Jimquisition: Piracy - Trying To Kill It Makes It Stronger

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Piracy - Trying To Kill It Makes It Stronger

Piracy will never be destroyed entirely. It's a fact of life that some people just like to help themselves to freebies. However, not all pirates are in it for the discount, and some are actively driven to piracy by the very companies attempting to kill it. When you make your product harder to obtain and enjoy, all you do is breed an environment where pirates can thrive.

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An Excellent episode; its something that does need to change in the industry, I feel as if Origin was a step in the right direction until they shot themselves in the foot with it. If EA can now work on cleaning the infection before it causes them to chop their foot off, that being Origin, they can actually save the service and make a healthy competition. Maybe then they can fuck off about the Online Pass and work on improving origin services so people want to use that.

The simple reason they don't do more stuff like steam is look what happened with origin as soon as it was announced everyone came out and said they hated it and would never use it and just pirate EA games so I can see why publishers would be put off this kind of service.

Generally agree, but you fail in the same way that most of these rants against "the man" fail.. you forget that the reason we're getting this crap DRM stuff imposed on us in the first place is because of the pirates.

That's why I get really annoyed whenever somebody gets up on their righteous horse and says, "It's the companies' fault!"

NO. IT. ISN'T.
It is, and will remain, the pirates fault. You want to fight piracy? Here's a good way, tell everybody you know who's a pirate that they're a prick for forcing companies to put all this crap on their games to try to slow them down.

There are ways to lessen piracy, yes. And yes, the companies can take steps toward it as Steam has done, but let's be honest, unless everybody released on Steam, your next rant would be about how it's so inconvenient to remember which service your game is signed up with and so people pirate because they don't want to be bothered going through any service.

On the other hand, *we* can take steps toward stopping piracy and crappy products at the same time, simply by refusing to give pirates any succor or rationalization. You hear that somebody pirated a game, just go, "Man, that's not cool," and no matter what half-ass rationalization they give you, repeat, "Whatever, it's still a shitty thing to do."

getoffmycloud:
The simple reason they don't do more stuff like steam is look what happened with origin as soon as it was announced everyone came out and said they hated it and would never use it and just pirate EA games so I can see why publishers would be put off this kind of service.

The difference is, Origin didn't need to exist. Steam exists already.

A very insightful and clever episode, Jim! Probably one of your best yet! Hats off to ye!

The actual fuck. You're from Bexleyheath? They shut the Rat and Parrot, it's a Chinese now. So that's good.

As to the topic, amen brother.

I wonder what would happen if a game were to be released, and you had the choice of paying extra for a DRM free version. Say, a $10 convenience fee. No codes no nothing, just the game ready to play. Sure it'd be easier to pirate, but it's already easy. I'd love for them to just remove the DRM, everyone hates it anyway, and for good reason. But we all know that won't happen, so why not this idea?

Kwil:
Generally agree, but you fail in the same way that most of these rants against "the man" fail.. you forget that the reason we're getting this crap DRM stuff imposed on us in the first place is because of the pirates.

That's why I get really annoyed whenever somebody gets up on their righteous horse and says, "It's the companies' fault!"

NO. IT. ISN'T.
It is, and will remain, the pirates fault. You want to fight piracy? Here's a good way, tell everybody you know who's a pirate that they're a prick for forcing companies to put all this crap on their games to try to slow them down.

There are ways to lessen piracy, yes. And yes, the companies can take steps toward it as Steam has done, but let's be honest, unless everybody released on Steam, your next rant would be about how it's so inconvenient to remember which service your game is signed up with and so people pirate because they don't want to be bothered going through any service.

On the other hand, *we* can take steps toward stopping piracy and crappy products at the same time, simply by refusing to give pirates any succor or rationalization. You hear that somebody pirated a game, just go, "Man, that's not cool," and no matter what half-ass rationalization they give you, repeat, "Whatever, it's still a shitty thing to do."

You know, I do that. I have loads of friends that pirate, I'm Swedish, there's a damned religion for it here, but I always tell them off. The thing is, that doesn't help anything. Some people will just pirate, there's nothing that can be done about that. I do encourage them to at least buy the game afterwards if they like it, which they'll often do.

However, you can't put all the blame on the pirates. Sure they started it, but the way publishers are handling things are just making it worse. Yes, pirates suck, but you know what, so do publishers and DRM. While the individual should discourage piracy in whatever way they can, that will never really solve anything because people are just lazy jerks sometimes. If companies won't accept that, and instead drive people towards other options, then they have to share some of the blame.

