these are dark times for torrenters...

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As someone who flirts with the edge of the music industry, I can tell you that small labels (ones with say 5 -20 artists on) are very important to someone just starting out in the industry. It's very difficult for me to put a track on beatport (for example) and then start selling copies of it. No-one knows who I am, know one knows about the track. If it is released on a small label like that, they will pay for it to be mastered (making the track much better), advertise it through their label and perhaps get you some plays on radio shows etc to promote the track. These are all things that are very hard to accomplish on your own!
Unfortunately, small labels are probably hardest hit by illegal downloading. =/ They don't have the financial muscle to take hits like that. The net result is making smaller labels struggle along and artists signed to them have to do a second job, or scrape by on very little money. This is especially devastating to genres of music that are not mainstream enough to be pop music, but are mainstream enough that they should be able to support the better artists making the stuff whereas in reality (due almost entirely to illegal filesharing/downloading) they can't.
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I'm not against the existence of labels and publishing companies, I'm simply against the way they tend to treat artists and consumers. Small labels are probably not guilty (or, at least, not as guilty) of it, which makes it a shame that they will be damaged by piracy. This is why I support what I call "tactical piracy" to incentivise companies to not be assholes. Unfortunately it doesn't work if I'm the only person doing it, and most non-pirates are ignorant and believe the RIAA/MPAA line that pirates are all amoral thieves taking money away from defenceless artists while the publishing companies do their best to protect them, and most pirates just don't care. People want to believe that it's a clear-cut issue with good guys and bad guys, but it's not. The reality is that the good guys are really bad, and the bad guys are, for the most part, neutral. The only good guys in this are the musicians who suffer because of both camps (even though plenty of them believe that it's just the pirates who are hurting them).

I don't include game devs in this because honestly, I don't think piracy hurts them that much. If they can afford $70k salaries and spending > $100m on advertising alone, they must be doing okay. I can't speak for indie devs though.

As for the film industry, I think it has found its saviour in sites like Netflix where people pay a very reasonable monthly fee to see what they want to watch on any of their own devices. It's a shame the industry itself doesn't seem to see that.

I don't think piracy is as big an issue as it's made out to be, at least not for the major firms. Like I said in my previous post, where music is concerned, I think that the structure of the industry itself is a far bigger problem, and piracy is being used to distract from that -- and this ignores the fact that we're not quite out of a global economic crisis, and the record, film and game industries still report record sales. How exactly is increasing piracy damaging the industries if they're making so much money despite the economic slump? It's just another way to push the blame for the industry being awful onto the consumers, as if they didn't screw us enough already with things like region locks (which, don't forget, have been around since before piracy was the issue it supposedly is today) and other kinds of DRM.

[edit] Also, let's not forget that "pirates spend more on legal downloading and streaming than those who never access illegal content" (source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-24055245).
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For example, most PC games are still released on DVDs but are still $50-$60 a pop, while I can go to my local store and buy a box of a 100 blank DVDs to burn to for a little less than $30.


No offense, but this is a profoundly ignorant argument. Are you actually comparing the cost of blank media, to the cost of that same media, with software which takes thousands of man hours and millions of dollars to make? Do you think that markup comes out of thin air?
BHXSpecter wrote:
Nope, you are assuming that I'm assuming that. In fact I already had thought of that, but it still doesn't erase the fact, if a person pirates it, plays it off and on and beats it that means I'm out the $10 I should have gotten for it.


chrisname already responded to this quite well.

The misconception you have here is that you think anyone who plays the game must pay for it. This is not true. People can legally play the game without ever buying it. Common examples of this are renting it, borrowing it from a friend, or purchasing a used copy. In all cases... "people who have played the game" and "people who have bought the game from the developer" are completely different statistics, and using one to measure the other is incorrect.

Piracy is just another way those statistic can differ. If pirating were impossible... it's very likely that those people would have rented the game instead of buying it.. or borrowed it off a friend once their friend was done with it.... or simply not have played it ever. In any case... the developer would not have received any money from that person.

Therefore you cannot measure monetary loss by number of pirated copies. That's too simple of an approach.

Note I'm not claiming that piracy does not cost the developer money. It clearly does. I'm just saying it's not as much as your example illustrates.


People usually only pirate things that interest them, and pirate them to avoid having to pay to get what they want.


We must have different backgrounds here.

I come from the ROM hacking scene. Piracy is everything there. People download entire ROM sets (ie: every game ever made for NES/SNES). I knew several people who were "collectors"... and pirated things not to play them, but to simply have a complete collection of all available works.

