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A Different Take on Piracy


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This article on The Escapist puts a different spin on the issue of game/software piracy. An interesting read.

 

I want to introduce you to an entirely different perspective: Piracy supports an underground economy and the livelihoods of thousands of people in Asia, especially in countries where most people live below the poverty line. This underground exists primarily because its participants cannot afford the exorbitant prices charged by game publishers. It's a point of view that isn't often raised in American or 'industrialized' media, but it's easy to miss when you aren't surrounded by piracy on a daily basis.
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The fact that there are people making a living off of a criminal enterprise does not legitimize said enterprise. The fact that people want something that they can not afford does not entitle them to said something. The fact that you can justify all sorts of illegal behaviours does not make those behaviours suddenly legal.

 

Amen.

 

And besides, it costs lot of time and money to actually produce a game. It's really, really dumb if I go out and produce a game, and then find out later that nobody is actually buying said game because they are downloading off the Internet for free. It cost time and money to produce a game, you know. And if you take away the incentive to make a game, then why should I make one?

 

Though, to be honest, a major reason why developing countries seem to have lots of piracy is because, well, they don't respect copyright laws and property rights. Which hurts their economic growth in the long term due to a lack of incentive to actually create something over there (why should they? Somebody would just copy their idea and sell it cheaper!). This is why it is a good idea for the governments to start protecting copyright laws, to protect their own, overground legal industries (though, more likely, protect copyright laws for other things that are more important than games...).

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And besides, it costs lot of time and money to actually produce a game. It's really, really dumb if I go out and produce a game, and then find out later that nobody is actually buying said game because they are downloading off the Internet for free.

It doesn't change a thing for the industry if the players aren't buying anything because they can't afford it.

 

It cost time and money to produce a game, you know. And if you take away the incentive to make a game, then why should I make one?

Where's the incentive to buy it?

 

Though, to be honest, a major reason why developing countries seem to have lots of piracy is because, well, they don't respect copyright laws and property rights.

You're wrong. I'm sorry, but you're so very wrong.

 

Piracy is illegal here, make no mistake. And so do we respect the copyright laws. But the price of everything related to games and gaming is not proportional to our society.Try to picture two workers, who have the same job on a developing and on a developed country. The developed one earn a salary which is the triple of his colleague on the third world. And still, the high-tech products price is the double or even more than that on the developing countries. It simply has no logic at all.

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It doesn't change a thing for the industry if the players aren't buying anything because they can't afford it.

 

Just because I want something that is expensive does not mean that I should automatically get it for cheap. Games are a luxury, not an necessity.

 

Where's the incentive to buy it?

 

To have fun. Don't tell me that people buy games for other reasons except for entertainment. And if you state that there is no incentive to buy it rather than get it somewhere else, then I ask you why should I be willing to compensate someone for their hard work when I could just leech from them anyway?

 

You're wrong. I'm sorry, but you're so very wrong.

 

I'm sorry, but I actually bought games from this underground market (though I prefer the term "black market"), and people in this underground market told me that they are able to do so because of the lack of copyright laws. In fact, they stated that since in their nation, there is no copyright laws, they can pirate whatever they want and not get punished...in that nation.

 

So, I do consider myself informed. At least when discussing my "underground market".

 

But the price of everything related to games and gaming is not proportional to our society.Try to picture two workers, who have the same job on a developing and on a developed country. The developed one earn a salary which is the triple of his colleague on the third world. And still, the high-tech products price is the double or even more than that on the developing countries. It simply has no logic at all.

 

Ah, but you forget the fact that you can buy games that are in fact low budget. Gaming is a luxury, and there are differing degrees of luxury. You don't need an X360. A Super Nintendo is actually quite fine. Or...gasp...you could go on the Internet and download "FREEWARE" applications.