I guess I both agree and disagree with you, but it's an interesting discussion to be had nonetheless.

I am really of the opinion that services like Steam and GOG help lessen piracy. They're just so convenient.

Also to the bloke mentioning Origin: Origin approached the whole thing totally wrong though. I think Jim listed a bunch of reasons why. Origin just seems like it's taking the publisher bullshit a la DRM and trying to make it online functional.
I've got both platforms and Origin is just a chore compared to Steam.
It's environment seems unfriendly and unrewarding. The opposite of Steam to some extent.

Also for the fun of it, I read the EULA for Origin one night. Not that it's all that transparent but it just seems like just by using Origin my balls belong to EA if they so desire and I waive all rights to anything and EA on the other hand can sue me for just about anything and stop any games services when ever they please for what ever reason whilst they leech all information of my PC and do as they please with it.

GeorgW:
I wonder what would happen if a game were to be released, and you had the choice of paying extra for a DRM free version. Say, a $10 convenience fee. No codes no nothing, just the game ready to play. Sure it'd be easier to pirate, but it's already easy. I'd love for them to just remove the DRM, everyone hates it anyway, and for good reason. But we all know that won't happen, so why not this idea?

Because why the fuck should we have to pay more? That's like charging 2 for a sandwich and a knee in the balls or 10 for just a sandwich.

Fucking commercial Stockholm Syndrome.

Gabe Newell has been talking about this for quite some time

If you read it, he says that people told him that his service would never make it in Russia because of the amount of piracy that occurs there, now it's one of their biggest markets. Proof that the market needs to change.

It's downright perplexing to watch publishers fail to adapt these days. They've got an undeniably broken business model, but instead of trying to cure or even just clean cut off the festering leg, they just keep unloading round after round after round into it.

I've never been too happy about Steam's de facto monopoly, but I'd be more than glad to watch it crush Games for Windows Live and Origins, in their current iterations at least. By all means, let it make more money, tons of it. Let it set an industry standard. This is the amount of service we pay for, and less will never do.

Gabe Newell said something similar:

"We think there is a fundamental misconception about piracy. Piracy is almost always a service problem and not a pricing problem," he said. "If a pirate offers a product anywhere in the world, 24 x 7, purchasable from the convenience of your personal computer, and the legal provider says the product is region-locked, will come to your country 3 months after the US release, and can only be purchased at a brick and mortar store, then the pirate's service is more valuable."

The proof is in the proverbial pudding. "Prior to entering the Russian market, we were told that Russia was a waste of time because everyone would pirate our products. Russia is now about to become [Steam's] largest market in Europe," Newell said.

The purpose of Steam is to provide as much value not only to the customer but also to other game publishers. "Our success comes from making sure that both customers and partners (e.g. Activision, Take 2, Ubisoft...) feel like they get a lot of value from those services, and that they can trust us not to take advantage of the relationship that we have with them."

getoffmycloud:
The simple reason they don't do more stuff like steam is look what happened with origin as soon as it was announced everyone came out and said they hated it and would never use it and just pirate EA games so I can see why publishers would be put off this kind of service.

he already explained the Origin problem in another episode.
OT
I think Jim just explained the entire piracy problem and how to solve it.
if only dev,s where to listen.....

Preach, brother! Testify, testify!

I also appreciate the concise explanation of why Steam prospers despite the shallow cries of "it's more DRM, why is Valve's DRM okay and EA's and Ubisoft's get's everyone up in arms..." We're still probably going to have to have that argument about a million times, of course.

One way or another, we keep getting expected to pay more. Whether it's the poorly integrated day-one DRM or the online play codes or the in-game advertisements or the multiple unskippable logo pages at the beginning of the game or the data mining or the elimination of the ability to seek legal redress (hello, Origin!)... Rather than setting themselves up as our friendly game providers, our publishers are increasingly portraying themselves as our antagonists. They don't like us, they don't respect us, they don't trust us, and they're going to take out everything that's going wrong with their world on us. When you feel like that's the attitude you're coming up against, I don't doubt for some people piracy almost does become a matter of retaliation against mistreatment.

And, yeah, I get that game companies are in a bind as well. But they've got to come up with ways to address their problems that don't amount to punishing their legitimate customers with a product that's inferior to what the pirates offer.

Kwil:
It is, and will remain, the pirates fault. You want to fight piracy? Here's a good way, tell everybody you know who's a pirate that they're a prick for forcing companies to put all this crap on their games to try to slow them down.

