Jimquisition: When Piracy Becomes Theft

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I agree full heartedly with Jim here. Even got a story:

I was in my nerd club, venting about how shit Uplay (Ubisoft's anti-consumer DRM bullshit) is, when one of these game rapists went "oh yeah, I had a time when a friend of mine couldn't play Skyrim because he bought it through Steam and was on his laptop and couldn't use offline mode in Steam, and I could play it because I pirated it, I got the better product!" I simply replied: "You are aware of the difference; Uplay is constantly fucking over customers, while Steam, and Bethesda are actually good guys, so you can't justify pirating it." He just left the room, haven't seen him come by for a while now actually :D (and yes, he could fucking well afford the game)
I have also heard stories similar to World of Goo, like online games where 95% of all copies are illegal, forcing the game makers into bankruptcy.

This just in: "theft" doesn't mean "not nice".

So if there is anything we should all take away from this little mini-series, it's that being extremely anti-piracy is just as bad as being extremely pro-piracy.

Do you know that most of the ACTA protesters on the Balkans are protesting because they fear that downloading copyrighted materials for non-commercial use will become illegal? Poorer countries don't have the means to buy all their entertainment. It's not only that, though, Photoshop is one of the most-downloaded programs. Using programs you didn't pay for to study them is legal in most of the world and is condoned by the developers, the more people learn them, the more people will buy them when they need them for commercial purposes.
What I mean to say is that Jim is rather short-sighted, 10 bucks in the US is not the same as 10 bucks in other countries. The silly "if you can buy a PC, you can buy a game" argument doesn't work. Even in the US, 1 gaming PC is worth about 10-15 50$ games, some of which last 6-8 hours. A cheap gaming PC bought 3 years ago can still play all games at low settings. Gaming on consoles is even cheaper.
P.S. I don't use the term piracy, because it means copyright infringement; downloading entertainment off the internet for free is NOT a copyright infringement in the countries I speak of.

Good vid, I agree completely about the douchers that pirated the indie bundles...fucking bottom feeders. There really is a breaking point where I would consider it something beyond piracy and that right there is it.

I will admit to being convinced that piracy is not theft it is copyright violation. However I would like to try and make the point that copyright violation is a serious crime in itself. Let me throw out a hypothetical example.

Lets say that I am a large publisher called Electronic Artists for example, and I have just published a mediocre movie tie-in game called Lego-Transformers3. Now Some Indy developer, lets call them Mojang, produces a similar game "Minecraft" that I believe will hurt my sales. Now I can't purchase 1 copy of their game, drop my Lego title, and then sell Minecraft myself, pocketing the cash because that is "Gross Copyright Violation" according to the internet. Instead lets say that I decide to "File-Share" the game, I legally purchase a copy, I then copy it and distribute it for free over a service lets call it "OriginFree" from which I derive no income, in fact i lose money due to the operating costs of the service. Using my brand recognition I distribute their game much more widely than it otherwise would have been and so all their potential customers get it from me for free. They sue for Copyright Violation but i have a well staffed legal department, and shows like the Jimquisition are supporting anti-copyright laws, so public opinion is on my side. Mojang goes bankrupt and Notch is back to begging for work. I have just engaged in a monopolistic business practice while still technically only file sharing, I did not directly make a profit, and it will be hard to prove that my game sold better because of lack of Minecraft.

Now Jim did call out the example I just posted as wrongful piracy but the problem with this is that it requires people to guess at motives. Is "OriginFree" an evil ploy by EA to eliminate competition or is it the work of a disgruntled Minecraft player trying to exact revenge on EA by using the same techniques? Where do you draw the lines? lets say the Mojang sucessfuly publishes Minecraft and is rocketed into development of multiple other titles, with conventions in Las Vegas. When do they become big enough that practicing file-sharing on them wont ruin the company? If you say whenever it wont bankrupt them to pirate their stuff assumes that you know there income and expenditures currently and know for a fact that your piracy of the game will not hurt them. To say that whether piracy is right or wrong dependends on circumstances requires an impartial judge and jury because very few people do things that they consider wrong, we all try to live by our own set of morals even if they conflict with what is legal. When you say piracy from any person similar to the situation sited in the video is wrong but anyone "like" a major publisher is ok requires Jim's discretion because Jim is perfect and all knowing. This means we have to ask Jim whether anything is right or not and when he becomes President of the USA, a lot of people will need to know if what they are doing is right or not.

Piracy is not theft, but piracy is still stealing. "How can this be?" Many people ask/demand.

