"Pirating" a game that was never released in your country/language

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No it's not wrong IMO, and really it's a case of where the law is black and white but the issue at had is grey. If you really want to cover your ass then send some money to the publishers with an explanation.

LilithSlave:
Piracy is not stealing. And the claim that it is, has got to be one of the most ridiculous and cheezy slogans ever put out by the corporate media. It's on par with those drug PSAs, and they think we're so stupid that we can be brainwashed by pathetic claims like this.

Piracy is stealing, and you have been brainwashed into thinking sharing is piracy. But if you read the small print on media, sharing is prohibited just the same.

For the love of God can we ever have anyone on the Escapist who doesn't think pirating and not buying are almost or the very same thing?

It's like every Escapist imagines every pirate as someone who downloads a torrent instead of going out and buying a latte.

Worse yet the Escapist is like every other gaming community where people pressure people to play and buy certain games and not play and not buy certain others. Play this game, no excuses! But if you don't have the money to do so, "piracy is STEALING, you wouldn't download a CAR!", "No excuses! You don't get to play video games."

And being against the law has nothing to do with whether piracy is wrong. People ought to play video games, and people ought to buy video games. I feel sorry for anyone who lets foolish anti-piracy arguments get in the way of them playing video games.

UltraPic:

LilithSlave:
Piracy is not stealing. And the claim that it is, has got to be one of the most ridiculous and cheezy slogans ever put out by the corporate media. It's on par with those drug PSAs, and they think we're so stupid that we can be brainwashed by pathetic claims like this.

Piracy is stealing, and you have been brainwashed into thinking sharing is piracy. But if you read the small print on media, sharing is prohibited just the same.

Piracy is stealing the same the same way harassment is assault.

Its quite simply not.

Different crimes. Different punishments.

Piracy is copy rights infringement. A legal and moral grey area. We have had people forced to remove baby videos from youtube because of the music playing on the radio. We have also had people go out of business because no1 paid for their product and just copied it. Both are copy rights infringements. Its not as black and white as you would like it to be.

Vegosiux:

targren:

Nintendo decided they don't want you to have the game

Sorry but this "They don't want you to have their game" thing is BS. They didn't decide that any individual or group of infdividuals should be excluded from having their game, they just decided where they're going to sell them.

That doesn't mean they "don't want other people" to have the game, only that for some business related reason they decided to limit where it's being sold.

So please. If a game is region locked, don't come out with "well they don't want you to play it". Seriously. If it, legally, was about who they want to have their games, you'd be committing a felony by buying in Japan and taking it home with you.

It's not about "not wanting you to have it". It's about it not making enough of a profit in a local market and therefore not offering it on said market, but you can still have it if you find a way around it. They're not trying to prevent anyone from getting it.

He's commenting on how Nintendo didn't really seem to have a good reason for denying the US market the Operation Rainfall games ( Xenoblade, Pandora's Tower, etc), despite selling them in Japan, Europe, and Australia, even though the US game market is almost as strong, if not stronger, than all of those combined. Maybe there was some arcane business reason behind it. But the fact remains: if they 1.) flatly refuse to release a game in your region and 2.) region lock consoles so it is impossible to play that game, then they have no claim to any of your money.

KiloFox:
1) is it right, wrong, or morally grey to "pirate" such a game (note this encompasses ALL JP-only games, or on the flip side if you're Japanese, US/EU-only games)
and
2) from a more legal viewpoint, CAN you even pirate such a game? it was never released in your area, or language. and the only translation is from a fan patch that HAS to have a ROM to function.

1. Its morally grey technically since you are still likely committing a crime, but it would be such a small crime that no one cares about, and you quite frankly aren't hurting anyone, or at least not that bad.

2. I believe it is still technically illegal since you are pirating the game, and you could potentially acquire the game through imports (the language thing might change this a little)

IMO I say go for it. Quite frankly I really don't see the harm in it.

I'd say just import the Japanese version from an online store and then download an English ROM. That way, you can argue legally that you still bought the game and just needed it in a different language. That way the creators get your money, you don't have to second-guess yourself, and you get to play the game in the way you want to. Everyone wins :D

If it's not available to you, you can't play it. Tough shit.