In a way, your right that some of this is the pirates fault. But just telling the person that uploaded the software/movie/music/whatever to the Internet for everyone to download that they are a 'bad person'--is just as effective as telling bullies in school they are scum. Bullying will always exist because there are just some kids out there that want to do something horrible to a person with no care of what others think of his/her character--and pirates are no different.

I believe Jim nailed it here in stating that piracy is not a stealing issue, but a service issue. Suppose John Doe downloads "Kingdoms of Amalur" for free from some torrent site, only to find out the 'game' he downloaded was a virus and/or "Amy". John got poor service right there from pirates because he didn't get what he wanted, either a crappy game, or a trip to Best Buy to fix his computer. But if John goes and buys the game, he needs to jump through a bunch of hoops and ladders (Online Pass, third-party DRM if bought digitally on PC, etc.) so he could get into the game.

Now if John bought a digital copy of "Kingdoms of Amalur" for $30 in a Steam holiday sale with no Online pass being involved, then that is more convenient for him. He gets the game he wants at a reasonable price, and he doesn't have to 'prove his worth' by copy/pasting something into the game to tell it he bought it legally.

kurupt87:

GeorgW:
I wonder what would happen if a game were to be released, and you had the choice of paying extra for a DRM free version. Say, a $10 convenience fee. No codes no nothing, just the game ready to play. Sure it'd be easier to pirate, but it's already easy. I'd love for them to just remove the DRM, everyone hates it anyway, and for good reason. But we all know that won't happen, so why not this idea?

Because why the fuck should we have to pay more? That's like charging 2 for a sandwich and a knee in the balls or 10 for just a sandwich.

Fucking commercial Stockholm Syndrome.

But you don't have to pay more. If you want the codes and hassle, you're free to get the cheaper game. I agree that it's not the best way to handle it, but since publishers are ignoring the very simple option of not being assholes, they might like this one better.

To use your own analogy, the only option now is to take the knee in the balls. That way, if I don't want a knee in the balls, I won't get my sandwich at all. Wouldn't this be a much better, albeit a completely unnecessary solution?

Kwil:
Generally agree, but you fail in the same way that most of these rants against "the man" fail.. you forget that the reason we're getting this crap DRM stuff imposed on us in the first place is because of the pirates.

That's why I get really annoyed whenever somebody gets up on their righteous horse and says, "It's the companies' fault!"

NO. IT. ISN'T.

Why? What exactly forces a company to introduce DRM instead of taking other measures against piracy that don't hurt their consumer base?
In no other industry could you get away with this. If a store introduced mandatory, full-on body scans because they had a problem with thievery, who in their right mind would argue in their favor? Crimes happen, yes, but it doesn't give you the right to do whatever you fucking want at the expense of the people who give you their money - without having to face the consequences, that is.
Publishers are free to do all they want against piracy as long as it doesn't inconvenience me, the consumer. The second it does it is their - and only their - fault, plain and simple. Service is part of the product, and if your service sucks I stop buying your product, no matter what bogeyman you dig out in a weak attempt of justification. The pirate is not part of the consumer-publisher relationship and whatever he does should not affect me.

Now, I don't know you, but if you're already typing "self-ent" - beat it. If demanding an appropriate equivalent for my money, if demanding the very same consumer rights I am also granted in every single other industry, then yes, I'll proudly call myself self-entitled. Because I have every right to be.

Jim Sterling:
Piracy - Trying To Kill It Makes It Stronger

Piracy will never be destroyed entirely. It's a fact of life that some people just like to help themselves to freebies. However, not all pirates are in it for the discount, and some are actively driven to piracy by the very companies attempting to kill it. When you make your product harder to obtain and enjoy, all you do is breed an environment where pirates can thrive.

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I'm really enjoying this take on piracy, because it's a demonstration of how to do it right (talk about piracy, that is).

Is there anger? Sure! And it's right to be angry! The difference here is that the anger is directed to the appropriate place and for the appropriate reasons. Publishers are not adopting new business models, because they're too comfortable in the "old ways." They're not following the example of Steam... unless you count Origin, which is "Steam 2 (Late)."

You don't earn customer loyalty by having them sign up for a proprietary account and enter their e-mail addresses twice. You earn customer loyalty by being better than the alternatives.

So yeah, there's plenty to be angry about. But what I appreciate the most is that this series is not simultaneously excusing piracy. Piracy is understandable, but it is not excusable. I would rather someone ignore the pirates completely than try to defend the practice.

