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Well I feel bad. Beacuse I feel like you (especially Hormalakh and Monte Carolo, who I really find inteligent, nice people when I'm reading trough the forums) are saying "If you are anti-DRM, then you are pro-piracy". And I don't agree.

 

In fact I don't really see any conection between DRM and fighting piracy. I can download any amount of new cracked DRM protected games and just play it. I'm not doing this (it's tempting of course), but it proves that DRM are in fact not working.

 

If you ask how I know the way to pirate games? I was pirate, I admitt it, but I'm one no longer. But it really sucks, that when I was pirate I have no problems with DRM like stuff. And now it really bothers me why I have to have such problems with playing game that I paid for.

 

Of course I will be fourius when I see someone pirating PE, and if it will be my close friend, I will just buy him a copy for birthday. But I don't think that DRM will stop piracy.


"Go where the others have gone, to the tenebrous limit

for the golden fleece of void, your ultimate prize

go upright among those who are on their knees

among those turning their backs on and those fallen to dust"

Zbigniew Herbert, Message of Mr. Cogito

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All DRM does is punish legitimate consumers for NOT pirating. I'm not saying piracy is right, nor am I excusing it. I will say this: Diablo 3 would probably have been a day 1 purchase for me, except that they implemented that stupid "always online" crap. And I still haven't bought Spore, despite being interested in it. So they've lost sales because of DRM, not in spite of it. Some day, I might buy them, crack the DRM, and play them, but they still lost a full price sale because of it, and since I'll probably end up getting them used, they lost a sale from me altogether.

 

And I may be wrong about this, but I'm willing to believe that digital distribution has increased piracy as well. I pay for every game I play (I even buy Super Famicom games so I can feel right playing the translated ROMS), but I only buy physical copies. If you tell me my choice is to pay full price for a mere download or not play your game, I'll pass. I have hundreds of other games I can play.

 

I do, I admit, have tons of indie games downloaded from the humble bundles, but I feel good about donating to charity and getting free games. And if the games are good, sometimes I get lucky and the companies have CD collections of their games.

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"It is an extraordinary act of courage to come to know a stranger's pain. To even consider such a thing demands a profound dispensation, a willingness to wear someone else's chains, to taste their suffering, to see with one's own eyes the hue cast on all things -- the terrible stain that is despair."

 

-Tulas Shorn

"Toll the Hounds" by Steven Erikson

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Piracy is a problem but DRM is not an answer to it (for a single player game). DRM only makes the pirated copy of a game better than the original as DRM is removed/bypassed.

 

Any DRM that is unobtrusive will be cracked pretty much on release day, at least from what I've seen. Result: no effect on piracy whatsoever, just an offence and a middle finger towards the paying customers. Any obtrusive DRM will be cracked within a few days - absolutely minimal effect on piracy, major "**** you" towards paying gamers.

 

People cannot be stopped from pirating a game if they want to. Only thing that can be done is convince people to pay for it, too.

 

Something that could help, in a way a new model to work on the issue:

 

1. A splash or loading screen that appears for, say, 10 seconds first time a game is loaded and for 2 seconds every time a game is started (not skippable). Just a few words like "We are not publishers, at Obsidian we are the people who developed this game and we need your support. The only way to make another game like this is to have people buy it. If you like the game but you have not paid for it, please support us by buying a licence key."

This should be reduced (almost removed) by an original licence key, to a 1 time only, not skppable 5 second appearance. This way people with original keys will not be bothered by it and people with pirated game who enter a good licence key will still see it.

 

2. Same as above, but after the end of the game. Should be unobtrusive so it doesn't piss people off in any way.

 

3. Somehow appeal to release groups to not include a licence key that bypasses 1. and 2. No idea if this will work but it is possible, as I think they want the game available to everyone but people who can afford it to buy it (seems to be the last instruction in each crack release - If you like the game, buy it). More likely to work if these support screens are not annoying in length.

 

4. (The "what!?" one) The game should work with any key (read: any character string the player decides to type in) but remove the support screens with an original licence key. This way everyone who pirates the game will get these screens. If the game does not work without an original licence key, one will be supplied with the torrent (or a keygen) and the screens will not reach their intended audience.

 

This will not stop people to pirate the game. Nothing will. This can make a pirated copy of the game a licenced one. And that's the whole idea, right?

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Piracy is a problem but DRM is not an answer to it (for a single player game). DRM only makes the pirated copy of a game better than the original as DRM is removed/bypassed.

 

Any DRM that is unobtrusive will be cracked pretty much on release day, at least from what I've seen. Result: no effect on piracy whatsoever, just an offence and a middle finger towards the paying customers. Any obtrusive DRM will be cracked within a few days - absolutely minimal effect on piracy, major "**** you" towards paying gamers.

 

People cannot be stopped from pirating a game if they want to. Only thing that can be done is convince people to pay for it, too.

 

Something that could help, in a way a new model to work on the issue:

 

1. A splash or loading screen that appears for, say, 10 seconds first time a game is loaded and for 2 seconds every time a game is started (not skippable). Just a few words like "We are not publishers, at Obsidian we are the people who developed this game and we need your support. The only way to make another game like this is to have people buy it. If you like the game but you have not paid for it, please support us by buying a licence key."

