doubt I'd be surprised. The recording quality always suffers when it's not done properly. Mixing is a lot harder than people give credit for, the difference between a professionally mixed/recorded track and a track done by an amateur is staggering.

-snippity-

Hmm, well played sir. I concede on this one, although I must say I don't think going around a publisher is necessarily the best way to go in all cases.

The barriers to entry into the print and music industries have been demolished. Without the need for physical copies and the new ability to market your self to niche websites ( escapist/extra credits is an example of this) big traditional publishers aren't particularly necessary.

You kinda terraformed my argument here. Extra Credits weren't indie in that example, if they were ALL they would have is their own site (which they don't as they put their videos on PAtv) and they would only be advertising on Escapist/PAtv as opposed to uploading their content. Or something like this. I'm actually starting to become confused at my own analogy... My point is, this is still a very viable market for music publishers to still be in (and book publishers if you want to get hard copies out. I'm sure they're good for other stuff but I can't argue that point due to lack of information and you having bested me :P you cheeky monkey) because of their infallible knowledge in the way the industry works and their supporting and nurturing of bands. Unless they're evil and take everything away from the artists, then they deserve to BURN (metaphorically).

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.

Without reading 8 pages of content, I don't know if anyone's refuted this, but it's not true.

If you're working for a company like EA or Activision as an employee and create something original, they own it. As their employee, they own whatever you create. Unless you happen to be in a position to sit down and sign a contract with them wherein you retain rights to the properties you create.

Sure, if Mr. Smith creates a game and along comes the devil with a million bucks and he signs on the line, no one should have a problem with whatever the devil does with that IP.

There's also a lot of grey areas in between all the way from being able to own elements of an IP right up to creators literally being swindled out of their intellectual property.

You're statement is disingenuous at best.

Great episode, now this argument I can get behind, yes support and buy from the Creators who made the material but as for greedy businesses that steal the rights from those creators, F... them.

To be honest i think the Metal Arms thing is more a case a Abandonware; software that has long since stopped being available to buy... anywhere and whos rights can be seen to have lapsed due to the copywrite holder not using the IP.

Abondonia and other sites are a great example of how these games are kept alive and how this is really a grey area and not a piracy issue at all.

rembrandtqeinstein:
Thank God for Jim! Telling it like it is.

You distilled the problem to exactly its bare essence. The question isn't whether not not creators should be compensated for their work.

The question is do we use the scarce resources of our legal system to subsidize the profits of a few publishing companies at the expense of the public domain and freedom of communication?

My answer was always NO.

And piracy is GOOD for indies: example, http://moreintelligentlife.com/story/internet-piracy-is-good-for-films-1 and also http://400lonelythings.blogspot.com/2009/11/flyway-transmission-two-ink.html

It kind of seems like copyright law is used less for protecting artist as it's so that big companies can be the only place that gets to make the remake.

If we had the old copyright laws there is nothing that says 28 years later Paramount could not make a remake of it's old film. But because Paramount is so worried that 28 years later Warner Brothers might make the remake of the Paramount film the copyright laws are rigged to give a copyright almost forever.

Instead of the risk of new stuff companies rather just milk the old stuff or let the old stuff sit on a shelf just so no one else can use it. After 28 years if you haven't done something with a book series or movie series then chances are you aren't ever going to do anything with it.

Ashley Blalock:
Instead of the risk of new stuff companies rather just milk the old stuff or let the old stuff sit on a shelf just so no one else can use it.

Right. Copyrights are a 'right of monopoly', meaning it ensures by force of law that a certain person or company is the only one permitted to create a specific product.

It's not unlike any other form of monopoly. By its nature, it removes the incentive to improve and innovate.

This is ironic, because the stated goal of copyright is to encourage the innovation of new artistic works.

Zom-B:

If you're working for a company like EA or Activision as an employee and create something original, they own it. As their employee, they own whatever you create. Unless you happen to be in a position to sit down and sign a contract with them wherein you retain rights to the properties you create.

Yeah, it's a muddy issue. In most cases though, even if you're an employee you sign away your IP claim in writing as part of your employment contract.

It's very unusual for someone to believe that they have copyright on some particular work, only to find by surprise that they're not eligible to the rights to their own work. Almost always the actual creator will automatically be granted copyrights unless they're explicitly signed away.