Piracy is like acne. It's part of growing up, and the more you pick at it, the worse it gets. But no one likes acne. We learn to deal with it, to work around it, and most of us eventually grow out of it. But no one is walking around saying, "Acne really has a point, you know. It's just trying to help..."

The discussion is also not about companies completely giving up the fight, and I appreciate that. That's the clarion-call of the wannabe pirate: "Just stop doing anything to prevent piracy (so I can pirate more easily)!" Thankfully, that's not what I've been hearing from Jim's take on things.

I'm 100% alright with confining the discussion to what publishers can do to make piracy less appealing by making legitimate purchase MORE appealing. And I'm alright not trying to talk pirates out of it, too, because they're not listening. I'm just glad to hear a view on piracy that is distinctly anti-publisher without also feeling the need to be pro-pirate.

I'm a bit confused as to the argument here, the whole convenience criticism seems a bit flawed.
Comparing it to something like iTunes where you can get a song damn near instantaneously is a problem because you're talking about something that is a small amount of data for machines to download and process in comparison to something that is a huge amount of data like a game.

I mean you really can't get around the whole install/update that's just the nature of the technology that is available, why can't we just pop it in like the old days and play it out of the gate? Well that is because the technology on consoles works.

Oh but what about the netflix example, with the push of a button you can watch things instantly, why can't you do that with games...well we sort of can now, it's called OnLive.

Even then I don't see how pirates provide a better service for games. For a legit game you obtain it retail or digital, download if digital, then install, and patch it.
Pirated games, you have to find it, download it, install it, and patch it, and run a crack.

It is pretty much the same damn thing.

I don't think you can really blame companies for not offering instant playability like music or movies because the technology just isn't up to speed yet. Is it their fault broadband isn't at a blazing speed to accommodate such a huge file? Is it the fault of game companies that harddrives can't write much faster?

The only reason iTunes worked is because it answered the problem of people wanting to buy individual songs instead of whole albums, I don't think the same can be done with games, hell I would think that it would be more of a hassle to chop up games into individual levels and force people to buy each one to continue the game.

Jimothy Sterling:

getoffmycloud:
The simple reason they don't do more stuff like steam is look what happened with origin as soon as it was announced everyone came out and said they hated it and would never use it and just pirate EA games so I can see why publishers would be put off this kind of service.

The difference is, Origin didn't need to exist. Steam exists already.

That's how a competitive market works; one company sets up a business in a pre-existing market to try and get some of the profits from it. Should Microsoft not have bothered with making the Xbox, as it didn't need to exist, due to the Playstation 2 and Gamecube already existing? Of course not.

In a way, it should have been a good thing, as Steam hold a virtual monopoly over digital distribution for PC games. The problem is, Origin has nowhere near the level of good service and pricing that Steam offers currently.

Kwil:
snip

Jim isn't saying pirates are right because companies are asses, but rather piracy thrives because companies are asses.

It's pretty evident that the only people who are affected by current anti-piracy measures are the honest customers. They are also the one group the companies should not be stepping on. Their refusal to see that is as damaging as the piracy that forced their hand in the first place.

Piracy is not condonable, but the people who do pirate won't stop because you give them some bad rep. However, fewer people would pirate if they felt the legitimate copy wasn't restrictive and filled with contrived counter-measures to piracy. The honest customer is treated like a pirate, while pirates just continue as they always have but with more and more people less willing to argue against it. If the Industry wants to stay ahead of the curb they need to change. Piracy is an eternal force in commerce and the only way to beat it is to adapt. The best way for a Company to adapt is to not punish the people who keep them afloat, but instead offer incentives to encourage the otherwise uninclined to invest in their products.

Annual (safe) sequels, Extortionate DLC, restrictive services, DRM, Online passes, Gfwl, install limits, online checks... all these things and more make gaming miserable for customers. Meanwhile, as Jim says, Pirates actively remove this shit and offer a more user friendly game.

What incentive, beyond good will, is their for an angered customer to keep paying out of their own wallets for a game made by people who don't respect them, when a less offensive AND free option exists?

GeorgW:
I wonder what would happen if a game were to be released, and you had the choice of paying extra for a DRM free version. Say, a $10 convenience fee. No codes no nothing, just the game ready to play. Sure it'd be easier to pirate, but it's already easy. I'd love for them to just remove the DRM, everyone hates it anyway, and for good reason. But we all know that won't happen, so why not this idea?