This should be reduced (almost removed) by an original licence key, to a 1 time only, not skppable 5 second appearance. This way people with original keys will not be bothered by it and people with pirated game who enter a good licence key will still see it.

 

2. Same as above, but after the end of the game. Should be unobtrusive so it doesn't piss people off in any way.

 

3. Somehow appeal to release groups to not include a licence key that bypasses 1. and 2. No idea if this will work but it is possible, as I think they want the game available to everyone but people who can afford it to buy it (seems to be the last instruction in each crack release - If you like the game, buy it). More likely to work if these support screens are not annoying in length.

 

4. (The "what!?" one) The game should work with any key (read: any character string the player decides to type in) but remove the support screens with an original licence key. This way everyone who pirates the game will get these screens. If the game does not work without an original licence key, one will be supplied with the torrent (or a keygen) and the screens will not reach their intended audience.

 

This will not stop people to pirate the game. Nothing will. This can make a pirated copy of the game a licenced one. And that's the whole idea, right?

Sometimes I think that a simple "Donation" button in a game's main menu in combination with the kind of message you're suggesting would compensate piracy's damage way better than any DRM.

Edited by Kimuji
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As a player and a member of an indie development group (http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?554-Darkest-Hour), I disagree with the OP regarding DRM, but I agree with the OP regarding what the community needs to view piracy as.

 

I personally think DRM is a waste of time and effort, and any custom DRM used by Obsidian will not only cost money (servers for activation, support, etc), but also be a hurdle for people who hate DRM. It will also be cracked on day 1 or very soon. Serial codes and things like that are acceptable and relatively cheap ways of having DRM, but those are probably the easiest to crack, and in the case of DA:O (where people got invalid serial codes with their game), can cause a nuisance for players. I do miss the days when you could just pop in a disk and install, and I think DRM is one thing that hurts the PC industry.

 

Yes, there are lost sales due to piracy, and it isn't good, but you have to weigh the costs of running DRM vs the benefits, and I don't think it works out since people with low Marginal Willingness to Pay will still refuse to pay, while people with high Marginal Willingness to Pay will pay at launch. People will low MWTP will likely pay for the game once it goes on sale, which is similar to price discrimination.

 

Better alternatives would be to emphasize rewarding people who do pay. Make tech support exclusive for registered players. Offer beta patches early to registered players (and the community would need to get together and avoid releasing those), or other rewards. Make it so that while pirates will inevitably have access to the game, they will have access to an inferior game, instead of making so that the legitimate purchaser has an worse experience (Digital Download edition of Mideval 2: Total War from Gamersgate requring a DVD to play, or just requring stupid things like that in general) !

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I'm a bit confused, you're saying that downloading copy righted material is legal? It is not.

 

Yes, indeed.

 

"La LPI explícitamente recoge en el artículo 31 el derecho a la copia privada, es decir, el derecho a hacer copias privadas sin permiso del autor siempre que no exista ánimo de lucro."

 

This is from the Intellectual Property Law "LPI" from Spain. And yes, it DOES authorize the nonprofit private copy.

 

Fair use doesn't cover as much as some people like to think it does. Generally it only applies in specific instances such as educational purposes or only a small portion of something being reproduced. If you download music off the internet and store it on your hard drive you can be sued by the copyright holders for copyright infringement. They couldn't do that if it was legal to download anything you please of the net :p . Furthermore I'm sure most people aren't just leechers and upload something while they download in which case you're distributing not merely downloading and that is also illegal regardless if you're making a profit or not.

 

Now I'm talking about US law, I know that some countries like in Canada and Spain it IS legal to download things from the internet for personal use so long as you're not making a profit off it.

 

Indeed. You're speaking about the States, while I'm speaking about Spain. Two distinct nations, one difference, one fact and one conclusion.

 

Also let's just get real for a minute, forget all the legal BS for a second. There is a reason you're supposed to pay for games/movies/books/music/what-have-you. Namely because people put time and effort into creating that product for you to enjoy and they should be paid for their efforts. Is there really an argument that musicians, artists, authors, game studios, movie crews, actors and who the hell knows how many other people shouldn't be payed for the work they do? I really hope not. These people have talent (generally) and talent should rewarded, there's a reason not everybody can be an A list actor or an artist that's a house hold name.

 

"Piracy", as it is for spaniards (A legal procedure resuming in the exchange of personal data between two users), is becoming less "popular" nowadays. Most people don't even bother anymore downloading games. A clear historical example, when Spain's military might in Europe weakened, the Spanish were assaulted with less frequency by the Pirates. No such point in assaulting ships without valuable rewards.

 

Anyway last post for this topic I don't intend to get bogged down nit picking people who aren't comfortable admitting piracy is wrong. Lets face it, you know it's wrong. You just want to justify it so you don't need to admit to yourself that it's the wrong way to go about getting that content so you can feel free to continue doing it. Once again my stance is pirate all you want, just admit that you know you shouldn't be doing it and that is wrong and knowing that you'll continue to do it anyway for whatever reasons you may have. So with that said I wash my hands of this thread.