This is especially interesting in the area of photography. Did you know that if you commission someone to take your picture, the photographer owns the copyrights? You legally can't reproduce the photographs of yourself that you paid someone to take of you, unless you buy the rights from them. This isn't theoretical, either; it's quite common for photographers to have a set price for buying the rights to the photographs you commission.

JMeganSnow:
There is a HUGE difference between saying "don't steal" and "keep buying every shitty product they produce". If you dislike what a publisher is doing, DON'T PLAY THEIR GAMES.

Seems to me that once you have decided you won't buy the game under any circumstance, it doesn't affect the copyright holder whether you make an unauthorized copy or not.

I suppose you could say, in that situation, downloading their game actually helps them in a small way, so if you're protesting them you shouldn't even do that. So maybe you're right, JMeganSnow.

Very well put. It doesn't fall in line completely in line with my views of piracy(because I don't correlate piracy to lost sales, for starters, my main contention is with the idea that piracy reduces sales instead of promotes them).

But this does definitely exemplify why I love buying indie games.

Speaking of indie titles. Fortune Summoners by publisher Carpe Fulgur should be coming out 5 days from now. That would definitely be a good indie game to support! Believe me, they're not a publisher that is hogging a lot of money.

Sober Thal:

Louzerman102:

Sober Thal:

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.

Valve is a publisher too. I realize they don't publish every game on STEAM. Jim makes it sound as if EVERY publisher is evil, and devs have no choice in the matter. Devs need to wise up. Look at Notch and Minecraft. It isn't easy to get your name out their, nor should it be. You pay these big named companies for work they do. No money? Sell the rights, or do the work yourself (if every publisher is soooo evil).

I'm sure someone's brought this up by now, but in case they haven't, according to the Steam store, the only games published by Valve were developed by Valve (look up a Valve title, click where it says publisher: Valve, and it lists all the games published by Valve. Find me one game on that list that wasn't also developed by them), and Jim specifically stated that he has no issue with copyright holders who actually made the content.

JMeganSnow:
There is a HUGE difference between saying "don't steal" and "keep buying every shitty product they produce". If you dislike what a publisher is doing, DON'T PLAY THEIR GAMES. Don't pirate them, don't buy them, DON'T HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH THEM IN ANY WAY WHATSOEVER.

If you want to support proper relationships, buy proper products. Don't steal improper ones, eschew them altogether.

I hate to have to make the obvious statement that piracy is not stealing yet again. But piracy is not stealing.

Furthermore, you're just status-quo mongering and ordering people around. Do you really think that just telling people to stay away from things they're not interested has lots of weight to it? For everyone person ordering people to stay far away from the things they're not interested in, is someone calling someone a closed minded, idiot, retarded fanboy/girl bigot and ordering them to play "good" games they like and stop playing "bad games" they don't like.

Ordering people around isn't an argument. And your argument doesn't hold any more weight than the thousands of gamers ordering people to stop playing jRPGs, stop justifying playing jRPGs, and to play Mass Effect right now or nobody will respond to your posts here without you being insulted. And we will turn the entire community against you.

And you know what? I bet that sounds petty. It's just a forum. It's just someone ordering someone around. They can just ignore them and like what they like, it doesn't hold any weight. But that's exactly what you're doing, about piracy. You're ordering people around and telling them what they can and cannot do as your argument. I'm sorry, but that doesn't hold anymore weight than some jerk out there ordering people to stop playing jRPGs.

If your claim had any weight, people wouldn't even be playing games because they enjoyed them, they'd be playing games because other people ordered them to.

JMeganSnow:
To use your analogy, what you are saying is that, if McDonalds keeps screwing up your order, you should steal their stuff. No. You should stop eating at McDonalds altogether. Which is what I do. I pay for what I want. I don't do ANYTHING about what I don't want.

McDonald's is not digital and cannot be copied. So no, it is not comparable.

It would be comparable if we had a perfect item duplicator. Someone went to McDonald's, bought a cheeseburger. Then went outside, copied it thousands of times, and started passing it out, for free. And piracy is comparable to taking one of those free cheeseburgers offered to you.

LilithSlave:
I hate to have to make the obvious statement that piracy is not stealing yet again. But piracy is not stealing.

