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I've skimmed this thread as best I can, though at twenty pages it's quite a read. However, despite P:E's great performance on Kickstarter, I haven't seen any discussion on what continued success in crowdfunding means for copyright's moral basis.

 

For those who are unaware, copyright is justified (at least nowadays) on the idea of a compelling economic interest on the part of the government to enforce what are essentially temporary monopolies on certain intellectual properties. Fundamental to this compelling interest is the assumption that there is no effective way to monetize intellectual property, and thus produce works of art, outside of the copyright system. Also a bunch of other assumptions, but I'd say that's the big one.

 

While Kickstarter (and crowdfunding in general) is still relatively small, the larger it grows the more it acts as an effective, non-copyright monetization model - which sort of puts the lie to copyright's justification. If private industry demonstrates that it can effectively raise funds to produce content without the clumsy government intervention of copyright, it starts to look a little antiquated.

 

tl;dr: P:E might kill copyright. ;)

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while I've never pirated Bioware games, you should keep this in mind during the development process of Dragon Age 3 Alanchu.

 

 

Meh, if you really want to pirate our game go for it. To me, it seems silly to waste one's time playing a game that one doesn't actually want. If you do want the game in some capacity, always remember that you aren't a slave to playing BioWare games (or gaming in general). Life will go on and I encourage you to take part in activities and games that you want.

Edited by alanschu
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Guest The Architect

I've downloaded pirated games, films and music albums before. I don't think I want to anymore, though. I mean, I don't want Gfted1, Amentep and the rest of the internet moral police to arrest me!

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tl;dr: P:E might kill copyright. ;)

 

While I absolutely love the idea of crowdfunding, and it does change the landscape of the publisher/develop relationship, I don't see how it affects copyright. Obsidian still owns the rights to Project Eternity, by crowd funding it we've just freed them up from having to share that copyright or give it over completely to a publisher. Obsidian is promising to release a DRM free version, but that still doesn't mean by funding the game you now own the IP.

 

Also I think you are overstating the impact crowdfunding will have on gaming. It gives a developer leverage in their business practices. It gives a studio like Obsidian a chance to do a project that publishers won't touch. But there are two problems here:

 

1. We, as the crowdfunders, have now taken on the risks of the publisher. If the game stinks, or fails to get finished, we are out of luck.

 

2. The Project Eternity numbers are still nowhere near as impressive as a major game release. Obsidian got 70,000+ backers and over $4 million dollars, that's awesome. But those numbers still don't compare to what a typical blockbuster does in their first week of sales.

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while I've never pirated Bioware games, you should keep this in mind during the development process of Dragon Age 3 Alanchu.

 

 

Meh, if you really want to pirate our game go for it. To me, it seems silly to waste one's time playing a game that one doesn't actually want. If you do want the game in some capacity, always remember that you aren't a slave to playing BioWare games (or gaming in general). Life will go on and I encourage you to take part in activities and games that you want.

 

Did you perceive that as threat? Cause it wasn't. I was just telling you that if you make good games, you being a famous developer and part of EA, it will sell and piracy will ultimately not really affect your success. If you make a crappy CI-NER-MA-TIC CASUAL RPG quickly and bugged out as hell, don't blame your lack of sales on pirates.

Edited by NKKKK

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Did you perceive that as threat? Cause it wasn't.

 

Then why bother mentioning your history of pirating our games? The post you responded to had nothing to do with EA, nor BioWare, and certainly not me. Yet you decided to specifically call out that you've never pirated a BioWare game, and that I should be mindful to remember that as I help make Dragon Age 3.

 

 

Are you saying that you would pirate Dragon Age 3 if it wasn't very good? Because if you're not, then the entire context of your post seems to be undermined. If you've never pirated any BioWare games, and still won't do so regardless of the quality of Dragon Age 3, why should I keep it in mind while at work?

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Sigh.

 

The stupid part of this discussion isn't the Ubisoft CEO, but the people that extrapolate misinformation into what he said. People see "PC Piracy rate is 90-95%" (a number I have no idea where it came from), and then go "Uh, that must mean that 60+ million people played Skyrim... yeah right."

 

 

The statement isn't "The piracy rate of Skyrim PC is 90-95%" as many here seem to think it is.

 

One of the World of Goo developers put the estimates DRM free World of Goo's piracy rate to be about 90%. He admits the numbers aren't precise and that they are just estimates, so it's not like the Ubisoft CEO's statements aren't somewhat corroborated. I would bet that Skyrim does a pretty good job of pulling that estimate downward.