 

No Pshaw, have to disagree with you there. I'm not structured by the whole business model that drives everybody crazy. The computer platform can rot for all I care. Companies like 3d Realms or MicroProse went straight down the toilet! This alone, is far more illegal for our community than piracy itself.

Edited by Felithvian

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I recall there being one European country that recently legalized a person's right to download music. Or was it Brazil? I forget. But anyway, it doesn't really matter whether something is legal or not, people will try to pursue civil damages for copying copy-righted material.

 

I think people have demonstrated the flaws of the copy-right, how it has been grossly abused by companies, especially in the US, where many things have been extended past the 75 year limit.

 

The fact is that an entire generation now has been raised under a lose idea of "ownership of media". That the idea of "fair use" has been overblown (its definition is fairly nebulous at this point, is parody even sacred anymore?). Companies are seeing this as a "war" that they need to win. Given how other wars (like the ones on drugs) have turned out recently, I can't help but shake my head at the short-sightedness.

 

There are many good reasons to do away with all forms of copy protection. Having most software open-source would certainly be a massive boon for the industry. Hiding and building walls is hurting the creative spirit... the same spirit that brought about this technological revolution. But of course, with trust, there is a price. And we can't really trust everyone to have goodwill. There's no easy solution, but the best solution is to understand this much: When people covet beauty, ugliness arises. When people covet what they cannot have, piracy arises. When people can just have what they want, they might be more willing to support those who brought them the things they liked. They might see creators as allies and not capitalistic enemies. There might be grossly more harmony in just giving in, than trying to dominate. Of course, this could backfire, though under what circumstances I'm not sure.

 

Indie game developers would do well to know they exist partially out of good will. Destroying that will probably all they need to do to bring about their own ruin.

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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or he could have let you borrow his copy.

 

As I said in my post, this too is piracy. You own the rights to it, for yourself or argumentally someone in your property (not including gifts). By loaning it to someone you break copyright laws. (as I said in my post country of residence dependant)

 

This is one thing everyone really needs to be aware of

 

PIRATES ARE DIFFERENT

 

PIRACY LAWS ARE DIFFERENT

 

PEOPLES OVERALL VIEW IS DIFFERENT

 

**ALL DEPENDANT ON WHERE YOU ARE FROM, YOUR COUNTRY OF RESIDENCE AND YOUR LOCAL LAWS**

 

So now that we've covered that - Yes you are on about PE but your also referring to piracy and DRM as a whole I was merely pointing out that piracy is a fact of life and as many others have said - Common place as for my example, yes my friends raved about it, I then pirated it, I'm not telling you how or in what way I pirated but I pirated. The worse/best thing about it is that in a lot of other countries how I pirated wouldn't even be classed as pirating.

Edited by Juneau

Juneau & Alphecca Daley currently tearing up Tyria.

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I've never seen any game that could not be cracked or at least tricked into accepting a digital disc image... though it might take some time with less popular titles. Imho DRM so far has only succeeded in annoying people who have to deal with it (thats paying customers, not pirates btw). Hell, I've even cracked games I bought just to get rid of the stuff.

 

IP fishing at popular torrents might still have some success though, a lot of pirates are kids I think and don't really bother with stealth. At least until all those filehosting sites that went down with megaupload are back...

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I'll disagree that it's a better product, but it's trivially obvious that it's a better value to the customer.

That depends. In the case of a DRM-free game like Project: Eternity, you are right: it's exactly the same product. However, in the case of a game where the legitimate copies have annoying DRM and the pirated copies have successfully removed the DRM, the latter are the better product independently of the cost because the DRM-free version does not require the user to have a CD in the drive or contact activation servers which may or may not be down or uninstall completely unrelated software which the DRM takes a dislike to or anything of the sort.

 

I think it was a mistake to start this discussion with DRM. The key sentiment here is that most people who donated to the Kickstarter would like people who did not donate to buy the game when it is released so that Obsidian can make the expansion and other games of this kind. If the initial post had been framed along these lines rather than railing against piracy and suggesting the implementation of DRM in non-Kickstarter copies, it would have done a lot more good towards that end. The entire debate about DRM is unnecessary here as P:E is extremely unlikely to use it.

 

Here are my thoughts about convincing people who might pirate the game to buy it. It's important to make a distinction between two groups of pirates.

 

1) People who might have bought the game, but they can't afford it. This includes people from developing countries as well as children, teenagers and the very poor from developed ones. It is disingenuous for companies to count piracy by these as lost sales because even if they were somehow prevented from pirating the game, they would not buy it -- they simply don't have the money. It does not make any sense to try to convince them to buy it for the same reason. In fact, it is probably counterproductive even to try to guilt them into not pirating it. Children and teenagers grow up and developing countries eventually become wealthier (hopefully...) -- it's better for these people to get a taste for this kind of game, even if it means that they're currently freeloading.