There's two definitions of stealing that tend to go around:
#1: Taking something that belongs to someone (depriving them of it) without permission.
#2: Benefiting financially or obtaining a possession by employing an illegal act.

The first definition is the classic, strict definition, and the second one is the vernacular. For example, some people will say you've stolen someone's money if you sell them a product, but never actually deliver it. In the vernacular, that's true. That's 'stealing', but in the strictest sense, that's actually not stealing. It's fraud; a distinct and separate concept.

Saying it's not stealing does not mean you're admitting it's A-O-K, however. So, copyright supporters really should relax about this. You can still condemn copying if you choose to do so, without trying to abuse the english language to suit your argument.

The only exception is if you're using the informal logical fallacy of 'equivocation', or the 'fallacy of the four terms' as a basis for your argument. Consider the syllogism:

"Copyright infringement is stealing. Stealing is wrong. Therefore, copyright infringement is wrong."

In that example, you could be using two completely separate definitions for the word 'stealing'. Everyone agrees that definition #1 of stealing is morally wrong, but that definition is not the same as definition #2, which is debatable and depends on exactly which kind of 'stealing', so this syllogism becomes a fallacy. Consider the similar syllogism:

"A feather is light. What is light cannot be dark. Therefore, a feather cannot be dark."

This kind of fallacious reasoning is actually very persuasive if you don't bother thinking about it, or you don't understand that one word can have multiple definitions, so it's in the interests of the intellectually dishonest to pursue this association. For example, when they claim the false dichotomy of "if you support copyright infringement, then to be consistent you must support walking into a McDonalds and stealing all their burgers."

Actually now that I think about it, there are even more definitions of 'stealing'. It can mean a sneaky act. For example 'Stealing away into the night.' or 'Stealing a kiss.'

By the logic of some copyright supporters, stealing a kiss is wrong because it's stealing, and if you support sneaking up on your beloved and giving her a peck on the lips, then you might as well support smashing into a McDonalds and taking all their burgers without paying.

Duskflamer:

Sober Thal:

Louzerman102:

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.

Valve is a publisher too. I realize they don't publish every game on STEAM. Jim makes it sound as if EVERY publisher is evil, and devs have no choice in the matter. Devs need to wise up. Look at Notch and Minecraft. It isn't easy to get your name out their, nor should it be. You pay these big named companies for work they do. No money? Sell the rights, or do the work yourself (if every publisher is soooo evil).

I'm sure someone's brought this up by now, but in case they haven't, according to the Steam store, the only games published by Valve were developed by Valve (look up a Valve title, click where it says publisher: Valve, and it lists all the games published by Valve. Find me one game on that list that wasn't also developed by them), and Jim specifically stated that he has no issue with copyright holders who actually made the content.

-'Portal is Valve's spiritual successor to the freeware game Narbacular Drop, the 2005 independent game released by students of the DigiPen Institute of Technology; the original Narbacular Drop team is now employed at Valve. Valve had become interested in Narbacular Drop after seeing the game at DigiPen's annual career fair; Robin Walker, one of Valve's developers, saw the game at the fair, and later contacted the team, providing them with advice and offering them to show their game at Valve's offices. After their presentation, Valve's president Gabe Newell quickly offered the entire team jobs at Valve to develop the game further.[39] Newell later commented that he was impressed with the Digipen team as "they had actually carried the concept through", already having included the interaction between portals and physics, completing most of the work that Valve would have had to commit on their own.'-

dbenoy:

Zom-B:

If you're working for a company like EA or Activision as an employee and create something original, they own it. As their employee, they own whatever you create. Unless you happen to be in a position to sit down and sign a contract with them wherein you retain rights to the properties you create.

Yeah, it's a muddy issue. In most cases though, even if you're an employee you sign away your IP claim in writing as part of your employment contract.

It's very unusual for someone to believe that they have copyright on some particular work, only to find by surprise that they're not eligible to the rights to their own work. Almost always the actual creator will automatically be granted copyrights unless they're explicitly signed away.

This is especially interesting in the area of photography. Did you know that if you commission someone to take your picture, the photographer owns the copyrights? You legally can't reproduce the photographs of yourself that you paid someone to take of you, unless you buy the rights from them. This isn't theoretical, either; it's quite common for photographers to have a set price for buying the rights to the photographs you commission.

