Jimquisition: When Piracy Becomes Theft

 Pages 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 NEXT
 

When Piracy Becomes Theft

Piracy isn't theft, right? It's copyright infringement, yes? These statements aren't wrong, but they're not always correct. Not when we talk about a certain type of piracy that is most certainly theft, and deserves all the indignity that such a term implies. The just and fair Jim Sterling shall share the wisdom of his judgement.

Watch Video

I Love the new intro Jim.
did you make it yourself?

humbel indie bundle: DON'T PAY ONE CENT. they will lose money

Love how you look more like an arrogant douche in real glases than sunglases. ( i mean that in the nicest possible way of course)

Me Gusta new intro.I'm disgusted that people cracked the humble Indie bundle.I mean, come on, anyone with a working computer can cough up enough money for it.
Also, would buying a legal copy of a game that comes with a shitty on-line service that spies on you & you MUST have & then cracking it for it to work without said service be justified?

Sorry dude, but there's no "middle ground" and it's still not "theft"... you can't apply the concept of "theft" to intellectual goods, it may be cockmongery or dickery, douchebaggery or something like that and I always make sure to pay at least 5€ even if I already own most games, but it's still not theft.

Also, as someone above said, they'll likely lose money if people would just pay 1 cent, Paypal takes some sort of fee and the download and stuff costs money...

Aside of never seeing any actual proof towards those numbers (I think the numbers reported for the first "Humble Bundle" was how many more times it got downloaded compared to how many paid, totally ignoring the fact that people may download it several times) I'd assume that people doing that would largely be children without any way to pay for the games e.g. no Credit Card or PayPal and in that case it again becomes somewhat more of a service issue.

Even bigger cockmongery/dickery/douchebaggery were the people that bought Humble Indie Bundles in mass at 1 cent so they can activate them on new Steam accounts and farm "Coal" for the Winter competition last monght imo in several different ways. They had to raise the minimum price for that bundle to 1$ and a little faith in humanity disappeared that day...

Btw. another article I read about this today: http://www.webpronews.com/paulo-coelho-on-sopa-pirate-everything-i%E2%80%99ve-ever-written-2012-02

During the entire SOPA/PIPA/ACTA ongoing ordeal, all you have heard about were the movie studios in Hollywood feeling butt hurt about people ripping them off and depriving them of untold millions of dollars due to copyright violations. One sect of artists you probably didn't hear too much from (aside: now that I think about it, I honestly can't recall any opinions of artists regarding SOPA - it seems to only be executives making a fuss) on SOPA matters were writers. One writer, however, has some pretty strong opinions concerning the SOPA debate: Paulo Coelho.

Coelho, the best-selling author of The Alchemist and Brida, has been unwavering with his opposition to SOPA, calling it "a REAL DANGER that will affect the whole planet." Many people, politicians and anti-SOPA advocates alike, have made similar statements but Coelho went one step further in order to prove his point: he wants you to pirate all of his books.

Seriously. Go download them. He really wants you to.

In a post on his blog, Coelho opined about the controversial anti-piracy law and argued that the proliferation of artist content, even if it does have a copyright, is never a bad thing. "The more often we hear a song on the radio," he wrote, "the keener we are to buy the CD. It's the same with literature. The more people 'pirate' a book, the better."

Coelho makes a solid point that eviscerates the argument that piracy is harming entertainers: anybody who has ever entertained the notion or even been able to call themselves an artist at any point in their life was pursing that interest out of passion, not monetary compensation. Most people, while it does sound pretentious, can understand that. Well, the philistines won't but, then again, the philistines are the ones writing SOPA bills in the first place.

Still, artists gotta eat, and Coelho is aware that they need some kind of compensation for their works. However, he doesn't believe that piracy is what stands in the way of artists getting paid. He related a personal anecdote in this blog:

In 1999, when I was first published in Russia ( with a print- run of 3,000), the country was suffering a severe paper shortage. By chance, I discovered a ' pirate' edition of The Alchemist and posted it on my web page.
An year later, when the crisis was resolved, I sold 10,000 copies of the print edition.
By 2002, I had sold a million copies in Russia, and I have now sold over 12 million.