 

I'm sorry you don't pay attention to the news but Ubisoft said this twice.

 

Here's how it went down:

 

Ubisoft claims its PC anti-piracy measures were a success (this was back in March or April, I forget). Despite this, PC gamer reports 90% sale reduction in Ubisoft PC sales.

 

Ubisoft CEO claims PC piracy rate is between 92 and 95 percent in August (numerous sources on this, go google this). He is making a general blanket statement, "Piracy is 92-95%." He says that according to their data, 92-95% is accurate.

 

http://torrentfreak....not-pay-120822/

 

Then he backs down after this statement and says Ubisoft will dismantle its anti-piracy measures.

 

http://www.rockpaper...racy-interview/

 

THEN he recently re-states this, but specifies Ubisoft under his statement, annulling his August statement that applied to the entire PC market. I can't find an article with this, but it was relatively recently.

 

The point is, such numbers are outrageous and ridiculous. What he said was 93-95%. Whether he meant it truly is another matter, but he is a CEO, this man is smart enough to speak to the media in a deliberate way.

 

Skyrim sold more than 3 million digital copies on the PC. If that is the case, then at least 60 million people actually played it on the PC. Which would be insane and outlandish. Under such numbers, Diablo 3 would have sold 200 million copies by now, were it not for those pesky pirates! Of course the statement is wrong, that's the point. Maybe it's hyperbole, but the point is, most suits are out of touch with reality here. They use piracy as an excuse to instate draconian DRM and stupid business practices of fear and conspiracy.

 

If Ubisoft's games have a piracy rate as much as 90%, it is because of their DRM that it is so. One of their AC games required you to always be online to play it. Guess how many people liked that idea? I'm sure nobody at all.

 

The second major point is - that without explicit math - anyone can claim whatever they want in terms of piracy. Seeing 100k people on a public tracker for your game doesn't actually mean much of anything. You can't quantify how many of those people are actually people and not bots. You cannot qualify how many of those people did or did not buy your game. You most assuredly cannot make the statement that even 10% of those people would have bought the game could they not pirate it.

 

All studies point to the fact that pirates are the largest consumers of media AND the biggest spenders. Many pirates use torrents as a means to demo content. Companies are using erroneous statistics to come to ridiculous numbers to create propaganda. They are not doing scholarly, unbiased analysis correlating spending behavior with piracy, but reacting. Even CD Projectk, the guys behind GOG, had a lot of hugely negative, destructive initial responses to piracy regarding their Witcher games.

Edited by anubite

I made a 2 hour rant video about dragon age 2. It's not the greatest... but if you want to watch it, here ya go:

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Hey, he called your words wise Alan, relax :p

 

Seriously, nkkkk didn't seem to be gunning for you or making a threat, I think he is just hopeful that DA3 will be better than DA2, and find success because of that.

 

Given Kotaku's latest article on the game, I highly doubt it.

 

Have they yet to justify why I can't play as a Qunari, an Elf, or a Dwarf? Why am I stuck playing Human again? Do they think this is really such a wise decision? They seem proud of the fact you have no choice in the matter of something significant like this. If DA:O did even the smallest bit right, it was the Origins. To see them continue to ignore ideas like these just reeks of a lack of learning from mistakes. I have yet to even read a piece on BioWare admitting where they messed up on that game. Can't they acknowledge it? Can't they show us they're willing to learn from their mistakes? What's with all this stupid pride? It isn't going to sell your game, to be stubborn and not promise to the consumers changes. To ask us to offer suggestions in 140 characters, as if that could fix anything significant. People appreciated the ME3 DLC, even if it was hamfisted and failed to address any of the major problems. Taking small steps is probably all BioWare needs to do to win back fan support, and yet... I am not even seeing that much.

 

I guess they still think we are the vocal minority. When DA3 fails to sell, I guess you guys will have to resort to saying "piracy" killed Dragon Age, then?

Edited by anubite

I made a 2 hour rant video about dragon age 2. It's not the greatest... but if you want to watch it, here ya go:

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Anubite, I'm not arguing with the statements by the Ubisoft CEO, he clearly made some bizarre statements in interviews and never backed them up with solid numbers.

 

I'm arguing with your bad math.

 

90% of a number is less than that number. 90% of 3 million would be 2.7 million. It is not 60 million. That is simply bad math.

 

Hey, I think 2.7 million is still too high of a quote for a piracy number. But it isn't quite as unreasonable as what you are saying.