I didn't know exactly it was law, but it makes sense that the photographer has the rights to the photograph, even if it's of you. At the same time, I assume that unless otherwise agreed, said photographer also doesn't have the right to profit off of your image without consent? Then again, maybe they do. All those spy pics of celebrities would say otherwise.

Either way, as you say, the whole of IP laws is a muddy, muddy place.

Sober Thal:

Duskflamer:

Sober Thal:

Valve is a publisher too. I realize they don't publish every game on STEAM. Jim makes it sound as if EVERY publisher is evil, and devs have no choice in the matter. Devs need to wise up. Look at Notch and Minecraft. It isn't easy to get your name out their, nor should it be. You pay these big named companies for work they do. No money? Sell the rights, or do the work yourself (if every publisher is soooo evil).

I'm sure someone's brought this up by now, but in case they haven't, according to the Steam store, the only games published by Valve were developed by Valve (look up a Valve title, click where it says publisher: Valve, and it lists all the games published by Valve. Find me one game on that list that wasn't also developed by them), and Jim specifically stated that he has no issue with copyright holders who actually made the content.

-'Portal is Valve's spiritual successor to the freeware game Narbacular Drop, the 2005 independent game released by students of the DigiPen Institute of Technology; the original Narbacular Drop team is now employed at Valve. Valve had become interested in Narbacular Drop after seeing the game at DigiPen's annual career fair; Robin Walker, one of Valve's developers, saw the game at the fair, and later contacted the team, providing them with advice and offering them to show their game at Valve's offices. After their presentation, Valve's president Gabe Newell quickly offered the entire team jobs at Valve to develop the game further.[39] Newell later commented that he was impressed with the Digipen team as "they had actually carried the concept through", already having included the interaction between portals and physics, completing most of the work that Valve would have had to commit on their own.'-

First off, if you're copying something directly off of Wikipedia, you could at least take the effort to edit out the formatting.

Secondly, pay attention to what happened to the developers, they got offered jobs at Valve, and while working at Valve they finished the game. In the end, that means that Valve employees are the people who came up with the idea and made it an actuality. When EA decides to publish someone's game, most of the time they don't offer the developers positions at EA, they just throw them some money in exchange for every single right to the game, and once the game's done EA doesn't have to care at all about the original developers, and EA can't claim that it was EA employees who came up with the idea, or made it a reality.

All I can say is copy right gives the owner an absolute over monetary gain but not over copying, control the money flow you limit the copies by default focus on the copies as a absolutive and you limit free thought and the eb and flow of information.

Scrumpmonkey:
To be honest i think the Metal Arms thing is more a case a Abandonware; software that has long since stopped being available to buy... anywhere and whos rights can be seen to have lapsed due to the copywrite holder not using the IP.

A big reason why copyright laws don't really reflect the digital age is that they don't account for this. A given game usually becomes old news nobody cares about within a year. A popular game maybe 5 (till the end of its console), a popular series can stretch longer and certain classics may last for far longer periods of time. But copyright laws are such that even the very first video games ever made are still technically protected under copyright and will be long after people who enjoyed the games as kids have all died.

There is a different form of legal protection (Trademark IIRC) where the rights to it do lapse if the owner doesn't take steps to protect it (meaning if they no longer care about it, people are essentially free to use it), perhaps those laws could be examined for potential use as the basis of new IP protection laws.

LilithSlave:

Speaking of indie titles. Fortune Summoners by publisher Carpe Fulgur should be coming out 5 days from now. That would definitely be a good indie game to support! Believe me, they're not a publisher that is hogging a lot of money.

Wait really? that soon? On one hand, thanks for letting me know to keep an eye out. On the other hand, you've ruined the ability for Steam to be the ones to surprise me with that fact, like they surprised me when Chantelise came out XD

Carpe Fulgur does throw a wrench into what we consider indie though huh? If you go under the thoughts that you're only indie if you self publish, and you're not if you have a publisher...then the 5 people at EGS being published by the 2 guys at CF don't count as indie XD

I disagree with the sentiment that Jim was more than hinting at. Software piracy is not a moral act, a person who engages it isn't some kind of rebel standing up to the evil regime of some hodgepodge Orwellian rip off facsimile.