This was not rare, either... it was quite common. In fact it was so common there are actually several utilities available to audit the files you have and create a list of missing files (see "GoodTools": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GoodTools ).

So people were pirating thousands of games, and never even played most of them. It didn't stop with ROMs, either. One guy I knew did that with movies, too. He even bought space on a server to store all the stuff he was pirating. I'm sure he's never even looked at 90+% of it.

Money is coveted too high. People are willing to resort to taking things without paying just to save a few dollars.


It's not just about money... it's about convenience.

I've actually turned down legal opportunities to obtain a movie or TV series (usually in the form of borrowing the DVD from a friend) in favor of torrenting because it's easier.

If I want to watch something that isn't available online on Netflix.... do I order the DVD and wait the 1-2 days for it to arrive? Or do I wait the 10 minutes for the torrent to finish?




This is the thing I was trying to say before... this is an issue that companies have to compete with. It's an entire culture shift. People now have just about any media they want right at their fingertips. Companies selling that media need to get clever about how to compete with that. Boosting anti-piracy laws is not an effective approach.


As someone who flirts with the edge of the music industry, I can tell you that small labels (ones with say 5 -20 artists on) are very important to someone just starting out in the industry. It's very difficult for me to put a track on beatport (for example) and then start selling copies of it. No-one knows who I am, know one knows about the track. If it is released on a small label like that, they will pay for it to be mastered (making the track much better), advertise it through their label and perhaps get you some plays on radio shows etc to promote the track. These are all things that are very hard to accomplish on your own!


I live in a music town. Pretty much everyone I know is (or was) in a band. They all pirate music. But yes, you're right, they all want to get signed too.

Though personally I think a better idea than trying to get signed to a label is hiring a manager and letting them do the promotion for you. Because that's really all a label is now... promotion and exposure.
Disch wrote:
I knew several people who were "collectors"... and pirated things not to play them, but to simply have a complete collection of all available works.

Interest == to have a complete collection of all available works. Though, I did just think of something that counteracts most of my arguments, hoarders. They take and keep things that means something to them and absolutely nothing to everyone else.

Do they still consider ROM to be piracy considering most ROMs on older systems you can't find anymore? I would be fine with setting limits on piracy (ie system no longer mass produced or almost impossible to buy) because it is pricey and difficult to get Atari, NES, SNES, N64, Amiga, etc.

chrisname wrote:
Now, I pirate tactically because I want to encourage the industry to make games worth buying.

That doesn't even almost make sense. Stealing a game, and the developer losing money, will make them make better games? You must mean indie developers because companies like EA, Square Enix, Capcom, Bethesda, etc because the big houses don't care about quality, they only care that they make a profit after putting out the money to make it. Look at Bethesda, all their games have been broke at release and slowly patched to fix them. Pirating won't make them make better, instead they would simply make them drop a game that could be better and either move on or just give up and close the company.

Working Designs comes to mind, they didn't even have issues with piracy, but instead had issues with Sony refusing to publish a game so they closed their doors. Then several months later started a new company (Gojin Works was it) that did the exact thing as WD.

Disch wrote:
But yes, you're right, they all want to get signed too.

Not necessarily. My Uncle Paul was the lead vocals and guitarist of his band and he was perfectly happy being well known in his town. He never wanted signed because he didn't want the stress of traveling from one venue to the next. He performed at the same bar for 30 or 40 years until they burned down. They still perform in the town but it is only on the weekends at a new bar owned by the owner of the burned down bar.
Dang, bit torrent might shut down, well a new way is always going to pop up no matter what but theres always a gap, other sites are still popular but I dont want to speak their names, I wonder how soon they will be shut down :/

Either way its in our interest to always explore new ways to make what we want to see and hear our choice rather than something dictated to us by making everything and anything available easily.

yohoho and a bottle of rum.

EDIT: I wont spend money on any game unless its really really good and I have to pay to play it on line, so they will mmake only really really good games to play online and everyting else can be cheap and indy, everything in the middle deserves to die and not be made anyway, its just nutural selection...just its not natural.
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BHXSpecter wrote:
That doesn't even almost make sense. Stealing a game, and the developer losing money, will make them make better games?

It doesn't not make sense just because you didn't understand. The idea is to only pirate games that don't deserve your money. If everyone did that, the game industry would be incentivised towards making games that are worth the price. Right now, they just crap out whatever they want and people buy it because it's hyped to hell and back.
@chrisname
Just found an article where UK companies are changing to different business models due to piracy. A lot of UK devs are going to free to play and content you have to buy in game. How would you feel if all US game devs went to that? Not very many good FTP games that I've played yet. That would remove your reasoning for piracy, but wouldn't force them to make better games.