Buy and import the Japanese copy, then pirate the english version? You paid for the game and you get to play it in your region on your language. There, morally acceptable. Also, I think it's legally OK as well, since ROMs are legal if you own a copy of the game (or something like that)...

IMHO, anyone who wants the game should go for it.

In this case, the company isn't losing anything in anyway. You can't buy it anyway. So there is no lose. Not even a potential lose.

It is still illegal, but from my moral point, it's nothing bad. And as a future developer, I wouldn't mind people pirating my stuff because I decided not to make it available for you. As I said, I won't be losing anything.

KiloFox:

LiquidSolstice:
I don't understand why the fuck people think pirates would stop if their self-justification doesn't hold up. I could tell you it's morally wrong and illegal, but you wouldn't listen.

And I wouldn't blame you one bit. I don't have an issue with people claiming to pirate. As long as you never think what you're doing is in anyway justified, I don't take issue with it (because there's just too many people to combat if I do).

well... in this kind of case anyway, it is kind of justified in its own way (not the typical justified as though you're Robin Hood of gaming...) in the sense of "it's their own damn fault they don't want my money." if they released the game in my area, regardless of whether i already had the ROM or not, i would buy the game. (honestly i'd buy it even if the game sucked on the ROM because i'm that big a FE nut) but no, Nintendo dosn't want to sell their game to me. but i'm gonna play it anyway. it's its own kind of justification that (at best) is still admittedly on shaky ground.

EDIT: i will agree though, most of the time piracy is in no way justifiable... if you don't have money to buy games, you shouldn't be spending time on games, you should be working so you CAN buy games. and various other examples. but when it's flat out impossible to get the game otherwise (or at least in your language so you can actually PLAY) then i think it's justifiable in at LEAST a slim way. i think that applies to non-localized games, and games out of print (like N64 and older, you can still find GameCubes and their games at game stores)

Captcha has a dirty, dirty mind - usedAss exemplary

it is pirating. Import it, then since you cant read it, import it, then pirate it. you spent your money you supported that shit.

Thats what i use to do back when i couldn't speak a lick of anything Japanese but i dont steal from series and refer to myself as a huge fan.

Why not import the game? You could do that with ebay, amazon, or anime/gaming conventions.

If you cannot legitimately get it then yeah 'pirating' it is fine because it is impossible for you to get it legitimately. I mean if you cant get it then is it really piracy? I wouldnt say so because the act of piracy requires it to be possible to get it legitimately. At least thats how I view it. You cant steal it if it isnt there and if the sale isnt possible then who can you harm? Although if it can be imported then do that and put up with the language barrier or pirate a translated version. Like I said only if buying it is impossible.

I don't think translation is a valid reason to start considering piracy. If, however, that is coupled with the game being restricted from being available to you. As in, not only isn't it sold in your area but it's even blocked on online retailers (I've had that happen), then you have no moral obligation to pay anyone for the service that they aren't delivering. You might as well send some money directly to the head of development, if you wan't to be fully upstanding.

Sansha:
For fuck's sake.
Pirating is stealing. There's no grey area, excuses or whatever else. You took something you should have paid for in the most convoluted way possible, with whatever excuses as 'I wouldn't have paid for it anyway' and 'It's not stealing because it's not a physical item', without paying.

The bottom line is you stole something. What part of this confuses you?

I don't hate anything more than I hate overzealous, bad and incorrect arguments for a position I happen to agree with moderately.

There was no talk about "I wouldn't buy it anyway", nor was there any talk about it not being a physical item, where are you coming from at all?

Vegosiux:

Sansha:
For fuck's sake.
Pirating is stealing. There's no grey area, excuses or whatever else. You took something you should have paid for in the most convoluted way possible, with whatever excuses as 'I wouldn't have paid for it anyway' and 'It's not stealing because it's not a physical item', without paying.

The bottom line is you stole something. What part of this confuses you?

I don't hate anything more than I hate overzealous, bad and incorrect arguments for a position I happen to agree with moderately.

There was no talk about "I wouldn't buy it anyway", nor was there any talk about it not being a physical item, where are you coming from at all?