When I traveled across Russia by train, I met several people who told me that they had first discovered my work through the ' pirated' edition I posted on my website. Nowadays, I run a 'Pirate Coelho' website, giving links to any books of mine that are available on P2P sites.
And my sales continue to grow - nearly 140 million copies world wide.

He uses the anecdote to illustrate how pirating can actually help an artist become successful. "A good idea doesn't need protection," he wrote.

In a way, Coelho's pro-piracy argument isn't terribly different than the relationship that authors and libraries have enjoyed since, well, since always. They've managed to successfully coexist with no detriment to the artists' well-being; in fact, I'd hazard the guess that libraries have been instrumental in fostering many authors who, without the free and available access to literature, might never have become writers in the first place.

So what say you of Coelho's argument? Does piracy actually benefit an artist by permitting copyrighted material like books and music to proliferate through the hands of the masses at literally zero cost? Do you think people actually go out and financially support artists after getting their wares for free if they like what they've read/heard/watched/etc.? Comment below with your opinions.

You can't keep pedophilia out of anything you do, can you Jim?

rolfwesselius:
I Love the new intro Jim.
did you make it yourself?

Check the credits. A fan sent it in.

Mm, I agree wholeheartedly and I thought you'd bring this up considering the points you avoided last week, it's one thing to reduce sales to big corporatiosn that can afford the loss and have been doing douchy things, but it's just a dick move to steal from people that really need the money that badly, don't charge a lot for their games, and maintain a good relationship with the consumer.

Hell, even larger companies can still need the money, so as long as they're the IP-creators and don't pull too many dick moves then it's still not allright to cut into the money that's going to fund their next game and keep the company afloat.

Ohhhh After Effects.

SOMEONE'S rolling in money

or they y'know pirated it...

You hit the nail right on the head there, Jim. Nice new intro, by the way.

Very, very well done, Jim! Loved it!

I liked the original intro myself...

I do agree with this though, fuck the big companies, but the indis shouldnt have to deal with that, I may never play it but I am gona go buy that serious sam game just because it had an awesome commercial and I respect the dev.

I recently had to shame my friend who wanted my humble mobile bundle download link, I told him to man up and drop a fiver on it to help some damn sick kids and indi devs, he looked ashamed of himself for good reason.

I'd vote for Jim. Beats the bozos that usually run. Hopefully he can beat them with pieces of wood too.

I haven't downloaded a game for free in so long, I didn't realize they did that. I only ever "downloaded" big expensive titles or things that never actually got officially released.

It seems to be the difference between being Robin Hood or *random Republican Candidate of the week.*
Nobody with a computer is too poor to buy a $7 game.

Yeah I was taken back when I read the article about people who pirated the indie bundle, I mean I buy everyone (just bought the on the road one today, and I buy indie royal bundles too) but who pirates games you get for a penny that's just cheap and pathetic. Now I admit I have backup's of video games, that I already own. I mean people called me a pirate or what ever, but every game on my DS/PSP I have a copy in my closet (that I bought, sometimes multiple copies of one game (Like Izuna 1 and 2)) sitting safely in a drawer so I don't lose or have a game stolen like before (Because I would lose my mind if someone stole my copy of Shantae or Dragon Quest 5 or any game I spent more then a year hunting for). But to pirate games that were more or less free....wow just wow.

Ziggy:
humbel indie bundle: DON'T PAY ONE CENT. they will lose money

Unfortunate but true. Just paying one cent is worse than pirating the game because paying them the one cent loses them money while pirating it doesn't.

Still a shit thing to do? Of course, but the lesser of two evils in the Humble Indie Bundle's case.

Though this just goes to show you that people will use any backwards ass logic they can get their hands on to validate piracy. Even if the games are good, cheap and DRM free they'll still come up with some BS excuse about why they NEED the game but can't be asked to pay for it.