Making a DRM free copy would mean that those who upload games in the first place would have a lot easier job doing so while all the honest customers would have to pay for it, either in cash or frustration.

I do have to agree with this episode. I love to TV shows and movies by streaming them from somewhere without ads or adware, spyware and that stuff. I also think Steam is so convenient that I prefer that compared to piracy.

Kwil:
Generally agree, but you fail in the same way that most of these rants against "the man" fail.. you forget that the reason we're getting this crap DRM stuff imposed on us in the first place is because of the pirates.

That's why I get really annoyed whenever somebody gets up on their righteous horse and says, "It's the companies' fault!"

NO. IT. ISN'T.
It is, and will remain, the pirates fault. You want to fight piracy? Here's a good way, tell everybody you know who's a pirate that they're a prick for forcing companies to put all this crap on their games to try to slow them down.

There are ways to lessen piracy, yes. And yes, the companies can take steps toward it as Steam has done, but let's be honest, unless everybody released on Steam, your next rant would be about how it's so inconvenient to remember which service your game is signed up with and so people pirate because they don't want to be bothered going through any service.

On the other hand, *we* can take steps toward stopping piracy and crappy products at the same time, simply by refusing to give pirates any succor or rationalization. You hear that somebody pirated a game, just go, "Man, that's not cool," and no matter what half-ass rationalization they give you, repeat, "Whatever, it's still a shitty thing to do."

Sure DRM is there because there are pirates, but making things more inconvenient isn't the way to make it better. I think that it's wrong that pirates who pay nothing for a game like Assassin's Creed get more convenience than someone like me who bought it.
What happens when a game gets a lousy DRM? It gets cracked, DRM gets removed and it is uploaded within days of release. Honest customers on the other hand has to deal with this all the time.
Take Anno 2070 where an attempt to test different configurations proved impossible because the limited activation issue. Now Ubisoft was unwilling to help out even though they tried to make things more convenient for all their customers. This isn't preventing piracy. This is just annoying.
Now honestly I have never experienced problems with DRM, but I have heard of several annoying problems that has actually made it impossible to play or install some games. This is not an issue for pirates who dodge DRM altogether. This is what those of us who pay for our games have to struggle with. I am not trying to justify piracy because I don't pirate stuff, but I do see the point.

Great video, couldn't agree more. I actually have to set aside time to "pre-play" my games as I call it. I make sure to set everything up half an hour before I can play in order to get all the installs completed by the time I'm actually able to play.

Video game industry is getting bigger and bigger with some predatory practices, but getting bigger and biffier. If you were a CEO, president of some given company you would maintain this pratice just because people did not complain with the right channels. Wanna prove a point to the game industry?! Stop buying games. Simple as that.

Yopaz:

GeorgW:
I wonder what would happen if a game were to be released, and you had the choice of paying extra for a DRM free version. Say, a $10 convenience fee. No codes no nothing, just the game ready to play. Sure it'd be easier to pirate, but it's already easy. I'd love for them to just remove the DRM, everyone hates it anyway, and for good reason. But we all know that won't happen, so why not this idea?

Making a DRM free copy would mean that those who upload games in the first place would have a lot easier job doing so while all the honest customers would have to pay for it, either in cash or frustration.

But the people that upload do it within days of release(your own words), I doubt it's much of a hassle anyway. And the honest consumers wouldn't have to pay a cent more for the same product they buy now, they just have the option to pay to skip DRM. I'm sure plenty of people would do it, and if they do maybe publishers will rethink DRM.

Rednog:
I'm a bit confused as to the argument here, the whole convenience criticism seems a bit flawed.
Comparing it to something like iTunes where you can get a song damn near instantaneously is a problem because you're talking about something that is a small amount of data for machines to download and process in comparison to something that is a huge amount of data like a game.

I mean you really can't get around the whole install/update that's just the nature of the technology that is available, why can't we just pop it in like the old days and play it out of the gate? Well that is because the technology on consoles works.

Oh but what about the netflix example, with the push of a button you can watch things instantly, why can't you do that with games...well we sort of can now, it's called OnLive.

Even then I don't see how pirates provide a better service for games. For a legit game you obtain it retail or digital, download if digital, then install, and patch it.
Pirated games, you have to find it, download it, install it, and patch it, and run a crack.

It is pretty much the same damn thing.