Don't get me wrong, there are some great FTP games, just not many.

Article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/24541910
closed account (o1vk4iN6)
Dota 2 and League of Legends are probably among the best games I've played. They also happen to be free to play. Have my eyes on hearthstone as well but it's in beta and impossible to get into ): . Also worth to note Team Fortress 2 but really I'd be talking about the original game before they added thousands of new weapons.
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What if all games went to the mobile model: Cheap/Free to play, riddled with in-game purchases and ads?
@ResidentBiscuit
Yeah, that was why I posted it. This isn't the first time I've seen someone with the same reasoning as chrisname.

It is foolishly to believe that making them lose money on a game or boycotting a game will force them to make a better game, but only indie games care about quality. Look at Bethesda, they have a history of continually releasing games that barely work out of the box, require 20+ patches to get everything working, have had customer backlash for Oblivion, Fallout, New Vegas, Wet, Skyrim, etc and have still released the same quality of work. Eye candy is great, when you aren't fighting lag, freeze, glitches in textures, animations, etc.

Look at Fish, everyone wants to think big companies are better than indie devs, but they aren't. Just like Fish cancelled Fez 2 after a bunch of bullshit. A big name dev house is more likely to say, "Well, they aren't buying it any, but are pirating it. Let's just drop this franchise and do this new IP." I seriously doubt anyone is going to say, "Well, gee! They are pirating this game, maybe we should do it better so the ones pirating will start buying it!"

Wait, with all the reason's Disch and chrisname just mentioned, it won't matter, because most of the people pirating it are doing it for convenience or lack of money. So if they did make a game worth blowing money on, it would be pirated by the same people. I think chrisname's reasoning will result in solutions like the UK (after all EA already has Battlefield Heroes, a cartoony Battleifeld free to play browser game, but charge you to buy perks and weapons using BattlePoints that you have to use your credit card to buy). Guess US devs are already slowly moving toward UK's solution.

Disney is already doing the mobile model. I have bought several of Disney's games for my son on the Kindle Fire and the free ones are exactly like you said ResidentBiscuit.
closed account (S6k9GNh0)
ResidentBiscuit, it isn't that way already? Rather, I prefer the up-front cost and hell, I'll even buy something here and there if I continue to play the game. But I'd like a full game, not some half-baked shit where I'm supposed to pay upward of $100 (I'M LOOKING AT YOU CHAMPIONS ONLINE) to get full content.
As much as I like to stay out of these discussions - I'd like to mention something.

It seems like the underlying problem here is that or ownership or property. What constitutes ownership and is that definition applicable to digital media? Until everyone agrees on the same definition of ownership, basically you're all comparing apples and pears and nobody is going to change their mind about it. Also, does ownership automatically imply that one can / should charge a compensation, monetary or otherwise. Possibly a lot of people will have different answers to these questions depending on their cultural background and experiences. I would even go as far as to question the intrinsic concept of ownership in itself, but that's another matter. It seems to me that these are the matters at the ground of this discussion, which would therefor probably have to be resolved first in order to discuss any issues deriving from it.

As an observation (not a judgement): it seems like these kinds of discussions often feature the same protagonists, more often than not the same ones opposing one and other. I encourage healthy debate and discussion, but I do think there is a point where people need to recognize when it becomes senseless and just need to "agree to disagree" (or stay out of each others way).

Anyway - just my 2 cents, I'll stay out of your ways now.

All the best,
NwN
Do you remember those anti piracy adverts that presumed you wouldn't download a car if you could? felt they underestimated me somewhat.

Its interesting how the internet started out as belonging to the people and the powers that be have encroached on it, seems power has similar properties as water, its slowly unstoppable.

EDIT: fantastic point NwN

I found a really good coding website that charges I told them that I was tempted to pay they were so good but couldnt afford, they DID make me a slightly better offer! but this is a thing that could not be pirated...A well put together well funded tutorial site.

The way valve make games is interesting, people may well believe in paying for half life three, to make a game high quality rather than to sell it on hype is a good way to encourage people to respect the company producing.
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ResidentBiscuit wrote:
What if all games went to the mobile model: Cheap/Free to play, riddled with in-game purchases and ads?

What if nobody bought their games or extra content or in-game stuff or gave them ad views/clicks and the company died as a result? Hence "tactical piracy". Besides, the article BHXSpecter posted proves that it does little or nothing to stem piracy: "The two most illegally downloaded platforms are probably Android and PC," he said. "It's definitely there on iOS and it is still quite high."