Theft is stealing, but stealing isn't necessarily theft.
Just like how a car is red, but if something is red it's not necessarily a car.

Theft implies one person taking something from someone, and another person losing something from said theft.

Stealing is general and only implies someone taking from another without permission.

It's so simple but it's a shame that so many people will probably still not understand.

Piracy is stealing.

Good to see at least there's some discussion around here on the topic.

But it's funny considering we're -all- guilty of copyright infringement, as all our computers must copy data constantly when we're using it. That game you're playing? It's not running off the disc you bought, or the downloaded files on your HD. Stuff had to be copied to your RAM (and video memory, etc etc), I hope you had permission for that (protip: you didn't.) Oops.

That CD you're listening to, data needs to be copied from the disc to be used (that's what "reading" a CD is, didn't you know?)

That website you're viewing, the images are not public domain, neither is the code nor the text. You have not been given authorization by the copyright owner to download (copy) them to your computer in order to display them on your monitor. Just because they put it out there, doesn't mean they don't deserve compensation for you just ripping off their website into your computer RAM! In fact, the escapist (and google, and facebook, and...) should sue all of us, right this instant, for downloading the entire website multiple times without their consent! We should be paying them every time we download a copy of the website (every time we press refresh in the browser, or change pages!)

That they are not enforcing their copyright does not mean they don't own it and that we are infringing it by not being granted permission to copy it, no matter the reason.

You are, we are, again, guilty of copyright infringement.

Constantly, invariably.

Now, some websites (and games, and art, etc) will explicitly note their content is licensed (!) through CC, GNU, etc or is actually public domain. Those are the only ones you can safely download as many times as you want due to the licensing (!) agreement. Everything else falls under Good'ol archaic copyright. Also, before anyone talks about "fair use," it's not an international concept yet copyright is.

We (and pretty much all corporations and governments) overlook these innocent instances of "copyright infringement" since they're idiotic, but they aren't any less illegal because they're idiotic.

And so too shall come to pass when the idea of digital "piracy" will be just as idiotic, as there will be no concept of copyright as we now understand it given how our technology changed the nature of copying and distribution. It has changed already, and these arguments and debates are all springing up out of the confusion caused by the radical paradigm shifts happening.

The only way to oppose this happening is the destruction of the internet and all the technology that powers it as it literally cannot function without copying data freely and arbitrarily, which is what the dying system will attempt to do.

Further reading?


As always.

(Oh yeah, the books are all available under CC, so you can just grab them for 0$ bux. How dare he.)

Having read 5 pages in, I'm starting to feel like the argument on is piracy stealing, has gone round in circles a few too many times.

Personally I think for video games, a demo would stop people justifying the need to illegally download the game and try it first. Next time I'm food shopping, I'll take a bite out of a cake I've never tried before... Got to make sure I like it, right?

Trapped by definition me thinks.

The only bit that didn't make sence there was the pedo bit in the burglars...
I know loads of child-molestors who'll actually pay for... nevermind.
Point is you shouldn't give them a bad name! They're WAY better than these... these....

Subhuman, Scum infested, greedy, stealing.... GRANNY FONDLERS. I honestly do not know but they are bad people! I think the gold-fish crap was as close as you're going to get to them. Humble indie bundle torrentors.... that's just bad.


What makes you think copyrights are valid? You say that without them, things are diminished? In what ways?

What about copyright needs to be reformed?

Copyrights are important to allow someone to make a fair amount of money off of what they make. However, that doesn't mean that I agree with Disney's point of view which is to expand copyright coverage each and every time their material comes up for release to the public domain. Sadly, the US and the EU has been in bed with each other for so long that they've kind of built themselves up into their own coffins. Neither can reject it without violating agreements overseas.

Copyright needs to be reduced to twenty years, that's it.

A reduction in copyright term would make me very happy too! Do you think copyrights are really necessary though? Aren't there plenty of ways for artists to make a living off their art without having to resort to punishing people who copy it?

Are there any downsides to copyright, in your view, in that first 20 years? Or is it all good?

I talk about this on my podcast a bit. http://libertybeat.ca

A reduction in copyright term would make me very happy too! Do you think copyrights are really necessary though? Aren't there plenty of ways for artists to make a living off their art without having to resort to punishing people who copy it?

Are there any downsides to copyright, in your view, in that first 20 years? Or is it all good?