I don't think you can really blame companies for not offering instant playability like music or movies because the technology just isn't up to speed yet. Is it their fault broadband isn't at a blazing speed to accommodate such a huge file? Is it the fault of game companies that harddrives can't write much faster?

The only reason iTunes worked is because it answered the problem of people wanting to buy individual songs instead of whole albums, I don't think the same can be done with games, hell I would think that it would be more of a hassle to chop up games into individual levels and force people to buy each one to continue the game.

You explained how it is when you buy and install a game, but you did not take DRM into consideration. DRM is something that follows you every time you run a game. Ubisoft does this to perfection by making it impossible to play certain games if your internet connection disappears even if it's just for a few seconds. The pirated version will not have this funny little quirk about it and is thus more convenient.
You aslso seem to think things very simple when you say that we download games, install them and patch them. There have been lots of problems just installing games like BioShock and the Batman games because of the DRM there. Batman Arkham City also had Games For Windows Live which is to blame for deleting save files in more than a few cases. I pre ordered Arkham City played through the story and then went to do side quests. One day though my save files were gone. They were still in the folder where they were being stored, but the piracy protection (DRM or Games For Windows Live) wouldn't load it up. If I had pirated the game I could easily make the pirated version load up my save data. To say the least, this was very inconvenient and almost turned me off playing the game completely. So there ya have my story about how I got slapped in the face for being honest and believe me, there are many out there with worse stories.

Punching back the tide? Why I do believe Jim has never heard of Chuck Norris.

Seriously now, I completely agree with Jim on this one. Developers punish honest consumers. What's worse, their methods of preventing piracy don't even work so ALL they are doing is punishing customers.

Some members of the industry have been smart enough to realize this, and they are thriving. Steam is DRM. So is Origin. Difference? Steam offers much more than Origin and it's actually something you want to have instead of something you NEED to have in order to play the games you like.

Props to CD Projekt as well (the guys behind The Witcher and GoG) for refusing to use DRM, even after the crippling numbers of pirated copies of The Witcher 2 and their attitude to the whole thing in general.

GeorgW:

Yopaz:

GeorgW:
I wonder what would happen if a game were to be released, and you had the choice of paying extra for a DRM free version. Say, a $10 convenience fee. No codes no nothing, just the game ready to play. Sure it'd be easier to pirate, but it's already easy. I'd love for them to just remove the DRM, everyone hates it anyway, and for good reason. But we all know that won't happen, so why not this idea?

Making a DRM free copy would mean that those who upload games in the first place would have a lot easier job doing so while all the honest customers would have to pay for it, either in cash or frustration.

But the people that upload do it within days of release(your own words), I doubt it's much of a hassle anyway. And the honest consumers wouldn't have to pay a cent more for the same product they buy now, they just have the option to pay to skip DRM. I'm sure plenty of people would do it, and if they do maybe publishers will rethink DRM.

I wont go back on my word that most DRM is cracked within days of release, Modern Warfare 3 was uploaded before its release. However what you fail to see with this point is that DRM is just a false security in these days of piracy. If they were to release a copy without DRM and one with they actually show us all that they know DRM wont stop piracy, yet they punish honest customers who aren't willing to shell out for the DRM free version. This shows us and the pirates that they know they are fighting a losing battle in this and that they actually give up on the battle and try to squeeze us for more money. DRM on the budget version punishes a honest customer. A higher cost DRM free awards the wealthy and makes piracy a lot easier than it already was.

Staskala:

Kwil:
Generally agree, but you fail in the same way that most of these rants against "the man" fail.. you forget that the reason we're getting this crap DRM stuff imposed on us in the first place is because of the pirates.

That's why I get really annoyed whenever somebody gets up on their righteous horse and says, "It's the companies' fault!"

NO. IT. ISN'T.

Why? What exactly forces a company to introduce DRM instead of taking other measures against piracy that don't hurt their consumer base?
In no other industry could you get away with this. If a store introduced mandatory, full-on body scans because they had a problem with thievery, who in their right mind would argue in their favor? Crimes happen, yes, but it doesn't give you the right to do whatever you fucking want at the expense of the people who give you their money - without having to face the consequences, that is.
Publishers are free to do all they want against piracy as long as it doesn't inconvenience me, the consumer. The second it does it is their - and only their - fault, plain and simple. Service is part of the product, and if your service sucks I stop buying your product, no matter what bogeyman you dig out in a weak attempt of justification. The pirate is not part of the consumer-publisher relationship and whatever he does should not affect me.