BHXSpecter wrote:
Look at Bethesda, they have a history of continually releasing games that barely work out of the box, require 20+ patches to get everything working, have had customer backlash for Oblivion, Fallout, New Vegas, Wet, Skyrim, etc and have still released the same quality of work.

How are you still not getting it? They release poor quality games because they know people will still buy them. They ignore customer complaints because they know those very same customers will buy the next game in the series. They know they can get away with it.

Just like Fish cancelled Fez 2 after a bunch of bullshit.

That was nothing to do with piracy, Phil Fish cancelled Fez 2 because he's a big baby that can't take criticism and he wanted to be out of the spotlight. Besides, AAA studios can't just up and cancel games that a publisher has already funded. The publisher can cancel it if they decide to cut their losses because they know too few people will buy the game. Indie devs can cancel their own games because they don't have contracts to oblige, only "Yeah, we'll make a sequel to this overrated puzzle game".

A big name dev house is more likely to say, "Well, they aren't buying it any, but are pirating it. Let's just drop this franchise and do this new IP."

That's the idea. If too few people buy crappy CoD, Sonic and TeS rehashes, they will stop making them. I mean, look at the game in the article you posted: Football Manager 13. Maybe part of the reason people don't buy these rehashes is that they feel like it's little more than an update to the previous version which they already own. New IP is a good thing. Almost no games need or deserve more than one or two sequels.
chrisname wrote:
"The two most illegally downloaded platforms are probably Android and PC," he said. "It's definitely there on iOS and it is still quite high."

The point of the article was that the game devs in response to the piracy are changing to different business models. It will be a lot harder to do piracy on free to play games since everything would be done by purchasing content from off site servers.
chrisname wrote:
How are you still not getting it?

No I get it, but you aren't getting it. Pirating the game isn't going to force them to do anything. Boycotting the game may force them to do better, but even companies have said while pirating is making them lose money it shows they are doing something right because they are being pirated. Your 'tactical pirating' has no effect.
chrisname wrote:
That's the idea. If too few people buy crappy CoD, Sonic and TeS rehashes, they will stop making them.

They will stop making them and instead come up with a new IP that just flips characters and rehash the story of each of those franchises with no worlds and locations. You apparently don't get it, they have got to the point where it is easier to make rehashes than take a chance with completely original ideas because of what you just pointed out. It is far easier to make remakes or sequels for existing fans than it is to make a completely new IP that has zero fan base.

Think about it, what would be easier to put out? $4 million to make a game with a fan base so you know there is a chance to make back a some if not all of it or put $4 million out to make a completely new game (that will likely be torn apart by reviewers as imitating existing games) that will have no fan base and if it fails the company is out the $4 million.

That is why I said I've heard your point of view on piracy before and just like before the point of view comes from illogical thinking. Dev companies hate piracy, but they also view it as a gauge to say the game is wanted because it is so heavily pirated. There is no dev company that thinks pirating is a statement of how their game sucks, they simply view it as cheap players finding ways to get the game without paying for them.
Say whatever you want, i'm good with torrent websites going down.
closed account (o1vk4iN6)
It will be a lot harder to do piracy on free to play games since everything would be done by purchasing content from off site servers.


Not really, it's still possible, just how World of Warcraft had people running their own private servers where you didn't need to pay.

Anyways there are other ways that don't result in free to play games with in-game purchases and ads. Crowd funding is a good example, Start Citizen is already at $24 million. E-sports is another, dota 2, league of legends, etc are all free to play without any sort of bullshit ads or in-game purchases.

Another compelling reason to pirate is release dates. There's this wonderful thing called the internet and although games are released digitally they still coincide with their physical counterpart's release date. This is why you usually see games leaked onto torrent sites sometimes weeks before they are actually released.
xerzi wrote:
Not really, it's still possible, just how World of Warcraft had people running their own private servers where you didn't need to pay.

Which has more legal grounds for Blizzard to go after them. Plus I don't recall you being able to unlock the special purchases they sell on a private server.

http://wow.joystiq.com/2008/12/05/blizzard-legal-targets-private-servers/

Blizzard has been fighting private servers since 2008.

Running the private servers though would bar you from buying the in game special items like special weapons or armor so you may not have to pay, but you can't get more than the default game items.

Crowd funding is usually used by indie developers who have to listen to their backers or by guys who used to work at a big name company and don't have the funds to make it.

Dota 2 doesn't have in-game purchases? Then what is this: http://www.dota2.com/store/

A quick google search shows that LoL does have an in-game store where you can buy things with your money.
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Hey. How exactly do you take down a server? Crashing it? Or legally forcing them to take it down. Cuz they can put it back up with a proxy, and you will never be able to track them.
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