Also, anyone who is okay with copyright infringement against big time publishers, but in anyway changes their tone when discussing indie developers is a cunt. Period. (See what I did there?)

Just because one entity is rich and the other isn't doesn't change the nature of the action, it's the same fucking thing.

I'm not rich, neither were my parents, I just hate the idea that someone can just feel entitled to a product and violate another entities' rights just because they feel that entity has more shit than them.

And no, copyright holders aren't violating the rights of the IP creators, as the creators willingly sold said rights away.

Zom-B:

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.

Without reading 8 pages of content, I don't know if anyone's refuted this, but it's not true.

If you're working for a company like EA or Activision as an employee and create something original, they own it. As their employee, they own whatever you create. Unless you happen to be in a position to sit down and sign a contract with them wherein you retain rights to the properties you create.

Sure, if Mr. Smith creates a game and along comes the devil with a million bucks and he signs on the line, no one should have a problem with whatever the devil does with that IP.

There's also a lot of grey areas in between all the way from being able to own elements of an IP right up to creators literally being swindled out of their intellectual property.

You're statement is disingenuous at best.

You're not looking at this from a property law standpoint. Every person owns the IP they create, but they sell it to their employer. The fact that they are working under an employment agreement simply changes the timeline of this exchange, not the fact that IP is changing hands. An employee agrees to give their IP to their employer in exchange for a paycheck, but the IP still begins its existence (if only for the briefest of moments) as the property of its creator.

What Jimquisition has wrong is that copyright LAW is not the problem. The problem is that major companies with capital (see, financial resources) are the ones who are funding developers. Major companies are poorly managed on the micro level and often let good IPs go to waste because they don't see the value in micro-profits.

What we need is for corporations to become more willing to relinquish their IP rights when they are no longer utilizing them. The reason they don't is because they count their IP as collateral in order to secure investment. IP is treated like a tangible asset which can be sold to pay off stock holders. Stocks are how corporations acquire the capital needed to do what they do: suck up IP's to make profits off of a few of them.

What we really need to do is not change copyright law, but change corporate governance. We need to change the way companies value unused IPs. If Jimquisition's idea about temporary copyright were adopted, it would have this effect but there are other ways to do this too. But politicians don't care about small, unused IPs because nobody is donating money to their campaigns for that cause.

Exile714:

Zom-B:

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.

Without reading 8 pages of content, I don't know if anyone's refuted this, but it's not true.

If you're working for a company like EA or Activision as an employee and create something original, they own it. As their employee, they own whatever you create. Unless you happen to be in a position to sit down and sign a contract with them wherein you retain rights to the properties you create.

Sure, if Mr. Smith creates a game and along comes the devil with a million bucks and he signs on the line, no one should have a problem with whatever the devil does with that IP.

There's also a lot of grey areas in between all the way from being able to own elements of an IP right up to creators literally being swindled out of their intellectual property.

You're statement is disingenuous at best.

You're not looking at this from a property law standpoint. Every person owns the IP they create, but they sell it to their employer. The fact that they are working under an employment agreement simply changes the timeline of this exchange, not the fact that IP is changing hands. An employee agrees to give their IP to their employer in exchange for a paycheck, but the IP still begins its existence (if only for the briefest of moments) as the property of its creator.

What Jimquisition has wrong is that copyright LAW is not the problem. The problem is that major companies with capital (see, financial resources) are the ones who are funding developers. Major companies are poorly managed on the micro level and often let good IPs go to waste because they don't see the value in micro-profits.

What we need is for corporations to become more willing to relinquish their IP rights when they are no longer utilizing them. The reason they don't is because they count their IP as collateral in order to secure investment. IP is treated like a tangible asset which can be sold to pay off stock holders. Stocks are how corporations acquire the capital needed to do what they do: suck up IP's to make profits off of a few of them.

What we really need to do is not change copyright law, but change corporate governance. We need to change the way companies value unused IPs. If Jimquisition's idea about temporary copyright were adopted, it would have this effect but there are other ways to do this too. But politicians don't care about small, unused IPs because nobody is donating money to their campaigns for that cause.