 

2) People who can afford the game, but choose to pirate it. These must somehow be convinced to buy it. I think the best way is to explain to people that the "publisher" for this game is not a multinational corporation, but ordinary people who love this kind of game and that the developer needs to be paid for them to make any more games like this. The latter is actually the fundamental premise behind intellectual property ("To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts..."), but the idea of IP/copyright/etc in its current form has been tainted beyond any hope of redemption by its abuse and invoking it as a moral argument merely invites controversy. Thus, if the subject ever comes up on other forums, it is better to apply the original argument (i.e. Obsidian deserves to get paid so that they'd make similar games) directly to this game rather than appealing to national law or general ideas.

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IP fishing at popular torrents might still have some success though, a lot of pirates are kids I think and don't really bother with stealth. At least until all those filehosting sites that went down with megaupload are back...

 

You cannot actually disguise your identity while using a torrent. The only option is to use a VPN to access it, which costs money. Pirates don't want to spend money, so they obviously are not going to purchase a VPN to pirate "safely". (I suppose one other option would be to use TOR, but you'd get like 1 kb/sec download rate, if that -- have fun)

 

It would be trivial to get everyone's IPs from a public or even private tracker. If a company wished to, they could try to sue all these people. But they would have to prove, case by case, that the IP address used to download something illegally

 

1) was actually owned by the peroson accused (someone can steal your ip, like if they have a laptop outside your house and catch a wifi signal or something)

2) was actually doing it deliberately

3) does not own the product they were pirating (it's not pirating if they already own the product, they're entitled to a backup copy by law)

 

And you must prove all these things to a juror who is likely to be close to ignorant about the internet, torrents, viruses, IPs, identity, etc. it takes an expert to determine these things; reasonable doubt is not hard to prove in these cases, that it was really deliberate piracy. This is why people pirate, because they know that it would be expensive to be prosecuted by these companies (who just lose more money by going to court) and they know these standards are not enforcable by most legal systems.

 

Taking people to court "as an example" will not stop people from pirating either, because such people always believe, "it won't happen to me". So taking these people to court rarely renders money (they don't have enough you can sue for to make up for the damages of going to court in the first place) and it's not going to curb the ever-growing popular opinion that media is "free to share".

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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Judging from your use of ignorant jurors, I'll assume you're refering to US law. Over here (Germany), you don't have to prove any of those though.. the "owner" of the internet access is legally responsible for anything done via his connection. WiFi with anything less than WPA2 encryption is legal suicide. And already owning the product does not help at all, since the illegal part is the distribution of the material (your upload). Usually this stuff doesn't even get to court, people just get some blatantly overpriced payment order to cover the "cost" of the legal firm sending them said payment order.

Of course you won't make any money that way (that law is made specifically by lawyers for lawyers imho), just pointing out the options.

 

Also, piratebay is offering free VPN by now. No idea how they finance that stuff.

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Ubisoft has some of the most draconian DRM ever and even their games are up on crack sites and torrents BEFORE they're released. The only truly effective DRM [...]

 

There are DRMs that stay uncracked for years.[...]

 

Name one game. If there existed a DRM that couldn't be cracked you can be damn sure Assassin's Creed would have it.

 

Discworld Noir. I own the CDs and have been trying to crack the DRM for years to replay the game (ever since I upgraded from Win ME to XP) and have yet to succeed.

 

On side-note, I pirated the original Baldur's Gate when I was 14 years old and the game was new; I would not have had money to play it otherwise. When Baldur's Gate 2 came out, I was waiting on the door for the store to open to buy my copy. Paid more than would have been reasonable for a copy of Torment that I had missed earlier; I went on to buy every Bioware and Obsidian game ever since, without looking into reviews, without regard for the games running on my system (they would run when I upgraded later, right?).

 

I'm reasonably sure that if I hadn't pirated that first game, I would never have done the follow-ups. At that point of my life I was interested in BG due to other interests (books by R.A. Salvatore) which faded soon after. If I hadn't played the game then, I never would have.

 

I put money on P:A more than my income could reasonably allow. Some people will pirate the game (if not from our copies, then from the copies on sale at GOG). That's ok. Some of those people will turn into fanatics and buy the follow-ups (and probably buy the whole Infinity-catalogue from GOG). Some don't. But it's pretty safe that if they won't, they wouldn't have bought the games anyway.

 

The first P:E game is already funded and Obsidian will not lose money over it. There will be more than enough people who buy that game to pay for the expansion as well. Obsidian will not be sweating to break even.

Edited by ijusten

"I saw that argument was useless and said no more; there is no use arguing with a man who can multiply anything by the square root of minus one."

-Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Pirates of Venus (1934)

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Discworld Noir. I own the CDs and have been trying to crack the DRM for years to replay the game (ever since I upgraded from Win ME to XP) and have yet to succeed.

 

On side-note, I pirated the original Baldur's Gate when I was 14 years old and the game was new; I would not have had money to play it otherwise. When Baldur's Gate 2 came out, I was waiting on the door for the store to open to buy my copy. Paid more than would have been reasonable for a copy of Torment that I had missed earlier; I went on to buy every Bioware and Obsidian game ever since, without looking into reviews, without regard for the games running on my system (they would run when I upgraded later, right?).

 

I'm reasonably sure that if I hadn't pirated that first game, I would never have done the follow-ups. At that point of my life I was interested in BG due to other interests (books by R.A. Salvatore) which faded soon after. If I hadn't played the game then, I never would have.