 

In fact, I can safely say that I had more fun with the various (possibly illegal) modifications of Super Mario Brothers than I did playing...well...many of the generic top-of-the-line 3d FPS. Had a person bought the Super Mario Brothers legally...well...I'd still have the same amount of fun. The only reason I believe this may not have happened at all is, well, Super Mario Brothers isn't released in this third-world country at all, hence having to rely on this. Yeah, I'm a firm believer in abandonware, but I also recognize it is totally illegal, and people should realize that.

 

And not everyone in a third-world nation is poor. They have lower income, and they need help, but they can also survive on their own.

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The whole idea that "Piracy hurts the economy" (i'm not condoning it mind.) is ridiculous when it comes to less fortunate nations where Piracy helps people provide for their families. For example Turkey as far as i'm aware has no copyright laws as fake gear is being flung everwhere, i even managed to get myself an away Manchester United shirt for a fiver (a "genuine fake" as they called it :lol: ) - not alot to us but to people like this it could mean a meal for their entire family. It is something the gaming industry needs to really consider when launching all out assualts against piracy, it may seem in a Western sense that this is a good idea and in the West that may be the case. However even what may seem like a positive approach to defend the economy, these actions could have severe consequences elsewhere. Personally i support the media world by buying everything rather than downloading; CDs, DVDs and Computer Games but I can appreciate why some people would resort to piracy as a source of making ends-meet.

And not everyone in a third-world nation is poor. They have lower income, and they need help, but they can also survive on their own.
However I do tend to agree with this point. There are differentiating levels of needy and the down right greedy and so it can be hard to see if Piracy is just for people to survive or for companies to sell products on the cheap without resorting to the more expensive "real deal".
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Just because I want something that is expensive does not mean that I should automatically get it for cheap. Games are a luxury, not an necessity.

QFE. It might be hard for you to expect, but you can live without video games.... ;)

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QFE. It might be hard for you to expect, but you can live without video games.... ;)
Completely true, it's all about choice IMO. Piracy is however much bigger than the video game market. Pretty much for every major product you can sure bet there will be it's "underground" counterpart.
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If there are no copyright laws in those countries, than technically "Piracy" there is legal. But if I made a game in California, and people in (insert poor African country) are copying it, then that should be outlawed. SilentScope is right, it's ludicrous that people should be worried about video games in some of those places, and if it's underground than chances are they'd get in trouble somehow for doing it in the open, therefore it is probably illegal (if not in that country, then maybe the publisher would&could sue them: are there international copyright laws? There should be.)

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Seems to me that if you can afford a computer that can run a particular game you can probably afford to buy said game. Unless of course you stole the computer, in which case you're just a criminal all around.

 

Saying that software pirates can't afford the software is silly in general. If they can afford the hardware to run the software, certainly they can afford the software? If they're so strapped for money that my assumption is not true then they probably shouldn't have bought the hardware in the first place.

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are there international copyright laws? There should be.)

 

There are.

 

Also I did some research on the underground market I have went to. Seems that in 1992, Pakistan has begin overhauling its copyright laws, but enforcement of the copyright laws has been spotty at best. The worst news however, is that they're still in need of overhauling its copyright laws, and the United States still views Pakistan as a violator of international copyright law. Here's an article from 2000 that discusses how entrenched piracy is, and explains some of the arguments used against reforming Pakistani copyright laws.

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I like how all you privileged people ride in this thread on your high horse and circlejerk each other like "Games are a privilege. If you can't use software on the hardware you got then maybe you shouldn't have it"

 

So those less fortunate than you are undeserving of something to distract them from the real world and because they're charged essentially $3,000 for a game that you pay 40 for, they should just focus on other things?

 

Enjoy your hate filled world.

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So those less fortunate than you are undeserving of something to distract them from the real world and because they're charged essentially $3,000 for a game that you pay 40 for, they should just focus on other things?

 

Really now? Surely, a game in the developing country does not in fact cost $3,000 USD. Total income may be lower, but I am sure that a local and legal copy would cost the same in USD, or maybe even cheaper, as a way to try and undermine pirates. Not to mention, of course, that there are more games out there than this costly generation.