To be perfectly honest I skimmed over your post. Posts asking about the moral implications of downloading games is all the same rubbish about the stuff I said.

I stand by my ignorance, if only out of blistering hatred for game pirates. You're no different.

Piracy is eeeeeeevil, man. That's why I'm sure nobody on this thread has watched a music video on youtube or sung "Happy Birthday To You" in a public location without paying royalties.

LiL'Tic:
if it wasnt released in ur country i dont rly see a problem with it its the developers fault for not releasing it in that country so they apparently dont care about ur money

OH MY SWEET ZOMBIE BABY MESSIAH OF DEVILS, USE SOME LETTERS MATE, THIS AIN'T YOUTUBE! YOU HAVE TONS OF SPACE TO WRITE!

Anyways, for this I'm going to tackle both aspects.

Morally: No, its not wrong. You can't buy / play their game without some serious issues getting in your way, so you wouldn't have bought / couldn't have bought it anyway.

Legally: Yes, but if its only released in one country and your getting it in another, then they can't pursue you legally unless they have a business station set up over there.

I'm a strong believer that you should be allowed to pirate if there is no physical way to get the game without financially hurting yourself. In some places, the price is so high that it is unreasonable to expect anyone to buy it without taking out a loan, and in some other places there is no way to buy the game without having to ship it, which also costs tons.

I think pirating Mother 3 is fair since there is no way to get the game and enjoy it without learning another language, also, fanhack that was made for free so people in other languages can enjoy it.

Piracy is OK if you at least support their company when they make a new game.

kiri2tsubasa:
Why not import the game? You could do that with ebay, amazon, or anime/gaming conventions.

Because they can't understand the language, making it very difficult to enjoy.

It's illegal, but fuck that, I think it's also ok. Because any pirating of a game that was not released in your country is definitely not depriving anyone who made it of a sale. No, you may not be entitled to all of that hard work, but if you cannot get access to this game any other way, it doesn't hurt them that you have it. I think it's your duty to explore other ways to get the game first, but if that fails, sure, pirate it.

KiloFox:
The Fire Emblem game (and i love Fire Emblem), Fire Emblem: New Mysteries of the Emblem -Heroes of Light and Shadow- (phew long name) was released in Japan a year or two back. and has basically been denied a US release. I did a little looking (because the game sounds awesome but i'm not here to pimp a FE game)and found a Fan-Made Translation patch underway and pretty much almost complete (about 75% there it seems) now i'm just curious as to what you guys think.
1) the game was never, and foreseeably WILL never be released anywhere but Japan
2) i dunno about you, but i know *I* can't read Japanese. and i'm pretty sure many more fans of such games count as well
3) for a translation patch to work you HAVE to have a ROM copy (technically pirated) and an Emulator (at least to my knowledge... of course you can use a Flash Cart instead of an emulator but it's still basically the same)

now here's the discussion value
1) is it right, wrong, or morally grey to "pirate" such a game (note this encompasses ALL JP-only games, or on the flip side if you're Japanese, US/EU-only games)
and
2) from a more legal viewpoint, CAN you even pirate such a game? it was never released in your area, or language. and the only translation is from a fan patch that HAS to have a ROM to function.

i know that personally, i'm downloading the ROM and translation as soon as it's finished. but if Nintendo happens to finally decide after so long to release it in my area, i will GLADLY part with money to buy it legitimately.

It's morally neutral and illegal to pirate these games.. however let's look at this more logically..

It's a fire emblem game! why would you NOT pirate it if you couldn't get it?!

It's wrong. No amount of justification will make the illegal obtaining of that game right. If you actually ordered it online, at least you've bought the game and they haven't "lost out on a potential sale". That being said, I don't have any problem with you getting the game like that. They refuse to make things easy for you and allow you to get the game in your language legally, so you decide to get it illegally. It's wrong, but if you really want the game that badly, then I wouldn't bother trying to justify the getting of the game, just get the game, and play it and have fun :D. If your moral code really prevents you from pirating the game, then just don't get it.

DeltaEdge:
It's wrong. No amount of justification will make the illegal obtaining of that game singing of "Happy Birthday To You" in public right.

Morality =/= legality.