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Anubite, I'm not arguing with the statements by the Ubisoft CEO, he clearly made some bizarre statements in interviews and never backed them up with solid numbers.

 

I'm arguing with your bad math.

 

90% of a number is less than that number. 90% of 3 million would be 2.7 million. It is not 60 million. That is simply bad math.

 

Hey, I think 2.7 million is still too high of a quote for a piracy number. But it isn't quite as unreasonable as what you are saying.

 

You are completely misunderstanding.

 

If something SOLD 3 million copies.

And piracy rate is 95%.

Then that MUST mean the game was consumed by 60 million people. Because 0.05 * 60 = 3. The rate of piracy is 95% so if all we know are sales, then we must divide, not multiply. 3/0.05

 

Only 5 percent purchased the game, the other 95% pirated. 60 dwarfs 3 as it should

 

3 = total sold

X = total consumed

0.95 = rate of piracy

0.05 = percent of people who bought units

 

X*0.05 = 3

X=3/0.05

 

furthermore e^(pi*i) = -1

Edited by anubite

I made a 2 hour rant video about dragon age 2. It's not the greatest... but if you want to watch it, here ya go:

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Am I the only one here who thinks that way of interpreting the interview makes absolutely no sense?

 

I mean it would be nice if the interviewer clarified whether he was talking about copies sold versus copies played, but it seems like common sense that the CEO is going to be talking about sales numbers instead of some weird 'played' number that would make no logical sense. He tripped up when he started talking about the f2p numbers, but this interview refocuses on the initial statement, which is more simply 90-95% of certain games are pirated. They are talking about 90-95% of copies sold.

 

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/09/05/ubisoft-drm-piracy-interview/

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Hey, he called your words wise Alan, relax :p

 

Seriously, nkkkk didn't seem to be gunning for you or making a threat, I think he is just hopeful that DA3 will be better than DA2, and find success because of that.

 

Meh, maybe I read too much into things. It seemed like quite the non sequitur, but it's all good. In general I agree with the idea of good games garner good sales. Although I don't think you'll find much disagreement when people on this forum feel that a game like the latest Call of Duty's isn't a very good game, even if it demolishes sales records. Whereas a game like PST is easily my favourite RPG of all time, but wasn't a financial success :(

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TPB has never once in its history attempted to remove copyrighted content. half hearted attempts were made by both Mininova and ISOhunt and others concerned with their long term survival. People go there to get illegal ****, and maybe they check out whatever band is being promoted as well. Lets call a spade a spade people.

Since we're calling spades spades...

 

TPB does not have any copyrighted content to remove as they don't host anything bar the torrent information. As such people cannot go there to get illegal asterisks, they can only go there to obtain directions to get (potentially) illegal asterisks. That's why they're still in business.

 

It is good thing to remember that not all TPB's directions lead to illegal asterisks, which might make banning the whole site illegal in itself. At least that's what is currently happening in Finland.

Depending on the nation, the right of freedom of speech does not automatically extend to the right to surf whatever website you want.
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tl;dr: P:E might kill copyright. ;)

 

While I absolutely love the idea of crowdfunding, and it does change the landscape of the publisher/develop relationship, I don't see how it affects copyright. Obsidian still owns the rights to Project Eternity, by crowd funding it we've just freed them up from having to share that copyright or give it over completely to a publisher. Obsidian is promising to release a DRM free version, but that still doesn't mean by funding the game you now own the IP.

 

Also I think you are overstating the impact crowdfunding will have on gaming. It gives a developer leverage in their business practices. It gives a studio like Obsidian a chance to do a project that publishers won't touch. But there are two problems here:

 

1. We, as the crowdfunders, have now taken on the risks of the publisher. If the game stinks, or fails to get finished, we are out of luck.

 

2. The Project Eternity numbers are still nowhere near as impressive as a major game release. Obsidian got 70,000+ backers and over $4 million dollars, that's awesome. But those numbers still don't compare to what a typical blockbuster does in their first week of sales.

 

Hey Hurlshot, thanks for the reply.

 

I noted that this is assuming that crowdfunding ends up being significantly larger in scale, to the point where AAA games can be funded through it. Seeing as Kickstarter's growth rate has been pretty close to exponential over the years, this doesn't seem unlikely once we look five to ten years into the future - especially since it's consumer spending, and thus not subject to the unique issues that rapid investment growth brings (ie. bubbles).

 

And the point wasn't that crowdfunding as it is now is in some way killing copyright, it's that a successful crowdfunding economy is one that doesn't need copyright. And seeing that copyright is an intrusive government interference in the marketplace, it's difficult to explain why you should keep it if private industry is able to raise capital consistently without it.