Wait...people torrent the humble bundle? Geeze, WHY? Why would anyone want to do that with a bundle that allows you to pay what you can? That's pretty low indeed.

Shame I'm not American. I could get behind your policies, Jim. Would rather have that than blanket bans like SOPA/PIPA/ACTA or whatever the hot topic is these days. Good luck on your quest to office.

(also loving the new intro)

Nice intro. Looks professional.

As much I as I think Piracy is a complex issue, I agree with this so much. Pirating anything that cheap ESPECIALLY if the profit goes straight to the devs, is just dickishness for the sake of being dickish.

And I ask again..... WHERE DID YOU GET THE GLORIOUS CHAINSWORD???

But JimSterling if you were president would you burn the constitution?!

Qitz:

Ziggy:
humbel indie bundle: DON'T PAY ONE CENT. they will lose money

Unfortunate but true. Just paying one cent is worse than pirating the game because paying them the one cent loses them money while pirating it doesn't.

Still a shit thing to do? Of course, but the lesser of two evils in the Humble Indie Bundle's case.

Though this just goes to show you that people will use any backwards ass logic they can get their hands on to validate piracy. Even if the games are good, cheap and DRM free they'll still come up with some BS excuse about why they NEED the game but can't be asked to pay for it.

Agreed the point were you pirate a drm free and cheap game is just low, low, low. I mean if I want a game on PC and don't wanna fork the money for it I just wait for a steam sale, I wanted to play duke nukem (Such a bad game) so I just waited for it to hit 5 bucks (such a bad game >_>).

But a pirate saying he wants the humble/royal bundle and pirates it instead of paying the smallest amount needed (Which is at most 10 bucks for royal) that's just low.

Jim Sterling for President? He's got my vote!

A part of me seriously wishes for Jim to be president. Jesters of the Moon for the National Anthem would be pretty fucking cool.

Be more creative Jim. We need a cruder and catchier term for people who pirate a cheap bundle that is meant for charity.

Sorry No, Indie devs are not special and copyright infringement doesn't become theft when it involves an Indie developer.

In fact, I place a lower value on Indie games because most are ugly, simplistic and repetitive. I don't pirate them though, I watch them on YouTube and decide to skip them. I guess this show was required though, given the anti-piracy stance of the escapist.

BTW, when I hear people talk about castrating and torturing people (I guess only males are pirates), I assume they are not to be taken seriously.

I dont understand how you can say piracy is not theft. It is the use of a product or service without paying for it. It doesnt matter why you pirate games it is still theft. Even those who defend it by saying they will pay later it doesnt change the fact that you stole a product, it doesnt work on credit like that.

No, it's still not theft. Calling people thieves because you don't like what they're doing is exactly the problem you just shifted away from.

As for people who pirate charity bundles, can't be just call them scum?

Dusk17:
I dont understand how you can say piracy is not theft. It is the use of a product or service without paying for it.

Which isn't theft.

didn't you just answer your own question with your definition?

Dusk17:
I dont understand how you can say piracy is not theft. It is the use of a product or service without paying for it. It doesnt matter why you pirate games it is still theft. Even those who defend it by saying they will pay later it doesnt change the fact that you stole a product, it doesnt work on credit like that.

If I steal your bike, then you lose a bike. That's theft.
If you copy one of your games, you lose nothing. See the difference?

Crono1973:

Dusk17:
I dont understand how you can say piracy is not theft. It is the use of a product or service without paying for it. It doesnt matter why you pirate games it is still theft. Even those who defend it by saying they will pay later it doesnt change the fact that you stole a product, it doesnt work on credit like that.

If I steal your bike, then you lose a bike. That's theft.
If you copy one of your games, you lose nothing. See the difference?

Those kinda people never see the difference.

I think people are missing the point of this video. You should pay something to humble indie devs at the very least because they respect you. They take out all the DRM, give the proceeds to charity and in the process are losing money. At the very least you are giving money to charity and getting some sweet games in the process.

And let's get off the topic of if it is theft or piracy. That's missing the point. Whatever you are doing, in the case of the humble indie devs, is just wrong.