While emulators are technically illegal I personally don't see an issue with getting a game that will never be localized or would cost you your first born child to buy.
I'm not too sure on the second issue so I can't answer that

Kahunaburger:

DeltaEdge:
It's wrong. No amount of justification will make the illegal obtaining of that game singing of "Happy Birthday To You" in public right.

Morality =/= legality.

I just sang that song to my teacher today, how many royalties do I owe? I may have misworded that, but I was just trying to say that even though it's legally wrong, I don't have a problem with it morally. I don't think it's morally right, but not morally wrong either. It just seems sort of like the OP wants to feel more justified in having the game, not necessarily being legal right about it.

KiloFox:
The Fire Emblem game (and i love Fire Emblem), Fire Emblem: New Mysteries of the Emblem -Heroes of Light and Shadow- (phew long name) was released in Japan a year or two back. and has basically been denied a US release. I did a little looking (because the game sounds awesome but i'm not here to pimp a FE game)and found a Fan-Made Translation patch underway and pretty much almost complete (about 75% there it seems) now i'm just curious as to what you guys think.
1) the game was never, and foreseeably WILL never be released anywhere but Japan
2) i dunno about you, but i know *I* can't read Japanese. and i'm pretty sure many more fans of such games count as well
3) for a translation patch to work you HAVE to have a ROM copy (technically pirated) and an Emulator (at least to my knowledge... of course you can use a Flash Cart instead of an emulator but it's still basically the same)

now here's the discussion value
1) is it right, wrong, or morally grey to "pirate" such a game (note this encompasses ALL JP-only games, or on the flip side if you're Japanese, US/EU-only games)
and
2) from a more legal viewpoint, CAN you even pirate such a game? it was never released in your area, or language. and the only translation is from a fan patch that HAS to have a ROM to function.

i know that personally, i'm downloading the ROM and translation as soon as it's finished. but if Nintendo happens to finally decide after so long to release it in my area, i will GLADLY part with money to buy it legitimately.

.
I'm glad I don't like JRPG.
Paradox Interactive can't circulate it's games in physical format here, since all of the importers think their games are for a niche crowd. But I love them, so I buy them online.
Your problem here is that the game itself is in a wrong language, nothing else.

If you cannot purchase the item in question for your region, then I say go for it. They can't say it's a lost sale, since you couldn't have bought the item through legitimate channels anyway. (edit: actually I suppose that's technically not true since you could still buy online or whatever, but it'd be in the wrong language for you. make of that what you will.)

There are tons of tiny little fan projects that address the needs of a niche audience, something that's not mainstream enough to have massive profit potential for a big corporation. Projects that include fan translations, revivals of old movies/games/books that have long been out of print or been mired in copyright issues, and more. All of them run by fans volunteering their time to share the thing they're passionate about with other fans.

Because that's what the pirates are, at their core, which is something the industries just don't understand. Pirates aren't thieves or hoodlums or career criminals, they're not shady guys waiting in an alleyway for a chance to bop someone on the head with a lead pipe and make off with their wallet. They're just fans, who probably spent a good portion of their income on the hobby that they love, until one day they encountered something money couldn't get them. Maybe a game they purchased legitimately isn't working properly due to the DRM, or whatever. And then they discover that pirates have been doing this stuff for years, doing it for free, and most importantly, doing it well.

People don't turn to piracy just because it's free; they turn to it because it provides a better service than the legitimate channels (or a service which the legitimate channels are entirely missing). If the law says that that's wrong... well, then the law is mistaken. It sometimes is.

(Bet there's plenty of "GRR PIRACY IS STEALING" people rolling their eyeballs at this post, but hey, there are countless people who will be all too glad to sit you down and lecture to you about just how baaaaad piracy is, it's only fair that someone be allowed to deliver the opposing point.)

Import the game which you can not understand or run do to region locks or whatever then pirate it since it is no longer infringement because you own a physical copy. That would be the legal way to do it.

Honestly I don't care about or buy the whole "They denied it for your region so you aren't aloud to have it." If you are part of a place that can in no way legally obtain a copy is pirating it really a lost sale. It's essentially abandonware all over again.

Personally...