Now, I don't know you, but if you're already typing "self-ent" - beat it. If demanding an appropriate equivalent for my money, if demanding the very same consumer rights I am also granted in every single other industry, then yes, I'll proudly call myself self-entitled. Because I have every right to be.

Not buying the product is the absolutely appropriate response. I 100% agree with you on that. That in *no* way justifies piracy. You see, in most enterprises, not buying the product means not *having* the product. If a store introduced mandatory, full-on body scans because they had a problem with thievery, nobody would argue in their favor. At the same time, we wouldn't see all these pathetic attempts to excuse the thieves either. Nobody would be saying, "Well, given what they do, I see why people sneak in and steal shit." No, they'd just be saying "Hey, don't shop from those pricks.."

The only reason.. the *only* reason.. piracy is as prevalent as it is is because of people like you who turn a blind eye to it and let others get away with it without condemning it. Does DRM suck? Yes. Is it an excuse to pirate? NO. So when we say shit like "Well, I understand why people are doing it," we're the ones who are making excuses for the shit-heads who are actually doing it. Would-be pirate looks around the internet, gets his/her self-righteous "Yeah! I'm fightin' the man, man!" rationalization in place, and goes and gives the companies more reasons to put on DRM.

You want proof? Smoking. Nothing anybody did could get smoking to decline until people at large started going, "You know what? That's a really gross habit." Societal pressure did a hell of a lot more damage to smoking than anything any company did. And what we, as decent people need to start doing is telling pirates "That's a really shitty thing to be doing."

Will it stop all of them? Of course not. Some people are pricks by nature. But most folks are generally pretty decent and try to avoid doing things that other people think are shitty.

The thing is, we don't need to stop all of them, we just need to get the numbers low enough that there's less and less justification for the DRM in the first place, because if we're smart, we'll be telling the companies "You know, all this DRM crap is a pretty shitty thing to be doing," at the same time, and trust me, developers *want* to be able to listen. You think they like having to code in circles to try and hamper pirates? Hell no.

So if we stop blaming companies for piracy and start blaming the pirates, if people start thinking, "What if my friends find out I didn't pay for this game?" instead of "I'll show those guys and their DRM.." then that means we win. Companies will be able to spend less resources trying to protect what's theirs, and more on making it the best it can be.

Thank god for Gaben.

Yopaz:

Rednog:
I'm a bit confused as to the argument here, the whole convenience criticism seems a bit flawed.
Comparing it to something like iTunes where you can get a song damn near instantaneously is a problem because you're talking about something that is a small amount of data for machines to download and process in comparison to something that is a huge amount of data like a game.

I mean you really can't get around the whole install/update that's just the nature of the technology that is available, why can't we just pop it in like the old days and play it out of the gate? Well that is because the technology on consoles works.

Oh but what about the netflix example, with the push of a button you can watch things instantly, why can't you do that with games...well we sort of can now, it's called OnLive.

Even then I don't see how pirates provide a better service for games. For a legit game you obtain it retail or digital, download if digital, then install, and patch it.
Pirated games, you have to find it, download it, install it, and patch it, and run a crack.

It is pretty much the same damn thing.

I don't think you can really blame companies for not offering instant playability like music or movies because the technology just isn't up to speed yet. Is it their fault broadband isn't at a blazing speed to accommodate such a huge file? Is it the fault of game companies that harddrives can't write much faster?

The only reason iTunes worked is because it answered the problem of people wanting to buy individual songs instead of whole albums, I don't think the same can be done with games, hell I would think that it would be more of a hassle to chop up games into individual levels and force people to buy each one to continue the game.

You explained how it is when you buy and install a game, but you did not take DRM into consideration. DRM is something that follows you every time you run a game. Ubisoft does this to perfection by making it impossible to play certain games if your internet connection disappears even if it's just for a few seconds. The pirated version will not have this funny little quirk about it and is thus more convenient.
You aslso seem to think things very simple when you say that we download games, install them and patch them. There have been lots of problems just installing games like BioShock and the Batman games because of the DRM there. Batman Arkham City also had Games For Windows Live which is to blame for deleting save files in more than a few cases. I pre ordered Arkham City played through the story and then went to do side quests. One day though my save files were gone. They were still in the folder where they were being stored, but the piracy protection (DRM or Games For Windows Live) wouldn't load it up. If I had pirated the game I could easily make the pirated version load up my save data. To say the least, this was very inconvenient and almost turned me off playing the game completely. So there ya have my story about how I got slapped in the face for being honest and believe me, there are many out there with worse stories.