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I like how all you privileged people ride in this thread on your high horse and circlejerk each other like "Games are a privilege. If you can't use software on the hardware you got then maybe you shouldn't have it"

 

So those less fortunate than you are undeserving of something to distract them from the real world and because they're charged essentially $3,000 for a game that you pay 40 for, they should just focus on other things?

 

Enjoy your hate filled world.

 

Problem with that kind of logic is that you can justify just about any type of stealing by claiming/demonstrating poverty. "Doesn't matter that I can't afford box seats at the new stadium, let me in anyway you selfish, controlling b@st@rd! Luxuries aren't just for the rich, ya know..." :rolleyes::D

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Man there's been piracy since the first floppy disks and cassette recorders, not to mention VHS to tape movies off TV, isn't that really piracy?

 

Never heard anyone moan so much about it back then, they all blame the internet etc, but on the flipside of that coin, the internet has bought us amazon and online advertising to sell goods (mostly cds, dvds and games I might add), get a life!

 

It all comes down to individual morality, most police forces/court rooms are already thinned down far enough to tackle real life crime, never mind online stuff, plus the fact remains that piracy and hackers will always remain one step ahead of governments and legislation simply because of the fast erratic nature of the internet, love it or loath it (I love it :) ), it's here to stay...

 

By the way, I would never play a cracked copy of a video game, ever, and my DVD and CD collection is massive, but back in the early 90's, I used to tape stuff on cassette, or VHS from time to time, and as technology evolves, so do I...I'm not here to condone piracy, I'm just stating facts ;)

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Man there's been piracy since the first floppy disks and cassette recorders, not to mention VHS to tape movies off TV, isn't that really piracy?

 

Never heard anyone moan so much about it back then, they all blame the internet etc, but on the flipside of that coin, the internet has bought us amazon and online advertising to sell goods (mostly cds, dvds and games I might add), get a life!

 

It all comes down to individual morality, most police forces/court rooms are already thinned down far enough to tackle real life crime, never mind online stuff, plus the fact remains that piracy and hackers will always remain one step ahead of governments and legislation simply because of the fast erratic nature of the internet, love it or loath it (I love it :) ), it's here to stay...

 

By the way, I would never play a cracked copy of a video game, ever, and my DVD and CD collection is massive, but back in the early 90's, I used to tape stuff on cassette, or VHS from time to time, and as technology evolves, so do I...I'm not here to condone piracy, I'm just stating facts ;)

 

Yes, that is the other side of the coin.......and often by people who'd argue vs computer piracy in the first place. The music industry has faced this problem for several decades, in different forms, as have filmmakers. I'd wager most people have or have had (never mind knowing someone who did) copies of music or film at some point. Now it's the software industry's "turn".

It mostly does come down to where people draw their own lines (not in terms of making something right/wrong) when it comes to being "dishonest". Govts will only usually tend to come after the people who are selling the pirated stuff due to the manpower problems, as you rightly point out. Lack of access/general cheapness doesn't justify taking things you aren't legally entitled to, but generally ensures it will happen.

 

The companies claiming to be hurt by piracy have yet to show actual loss.

Frankly, I suspect they'll never be able to do anything but make a WAG on that score. How do you prove your losses when you don't know how many people have "pirated copies" of your product in the first place? Also, if all those people had had to purchase the product at the asking price in the first place.......how many would actually have bothered?

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Frankly, I suspect they'll never be able to do anything but make a WAG on that score. How do you prove your losses when you don't know how many people have "pirated copies" of your product in the first place? Also, if all those people had had to purchase the product at the asking price in the first place.......how many would actually have bothered?

So? Burden of proof remains on the accuser, not the person being accused.

 

They're claiming theft, by that merit monetary loss. Yet they show no proof of said loss. Case has no feet to stand on, by any other standard it would be thrown out.

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