I think if you feel it's necessary, you should at least buy a japanese copy and then get the ROM, so you can still get it while supporting the developers.

But that would be you bending over backwards for a product that isn't intended for you to play. Honestly, I wouldn't even spend time on the game full stop (don't buy it, don't download the ROM). BUT since the game is still worth playing to you, you should at least buy it.

If the DS or DSi (in regards to physical copies) were region locked, then there would be no legal way for you to play the game full stop anyways.

targren:
Well, leaving right and wrong out of it, it does prove a very effective counterexample the industry insistence that illegal downloads equate to lost sales.

Ugh. This was what I was really hoping you would not say, because it is utterly illogical to make a blanket statement that "illegal download is not lost sale". I think people are fixating too much on the word "sale", and pirates, people, and the game publishers also use the word wrongly.

It is a lost sale in the exact moment that the product is obtained without payment. There is no arguing with that.

What happens afterwards is ambiguous. It is unknown. The game industry does not know if you will buy AC2 because you pirated AC1. The game industry does not know if you would have purcahsed the game if it was available in your region. The game industry does not know that you would have purchased it if it did not have DRM. For the sake of fairness, the game industry also does not know if you have already purchased the game or not.

The only solid piece of information the game industry knows is that that moment of piracy in which you experience the content without paying for it, you have sidestepped the long-established rule of commerce in which payment is required to experience that content.

I think they don't understand how to word this, and I think a lot of DRM, both the actual code itself as well as it's reception and reasoning for creation get really, really poorly explained by people who mean one thing but say something else.

targren:

Vegosiux:

targren:

Nintendo decided they don't want you to have the game

Sorry but this "They don't want you to have their game" thing is BS. They didn't decide that any individual or group of infdividuals should be excluded from having their game, they just decided where they're going to sell them.

..snipped defensiveness...

The context of this thread is in the frame of reference of a single individual that wants the game and is not being offered it. You claim that it's not a decision to deny him the game, then go on to list reasons why they may make the decision to deny him the game (yes, by denying it to his entire country/region, they're denying it to him).

No one but you said it was personal. They opted not to make it available where he could purchase it, and made it so the only way to obtain the game would be illegal. That decision means that he cannot have the game without breaking the law, which is what I said.

As for the rest of it, put the pom-poms away. You're off-topic.

Importing is possible.

Just sayin'.

OT: Whatever OP, do what you want, the opinion of the Internet doesn't matter. You're breaking the law, if that's ok with you then go for it, the moral implications are purely subjective as none of us are parties to the piracy, it's between you and the Publisher.

Kahunaburger:
Piracy is eeeeeeevil, man. That's why I'm sure nobody on this thread has watched a music video on youtube or sung "Happy Birthday To You" in a public location without paying royalties.

Yes, watching a music video on YouTube is of course the same thing as grabbing a ripped ROM of a game that you did not pay for and playing it.

Unless you want to tell me that Fair Use applies to video game ROMs?

PIRACY BE OK. LAWS/GOVERNMENTS/GREEDY CAPITALISTIC PIGS MAN. WE GOTTA TAKE EM DOWWWWWWWN.

LilithSlave:
Worse yet the Escapist is like every other gaming community where people pressure people to play and buy certain games and not play and not buy certain others. Play this game, no excuses! But if you don't have the money to do so, "piracy is STEALING, you wouldn't download a CAR!", "No excuses! You don't get to play video games."
.

You know, a 5 year old from the 50s would be able to tell you that if you don't have enough money to buy something, you're not supposed to take it.

It's a shame grown adults from 2012 aren't able to process such a basic fact of commerce.

Do you have money? Yes?
Then buy it.

Do you not have money?
Then wait until you do.

Gaming is not a fucking necessity. It's not denying people "From the arts and freedom of expression" or whatever the fuck you're making it sound like. Video games are no different than anything else you buy in this world. If you don't have enough for it, you wait until you do.

As utterly inconvenient as that may be for today's generation of "I WANT AND I WANT NAO", that's the truth. Deal with it.

Tanakh:
Sup mate! And he IS offered it, here is the direct link to the game he wants.

"We're sorry, this product is not available outside of Japan."

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