So the only problem is the existence of DRM, and removing all DRM would remove the existence of piracy or at least stifle it immensely?
The flaw in the argument is that some developers have actually tried releasing DRM free games...and lo and behold the piracy rate is still laughably high. Take a look at the Witcher 2, hey we love the PC and want to support it as much as we can so we'll make it DRM free! And it gets pirated no differently than other games.
The same with something like indie bundles, hey this money is going to charity, we have DRM free versions and we offer multiple places to redeem keys if you so desire...it still gets pirated in large numbers and you have a slew of people paying only a single cent for it.

I don't think it really is a clear cut case that Jim is presenting it to be, it isn't just this case of one providing a wholesale better experience/convenience. I think it tends to be more of a case of people are just going to pirate because it isn't going to cost them anything to do it.
I mean it is hard to argue something like oh look netflix gives me such a great service...but at the same time backslap ubisoft for having to be always online. For both you have to be online, netflix doesn't allow you to download a bunch of stuff and watch it offline at your leisure (unless I'm missing some feature of netflix). Yes one is more of a rental service and the other something you own, but the point is that you can't on the one hand praise a service that requires you to be constantly online and bash another for requiring the same thing.

That's how a competitive market works; one company sets up a business in a pre-existing market to try and get some of the profits from it. Should Microsoft not have bothered with making the Xbox, as it didn't need to exist, due to the Playstation 2 and Gamecube already existing? Of course not.

In a way, it should have been a good thing, as Steam hold a virtual monopoly over digital distribution for PC games. The problem is, Origin has nowhere near the level of good service and pricing that Steam offers currently.

I agree, until someone comes out with a service which is as good as steam in every way (pricing, simplicity, catalog, customer service etc.), steam will continue to have it's de facto monopoly
and I will gladly keep giving my money to steam for the following reasons:
1. it works on mac, I have a windows partition so I can play windows game if I really wanted to, but guess what? I'm too lazy to restart into windows because of that exact fact, it requires me to block out some time to play those games, and generally I don't have 2+ hours I can sink into restarting and playing say, Skyrim, so until origin or some other platform comes to mac I will continue to use steam

2. the deals, steam has at least one game at least 50% off 24/7 (these games are usually meh), but the midweek/weekend deals are great, and don't get me started on the holiday deals...(skyrim for 33% off? heck yeah!)

3. it has almost every game, due to my huge amounts of laziness, I'm unwilling to say go onto amazon, because I know that steam would have at least better deals and the same games, the only game which I not bought through steam this year is the mac version of borderlands, I got it through amazon (I had a gift card) because I couldn't have gotten it through steam

4. it has demos, unlike the mac app store, you can try before you buy, which is one of the reasons I've pirated games just to try them out rather then spending 30+ dollars on a game I'm not sure that I'll even like, so the only competition at least at an application level on mac is mac app
store and steam, and right now steam is much better for the reasons stated above

Yopaz:

GeorgW:

Yopaz:

Making a DRM free copy would mean that those who upload games in the first place would have a lot easier job doing so while all the honest customers would have to pay for it, either in cash or frustration.

But the people that upload do it within days of release(your own words), I doubt it's much of a hassle anyway. And the honest consumers wouldn't have to pay a cent more for the same product they buy now, they just have the option to pay to skip DRM. I'm sure plenty of people would do it, and if they do maybe publishers will rethink DRM.

I wont go back on my word that most DRM is cracked within days of release, Modern Warfare 3 was uploaded before its release. However what you fail to see with this point is that DRM is just a false security in these days of piracy. If they were to release a copy without DRM and one with they actually show us all that they know DRM wont stop piracy, yet they punish honest customers who aren't willing to shell out for the DRM free version. This shows us and the pirates that they know they are fighting a losing battle in this and that they actually give up on the battle and try to squeeze us for more money. DRM on the budget version punishes a honest customer. A higher cost DRM free awards the wealthy and makes piracy a lot easier than it already was.

You make a good point and I'm not sure how to counter it. As I said, it was only a thought experiment.
But answer me this, what happens if you want to play a Ubisoft game or Diablo 3 and don't have a stable internet connection? Why should your only option be to pirate, why can't the publishers give you another option, but for a small convenience charge? I understand why my version doesn't really work, but can't we figure one out?

Repeating the story, bought Alice: Madness Returns, I felt EA treated me badly, with the extra annoyance I had to go through. Not touching EA ever again.

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