 

I put money on P:A more than my income could reasonably allow. Some people will pirate the game (if not from our copies, then from the copies on sale at GOG). That's ok. Some of those people will turn into fanatics and buy the follow-ups (and probably buy the whole Infinity-catalogue from GOG). Some don't. But it's pretty safe that if they won't, they wouldn't have bought the games anyway.

 

The first P:E game is already funded and Obsidian will not lose money over it. There will be more than enough people who buy that game to pay for the expansion as well. Obsidian will not be sweating to break even.

PMed you about discworld.

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Nothing great about capitalism, and I'm not defending it by any means. It just works both ways. If a corporation can screw the human race over and then say "hey that's capitalism baby, supply and demand. Eat it!" I should be allowed to do the same. That's really the only way the system works, with equity. The reason capitalism often doesn't work is that corporations have so much power, this is a way of taking it back.

 

Anti-piracy advocates often use so called "small companies" as a form of straw-man, pretending that they are representative of the majority. But the fact is that most of them been devoured by monopolizing jerks like EA by now. Independent Small companies of today often get funding through things like kick-starter and make small games for loyal niche audiences who likely don't pirate them anyway. Don't pretend like their the ones being hurt by piracy I never heard the guy who invented mine-craft whining about piracy, oh wait that's right he was quoted as saying that if people couldn't afford his game, they should pirate it. EGADS! He's going to go bankrupt!

 

Anti-piracy advocates do all sorts of things that I don't agree with. But Obsidian is a mid-sized company. This is why I wanted to stick with PE. I don't really much care about how other companies do it: I care about the here and now. Unless Obsidian has screwed you over in some way, I don't see how this is relevant. Also, I generally find the excuse that "two wrongs do make a right" doesn't hold much water. Either you stop supporting a company/corporation altogether (by not even getting near or talking about their products) or just stop trying to take the higher road. For many, taking the higher road is tough, especially (when it comes to video game corporations) their games are too good to make a stand.

 

The argument is fine, if anyone could have pointed at a company destroyed by piracy. A single one will do. Simply a convincing approximation of those supposedly huge profit losses incurred by the video game industry would do, actually. but I've yet to see any of that.

 

Now, don't get me wrong, piracy is bad. When a bunch of Somalian dudes point guns at your face and commandeer your fishing trawler, it sure as hell sucks. But if you're talking about copyright infringement, it's more of a wealth redistribution system.

 

This is the reason why I don't debate numbers of anything like that. Look any example that I give is debatable until the end of time. Either you accept that any amount of piracy hurts (to any extent - even a single firing or a cent worth of lower wages) or not. No example that I or anyone else gives you will change your mind. Saying that piracy is the only factor in the ending of a company is fairly simple-minded. There are many factors involved, such as management, the economy, etc. But the fact of the matter remains, many company spokespersons have come out and said that piracy affects their business. Both legitimate companies that are well-liked and companies who probably wanted to blame anything but themselves. And when it comes to businesses and the economy, the perception of an idea matters. If game development companies think that piracy hurts their businesses (and many do), that affects us the gamers. That's all that's required to show that piracy does hurt. It's the last line of your quote that hurts me the most though. Pirates are not Robin Hoods, that's a lie. They are only redistributing the so-called "wealth" to themselves.

 

Well I feel bad. Beacuse I feel like you (especially Hormalakh and Monte Carolo, who I really find inteligent, nice people when I'm reading trough the forums) are saying "If you are anti-DRM, then you are pro-piracy". And I don't agree.

 

In fact I don't really see any conection between DRM and fighting piracy. I can download any amount of new cracked DRM protected games and just play it. I'm not doing this (it's tempting of course), but it proves that DRM are in fact not working.

 

I don't think DRM is the right answer in every case. Unfortunately it seems that DRM is a horse beaten to death (many times over) by everyone. I do think that DRM works in some cases, but I don't think that it will in P:E's case. Not even for the later buyers of the games. I still do think it is a discussion worth having and there is obviously a lot of misinformed hate whenever DRM is mentioned. Hopefully, this new funding mechanism (kickstarter et al) will completely change the way game making as a business is thought of.

 

or he could have let you borrow his copy.

 

As I said in my post, this too is piracy. You own the rights to it, for yourself or argumentally someone in your property (not including gifts). By loaning it to someone you break copyright laws. (as I said in my post country of residence dependant)

 

Look both you and I know this isn't the type of piracy we're talking about. There might be "piracy" as a legal definition which will obviously be different from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Then there is the common idea of piracy that I'm talking about when discussing this. It has to do with a person using a software that he/she has never paid (how much and all that should be up to the seller) for. Ever. Now this isn't a legal definition, but it's one of those "I know it when I see it" type of things. Everyone knows "piracy" when they see it.

 

I think it was a mistake to start this discussion with DRM. The key sentiment here is that most people who donated to the Kickstarter would like people who did not donate to buy the game when it is released so that Obsidian can make the expansion and other games of this kind. If the initial post had been framed along these lines rather than railing against piracy and suggesting the implementation of DRM in non-Kickstarter copies, it would have done a lot more good towards that end. The entire debate about DRM is unnecessary here as P:E is extremely unlikely to use it.