 

The crowdfunding model doesn't forbid copyright, but it doesn't need it either. It's a monetization model completely different from the software-as-a-product mentality behind copyright. There are a bunch of other examples of alternate monetization systems (SAAS, microtransactions, advertising), but crowdfunding is both the most visible and the most conservative, in many ways.

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Hey, he called your words wise Alan, relax :p

 

Seriously, nkkkk didn't seem to be gunning for you or making a threat, I think he is just hopeful that DA3 will be better than DA2, and find success because of that.

Regardless piracy is overblown. Game developers fail because their games fail, and their games fail because they suck - not because they've been pirated.

 

These are some wise words, while I've never pirated Bioware games, you should keep this in mind during the development process of Dragon Age 3 Alanchu.

No, he's definitely gunning for Alan, there. :p

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tl;dr: P:E might kill copyright. ;)

 

While I absolutely love the idea of crowdfunding, and it does change the landscape of the publisher/develop relationship, I don't see how it affects copyright. Obsidian still owns the rights to Project Eternity, by crowd funding it we've just freed them up from having to share that copyright or give it over completely to a publisher. Obsidian is promising to release a DRM free version, but that still doesn't mean by funding the game you now own the IP.

 

Also I think you are overstating the impact crowdfunding will have on gaming. It gives a developer leverage in their business practices. It gives a studio like Obsidian a chance to do a project that publishers won't touch. But there are two problems here:

 

1. We, as the crowdfunders, have now taken on the risks of the publisher. If the game stinks, or fails to get finished, we are out of luck.

 

2. The Project Eternity numbers are still nowhere near as impressive as a major game release. Obsidian got 70,000+ backers and over $4 million dollars, that's awesome. But those numbers still don't compare to what a typical blockbuster does in their first week of sales.

 

Hey Hurlshot, thanks for the reply.

 

I noted that this is assuming that crowdfunding ends up being significantly larger in scale, to the point where AAA games can be funded through it. Seeing as Kickstarter's growth rate has been pretty close to exponential over the years, this doesn't seem unlikely once we look five to ten years into the future - especially since it's consumer spending, and thus not subject to the unique issues that rapid investment growth brings (ie. bubbles).

 

And the point wasn't that crowdfunding as it is now is in some way killing copyright, it's that a successful crowdfunding economy is one that doesn't need copyright. And seeing that copyright is an intrusive government interference in the marketplace, it's difficult to explain why you should keep it if private industry is able to raise capital consistently without it.

 

The crowdfunding model doesn't forbid copyright, but it doesn't need it either. It's a monetization model completely different from the software-as-a-product mentality behind copyright. There are a bunch of other examples of alternate monetization systems (SAAS, microtransactions, advertising), but crowdfunding is both the most visible and the most conservative, in many ways.

 

Actually crowdfunded games still need some sort of protection from copyright, because the money they get are used only for funding the creation of the game, but the business as a whole needs some kind of profit after the release of the game, so that there would be at least some justification to create expansions and sequels...

 

If the current copyright system is good, is whole different question, and always makes flame wars, so I am not gonna open that can of worms...

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Well, profit is useful for growing a company and becoming self-sustaining and solvent and such, but even if a kickstarter game generates no profit, it should be fine for the company really, it just means they can't catch a break and need to immediately do some fund-raising via kickstarter for their second game to stay out of bankruptcy. In theory, all development costs should be covered by kickstarter funding. Granted, this obviously isn't probably the practical case, but debts incurred while using kickstarter funds should be relatively small, or I'd say the company failed to estimate its operating costs when they did their first fundraiser, which isn't a fault of the system.

I made a 2 hour rant video about dragon age 2. It's not the greatest... but if you want to watch it, here ya go:

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I made a post in the Piracy and DRM thread but that was shortly afterwards closed for reasons I claim no responsibility for, so posting it again here:

 

A few thoughts of mine on the matter, for what it's worth.