Be all that as it may, the simple fact is that this:

"The fact that they are working under an employment agreement simply changes the timeline of this exchange, not the fact that IP is changing hands. An employee agrees to give their IP to their employer in exchange for a paycheck, but the IP still begins its existence (if only for the briefest of moments) as the property of its creator."

is essentially meaningless for all intents and purposes. Whether or not the IP rights belong to the creator for half a second, half an hour or half a week, the fact of that matter is that anyone toiling as an artist/creator/designer for a company is creating these IPs on behalf of that company, whether they want to or not.

It's academic, for our purposes. All I was saying is that creators do not automatically retain rights to any IP they create. If they did, and I wish they did, these huge corporations wouldn't own them and either continue to make money off of them or leave them to rot. I understand that you can draw the technical distinction that the IP changes hands and that's something I never disputed. Perhaps the way I worded it didn't take that into account, but it's a moot point anyway. Regardless of how it's sold- whether it's via sale for money or because of a pre-existing contract that gives a company ownership in return for providing that person with funding, equipment, space, time and a salary, it's a bought and sold commodity.

I agree that corporations need to be more willing to relinquish IP rights, but let's be honest, they won't be, not now and not in the near future. I do disagree that copyright law isn't the problem, because much of it is. I'm not going to go hunting down all the details as to why, but some googling by anyone will probably point to many people that agree with me and many reasons as to why. What can be done and should be done more immediately is that independent creators should hang on to their IPs and not sell out for bucks right away. I know that's easy to say, but not so easily done with a mortgage payment or a student loan payment or any other debt hanging over a person's head, but until creators look at the long term gains rather than short term reward, we'll remain mired in the morass of copyright law and mismanaged and criminally shackled IPs.

Cureacao:
Cut

I still insist that the internet has demolished the power of the big music companies and is about to do the same for book publishers.

That not to say that they can't still provide a service but now anyone with marketing abilities and/or producing/editing abilities can get in on the game. Music and book publishers used to own the means of supply. Now they don't; the replacement of physical media with digital means that anyone anywhere can get their music to anyone anywhere.

If I make music I don't have to go to EMI or Universal an that is a big thing. These companies used to have an artificial monopoly through the cost of producing/distributing records/CDs and owning/bribing record stations to play them. Now the only important job is marketing.

The same is likely to happen with books now that you can get any book in digital form. Unfortunately this also leads to book piracy. (Check out the torrents for books, a 30Mb torrent can net you an authors entire bibliography.)

The removal of the barriers to entry allows anyone to participate and the advantage of the monopoly of distribution that publishers had before is gone.

So, when it comes to piracy, everyone is wrong. The corporations are wrong in some ways due to how they treat copyright properties and their consumers. The pirates are wrong because they're still stealing. And SOPA/PIPA is wrong because censoring the internet to counteract piracy is obviously not the way to go about it. And my entire generation is wrong because we think that robbing someone is somehow OK if he's rich, and rich people somehow owe us stuff anyways. And this comment is wrong because that's the running theme it has going.

LilithSlave:

JMeganSnow:
There is a HUGE difference between saying "don't steal" and "keep buying every shitty product they produce". If you dislike what a publisher is doing, DON'T PLAY THEIR GAMES. Don't pirate them, don't buy them, DON'T HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH THEM IN ANY WAY WHATSOEVER.

If you want to support proper relationships, buy proper products. Don't steal improper ones, eschew them altogether.

I hate to have to make the obvious statement that piracy is not stealing yet again. But piracy is not stealing.

Furthermore, you're just status-quo mongering and ordering people around. Do you really think that just telling people to stay away from things they're not interested has lots of weight to it? For everyone person ordering people to stay far away from the things they're not interested in, is someone calling someone a closed minded, idiot, retarded fanboy/girl bigot and ordering them to play "good" games they like and stop playing "bad games" they don't like.

Ordering people around isn't an argument. And your argument doesn't hold any more weight than the thousands of gamers ordering people to stop playing jRPGs, stop justifying playing jRPGs, and to play Mass Effect right now or nobody will respond to your posts here without you being insulted. And we will turn the entire community against you.

And you know what? I bet that sounds petty. It's just a forum. It's just someone ordering someone around. They can just ignore them and like what they like, it doesn't hold any weight. But that's exactly what you're doing, about piracy. You're ordering people around and telling them what they can and cannot do as your argument. I'm sorry, but that doesn't hold anymore weight than some jerk out there ordering people to stop playing jRPGs.