 

Here are my thoughts about convincing people who might pirate the game to buy it. It's important to make a distinction between two groups of pirates.

 

1) People who might have bought the game, but they can't afford it. This includes people from developing countries as well as children, teenagers and the very poor from developed ones. It is disingenuous for companies to count piracy by these as lost sales because even if they were somehow prevented from pirating the game, they would not buy it -- they simply don't have the money. It does not make any sense to try to convince them to buy it for the same reason. In fact, it is probably counterproductive even to try to guilt them into not pirating it. Children and teenagers grow up and developing countries eventually become wealthier (hopefully...) -- it's better for these people to get a taste for this kind of game, even if it means that they're currently freeloading.

 

2) People who can afford the game, but choose to pirate it. These must somehow be convinced to buy it. I think the best way is to explain to people that the "publisher" for this game is not a multinational corporation, but ordinary people who love this kind of game and that the developer needs to be paid for them to make any more games like this. The latter is actually the fundamental premise behind intellectual property ("To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts..."), but the idea of IP/copyright/etc in its current form has been tainted beyond any hope of redemption by its abuse and invoking it as a moral argument merely invites controversy. Thus, if the subject ever comes up on other forums, it is better to apply the original argument (i.e. Obsidian deserves to get paid so that they'd make similar games) directly to this game rather than appealing to national law or general ideas.

 

I mostly agree with what you say. However in regards to point 1, I think Obsidian has to decide that, not us. In regards to point 2, I would have to say that that was my whole intent from the beginning. However it seems that people have taken my OP as a little too "heavy handed."

 

Judging from your use of ignorant jurors, I'll assume you're refering to US law. Over here (Germany), you don't have to prove any of those though.. the "owner" of the internet access is legally responsible for anything done via his connection. WiFi with anything less than WPA2 encryption is legal suicide. And already owning the product does not help at all, since the illegal part is the distribution of the material (your upload). Usually this stuff doesn't even get to court, people just get some blatantly overpriced payment order to cover the "cost" of the legal firm sending them said payment order.

Of course you won't make any money that way (that law is made specifically by lawyers for lawyers imho), just pointing out the options.

 

Also, piratebay is offering free VPN by now. No idea how they finance that stuff.

 

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The argument is fine, if anyone could have pointed at a company destroyed by piracy. A single one will do. Simply a convincing approximation of those supposedly huge profit losses incurred by the video game industry would do, actually. but I've yet to see any of that.

 

Now, don't get me wrong, piracy is bad. When a bunch of Somalian dudes point guns at your face and commandeer your fishing trawler, it sure as hell sucks. But if you're talking about copyright infringement, it's more of a wealth redistribution system.

 

This is the reason why I don't debate numbers of anything like that. Look any example that I give is debatable until the end of time. Either you accept that any amount of piracy hurts (to any extent - even a single firing or a cent worth of lower wages) or not. No example that I or anyone else gives you will change your mind. Saying that piracy is the only factor in the ending of a company is fairly simple-minded. There are many factors involved, such as management, the economy, etc. But the fact of the matter remains, many company spokespersons have come out and said that piracy affects their business. Both legitimate companies that are well-liked and companies who probably wanted to blame anything but themselves. And when it comes to businesses and the economy, the perception of an idea matters. If game development companies think that piracy hurts their businesses (and many do), that affects us the gamers. That's all that's required to show that piracy does hurt. It's the last line of your quote that hurts me the most though. Pirates are not Robin Hoods, that's a lie. They are only redistributing the so-called "wealth" to themselves.

 

You would have been totally right, if all pirates lived in some magical country Piratonia and kept stealing our intellectual property and selfishly using it for themselves without paying. But the pirates live in the same place with all the other people, they have jobs and they pay taxes, they are not some shadowy characters, like burglars, smugglers, murderers, and drug dealers. They are more like a girl next door who watches missed episodes of Lost on the web.

 

Speaking of wealth redistribution, I suppose it's easier to think of pirates as some smuggler ring, leaching on profits and society wealth. Actually, they are not. The five top pirating countries are China, Russia, Columbia, India, and Malaysia. You might think it's because people don't earn as much money there, as they do in Western European countries and North America, not because they are immoral and full of mischief. They simply don't have the same amount of money for their entertainment and they want it as much as you and I do. Moreover, they can actually get it, thanks to the internet and those scurvy pirates who rip off corporations by uploading stuff for others to use. Would you say they don't have a right to it, simply because they were not born in Europe or US? If you could, would you actually prevent them by getting all this stuff from the web, so that your well-being is somewhat improved?

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You would have been totally right, if all pirates lived in some magical country Piratonia and kept stealing our intellectual property and selfishly using it for themselves without paying. But the pirates live in the same place with all the other people, they have jobs and they pay taxes, they are not some shadowy characters, like burglars, smugglers, murderers, and drug dealers. They are more like a girl next door who watches missed episodes of Lost on the web.