 

DRM doesn't work, and I think those with actual knowledge on this matter who implement it know this. Someone suggested that a copy protection like entering in serial codes will stop casual piracy, it will not especially for PE for two reasons: either the person is downloading the copy, in which case they already know enough and spent enough time for them to not consider applying a config change to be that big a deal (and many downloads come with the game pre-cracked anyway for these lightly DRM'd games, so they don't even have to do that), or the person is borrowing it off a friend, in which case unless it's an online game they won't have a problem using the same code unless it dials home and then it can only be effective if there is a limited number of installs (which pisses me off, I have two desktops at home and a laptop, of course I don't play on them all at the same time but I install the same game on all three so I can run it whenever I want, using a usb key to move savegames around when I need to). DRM has done nothing but drive people I know to pirate the game they have brought in order to get it to actually work, Spore being the one that was heavily pirated by friends for this very reason (one of them pirated it after dealing for hours with EA customer support to get his legitimate copy to work and they actually told him that he had to buy a new copy because he had used up all three installs due having issues with getting the game to work!).

 

Places like GOG have shown that a no-DRM method does work, and works well. DRM does nothing but piss off the customer, so why do companies use it? Two reasons:

 

1. Shareholders. Shareholders are money men, they don't understand and don't care to understand the actual mechanics of the companies they invest in, but they (quite rightly) like to see their investments protected, and are often investing large sums of money in these companies. So when they see that game X has been pirated a thousand times, they don't understand that these weren't customers, all they understand is that they didn't get their money for it and they start panicking. DRM is a placebo effect for them: they are told that this spectacular new software will protect their interests, and the more control over the product they gain the safer they feel, and so the more they will push for it.

 

2. Resales. There has been a greater and greater push to try and squash the reselling market. Whether you believe this is right or wrong, the fact is that DRM is being used more and more these days to facilitate this under the guise of 'protecting against piracy'. Shareholders obviously love this idea. The fact that DVDs are resold regularly while the film industry still makes billions in profit from their sale destroys the notion that it is because of reselling that the game industry is losing money, and it is only the game industry that seems to think they should still profit from the reselling of their games. Hell, you can watch a DVD with a bunch of your friends who haven't paid for the privilege, you don't get a knock on the door telling you that you needed to buy a license allowing each individual person permission to watch it do you? Yet the games companies don't like the thought of more than one person using each copy. Don't want your new game being sold second hand two days after release? Well how about you don't make games that can be finished in 8 hours and has no replay value and still expect it to sell for £40 dickwads!

 

In short, I'm against DRM, companies should treat their customers like actual customers and not as criminals. Even if they only applied the DRM to non-backer copies I would be against it and would regret backing this game. Someone said how about just applying DRM to countries like Russia, well guess what: I could access this site, Steam, or any other from many different countries and still be sat in the UK, and with zero IT knowledge, the pirates will get a copy with no DRM up on torrents in no time.

 

Watch this clip, but replace the voters with shareholders and the debate about how to stop piracy (with every reference to 911 replaced with piracy) and you get the essential matter.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUTIPQxo21c

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Well, profit is useful for growing a company and becoming self-sustaining and solvent and such, but even if a kickstarter game generates no profit, it should be fine for the company really, it just means they can't catch a break and need to immediately do some fund-raising via kickstarter for their second game to stay out of bankruptcy. In theory, all development costs should be covered by kickstarter funding. Granted, this obviously isn't probably the practical case, but debts incurred while using kickstarter funds should be relatively small, or I'd say the company failed to estimate its operating costs when they did their first fundraiser, which isn't a fault of the system.

 

I must be misunderstanding you, are you saying that you don't think that Obsidian would want to or need to generate revenue through sales of PE?

 

If you are I completely disagree with you, the profit from sales does go into keeping a company stable but any company would also want to make money from the years spent on the game, they would want to improve there quality of life and become individually wealthier. Like almost everyone who works aspires to become. I can guarantee you if PE sells badly, which I believe is almost impossible, Obsidian won't make another one. And frankly you can't blame because where is the financial incentive for there years of hard work on the project?

 

Finally pirating is a negative influence on the sales and development on PC gaming, it is a scourge and we should be opposed to it under any circumstances

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That's a great explanation of why DRM exists, FlintlockJazz.

 

 

No one here likes DRM, I hope everyone understands that. I've never seen anyone post about wanting DRM.

 

To be honest I have no issue with DRM, I always buy my games so I can't recall a time where a form of DRM effected my gaming experience?

I am supportive of any measures to reduce pirating.

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

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"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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That's a great explanation of why DRM exists, FlintlockJazz.

 

 

No one here likes DRM, I hope everyone understands that. I've never seen anyone post about wanting DRM.

 

To be honest I have no issue with DRM, I always buy my games so I can't recall a time where a form of DRM effected my gaming experience?

I am supportive of any measures to reduce pirating.

 

But remember that resources go into creating and implementing that DRM, resources that could be better used in so many other ways.

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