Plus...it's only like a penny..come on...

I don't know why you are spending energy thinking about the people who copy indie games. I have a better idea than demonizing them. Come to grips with the fact that some people are just lame, and a small percentage of the population derives satisfaction from they feeling of superiority they get by screwing others over in a very minor and inconsequential way. Your life would be better if you just ignore them. They aren't going away, there is no need to bother expending thoughts on those people.

The fact that the games are "pay what you want" conclusively proves that people don't pirate games to save money. All but the crappiest games out there will give you at least 10 hours of gameplay and even at $60 + tax that comes out to much cheaper/hour than almost any other form of entertainment. So piracy is almost never about money and people can stop that tired old "you are just cheap" argument.

The success of Steam proves that even if the games are available for free people are still willing to pay. And Gamecopyworld and Piratebay make me feel secure buying games on Steam because I know that nobody can take away the games I bought for any reason.

Dexter111:
Sorry dude, but there's no "middle ground" and it's still not "theft"... you can't apply the concept of "theft" to intellectual goods, it may be cockmongery or dickery, douchebaggery or something like that and I always make sure to pay at least 5€ even if I already own most games, but it's still not theft.

I know I will regret asking, but can't it be seen as theft?

So lets say you pirate the indy game Aquaria.

That game costs 20 Euro.
You have the game in your possession because you downloaded via a torrent instead of the official site.
So 1 copy on your HD, but no money in Bit Blot's account.
For every copy of Aquaria on someone's HD Bit Blot should have the equivalent value on their bank account. 20 copies sold should equate to 20 times the games value on Bit Blot's account.
(edit- also just thought about from the aspect of: if you are in possession of something you didn't legally acquire, surely you must have stolen it?)

They are missing 20 Euro because in theory if you have Aquaria on your HD Bit Blot should be up 20 Euro. But they aren't - they've been robbed of that payment.

scum carries no weight. You see words are only as hurtful as the meaning they convey.
scum just doesn't carry that kind of weight.

theft on the other hand carries moral weight. Everything society teaches us says theft it inherently wrong. Where as scum... trash.. are just words meant to be demeaning .

and the kind of pirate jim is talking about is just that kind of person , a thief, someone or something that is inherently in the wrong on a social and moral stand point.

It is like megaupload. People paint it as a martyr and the evil fbi and usa as the evil. But megaupload encouraged piracy, it profited from piracy , it was not one of the harmless leechers , it was the distributor . Put it another way , it wasn't the crack addict... it was the crack dealer.

and the same is true about these people who crack and distribute indi games. they are the source of the issue.

White-Death:

Also, would buying a legal copy of a game that comes with a shitty on-line service that spies on you & you MUST have & then cracking it for it to work without said service be justified?

Legal? No, as you are modifying the games content (the .exe) withouth the producers permission.
Justified? Yes. They have the money you have the game. How can producers expect every customer to make accounts for 2 different websites (giving away their email and having 2 extra passwords to remember) just so they can save the games progress? But only if you are online all the time and didnt install the game on 3 other computers yet.
But thats just my oppinion.

Crono1973:
Sorry No, Indie devs are not special and copyright infringement doesn't become theft when it involves an Indie developer.

In fact, I place a lower value on Indie games because most are ugly, simplistic and repetitive. I don't pirate them though, I watch them on YouTube and decide to skip them. I guess this show was required though, given the anti-piracy stance of the escapist.

The point here is that indie games a) generally don't cost anything at all and b) often times the money doesn't go to the official publisher money pile, but to the developer. Also they don't screw me over by making me install spyware on my computer in order to let me play the game, unlike said publishers. That's why it's infuriating to see how cheap people are. It's like pirating an ice cream sandwich, if that had been possible.

It doesn't really change the argument for whether or not it's "copyright infringement" or "theft", indeed. But if I got told one guy pirated Bastion and another guy pirated a Ubisoft title, I know which of them I'd call out as the bigger douchebag.

 Pages 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 NEXT

Reply to Thread

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