 

I'm not really sure what any of this has to do with what I said, but I'll take a stab. If they pay taxes and are upright, moral citizens, why do they fail to pay people for their hardwork when it comes to media? The girl (a lame attempt at empathy on your part) next door probably watches them on Hulu with ads. Hulu pays royalties to the companies who made Lost and thus are allowed to publish that. But still, this has nothing to do with games or Obsidian, specifically.

 

Speaking of wealth redistribution, I suppose it's easier to think of pirates as some smuggler ring, leaching on profits and society wealth. Actually, they are not. The five top pirating countries are China, Russia, Columbia, India, and Malaysia. You might think it's because people don't earn as much money there, as they do in Western European countries and North America, not because they are immoral and full of mischief. They simply don't have the same amount of money for their entertainment and they want it as much as you and I do. Moreover, they can actually get it, thanks to the internet and those scurvy pirates who rip off corporations by uploading stuff for others to use. Would you say they don't have a right to it, simply because they were not born in Europe or US? If you could, would you actually prevent them by getting all this stuff from the web, so that your well-being is somewhat improved?

 

So let me get this straight. They can afford the $ to buy a PC rig that allows them to play games. But they don't have the $20 to support the kickstarter? They still have time. If they can't afford the game, they should talk to the developers (email). Maybe they'll get a discounted price. This whole money argument doesn't hold much water. Entertainment is entertainment. In third-world countries, there is no concept of IP and rights for the creator of IP as entertainment because ultimately their governments have not allowed their people to reach a certain wealth to be able to create such entertainment. When these countries and their citizens start becoming producers of cultural entertainment for business, you'll start noticing that these same people will ask to be paid for their work. Source: I have seen this exact thing happen in countries. See Iran and its current IP issues with its citizenry.


My blog is where I'm keeping a record of all of my suggestions and bug mentions.

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/  UPDATED 9/26/2014

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http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/2014/08/beta-begins-v257.html

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I'm not really sure what any of this has to do with what I said, but I'll take a stab. If they pay taxes and are upright, moral citizens, why do they fail to pay people for their hardwork when it comes to media?

 

Who says they do? What evidence do you have that your random pirater with money and a moral compass doesn't end up buying the media later on?

 

 

If this Kickstarter has taught us nothing else, it's that people will dig deep for a genuinely good product - even the anticipation of one. Someone doing the equivalent of trying out their friend's copy or a demo before buying (which nobody's ever going to go insane trying to prevent, like some companies do with piracy), I have no problem with.

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You would have been totally right, if all pirates lived in some magical country Piratonia and kept stealing our intellectual property and selfishly using it for themselves without paying. But the pirates live in the same place with all the other people, they have jobs and they pay taxes, they are not some shadowy characters, like burglars, smugglers, murderers, and drug dealers. They are more like a girl next door who watches missed episodes of Lost on the web.

 

I'm not really sure what any of this has to do with what I said, but I'll take a stab. If they pay taxes and are upright, moral citizens, why do they fail to pay people for their hardwork when it comes to media? The girl (a lame attempt at empathy on your part) next door probably watches them on Hulu with ads. Hulu pays royalties to the companies who made Lost and thus are allowed to publish that. But still, this has nothing to do with games or Obsidian, specifically.

Nah, she is a lousy wench and downloads Lost from The Pirate Bay, generating no revenue for the company who made Lost whatsoever. The only reason I mentioned a girl is that if it were a guy he would most likely be pirating porn. And I am uncomfortable discussing porn with strangers.

 

As for paying for hardwork, whom does piracy hurt once again? CEOs' fat bonus checks? Do you really think that increasing corporation's revenue is going to do something to your pay check or to the paycheck of the company's employees? If you do, you should think again, because that's not how it works. The good old "oh, but they take away our jobs" argument doesn't work either, because last time I checked high unemployment in the US was cause by he financial crisis of 2008, for which you have corporations to blame, not pirates.

 

 

Speaking of wealth redistribution, I suppose it's easier to think of pirates as some smuggler ring, leaching on profits and society wealth. Actually, they are not. The five top pirating countries are China, Russia, Columbia, India, and Malaysia. You might think it's because people don't earn as much money there, as they do in Western European countries and North America, not because they are immoral and full of mischief. They simply don't have the same amount of money for their entertainment and they want it as much as you and I do. Moreover, they can actually get it, thanks to the internet and those scurvy pirates who rip off corporations by uploading stuff for others to use. Would you say they don't have a right to it, simply because they were not born in Europe or US? If you could, would you actually prevent them by getting all this stuff from the web, so that your well-being is somewhat improved?

 

So let me get this straight. They can afford the $ to buy a PC rig that allows them to play games. But they don't have the $20 to support the kickstarter? They still have time. If they can't afford the game, they should talk to the developers (email). Maybe they'll get a discounted price. This whole money argument doesn't hold much water. Entertainment is entertainment. In third-world countries, there is no concept of IP and rights for the creator of IP as entertainment because ultimately their governments have not allowed their people to reach a certain wealth to be able to create such entertainment. When these countries and their citizens start becoming producers of cultural entertainment for business, you'll start noticing that these same people will ask to be paid for their work. Source: I have seen this exact thing happen in countries. See Iran and its current IP issues with its citizenry.