If your claim had any weight, people wouldn't even be playing games because they enjoyed them, they'd be playing games because other people ordered them to.

JMeganSnow:
To use your analogy, what you are saying is that, if McDonalds keeps screwing up your order, you should steal their stuff. No. You should stop eating at McDonalds altogether. Which is what I do. I pay for what I want. I don't do ANYTHING about what I don't want.

McDonald's is not digital and cannot be copied. So no, it is not comparable.

It would be comparable if we had a perfect item duplicator. Someone went to McDonald's, bought a cheeseburger. Then went outside, copied it thousands of times, and started passing it out, for free. And piracy is comparable to taking one of those free cheeseburgers offered to you.

I probably shouldn't even reply to the imbecile lack of reading comprehension illustrated in this post, but here goes:

I'm not ordering anyone to do anything. I am stating a moral position, namely, that if you object to someone's behavior, you should not act in a manner that condones it. If you steal a product (and piracy IS stealing, perhaps not in the sense that you're removing someone's possession from them, but that you're making use of it in a manner they did not choose to allow), you are condoning it. You have declared that it is a value to you--perhaps not enough of a value that you're willing to pay for it, but you have now invested time and probably effort in this product.

It doesn't matter whether it affects the publisher directly or not. What matters is that you are being a hypocrite. You are being a dishonest person--primarily dishonest with yourself. It is a moral failing. So you wind up with publishers who view customers as thieves and developers as cash cows to be milked dry. The primary dishonesty of the pirate taints and distorts all the relationships involved.

If you want to be a dishonest creep, go right ahead. I don't give a damn. What disgusts me is people who get all self-righteous and defensive when they're called a dishonest creep, which is what they are.

Of course, dishonest people are just that, dishonest, so it's rather absurd to expect them not to lie to themselves about the true nature of what they're doing.

As for ordering people around: reality is what it is. You can choose either your actions, OR their results, NOT BOTH. If you want the relationships within the gaming industry to improve, you have to start with yourself. I'm not ordering people to fix it, I'm pointing out that if they want to fix it, this is what they have to do. They have to adopt a policy of strict honesty, reality-orientation, and justice, both to others and to themselves.

Are publishers often stupid and malign? Sure. But so are customers and developers. What goes around comes around.

JMeganSnow:
imbecile lack of reading comprehension
hypocrite.
You are being a dishonest person
If you want to be a dishonest creep
What disgusts me is people who get all self-righteous and defensive when they're called a dishonest creep, which is what they are.

Now you're just being insulting and giving ad hominem attacks instead of arguing.

Duskflamer:

Sober Thal:

Duskflamer:

I'm sure someone's brought this up by now, but in case they haven't, according to the Steam store, the only games published by Valve were developed by Valve (look up a Valve title, click where it says publisher: Valve, and it lists all the games published by Valve. Find me one game on that list that wasn't also developed by them), and Jim specifically stated that he has no issue with copyright holders who actually made the content.

-'Portal is Valve's spiritual successor to the freeware game Narbacular Drop, the 2005 independent game released by students of the DigiPen Institute of Technology; the original Narbacular Drop team is now employed at Valve. Valve had become interested in Narbacular Drop after seeing the game at DigiPen's annual career fair; Robin Walker, one of Valve's developers, saw the game at the fair, and later contacted the team, providing them with advice and offering them to show their game at Valve's offices. After their presentation, Valve's president Gabe Newell quickly offered the entire team jobs at Valve to develop the game further.[39] Newell later commented that he was impressed with the Digipen team as "they had actually carried the concept through", already having included the interaction between portals and physics, completing most of the work that Valve would have had to commit on their own.'-

First off, if you're copying something directly off of Wikipedia, you could at least take the effort to edit out the formatting.

Secondly, pay attention to what happened to the developers, they got offered jobs at Valve, and while working at Valve they finished the game. In the end, that means that Valve employees are the people who came up with the idea and made it an actuality. When EA decides to publish someone's game, most of the time they don't offer the developers positions at EA, they just throw them some money in exchange for every single right to the game, and once the game's done EA doesn't have to care at all about the original developers, and EA can't claim that it was EA employees who came up with the idea, or made it a reality.