Remember that an artist (or studio or publishing agent) with a copyright on a piece of media merely has the option to do whatever they want with the material, be it release it for free or charge for it. In essence the first twenty years is important to give sufficient time for any artist or publisher a chance to capitalize on the material they've created which really is only fair. One of the frustrating things about copyright is that the Disney's old classics are still held behind the copyright barrier despite being a massive influence on today's culture and you combine that with a significant number of other more recent materials that won't be released to the public domain until well after 120 years from the work's creation. (95 years from publication, but since we keep seeing re-re-re-re-re-releases that counter gets reset.)

I'm not entirely sure why there's a mark about "punishing people who copy" art. I'm not following that argument so well here.

Many people who pirate indie games just to try it out and then go out and buy it. It also serves as advertising for those who mostly get their games from torrents.


How are they "indie" games if they are being sold by a big publisher.

Steam isn't an publisher, it's a distribution service. Your statement is effectively "How is Game Y an indie game when it's sold by GameStop?" You see the dissonance there?

Valve are though, and places like gamestop have never sold "indie" games.

As much as it pains me, I have to admit it: I used to pirate these sort of games. There's no justifying it, other than the fact I was under 18 and couldn't actually buy them, since I couldn't pay for anything with credit or debit cards and my parents wouldn't trust putting their info online.

However, since turning 18 last year, I've payed for every single game I've acquired and have gone back and bought almost all of those indie games that I pirated and played for more than 5 minutes. And it wasn't even that expensive.

Cradle snatchers. That keeps in with Jim's meaning, but it's like they're stealing not only the Developer's baby but also harming the other tiny tots who would have benefit from folks buying the Developer's creation.

Pedo burgler just doesn't sound catchy, it sounds like they steal kiddie fiddlers.

The end was great though, sawing off balls with wood.

As much as it pains me, I have to admit it: I used to pirate these sort of games

Why should it pain you when you likely would not have paid for a lot of them if you never tried them before ?
Because of those who insist on calling it theft, and theft is shameful, right ? Since you ended up a better paying audience then this was a sort of "non-shameful theft". A theft that paradoxically brought something.
More than that, by letting yourself feel shame because of other's arbitrary opinions you reduce your horizons to what little you buy on impulse.

A successful indie game is ridiculously profitable, the main reasons for that are the absence of a multi-million ad campaign and no distribution in physical stores. If plenty of people want to pirate it chances are it made a large profit already, plus those who liked it will buy it like you did.

So either it's free publicity or it's not that big of a deal. Calling it "pedo-burglary" is hilarious but bringing on the shame for a vain and immediate sense of moral superiority is what does the real harm.

500 seeders.... ive seen 50.000 seeders few times. this certainly isnt a popular pirate game you talk about.
as for 20 dollars, 20 dollars may not look much for you, but it certainly is much for people in other countries. yes 60 dollars is far worse, but 20 dolalrs is still 10% of your monthly earning. especially when most of those games arent worth it.

lol PIRACY IS THEFT. Piracy is one person taking the physical or downloaded copy out of the spectrum and putting it up so others don't have to...
1.Steal the game.
2.buy the game.

so yes Piracy is theft and frankly people making excuses that its not theft...*whispers* likely pirates themselves, There will never be an excuse for piracy it all comes down to you didn't want to pay the money and that's a fact...Why is this a fact? because if the service or game is so bad why would you take the time to pirate it in the first place, last I checked If I had a particular food I didn't like I wouldn't go out of my way to acquire said food.

Simply put it doesn't matter how little drm or how little the game costs its just going to be pirated and with little to no drm it will just be pirated all the harder...hell Steam the dominate force in games is drm If it wasn't you can bet most people would be pirating the games on it *and they infact do on last check*
P.S: and that's coming from a *whisper* pirate.

My dad came back from a country in the middle east which is not copyright friendly. He brought back a trove of software, among which was World of Goo. I never played the title, but I did load it on my comp. Now I feel pretty shit. I'm off to buy it and give the developers what they deserve.

Even though this thread is beyond ancient, I just want to say I'm shocked at the amount of people saying "it's morally better to pirate the game than to donate the one cent minimum, because it "stops the Humble Indie Bundle losing money". If you're thinking about pirating or paying piss poor amounts for the bundle, you clearly don't give a shit about the developers, and have no fucking right to discuss the most ethical way of ripping them off. If you really, well and truly honestly gave a shit about the HIB or the developers financial well being, and didn't want to make them lose money... YOU'D PAY MORE THAN A COUPLE OF CENTS. IT'S THAT SIMPLE.

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