 

Yeah, let's get back to games then. I bet most of the games are pirated by people who can't afford them. Yeah, that's right, they can afford a "gaming rig", because virtually no one in the world lives without a PC. People use computers for all sorts of things. But a "gaming rig" does not necessarily cost 3,000 US dollars, I bought mine for around $800 taxes included and it has lasted me about five years now. That boils down to about $160 per year for the PC. Video games are $60 per title, if you buy one per month (too often for a person who doesn't play them a lot and too rarely for someone who does) you have to spend $720 per year on video games only. If you a kid chances are your parents aren't going to be that generous. If you live, say, in Russia and earn about $600 per month, you're also out of luck.

 

Of course, people would like to be paid for their work. Moreover they do get paid. Have you ever heard of 100% pirated movie/game/music album? Me neither. So it's not a matter of getting paid, it's a matter of them wanting to get larger profits. Well, they are out of luck, obviously, since not that long ago they pirates stuff themselves, because they could not afford it. It is only fair. As it is the case with all non-monetary compensations, you loose out on money a bit.

 

And, seriously, sending a letter to the developers? Maybe they should pray to gods for money showers, that would have about the same chance of success.

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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.

Edited by FlintlockJazz
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You would have been totally right, if all pirates lived in some magical country Piratonia and kept stealing our intellectual property and selfishly using it for themselves without paying. But the pirates live in the same place with all the other people, they have jobs and they pay taxes, they are not some shadowy characters, like burglars, smugglers, murderers, and drug dealers. They are more like a girl next door who watches missed episodes of Lost on the web.

 

I'm not really sure what any of this has to do with what I said, but I'll take a stab. If they pay taxes and are upright, moral citizens, why do they fail to pay people for their hardwork when it comes to media? The girl (a lame attempt at empathy on your part) next door probably watches them on Hulu with ads. Hulu pays royalties to the companies who made Lost and thus are allowed to publish that. But still, this has nothing to do with games or Obsidian, specifically.

 

Expect Hulu (and most other "free to use with ads") services don't work outside USA. Even Youtube has restrictions for music videos, these days!

 

Speaking of wealth redistribution, I suppose it's easier to think of pirates as some smuggler ring, leaching on profits and society wealth. Actually, they are not. The five top pirating countries are China, Russia, Columbia, India, and Malaysia. ...

 

So let me get this straight. They can afford the $ to buy a PC rig that allows them to play games. But they don't have the $20 to support the kickstarter? They still have time.

 

1. You can get PC's for free if you are ready to get an older model.

 

2. Even if you have top-of-the-line gaming rig, it might be considerably bigger share of disposable income to operate. After all, people bought computers in the 80s, when their value adjusted to inflation was 5 to 10 times more.. even in the first world. You can also do a lot more on a PC than just play games. Getting slightly better graphics card when you need a heavy-duty computer for your [work/hobbies/other reason] anyways is smaller investment than getting "a pure gaming rig". That's what I did when I was a student. I needed a computer; I paid somewhat more to also play games on it. Also; P:E isn't supposed to be too heavy on a machine..

 

3. You need Amazon.com afflicted Visa-card or PayPal to use Kickstarter. Even in Europe, these things are hardly self-evident (as Amazon.de, Amazon.co.uk etc. don't count and direct bank transfers are free of charge, lessening the importance of the K-starters supported methods). In developing countries, these methods would probably be unthinkable.

 

You're confusing the situation in America to be something shared by the whole world.

 

In third-world countries, there is no concept of IP and rights for the creator of IP as entertainment because ultimately their governments have not allowed their people to reach a certain wealth to be able to create such entertainment.

 

Really. You're going to put colonisation, Soviet/Chinese/American/French/British funded coups, corruption, mafia, lack of geopolitical location or natural resources, all sort of market forces meddling, lack of infrastructure etc. as well as simple incompetence under "their governments have not ALLOWED their people to reach certain wealth"? Please, name one country that actively tries to keep its citizens poor!

 

I try not to judge people I talk with on message boards, but you don't come across as a person that's completely connected with surrounding reality. Plus, you also sound somewhat dislikable, but that might just be your politics.

 

When these countries and their citizens start becoming producers of cultural entertainment for business, you'll start noticing that these same people will ask to be paid for their work. Source: I have seen this exact thing happen in countries. See Iran and its current IP issues with its citizenry.

 

Of course they want to be paid for their work. Everybody needs food on the table. But when you're yourself fighting to keep food on the table, you're hardly interested how some rich Americans aren't getting their slice - particularly if that 20 dollars is enough to feed you for a week. Not even if you're on the same line of work.

 

I'm not familiar with the situation in Iran, so I shall not comment on it till you expand on the subject.

Edited by ijusten

"I saw that argument was useless and said no more; there is no use arguing with a man who can multiply anything by the square root of minus one."

-Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Pirates of Venus (1934)

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Well, I've been reviewing the thread off and on this morning, and while Hormalakh has made an admirable effort to keep it P.E. related, it is starting to feel like a general rehash of past threads. There's enough P.E. reference, however, that I don't think a thread-move is quite applicable either.

 

My solution then, with apologies to Hormalakh, is to close this thread and to point people towards the current "piracy" discussion thread in the Computer and Console forum.

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