Formatting? What? Did it confuse you? Probably not... you were distracted by the [39]? Or was it the fact the fact that Jabba ate a group of young kids that had a good idea and that became part of his Sarlacc pit? What are you really defending here?

Yeah, Jabba no bargain, became, Gabe will come and eat you for your idea! He will then absorb your idea as his own, and you will never feel any pain. Give up your rights for this great game that we will make part of our God Damned flagship, and we will (kinda) shower you with money, but keep the rights for future games! Sure you won't own the rights to Portal, but you have the choice to get paid for it!~ We aren't anything like other companies... we won't allow you to keep any independent name... you have to become us first. You must let Jabba eat you!

THEY MADE A FUCKING CHOICE! WHAT DON'T YOU FUCKING GET ABOUT THAT!!! duh!!!!

Sorry. You are getting carried away by the whole "I wanna nit pick anything you say to be able to defend my love ox Valve!" If you can't talk openly about these things, don't bother quoting me again.

EDIT: Sorry, I get what you are saying, I don't agree with the whole thing, but please forgive me if I sound rude 'at' you. I don't want to be an ass and just say you're wrong, I don't want to have my view tossed aside because I'm saying things the wrong way either.

My point is: It's possible to make a great idea for a game, and to also survive the politics of the industry. To say it's impossible just really upsets me, cause I don't believe it's a be all end all fact.

Just figured a great way to fix this. Simply have the government implement a $1million dollar tax a year to the ownership of IP's older than 15 years. Publishers would have to pay a $1million tax every year for each IP they own older than 15 years. It would be impossible for every publisher to hold on to every IP they may own and so after a while games like Advent Rising (which was developed by what is now CHair (the guys behind shadow complex and infinity blade) can have a proper ending, and the government gets some more tax revenue.

ACman:

-Snip-

Hmm. Now that I've had a good nice opportunity to reflect and think over what you're saying, I see where you're coming from a lot better now. The internet has certainly taken away much of the hold that publishers used to completely dominate. With a lot of hard work, some luck and a lot of smarts anyone can now get ahead to the same place that publishers can get to.

I guess my point is, however, that many people don't have the right amount of marketing smarts and well as distribution smarts. Talking to a few of my friends who are in a band, they hadn't heard of Sound Cloud, Band Camp or Last FM; they only used MySpace for people to listen to their music and currently won't allow downloading of anything (they have some decent demos, not the best but worth giving away for free). They're not a bad band by any stretch as well, I've certainly heard better but compared to the same people in their scene they're pretty decent. These guys need a publisher, they're musicians not marketers; they have no idea how to promote themselves apart from facebook and putting music on MySpace.

I'd say that the above is also correct for a lot of bands still trying to make a name for themselves, although to degrees not nearly as bad as that. Even still most bands don't know how to get gigs from anywhere but their local area or maybe a couple of towns away. Publishers know how to get them gigs from all over the place. Anywhere there's a market for their genre, they can get them there.

As for books, yeah fair point. With kindles and Ipads (or even just Itouches) hard copies are becoming a luxury, which lets every author have their own shot at the industry. I'd say getting published would still help but if you can crack out a killer book, that can spread like wildfire.

Fuck yes, Glitch in the system.

I loved the demo to that game as a child, but never bought it for some reason. I need to play that game now.

I agree of what you said Jim and I never pirate games anymore, nor have I done that for the last several years now. I find it that the best way to improve the market is to simply ignore the games & companies that are shit and promote the ones that are great. Granted there are always some games on the market published by assholes like EA & Activision that I find interest in but in those cases I often just wait until they are available for a much cheaper price. For example I will probably not buy Mass effect 3 until its around 10-15$ and does not require Origin for it to run.

By the way I loved how you ended the video :D. Fuck them indeed, I wouldn't shred a single tear if parasite companies like EA, Nintendo & Activision suddenly went bankrupt or if Sony & Microsoft left the gaming business. Fuck 'em! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yk7f_nYKXZE :D

Escapist forums have always held a disproportionately hostile attitude towards piracy, so I'm glad one of the content creators is finally shedding some light into this.

+1 for Sterling.

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